William Booth's Birth (1829)

William Booth’s father, Samuel, was born in Belper in 1777. He was a nail manufacturer, builder and architect and lived a prosperous life. His second wife, Mary, was born in 1791 in Derbyshire as well. She turned down his first offer of marriage, but eventually she gave in. William was the middle of five children. Samuel moved to Nottingham having lost his fortune through speculation. Nottingham was growing very fast as a result of the lace-making industry; the reason why Samuel went there. There was a great deal of land and building speculation that pushed up prices and pushed many into poverty. 

William was born on the 10th April 1829 at 12 Nottintone Place, Sneinton, Nottingham, which was a suburb in those days and close to the countryside. Two days later he was christened at Sneinton Church. William never knew much about his father, only that he was born in poverty, so wanted to become rich. He did so, but lost it all and died miserably without God. William said he had inherited the ‘grab’ from his father, but he wanted to grab souls, not money.

Begbie wrote that William was, ‘one of the most honest, downright and straightforward men that ever lived’. 

It seems that William had an unhappy childhood; he got no help at all from his father and little encouragement from his mother and he always had the shadow of poverty over his home. He said his childhood was, ‘a season of mortification and misery.’ 

Owing to poverty the family had to move from Sneinton.

From William Booth (on this website).

Additional Information

This is not easy to find unless you know where it is. There are only three houses left and they all belong to the Salvation Army. It is immediately opposite Notintone Street.

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