Gorton, James (1876-1951)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931

Early years

James was born in 1876 at Murton Colliery, Co. Durham, to parents Richard and Margaret. Richard, a miner, had become deputy overman by the time of the 1891 census..

James had a northern upbringing, having been reared in a Christian home in the mining villages of Trimdon and Murton in County Durham. He worked at a coal mine from a young age. James conversion experience came just before his twentieth birthday. With four years he had entered Hartley College.


His obituary records that James discharged his office of preaching fearlessly, being confident in his Saviour. His personality was warm, generous and sympathetic. His heart was made for friendship and all his colleagues loved him. Wherever he laboured he left an abiding influence and example. In his pastoral work he did not spare himself. Books were his delight.

Heart trouble caused James to seek superannuation after one year at Cleckheaton.

Rich though it was, no work of his active ministry outshone that which he fulfilled in his retirement when, as Hospital Chaplain at Hexham, he exercised a great ministry of comfort and consolation. He walked the wards almost daily, being known as ‘the little man with the white hair who prays in English’. When he prayed ‘hearts were glad again’.


James married Ann Ethel Thompson (1879-1907) in the summer of 1906 at Murton, Co. Durham.

James married Rhoda Archbold (1875-1959) in late 1913 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

James died on 7 October 1951 at Hexham, Northumberland.


  • Hartley
  • 1902 Glasgow II
  • 1906 Nottingham V
  • 1911 Melton Mowbray
  • 1915 Hull II
  • 1919 Workington
  • 1922 Hexham
  • 1928 Douglas
  • 1931 Berwick
  • 1934 Scunthorpe & Win
  • 1937 Bradford Laisterdyke
  • 1940 Cleckheaton
  • 1941 Sunderland (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1931/312

Methodist Minutes 1952/125

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

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