Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Joseph A Taylor
In the early hours of December 31st, 1910, Rev. John Bainbridge, superannuated minister, Hanley, passed to the home eternal. Born at Mosley, County Durham, some sixty-six years ago, in childhood he lost his mother by death, and his early years were spent under the tender care of an only sister. His father was a miner, and quite early in life Bro. Bainbridge earned his bread in the pit. He had very few educational advantages as a lad, but he was possessed of mental grit, and devoted himself whole-heartedly to the reading of helpful books.
The Durham officials recognising in him a studious, well-informed Christian worker, put him on the Circuit plan, and soon afterwards he went to Spennymoor Circuit as Hired Local Preacher. Having passed the necessary examinations, he entered the Sunderland Institute for a year. He commenced probation on the Seaton Delaval Station, the Rev. W. Bowe being his superintendent. He spent the whole of his probation on his first Circuit. This of itself is a fair indication of the impression his preaching and other labours had made. In 1879 he removed to Blyth, and here he spent, perhaps, the most happy and fruitful part of his life. He laboured with much acceptance for five years, giving special attention to pulpit preparation. Rev. John Snaith was Superintendent, and Rev. Jos. Hawkins colleague.
Mr. Snaith writes: “As a preacher he stood well with the whole Circuit. His sermons and speeches were well thought out. His reading was confined to books requiring considerable reflection. He was quite at home with the essential doctrines of Methodists. He was very genial and open with those who gave him their confidence. He could not knowingly be guilty of a mean action. He was a true friend, and a real Primitive.”
Rev. Jos. Hawkins says: “We were four years together on Blyth Circuit. At that time he had gained fame as a preacher and platform speaker. We had a most happy and successful term and the Circuit made great progress.”
Rev. Matthew T. Pickering says: “We knew him very well in the early days of his ministry. His strongest feature was his preaching. He often came to our home, and my father had great hopes of his future. He was highly esteemed, slow in forming friendships, but very true as a friend. I remember his kindness in my early studies.’’ In the Leek Circuit his preaching was much appreciated.
Mr. Wm. Trafford says: “I can say, unhesitatingly – and I speak for many who were privileged to sit under his ministry in Leek – he will not soon be forgotten. While here he made much of his preaching gift. His sermons often lasted sixty minutes, and we were prepared to listen longer. To the young men of the Church he was father, guide and friend, especially to the young preachers. Many in Leek to-day mourn his departure, and will cherish his memory.”
The Conference of 1909 appointed Brother Bainbridge to Ramsor Circuit, but circumstances did not permit his settling there. In the August he came to Hanley, practically a superannuated minister, but fondly cherishing the hope that the Conference of 1910 would find him another Circuit. He was physically a broken-man. For years he suffered from hemorrhage, and frequently dragged a weary body to his appointments. For some weeks he was laid aside, then he rallied a little. A few days before the end came, he felt better, and insisted on taking a short walk. Poor fellow, he found it hard work to get back. On his return home it was evident he had taken a chill and was very ill. Medical skill, and the kindly attentions of his devoted wife did all that was possible, but the end was near.
The funeral took place January 4th, in Hanley Cemetery, preceded by a short service in Marsh Street Church, conducted by Rev. J. A. Taylor. There were some ten ministers of the Circuit present, Rev. W. Bennion, representing the General Committee, giving a suitable address.
During his active ministry of thirty-five years Brother Bainbridge travelled on the following Circuits: Seaton Delaval, Blyth, Newcastle-on-Tyne III., Berwick, Crook, Patley Bridge, Chichester, Pembroke Dock, Leek, Cwm, Margate, Saffron Walden, and Bradford 4th. In Mrs. Bainbridge he had one full of sympathy and earnest interest in his work.
John was born in 1844 at Mosley, Co. Durham. I have not been able to identify his parents in online records. Can anyone point me in the right direction?
He married Isabella Coates (b abt1849) in early 1880 in the Tynemouth Registration District, Northumberland. Census returns identify three children.
- John Henry (abt 1881) – a house servant (1901)
- Arthur S (b1883)
- George Arnold (b1885)
John died on 31 December 1910 at Hanley, Staffordshire.
- 1875 Seaton Delaval
- 1879 Blyth
- 1889 Cirencester
- 1892 Crook
- 1897 Pateley Bridge
- 1899 Pembroke Dock
- 1900 Leek
- 1903 Cwm
- 1904 Margate
- 1906 Saffron Walden
- 1908 Bradford IV
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/492
PM Minutes 1911/15
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers