Fryer, John William (1864-1940)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Early years

John was born in 1864 at Pateley Bridge, Yorkshire, to parents George and Mary. His father was a local preacher for more than fifty years. The family moved to the neighbourhood of Sowerby Bridge, and it was on that circuit that John became a local preacher. His first sermon was preached at Greetland on 7 October 1883.

Before entering the ministry, John worked for two years as a teacher.

In January 1887, John became a hired local preacher at Pateley Bridge. He entered Manchester College in 1888.


John’s obituary records that during his long and efficient ministry, he was a faithful pastor and a preacher of outstanding ability. To those who were privileged to know him initimately, he was a most interesting personality. The early days of his ministry aroused in the minds of the discerning hopes of a great pulpit career, but, being without personal ambition and detached from all thought of self-advancement, it pleased him to avoid as much publicity as an earnest discharge of his duties permitted. Always a keen student, he remained so to the end of his days.


John lost his first wife after a long and trying illness. (She was possibly Ann Bailey, married in the summer of 1893 at Grantham, Lincolnshire.) Census returns identify two children.

  • Elsie Marion (1895-1982) – married Harry Henshaw in 1919
  • Herbert Arthur Bailey (1897-1972)

John married Rhoda Emma Martin (1880-1980) in the summer of 1912 at Chester, Cheshire. The 1911 census identifies that Rhoda was working for the family as a general servant in Chester. Records identify two children.

  • Edmund William (1914-1985)
  • Hilda May (1916-1986)

John died on 15 January 1940 at Bridlington, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1889 Wakefield
  • 1893 Scotter
  • 1895 Bradford II
  • 1899 Bradford VI
  • 1900 Hull II
  • 1902 Chesterfield I
  • 1906 Chesterfield II
  • 1908 Chester I
  • 1912 Burnley I
  • 1913 Dartmouth
  • 1915 Ripley
  • 1918 N Shields
  • 1921 Helmsley
  • 1922 Bedale
  • 1926 Donington
  • 1929 Brigg


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919/816

Methodist Minutes 1940/171

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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