Buckle, Joseph (1830-1912)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1885

Early years

Joseph was born on 26 March 1830 at Masham, Yorkshire to parents Thomas Buckle and Jane Green. He was baptised on 18 April 1830 at the Wesleyan Chapel, Bedale, Yorkshire. Thomas was a tailor and the 1851 census records Joseph working as a tailor.


In 1857 there occurred the only instance of violent opposition to Primitive Methodism in Scotland. This was at Carfin, a colliery settlement close to Wishaw, with an immigrant Irish Catholic population determined to resist any Primitive Methodist preachers. Joseph Buckle the young missionary told how when he and some supporters went there, a band of ferocious howling Catholics armed with stones, brickbats, and sticks, threatened them. When he had finished preaching, the Primitive Methodists had to run to escape their fury, and were threatened with death if they came back. Undeterred, Buckle and friends went again and again until five or six villagers became Primitive Methodist members at Motherwell. Buckle ended his report to the Primitive Methodist Magazine with a rebuke: ‘Could our brethren in England fully realise our position and prospects, the Scotch stations would have more of their sympathy, instead of this “land of heather and of flood” being looked down upon as scarcely worth a place on our Connexional map.’   Probably feeling he’d had enough of heather and flood, a month or two later he went to a Primitive Methodist mission in Australia.

Joseph arrived in Australia on 19 January 1859 at Melbourne on the ship, Planet.

Joseph was the first Primitive Methodist Minister to arrive in Brisbane.


Joseph married Ellen Dresser (1832-1926) on 25 August 1858 at Motherwell Lanarkshire. They had ten children.

  • Thomas William (1859-1860)
  • William Green (1861-1957)
  • George Beckwith (1863-1912)
  • Mary Jane Brisbane (1864-1954) – married Edwin Holdaway
  • Eleanor Dresser (1866-1867)
  • Joseph Thomas Antipas (1868-1945)
  • Alice Ellen Providence (1870-1949) – married Albert Henry Hoskin
  • James Edward Octavious (1872-1875)
  • Beatrice Susannah (1874-1962) – married James William Roberts
  • Edith Evangaline (1877-1951) – married William Harvey Payne

Joseph died on 1 July 1912 at Brisbane, Australia.


  • 1854 Hertford
  • 1855 Calder Bank & Motherwell
  • 1856 Motherwell & Wishaw
  • 1858 Ballarat (Australia)
  • 1863 Brisbane
  • 1869 Rockhampton
  • 1870 Brisbane
  • 1872 Rockhampton
  • 1873 Brisbane l
  • 1875 Maryborough
  • 1880 Brisbane 1
  • 1885 Caboolture
  • 1887 Brisbane l
  • 1913 disappears


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1857/101; 1885 (portrait)

Margaret Batty, Primitive Methodism in Scotland 1826-1932, Wesley Historical Society Lecture for 2006, Vol 55, October 2006

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Clark-Jones Family Tree on Ancestry.com

Holdaway/Bartholomew Family tree on Ancestry.com

Comments about this page

  • Would like you to make contact with us.  This is a well written article.  Audienne Blythe has also written of him in her book ‘Streets of Yandina’. Rev Joseph Buckle has a street named after him here and bought the first block of land when the village was opened.


    By M Hoskin (23/01/2016)
  • Rev Joseph Buckle was the great grandfather of my husband.  I would be pleased to hear from you.

    By Marlene Hoskin (23/11/2015)

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