Littley, John Coles (1850-1874)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by Thomas John Penrose

JOHN COLES LITTLEY was born in St. Peter Port, Isle of Guernsey, December 3, 1850. In early life he was led by his parents to the House of God. He was converted to God when ten years of age. He was a scholar, and afterwards a teacher, in the Sabbath School for several years. He began to exhort sinners “to flee from the wrath to come” in his nineteenth year. 

In 1872 he entered the Theological Institute at Sunderland, where, as elsewhere, he manifested a consistent and Christian behaviour. At the Conference of 1873 he was stationed for the Weymouth Circuit, in which he laboured with great earnestness and success until laid aside by sickness. Naturally amiable and docile, his heart coming under the influence of Divine grace, he manifested the sweetest influences of Christian charity, and by his affectionate earnestness was made a blessing to many souls, and endeared himself to many who now mourn their loss. Dr. Antliff, in a letter to his sorrowing parents, says:— “He was a devout, spiritual, modest, beloved young man.” He was constant in the exercise of private prayer. 

Under medical direction he returned to the residence of his parents in the middle of last March, and died on Monday, May 18th. Jesus was exceedingly precious to him while passing over the river of death. He now sees “the King in His beauty,” and “the land that is very far off.”


John was born on 3 December 1850 at St Peter Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands, to parents James Littley, a plasterer (1871), and Martha Willcock.

Before entering the ministry, John worked in a shop (1871).

John died on 18 May 1874 at St peter Port, Guernsey.


  • Sunderland
  • 1873 Weymouth


PM Minutes 1874/10

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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