The Dingleys, a farming family at Linkinhorne, near Callington, Cornwall, were leading members of the Launceston Methodist church. Richard Dingley was one of those who founded the British School there in 1834. John Dingley, a partner in a local bank, was a local preacher and the trustee of local chapels and was mayor of Launceston. Dingley Hall at Launceston Methodist Church was named after the family.
William Dingley (d.1883), came to Sherborne, Dorset as a young man in 1821 and established a successful drapery business. As a Circuit steward, local preacher etc. for nearly half a century, he provided support and leadership for the small WM society in the town. He secured the site for the chapel opened by Dr. Robert Newton in 1842. The premises were enlarged and renovated after his death as a memorial to him. He became a trustee of thirteen chapels in the Sherborne Circuit and his brother Samuel of six. He married Grace Pearse of Launceston.
Their two sons, Edward and Alfred, continued the family business and followed in their father's footsteps, holding many offices in the church and circuit, and in the local community. Alfred was the leader of a flourishing adult Bible class, secretary of the Yeatman Hospital, a manager of the British School and a county alderman.
Alfred's son, John Dingley, continued the family drapery business in Half Moon Street and was very active in the life of the Methodist church. Another son, Dr. Edward Alfred Dingley, was born on 27 February 1860 and died at Wednesbury on 7 June 1948. He studied medicine at University College Hospital, London and became a much loved GP in Wednesbury. He held many offices in the local church, including President for many years of the Adult Bible Class and of the Wednesbury Temperance Society, and served on the connexional Class Leaders Committee. He wrote a number of hymns, including 'O for a closer walk with man'. His son, Lionel Alfred Dingley, FRCS, born on 4 May1888, was a surgeon at the West Bromwich & District General Hospital and a circuit steward. He died in March 1950.
The family contiued its close association with the Sherborne church into the 20th century.
Entry written by: JAV
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