Clarke, John Thomas (1865-1955)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918

Early years

John was born on 8 September 1865 at Mexborough, Yorkshire to parents William and Jane. The 1871 census identifies William as a pot packer.

John first confessed Christ publicly in a Sunday school testimony meeting. He became a local preacher aged eighteen and was also superintendent of the junior school and leader of the mission band. John worked as a hired local preacher at Hungerford before being recommended for the ministry.

Before entering the ministry, John was employed at Denaby Main Colliery.


John had a tremendous memory and had a splendid repertoire and was in demand as an elocutionist.

His obituary records that through all his ministry John worked with devotion and unflagging zeal for the spiritual, social, and financial welfare of the churches under his care. His love of literature was evident in his sermons, which were the result of careful study and wide reading. He was a forceful preacher and a wise leader, as well as having a firm grasp of procedure and considerable administrative ability.


John married Sarah Ann Sharp (b abt1869) in the summer of 1892 at Mexborough, Yorkshire. Sarah was a school-teacher before marriage. Census returns identify four children.

  • Annie Beatrice (b1893) – a student teacher (1911)
  • William Wells (1899-1918) – killed in action in WW1
  • John Stanley (b1903)
  • Godfrey (1910-1979) – a medical practitioner (1955)

John died on 19 April 1955 at Barnsley, Yorkshire.


  • 1889 Hungerford
  • 1891 Chipping Norton
  • 1892 Dover & Deal
  • 1893 Dartford
  • 1895 Thetford
  • 1898 Fakenham
  • 1901 Holt & Sherringham
  • 1904 Batley
  • 1909 Morley
  • 1912 Clayton West
  • 1916 Nottingham V
  • 1921 Barnsley I
  • 1926 Normanton
  • 1930 Market Rasen
  • 1934 Barnsley (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1918/668

Methodist Minutes 1955/139

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • He was grandfather of a dear friend of mine, the only child of Capt Godfrey Clarke, RAMC(V).

    By Fiona Mitford (16/08/2021)

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