William and Catherine Booth: Christian History Timeline

William Booth 
(1829–1912)

1829: Born April 10 in Nottingham [Born April 10 in Nottingham ]

1843: Father dies; works as pawnbroker

1844: Converted at Broad Street Wesleyan Chapel

1846: Adopts revivalist methods of James Caughey

1849: Arrives in London to work as asst. pawnbroker

1851: Meets Catherine Mumford

1854: Ordained by Methodist New Connexion

1855: Marries Catherine Mumford June 16

1857: Appointed to New Connexion “settled ministry”

1861: Resigns from the New Connexion; with Catherine becomes itinerant evangelist

1865: Opens Christian Mission in East London

1878: Renames Christian Mission a “Salvation Army”; first Salvation Army band

1882: Negotiates with Church of England to make Salvation Army a branch of the church

1885: Crusades against teenage prostitution; Army has 1,780 officers in U.K., 1,296 abroad

1888: First Salvation Army food and shelter outreach.

1890: Publishes In Darkest England and the Way Out

1891: Opens safety-match factory in East London

1898: Prays before the U.S. Senate

1905: Awarded Freedom of the City of London

1907: Receives honorary doctorate from Oxford

1912: Dies on August 20; succeeded as Salvation Army General by son Bramwell; 9,415 corps and 15,988 officers worldwide

(1989: 14,397 corps and 25,056 officers; two-thirds active)

Catherine Booth 
(1829–1890)

1829: Born Catherine Mumford on January 17 in Ashbourne, Derbyshire

1844: Family moves to south London

1846: Converted at home

1850: Expelled by Wesleyans

1851: Meets William Booth

1855: Marries on June 16

1859: Publishes Female Ministry

1860: Preaches first sermon

1861: Becomes, with William, itinerant evangelist

1865: Preaches in London’s West End and at summer resorts

1879: First edition of Army’s The War Cry

1880: Salvation Army begins official work in U.S. and Australia

1883: Salvation Army begins to help discharged prisoners, “fallen women”, and drunkards

1890: Dies of cancer on October 4

Significant Social 
and Political Events

1828: Duke of Wellington prime minister

1829: Catholic Emancipation in England

1833: Oxford Movement begins

1837: Victoria becomes Queen; Martin Van Buren inaugurated

1840: Queen Victoria marries Prince Albert; penny postage begins in Britain

1841: U.K. pop. 18.5 million (U.S. 17 million)

1844: YMCA founded

1846: Irish potato famine

1848: Marx’s Communist Manifesto; revolutions across Europe

1854: Spurgeon becomes pastor of New Park Street Church; Immaculate Conception dogma

1854–56: Crimean War

1857: Indian Mutiny; Livingstone’s Missionary Travels

1859: Darwin’s Origin of Species

1861: Dickens’s Great Expectations

1861–65: U.S. Civil War

1866: Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment

1868: Gladstone prime minister

1869: First Vatican Council; British debtor’s prisons abolished

1874: Disraeli prime minister

1876: Bell invents telephone

1877: First Wimbledon championship

1878: Electric street lights introduced in London

1879: Henry George’s Poverty and Progress

1880: Gladstone prime minister

1881: London hits 3.3 million (New York 1.2)

1886: London church attendance begins to decline; Irish Home Rule defeated

1888: London Girls’ Match Strike; Jack the Ripper

1889: London Dock Strike

1890: Global flu epidemics

1892: Diesel engine

1893: Labour Party formed

1894: Kipling’s Jungle Book

1896: First modern Olympics

1898: Curies discover radium

1899–1902: Boer War in South Africa

1900: Planck’s quantum theory

1901: Queen Victoria dies; Edward VII begins reign

1903: 20-mph speed limit for cars in Britain

1910: Missionary Conference, Edinburgh

1912: Titanic sinks

1914: World War I begins

By the Editors

[Christian History originally published this article in Christian History Issue #26 in 1990]

Next articles

William and Catherine Booth: A Gallery of the Booths’ Children

Their struggles and achievements

Norman H. Murdoch

William Booth’s Theology of Redemption

The General’s view of sanctification, the kingdom of God, and salvation moved his Army to action.

Roger J. Green

What Do Salvationists Believe?

Eleven articles of faith of the Salvation Army.

the Editors

The Story Behind Salvation Army Music

William Booth felt suspicious of organized music groups. Yet he launched a movement that became renowned worldwide for its bands and choirs.

Ronald W. Holz
Show more

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