Waddy family

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Richard Waddy (1769-1853; e.m. 1793) was the first in a succession of six WM ministers. He was born at Bilton-in-Ainsty, N. Yorks on 24 November 1769. Though a gentle, unambitious man, he became a District Chairman. He married Elizabeth Mason, sister of the Book Steward John Mason, and wrote A Vindication of the Methodists (1804). He died at Southampton on 4 October 1853.

Samuel Dousland Waddy   Click to enlarge
Two of their sons entered the ministry: (1) Dr Samuel Dousland Waddy (1804-1876; e.m. 1825) was born on 5 August 1804 at Burton-on-Trent. He raised eyebrows early in his ministry by wearing a gown and bands in the pulpit at Hull. An enthusiastic advocate of education, he was instrumental in establishing Wesley College, Sheffield, of which he was Governor and Chaplain 1844-1862. He was a close friend of James Montgomery, for whom he preached a memorial sermon. He was President of the Conference in 1859. His wife, Elizabeth Danks, was descended from the Constable family, who were among the first Methodists in Wednesbury. He died in Bristol on 7 November 1876. (2) Benjamin Bullock Waddy (1813-86; e.m. 1834) was born at Holmfirth and died at Colwyn Bay on 12 December 1886

A daughter, Jane Dousland Waddy (1817-1894) married a missionary to the West Indies, William Samuel Fletcher Moss (e.m. 1838; d. 1870), and was the mother of Dr Richard Waddy Moss.

Samuel Dousland Waddy had a son, grandson and great-grandson in the ministry. His younger son was John Turner Waddy (1836-1898; e.m. 1859) born in Sheffield on 29 April 1836; he died at Dorchester on 20 May 1898. The grandson, also John Turner Waddy (1865-1952; e.m. 1886), was born at Toddington, Beds., and died at Huddersfield on 25 November 1952. The great-grandson John Leonard Waddy (1906-1988; e.m. 1931), born at Wakefield on 21 March 1906, wrote a book on the Waddy family and another on the Wednesbury riots. He died at Littlehampton on 13 August 1988.

Samuel Dousland Waddy's older son Samuel Danks Waddy QC (1830-1902), known as 'Judge Waddy', was born at Gateshead and educated at Wesley College, Sheffield. He withdrew as a candidate for the ministry and studied for the Bar, but was in great demand as a local preacher. In 1887 he published A Harmony of the Four Gospels in the Revised Version and composed a paraphrase of the 23rd Psalm, beginning 'Jesus my Shepherd my want shall supply', which was included in the WM Hymn Book of 1904 (no. 395). He served the Methodist Church in a number of offices, including that of treasurer of the Metropolitan Chapel Building Fund. He had a distinguished legal and political career. He was Liberal MP for Barnstaple (1874-1879), Sheffield (1879-1880), Edinburgh 1882-1885) and Brigg (1885-1894). Called to the Bar in 1858, he was Recorder of Sheffield from 1894 and a county court judge from 1896. He was counsel for the defence in the 'Maiden Tribute' trial of W.T. Stead in 1885. It was he who took out the family coat of arms.He died on 30 December 1902.


Richard Waddy:

'Active; - well made; - kind. A certain degree of effeminacy in the voice, which detracts from the weight of his matter… Perhaps too open and ingenuous… Inferior men to himself may occasionally smile, to shew their superior wisdom; ignorance and vanity will mistake him; good sense will perceive many points of excellence; piety will laud Christian character; gratitude will ever speak respectfully of him as an active, honest labourer in some of the highest official situations in the body; and the congregation must be devoid of grace that cannot profit by his ministry.'

Wesleyan Takings (1840), pp.314-15

Samuel Dousland Waddy:

'Clever - good tact - easy - natural - smart - intelligent - instructive - fluent. A cleverness and smartness, nevertheless - which is not always the case - combined with solidity. Aims at the highest point of elevation to which his talents can raise him.'

Ibid, p.334

  • WM Magazine, December 1857
  • Methodist Times, 29 March 1894
  • Adeline Waddy, The Life of the Rev. Samuel D. Waddy, DD (1878)
  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number 1906, p.50
  • M. Stenton (ed.), Who's Who of British MPs, vol. 2 (1978)
  • J. Leonard Waddy, The Waddy Family (Bognor Regis,1982)