Hunter, Thomas (1874-1953)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927

Early years

Thomas was born in 1874 at Seaham Harbour, Co Durham, to parents Robert Haswell Hunter and Elizabeth. Robert was a blacksmith.

The 1891 census identifies that Thomas was working as a book salesman.

Thomas gave himself to his Lord at the age of seventeen, having been brought up within the society at Tempest Place, Seaham Harbour. He was soon called to preach. Like many others, Thomas proved his powers for the ministry by a period as hired local preacher, first at Clapton under the Rev Thomas Jackson and then at Seaton Delaval.


Thomas served his district as Orphanage Secretary.

After thirty-five years in the active ministry a breakdown in health caused Thomas to superannuate. The outbreak of war impelled him to do what he could, and he shared in pastoral work for a time with Rev A. E. Guile in the Darlington area. Later he moved to Benfleet, Essex, but his public work was ended.

His obituary records that though Thomas was a most capable superintendent and administrator, that is not the side of his work which would be most remembered. Personal suffering brought a fragrance and a sympathy which made him a gracious influence among the sick, the solitary, and the despondent. He exercised a ministry of comfort and hope. As the years unfolded, his ministry deepened. Men, normally suspicious of religious approaches, yielded to his unaffected brotherliness and obvious sympathy. His whole life was characterised by quiet fidelity to the faith he proclaimed.


Thomas married Edith Oglesby Handysides (1877-1976) in the summer of 1903 in the Easington Registration District, Co Durham. Census returns identify one child.

  • Ivy (b1904)

Thomas died on 20 April 1953 at Southend-on-Sea, Essex.


  • Hartley
  • 1899 Ludlow
  • 1902 Walthamstow
  • 1903 Fulham
  • 1905 Madeley
  • 1906 Wilton
  • 1909 Aylesbury
  • 1911 Driffield
  • 1913 Cannock
  • 1918 Worcester
  • 1923 Birmingham III
  • 1927 W Auckland
  • 1932 Brampton
  • 1935 Darlington (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1927/114

Methodist Minutes 1953/150

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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