Mules, James (1818-1877)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1870

Early years

James was born on 8 April 1818 at Bideford. His parents, George and Ann, attended the Episcopal Church. James was baptised on 3 May 1818 at Bideford.

In his early life he is described as being ‘gay and frivolous’. It is said that he drank and gambled freely. He was converted at the age of 18. Once converted he at once identified himself with the temperance cause and became a zealous and successful advocate thereof.


Petty describes significant progress at the Southam branch in 1848 when James was superintendent. He also records progress in the Luton circuit in the period 1856-8. Near 100 members were added in this period.

His obituary records; ‘As a preacher, Mr Mules occupied a good position. He made no pretentions to originality of thought or illustration. Nor did he presume to leave the beaten track of Methodistic modes or manner of presenting doctrinal truths. Nor was there any attempt at display in his preaching. His pulpit efforts came fairly within the category of the respectable, and were never ribald or frothy on one hand, nor coarse and vulgar on the other.’


James married Eliza Johnson (1822-1851) in 1849 at Southam.

He married Emma Aish (1823-1905) in 1852 at Motcombe, Dorset

James died on 27 April 1877 at Scarborough, Yorkshire.


  • 1842 Redruth
  • 1844 Stoke
  • 1845 Sturminster
  • 1846 Yeovil
  • 1847 Southam
  • 1850 Reading
  • 1853 High Wycombe
  • 1856 Luton
  • 1858 Hull ll
  • 1860 Brigg
  • 1863 Grimsby
  • 1865 Swinefleet
  • 1868 Bridlington
  • 1870 Scarborough (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1851/318 (Elizabeth); 1870 (portrait); 1878/55

PM Minutes 1877/14

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p455, p517

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • There was serious and prolonged trouble in the Reading Circuit, centred on the society at Silchester, around 1850, of which the Circuit minutes and reports give a lot of information. James Mules was one of the ministers struggling with the problems at the time.

    By David Young (17/04/2014)

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