Ramsbottom, Harry (1878-1971)

The Report of the 1904 New Zealand Conference contains the following text.

“The Rev. H. Ramsbottom resigned the ministry. The reason he assigned being that the Work of the Church differed from that of the Church in England. The Conference regretted his resignation but was compelled to accept it. Had he remained longer in the work he would probably have felt less inclined to have resigned. It requires some time for a man to become accustomed to the different conditions of work in the colony.”


Harry was born in the spring of 1878 at Keighley, Yorkshire, to parents William Ramsbottom and Hannah Kirten.

The 1891 census return records Harry as a half time scholar and in 1901 he is a student at theological college.

Circa 1905/6 Harry changed his name to Harry Ranston.

On leaving the Primitive Methodist ministry in New Zealand, Harry joined the Methodist Church of Australia in New Zealand which evolved into the Methodist Church in New Zealand. He received a doctorate for his thesis  on Biblical and Greek scholarship. After his retirement he continued to lecture in Old Testament at the college until a few years before he died.

He married Emily Ann Maslin (1877-1958) in 1906. Records identify two children.

  • Jocelyn Hannah Clough (1909-1988) – married James Cromwell Herbert, a secretary (1939), in 1934
  • Nancy Annie (1912-2001) – married Seymour James Percival Jack in 1938

Harry died on 6 June 1971 at Auckland, New Zealand.


  • Hartley
  • 1901 London, Canning Town
  • 1902 Auckland, Alexandra St
  • 1903 Temuka

Methodist Church

  • 1904 Dunedin (Cargill Road) (St Clair)
  • 1906 Blenheim (Tua Marina)
  • 1909 Hokitika
  • 1912 Tai Tapu
  • 1916 Auckland Central (Kingsland)
  • 1923 Auckland East (Acting Principal, Theological College)
  • 1924 Tutor, Theological College
  • 1931 Principal, Theological College
  • 1941 Supernumerary
  • Secretary of District 1918-19.
    Theological College Tutor 1920, 21. 


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



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