William Weston was born in about 1841 in London, England, the son of George Weston and --- (née Cousens). Rev. William Weston recorded these recollections of his childhood during a trip to England in late 1918 and early 1919:
My idea turned out to be correct, that I could find my way about London without help; I might only have been away a few months instead of so many years. I found the house where I was born, and another close by where my mother died; they were both somewhat altered, but the surroundings were the same. The old school and church of my young days have been burnt down, but noble structures stand in their stead. I went to Regents Park, where I used to bowl my hoop, and walked to Primrose Hill and looked down upon the great city, seeing the great dome of St. Paul's looming in the clouds four miles away. [The Methodist, 18 January 1919, p. 8]
William Weston served as a Wesleyan minister in the colony of Victoria from 1861 to early 1872. He "began his ministry in 1861 in Ballarat". [Obituary: 'Death of Rev. William Weston', The Methodist, 30 May 1931, p. 9]
William Weston and Marianne Fulton were married in 1871 in Victoria. Marianne Fulton was born in Melbourne, the daughter of James and Mary A. Fulton.
Rev. William Weston was the first Wesleyan minister to be appointed to the Hay circuit.
The Rev W. Weston, of Steiglitz, Victoria, is appointed to Hay – he is married, and is said to be an able preacher and faithful minister. [Hay Standard (quoting Pastoral Times), 7 February 1872, 2(4)]
When he arrived the Wesleyan church at Hay was still being built, so Rev. Weston held services in the Court-house during the first months of his ministry there. The new church, with seating for 150 people, was opened on Sunday, 7 July 1872. The building cost £657 11s 2d, which included seats, lighting and additions to the Minister's residence. [Hay Standard, 10 July 1872, 2(6)]
The Wesleyan church, also just completed, is a nice little building of brick, with pine ceiling, and galvanized iron roof. Its dimensions are 40 feet long, and 24 feet wide, beside entrance porch, 7 feet by 7 feet. There are ten windows in the church, four on each side, and a nice pulpit or reading desk on a raised platform… The Rev. W. Weston is the minister. [ ‘A Tour to the South’, Town & Country Journal, 7 September 1872, p. 306]
After leaving Hay in March 1875 Rev. Weston was appointed to Adelong. Rev. Weston's pattern of appointments over the succeeding years favoured country circuits.
Mr. Weston was deeply experienced in spiritual things, and his ministry in the circuits bore fruit in conversions among his people, and in churches devoted to the evangelistic ideals of Methodism. His lot was cast almost entirely in country circuits, and the people loved him for his own, and his work's sake. He was a faithful minister of Christ and the Methodist Church. [Obituary]
Rev. William Weston’s last active ministry was at Young, NSW, from 1903. When he retired in early 1906 Rev. and Mrs. Weston remained at Young.
When he became a supernumerary, he resided in Young, his last circuit in the active work, and his presence at worship on Sundays, and his unabated interest in all the church's activities, were very helpful to his fellow churchmen. [Obituary]
Marianne Weston died in 1918 at Young, NSW. In late 1918 Rev. William Weston travelled to England via the USA. In England he stayed with his sister at Croxley Green, near London.
My home is a quiet village, "Croxley Green," twenty miles north-east from London… I have a lovely home here, with the remnant of my family, and it is a great joy for me to be with my only sister after being parted so long. [The Methodist, 18 January 1919, p. 8]
During his trip Rev. Weston visited significant sites associated with John Wesley.
My travel over John Wesley's circuit is now complete. I have heard of all the different spots in England which mark his work, and seem to retain the echo of his voice. [The Methodist, 22 February 1919, p. 10]
The Great War ended during Weston’s stay in England.
It was my joy to be in England when victory was proclaimed. It was wonderful to see the banners flying, to hear the bells ringing, and the guns firing, and to watch the children marching, waving their flags. I attended a thanksgiving service at night in a crowded church. It was pathetic to see the wounded soldiers wheeled into the aisle, but it was a grand occasion, every heart being filled with joy. [The Methodist, 22 February 1919, p. 10]
A number of articles written by Rev. Weston, describing his travels abroad, were published in The Methodist in the period November 1918 to February 1919.
After his return from overseas Rev. Weston lived at Randwick for the remainder of his life, at the home of his niece, Mrs. H.R. Walden. The Hay Methodist Church celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1922. At the age of eighty-one years Rev. William Weston returned to Hay for the occasion to preach at the service. [The Witcombe Heritage by Caroline Merrylees & Derek Woolcott (1993)]
Towards the end of his life Rev. Weston was unable to undertake ministerial duties.
On account of his age, [Rev. Weston] was not able, for many years past, to undertake any ministerial duty, but as he frequently said to his brethren, in private and at Conference, he had deep joy in praying continually for those who were doing the work. His radiant personality and his manifest piety attracted old and young, and he has passed hence in the esteem and love of a great number. Kneeling beside his bed a week since, he sang, for the last time, a favourite hymn, "O for a thousand tongues to sing." [Obituary]
William Weston died on 26 May 1931 at Randwick, aged 89 years.
The Rev William Weston, after a ministry of 54 years, passed away on Tuesday last at the ripe age of 89… The funeral services at church and graveside were attended by reverent companies. He will be long remembered by folk of earlier days in the country circuits, and by those who knew him in the supernumerary days at Young and Randwick. His name stood third in the chronological list of ministers.
Rev. Weston was buried the next day.
The service at the church on Wednesday was conducted by Rev. D. C. Hughes, Mrs. Hughes presiding at the organ. The chairman of the district, Rev. Wallace Deane, M.A., B.D., and Rev. Dr. Carruthers took part in the service. The address was delivered by the ex-President, Rev. W. H. Jones. At the graveside, Rev. A. Collins conducted the service, and the ex-President and Rev. W. Pearson took part. The Rev. W. Deane delivered the address. [Obituary: 'Death of Rev. William Weston', The Methodist, 30 May 1931, p. 9]