This remarkable composite picture was created and arranged by JH Campbell on August 2nd 1858 and published by W Skelton of Market Place, Grimsby.
It shows 108 Primitive Methodist ministers of the time and before. Each picture has been meticulously cut out and placed to create the overall effect. Hugh Bourne and William Clowes, the founders of Primitive Methodism, start the picture off at numbers 1 and 2. John Wesley is at the centre.
Geoff Dickinson who does much of the work to add transcripts of ministers’ lives to this site recognises many of the pictures as coming from the Primitive Methodist Magazine, where each monthly edition from the early 1840s contained a picture of a Prim worthy. The 1858 date is before commercial portrait photography developed in the 1870s, so the pictures come from an earlier technology. Would that have been engraving?
The original picture was in the possession of the descendants of the Rev Thomas Charlton – the fifth minister on the seventh row – who have kindly donated it to the Museum of Primitive Methodism. You can learn more about Thomas Charlton on his page.
The story of each of the ministers is being transcribed onto this site. Use the search box to find them.