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Pretty, William, of Ipswich
1814-1889

A leading Wesleyan in 19th century Ipswich, he was born at Bacton, near Stowmarket, the son of a woollen draper and tailor. His conversion a the age of 20 began a half-century of service as Sunday School teacher, local preacher and class leader, as well as senior circuit steward for over thirty years. In 1834 he and Frederick Footman became partners in a major furnishing and drapery store in Westgate Street, Ipswich, with a corset factory at the rear. This became a departmental store which is now part of the Debenham chain.

In 1860 he gave the first 1,000 of his savings towards the building of Museum Street church, and also gave the organ. He also paid for the site of the Alan Road church, opened in 1878 in the rapidly growing area east of the town centre, and in 1879 a site for a chapel at Chelmondiston. He died on 7 January 1889.

Sources

  • T. Nicholson Ritson, The Story of a Century: the history of Wesleyan Methodism in the Ipswich Circuit [1908], pp.93-4
  • Roger Kennell, 'William Pretty of Ipswich, Wesleyan Methodist and Corset Manufacturer', in Wesley Historical Society, East Anglia Branch, 112, Winter 2008, pp.14-16

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