Austin, George (1810-1887)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1865

Early Years

George was born on 13 January 1810 at Kingsley, Staffordshire. Kingsley was known as a meeting place for all the ‘roughs’ in the Potteries. As a child he moved to Brailsford, Derbyshire. Curiosity led him to hear Mrs Parsons preach. It was a turning point. George was convicted of his sin, felt a deep sense of guilt and suffered intense mental agony. Such was his state of being that a doctor pronounced him mad and tried to send him to an asylum. He soon recovered and joined the class of Mr Brownson (grandfather to Rev W J Brownson). Domestic circumstances led him back to Kingsley where he helped to raise a society. He became a local preacher.

In 1836, George was appointed a lay delegate to the Tunstall District meeting and shortly afterward became a lay delegate at Conference. He was urged by Hugh Bourne to enter the ministry and went to Leek, where he had previously help in a mission.


Whilst George was superintendent of the London circuit, membership grew sufficiently to warrant dividing the circuit in two. The London First circuit had 659 members and the Second 333 members. In 1848 the London circuit had comprised 710 members.

George in his ministry aided the erection or purchase of 49 Chapels, schools and houses. The total increase on his stations was 2258 in 41 years.


George was baptised on 14 January 1810 at Kingsley, Staffordshire.

George married Ellen James (act 1817-1839) on 10 December 1837 at St. Werburgh, Kingsley, Staffordshire.

George married Ellen Dodd (abt1824-1871) in November 1844. Census returns identify eight children.

  • Jane (b1846) – married Robert Phillips
  • George Ralph Dodd (1848-1895) – a PM Minister
  • John (b1853)
  • Francis (1855-1907) – an Inland Revenue Officer
  • Augustine (1860-1925) – a commercial traveller
  • Louisa Ellen (1862-1938) – married Thomas Newton Allen, a corn merchant
  • Albert Fowell (1865-1940) – a head-teacher in council school
  • Ann Wells (1868-1952) – married Albert Dimmock Sinfield, a joiner

George died in 1887 in Luton, Bedfordshire.


  • 1839 Leek
  • 1841 Burland
  • 1843 Lisburn
  • 1845 Belfast
  • 1847 London
  • 1853 Brigg
  • 1855 Grimsby
  • 1857 Hull l
  • 1858 London l
  • 1864 London lll
  • 1868 Peterborough
  • 1871 Luton
  • 1874 Peterborough
  • 1880 Luton (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1865/577 (portrait); 1872/754 (Ellen); 1889/180; 1903/702; 1913/688

PM Minutes 1888/11

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p418, p502

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p260

W Leary,Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Follow this link for further information about George.


A Sketch published in the 1903 Primitive Methodist Magazine.

Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 5 August 2017 to add a transcription of an article about George in the 1903 Primitive Methodist Magazine.

    Marriage details have also been amended in line with the correction provided by Brian Austin. 

    The sketch identifies that George was a probationer minister at the time of his first marriage and he resigned from the ministry as probationers were not allowed to marry without permission from Conference. He returned to the ministry after the death of his first wife encouraged by the Bourne brothers.

    By Geoff Dickinson (05/08/2017)

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