Youens, John (1837-1912)

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

Mr. John Youens, born May 14th 1837, passed to the house of the Father September 22nd, 1912. His Pilgrimage was a long one, blessed with much joy, touched with much grief, yielding much to the glory of his God and the service of his fellows. To know him was to love him. To part from him was a great sorrow. What he did he did well. 

In business (basket making) he was master of his craft. The social circle welcomed him as a true man, whose genial smile, ready conversation, and large fund of humour made all at home with him. In his day he was a singer of no mean order. As a bandmaster he was competent, and had ability to play several instruments As a choirmaster, he had the happy knack of getting the best possible from those under his leadership. 

His association with White Hart Street Primitive Methodist Choir reached back to fifty-two years ago, except that the early years were spent at Frogmoor, the predecessor of White Hart Street. He was a Licentiate of the Tonic Solfa College, held a founders’ medal of it, and was a member of the Executive of the Tonic Solfa Association. 

At his funeral, and at the memorial service, the spacious White Hart Street Chapel was crowded by a throng of friends stricken with sorrow by his removal from them. The love of the Lord Jesus won his heart many years ago. The Bible, inspired hymns, and sweet poetry were his wealth to the last. Prayer was a real and loved exercise. When the call came he was ready to pass into the rich harmonies of heaven. His life will be a gracious memory to many. We shall meet him again in the sinless land, through Christ, his Lord and ours.


John was born on 24 May 1837 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, to parents William, a basket maker and Matilda. He was baptised on 14 June 1837 at Chipping Wycombe Wesleyan Methodist Church.

Census returns identify the following occupations for John.

  • 1851 butcher’s servant
  • 1861 basket maker
  • 1871 master basket maker & chair willower
  • 1881 basket maker
  • 1891 basket maker
  • 1901 basket maker
  • 1911 basket maker

He married Dinah Taylor (1838-1911) in the summer of 1854 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire. Census returns identify eleven children.

  • William (1855-1924) – insurance agent (1881); a school board attendance officer (1891)
  • Emma (1858-1952) – married William Johnson, a carpenter (1881), in 1876
  • Michael (b1860) – a basket maker (1891)
  • Clara (1864-1939) – married John Hart Grimsdale, a house joiner (1911), in 1884
  • Florence (1865-1936) – married Henry Richards, a coach builder (1891), in 1890
  • Vincent (1868-1952) – a basket maker (1911)
  • Fanny (b1870) – a domestic cook (1891); married Thomas Edward Gill, a boat builder (1901), in 1893
  • Adelina (1872-1936) – married Charles Challis, a retired coachman (1911), in 1898
  • Frederick (1874-1946) – a basket maker (1901)
  • Christine (1876-1964) – a housekeeper (1911); married Sidney Robert Probets, a motor driver (1939), in 1913
  • Leah (1878-1885)

John died on 22 September 1912 at High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/242

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: John’s baptism record gives his date of birth as 24 May 1837, not 14 May as stated in the obituary

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