Pattison, Robert (1826-1906)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1879

Early years

Robert was born in April 1826 at Alston, Cumberland to parents Thomas and Mary. Robert was baptised on 14 May 1826 at Alston. Robert’s parents were Primitive Methodists. Robert’s obituary remarks that his father was a ‘primitive of the old school’, a ‘Passive resister of the old-time passive resisters’.

As a child, Robert moved with his parents to Muggleswick where he was converted. He soon became a local preacher in the Hexham circuit.


At the end of his active ministry, it appears that Robert retired reluctantly; he was superannuated by Conference not by choice or application.

‘Without being asked I was told to go into the ministry, and without being asked, I was told to sit down’ was the amusing way he often spoke of his entrance into and exit from active work.

His obituary records that his fine catholicity of spirit, his complete freedom from bigotry, his optimistic temperament saved him from being a fossilised dogmatist and won and kept him the esteem and honour of his brethren, as a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, handling aright the Word of Truth.


Robert married Mary Pitts on 18 July 1855 at Bedford. Census returns identify one child.

  • Maria (b abt 1859)

Robert married Emma Freeston (1832-1866) on 28 August 1862 at Nottingham. Census returns identify two children.

  • Lucy Freestone (1864- 1877)
  • Emma Freestone (1866 – 1950) – married George Bradshaw, a cabinet maker

Robert married Annie Brough (1843-1923 in the summer of 1867 at Newcastle under Lyme. Census returns identify two children.

  • William Brough (b1869) – a master mariner
  • Clara Edith (b1870) – married Samuel Hughes, a tea and butter merchant

Robert died on 15 October 1906 at Blackpool, Lancashire.


  • 1851 Bridgewater
  • 1853 Ramsey
  • 1855 Weymouth
  • 1859 Chatham
  • 1860 Macclesfield
  • 1862 Oswestry
  • 1864 Newcastle under Lyme
  • 1867 Coventry
  • 1870 Leintwardine
  • 1873 Prees Green
  • 1876 Stafford
  • 1879 Sandbach
  • 1883 Bollington
  • 1887 Nantwich
  • 1890 Coventry
  • 1892 Workington
  • 1895 Glasgow l
  • 1897 Edinburgh
  • 1898 Blackpool (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1861/757 (Mary); 1866/376 (Emma); 1879 (portrait)

PM Minutes 1907/34

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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