Bell, George Robert (1860-1943)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1917
Christian Messenger 1907

Early years

George was born in 1860 at Murton, nr Sunderland, Co Durham to parents Robert and Mary Ann. Robert worked as a colliery joiner at the time of the 1871 census.

When ten years old, George began to work in the coal mine. George was converted whilst living at Shotton. At the age of eighteen he began to preach. He spent a year in evangelistic work on the Chester-le-Street Circuit before entering theological college.


During his five years at Ashington, four chapels were built, one of them for an entirely new cause.

George was imprisoned three times as a passive resister.

His obituary records that George was noted for his evangelical passion, was happy and successful in this work, especially at Camp Meetings. He was a lover of good books and was a diligent student of the Bible. He loved nature and found delight in the open-air, but was a greater lover of men and women, of boys and girls. He was ever seeking to win them for his Master. In his later years deafness cut him off from fellowship, but he enjoyed his books and his garden.


George married Susannah Elizabeth Smith (1864-1934) in the summer of 1889 at Richmond, Surrey. Susannah was the daughter of Rev George Smith.  Census returns identify one child.

  • Hilda Mary (b1890)

George died on 1 December 1943 at Basildon, Berkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1885 Saffron Walden
  • 1887 Richmond & Hounslow
  • 1889 Dartford
  • 1892 Peterborough I
  • 1896 Bishop Auckland
  • 1901 Hounslow
  • 1905 Ashington
  • 1910 Waterhouses
  • 1913 Leamington on Tyne
  • 1916 Coxhoe
  • 1923 Cockermouth
  • 1927 Reading (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1917/372

Methodist Minutes 1944/126

Christian Messenger 1907/12

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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