Kitson, Robert (1836-1908)

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

Mr. Robert Kitson was born at Marr in the Doncaster circuit, on October 31st, 1836. He was a Primitive Methodist of the third generation, and was the elder brother of the Revs. William and Alfred Kitson.  His first experience of conviction under the power of Divine truth was at the age of twenty-seven when listening to a powerful address given by a Quaker lady, and not long after he was present at a service conducted by the Rev. F. Rudd, in Spring Garden Chapel, Doncaster, and surrendered himself to the Lord Jesus in the year 1863. 

He was married the same year and within twelve months of his conversion went forth as an ambassador of the cross. He forthwith began to dig for the treasures of knowledge that he might more effectively proclaim the riches of God’s grace. Feeling himself in advance of some of his unprivileged neighbours he was constrained by the altruistic spirit of his Master to start a night-school for the benefit of the illiterate farm servants.

He removed to Scarborough in 1876, where for over thirty years he served our church as local preacher, class leader, and worker in the school.

He was a friendly and unpretentious fellow-labourer, and was so devoted and conscientious that during the forty-three years his name stood on the circuit plan he never once missed an appointment.

As an honest toiler earning his bread by the sweat of his brow we have seldom met his equal as a cheerful giver. His faithfulness, his worthy service and fine liberality will be long cherished as a precious heritage by the Scarborough Circuits. He passed to the higher service of heaven on Sunday morning, March 1st, 1908, leaving a dear and aged widow to mourn his departure. She sorrows not as those without hope, but confidently looks forward to reunion in His Presence who will abolish pain and sorrow and death.


Robert was born on 31 October 1836, at Marr, Yorkshire, to parents Robert, who worked the land, and Frances.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Robert

  • 1851 cordwainer’s apprentice
  • 1861 master cordwainer
  • 1871 master shoemaker and Methodist local preacher
  • 1881 shoemaker and PM local preacher
  • 1891 shoemaker and caretaker
  • 1901 shoemaker

He married Elizabeth Cawthorne (1833-1913) in late 1863 in the Doncaster Registration District, Yorkshire

Robert died on 1 March 1908 at Scarborough, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908/576

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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