North, John (1802-1872)

Primitive Methodist Magazine
Englesea Brook Museum ENBM 1990.21.5b
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1869

Early life

John was born on 31 December 1802 at Carlton, Yorkshire to parents John and Christiana. His parents were Wesleyans. Growing up, John developed an interest in sacred music and singing and joined the choir at Rothwell parish Church. A clergyman gave John and some other youths instruction/education each Friday evening.

In May 1817, John was apprenticed to Mr J Walker of Armley, a cloth manufacturer.

In 1821, John was converted through the Primitive Methodist missionaries visiting Armley, where worship took place in a small cottage. John and a few others funded the rent of a larger place of worship and the society rapidly grew from four to eighty members. Three months after his conversion, John was assistant leader and society steward.

In September 1821, John was put on the plan without his knowledge. This gave him much anxiety and he agonised at great length. During his anguished prayer at night, his master’s son was converted and John saw this as a sign to begin preaching.


John was called by the Leeds circuit into the ministry in May 1823. His father was very opposed to this, not understanding why his son should be part of what was seen by the Wesleyans at that time as a very disreputable movement.

Whilst at Lincoln, John had a narrow escape from drowning. he was walking from Bardney to Lincoln in the dark and suddenly plunged into a deep drain by the roadside – he was not sure afterwards how he managed to get out.

During his 45 years as an itinerant minister the numbers on his stations increased by over 800. John was chairman of the first London District Meeting and spent 22 years as treasurer of the Conference Fund.

His obituary records that as a speaker, in the vigour of his manhood, he was powerful, effective and popular.


John married Eliza Evans on 7 November 1825 at St Nicholas, Liverpool. She died on 7 September 1829.

He married Charlotte Cauldwell (1807-1889) on 26 July 1830 at All Saints, Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Census returns have identified three children

  • John William (b1838)
  • Christian (b1841)
  • Thomas Henry (b1848)

John died on 4 March 1872 at Alford, Lincolnshire.


  • 1824 Burton on Trent
  • 1825 Preston o’the Hill
  • 1825 Liverpool
  • 1826 Clitheroe
  • 1827 Howden
  • 1828 Lincoln
  • 1829 Scotter
  • 1831 Malton
  • 1832 N Shields
  • 1833 Newcastle
  • 1834 Middleham
  • 1836 Carlisle
  • 1838 S Shields
  • 1840 Berwick
  • 1842 Gainsborough
  • 1844 Louth
  • 1847 Pocklington
  • 1849 Swinefleet
  • 1851 Grimsby
  • 1853 London l
  • 1855 Gainsborough
  • 1857 Alford
  • 1860 Tadcaster
  • 1862 North Cave
  • 1864 Patrington
  • 1866 Bridlington
  • 1868 Alford (sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1830/168 (Eliza); 1843/321; 1869/65; 1873/613

PM Minutes 1872/10

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • John must have been the John North mentioned in our Cumberworth (the one in Lincolnshire) chapel postings, i.e., November 1859 issue of the Primitive Methodist Magazine for the opening of the new chapel.

    By Ray & Marie. (18/05/2016)
  • I am delighted to see this page. John North is my 2x great grandfather and I am able to fill some gaps in my family. 

    By Julia Coomes (14/02/2014)

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