Joseph Willamott / Willamon preached for some 40 years, he boarded Herbert Fenton Williman from the 14th February 1871. This sections covers Joseph’s stations, development of the Surname and social history in the Cornwall area during the late 1840’s.
Joseph Willamott was born at Sedgford, Norfolk on February 24th 1812. His stations 1835 to 1874 were as follows:-
1835 Burton on Trent and Belper, 1836 Sheffield, 1837 Bottesford 6 months and Fulbeck 18 months, 1839 Retford, 1840 Hull, 1841 Reading, 1842 Windsor,
1843 Reading,1844 High Wycombe,1846 Sherborne,1847 Truro,1848 St Austell,
1850 Glastonbury,1851 Brinkworth,1853 Stratford,1855 Salisbury ,1856 Wallingford,
1858 Andover,1860 Maidstone,1862 Pembroke,1864 Lutterworth,1865 Ramsey,
1867 Kelsale,1870 St Albans,1872 Rochford,1874 Aylsham
Obituary notice from the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1877.
The Rev Joseph Willamott was born at Sedgeford, Norfolk on February 24th 1812. His brother John says of the family, “my father was a descendant on the male side of Willamons of Bremen Germany, and on the female side from Sir Robert Jenkenson Bart.” His parents being Wesleyans for many years the family was brought up under the influence of Methodism. Joseph was put to learn the business of boot and shoe making in his native village, and after his apprenticeship ended he removed to Lynn [Kings Lynn]. At that time the late John Smith was stationed there, then in the greatness of his strength. Young Willamott was invited to hear him. The first time he attended, as soon as he herd the preacher’s voice outside the building, the power of God smote him, and in the prayer meeting he cried for mercy. He did not, however, receive the blessing of peace that nigh; but a night or two after, in a service with Mr Smith, the grand blessing of salvation came into his possession. At once joined the society in Lynn, and in a few months he was called to tell others what a saviour he had found. He has left a Lynn plan, dated July, August and September, 1833, with his name nearly at the bottom as an exhorter; this we take to be his first plan. He laboured acceptably as a local preacher till January 1835 when he was called into the ministry by the Boston Station. After he began to travel he altered his name from Willamon to Willamite and later to Willamott, but his brother John says, Willamon is the proper family name.
He has left no particular record of his life and labours, and as he never travelled in the Norwich district our knowledge of him is limited; but as far as we are able to trace him he laboured on the following stations – Boston, Burton, Derby, Sheffield, Bottesford, Fulbeck, Retford, Scotter, Hertford, Windsor, High Wycomb, Sherbourne, Redruth, St Austell, Bridgewater, Brinkworth, Stratford, Banbury, Salisbury, Wallingford, Andover, Maidstone, Pembrook, Lutterworth, Ramsey, Kelsale, St Albans and Rochford. He travelled thirty-nine years, and was superannuated by the conference in 1874, suffering with heart disease, and came to reside in Aylsham. In the year of 1849 he was stationed in Cornwall and was wonderfully preserved by a gracious Providence in the midst of disease and death; in a small fishing place called Mavagissey the cholera raged to a fearful extent; the black flag was hoisted in some streets warning the public not to enter. Mr Willamott says he saw men on their knees in the street begging for mercy; some of the people went to live in barns, and stables, and fishing boats; strong men and women smitten down, dead and buried in ten or twelve hours; and many that could left the town, but Mr Willamott kept at his work of Mercy, preaching and visiting and God preserved him from harm.
The Rev W R Widdowson, of Berkhampstead, says, “ Although I had frequently heard of our departed brother Willamott, our personal acquaintance did not commence until he came to travel with me in the St Alban’s and Stratford stations in July, 1870. I found him to be a man of very general information, upright in conduct, devout, a very agreeable colleague, and much liked by the people. Soon after the first manifestations of the symptoms of the illness which entirely laid him aside from the regular work of the ministry, I spent a week with him at his residence in the Rochford station; he then told me he judged that his day of active labours, if not of life, was fast drawing to a close, and he said cahaly and confidently that should he be called away suddenly he had a hope in God’s mercy through our Lord Jesus Christ that all would be right, and I doubt not that he now realizes that hope.”
During his short residence with us at Aylsham he has rendered important service both in the business meetings and in the pulpit. Although he could not walk far nor bear much exertion, he took several appointments in the town and near villages. On Sunday, December 26th 1875, he took two services at Marsham, about two miles out, the friends bringing him back in a conveyance. This ended his earthly labours. During the fight he was taken with pain; the doctors was called in, but saw no immediate danger. On the Wednesday following he appeared much better, but on the Thursday morning December 30th, he passed away to his reward, aged sixty-three years. So sudden was his death that his dear wife found as she awoke in the morning his spirit had returned to God who gave it. He is interred in Aylsham Cemetery.
Mark Warnes 1877.