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Catherine Booth

1829-1890. “Mother of the Salvation Army”; wife of William Booth.* Born Catherine Mumford in Derbyshire, she was the daughter of a Wesleyan preacher. She was educated at home by her deeply religious mother. Later she lived in London, where she joined the Wesleyan Church at Brixton. She was expelled for her religious zeal, as was also William Booth, who preached there. They married in 1855, and had eight children. Husband and wife traveled widely preaching the Gospel. In 1864 they returned to London, and in 1865 started the Christian Revival Association (variously named) in Whitechapel; this is generally regarded as the start of the Salvation Army.* Catherine commenced the women's work, a prominent feature of the movement. For many years she continued her labors, though never out of pain. In 1890 she died of cancer; 36,000 people attended her funeral at Olympia.

See F. de L. Booth-Tucker, The Life of Catherine Booth (2 vols., 1892).