Holtby, Tom Rookledge (1855-1919)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913

Early years

Tom was born on 22 March 1855 at Bridlington, Yorkshire to parents John and Rebecca. John was identified as an inn-keeper in the 1861 census and a provisions dealer in 1871. Rebecca was a sister of Rev Henry Woodcock. Tom was baptised on 18 April 1855 at Bridlington.

Tom was educated at the National and Grammar schools. Tom was converted when a youth. He joined the class of Mr M Potter at the St John Street, Bridlington, chapel and afterwards accompanied him on his appointments. On becoming a local preacher, Tom was often planned twelve Sundays per quarter and constantly had long journeys to travel. In 1875, he served on the Scotter circuit and entered the Sunderland Institute the following year.

The 1871 census identifies Tom as being apprenticed to a cabinet maker.


As a preacher, Tom was evangelical, strongly ethical, and intensely practical, delivering his messages with the force and fearlessness of the prophet. He superintended the renovation of many chapels and reduced numerous debts.

Although he disliked official position, Tom served as Secretary of the District, Orphanage, Education and Equalisation Fund Committees.


Tom married Hannah Catherine Dunn (1857-1946) in 1883 at Belfast, Co Antrim. Census returns identify seven of eight children.

  • John Robert Dunn (1884-1918) – a university lecturer in anatomy in Dublin (1913)
  • Rebecca Ann (1886-1965) – a nurse (1911)
  • William Henry (1887-1937) – a PM Minister
  • Agnes (1890-1932)
  • Edward Barlow (1893-1966) – Hartley Student (1913); a PM Minister 1917-1929; transferred to Anglican ministry
  • Harold (1895-1961) – a surgeon-probationer in the Royal Navy (1919)
  • Annie (1899-1988)

Tom died on 9 January 1919 at Peel, Isle of Man.


  • Sunderland
  • 1877 Nafferton
  • 1880 North Cavenham
  • 1881 Selby
  • 1882 Tunbridge Wells
  • 1883 Belfast II
  • 1886 Crowle
  • 1888 Malton
  • 1891 Pocklington
  • 1894 Belfast II
  • 1901 Ludlow
  • 1905 Oxford
  • 1909 Gloucester
  • 1912 Radstock
  • 1914 Brotton
  • 1916 Peel


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/378; 1919/509

PM Minutes 1919/260

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: I have seen tom’s second name spelt in several ways; Routledge; Routlidge and Rookledge. I have opted for the most used spelling which Tom used in the 1911 census return and was passed down in the family.


No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.