Fish, John William (1866-1944)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921
Tryphena Goddard
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909
Emily Louisa Legg
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921

Early years

John was born in May 1866 at Stepney Green, London, to parents John and Barbara. John, senior, was a blacksmith. The family moved to Norfolk when John was about ten years old. Until that time John attended Sunday school at Caledonian Road. At the age of fourteen, John gave his heart to God in the PM Chapel at Weasenham, in the Swaffham circuit. John served his apprenticeship in the Docking circuit. It was there that he was called to preach at the age of seventeen. An invitation from Rev J Odell in connection with the Evangelists’ Home at Birmingham, led ultimately to John becoming a hired local preacher to the Dudley circuit and later Newcastle under Lyme.


John’s obituary records that by his interest and sincerity he ever won the esteem and regard of his people. He had a well-balanced mind, a genius for friendship, a considerable fund of humour, and a genial disposition.

His only ambition was to be a worthy minister of the Gospel. He was a faithful pastor, an earnest and effective evangelical preacher, a capable administrator of circuit affairs, a good student and a loyal friend.


John married Tryphena Goddard (1870-1909) in the summer of 1895 at Faringdon, Berkshire. Census returns identify five children

  • Albert John (1896-1992) – a draper (1944)
  • Arthur Buckingham (1898-1918) – killed in action in WW1
  • Ewart Cromwell (1899-1990) – a civil servant (1950)
  • Muriel Elizabeth (1901-1914)
  • Elsie Maria (1907-1997) – married John William Clamp in 1935.

John married Emily Louisa Legg (d1950) in the summer of 1919 at Weymouth, Dorset

John died on 18 October 1944 at Poole, Dorset.


  • 1891 Faringdon
  • 1893 Banbury
  • 1896 Swindon I
  • 1900 Stoke
  • 1902 Faringdon
  • 1906 Aylesbury
  • 1909 Petersfield
  • 1912 Oxford
  • 1916 Weymouth
  • 1921 Blandford
  • 1925 Bradfield
  • 1931 Poole (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909/647; 1921/372

Methodist Minutes 1945/120

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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