36 Facts About William Booth


William Booth was an English Methodist preacher who, along with his wife, Catherine, founded the Salvation Army and became its first General.


William Booth was born in Sneinton, Nottingham, the second son of five children born to Samuel Booth and his second wife, Mary Moss.


Two years into his apprenticeship Booth had a religious conversion.


William Booth then read extensively and trained himself in writing and in speech, becoming a Methodist local preacher.


William Booth was encouraged to be an evangelist primarily through his best friend, Will Sansom.


When his apprenticeship ended in 1848, William Booth was unemployed and spent a year looking in vain for work.


In 1849, William Booth reluctantly left his family and moved to London, where he found work with a pawnbroker.


William Booth tried to continue lay preaching in London, but the small amount of preaching work that came his way frustrated him, and so he resigned as a lay preacher and took to open-air evangelising in the streets and on Kennington Common.


In 1851, William Booth joined the Methodist Reform Church, formed in 1849 by a breakaway from the Wesleyan Methodist Church.


William styled his preaching after the revivalist American James Caughey, who had made frequent visits to England and preached at Broad Street Chapel, Nottingham, where Booth was a member.


Just over a month after he started full-time preaching, on 15 May 1852, William Booth became formally engaged to Catherine Mumford.


Interested in the Congregationalist approach, William Booth consulted David Thomas at Stockwell about the ministry.


The recommendation was training under Rev John Frost; but William Booth disliked Frost's school, and soon left.


William Booth married Catherine Mumford on 17 June 1855 at Stockwell Green Congregational Church in London.


At the Liverpool conference in 1861, after having spent three years at Gateshead, his request to be freed for evangelism full-time was refused yet again, and William Booth resigned from the ministry of the Methodist New Connexion.


William Booth's doctrine remained much the same, though; he preached that eternal punishment was the fate of those who do not believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the necessity of repentance from sin, and the promise of holiness.


William Booth taught that this belief would manifest itself in a life of love for God and mankind.


William Booth practised various types of charity himself, such as opening "Food for the Million".


William Booth became the "General" and his other ministers were given appropriate ranks as "officers".


William Booth regularly published a magazine and was the author of a number of books; he composed several songs.


William Booth proposed a strategy to apply the Christian Gospel and work ethic to the problems.


William Booth lays down schemes for poor men's lawyers, banks, clinics, industrial schools and even a seaside resort.


One of the main complaints against William Booth was his "elevation of women to man's status".


Opinion of The Salvation Army and William Booth eventually changed to that of favour.


In 1899, William Booth suffered from blindness in both eyes, but with a short rest, was able to recover his sight.


In 1906 William Booth was made a Freeman of the City of London, and was awarded an honorary degree from the University of Oxford.


William Booth made his last visit to North America in 1907, and in 1909 he embarked on a six-month motor tour of the United Kingdom.


William Booth died at age 83 on 20 August 1912 at his home in Hadley Wood, London.


William Booth's body lay in state for three days at Clapton Congress Hall where 150,000 people filed past his casket.


William Booth was buried with his wife Catherine in Abney Park Cemetery, the main London burial ground for 19th-century non-conformists.


In Booth's honour, Vachel Lindsay wrote the poem, "General William Booth Enters into Heaven".


Charles Ives, who had been Evangeline William Booth's neighbour, set the poem to music.


The William Booth rose, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named in his honour.


Replicas of these statues stand in the Mile End Road, close to the site of the first Salvation Army meeting: that of William Booth was unveiled in 1979, and that of Catherine in 2015.


In 2002, William Booth was named among the 100 Greatest Britons in a BBC poll.


Plaque on the house in Sneinton in which William Booth was born on 10 April 1829.