William Booth

William Booth was born in Nottingham.

He was known as General Booth and was the founder of the Salvation Army.

At the age of 13, he started work in a pawnbroker's shop, and saw the poverty in which people lived.

He became a Christian and moved to London, where he joined the Methodist Church in 1844, and became a Methodist New Connexion minister travelling around the country caring for the ordinary people. He stayed with Alfred Ramsden on one of his journeys.

In 1855, he married Catherine Mumford.


  1. Bramwell who was born in Halifax
  2. Ballington who was born in Brighouse
  3. Kate [1858-1955]
  4. Emma [1860-1903]
  5. Herbert [1862-1926]
  6. Marie [1864-1937]
  7. Evangeline [1865-1950]
  8. Lucy [1868-1953]

He came to Bethel Street, Brighouse in 1857. He worked as a revivalist from 1861. He preached with Rev Robert Harley at Brighouse.

In 1865, with his wife Catherine, he started a Christian Mission with a revival meeting in London's Whitechapel. He reorganised this along military lines in 1878, and changed the name to the Salvation Army in 1880. He gave himself the title General, and full-time helpers were Captains or Majors. The organisation had 45 branches by this time.

A branch of the Salvation Army was established in Brighouse in 1887/8.

During his sermons, he would slide down the pulpit rail to demonstrate how easy it was to go to hell, and then climb back up the rail to illustrate how difficult it was to go to heaven.

With his son, Bramwell, who was born at 3 Gerrard Street, Halifax, he continued to perform social work for the poor in the cities, and he visited and worked in Calderdale on several occasions:

© Malcolm Bull 2021
Revised 15:24 / 24th May 2021 / 4439

Page Ref: X1912

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