Davidson, James (1854-1917)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913

Early years

James was born in 1854 at Briston, Norfolk to parents Henson and Tamar.  Henson worked the land.

In 1860 the family moved to Guestwick, where James attended the Church Sunday School. At the age of eleven, James went to work on a farm. About that time, he was attracted to the PM services at Wood Dalling and he became a member at the age of fourteen. He was soon authorised to preach and would walk up to twenty eight miles to take his appointments. In 1872, the family moved back to Briston. When the circuit needed a hired local preacher, they called James out. In 1876, James was recommended for ministry and went to Sunderland Institute.


His ministry was of the practical and evangelical type. He was successful in improving the chapel property in his stations.

His obituary records that James was painstaking, conscientious to a high degree, diligent in his attention to the pastoral and pulpit work, and though not aleader of men in the generally accepted sense, yet his genial spirit and faithful regard for his duty, his Church and his God secured a steady and advancing progress on his stations.

For several years, James served as Secretary of the District Furnishing Fund Committee.


James married Martha Ann Collen (1858-1942) in the summer of 1882 at Soham, Cambridgeshire. Census returns identify four of five children.

  • Frank Collen (1883-1937) – a PM Minister
  • Cecil Charles (1889-1964) – a schoolmaster (1942)
  • Arthur Cyril (1892-1929) – a pupil teacher (1911)
  • Victor (1897-1951) – a musician (1942)

James died on 14 August 1917 at Soham, Cambridgeshire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1877 Ipswich
  • 1879 Colchester
  • 1880 Downham
  • 1881 Watton
  • 1883 Rockland
  • 1884 Diss
  • 1886 Wymondham
  • 1888 Kelsale
  • 1891 Aylsham
  • 1895 Docking
  • 1899 Lynn
  • 1900 Downham
  • 1902 Rockland
  • 1905 Wells next Sea
  • 1908 Swaffham
  • 1911 St Neots
  • 1914 Docking
  • 1916 Ely
  • 1917 Soham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/86

PM Minutes 1918/254

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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