Harbourne, Frederick (1841-1900)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by James Tristram

FREDERICK HARBOURNE was born at St. Alban’s, Hertfordshire, on August 24, 1841. He was blessed with godly parents, and the influence of their Christ-like lives told for good on him while he was young. When quite a child he would imitate his father, who was a local preacher, by standing on a stool and giving out a hymn, etc.

When eleven years of age he sought and found peace with God in the Primitive Methodist Chapel at Croughfield, and became a true disciple of Christ’s.

When between fourteen and fifteen years of age he became a local preacher, and often travelled fifteen miles on the Sabbath and preached three times. He lived and laboured for souls, and was very successful in winning them for Christ. His success impressed his circuit officials that his place should be the ministry, and they urged him to enter it. For some reason he would not yield to their request – not until he was thirty years of age. He then received a call from Bagshott Station, and accepted it. On the first Sabbath he preached three times, visited eighty families, saw one soul saved, and two others deeply wrought on. While on this circuit God made him at great blessing. He has laboured on the following stations:- Chichester, Burnham, Teignmouth, Penrhyn, Devonport or Plymouth, Pontypridd, St. Austell, Redruth, Newbury, Bromyard, Goudhurst, Ludlow, St. Day’s and St. Ives.

He was a true man, a thorough Christian man; his character was sweetly transparent, clear as glass, or to use a Biblical illustration, transparent as light. He lived to represent Christ. As a preacher he was plain, earnest, and successful; he belonged, as some would say, to the old school.

He was a thorough Primitive Methodist. He had an idea that while a minister’s supreme work should be to preach Christ, it should not stop there; he should be a visitor of his flock. This he took care to attend to, and helped him greatly to supply their needs when he was in the pulpit. He was loved and esteemed by those who knew him.

Rev. J. Odell, our worthy President, in a letter of sympathy to Mrs. Harboume, said: “I knew your beloved from the earliest days of his ministry, and have watched his career with interest and pleasure. He has now finished his course, and entered into joy. I praise God for his life and ministry.”

Rev. J. ReaveIey says: “He was always so cheerful and active, never shirking any duty. I have the happiest memory of my association with him.”

Rev. G.G. Pinder says: “I always admired his zeal and devotedness to the people and Church of his choice.”

He was indeed a warm-hearted brother, and a thorough worker. Although only some three months in St. Ives, he had won the sympathy of the whole town. Thousands attended his funeral; and ministers belonging to all sections of the Christian Church.

The Rev. Samuel Wright wrote on behalf of his Church: “This congregation assembled in the Methodist New Connexion Chapel on Sunday evening, Oct. 14, 1900, would assure the members of the Primitive Methodist Church and congregation of its deepest sympathy in the loss by death of their minister, the Rev. F. Harbourne, a man whose short ministry in the town of three months had given bright hopes of great spiritual usefulness,” etc., etc.

One minister in the Established Church spoke of the loss the town had sustained by the death of our brother.

Inflammation of the lungs, was the cause of death. His end was peace.  All that was mortal of him was laid to rest in St. Ives’  Cemetert on October 14, 1900, by  Rev. J.G. Ferriday and the writer.


Frederick was born on 24 April 1841 at St Albans, Hertfordshire, to parents George and Harriett. George was a rat catcher (1861).

Frederick worked as a baker and confectioner before entering the ministry.

He married Annie Poynter (1843-1889) in the summer of 1868 at Berkhamstead, Hertfordshire. Census returns identify two children.

  • Martha Priscilla (abt1868-1941) – married Henry Thomas Williams, a joiner, in 1896
  • Florence Louisa (abt1878-1962) – married John Eva, a farmer, in 1901

Frederick married Emma Weale (1848-1914) in the spring of 1892.

Frederick died on 12 October 1900 at St. Ives, Cornwall.


  • 1863 Aylsham
  • 1864-70 not shown
  • 1871 Guildford
  • 1873 Buriton
  • 1874 Maldon
  • 1875 Torquay
  • 1877 Falmouth
  • 1879 Plymouth
  • 1881 Pontypridd
  • 1884 St Austell
  • 1886 Redruth
  • 1888 Newbury
  • 1890 Bromyard
  • 1891 Goudhurst
  • 1892 Marden
  • 1893 Buriton
  • 1895 Ludlow
  • 1897 St Day
  • 1900 St Ives


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/618

PM Minutes 1901/21

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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