Kemp, George (1853-1890)


A transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by James Kemish is attached. Kemish writes the following regarding his character.

“He was a very painstaking, hard-working minister of Jesus Christ. He looked well after the interests of his circuits, keeping an observant eye upon all departments of work. His circuits prospered numerically, financially, and spiritually, and he never left one with a decrease. He was thoroughly loyal to the Connexion.

Mr. Kemp was exceedingly hospitable. To entertain friends at his table was a source of satisfaction and joy to him. He had a large heart, and was full of sympathy for the poor and oppressed. He hated meanness, and championed the cause of the agricultural labourers when they were making strenuous efforts to improve their condition.

As a preacher he did not seek to please merely, he sought to win his hearers to Christ, if not with the profoundness of thought or the splendour of eloquence for which some others might be distinguished, yet with an appropriateness of illustration, and a chaste simplicity of language, accompanied with an earnestness and unction calculated to win their way, when accompanied by the divine blessing, to the understanding and the heart of those who heard him. 

He was generous, warm-hearted, true, and constant in his friendship; his presence brought sunshine along with it; no one could be dull where he was, he was so genial, and withal so full of life and spirit. His character was as transparent as the light. Whatever he undertook for the good of others was done promptly, heartily, and cheerfully, so that his urbanity of manners rendered his services doubly valuable.”


George was born on 30 July 1853 in St George in the East, London, to parents John and Louisa.

Before entering the ministry, George worked as a clerk.

He married Emma Upton (1858-1917) in the summer of 1879 in the Lewisham Registration District, London. Census returns identify six children.

  • Emma Frances (1880-1934) – married William Swinstead Rose, a wholesale buyer (1911), in 1911
  • George Upton (1882-1934) – a dairy foreman (1911)
  • Mary Edith (1884-1947)  – a clerk at confectionary and stationary warehouse (1911); married William Hutchens in 1914; died in New Zealand
  • Amy Gertrude (1886-1969) – married John W Smith, H.M. Inspector of Taxes retired (1939), in 1916 
  • Lewis Arnold (1888-1958)  – a buyer – woollens (1911); served in Royal Navy & RAF in WW1
  • Stephen Nicholas (1890-1968) – assistant  buyer fancy goods (1911)    

George died on 25 June 1890 at Stepney Green, London.


  • 1875 Bury St Edmunds
  • 1878 Wymondham
  • 1879 Ely
  • 1884 Cambridge II
  • 1889 Newmarket
  • 1890 Stepney Green


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1891/433 

PM Minutes 1891/19

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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