Baldwin, Arthur FRGS (1864-1937)

Rev Arthur Baldwin, c1904
Englesea Brook Museum 10.04
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920

Early years

Arthur was born on 24 June 1864 at Otley, Yorkshire to parents William and Hannah. William was a surveyor.

Arthur was educated under Dr S.R. Kerr, at the collegiate school in Otley. When aged sixteen he entered a solicitor’s office in Leeds. Three years later, with a view to gaining commercial experience, he entered the counting house of a large manufacturing firm.

Arthur was invited by Nelson Church, in the Colne circuit, as a circuit missionary. His first work was the conducting of a fortnight’s mission, from which fifty permanent additions to the membership were made.


In April 1889, as the colleague of Rev Henry Buckenham, Arthur sailed on the Norham Castle to found the Central African Mission, travelling via Aliwal North in South Africa. It took three years of travelling from Aliwal North to Nkala where a mission was established. This was largely across country where there had been little European presence. Arthur spent nearly twelve years in Africa, but when he returned in 1902, medical advice was to not return. An article in the 1920 magazine describes in detail the start of the Central African Mission.

Arthur was made a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society following publication of detailed reports of his travels in Africa.

After a period in circuit ministry, Arthur became Missionary Finance Secretary for five years. Later Arthur used his financial experience as Secretary of the Connexional Insurance Company and Chapel-Aid Association.


Arthur authored the following.

A Missionary Outpost

Henry Buckenham, Pioneer Missionary, 1920


Arthur’s first wife died at Aliwal North on his way home circa 1902.

Arthur married Harriet Wright (b abt 1878) in the summer of 1903 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Irene Ruth (1904-2000) – married Dennis Shaw in 1943
  • Mabel (b1907)

Arthur died on 26 July 1937 at York, Yorkshire.


  • 1887 Barrowford
  • 1888 Halifax
  • 1889 Zambesi
  • 1895 Mashakulum
  • 1896 Nkala
  • 1902 Halifax
  • 1903 Brighouse
  • 1907 Nottingham IV
  • 1911 Gainsborough
  • 1916 Leeds VIII
  • 1919 Missionary Finance Secretary
  • 1924 Kingston
  • 1925 Secretary of Church Aid
  • 1936 York (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918/224; 1919/646; 1920/174; 1924/444; 1927/711

Methodist Minutes 1938/181

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p186

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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