Humphries, John (1862-1921)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916

Early years

John was born on 18 March 1862 at Sedgley, Staffordshire. His father died by drowning when John was six years old. John began work at eleven in a coalmine, but continued his education by attending night school.

John received his religious training in Baptist, Wesleyan and Primitive Methodist Sunday Schools. His mother, Sarah, was a life-long Wesleyan. John joined the Bilston PM Church when he was about fifteen years old. After one appointment on ‘note’, he became an exhorter. Before he was twenty, in January 1882, John became a hired local preacher at Coventry. Whilst in Coventry, he enjoyed the friendship of Arthur S Peake, who was then at Coventry Grammar School.


As a preacher and platform speaker, John was forceful and attractive. His gifts of keen insight, terse expression and subtle humour were unique and well balanced, and played their part in his pulpit ministrations. His people got used to expecting strong meat ‘seasoned with salt,’ and they were seldom disappointed. With a well-stored mind and a soul aflame with the evangelical passion, John preached sermons that fed the intellect and fired the heart.


John married Mary Hadden (1863-1952) in the summer of 1888 at Foleshill, Warwickshire. Census returns identify four children.

  • Mary Elizabeth (1889-1968)
  • John Knight (1890-1932) – a bank clerk (1911)
  • Ernest Reginald (1893-1965) – an insurance official (1952)
  • Mabel Malinda (1895-1982)

John died 14 September 1921 at Coventry, Warwickshire.


  • 1884 Worthing
  • 1885 Clapton
  • 1886 Hastings
  • 1888 South Molton
  • 1889 Truro
  • 1891 Chichester
  • 1893 Derby 1
  • 1896 Bromsgrove
  • 1900 Belper
  • 1902 Leeds V
  • 1906 Morley
  • 1909 Nottingham V
  • 1912 Halesowen
  • 1916 Dudley
  • 1919 Coventry (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/907; 1922/363

PM Minutes 1922/262

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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