Thomas Kington

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Thomas Kington III
Thomas Kington III.jpg
Photograph taken in Utah in 1871
Born18 May 1794
Bodenham, Herefordshire, England
Died1 July 1874
Spouse(s)Hannah Pitt and Margaret Pisel
Parent(s)Eleanor Bowen and Thomas Kington II

Thomas Kington III (18 May 1794 – 1 July 1874) was the leader of the United Brethren in England who converted to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and after emigrating to Utah Territory became a bishop and patriarch in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church). He was charged by Brigham Young to build Kington Fort in Weber County, Utah.

Thomas Kington III was born 18 May 1794 in Bodenham, Herefordshire, England, to Eleanor Bowen and Thomas Kington II.[1] He was christened in Bodenham on 7 June 1795 in the Church of England.[2] Kington joined the Wesleyan Methodist Church, but was expelled from that organisation when he disagreed with changes that veered away from some of Wesley's principles. Kington then joined the Primitive Methodists, but disagreements in principles caused him to be expelled from the group sometime before 1830. [3]

After his expulsion, Kington and others of the same persuasion formed an organization called the United Brethren. Although the new organization had a different name, its structure and meeting format appears to have mirrored that of the Primitive Methodists, with both male and female officers.[4]

In March 1840, Latter Day Saint missionary and apostle Wilford Woodruff visited the United Brethren and converted the congregation to Mormonism.[5]

By 1853, Kington was living in Weber County, Utah. A dispute arose about the placement of a fort which had already been moved several times. Kington traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah, to ask Brigham Young to resolve the dispute. Brigham Young sent Wilford Woodruff back to Weber County with Kington. Woodruff selected a site on the south side of the Weber River. The selected site became known as Kington Fort.[6] On 11 November 1853, a ward of the LDS Church was organized and Kington was elected bishop.[7] Kington died in Wellsville, Cache, Utah, on 1 July 1874.[8]


  1. ^ The introduction to the patriarchal blessing of Thomas Kington, in possession of the LDS Church, Church History Library, Salt Lake City, states, "A blessing was given by Isaac Morley, Patriarch upon the head of Thomas Kington son of Thomas and Eleanor Kington born May 18th 1794".
  2. ^ "'England Births and Christenings, 1583–1975,' database". FamilySearch. Retrieved 4 May 2016.
  3. ^ Job Smith, a youthful member of the United Brethren stated, "Thomas Kington was a Methodist preacher of John Wesley's stamp, zeal and inspiration. ... [A]nd with a revivalist's zeal he, as a Methodist worker, stirred up his hearers and annoyed the more formal and better-paid preachers of the denomination—and, as a result, he was expelled. This occurred some time before 1830.": Job Smith, "The United Brethren," Improvement Era, July 1910, p. 819.
  4. ^ Werner, The Primitive Methodist Connexion: 63–68; Smith, "The United Brethren," Improvement Era, 13:819; Wilford Woodruff, "extract of a letter to the Millennial Star," History of the Church, 3:150–54.
  5. ^ Whittaker, David J. (January 1987). "Harvest in Herefordshire". Ensign.
  6. ^ Woodruff, Journal, 4: 220-21.
  7. ^ Deseret News, (December 1, 1853): 3.
  8. ^ Date of death is recorded by Margaret Pisel Myers Kington in the "Mrs. T. Kington Notebook."