Learmonth, John (1864-1942)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Early years

John was born in 1864 at Sunderland, Co Durham to parents John and Elizabeth. John, senior, was a draper.

John was converted, at the age of eleven, in a revival, conducted by men of the old Theological Institute at the old Flag lane Chapel, Sunderland.


His obituary records that from the first he served with rare devotion, preaching a strong evangelical faith on the Sunday and carrying the message to the homes of the people in the week. He made pastoral visiting a fine art. His courageous leadership inspired weak societies. Intensely human, he loved the poor. He never turned a beggar away empty nor asked for his credentials. Je specialised in young people’s meetings, Catechumen classes, and Bands of Hope.

John served as secretary to the Newcastle and Sunderland Choral Association and for twelve years was secretary of the London PM Council.


John married Edith Jane Blake (1866-1948) in the summer of 1893 at Ely, Cambridgeshire.  Edith was a daughter of Rev Ephraim Blake. Census returns identify one child.

  • Dorothy Elizabeth (1894-1953) – married Herbert Frank Dix, a tailor, in 1924

John died on 18 April 1942 at Norwich, Norfolk.


  • 1889 Ipswich
  • 1891 Cambridge I
  • 1892 St Ives, Hunts
  • 1896 Reading
  • 1898 Newcastle III
  • 1902 Lavender Hill
  • 1909 Marylebone
  • 1916 Colnbrook
  • 1918 Norwich
  • 1922 Whickhambrook
  • 1924 West Ham
  • 1929 Norwich (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919/191

Methodist Minutes 1942/152

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • The 1921 census records John and his wife and daughter living at 66 Christchurch Rd. Norwich, which was owned by my grandfather, Harold Wright, also a Primitive Methodist minister, who was minister in Briston at the time.
    John records his occupation as “Minister of the Gospel”, his employment as “Norwich 1st Ct. Primitive Methodist Church” and his place of work as “Queens Rd. Norwich”.

    By Martin Lazell (07/11/2023)

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