Cruse, Jesse (1835-1913)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.M.

The subject of this “Memoir’’ was born in August, 1835, in a small village in the West of England. His father was a local preacher and his home an open house for the ministers and people of God. At the age of sixteen Jesse was converted and two years later put on the plan. As a “local” he did yeoman service for the Connexion among the various circuits of that district. 

He came to London in 1855, where he became associated with the London City Mission. He joined the permanent staff of this organization in 1859. Three years later he entered into the service of the G.P.O., but unfortunately was compelled to resign after a few years owing to an unfortunate accident which deprived him of his sight. This was an exceedingly heavy blow. Throughout these early years he had been a great student, in spite of the lack of educational advantages, taking special delight in works on theology. Not to be able to read, therefore, as was his wont, was a great loss to him. About two years later, however, through the kindness of a Church of England clergyman he obtained the whole of the English Bible in embossed type. With this he soon became familiar, and for twenty-two years in succession he read his Bible through. 

His services as a local preacher continued to be very acceptable, and he simply revelled in open-air work for both religious and temperance organisations. Alcohol never had a more uncompromising foe. He also cultivated the poetic gift which was in him and published many booklets. He was known in Stoke Newington, where he resided for thirty-two years, as “The Blind Poet.” He was a student and worker to the end.

Just before his death he was busy with the manuscript for a new book. He died at Clacton-on-Sea, on October 2nd, 1913, after three months intense pain. He lived to the ripe age of seventy-eight; was a member of the Connexion sixty-two years and a local preacher sixty years. His was a hard struggle from first to last. Surely he has earned his rest and the “Well done!” of the Master. At the interment the Rev. H. Bennett officiated. The chief mourners were his daughter, Miss Cruse, and his nephew, the Rev. G. Chun. Among other wreaths was one from the Stoke Newington Circuit.


Jesse was born in August 1835 at Ogbourne St George, Wiltshire, to parents Thomas Cruse, who worked the land (1841), and Dinah Lye. He was baptised on 20 September 1835 at Ogbourne St George.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Jesse.

  • 1851 farm labourer
  • 1861 London city missionary
  • 1871 letter carrier
  • 1881 letter carrier
  • 1891 retired postman
  • 1901 letter carrier superannuated
  • 1911 superannuated G.P.O.

He married Sarah Rowe (abt1836-1877) in the summer of 1861 in the Islington Registration District, London. Census returns identify one child.

  • Sarah Ann (1865-1943) – a domestic servant (1891); parlourmaid (1901); nurse companion retired (1939)

Jesse died on 2 October 1913 at Clacton-on-Sea, Essex.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/77

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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