Brittain, John (1834-1913)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by E. Campbell

W. M. Patterson, in his history of Northern Primitive Methodism, referring to the worthies who began our church at Staithes, says: “John Brittain is believed to be the only one now living of that goodly band.” And now John Brittain has departed; he entered into rest on March 24th, 1913, in his seventy-ninth year. He had a record of service of which any man might be proud. The Board of Trade presented him with a certificate and silver medal for forty years’ service with the “Rocket Life Saving Brigade.” He held gold and silver medals and a roll of honour for fifty years’ service in the Sunday School. For many years he was society steward and school superintendent. 

A man of strong personality, there was a quaint simplicity and a high sense of honour in all his official dealings. He loved his Church and was a liberal supporter of its interests. A service was held in the Staithes Church, conducted by the Revs. Tyler Tyers, J. Glasby, C.G. Tetley, and E. Campbell.


John was born in 1834 at Loftus, Yorkshire, to parents Henry Brittain, who worked the land (1841),  and Margaret Baker. He was baptised on 13 April 1834 at Loftus.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1851 tailor’s apprentice
  • 1861 tailor
  • 1871 tailor
  • 1881 tailor
  • 1891 tailor
  • 1901 tailor
  • 1911 retired tailor

He married Mary Jeffles (abt1843-1884) on 1 December 1860 at Loftus, Yorkshire. Census returns identify five children.

  • John Henry (1863-1934) – a farm labourer (1911)
  • Hannah Eliza (abt1865-1886)
  • Mary Margaret (b1868) – a general domestic servant (1901)
  • Elizabeth Alice (b1871) – housekeeper (1901); school cleaner (1911)
  • George Jonathan (abt1882-1968) – a stone miner (1911)

John died on 24 March 1913 at Staithes, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/573

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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