1829       Catherine Mumford is born at Ashbourne, Derbyshire on January 17. William Booth is born at 12 Notintone Place in Sneinton, Nottingham on April 10.

1834       The Mumford family moves to Boston, Lincolnshire.

1842       1842 William Booth is taken out of school at 13 years old to become an apprentice pawnbroker in Nottingham. Due to father's bankruptcy the family is plunged into poverty.

1843       Samuel Booth, William's father dies. Catherine Mumford has to leave school owing to severe illness of the spine.

1844       William Booth attends Wesley Chapel in Nottingham and thinks of becoming a revivalist preacher. The Mumford family moves to Brixton, London.

1845       William begins to address open air meetings in the poor district of Nottingham.

1846       He leads converts from the slums into Wesley Chapel, but they're politely moved to the back of the hall.

1847-8       Catherine Mumford keeps a diary in which she sheds some light on her future vocation.

1849       William Booth moves to London where he works in a pawnbroker's shop in Walworth.

1851       Catherine Mumford hears William Booth preach.

1852       William Booth begins to work as a minister of Methodist Reformers in Spalding, Lincolshire from November 30. Is introduced to Catherine Mumford at a friend's house.

1854       Prepares for the Methodist New Connexion ministry under the Rev. Dr. Cooke. Catherine Mumford writes an article in the New Connexion Magazine “On the best means for retaining new converts.&ldquo

1855       William Booth becomes a Methodist New Connexion Minister at Gateshead on Tyneside. His salary is 100 pounds a year. Marries Catherine Mumford at Stockwell New Chapel on June 16.

1856       Bramwell Booth, the eldest child of William and Catherine Booth, and the second General of The Salvation Army, is born. Catherine Booth reads extensively books on theology and learns to write sermons.

1857       William Booth gathers 20 converts a day, but his evangelistic tours end when the New Connexion assigns him to preach in a regular circuit, in Brighouse, Yorkshire. Catherine gives birth to the couple's second son, Ballington. Speaks to a children's meeting on Temperance.

1858       William Booth is fully ordained as a Methodist minister and appointed pastor to the church in Gateshead, that soon earned the name the 'Converting Shop'. The first daughter, Catherine, is born.

1859       Catherine Booth publishes her first pamphlet, “Female Teaching: or, the Rev. A. A. Rees versus Mrs. Palmer, Being a Reply to a Pamphlet by the Above Gentleman on the Sunderland Revival,&ldquo which was a defence of women's preaching. Starts work among drunkards.

1860       Catherine begins to preach in the Bethesda Chapel in Gateshead. Emma Booth is born.

1861       William Booth completes his assignment in Gateshead and is sent to the Newcastle circuit. William and Catherine Booth break with the Methodist New Connexion and return to the Mumford home in London, choosing an evangelistic life.

1862       Herbert Henry Howard Booth, the third son of William and Catherine Booth, is born.

1864       Mary Booth, the third daughter of Catherine and William Booth, is born.

1865       Catherine and William Booth receive invitations to preach in London. William begins preaching outside the public house in Whitechapel Road called The Blind Beggar, trying to save souls that the church did not want to know. The Christian Revival Society, renamed the East End Christian Mission is established. Evangeline (Eva) Booth, the seventh child of the Booth family, is born in South Hackney, London. She will serve as the Territorial Commander of the United States and Canada between 1901-1904.

1867       The Christian Mission acquires The Eastern Star, a run-down beer shop, for L120, and turns it into its first Headquarters, known as the People's Hall. The Effingham Theatre is used by the Christian Mission for Sunday preaching until April 1870.

1868       William Booth establishes a Council of ten prominent philanthropists to assist him in the work of the Mission. The Mission begins to publish its own magazine, The East London Evangelist. Lucy Milward Booth, the eighth and youngest child of Catherine and William Booth, is born.

1869       William Booth tries to set up a mission station in Edinburgh. Catherine Booth preaches in Brighton.

1870       The East London Mission becomes the Christian Mission. The Ebenezer Hall at Fieldgate Street is used for the Christian Mission meetings until 1880. The building at 20-22 Whitechapel Road is purchased by the Christian Mission. The Hall seats 1,500 people for worship. The building contains a People’s Soup and Coffee House. The “Food for the Millions“ programme established. It is suspended in 1874 due to the lack of funds.

1872       William Booth publishes a booklet How to Reach the Masses with Gospel.

1873       Catherine Booth conducts a series of prayer meetings in Chatham, Kent.

1874       The Christian Mission commences work in Wales.

1875       William and Catherine Booth have established 26 Mission stations. Around this time they are known as the Volunteer army. Rules and Doctrines of The Christian Mission published.

1876       Revival Music published.

1878       The name of the Christian Mission is changed to the Salvation Army. Uniform is chosen for Salvationists. The Salvation Army's first flag is presented by Catherine Booth at Coventry on Septermber 28. Orders and Regulations for The Salvation Army issued. Brass instruments are first used. Practical Christianity, by Catherine Booth, published.

1879       Lieutenant Eliza Shirley, who left England to join her parents in the United States, holds the first meeting of the Salvation Army in Philadelphia. The Christian Mission Magazine (since October The Salvationist) is published. The Salvation Army corps are established in Scotland and Channel Islands. The War Cry, the Army's weekly newspaper, is first published.

1880       Commissioner George Scott Railton and seven women arrive in New York City on March 10. At their first official street meeting, they are met with a hostile welcome. On September 5, Edward Saunders and John Gore lead the first Salvation Army meeting in Australia from the back of a greengrocer’s cart in Adelaide Botanic Park. “Godliness, “ by Catherine Booth, is published. The first training home is opened at Hackney, London.

1881       The Salvation Army moves to its new headquarters at 101 Queen Victoria Street. Catherine (Katie) Booth, the General's twenty-two year old daughter, establishes a mission in France to evangelise the poor. Mrs Elizabeth Cottrill, a Salvation Army soldier at Whitechapel Corps, begins social rescue work by bringing saved prostitutes to her home in Christian Street. The Little Soldier (subsequently The Young Soldier)issued.

1882       Opening of the Congress Hall and International Training College at Clapton. A handful of Salvationists enter Switzerland from France with the Gospel message, but are expelled. Four years later, in 1886, the Salvation Army is declared an accepted religious body in Switzerland, but in 1890, it is again banned. The Salvation Army begins operating in Canada and India. Publication of Life and Death by Catherine Booth. First Prison-Gate Home opened in London.

1883       On March 4, a Salvation Army mission is established in Cape Town, South Africa. On April 1, the first Salvation Army meeting in New Zealand is held in Dunedin.

1884       The Salvation Army employs 1,644 officers and runs 637 corps (missions stations) in Britain and overseas. First Rescue Home opened. As Mrs Cottrill’s house at Christian Street has become increasingly crowded, the Salvation Army establishes its first refuge house at 212 Hanbury Street. The Training of Children, by the General, published.

1885       Purity Agitation launched. Bramwell Booth and W. T. Stead expose the traffic in young girls over 13 years old who lacked any protection and they could be sold in a brothel, or exported to the Continent in ventilated coffins. The Salvation Army raises a petition of 393,0000 signatures and Lord Salisbury's Government passes the Criminal Law Amendment Act which raises the age of consent to 16 years. The Salvation Army begins its Family Tracing Service (now known as the Missing Persons Service), which was initially called 'Mrs. Booth's Enquiry Bureau'.

1886       The first Self-Denial Week, September 4-11. President Grover Cleveland receives a delegation of Salvation Army officers and gives them a warm personal endorsement. The first International Congress is held in London.

1887       Thousand British Corps established. The Salvation Army claims to have 7107 officers, 2587 corps, and 653 outposts, established in 33 countries or colonies. Twenty thousand people meet at Alexandra Palace to celebrate its tenth anniversary. Popular Christianity, by Catherine Booth, published. The General's first visit to Denmark, Sweden and Norway.

1888       The first Food Depot is opened at Limehouse, London. Ernest Holdaway and his wife begin a mission to Maori on the Whanganui River. The Army's first organised ministry among the African people is established in Natal. Catherine Booth learns in February that she is suffering from cancer. She speaks in public on June 21 for the last time (at the City Temple).

1889       Catherine Booth retires to Clacton-on-Sea.

1890       William Booth publishes In Darkest England – and the Way Out, a report about England's social ills and how to remedy them. On June 16, William Booth opens the first labour exchange service. Catherine Booth dies on October 4. Her body is brought to Congress Hall, Clapton. She is buried at Abney Park Cemetery on October 11. 25th Anniversary of the Salvation Army is celebrated at the Crystal Palace. William Booth establishes a Salvation Army Deposit Bank, renamed The Reliance Bank in 1900.

1891       William Booth buys a derelict factory in Old Ford, London, and starts production of safety matches in order to start a campaign against the use of white phosphorus in matches manufactured in the Bryant and May factory located in Bow, London. Opening of Industrial and Land Colony at Hadleigh, Essex. William Booth visits South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and India.

1892       William Booth visits Denmark, Germany and Switzerland.

1894       An international congress is held in London to commemorate William Booth's jubilee.

1896       First Salvation Army Exhibition – Agricultural Hall, London.

1897       The first Salvation Army hospital is founded at Nagercoil, India.

1898       William Booth visits the United States and Canada. Prays before the US Senate.

1899       Second Salvation Army Exhibition – Agricultural Hall London.

1901       After the Salvation Army social protest action, Bryant and May stop using phosphorus in the production of matches. Opening of first Inebriates' Home at Hadleigh.

1902       William Booth, who has become a widely respected international figure fighting poverty, is invited to the coronation of King Edward VII. Publication of Religion for Everyday by the General.

1903       William Booth visits the United States and is received by President Theodore Roosevelt.

1904       William Booth drives around Great Britain in a 'motorcade', stopping off in towns and villages to preach. King Edward VII receives Booth at Buckingham Palace. International Congress opened by the General in London.

1905       William Booth is awarded Freedom of the City of London. Visits Palestine and Australia. First Emigration Ship sails from Liverpool for Canada with 1,000 emigrants.

1907       On June 26, William Booth receives the honorary degree of Doctor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford. Visits Japan, Canada and the United States. The Salvation Army established the Anti-Suicide Bureau.

1909       William Booth visits Russia and Finland. Attends the 80th Birthday Celebration at Albert Hall, London. Loses sight of one eye.

1911       General conducts the International Social Council in London attended by Officers from all over the world.

1912       A complete loss of sight in May. On August 20, William Booth dies aged 83. 150,000 mourners attend his funeral. William Bramwell Booth is appointed General.

Related Material


Victorian Website Overview Religion Bibliography

Last modified 27 September 2012