Holmes, John (1846-1916)

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

Friday, May 5th, 1916, marked the passage of one of the sincerest, humblest, and most beautiful spirits. John Holmes was born in Coverdale in 1846, but early removed to Barden, on the Grassington Circuit; in Wharfedale. Here he lived in the cottage situated amongst the hills and woods, which has been occupied by the Holmes family for several generations. Mr. William Holmes (father of Mr. J. Holmes) lived there, and assisted personally in the work of building our present Barden Chapel. For many years the home has been open to preachers. 

Mr. John Holmes was quiet and unassuming. He did not seek office, but for more than forty years he had been a member at that one society. For thirty years he was organist. He was a man who lived in closest touch with Christ. The testimony of those with whom he worked is beautiful indeed. Truly “he bore the white flower of a blameless life.” Our Church is poorer because of his departure. 

Our sympathy goes out to Mrs. Holmes, the widow; she who has helped him and been his constant friend; to Miss Holmes, who continues as organist in the little chapel; and to his other daughter, Mrs. Axson, wife of the Rev. James Axson, of Rochdale.


John was born in late 1846 in Coverham, Coverdale, Yorkshire, to parents William Holmes, who worked the land (1851), and Elizabeth Hammond. He was baptised on 28 February 1847 at Coverham.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1871 woodman
  • 1891 farmer & woodman
  • 1901 woodman & farmer
  • 1911 woodman

He married Mary Hudson (1851-1924) in the spring of 1876 in the Skipton Registration District, Yorkshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Henrietta (1877-1966) – a dressmaker (1911); married James Axson, a PM minister, in 1913
  • Anne (b1881)

John died on 5 May 1916 at Barden, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/931

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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