Rackham, John (1824-1894)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1875
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1875

John was born on 20 October 1824 at Trimley St Mary, nr Ipswich, Suffolk to parents John Rackham and Elizabeth Calver. He was baptised on 9 January 1825 at Trimley St Mary.

John came under the influence of Primitive Methodists in his native village, but it was not until he moved to London, aged 17, that he openly committed to Christ at Cooper’s Garden’s Chapel in 1842. He briefly supplied at Colchester, Essex before Conference sanction in 1847.


His obituary records that he was favoured with a strong constitution, sound judgement and a great natural capacity for useful service.

Rev. Dennis Kendall writes; ‘I knew him personally, and always found him the same, a zealous hard-working Primitive Methodist minister, anxious to get on the work of the Lord on his stations.’


John married Mary Ann Gibbs (1824-1896) in the summer of 1851 at Harwich. Census returns identify three children.

  • Sarah Elizabeth (1852-1922) – married William Hankin, a baker
  • Mary Ann (1854-1941) – married William Saunders, a baker
  • James John (1863-1940) – a commercial clerk

John died on 3 October 1894 at Baldock, Hertfordshire.


  • 1847 Wisbech
  • 1848 Buckden
  • 1849 Hertford
  • 1851 St Albans
  • 1853 Jersey
  • 1855 Alderney
  • 1856 Pembroke
  • 1859 Plymouth
  • 1861 Weymouth
  • 1863 Saffron Waldon
  • 1867 Baldock
  • 1871 London lll
  • 1874 Chalfont St Giles
  • 1877 Dunstable
  • 1879 Leighton Buzzard
  • 1882 Chinnor
  • 1883 Windsor
  • 1886 Sheerness
  • 1888 Canning Town (Sup)
  • 1890 Baldock


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1875 (portrait); 1895/940

PM Minutes 1895/7

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p264

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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