Hopkinson, John (1801-1859)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.37a

Early years

John was born on 29 June 1801 at Ardsley, Yorkshire.  His father was called Matthew. Kendal relates that John’s mother had allowed William Clowes to use her house on his visits to Ardsley from Hull.

Kendall writes; ‘He  received his first spiritual good amongst the Wesleyans, but when John Verity was expelled for complicity with ” Ranterism,” he joined the new community. His reasons for doing so, as stated by himself, are worth giving. They were: (1) His strong attachment to J. Verity, who was his guide, philosopher, and friend. (2) The simple, pointed style of their preaching was congenial to his taste. (3) Their open-air movements he cordially approved. (4) Their field of action found employment for talents of the humblest order. So, under the stress of these views and considerations,
he became a Primitive Methodist.’

John began to preach in 1820 and three years later entered the ministry.


In summing up his character and work his biographer says: ‘He was an exemplary Christian and a laborious-minister. . . . He was connected with the admission of 3700 members into society; his prayers were pointed; his sermons well arranged and powerful; he travelled on twenty -five stations. He faithfully served God and his generation, and his end was peace.’


John married Ann Eliza German (1802-1869) on 24 March 1828 at Mansfield, Nottinghamshire. They had seven children.

  • Richard (b1829)
  • John (b1830)
  • Letitia (1833-1856)
  • Sarah Eliza (1835-1869) – a dressmaker
  • Matthew (b1838)
  • Frederick Thorp (1840-1841)
  • William Clowes (1845-1908) – an evangelist (no denomination)

John died on 5 March 1859 at Walsingham, Norfolk.


  • 1823 Bradwell
  • 1824 Barnsley
  • 1825 Belper
  • 1826 Mansfield
  • 1828 Winster
  • 1829 Retford
  • 1831 New Mills
  • 1833 Isle of Man
  • 1835 Manchester
  • 1836 Newcastle
  • 1837 Gateshead
  • 1838 Carlisle
  • 1840 S Shields
  • 1842 Hexham
  • 1844 Sunderland
  • 1846 Alston
  • 1848 Barnard Castle
  • 1849 Driffield
  • 1852 Bridlington
  • 1853 Soham
  • 1854 Soham & Ely
  • 1855 Docking
  • 1857 Fakenham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1847/fr; 1859/385

PM Minutes 1859/7

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p68

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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