Noble, Ralph Cookson (1889-1972)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

RALPH COOKSON NOBLE: born in Goole, Yorkshire, in 1890. He offered for the Primitive Methodist ministry in 1911 and was trained at Hartley College where Dr. A. S. Peake had a great influence upon him both intellectually and personally. He developed in early days a personal discipline and a love of reading which were to enrich the whole of his ministry. 

He served in the following circuits: Stoke and Longton, Talke, Nantwich, Birmingham, Silsden, Wallasey, Ilkeston, Nottingham (South), Chester (George Street), Runcorn, Crewe (Trinity), and Colwyn Bay and Llandudno where he was an active supernumerary at Conway. For eighteen years he served within the boundaries of the former Chester and Warrington District. From 1944-7 he was Secretary of the Synod, and then served as Chairman of the District until 1956. 

People testify still to the effectiveness of his ministry as a faithful pastor and vigorous preacher of the Gospel. Younger ministers and preachers gained much from his help with their studies. His considerable energies enabled him to undertake District office alongside a pastoral ministry, and an involvement in the community life of the towns where he lived. He read widely, paying particular attention to biblical studies and philosophy. He was never far from his Greek New Testament. For many years he was a member of the Royal Institute of Philosophy. 

In retirement he continued to preach as long as health allowed, and in weakness revealed the same grace and humour that characterised his many vigorous years. He died on 27th August, 1972, in the eighty-second year of his age and the fifty-eighth of his ministry.


Ralph was born on 28 November 1889 at Goole, Yorkshire, to parents Samuel Healas Noble, a seaman (1911), and Anne Marie Cookson. He was baptised on 28 November 1889 at Goole.

The 1911 census return records Ralph as an advertisement clerk working for a newspaper.

He married Eleanor Kate Barlow (1893-1988) in the summer of 1918 in the Uttoxeter Registration District, Staffordshire.

  • Edna May (b1921) – married Ray Goodman in 1947
  • Mary (1931-2012) – married Edward T Timperley in 1956

Ralph died on 27 August 1972 at Crewe, Cheshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1914 Stoke
  • 1916 Talke
  • 1922 Nantwich
  • 1923 Birmingham I
  • 1927 Silsden
  • 1931 Birkenhead
  • 1933 Wallasey
  • 1935 Ilkeston
  • 1938 Nottingham S
  • 1942 Chester George St
  • 1947 Runcorn
  • 1951 Crewe Trinity
  • 1956 Conway (S)


Methodist Minutes 1973/150

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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