Atkinson, John (1833-1899)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1884

Early years

John was born in October 1833 at Kirby Lonsdale, Westmorland. He was orphaned at an early age.

In 1851, John is working as an apprentice bobbin turner in Kendal.

John was converted in 1851. He found in Mr Taylor a foster father, and in John Taylor a life long friend and brother. Following his conversion, John became a successful local preacher in the Kendal Mission of the Barnard Castle circuit.


John’s first superintendent at Shotley Bridge was Moses Lupton. At Wolsingham, he came under the influence of Colin Campbell McKechnie.

John was President of Conference in 1886. He was the first Secretary of the Chapel Aid Association in 1894.

John’s obituary records that he was built on large lines. There was nothing small or weak about him. Frame, voice, mind, will and heart liberally answered to each other.

Stregth and tenderness were the outstanding features of John’s character.


John wrote the following.

Life of Colin Campbell McKecknie


John married Jane Wardhaugh (b1831) in 1859. Census returns identify six children.

  • Mary Jane (b1860)
  • Edward Taylor (b1863) – a coal merchant (1891)
  • John Henry (1864-1878)
  • William (b1867) – a draper’s apprentice in 1881; later a PM Minister from 1889
  • Colin Campbell (1868-1888)
  • Margaret Jane (b1871)

John died on 6 August 1899 at York.


  • 1855 Shotley Bridge
  • 1857 Wolsingham
  • 1859 Stokesley
  • 1861 Berwick
  • 1863 S Shields
  • 1867 Westgate
  • 1871 Sunderland
  • 1874 Hartlepool
  • 1879 Stockton
  • 1883 Secretary of GMC
  • 1889 Kendal
  • 1893 Ellesmere Port
  • 1894 Sec of Ins &CAA


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1884 (portrait); 1919/167

PM Minutes 1900/6

The Primitive Methodist 1886/377

PM World 1899/635

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p 393

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p149

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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