Giles, James Wolfenden (1839-1911)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

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

Mr. James W. Giles, of Belvedere Church and Erith, and Belvedere Circuit, passed away after a brief illness on Dec. 18th, 1911, at the age of 73 years. His work was done, and the Master called him while in harness.

He commenced his work in the Circuit more than forty years ago. First as Superintendent of the Sunday School and Choirmaster at Erith, subsequently he removed to Belvedere and came “upon the plan,” in which position he has rendered long and very fine service both on his own Circuit and many of those surrounding. 

He has always been a tower of strength in all kinds of meetings, finely loyal to his Church, popular with all classes, a wise counsellor in business meetings, of keen intellect, discharging his duties with singular ability. 

The funeral service was conducted by an old friend and former minister, Rev. T. Peatfield, the church being crowded by those wishful of paying a last tribute to a fine life. The interment took place at Erith old churchyard. 


James was born in 1839 in the City of London, to parents James, a paper stainer (1851), and Pauluna Wolfenden.

Census returns identify the following occupations for James.

  • 1851 assisting father (as a paper stainer)
  • 1861 boilermaker
  • 1871 boilermaker
  • 1881 boilermaker employs 3 hands
  • 1891 smith & boilermaker
  • 1901 Prudential agent & PM local preacher
  • 1911 life assurance agent (Prudential)

He married Caroline Goodenham (1835-1916) on22 November 1857 at St. Mary, Lambeth, London. Census returns identify nine children.

  • Caroline Pauleana (1858-1946) – married George Edward Prescott, a customs officer (1891), in 18888     
  • James (1860-1944) – a boilermaker (1881); a commercial traveller (1911)
  • George Henry (1864-1937) – a boilermaker (1881); Prudential Superintendent (1911)        
  • Henry (1864-1945) – an insurance agent (1911)
  • Ellen Elizabeth (1867-1949) – married George Brandish, assistant superintendent (Prudential Assurance) (1911), in 1894         
  • Lydia Eliza (1869-1963) – married Albert Henry Cradock, a butcher (1911), in 1900      
  • Charles (1871-1892) – a boiler maker’s assistant (1891)       
  • William Walter (1874-1927) – a grocer manager (1911)
  • Sarah Ann (1876-1959) – married John Henry Welsh, a boilermaker, in 1897

James died on 18 December 1911 at Belvedere, Kent.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/413

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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