Crompton, James (1836-1911)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1889
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Early years

James was born on 29 February 1836 at Moseley Common, nr Walkden, West of Manchester.

His family were originally from Bolton and were related to Samuel Crompton, inventor of ‘The Mule’, a spinning machine.

James mother died when he was 6 and his father when he was 13. His father was a Wesleyan, though he joined the Primitive Methodists shortly after his wife died.

James didn’t have a day school education, but from the age of 10 attended, at different times, three night-schools.

James was converted at the age of 18 and within two years became an acceptable local preacher. He received an invitation into the itinerant ministry at Blackburn in 1858, where James Macpherson was the superintendent.


The 1889 biography relates that James read French fluently and had acquired a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek. James also believed a study of science was important and studied Chemistry and Geology, achieving an advanced certificate by examination in both subjects. He held a certificate for teaching science.

His obituary records that the emphasis of his preaching was the experimental and ethical aspects of Christian life.

Whilst at Darwen in the early 1870’s, James was sent to Preston gaol for holding open-air services in Darwen. After his release he was welcomed back in Darwen by a large crowd and a public meeting was held to congratulate him on his brave stand for freedom of speech.

James was a prolific writer of pamphlets and short stories. He published a book entitled ‘The Bible and the Critics’ in 1906.

After superannuation, James settled in Chester.


James married Ann Duckworth (d1864) on 9 July 1863 at Blackburn, Lancashire. Census returns identify on child.

  • Ann Duckworth (1864-1940) – a teacher before marriage; married George Price, a grocer

James married Mary Alice Entwistle (1840-1870) in the summer of 1865 at Over Darwen, Lancashire. Census returns identify two children.

  • John (b1866) – a schoolmaster
  • Mary Alice Mona (1868-1915) – married William Daniels, a telegraphist

James later married Elizabeth (b1835) from Liverpool.

James died on 21 November 1911 at Ainsdale, Southport, Lancashire.


  • 1859 Blackburn
  • 1860 Preston Brook
  • 1861 Chester
  • 1862 Liverpool
  • 1863 Preston
  • 1865 Rochdale
  • 1867 Douglas
  • 1868 Wigan
  • 1871 Bacup
  • 1872 Foxhill Bank
  • 1873 Darwen
  • 1875 Haslingden
  • 1877 Buckley
  • 1882 Oxford
  • 1884 Carlisle
  • 1886 Weymouth
  • 1888 Sheerness
  • 1890 Cambridge ll
  • 1892 St Ives
  • 1898 Chester ll (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1864/370 (Ann); 1871/684 (Alice); 1889/129; 1912/322

PM Minutes 1912/16

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • My grandparents, John Richards & Elizabeth Clark, were married by James Crompton in St Ives on 31st March 1894.

    By David Richards (12/02/2014)

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