Thomas Scott

1819-1899

By Geoff Dickinson

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Learmouth 

The Rev. J.Hallam writes: “One of the fathers of our Tyneside churches is gone, and our Walker Society has lost an old and well-tried friend ever interested in its welfare.”

The Rev. M.P. Davison writes: “It always appeared to me that he had imparted much of his own character to the society with which he had been identi?ed so many years. His removal must have left a gap that will not be easy to fill.”

Our brother was connected with Walker for some seventy-five years, and made his mark there broad and deep. He was born at Sheriff Hill, county Durham, on December 5, 1819, and died at Walker on August 18, 1899.

He entered into membership with our Church at the age of seventeen, and continued therein until his death. His church life and work were characterised by a quiet, consistent, persistent devotion and effort. There was nothing showy about his work, but it was sound, and solid. As a local preacher he served the Church for some sixty years. He never gave his congregations that which cost him nothing. He sought diligently and prayerfully to qualify himself for the discharge of the duties of this sacred office. His sermons were marked by freshness and fulness which indicated a living, loving soul behind the Word. He was deeply interested in the welfare of the young entrusted to our charge. He occupied at different periods each official position in the Sunday School. Whilst attending Ballast Hills Chapel he was President of the Young Men’s Mutual Improvement Class. Upon retiring from that position the members suitably recognised his work for and among them. When the Christian Endeavour Society was commenced at Walker three or four years ago, he threw himself heartily into the movement, though nearing his eightieth year. He maintained a youthfulness and vigour of spirit right to the end. He lived strongly in thought and feeling to the last. In Brother Scott the Church. Found one who recognised the need for giving earnest and careful attention to the business affairs of our societies. None more spiritual than he, yet he saw we must do and give and arrange as well as pray and preach. It was largely through his efforts and leadership that our present church buildings at Walker  were erected and cleared of debt. Under his management, too, the cost of recent renovations and repairs has been steadily reduced year by year. Considering his position in, and work for, the Church, we are not surprised that the property should sometimes be spoken of as “Mr. Scott’s chapel.” He was heart and soul with us in the scheme now before us for the erection of new Sunday School premises. As treasurer for church and school his accounts were kept in first class order, and only a day or two before his death we had the melancholy satisfaction of receiving his books finished up to date. In this, as in other things, he put his conscience into his work. It was always a pleasure to visit Brother Scott at his home, which was always open to the of the Word, in whose company and converse he took special delight. His home was a homely one. One who knows writes: “I always thought yours an inimitable family for love and devotion toward each other.”

In Mrs. Scott our brother found one of like mind and purpose with himself, a true helpmeet, always ready and willing to aid him in his plans for the furtherance of Christ’s Kingdom. The daughter, wife of the Rev. D. McKinley, is well known for her interest in our Zion; whilst the son, Mr. T. Scott, Jun., has been for many years a devoted and intelligent worker for our Churches on the banks of Wear and Tyne. The home life seemed perfect, such sincere regard, such quiet  understanding and appreciation. Many Connexional and theological questions have been discussed, if not decided, over Brother Scott’s fireside. His advice and counsel were freely and fully given to those who sought it, and they were not few. Many made him their confidant feeling assured their trust would not be betrayed. He was well known in the homes where sorrow reigned. His presence and kindness have brought comfort to many sad hearts. Whilst possessing a sturdy manliness and spirit of independence, he was uniformly courteous and forbearing to all who might differ from him.

The Rev. A. Walliker writes: “It seems to me that every possible excellence of character found a high level of expression in him. Mr. Scott was a Christian man, and his Christianity was of a highly spiritual and strongly ethical type. A just man, and generous to an almost incredible degree. A man of intense individuality, who thought and acted for himself; who never formed a party in the church, or fought unfairly an opponent. I never knew him to do a mean thing, or stoop below the dignity of his Christian life.”

There was no better supporter of  the means of grace than he. He was a regular and punctual attendant upon the services, both Sunday and weekday. His religious position and duties did not lead him to ignore his responsibilities as a citizen, and for twenty years he held a seat on the local government board. His circuit and district recognised his character and work by sending him as delegate to District Meeting and Conference.

He died as had lived, at peace with God and man, and trusting only in the meritorious work of our Saviour Jesus Christ. The Quarterly Meetings of the Newcastle Stations passed and sent resolutions expressive of appreciation and sympathy.

The funeral service, which was attended by a representative company, was held in the Primitive Methodist Chapel, Walker, on Tuesday, Aug. 22, 1899. The service was conducted by the Rev. H. Pratt, and the following assisted:— the Revs. R. Fenwick, H. Yooll,  J. Learmouth and Mr. A. Morton, circuit steward. A memorial sermon was preached by the writer on Sunday evening, Oct. 22.

Family

Thomas was baptised on 2 January 1820 at Gateshead, Co. Durham. His parents were Thomas and Elizabeth.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Thomas.

  • 1851 engineman
  • 1861 engineman
  • 1871 grocer
  • 1881 grocer and sub-postmaster
  • 1891 retired grocer

Thomas was married to Elizabeth (abt 1824-1902). Census returns identify four children.

  • Sarah (abt1847-1923) – married Daniel McKinley, a PM Minister, in 1872
  • Elizabeth (1850-1851)
  • William (b abt1854)
  • Thomas (b abt1856) - a master printer (1891)

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/709

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

 

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