Garner, James (1809-1895)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.4a

Early Life and Ministry

James was born on 10 February 1809 at East Leake, Nottinghamshire. James was the youngest son of John Garner and Elizabeth Chaplain.

James followed his older brothers, John and William, into the Primitive Methodist ministry.

It is reported that he excelled in the pulpit, on a platform and in conference debate. Arguably he was the most popular of the Garner brothers being sought after for special occasions. He preached over 1200 anniversary sermons and addressed over 1000 missionary meetings.

Contribution to the Connexion

James was president of Conference in 1864 and 1871. He was Secretary of Conference in 1863. He became Secretary to the General Mission Committee in 1864. Petty relates that James served both the Friendly Society and Insurance Company with distinction.

In relation to conference, it was said about James that few men whose speeches were marked with such brevity have wielded so remarkable an influence over the debates of conference.


James wrote the following books.

  • Connection of Sacred History: A Narration of Events Relative to the Restoration and Ruin of the Jewish Nation : from the Babylonish Captivity to the Total Destruction of Jerusalem by the Romans …, 1868
  • A Series of Dissertations on the Doctrines of the Bible; Forming a Concise and Comprehensive System of Christian Theology, 1870
  • A Digest of Biblical History and Biography, 1878 (An introduction to the study of OT scriptures)


James married Ann, daughter of Ralph and Mary Bower on 25 August 1835. Ann was born at New Mills on 8 Dec 1808 and died on 30 July 1863. James and Ann had one daughter Elizabeth Jane, born in 1842 in Preston. She married James Greenhalgh, an accountant, in 1865.

James married a second time, another Ann (1823-1893) some timeĀ  before the 1871 census.

James died on 26 December 1895 at Sale


  • 1830 Oldham
  • 1831 Bolton
  • 1833 New Mills
  • 1835 Chester
  • 1837 Stockport
  • 1839 Manchester
  • 1842 Preston
  • 1844 Bolton
  • 1847 Liverpool
  • 1851 Manchester l
  • 1853 Manchester ll
  • 1856 Liverpool
  • 1862 Oldham l
  • 1864 Secretary of GMC
  • 1869 London l
  • 1871 Liverpool (S)
  • 1872 Manchester ll
  • 1882 Stockport ll
  • 1886 Manchester V


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1853; 1863/637 (wife); 1896/784; 1919/21

The Primitive Methodist 1896/2

PM Minutes 1896/12

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p292

Joseph Ritson, The Romance of Primitive Methodism , 1909, p249

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

1871 Census for England

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