Bastow, James Austin (1810-1894)
James was born in 1810 at Hunslet, Yorkshire, the eldest child of John Bastow, a weaver, and Mary Wade. As a youth he attended a Primitive Methodist church in Leeds, where he was converted and soon began to work as a lay preacher.
Ritson describes James as a ‘brilliant preacher and a ripe scholar’.
The Batley Road society (between Batley and Heckmondwike) was established by 1844 – 1845, using James Bruce’s house at White Lee. The impetus for the establishment of this society was the preaching work of Rev James Austin Bastow in Spen Valley in 1844. It took over from the New Connexion chapel at Heckmondwike Top circa 1848 – 1849 and a new chapel was built at the corner of White Lee Road and Batley Road between 1868 – 1869.
James published a Bible Dictionary in three volumes. At the time it was seen as a comprehensive digest of the history and antiquities of the Hebrews and neighbouring nations.
James became a member of the Syro-Egyptian Society (established in December 1844) whose purpose was ‘to encourage and advance literature, science and the arts in Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor
James married Dorothy Smith (1811-1869), daughter of George and Mary, on 11 November 1836. Records identify six children.
- Margaret (b1837)
- Richard Austin (1839-1920) – an architect. He emigrated to Australia and also became known as a naturalist and bryologist
- Mary (1841-1918) – married Sharp Rotheray, a boot and shoe maker.
- Emma (b1843) – married James Dodd and Anglican clergyman
- James Austin (b1848)
- Samuel Joseph (1854-1927) – an Anglican clergyman
James married Matilda Holden (1833-1924) in 1883. He died on 7 April 1894 at Southport, Lancashire.
- 1832 Bolton
- 1833 Preston
- 1834 Preston Brook
- 1835 Oldham
- 1836 Darlington
- 1837 Edinburgh
- 1839 N Shields
- 1840 Bradford
- 1842 Grimsby
- 1844 Leeds
- 1847 Dewsbury
- 1848 Otley
- 1849 Keighley
- 1850 Newcastle
- 1853 Westgate
- 1855 Hexham
- 1858 Durham
- 1859 Alston
- 1862 Carlisle
- 1864 Darlington
- 1868 Gateshead
- 1870 Hetton
- 1873 Middlesborough
- 1876 Motherwell
- 1879 Burnley (Sup)
- 1882 Southport l
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1855/65 (portrait); 1871/48 (wife); 1894/864; 1919/23
PM Minutes 1894/10
H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p37, p124
Joseph Ritson, The Romance of Primitive Methodism , 1909, p198
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
Electronic copy of James’ obituary
West Yorkshire Archives (Wakefield)