Cooper, James (1853-1938)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912
Mrs Cooper
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908

Early years

James was born in 1853 at Simmondley, Derbyshire to parents James and Sarah. James, senior, was a painter.

James was a third generation Primitive Methodist. His grandfather, Samuel Cooper, opened his house for preaching at Thornsett in 1820. His father, who died when James was six years old, was also an acceptable local preacher for forty years.

James attended the British School at Charlesworth. He was converted when sixteen at a lovefeast held in the Glossop chapel. James had an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and joined evening classes at Whitfield’s Literary Institute. He became a Sunday School teacher, secretary of the Mission Band and a local preacher.


James was Temperance Secretary for the Lynn and Cambridge District for several years. He also served as Secretary to the British and Foreign Bible Society in West Norfolk.

His obituary records that James was courteous, thoughtful for the oppressed, ready to take the side of the weak, and had often been a ‘son of consolation’ to those in distress. He was thoroughly evangelical, and often embellished his sermons with apt poetical quotations. Powerful in prayer, he gave great attention to pastoral work.


James married Eliza Margaret Craine (1852-1907) in July 1882 at Lezayre, Isle of Man. Eliza was a local preacher. Census returns identify three children.

  • Gertrude Isabel (1883-1961) – a house-keeper (1911); married Arthur S Waylen in late 1915
  • James Clarence (b1886) – a schoolmaster (1938)
  • Claude Anderson (1891-1953) – a clerk (1911)

James died on 29 June 1938 at Peterborough, Cambridgeshire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1876 Northwich
  • 1878 Chester II
  • 1879 Leigh
  • 1882 Whitchurch
  • 1883 Talke
  • 1885 Cambridge I
  • 1888 Fakenham
  • 1889 Lynn
  • 1893 Thetford
  • 1895 Martham
  • 1899 Downham Market
  • 1903 St Ives, Hunts
  • 1906 West Ham
  • 1909 Hitchin
  • 1911 Pewsey
  • 1914 St Neots
  • 1917 Peterborough (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908/570 (Eliza); 1912/296

Methodist Minutes 1938/202

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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