Howland, John (1848-1903)

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by E.Q.

Our Ramsey Circuit has sustained a heavy loss in the death of its senior local preacher, the late John Howland. He died on May 12th, 1903, after a lingering and painful illness, which he bore with great fortitude.

John Howland was a native of Andreas, in the north of the Isle of Man. He was converted during the progress of a great revival, which stirred the whole of the parish. Although so young (only 14) he threw himself with ardour into the study of the Bible, and this “Book of Books,” together with the “Pilgrim’s Progress,” and Watts’ Hymns, were his favourite and constant companions.

As the age of seventeen, our brother was placed on the Ramsey Primitive Methodist Preachers’ Plan, and from that time (1846) up to two years ago, when his fatal illness seized him, he laboured diligently and successfully as a local preacher, and had the great happiness of seeing many converted as the fruit of his labours.

When twenty-one, he removed to Liverpool, where he joined our Liverpool second circuit, and worked faithfully and well for the cause there. In 1885 he returned to his native parish, having become owner of a farm near his birth-place. From that time to the close of his life he continued his work in his Master’s service.

Not only did he serve the Church of his choice to the best of his ability, but he rendered good service to the community in parochial and scholastic affairs. He was one of the Andreas Parish Commissioners, and also a member of the School Board.

Bro. Howland has been ably seconded in his labours by his wife, who has been a true help-meet in every sense of the word. Their home was always open to our preachers, both travelling and lay, and many of our ministers can testify to having been the recipients of the most generous hospitality at the hands of sister Howland. Our circuit is the poorer for his loss, but our brother is the gainer. His last Words to his sorrowing wife and daughter were, “I am going to be with Jesus.”

His remains were interred at Kirk Andreas on Friday, May 15th. The Revs. E. Quine and R.B. Howcroft assisted at the funeral, which was largely attended by the parishioners and the officials and members of the circuit.


John was born abt 1848 at Andreas, Isle of Man, to parents John, a farmer, and Jane.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1861 scholar
  • 1871 police constable in Liverpool
  • 1881 police officer & local preacher
  • 1891 farmer
  • 1901 farmer

John married Susan Ellen Callow (1849-1927) in 8 May 1873 at Andreas, Isle of Man. Census returns identify one child.

  • Elizabeth Jane (b abt1874) – married Thomas Curphey Kelly, a farmer, in 1906


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904/326

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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