Francombe, John (1853-1927)

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

The Houghton-le-Spring Church and Circuit misses John Francombe, who entered. the “rest for the people of God,” on Nov. 11th, 1927, when seventy-four year’s old. His mind was richly stored with the Scriptures, and the hymns of Wesley and Watts. He was thus equipped for helpful service as Class Leader and Local Preacher and over a period of half a century made a valuable contribution to Primitive Methodism. 

He was not a stranger to the way of shadows and doubts, and in Bunyan’s phrase he sometimes “played on the bass.” But like Mr. Fearing, he had a good crossing of the river, and as his loved Wesley would say, “he died well.” His attendance at the house of God on Sundays, and weekdays was exemplary. In the Prayer Meeting he was a real force. By his character he adorned the Church of God.

He has given one son to the ministry of our Church. Another son wields a fine influence on a class of young men in the Sunday school. Three daughters are in the membership of the Church. A most impressive and largely attended service, conducted by the Circuit Ministers and Circuit Steward, was a tribute of respect and admiration to one who had rendered faithful and able service to God and the Church.


John was born in 1853 at Kingswood, Gloucestershire, to parents Joseph, a coal miner, and Fanny.

John worked as a coal miner.

He married Susannah Simpson (1854-1917) in the spring of 1875 at Houghton le Spring, Co. Durham. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Joseph (1876-1947) – a branch manager of Co-op grocery and drapery (1911)
  • Mary Isabella (1878-1949) – married Joseph Parkin, a coal miner, in 1901
  • John Simpson (1880-1932) – a PM minister
  • Lydia (1883-1957)
  • Ada (1887-1894)
  • Margaret Robina (1891-1922) – an assistant teacher (1911); married Richard J Barass in 1915
  • Florence (1894-1962) – a school teacher (1939)

John died on 11 November 1927 at Houghton le Spring, Co. Durham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1929/184

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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