Richardson, John (1849-1917)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909

Early years

John was born in 1849 at Hartlepool, Co Durham. John was orphaned when very young. Some friends cared for him, but early in his teens John had to depend on his own exertions for a living.

John’s first acquaintance with the PM Church was at South Bank in the Eston circuit. Subsequently he moved to the Shotley Bridge circuit from where he was recommended for the ministry.


In the Sunderland District John served as Sunday School Secretary, and twice as Secretary of the District Meeting.

During his ministry, John built chapels at Seaton Delaval and Trimdon Colliery.

As a preacher John was calm, thoughtful and instructive, and encouraged the faith and love of his people.

His obituary records that John was a sunny spirit; he brought cheer with him wherever he went, The clear, soft voice, musical to the ears was typical and revelatory of the whole man. His characteristic role was that of peace-bringer. He had a genuine vein of quiet, chuckling, twinkling humour

John had a taste for music, and was associated with William Heslop as Organising Secretary of the Darlington Psalmody Association.


John married Elizabeth Milner Clarke (1851-1924) in the summer of 1876 at Easington, Co Durham. Elizabeth was the daughter of Rev Peter Clarke. She was able to play the organ and piano. Census returns identify six of seven children.

  • Edith Clarke (1877-1961)
  • Peter Clarke (1879-1956) – lost a leg in WW1; held rank of Captain but was a Temporary Major
  • Ernest Clarke (1880-1881)
  • Frances Annie Clarke (1882-1963)
  • Grace Clarke (1885-1914)
  • Edwin Clarke (1891-1941) – a schoolteacher, wounded in WW1

John died on 24 January 1917 at Chatham, Kent.


  • 1872 South Shields
  • 1875 Brough
  • 1876 Lowick
  • 1877 Maryport
  • 1879 Seaton Deleval
  • 1883 Hetton
  • 1887 Guisborough
  • 1890 Penrith
  • 1893 N Shields
  • 1897 Thornley
  • 1903 Hexham
  • 1906 High Wycombe
  • 1909 Plaistow
  • 1911 Croydon
  • 1916 Gillingham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909/129; 1917/363; 1925/291 (Elizabeth)

PM Minutes 1917/264

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

See comment below from Evelyn Shore

Comments about this page

  • Hello Geoff -  Would it be possible to change some dates of death listed here for Rev Richardson’s children?  I wrote to the Museum in March with correct information, based on GRO certs + other docs I have for these family members.  Edith died in 5/4/1961 aged 63, Frances on 29/12/63 (81) and Edwin on 3/4/31 (40) in S Rhodesia, where he moved after WW1.  All JR’s children except Edwin died in Croydon. Can supply copies of certs if needed.  Thank you,  Evelyn

    By Evelyn Shore (23/08/2014)

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