Nightingale, James Southern (1868-1939)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Early years

James was born in 1868 at North Shields, Northumberland to parents Thomas and Anne. Thomas was a local preacher and earned his living as a tailor and draper.

James was educated at Elmfield College, York.


His obituary records that as a pastor and preacher James was greatly appreciated. In all his circuits he made enduring friendships by his thoughtfulness and sympathy in the time of trouble and sorrow. He preached with evangelistic fervour, courage and conviction, and was an eloquent platform speaker. Throughout his ministry he was a stalwart supporter of the Temperance Movement. He was a capable administrator, and guided the affairs of the churches with great ability and impartiality.

James served as District Education, C.E. and Building Committee Secretary. He was also Secretary of the Local Preachers Aid Fund for some time.

James was Secretary of Conference in 1924.


James married Isabella Charlotte Smith (1871-1957) in the summer of 1895 at Tynemouth, Northumberland. Her grandparents were Rev Thomas Smith, a President of Conference, and Alderman John Spence, a Mayor of Tynemouth. Census returns identify four children.

  • Hubert Spence (1896-1943) – served in Royal Engineers in WW1; boatswain in Merchant Navy; died on S.S. Empire Whale in WW2
  • Thomas Wilfred (1899-1978) – a schoolmaster (1939)
  • James Leslie (1908-1994) – a schoolmaster (1939)
  • Alan Grainger (1911-2004)

James died on 2 September 1939 at Bishop Auckland, Co Durham.


  • Elmfield
  • 1889 Brampton
  • 1893 Sunderland I
  • 1897 Shotley Bridge
  • 1902 Lemington on Tyne
  • 1904 Gateshead II
  • 1909 Chester le Street
  • 1918 Durham
  • 1922 Stanley
  • 1928 Sunderland III
  • 1930 Sunderland (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919/116

Methodist Minutes 1940/164

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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