Hammond, John (1841-1889)

Transcription of obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine

JOHN HAMMOND was born at Hales, Norfolk, June 4, 1841. His parents were members of the Church of England, his father being parish clerk for many years. John and the other branches of the family attended church regularly on the Sabbath. He received his education at the neighbouring village of Loddon, and, being apt, he made rapid progress in his studies. A friend who had known him from his childhood and had closely watched his career to its close, said to the writer: ‘He was always clever, he was never like other boys of the village.’

There was only one Sabbath School in the parish, which was connected with the Primitive Methodist Society, so John was allowed to become a scholar, attending that part of the day when there was no service in the church. This privilege he appreciated very much. He soon felt at home in the school; great interest was taken in him and he became very prominent, especially on the platform at the anniversaries. Precious influences were brought to bear upon him which proved to be permanent in their effect; but he did not fully decide for Christ until he had reached the age of sixteen years. The grand event occurred in the following way. Special revival services were being held at the Primitive Methodist chapel in his native village, which was part of the Great Yarmouth station. The Rev. R betts was the preacher. At an open air service Mr. Betts urged the people to ‘flee from the wrath to come,’ and to do so at once, and at the same time invited them to the service in the chapel. Among the persons who listened was the subject of this sketch, who said to his companions, “I shall go.’ He did go. The word entered his heart; he gave himself fully to the Lord and received His salvation. This took place on his sixteenth birthday. He at once united with the society, and became very earnest in the cause. The one desire of his soul was to grow in holiness and usefulness. He was constant in his attendance at the class meeting, the prayer meeting, and other services of God’s house. He also took great delight in visiting the sick, in the distribution of tracts, and inviting people to the services. One year after his conversion he was put on the plan as a local preacher. This work was a delight to him; he entered into it with the greatest zeal, and was made a blessing to many.

At the age of twenty-one years he was called into the regular ministry by his native circuit, and laboured with great acceptance on the following stations:- Great Yarmouth (twice), Ipswich, East Dereham, Thetford, Colchester, Norwich (twice), Bethnal Green, Gravesend, Stepney Green Tabernacle, Cambridge, and Cardiff.

In the beginning of 1887 he had an attack of bronchitis, but continued in his work, although at times with very great effort, until June, when he entirely broke down, and in a few months pulmonary consumption followed. His last station was Hoxton, to which he went in July 1887, but was too ill to enter upon his work. He was compelled to seek superannuation at the Conference of 1888, when he removed to Lowestoft; thence to Hales in the following October, where, in a very prostrate condition, he lingered on until eleven o’clock on Sunday night, March 24, when he woke up in a fit of coughing, and in a few minutes his spirit took its flight to realms of endless day. He was in the forty-eighth year of his age, and the twenty-seventh of his ministry. A widow and four children are left to mourn their loss.

He was truly a good man, possessed a most genial disposition, and was always ready to sympathize with and help the needy.

He ever manifested great interest in the young, and young men who came under his notice, with a desire for improvement, found him to be a friend indeed. Several who are now in the ministry have acknowledged the great help he has rendered them in preparing for their work. He was greatly respected by all who knew him. His mental abilities were of a superior order, which made him a felt power both in the pulpit and on the platform. He was, through the whole of his ministry, very diligent and faithful in his duties, his work was a real pleasure to him; and when affliction seized him, he humbly submitted, and bore it with patience and resignation. The Rev. T. Swindell, in a letter to the widow, says, ‘Your husband will be very much missed from our Church councils and the pulpits of our district. He held fast by Methodist doctrines, and expounded and enforced them with a clearness, distinctness, and eloquence beyond many. He was an able and faithful minister of the Gospel.’ The Rev. W. A. Hammond says, ‘He was a strong man intellectually, a good preacher, an able platform speaker, and a keen and sharp debater. This last trait in his character sometimes made the sterner side of his nature appear more prominent than the tender, and led some to misunderstand him; but a kinder man could hardly be found, for with all his strength he was as tender as a child, and as true in friendship as a brother. He had a firm grip of evangelical truth, and a warm heart to enter earnestly into evangelistic work; and though he rests from labour, his works follow him. His labour has not been in vain in the Lord. Many will remember his name with gratitude.’

His work is finished. He now rests with God. May those who mourn their loss of him meet him at last in the heaven of happiness and love!

SAMUEL WILLETTS.

Family

John was born on 4 June 1841 at Hales, Norfolk, to parents Thomas and Ann. Thomas was a farmer. John was baptised on 18 July 1841 at Hales.

Before entering the ministry John worked as a miller. He married Matilda King (1840-1915) in the spring of 1867 at Lowestoft, Suffolk. Census returns identify four children.

  • John Thomas (b1871)
  • Ellen Emily (1873-1952) – a dressmaker (1911)
  • Eva Darnley (1876-1953) – married Robert James Algar, a boot repairer (1911), in 1905
  • Alfred George (b1879) – a shipwright (1911)

John died on 24 March 1889 at Hales, Norfolk.

Circuits

  • 1864 Ipswich
  • 1866 Yarmouth
  • 1867 Thetford
  • 1869 Colchester
  • 1871 Norwich
  • 1874 Bethnall Green
  • 1876 Gravesend
  • 1877 London III
  • 1880 Cambridge
  • 1882 Norwich
  • 1885 Cardiff
  • 1887 Hoxton
  • 1888 Lowestoft (S)

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1891/370

PM Minutes 1889/10

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

 

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