Harper, Frederic William (1869-1937)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1932
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920

Early years

Frederic was born in July 1869 at Sturminster Newton, Dorset, to parents Joseph Harper and Rebecca Fanny Beckett. Joseph was a PM Minister.

Frederic served a five years engineering apprenticeship at Blandford. He then became a hired local preacher at Sturminster Newton and Ripon before entering the ministry in 1891.


His obituary records that Frederic was a man of wide reading, and this combined with clear thinking, reverence of spirit, and intense sincerity, made his preaching very effective. Endowed with a legal mind, he loved an argument; but he was loyal to his Church and his colleagues.


Frederic married Stella Florence Smith (1877-1921) in the summer of 1897 at Northampton, Northamptonshire. Census returns identify five of six children.

  • Albert Ewart (1898-1975)
  • Ronald Theodore (1901-1982)
  • Doris Kathleen (1903-1961)
  • Frederic Clifford (1905-1979)
  • Florence May (1908-1976)

Frederic died on 29 March 1937 at Wootton Bassett, Wiltshire.


  • 1891 Grays & Romford
  • 1893 Woburn Sands
  • 1894 Stratford
  • 1897 Bradfield
  • 1900 Reading
  • 1904 Alford
  • 1908 Hull II
  • 1911 Bournemouth I
  • 1916 Swindon II
  • 1922 Luton III
  • 1926 Brinkworth
  • 1932 Brinkworth (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1920/634; 1932/521

Methodist Minutes 1937/204

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • Frederic W Harper’s article in the Souvenir and handbook (Brinkworth District Synod, 1932) was possibly that famous District’s final pronouncement before Reunion. I haven’t copied out the whole text, but the following extract from pages 14-5 is eloquent:

    I love to think of our church in the dawn of her glory. I love … the volcanic fire of her heart, the thrill of song, the buoyant testimony of her saints. I love her because of her unquenchable ideals, the largeness of her hope, the untiring energies of her faith.

    By David Young (30/01/2015)

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