The Reverend Tom Melton

A quick word of explanation before I start this post properly, for my ‘regular reader’ and for any new reader who happens to be called Melton. Following the completion of my novel, I thought it would be fun to see how many other folk there are ‘out there’ called Melton, partly so I could promote my novel shamelessly of course. Partly, however, to discover if anyone has genealogical data going as far back as the real-life hero of my novel, Nicholas Melton of Louth (he died in 1537 but I do not know when he was born. For the purposes of the novel I have him as being born at the turn of the new century in 1500.)

My own family records go back as far as about 1700 to Meltons who were born in North Lincolnshire around the turn of that century, so their parents were probably born around 1670-1680 or thereabouts… some 170 years later than ‘my’ Nicholas Melton. We may never be able to plug the gap of course for one or both of two reasons. Firstly I may not be related to him at all (but we are only about 20 miles apart geographically) and, secondly, the records may already be lost.

So, in trying to fill this gap I have created a group on LinkedIn call “Meltons of the World” and just recently I have spent a little time starting to populate the group with new Melton contacts. It will probably be a long process as there are a LOT of Meltons on LinkedIn and the service does not have a mechanism for broadcasting a message just to people called Melton, so I have started slowly, one at a time.

The response has been rather rewarding and I now have 15 new Melton contacts and this is growing slowly – so welcome all (and please feel free to recommend to your other Melton contacts they may wish to join the group.)

Thus, at the moment, the group has two main objectives. One is reaching back in time to Nicholas Melton, and the second is simply sharing fun information – and that brings me neatly to the subject of this Blog Post. The Reverend Tom Melton.

This story was passed on to me from one of our first group members, William Melton from West Virginia USA. And I reproduce it here with his permission – an intriguing story, I trust you will agree. Feel free to pass on more stories like this, I am sure we Meltons are a resourceful group of people!!

Reverend Tom Melton

My grandfather (Bill Melton, speaking), Reverend Melton, was a minister, (preacher), in West Virginia in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Although he had his own church, he was also frequently asked to preach at various small churches in rural areas that didn’t have a regular preacher.

Here is what occurred on one of these occasions he was asked to go to a small church several miles away to give a sermon.

A week or so before the requested Sunday, he received word that a group of “Rough Boys” in the town said they heard a new preacher was coming to town to preach and they had a surprise for him. They were going to run him out of town on a rail just as they had the last one who came to preach.

On that Sunday he was to preach, he arrived by horseback at the little church and proceeded to go in. It was a small church with the aisle up the center and about 15 rows of seats on each side. He walked up to the pulpit and turned to address the congregation and introduce himself.

About that time the door opened and a group of rough looking fellows came in and stood at the rear. He looked around and then proceeded to announce; “I’m preacher Tom Melton. I was asked to come to your church today and deliver the word of God for you and that’s what I’m going to do. I hope no one has any objections and will benefit from what I bring you today.”

With that he laid his BIBLE on the left side of the Pulpit, and his PISTOL on the right.

After this introduction the men in the back turned and left.

Folks said it was one of the best sermons they had ever heard.


About Keith Melton - Green Lib Dem

Retired English liberal environmentalist living in Nottinghamshire; spent six years in Brazil. Author of Historical Novel - Captain Cobbler: the Lincolnshire Uprising 1536. Active member of the Green Liberal Democrats - (pressure group in Liberal Democrats) - was Founding Chair of GLD in 1988
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