Blayney, James (1853-1942)
James was born in November 1853 at Ludlow, Shropshire. His father, Thomas, was a churchman, but on the death of his mother when James was aged four, Thomas took the new Inn at Lydbury North with his mother Elizabeth (James’ paternal grandmother). Thomas kept that until his death five years later. James was then taken back to Ludlow, where he had twelve months’ schooling, secured by doing odd jobs, and with the assistance of his eldest sister. At the age of ten, he went to work.
James attended the Primitive Methodist Chapel by invitation, and in a revival under the ministry of Revs J. Timmins and D.S. Prosser, he was converted at the age of thirteen. He at once became a Sunday School teacher and at fourteen began to preach. James did this for nearly three years. Then came a dark period in his life; he fell into sin and lived a wretched life until he was twenty. Under a powerful sermon by Rev W Turner he was brought back to God. He was given valuable counsel by Revs J. Barnes and J. Davies and put back on the plan. In 1875, James went to Stroud as a hired local preacher and the following year received into the regular ministry.
James was upright in figure and in conduct. He had an excellent voice, well modulated, under splendid control, and there were few better outdoor preachers. His sermons were carefully prepared, though in their delivery he never confined himself strictly to his manuscript. He was a ready and easy speaker, and proclaimed his message earnestly with pathos and power.
His obituary records that James was a man of gracious spirit and of a studious nature, possessing a tenacious memory, an indomitable will, and a rare gift of wit and humour. He revelled in expository literature and natural science.
From his retirement in 1928, until his eighty-seventh year, James continued to conduct services nearly every Sunday.
James married Leah Glegg, nee Symonds (abt 1840-1900) in late 1881 at Hereford, Herefordshire.
James married Mary Garland (1864-1942) in the spring of 1901 at Launceston, Cornwall. Census returns identify two children.
- Mary Garland (1902-1986)
- Thomas Garland (1904-1989)
James died on 1 March 1942 at Ashby de la Zouch, Leicestershire.
- 1876 Hereford
- 1878 Pilowell
- 1880 Pontypridd
- 1882 Hereford
- 1886 Chippenham
- 1889 Bath I
- 1894 Marple
- 1898 New Mills
- 1902 Chippenham
- 1906 Brynmawr
- 1910 Coalville
- 1913 Ashby de la Zouch
- 1920 Church Gresley
- 1928 Coalville (S)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/759
PM Minutes 1942/148
W Leary,Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers