The Lancashireman's family history

Red rose of Lancashire

Transcripts of articles from the Burnley News

Saturday, January 15, 1916

Page 5



The death roll of prominent workers and veritable "pillars in the church" in connection with the Primitive Methodist cause at Brierfield, is literally assuming tragic proportions. Another standard bearer has fallen this week. Mr. Christopher Butson died on Tuesday night , at the age of 72 years, at the residence of his niece, Mrs. Kay, 55, Sackville-street, after a very brief illness. It is supposed that he contracted a chill while attending the funeral of the late Miss Dorothy Calvert, on Saturday week. He was out of doors last Saturday morning, but took to his bed in the afternoon, and passed away, as stated, on Tuesday night. He had been three times married, his third wife predeceasing him last summer. Mr. Butson was a man of most lovable character, of sterling honesty and worth, who was never known to utter an unkind or angry word, and of whom it may be truly said he had not an enemy in the world. In the stormiest meetings - when personal feelings were most deeply stirred - he always had the happy gift of being able to "pour oil on troubled waters." His heart and soul were wrapped up in the church, and his life consecrated to Christian activities. Mr. Butson was born in 1843, at Tan Hill, in the county of Durham, but just on the Yorkshire border. There were five or six houses there, and the division of two counties went between them. He was baptised at the parish church of Bowes, the village made famous by Dicken's immortal novel, and was one of a family of eighteen children. Fifty-five years ago he came to Lancashire and settled at Brierfield.


He had been a member of the Brierfield Primitive Methodist Church for about 48 years, and a teacher in the Sunday School for the whole of that period. For over half a century he had been an abstainer and temperance advocate, joining the ranks of the teetotalers when abstinence was not so popular as it is in these days of patronage and example. An earnest Band of Hope worker, an auxiliary class leader and a trustee, Mr. Butson was a participator in all the various spheres of church work. A trustees' meeting held last Saturday was the first, it is said, Mr. Butson had been known to miss for 48 years. For 36 years he was a member of the late Alderman Smith's cross[?], and was a worker of whom any church might well be proud. He has left his mark on the religious life of the community among whom he has so long laboured, and his memory will be cherished for long years to come. He was not one of those who "run well for a season," but one who had been constant and true to every department of church life and work through the course of well nigh half a century. Formerly a miner, when mining was the chief industry in Brierfield, he started work before he was seven years of age. After leaving the pit he worked for some time as a platelayer on the railway. He had lived retired for a number of years, but his limited resources diminishing he became an old age pensioner last year. A man who had enjoyed consistently good health, he was recently heard to declare that he did not remember having missed a Sunday service for over forty years. He was one of those exceptionally rare individuals of whom all men spoke well, and his beautiful character has been a benediction to all who knew him. He was, indeed, one of God's noblemen.

The funeral will take place to-day at 1-30 at Providence Chapel.

Wednesday, April 18, 1917

Briercliffe Soldier Wounded

Mrs. Buck, of 6, Back Halifax-road, Briercliffe, has received a field card stating that her son, Private Harry Buck, has been wounded while fighting in France with the 8th East Lancs. Regiment. Private Buck was at one time engaged at the Queen-street Mill in the warehouse, but more recently assisted his brother, F.M. Buck with the coal carting business. He has been a considerable time in France.

© David Haworth
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