Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by S.A.
The subject of this brief memoir commenced probationary life at Butterley Park, Derbyshire, December 16, 1833; and finished his course January 11, 1880, at Glastonbury, Somersetshire. His father was a local preacher in our Ripley circuit, and endeavoured to bring up his children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. When John was nine years of age, he found peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Christ, while attending a class-meeting; and thence-forward served the Lord with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God and having favour with those who knew him. He was in the habit of taking his Bible and hymn-book with him to his employment, that he might nourish his piety and increase his knowledge of God’s Word. His profiting appeared to all, and when he was only fourteen years of age, he commenced delivering exhortations in the villages around his home. He filled the offices of exhorter and local preacher five years with general acceptance and usefulness; and was then recommended and accepted as a travelling preacher.
He commenced his labours as a regular minister on Croydon Mission, and laboured under the direction of the General Missionary Committee about twenty-six years. The stations occupied by him were in the counties of Essex, Surrey, Kent, and other parts of the south of England. The last six months of his life were spent on the Glastonbury Mission, where he found favour in the sight of the people; and laboured with very little interruption till a few days before his death, which occurred somewhat suddenly. The disease which terminated his life was erysipelas. While suffering he was cheerful and assured of his acceptance with God. He conversed freely with those who visited him, joined with them in prayer, and devoutly praised God. The doctrines which he had believed and preached afforded him support and consolation amid the gathering darkness of approaching mortality.
He died in peace, and his funeral was attended by sorrowing friends and ministers of various denominations. The Rev. W. Bickerdike preached a funeral sermon on the appropriate words, ‘Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them.’
Mr. Hunt has left a widow and family to mourn their irreparable loss. Since the death of her husband, Mrs. Hunt has received various letters of condolence in which the writers, who live on stations formerly occupied by Mr. Hunt, express very high regard for his character and work. He was a quiet, unassuming, persevering missionary, ‘serving the Lord with all humility of mind, and with many tears and temptations, which befell him,’ while doing the difficult and wearisome work to which he had been appointed. May those among whom he has gone preaching the kingdom of God, and who shall see his face no more, follow him as he followed Christ, so that hereafter he may present everyone of them perfect in Christ Jesus.
John was born on 16 December 1833 at Pentrich, Ripley, Derbyshire, to parents Isaac, an engine driver (1851), and Susanna.
The 1851 census return records John as an engine tenter.
He married Jemima Elizabeth Cooper (abt1836-1871) in the summer of 1858 at Gravesend, Kent.
Census returns identify three children.
- Horace Augustas (1859-1862)
- Archibald Ernest (1861-1943) – a draper’s assistant (1881); a Congregational missionary to Samoa (1887-1902); settled in New Zealand thereafter, at Timaru (1903-1913) and later Wellington.
- Horace Augustus (1864-1940) – a Baptist minister (1911)
John died on 11 January 1880 at Glastonbury, Somerset.
- 1853 Croydon
- 1854 Hammersmith
- 1855 London I
- 1857 Gravesend
- 1858 Bagshot
- 1860 Alderney
- 1861 Jersey
- 1862 Croydon
- 1864 Chatham
- 1867 Hastings
- 1868 Tonbridge
- 1870 Kingston
- 1871 Chelmsford
- 1873 Falmouth
- 1874 Gloucester
- 1876 Margate
- 1877 Richmond
- 1879 Glastonbury
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1880/306
PM Minutes 1880/9
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Surman Index id:13254 for information about Archibald
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers