Pugh, Philip (1817-1871)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1862
Copy provided by Steven Carter

Early years

Philip was born on 17 July 1817 at Shrewsbury, Shropshire, the youngest of six brothers. Philip’s father was a Wesleyan local preacher, along with one of his brothers. Philip worked in a factory as a child and enjoyed reading English grammar. He joined a Primitive Methodist Sunday School at the age of 13, and shortly afterwards was converted through an address by the Sunday School Superintendent, Mr John Drayton. Philip started to preach at the age of 16 and was soon seen as a potential itinerant Minister.


Philip’s home circuit, Bishops Castle sent him, aged 17 to work on the Belfast Mission. He also served in Lisburn before returning to England.

The Jubilee Church at Tunstall, where Conference was held in 1860, was enlarged and renovated under Philip’s superintendency.

Phillip was appointed Connexional Editor in 1867. Editorial work was his delight.

Philip was President of Conference in 1869.

His obituary says that Philip was much beloved by his colleagues and the people of his charge, and greatly respected by ministers and members of other communities.


Philip married Ellen Bowen (1817-1844) in 1842 at Little Stretton, Shropshire.

He married Sarah Highfield (1821-1894) in 1846 in the Macclesfield Registration District. Records identify two children.

  • John Flesher (1847-1897) – an insurance agent (1871) and later a butcher.
  • Betsy Highfield (b1863) – married Elijah Williams, a railway engine fitter.

Philip died on 31 January 1871 at Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire.


  • 1837 Oswestry
  • 1839 Burland
  • 1841 Leek
  • 1843 Congleton
  • 1845 Tunstall
  • 1848 Shrewsbury
  • 1851 Darlaston
  • 1854 Dudley
  • 1857 Tunstall
  • 1863 Birmingham
  • 1867 Editor


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1845/530 (Ellen); 1862 (portrait); 1871/483; 1919/90; 1929/290

PM Minutes 1871/10

J Petty, The History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion, 1880, p488

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p292

B A Barber, A Methodist Pageant, 1932, p128

R Newman Wycherley, The Pageantry of Methodist Union, 1932, p115

A Pritchard, Memoirs of the Life, Literary and Itinerant Labours of Rev. Philip Pugh. [ with Mr. Pugh’s Lecture on Education ] , 1871

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 30 October 2017 to add a transcription of a sketch published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904.

    By Geoff Dickinson (30/10/2017)

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