Dodds, Adam (1812-1883)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1866

Early Life

Adam was born on 11 March 1812 at Milfield Hill, Northumberland. His father was a farmsteward and the family attended the Presbyterian church. In 1824 the Bible Christians missioned Milfield and Adam’s older brother, William, was converted. In 1829 the Bible Christians withdrew and the Primitive Methodists took over the society. Adam was converted at the age of 18. He continued to work in agriculture. Aged 21, he became an exhorter and he served for six years as an acceptable and useful local preacher.


At Lazonby, a Primitive chapel was built by the circuit minister, Adam Dodds, who had great problems in acquiring land and was forced into subterfuge because of prejudice. The minister did great work in Cumberland, and consequently, locals believed that the initials ‘A.D.’ found on so many chapels refer to him.

Kendall describes Adam as ‘ Nathaniel-like in his guilelessness’.

Adam’s obituary records that he was recognised as an eminently good and useful minister, and his success rose very largely from the excellence of his character and his pastoral labour.


He was married Ruth Wright (1824-1896) in 1844 at Penrith, Cumberland. Census returns identify Nine children.

  • James Wright (1845-1867) – a PM minister
  • John (b1849)
  • Mary Elizabeth (b1851) – a schoolteacher, then a dressmaker
  • Ruth Pattison (1855-1883) – a schoolteacher
  • Adam (1857-1882) – cashier and general manager in the ship-building office
  • William (b1859) – a marine engineer
  • Walter Albert (1862-1883) – an excise officer
  • Frederick Taylor (1864-1884) – a clerk
  • Frances Jane (1866-1882)

Adam died on 14 May 1883 at Blyth, Northumberland.


  • 1840 Alston (6 mths)
  • 1840 Darlington (6 mths)
  • 1841 Alston
  • 1842 Brompton
  • 1843 Sunderland
  • 1844 Alloa
  • 1845 Berwick
  • 1847 Haltwhistle
  • 1849 N Shields
  • 1851 Shotley Bridge
  • 1854 Berwick
  • 1857 Barnard Castle
  • 1859 Whitehaven
  • 1862 Maryport
  • 1868 Shildon
  • 1873 Hetton
  • 1877 Blyth
  • 1880 Blyth (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1866 (portrait); 1883/689; 1884/305 (Ruth)

PM Minutes 1883/8

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p151

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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