William Clowes (1780-1852), evangelist and co-founder of the Primitive Methodists was born at Burslem, Staffordshire, on 12 March 1780, and trained as a potter.
He was converted under the influence of the local Wesleyan Methodist Society and began preaching locally. He was expelled from the Connexion in 1810 as a result of his involvement in the camp meeting movement.
His followers, who were known as Clowesites, subsequently merged with the group led by Hugh Bourne to form the Primitive Methodist Connexion.
Clowes was an outstanding evangelist and played a major role in the expansion of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, leading important missions to several parts of the country. This missionary fervour complemented by the organisational skills of Hugh Bourne, represented the main strength of the Connexion during its formative years.
On 10 June 1842 he was placed on the superannuation fund, but still continued to work until a day or two before his death from paralysis at Hull on 2 March 1852.