Hallam, Christopher (1808-1873)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.13a

Christopher was born on 24 January 1808 at Kettlewell, Yorkshire.


When he first started to travel, Christopher was the second minister to be appointed to New Mills. In 1839 he was posted to North Shields and started to travel by coach with his wife and baby daughter. They became stranded with no money and Christopher had to leave his family and walk into Bradford to borrow money to complete the journey.

Mary was also a preacher and they became an effective partnership. She frequently preached at anniversary services in the New Mills area up until 1860. They were fondly remembered in the Hexham circuit where they were posted in 1840.

It was in Scotland where they arguably made their most significant contribution. In 1846 in Edinburgh, Christopher arranged for his wife to preach every Sunday evening. In strict, Presbyterian Edinburgh, a woman preacher was a ’scandal’, but curiosity brought out large crowds to listen, and the work prospered.

In Glasgow a year later, the family found themselves in a dire situation with very poor accommodation, having virtually no money and a very weak society. Once again the preaching of Mary revived the situation.


Christopher married Mary Hadfield of Anderson House, Rowarth, nr New Mills on 10 December 1837 at Haslingden. She was born on 1 July 1812 and died on 24 December 1868. Mary was from a strict church family and married Christopher against her parent’s wishes. She later saw them become active Congregationalists. Christopher and Mary had at least one child die in infancy. Three children are identified on census returns.

  • John (1840-1913) – PM Minister
  • Sarah Elizabeth (b 1850 ) – possibly died in 1866
  • Esther Ann (1856-1932) – married Thomas Henry L Roantree, a saddler

Christopher died on 18 March 1873 at Hexham.


  • 1836 New Mills
  • 1837 Haslingden
  • 1838 Stockport
  • 1839 N Shields
  • 1840 Hexham
  • 1842 Alston
  • 1844 Stockton
  • 1845 Kendal
  • 1846 Edinburgh
  • 1847 Glasgow
  • 1849 Calder Bank
  • 1850 Ripon
  • 1852 Halifax
  • 1854 Pateley Bridge
  • 1855 Helmsley
  • 1857 Leeds ll
  • 1859 Leeds l
  • 1861 Bradford
  • 1862 Middleham
  • 1864 Otley
  • 1866 Glossop (S)
  • 1867 Stockton
  • 1869 Hexham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1869/552 (wife); 1874/482

PM Minutes 1873/9

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p468

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p159

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p112

Joseph Ritson, The Romance of Primitive Methodism , 1909, p153

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


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