Buckley, Robert Alger (1881-1964)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

ROBERT ALGER BUCKLEY: born at Linton Heath, Burton-on-Trent, in 1881. He entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry and was trained at Hartley College, Manchester. His appointments were mostly in the North Midlands, beginning at Leicester (Curzon Street) and then to Wakefield, Leominster, Pickering, Colne, Sheffield (Petre Street), Cannock, Nottingham (Forest Road and Central), Nottingham North and Brighouse. He retired in 1946. 

Preaching was to him a joy and privilege and his winsome humour caused his words to be kept in his hearers’ minds and hearts. His wide sympathies and friendly nature established happy relationships in Church life beyond the limits of his own denomination. On retirement he became Free Church Chaplain to the Nottingham General Hospital and the Midland Eye Hospital, a position he held for seven years. He was a keen sportsman, having captained his college football team: he had a low handicap at golf. His literary interests were wide and he made a special study of Russian literature. At the invitation of Dr. Arthur S. Peake, under whom he counted himself fortunate to have studied while at Hartley, Mr. Buckley contributed an article commemorating the centenary of the birth of Fyodor Dostoevsky, for the Holborn Review. 

During the last few years his interest in Mysticism deepened, and this and his great love of poetry remained a solace to him to the end of his life. He died on the 20 August 1964 in the eighty-third year of his life and the fifty-seventh of his ministry.


Robert was born on 3 October 1881 at Linton Heath, Burton on Trent, Staffordshire, to parents William, a coal miner’s agent (1911), and Elizabeth.

The 1911 census return records Robert as a bricklayer’s apprentice.

He married Elizabeth Georgina Towndrow (1882-1958) in the spring of 1911 at Leicester. Records identify two children.

  • Robert Alger (1913-1991) – a solicitor (1939)
  • Marion Towndrow (1916-2004) – a solicitor’s clerk (1939)

Robert died on 20 August 1964 at Nottingham.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Leicester III
  • 1909 Wakefield
  • 1912 Leominster
  • 1913 Pickering
  • 1916 Colne
  • 1922 Sheffield III
  • 1927 Cannock
  • 1932 Nottingham III
  • 1933 Nottingham Forest Rd
  • 1935 Nottingham Central
  • 1940 Nottingham North
  • 1945 Brighouse
  • 1946 Nottingham (S)


Methodist Minutes 1965/178

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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