Alderson, John (1842-1916)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1900
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911

Early years

John was born on 16 March 1842 at Middridge, Co Durham to parents Thomas and Hannah. Thomas worked the land and was Sunday school superintendent. Thomas and Hannah were known for their hospitality to visiting PM preachers.

John was converted at the age of sixteen, and became a local preacher at eighteen. His conversion was through the ministry of Rev C Lawton, a Wesleyan. At that time, there was no PM society near where John was living, so for a short time he united with the Wesleyans. On returning home, John came under the influence of Rev Joseph Spoor, who helped to develop his spiritual experience and preaching. John was also able to secure a place for twelve months at the academy run by Rev W Bowman at Gainford. Bowman was a Congregationalist and brother-in-law of Rev Colin C McKechnie.

John worked as a locomotive engine fitter before entering the ministry.


On entering the ministry, John’s first station was Maidstone, where Primitive Methodism was small and weak. There was no connexional chapel on the station, no home was provided. John had to lodge with a single, elderly man, and be his own cook. His consecration was tested, but was proved sufficient.

On his return to work in the north of England, John was associated with significant increases of membership at Hetton, Gateshead, Hexham and Shotley Bridge.

His sermons were carefully prepared and often preached with great power. He was true to Methodist doctrines. He received clearly, believed fully, and preached forcibly.


John married Jane Hobson (1840-1910) in the summer of 1870 at Darlington, Co Durham. Jane’s father, William, was a local preacher in the Darlington circuit. Census returns identify five children.

  • Frederick Livingstone (1872-1920) – a draper’s assistant (1916)
  • Hephzibah (1874-1957) – a music teacher (1911)
  • Levi Banner (1875-1918) – fitter engineering hydraulic (1911); died at sea in WW1 on HM Tug Desire
  • Hobson Douglas (1877-1953) – an assistant store-keeper (1911)
  • Lilian Violet Beulah (1880-1974) – married William Hazlewood Blair, a grocer

John died on 29 August 1916 at Gateshead, Co Durham.


  • 1865 Maidstone
  • 1866 Tunbridge Wells
  • 1867 Penrith
  • 1869 Ryde & Ventnor
  • 1870 Stanstead
  • 1871 Hungerford
  • 1872 Allendale
  • 1873 Hetton
  • 1877 Gateshead
  • 1880 Middleton
  • 1881 Lowick
  • 1883 Hexham
  • 1886 Shotley Bridge
  • 1890 Guisborough
  • 1894 Malton
  • 1898 Barton on Humber
  • 1901 Amble
  • 1905 Gateshead (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1900/802; 1911/152; 1919/138

PM Minutes 1917/246

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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