Huddlestone, Robert William (1859-1950)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916

Early years

Robert was born in 1859 at Blackhill, Co Durham to parents John and Margaret. John was a bootmaker. Robert was baptised on 27 November1859 at Shotley Bridge, Co Durham. He was a third generation Primitive Methodist.

Robert was converted in the midst of a great revival when he was aged eighteen. He was made a local preacher and four years later recommended for the ministry. At that time he was called to Berwick upon Tweed as a hired local preacher. He was appointed by Conference in 1884 to the Belper circuit as a probationary minister.

Robert worked as a plumber before entering the ministry.


Robert was pre-eminently a preacher for thoughtful hearers. His sermons gave evidence of careful preparation, and behind them the discerning would recognise a thorough grounding in moral philosophy. The ethical note was especially prominent. In his early ministry, Robert was often heard to advantage on the political platform.

After retiring in 1921, Robert maintained and developed his literary interests and contributed regularly to natural history periodicals. He showed his loving concern for his brethren in less favoured circumstances by donating the whole proceeds of his book of memoirs to the Methodist Homes for the Aged.


Robert authored the following.

Growing Old Gloriously: Memory-Flowers from Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Durham…, 1946


Robert married Mary Annie Biggin (1862-1930) in the summer of 1890 in the Chesterfield Registration District. Census returns identify two children.

  • John Thomas (1892-1963) – an art student  (1911); served in RAMC in WW1; a secretary (1950)
  • Dora Hannah (1895-1969) – married Herbert F Epps in 1930

Robert died on 25 October 1950 at Edgeware, Middlesex.


  • 1884 Belper
  • 1887 Clay Cross
  • 1890 Scotter
  • 1893 Bishop Auckland
  • 1897 Westgate
  • 1901 Waterhouses
  • 1905 Morecambe
  • 1907 Rothwell
  • 1909 Chalfont St Giles
  • 1912 Bolton II
  • 1915 Kingstone
  • 1918 Ramsgate
  • 1921 Ramsgate (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/867

Methodist Minutes 1951/127

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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