Barfoot, John (1826-1882)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1875

Early years

John was born on 27 December 1826 at Thurmaston, Leicestershire to parents John and Mary. He was baptised on 31 December 1826 at George St PM chapel, Leicester. His parents lived in the house adjoining the chapel and his father was a local preacher.

John gave his life to Christ aged 14 whilst suffering a fever, which threatened his life. He gained his education through sel-study. John became a local preacher when he was 16.


In the spring of 1847, John was called into the ministry to assist Samuel Antliff on the Earl Shilton station. All his ministry was within the Nottingham district.

John’s obituary records that his sermons were always well prepared and the doctrines they contained were in perfect accord with the standards of Methodist theology. His discourses were always delivered quietly, but earnestly and impressively. His language was so simple that all could understand it without difficulty, and so correct that all could listen without a jar on their feelings. He was conscientious and diligent in discharge of pastoral duties.

John was a superintendent for 33 out of 35 years as an itinerant minister. He was considered most careful and judicious in this role. He would not build and leave his successors to provide for payment.

John was Secretary of the District and Building Committee for several years. At the time of his death he was Secretary of the District Sunday School Committee. John was Secretary of Conference in 1880.


John authored the following.

Piety behind the Plough; or, Observations founded on the life and character of Mr. George Warren, 1864

A diamond in the rough; or, Christian heroism in humble life: being jottings concerning that remarkable peasant preacher, William Hickinbotham, of Belper, Derbyshire. 1874


John married Mary Ann Allen (1819-1854) in July 1851 at Leicester, Leicestershire.

John married Eliza Doughty (1824-1908) in 1855 at Grantham, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • John Richard Doughty (1856-1939) – a pharmacist
  • Mary Jane (1859-1908) – a schoolmistress

John died on 10 May 1882 at Sheffield, Yorkshire.


  • 1847 Burton on Trent
  • 1849 Sileby
  • 1851 Donington
  • 1853 Bridgeford
  • 1855 Uttoxeter
  • 1858 Burton on Trent
  • 1861 Belper
  • 1865 Nottingham ll
  • 1868 Sheffield ll
  • 1871 Chesterfield
  • 1875 Nottingham l
  • 1879 Sheffield V


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1854/579 (wife); 1875 (portrait); 1883/305; 1887/568 (sister Annie)

PM Minutes 1882/14

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 1, p176

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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