New Zealand Methodist Church OnLine History
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WOMEN LOCAL PREACHERS in the British Isles       
by Dr E.O Graham BA, BD

WILLIAM HOUGH: Catechist and Lay Preacher       

A New Zealand Pioneer
by V.E. Mossong

Introduction to
WOMEN LOCAL PREACHERS in the British Isles

This paper was supplied by the author after addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Wesley Historical Society (New Zealand), November 1998 in Christchurch.

It is a revision of Chapter 8, 'Women Local Preachers', by Dorothy Graham, in Workaday Preachers : the story of Methodist local preaching, ed. Geoffrey Milburn and Margaret Batty, published by the Methodist Publishing House, 20 Ivatt Way, Peterborough PE3 7PG, UK, 1995. A copy of this book is held by the Wesley Historical Society (New Zealand). A brief description follows:

Chapters One to Six set out the story of local preaching. Subsequent chapters and the Introduction explore various related themes. The well known conflict of the Wesley brothers with the Anglican establishment is chronicled, also the lesser known difficulties regarding acceptance of lay preachers by, firstly, the Wesleys themselves and, later, the ordained Methodist ministers, and their reluctance to acknowledge the excellent performance of women preachers.

The lives of selected outstanding personalities, both men and women, are followed through.

Altogether the book is a fascinating treatment of the development of the lay ministry of Methodism in the British Isles, its internal conflicts and external opposition, together with lay Methodist influence on the enactment of social legislation.

Introduction to

At the time of his death William Hough lived at Collingwood Street(Nelson). He had applied to the New Zealand Company, his Application 4604 from 11 Crown Court, Dock Street, Hull in Yorkshire, and arrived with his wife, Ann, with their three daughters on the Olympus at Nelson on 28 October 1842.

The Nelson Colonist death tribute of 30 January 1885 records William Hough as "much esteemed,... passed away suddenly 29 January 1885. He arrived in Nelson 42 years ago and died at the ripe old age of 77 years".

A summary of the 1885 tribute follows:

"Hough had held important positions and served several years on the Provincial Council. He had been particularly interested in mining enterprises and was believed to be discoverer of auriferous country in Collingwood and at Wangapeka. He also identified the pass into Karamea known as Hough's Pass.

"He was an earnest and consistent member of the Wesleyan Church and held many offices within it. He was one of the first local preachers and often filled the pulpit at the old brick Wesleyan Church that once stood on the Cock and Co corner. Some still (1885) remember the beautiful and evocative discourses he often delivered.

"William was a Trustee of the Church and staunch believer in Biblical truths and, even up to just prior to his death, 'took up a pen to defend the Book'. He was greatly respected - no man called himself his enemy. Further, he was cherished among the Maories (sic). He laboured among the natives as a missionary until his health became impaired, which brought about his return to Nelson. For twenty years he acted as a native interpreter."