Bywater, John (1804-1869)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.4b

John was born in Leeds in 1804.


Kendall records that John was very useful in the early days of Primitive Methodism in Leeds, being a stabilising influence during difficult times. Later, he was a noted chapel builder and administrator.

John was appointed Secretary to the General Mission Committee for five years from 1854. He was secretary of Conference in 1843. John served on the PM Jubilee Committee as general secretary in 1860.


John married Eliza Grimshaw. Eliza was born on 15 January 1800 at Calverley, Yorkshire and died on 12 January 1830. (Note : The parish records of St Peter, Leeds show a marriage between John Bywater and Elizabeth Grimshaw on 17 September 1828. John’s occupation is shown as warehouseman!)

John remarried to Elizabeth, born about 1806 in Swinefleet, Yorkshire. They had two children identified in census returns.

  • Mary (b1836)
  • Benjamin John (b1848)

After his enforced superannuation due to poor health, John tried his hand at farming. His inexperience and poor health combined to result in failure of that venture.

John died on 12 October 1869 at Cote Houses, nr Susworth, Lincolnshire.


  • 1825 Hull (6 mths)
  • 1825 York (6 mths)
  • 1826 Scotter
  • 1827 Hull
  • 1834 Halifax
  • 1836 Pocklington
  • 1838 York
  • 1839 Swinefleet
  • 1841 Lincoln
  • 1843 Scarborough
  • 1844 Hull
  • 1845 Briggs
  • 1847 Hull
  • 1849 Hull West
  • 1850 Hull East
  • 1853 Scotter
  • 1854 Sec. of General Committee
  • 1859 Gainsborough
  • 1860 Scotter
  • 1862 Scotter (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1831/97 (wife); 1898/29; 1919/549

PM Minutes 1870/9

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p69, p373

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p424, p548

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p309/10

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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