Bastow, James Austin (1810-1894)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Copy provided by Steven Carter

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)

Comments about this page

  • Dianne,

    Thanks for your comment. The Syro-Egyptian Society merged into the Society of Biblical Archaeology circa 1872.

    An online search has identified that the University College Library, London has records of the Syro-Egyptian Society, including:

    “Report of the correspondence and papers read at the general meetings of the Syro-Egyptian Society. : Sessions of 1845 and 1846, and 1846 and 1847. With a list of the officers and members.”

    You may wish to make contact with the Library for further information.

    By Geoff Dickinson (18/10/2016)
  • Wonderful informative page. The Syro-Egyptian society met in London which in 1844 was quite a distance from where he was practising in Leeds.  Is there somewhere I can reference his actual membership please ? Am writing on the (Australian) Bastow male lines.

    By Dianne White (17/10/2016)
  • My Aunt has information and we also have a copy of the bible.

    By Yvette (17/09/2016)
  • The James Bruce who is in the story above was my 3rd great-grandfather.

    Brothers house.   James Bruce was born in 1795. He had 3 great-uncles who were nonconformist ministers. Samuel Bruce born 1754 – opened first chapel in Wakefield – George St. in 1782.  David Bruce born 1752 opened the chapel in Liverpool in 1778 and John Bruce born 1748 opened Polemoor nr Huddersfield.  


    By RON Bruce (20/12/2014)
  • Geoffrey, 

    The source for his parents is the Wikipedia article linked above. I have not verified the accuracy of that source.

    By Geoff Dickinson (08/11/2013)
  • James Austin Bastow is my Great Great Great Grandfather so I’m glad to have found this page. I’m just wondering what is the source of information for his parents being John Bastow and Mary Wade. My information says that John Bastow was a distiller but that’s all I know.

    By Geoffrey Hansen (07/11/2013)

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