Pickett, James (1853-1918)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909

Early years

James was born in 1853 at Berwick Bassett, Wiltshire to parents Moses and Sarah. Moses worked as an agricultural labourer carter (1851), a labourer at a brewery (1861) and later as a grocer’s porter (1871). Brothers Frederick and Henry John also became PM Ministers.

The 1871 census shows James working as a grocer’s porter.


James was Secretary of the General Missionary Committee from 1903. He provided five years of able administration, which, with powerful platform advocacy, did so much to lift the office out of the confusion into which the sudden death of two predecessors had plunged it. During his period in that office, James, in company with Alderman Linfield, made a visit to the West Africa Missions.

James was President of Conference in 1908.

His obituary records that as a circuit minister, James gave himself to the many details of circuit administration, being careful, courageous, courteous, winning men to his way not by arbitrary methods but by reason of his sound judgement and his ‘sweet reasonableness.’


James authored the following.

The Modern Missionary Crisis, 1913 (Hartley Lecture)


James married Louisa Spackman (1857-1903) in early 1881 at Cricklade, Wiltshire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Herbert James (1882-1955) – a ship owner’s clerk (1911)
  • Elsie Kate (1883-1951) – married Walter Smith, a wholesale grocer (1911)
  • Henry Frank (1885-1964) – an ironmonger’s assistant (1911)
  • Lilian Edith (b1887) – a post office clerk (1911); married Reginald Cawthorne, a PM minister, in 1915
  • Mabel Louisa (1888-1974) – married Thomas W.F. Dalton
  • Hilda Mary (1895-1981) – married Henry Charles Larby

James died on 22 August 1918 at Hull, Yorkshire.


  • 1877 Cirencester
  • 1878 Southwark
  • 1879 Surrey Chapel
  • 1881 London IV
  • 1882 Forest Hill
  • 1885 Leicester III
  • 1890 Leicester II
  • 1897 Hull II
  • 1902 Nottingham IV
  • 1903 Secretary of GMC
  • 1908 Harringay
  • 1913 Chesterfield
  • 1916 Hull III


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909/1; 1911/274; 1912/674; 1913/693;

PM Minutes 1919/283

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p373

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p246

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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