Richardson, Francis (1860-1925)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916

Early years

Francis was born in 1860 at Houghton le Spring, Co. Durham to parents Francis and Margaret. Francis, senior, was a carter (1861). By the time of the 1871 census, Margaret had married Benjamin Cummings, a coal miner.

At nine years of age Francis became a member of the catechumen class. In 1874, the family moved to Bearpark in the Durham circuit. In the following year, Francis formed a choir and took charge of the musical department of the village society. He never lost his love of music.

Francis was recommended for the plan at seventeen


Francis was built on a large scale, big in frame, massive in intellect and large of heart. Having tasted of the sorrowful cup and wrestled with difficulties, which might have dismayed others, he was a sympathetic and willing helper of those who walk the dolorous and difficult way.

Francis was a keen student of sociology and maintained a deep and intelligent interest in the social aspirations of the people. His ministry among the miners of Northumberland and Durham was greatly appreciated.

Francis superintended the erection of six new chapels and schools, a minister’s house and a fine pipe organ. He served two districts as Sunday School Secretary.

The cause of Francis leaving the ministry has not been identified. A Frank Richardson, born in Leeds, was killed in action on 1 July 1916. I have not been able to confirm that this was the son of Francis and Rose.


Francis married Rose Davies (abt1864-1935) in the summer of 1886 at Pontypridd, Glamorgan. Census returns identify six of seven children.

  • Sarah Annie (1887-1974) – married Samuel Bowles in 1918
  • Clara Maud (1888-1953) – a draper’s assistant (1911)
  • Francis (b1891)
  • Harold (1894-1902)
  • Frank (b1898)
  • Edna May (1903-1985)

Francis died on 28 July 1925 at Mountain Ash, Glamorgan.


  • Sunderland
  • 1883 Pontypridd
  • 1886 Midsomer Norton
  • 1889 Spennymoor
  • 1892 Blyth
  • 1895 Ashington
  • 1897 Leeds III
  • 1900 Workington
  • 1905 Clayton West
  • 1908 Colne
  • 1911 Mountain Ash
  • 1916 ceased


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/462

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Francis Richardson’s first son was Francis William, born at the beginning of 1891 and died in Morpeth in April 1895 (buried 23rd April). Perhaps the “sorrowful cup” was that Francis Richardson lost his first two sons in childhood. The baptism of his third son, Frank, in a Primitive Methodist chapel is now available on Ancestry. He was born on 11th March 1898 (baptised on 3rd April). A Frank Richardson, born 11th March 1898, appears on the 1939 Register as living at 5, Forest Road East, Nottingham. He was married and a Master Baker and Confectioner. Which suggests that Rev Francis Richardson did not lose a son on the Somme, and that the reason he ceased to be a minister remains unknown.

    By Philip Thornborow (26/06/2022)
  • Having recently viewed the Conference Minutes for 1905-1907, Francis was indeed stationed at Clayton West, not Huddersfield as stated in Leary. I have corrected the circuit stations above to reflect this change.

    By Geoff Dickinson (12/06/2021)
  • Another possible wrong station? You have Rev Francis Richardson at Huddersfield between 1905 & 1908. I have found 6 references in 1905 & 1906 Huddersfield newspapers to a Rev F Richardson all with regard to Primitive Methodist events. 3 say he is the Superintendent Minister of the Clayton West Circuit and 3 refer to him as “Rev F Richardson of Skelmanthorpe”. Not checking up, just trying to build up an occupation history for Lodge Villa, Skelmanthorpe where my great grandparents and family, including my grandfather, lived from 1897-1890.

    By David Redhead (18/04/2021)

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