Ernest Gregory French

Photo:Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927

Photo:Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927


By Geoff Dickinson

Early years

Ernest was born in 1872 at Bedford, Bedfordshire, to parents John Redhead French and Lavinia Gregory. John was a PM Minister.

After completing his education, Ernest worked for seven years in a large grocery firm at Romsey. There he became a local preacher and was recommended for the ministry. He entered Hartley College in 1897.


Ernest served as District Building Committee Secretary.

His obituary records that Ernest was of kindly and solicitous disposition, a faithful preacher and pastor, a capable administrator, serving the churches with untiring zeal and devotion, sustaining the prosperity of his circuits, and winning the esteem and confidence of his people. While labouring in the Brentford and Hounslow circuit, a serious illness left his once robust and vigorous physique weakened, and he was compelled to relinquish the active ministry in 1937.


Ernest married Lily Gilbert White (1877-1942) in early 1905 at Frome, Somerset. Census returns identify one child.

  • Gilbert Alfred John (1908-1974) – an engineer’s clerk (1942); known as John

Ernest died on 24 July 1940 at South Hounslow, Middlesex.


  • Hartley
  • 1899 Sturminster N
  • 1902 Newport & Cowes
  • 1903 Silchester
  • 1906 Newbury
  • 1910 Brinkworth
  • 1914 Poole
  • 1918 Maidstone
  • 1922 High Wycombe
  • 1927 Newbury
  • 1930 Grays & Romford


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927/258

Methodist Minutes 1940/186

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

This page was added by Geoff Dickinson on 14/10/2014.