Mary and Thomas Winslow went on to live in England and Octavius was born in Pentonville, then a village near London, on August 1, 1808. He was the tenth of 13 children. His name seems to have been given because he was then the eighth surviving child. Octavius’s father was from a wealthy family but by 1815, following his retirement from the army, he suffered ill-health and the loss of his fortune due to one of several such national financial disasters that occurred in this period. A decision was made to move to America, but before Mr Winslow could join his wife and children in New York, he died. At the same time, their youngest child died too. Widowed at 40, responsible for a large family and scarcely settled in America, Mrs Winslow’s entire life was turned upside down. Worst of all, spiritual darkness and despondency overwhelmed her for some months. Octavius was seven years old. They were a deeply religious family and Octavius later wrote a book about their experiences from his mother’s perspective in a book entitled Life in Jesus, available on google books. All of the children became Christians, and three sons became evangelical ministers.
It is suggested that Winslow began his ministerial training in Stepney, London, but then moved to Columbia College, New York. He was certainly ordained as a pastor June 21,1833 (aged 25) in New York. He is said to have ministered in the newly started Second Baptist Church there in Brooklyn, in 1836 and 1837, the work sadly closing in 1838. In 1839 he moved back to England where he became one of the most valued ministers of the time. This was largely due to the earnestness of his preaching and the excellence of his prolific writings.
He was married to a Miss Ann Ring and they had four boys and four girls. His son, John Whitmore, died in 1856 aged only 21 and Octavius went on to publish some of the things he had written as a teenager.
Out of the Depths – Octavius Winslow / Narrated by Dr. David C. Mackereth