Bradley, John (1857-1927)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915

Early years

John was born on 14 February 1857 at Woodborough, Nottinghamshire, to parents John Bradley and Elizabeth Oringe. John, senior, was a labourer.

John offered himself to God at the age of fifteen at the annual camp meeting and was pressed into service as a local preacher when eighteen.

In 1874, John left his native village to enter the employ of the Midland Railway Company as a plate layer at Chesterfield. There, Rev John Gair took a great interest in him and helped him to develop himself. When twenty-one two things began to shape his future: his great acceptance as a local preacher and his interest in missions. He entered Harley College, Bow, a training college for missionaries, then under Dr Grattan Guinness. After three years training John went out to found, with John Watson, the Jamestown Church on the Aliwal North Station, South Africa.


At Aliwal North, John filled the dual position of pastor to the English Church and schoolmaster to the English Day School. For five years he preached twice every Sunday and taught day school through the week.

As a passive resister, John suffered imprisonment.

His obituary records that John was a gifted preacher. His sermons were always fresh and interesting, and bore evidence of a keen, well-balanced and cultured mind. He was characterised by independence of thought and spirit and placed a high value on the culture of individuality.


John married Sarah Maria Marriott (1857-1932) in early 1886 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Muriel Emily (1887-1963) – married Rev Edward Ernest Pritchard
  • George Brown (b1888) – a bank clerk (1911)
  • Hugh Henry (1890-1955) – a PM Minister
  • Constance Mary (b1892)
  • John (b1894)
  • Doreen Nancy (1896-1989)

John died in September 1827 at Birkenhead, Cheshire.


  • 1881 Aliwal N
  • 1886 Silsden
  • 1888 Chipping Norton
  • 1891 Ripon
  • 1894 Huddersfield
  • 1897 Crowle
  • 1900 Birkenhead
  • 1903 Bollington
  • 1907 St Helens
  • 1910 Castleford
  • 1913 Pateley Bridge
  • 1916 Bedale
  • 1920 Horncastle
  • 1922 Horncastle (S)
  • 1926 Birkenhead


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1915/798

PM Minutes 1928/256

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Thanks for providing information about Bradley family history for us to share with each other.
    We do have a family tree for the Bradley side of the family and that provides more information.

    By Jane Victoria Warmington (08/01/2019)

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