Barlow, Thomas Herbert (1873-1945)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1926
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1926

Early years

Thomas was born on 25 October 1873 at Bridgetown, nr Cannock, Staffordshire, to parents John and Elizabeth. John was an edgetool maker.

Thomas was converted at fourteen and called to preach a year later. Thomas worked as a grocer’s assistant (1891) before entering the ministry.


At Liverpool, Thomas stood in for Dr Guttery when he visited the United States and during his subsequent Presidency of the Free Church Council. He stayed in Liverpool to share the burden during the time of the illness and passing of Dr Guttery.

Thomas brought to the pulpit a fine physical presence and rich voice; a remarkable memory, lively imagination and ample vocabulary; the harvest of extensive reading, scout-like observation of men and things, and the fruits of a studious, creative mind that revelled in exploring the ‘unsearchable riches of Christ’. His utterance had the vital glow and persuasiveness of divine truths that were real life facts of experience.

His obituary records that overcoming early educational disadvantages, Thomas acquired a well-disciplined mind. His one interest in life was to use his learning and gifts in his work as a minister. As preacher, pastor, and administrator he set a high standard. He had a keen understanding of human nature, and so combined kindliness and forthrightness that he quickly won the abiding confidence of those who genuinely sought his help.

Thomas also had an unusual aptitude for assessing a situation in Church affairs, and was never hesitant in applying Christian principles to the policies of those with whom he had to work. However difficult the task, he gave the impression that the difficulty was an opportunity to show the power of the Gospel.


Thomas married Eleanor Sophia Gibbard (1882-1958) in late 1904 at Kings Lynn, Norfolk. Census returns identify one child.

  • Stanley Herbert (1906-1966) – a company accountant (1958)

Thomas died on 27 January 1945 at Burselm, Stoke on Trent, Staffordshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1899 Lynn
  • 1903 Yarmouth
  • 1905 Cambridge I
  • 1908 Birmingham III
  • 1912 Barrow in Furness
  • 1917 Chester I
  • 1918 Liverpool I
  • 1921 Hull III
  • 1924 Leicester I
  • 1932 Gateshead I
  • 1933 Gateshead Durham Rd
  • 1934 Higher Ardwick
  • 1937 Kettering
  • 1940 Brierley Hill


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1926/708; 1932/289

Methodist Minutes 1945/129

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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