Dowson, George (1840-1903)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1891
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1903

Early years

George was born on 13 February 1840 at Derrythorpe, Lincolnshire to parents George and Ann. He was baptised on 24 February 1840 at Althorpe, Lincolnshire. George senior was a cordwainer.

George’s parents were Wesleyan, but George often visited his mother’s aunt who lived next door to the Primitive Methodist chapel. There, George met many early Primitive Methodist ministers including William Sanderson. George was converted aged 8. He joined the Wesleyans at the wish of his parents but, with parental consent, met in fellowship with the Primitive Methodists.

George went on the plan in 1858.


George’s obituary records that his forty plus years of ministry were full of earnest, manifold and fruitful labour, and his breadth of mind endeared him to numbers outside his own denomination.

Whilst in Ireland, George suffered much persecution from the Roman Catholic mobs.

He was pre-eminently a preacher of the Truth, which he saw had its centre in the Atonement. This was his constant theme, and both in family devotions and in the pulpit, its power was felt in his prayers.

A deep thinker, he was also at home in the homes of his people; but his visits were short, and his conversation to the point.


George married Eliza Dinnick (1837- 1903) in the summer of 1865 at Stoke Damerel, Devon. Census returns identify seven children. (The Dinnick family produced several Primitive Methodist ministers.)

  • Lavinia Florence (1866-1938) – married Rufus Hagan
  • Luther (1868-1933) – a tailor shop-keeper (1911)
  • Florence (b1869)
  • Annie (b1870)
  • Knox (1871-1944) – a draper; emigrated to New Zealand
  • Wesley (1873-1934) – a PM evangelist and preacher (1911)
  • Hugh Bourne (1875-1943) – a PM minister until 1908

George died on 21 February 1903 at Woburn Sands, Buckinghamshire.


  • 1860 Chelmsford
  • 1861 Bagshot
  • 1862 Ashford
  • 1863 Plymouth
  • 1864 Falmouth & Truro
  • 1865 St Albans
  • 1866 Grassington
  • 1868 Donaghmore
  • 1870 Lisburn
  • 1871 Tranent
  • 1874 Ashford
  • 1876 Berkhempstead
  • 1879 Oakham
  • 1881 Bottesford
  • 1882 Cambridge ll
  • 1884 Eakring
  • 1886 Newark
  • 1888 Crowle
  • 1891 Rockland
  • 1894 Briston
  • 1896 Barton on Humber
  • 1898 Chelmsford
  • 1902 Woburn Sands


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1891/385; 1903/912

PM Minutes 1903/11

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers



Comments about this page

  • I am so grateful that you kept and published these records. I have found my great grandfather and am overjoyed to read his story. My father was Eric Dowson, Son of Wesley Dowson, Son of George
    Grace Continues and how magnificently, I am now an ordained minister of the Presbyterian Church USA, (retired, I am 93) Like my great grandfather I was converted in early childhood, I was six and a half years old. What this has taught me is that God’s grace continues, I was six and a half years old when I received divine assurance that Jesus wanted to be my best friend.


    By Rev. Elizabeth Jessie Coates (13/11/2021)
  • This page was modified on 31 August 2017 to add a transcription of George’s obituary, published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1903.

    By Geoff Dickinson (31/08/2017)
  • Althorpe and Derrythorpe are neighbouring villages on the west bank of the river Trent midway between Epworth and the now modern town of Scunthorpe. Althorpe had an early Wesleyan presence and still has an open chapel in 2017, but Derrythorpe, which is now a straggle of houses on the river side, had a Primitive society which erected a chapel in 1868, and had a disproportionately large Sunday school reporting to the Hull district 14 teachers and 51 scholars in 1837.

    By David Leese (09/02/2017)

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *