Coatswith, John William (1852-1913)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by F.H.

John William Coatswith was born at Seaton Delavel, Northumberland, October 13th, 1852, and died at Tyne Dock, September 8th, 1913. For forty-five years he resided in Tyne Dock, and for thirty-five years was one of the most esteemed members of the South Shields Circuit. 

He was associated with the old Harton Colliery Chapel, and rendered invaluable service, being at various times choirmaster, class leader, society steward, trust and school secretary. He was ever alert to promote the interests of the Church. In the opening of Green Lane Mission, which was formed by members of the Harton Colliery Chapel, he gave great assistance. When the time came to sell the Harton Chapel and launch the new scheme at Talbot Road his service was simply heroic. Here he has done his best work. 

He lived a fine, Christian life. His influence abides, for every member of his family is connected with Talbot Road. For several years he was junior circuit steward, and along with his devoted wife he attended nearly every special gathering in the circuit. It is due to such grand men as John Coatswith that Primitive Methodism has been able to make such solid advance in the North.


John was born on 13 October 1852 at Seaton Delaval, Northumberland, to parents John Coatswith, a coal miner (1861), and Jane Bell.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1871 ship labourer
  • 1881 railway guard
  • 1891 shunter on railway
  • 1901 N.E.R. railway goods foreman
  • 1911 quay foreman under N.E.Ry. Co.

He married Mary Dawson (1852-1935) on 15 March 1873 at Christ Church, Tynemouth, Northumberland. Census returns identify five children.

  1. Robert (1874-1949) – a railway correspondence clerk (1921)
  2. Thomas Dawson (1876-1940) – coal agent (1901); a colliery & shipping agent on own account (1921)
  3. Margaret (b1878) – married Joseph Gibson, a coal trimmer (1911), in 1902
  4. John (1882-1954) – N.E.R. loco engine cleaner; coal trimmer (1939)
  5. Jane (1887-1966) – a temporary staff clerk – N.E.R. (1921); married John J Todd in 1929

John died on 8 September 1913 at Tyne Dock, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/162

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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