Bickerstaff, Isaac (1860-1907)

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Arthur Ward

Born at Bury in 1860, Mr. Bickerstaff was associated with Primitive Methodism from his early days. When eleven he received his first class ticket. This he prized to the last. He was very zealous. While a youth he took part in mission and Band of Hope work, being secretary for the latter; and at the age of fourteen he began to speak in public. His name soon appeared upon the plan, and while quite young he became an accredited local preacher. But he also laboured in the school at Walmansley Road and passed from class to class until he became the teacher of the first class of young men. Ever ready for any good work he took part in open-air services organised both by our own and other churches.

Nor was he indifferent to the claims of civic and national righteousness. At Bury he was a member of the Liberal 200, and at Wakefield he made his influence felt in the town. In 1891 he removed to the latter place. Here he joined the Market Street Church, but on Belle Vue being made the head of a new circuit he attached himself thereto, and was in labours abundant. As a preacher he was above the average. His large acquaintance with men and things enabled him to give point to the truths he presented, and his utterances were accompanied by the Holy Spirit.

He was successful in winning many souls. Some years ago his wife’s name became linked with his own on the circuit plan, and it was their mutual joy to see the pleasure of the Lord prosper in their hands. His was a very pleasant retrospect. But his last days were overshadowed by trouble which led to mental failure and brought him to a premature end. He died March 7th, 1907, and was interred in the cemetery at Wakefield on Sunday, March 10th. His worth was shown by the large and representative gathering that crowded Belle Vue Chapel at his funeral. May we meet him when our own work is done. Amen!


Isaac was born in 1860 at Bury, Lancashire, to parents John, a labourer, and Mary.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Isaac.

  • 1881 tin plate worker
  • 1891 brush & hardware traveller
  • 1901 commercial traveller

He married Elizabeth Jane Alexandria Head (b abt1863) on 8 November 1883 at Clayton-le-Moors, Lancashire. Census returns identify three of nine children.

  • Edmond John (b1888)
  • Eveline Pearl (abt1893-1918) – married James Turner in 1917
  • Isaac (1898-1959)

Records identify that both Edmond and Isaac spent time in prison for theft following the death of their father.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907/578

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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