A synopsis of the life & times of Annie Tolson (nee Gibson)

Born Feb 17 1830

Lived at Car Lane Bell Hills Rothwell-Hague, near Leeds

Mother & father Joseph and Sarah Gibson both Preachers “on the plan” –both expelled as father caught drinking.

Started work age 6yrs, walked 3 miles every day with sister Elizabeth

Age 9 – found Jesus and started preaching in a “pigcot” to other children

Age 11 moved to Hunslett; sister Elizabeth who was 3 years older, turned out of the house by drunken father at age 14

Later Annie also turned out in the rain; went to live with sister, stayed until age 15; asked to go preach in Germany; sailed from Hull to Hamburgh,took 2 days and 3 nights,took train from Hamburgh to Pennyburgh,arriving at night to an Englishman’s house,stayed 3 months,preaching and working,then turned out by mistress of house as “would not go to balls”,2 other young women also turned out,taken in by German family,couldn’t speak a word of German, Prayed and sang hymns every evening in a local wood, converted several people; stayed a year in Germany then returned to try to “reclaim” her father.

Bad storm on way back, sea-sick in cabin, locked herself in as only woman onboard; thought she was dying; On Tuesday saw land, (set-off Saturday, nothing to eat since) Met in Hull by friend; agreed to go to a dance; ”thought hell would open and swallow me up” had been led astray through forming acquaintance with ungodly people”

Got married to Mr Tolson 25/12/1847, lived with his parents, then got a house just before CHOLERA broke out in 1850

Her elder sister AMELIA Gibson came to say her eldest sister Mary’s husband had died of Cholera (1850),eldest brother WILLIAM Gibson,a local preacher on Primitive Methodist Plan; eldest sister MARY died on the Friday (?1850) Mary’s eldest son recovered and took charge of the family, 3 who lived on and did well, another 3 died later;

Turned out in the rain(again!) (this time by drunken husband) with first child Emily Tolson age 3 months, baby caught cold and died.

Husband was a ball furnaceman in a forge

2nd baby Louisa Tolson died age 8 months (1851)

At this time called to see eldest sister then living, KEZIAH, on her deathbed, she died age 36 leaving a husband and 7 children, 3 of whom later died

Annie’s husband Benjamin Tolson went to Liverpool to work, leaving her in Leeds preaching the Quarryhill Circuit, she went to join him after a few months, lost 3rd child Angelina age 14 months (1854) Still in Liverpool, lost her first little boy Redan Tolson (1857) age 17 months; converted her husband Mr Tolson to abstain from drinking

Father age 70 came to see her for forgiveness, stayed 2 weeks, became an abstainer

Went to Sheffield, met at station by husband, went to live at 13 Nottingham Street, baby girl called Annie Gibson; husband in good work, very comfortable

Went to preach in Whitehaven, then Durham, then Dumfries, then Workington; Later went to Scarborough and Filey; Prayed for fishermen in Filey who hadn’t caught any fish for ages; next morning they caught fish!

Went to Isle of Man for a rest –asked to preach; hundreds turned up to hear Mrs Tolson THE GREAT YORKSHIRE REVIVALIST

Aug 1866 moved to Oldham, also preached at Toperverbers, Middleton and for United Methodist Free Church at Staleybridge

Preached at Dewsbury Working Mens Club, belonging to Mr George Tolson, her husband’s cousin

Preached at Moss Lane Chapel Manchester and in London on June 5th 1867 to 1000 people

Preached in Holywell Mount Chapel and Shoreditch (her child was 8 years old then and she lived in Oldham)

The book was finished in 1867 when she lived at

122 Wearneath Brow, Oldham, Lancashire and was 37 years old

Nb. Annie’s first husband Benjamin Tolson left for America in 1870.Annie was told he had died there so she re-married; he did not die then,he started a new family, had three sons and never returned to England!

Annie married James Auty in 1870, the same year she had her Primitive Methodist Chapel built at Hill Top West Ardsley.

(Note –all spellings as in book; Annie Tolson married James Auty March Qtr 1870 in Wakefield Reg. District –his first wife, also called Annie, was buried in Woodkirk St Mary 28 Nov 1869)