Dobson, Robert Hunter (1841-1914)

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

The Durham Church and Circuit have lost an active and sincere official in the passing of Mr. Robert Hunter Dobson, on October 20th, 1914, at the age of seventy-three years. Born at North Shields in August,1841, he removed to Consett, where he was converted through the life and words of his wife. Health reasons led to a change of occupation, and he commenced his successful business as a draper in Darlington, afterwards removing to Durham.

A loyal member of our Church for fifty-three years, his name is yet familiar to our Darlington (Greenbank) and Shotley Bridge churches. He has been a leading spirit in the life of the Jubilee Church, Durham. He was a class leader, president of the C.E. Society, Sunday school teacher and superintendent, trust treasurer; was several times sent to District Meeting as delegate and once to the Conference, at Bristol.

He delighted most in his work amongst the young people. He was a man of literary tastes and wide reading. At times in prayer or address he rose to real inspiration. He was a strong man, and for a principle he could be courageously unpopular. Those in trouble found how real was his sympathy and how practical his kindness. Our church and circuit found him always a generous supporter, and his generosity extended to missions and other Connexional enterprises. 

His funeral service was conducted by Revs. H. Fletcher, E. Evans, J. Williams, and Mr. James Johnson. To his two daughters and four sons we offer our sincerest sympathy.


Robert was born on 24 August 1841 at North Shields, Northumberland, to parents Matthew Dobson, an ironworks labourer (1851), and Elizabeth Lee. He was baptised on 15 September 1841 at Tynemouth, Northumberland.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Robert.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 assistant in rolling mill
  • 1871 plate mill furnanceman
  • 1881 commission and insurance agent
  • 1891 draper
  • 1901 draper
  • 1911 manufacturing hosier and draper

He married Isabella Campbell (1841-1911) in late 1862 in the Durham Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify six of eight children.

  • John Matthew (1864-1931) – a railway clerk (1911)
  • William Young (1866-1937) – a draper & hosier’s traveller (1911)
  • Elizabeth (1868-1938) – manager of hosiery manufacture (1911)
  • Isabella Campbell (1870-1951) – married George Best, a blacksmith (1901), in 1901
  • Robert Hunter (1872-1945) – draper’s traveller (1911)
  • Richard George Inge (1877-1961) – a draper’s traveller (1911)

Robert died on 20 October 1914 at Durham, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/499

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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