Barnes, John (1830-1857)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by George Mitchell

Jonn Barnes was born June 15th, 1830, at Flintham, Nottinghamshire, at which place he was converted to God, in his fourteenth year, in an old barn then used for Divine worship by the Primitive Methodists, to whom he forthwith united himself in religious fellowship. His parents induced him to leaye the society, and prevailed with him to worship with them in connection with the Wesleyans, which seems to have had an unhappy influence upon him, and, instead of continuing to grow in grace, he soon became an unhappy backslider. After a few months he was restored to God’s family, and henceforth was a member of the Primitive Methodist Connexion to the end of his life.

When he had been a member for some time, he was appointed to the office of a local preacher by the Bridgeford branch authorities, and was subsequently called to the itinerancy, in 1855, by the London second circuit.

From London he was removed in the following year to Baldock mission, where he laboured acceptably and successfully with Mr. S.B. Reynolds, who says: “I found him to be an excellent colleague; indeed, we became as the heart of one man, ‘striving together for the faith of the gospel’? He was courteous and respectable in his demeanour, zealous and acceptable as a preacher, and not without seals to his ministry. I always found him ready to act in concert with me to promote the interests of the station and get on the work of God. He was apt to learn – willing to communicate. He possessed a good share of moral courage, which enabled him to persevere through many difficulties. I think he was likely to have become a very useful minister had his life been spared.

“At Biggleswade he was the means of originating a regular course of open-air services, which were conducted by the Baptists, Wesleyans, and ourselves unitedly. Those services were productive of visible good, and were the means of his being known beyond the limits of our own society, and he was proportionably respected.

“Having been on one occasion below what Connexional rule requires in family visiting, he resolved never to be similarly involved for the future; hence, while on this station, he was a good visiter, and much respected by the people. He was a conscientious abstainer from intoxicating drinks, and recommended the principle to others.”

His acceptance with God was clear, and, generally, his spiritual experience was of an even tenour; but sometimes his joys amounted to rapture, and a short time previous to his death he greatly enjoyed several religious services of a public and social character. In the house of God, and in private families, the loud “Bless the Lord!” burst forth from his enraptured soul, while friends, now left in tears, talk of happy meetings which they enjoyed with him who is now no more on earth. So sudden was his removal from us, we almost involuntarily exclaim, “O Death!”

He was preaching at Saltash on the 9th of October, and died on the 16th. On the 13th he conversed freely with the writer, and, in referring to the previous wearisome nights, said, “But they have been lighted by bright seasons,” After this his mind wandered confusedly, the disease from which he suffered being typhus fever.

His sun went down early, he being only twenty-seven years of age. The will of the Lord be done! “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.”


John was born on 15 June 1830 at Flintham, Nottinghamshire, to parents Joseph, who worked the land, and Mary. he was baptised at Flintham on 16 June 1830.

The 1851 census return describes John as a butcher.

John died on 16 October 1857.


  • 1855 London II
  • 1856 Minsterley


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1858/14

PM Mins 1858/6

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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