Lisle, John William (1856-1917)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914

Early years

John was born on 23 April 1856 at Hylton, nr Sunderland, Co Durham to parents Joshua and Elizabeth. The 1861 census describes Joshua as a cardman.

John owed his conversion and early association with the Primitive Methodist Church to the influence and training of his mother. When aged eighteen, the North Shields circuit requested him to prepare for the preachers plan. Three years later, when resident in South Shields, he was recommended for the ministry.


The Conference of 1891 specially requested John to take charge of the Spalding station, which was then passing through a critical experience. He gave the re-establishment of the church in that town five of the best years of his life.

His obituary records that John was of strong character. He had a passion for reality, and hated sham and equivocation. His business aptitude secured for him several district secretary-ships and he was twice a delegate to the General Committee.

He loved to preach, and appealed to both heart and mind. Impelled by a passion for souls, his messages were ever evangelistic and enthusiastic.


John married Ellen Priscilla Barrett (1858-1930) in the summer of 1882 at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Ellen was a local preacher. Census returns identify two children.

  • Clemens (1888-1962) – a teacher
  • Edna Annie (1890-1901)

John and Ellen also ‘adopted’ Sarah Elizabeth Lockwood (b abt 1887).

John died on 27 July 1917 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1878 Whickhambrook
  • 1879 Baldock
  • 1880 Dunstable
  • 1882 Whickhambrook
  • 1885 Banbury
  • 1887 Selby
  • 1888 Scotter
  • 1891 Spalding & Holbeach
  • 1896 Gainsborough
  • 1898 Driffield
  • 1902 Barrow in Furness
  • 1906 Peterborough
  • 1910 New Mills
  • 1914 Tredegar
  • 1915 Nottingham (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/294; 1916/510; 1917/875

PM Minutes 1918/265

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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