Martin, Thomas Johns (1875-1960)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

THOMAS JOHNS MARTIN: born at Eskdale, Cumberland, in 1875. He received his training for the Ministry at Hartley College and after that served chiefly in the Midlands and the North of England. His one concern was the salvation of all whom he could reach, and to this he devoted his powers of personality and his gifts as a preacher. Two of his circuits were in northern cities where his preaching and pastoral care won many young people to Christ. Two circuits were in colliery areas in a time of depression and unrest. He showed himself at all times the strong friend of his people and pressed the claims of his Master. Always a keen theologian, he made contributions as essayist and critic. 

His greatest triumphs were left for his latter years. At the age of seventy-five he lost his sight completely, but his soul was only the more ‘ bent to serve his Maker and present a true account.’ He quickly learned Braille and preached again. The blind people in the villages of Leicestershire profited greatly by his life and influence among them, and when he preached to them he filled them with the spirit of life and hope. Infirmities followed loneliness and blindness, but his gallant spirit carried him on until he died on 26 July 1960, in the eighty-fifth year of his age and the fifty-eighth year of his ministry.


Thomas was born in 1875 in Eskdale, Cumberland, to parents William, an iron ore miner (1881), and Joanna. He was baptised on 30 August 1875 at Millom Bible Christian Chapel.

Before entering the ministry Thomas worked as an iron ore miner (1891).

He married Mary Elizabeth Murray (1876-1952) in the summer of 1906 at Millom, Cumberland. Census returns identify three children.

  • Alice May (b1907)
  • Thomas Murray (b1910)
  • Lydia Margaret (1916-2011) – married George Varnum Underwood in 1944

Thomas died on 22 July 1960 at The Rutland Nursing Home, Langham, Rutland.


  • Hartley
  • 1902 Buckley
  • 1907 Morley
  • 1910 Burton on Trent
  • 1913 Coalville
  • 1918 Kimberley
  • 1923 Sutton & Kirkby
  • 1928 Norwich III
  • 1930 Manchester New Islington
  • 1935 Liverpool Ev Road
  • 1941 Liverpool Central
  • 1946 Liverpool (S)


Methodist Minutes 1961/202

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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