Braund, Thomas
1842-1914; e.m. 1863

BC itinerant, born at Milton Damerel, three miles west-north-west of Shebbear in Devon on 11 December 1842.William O'Bryan had been a regular preacher at his grandfather's home, and James Thorne became a regular visitor at his own. The same grandfather, Hatton Rattenbury, was one of the first two Circuit Stewards in the Connexion.

From his infancy Braund was described as 'pious' and 'gracious'. He became aware of a new birth at the age of ten. Five years later he began to preach. He was called to serve as a hired local preacher in his home circuit and on Portland in the year before his first official appointment as a minister.He was however never in good health, and after an unusually long stay of seven years, 1872-1879, in the Shebbear Circuit five as Superintendent he was unable to accept any further circuit appointment. Yet from 1879 he found ways of continuing his ministry, including the regular visitation of the homes in the area. When his voice failed he used his own library as the basis of a travelling lending library in the villages of the Shebbear Circuit. When his voice returned, the library continued.

In 1897, at his instigation, the Conference adopted a course of study on the Bible and Christian doctrine for young people and young local preachers. He was from 1898 Treasurer of the New Century Movement, which aimed to provide 100,000 crowns raised and 100,000 souls converted into the new century. In this work he travelled the Connexion, along with F.W.Bourne and its Special Agent W.R.K. Baulkwill. This no doubt contributed to his being elected President of the Conference in 1899. As an old-fashioned Protestant, he used part of his Presidential Address to protest against 'the Popish Curse' and 'the sacerdotalism of the Establish Church'. In his Presidential year he instigated a small scheme for relief of aged and needy local preachers, not dissimilar in concept to the Local Preachers' Mutual Aid Association. This merged with the LPMAA in 1907.In July 1905, at the specific request ofF.W. Bourne, he preached the address at Bourne's funeral at Lake Chapel, Shebbear. Braund continued as the BC local preachers' Secretary to 1907, and within UM as secretary of the local preachers' Examination Board until 1908. He died in Holsworthy, Devon on 16 July 1914. At his death he was serving on a Committee to prepare for the celebration of the BC centenary.

  • William John Michell, Brief Biographical Sketches of Bible Christian Ministers and Laymen (1906), vol. 1 pp.154-60