Bourne, Hugh (1772-1852)

One of the founders of Primitive Methodism

Englesea Brook Museum 16a.03
Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.1a


Hugh was born on 3 April 1772 at Ford Hayes, Staffordshire, to parents Joseph Bourne and Ellen Steele. He was baptised on 19 April 1772 at Bucknall, Staffordshire. Hugh was the fifth of eight children.

Hugh died on 11 October 1852 and was buried on 17 October 1852 at Englesea Brook. An account of his funeral is given below.


  • 1819 Tunstall
  • 1824 Editor
  • 1842 Tunstall
  • 1847 Tunstall (S)

Account of his Funeral at Englesea Brook

Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 29 October 1852

‘THE LATE MR. HUGH BOURNE, OF BEMERSLEY. – On Monday, Oct. 11, Mr. Hugh Bourne, of Bemersley, near Norton-in-the-Moors, one of the founders of the “Primitive Methodist” body, and a laborious preacher of the gospel, departed this life in his 81st year. It being known that the deceased wished to be interred in the burial ground belonging to the society at Englesea Brook, eleven miles distant from Bemersley, the friends determined that the funeral should be public. Accordingly, on Sunday week, a procession was formed at Bemersley, which was headed by the singers from Pitt’s Hill Chapel, and funeral hymns were sung at intervals during its progress. The friends in vehicles went slowly, and those on foot formed in files that filled the high road from hedge to hedge. At the Stadmoreslow crossing, the procession was joined by friends, teachers, and children from Bradley Green chapel. When it approached Tunstall, it was met by a vast multitude; and in Tunstall Marketsquare there was a halt, and brief addresses were delivered to the people. In Tunstall, friends and the school children, more than 2,000 in number, then separated; and the procession turned through Clay Hills to Red-street. At the top of Raven’s-lane it was met by friends from Newcastle and the vicinity, and proceeded through Audley, and the road became very much thronged. At the chapel numbers were waiting from Sandbach, Burslem, &C. A meeting was held in the adjoining field, which was addressed by Mr. T. Bateman; and multitudes having taken a farewell look at the composed countenance of their departed friend, for which purpose the coffin was opened in the chapel, the interment afterwards took place, suitable addresses being delivered on the occasion. It is thought that from 15,000 to 20,000 persons must have witnessed or joined in the procession during its course.’


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1852/754; 1853/513ff; 1878; 1919; 1932

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church,vol 1, p8; vol 2, p2 (Portraits)

J T Wilkinson “Hugh Bourne” pub 1952

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


1. As one of the founders of the Primitive Methodist Movement, Bourne is extensively referenced in the literature and on this site. This page focuses on the picture from Primitive Methodist Magazine and the circuits and references provided in Leary.

2. A biography of Hugh Bourne by his friend Thomas Bateman was serialised in the Primitive Methodist Magazine for 1853. It can be downloaded below.


Comments about this page

  • I have added an article of reminiscences of Hugh Bourne published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909 by Rev W.J. Houlgate. Houlgate was a Congregational minister whose father had been a PM local preacher and grandmother one of the first converts in Derbyshire following the teaching of H.B. He also has interesting remarks about John Ride, great uncle, and Clarissa Buck.

    By Geoff Dickinson (16/04/2020)
  • The National Archives (formerly the Public Record Office):

    Ref. Copy1/15/231: Group of Primitive Methodist Ministers, to include Hugh Bourne, William Clowes and others, later copy 23rd April 1869, or compiled date.

    Manchester University, Methodist Archive Research Centre: 

    Ref. GB 133 DDHB. Bourne, Hugh (1772-1852) Journals, Autobiography, Correspondence and other papers, c.1803-1852. 

    Wiltshire & Swindon History Centre: 

    Ref. 2053/8. Large Hymn Book by Hugh Bourne, c. 1824, to include collection for Camp Meetings, Revivals, etc.

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (02/05/2018)
  • County Museum, Shugborough: Object number 69.040.0002. Commemorative Plate, year 1830. Around border are 3 mottos, each surrounded by a wreath of leaves: ‘Ye must be born again, John 111 7′, The little cloud increases still,; Which first arose on Mow Hill’.

    Staffordshire & Stoke of Trent Archives: 

    Ref. NA1754: Bourne, Hugh. 1772-1852, history, son of Joseph & Ellen Bourne, Farmer & Wheelwright.

    Ref. Q/SBm/24/2: Ipstones Chapel, occupation of Hugh Bourne, epiphany 1823. (2nd April 1822).

    Ref. Q/SBm/24/1 (2 or 3?): Tunstall, a Chapel in occupation of Hugh Bourne, (1836 Easter), 6th April, 1830.

    Ref. Q/SB 1816 M/425: Hollington, Parish Langford (or Longford), Derbys., Meeting Chapel in occupation of Hugh Bourne & Samuel Hudson, 7th December, 1815.

    William Salt Library: Ref. 323/27/12/3/80: Leaflet for The Burning Mountain. A Musical Documentary about Hugh Bourne, a founder member of Primitive Methodism. Leaflet year 1970.  

    By Raymond E.O.Ella (01/05/2018)
  • An account of Hugh Bourne’s funeral at Englesea Brook, which is said to have been attended by 15,000 to 20,000 people has been added to this page, with thanks to Charles Fairey.

    By Jill Barber (25/04/2018)
  • This page has been updated by adding the Biography of Hugh Bourne by Thomas Bateman, which has been transcribed by Hugh A Bourne, a descendant of a first cousin of Hugh Bourne. 

    By Jill Barber (10/01/2018)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.