Reed, John Gardham (1861-1940)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN GARDHAM REED: born at Wintringham, Lincs., in 1861. He was educated at Barrow Preparatory School, and later took courses of study at the London and Glasgow Universities. He entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1888, and on completing his probation he was appointed to the Gravesend Circuit. This was followed by a very useful ministry in many parts of the country. 

He possessed fine intellectual gifts, and was more at home with books than the routine affairs of committees. His well-disciplined gifts of heart and mind gave power and distinction to his pulpit ministry. His preaching was evangelical and his message was warmly appreciated by those who desired to know “the deep things of God.” He read widely, and attained special proficiency in the study of theology, philosophy, and Hebrew. Probably his supreme interest was the training of local preachers and candidates for the ministry. With all his scholarly attainments, he was a truly humble soul and endeared himself to a wide circle of friends. 

Owing to ill-health he retired in 1917. After a brief and sudden illness he entered triumphantly into fuller life on February 15, 1940, in the fifty-second year of his ministry.


John was born on 4 December 1861 at Winteringham, Lincolnshire, the illegitimate sone of Dinah Reed. Dinah eventually married John Gardham Jumps after the death of his wife, Jane (nee Reed), an older sister of Dinah, in the spring of 1901. He was baptised John William on 19 January 1862 at Winteringham, although his birth registration records him as John Gardham Reed.

Census returns identify the following information before he entered the ministry..

  • 1871 John W Reed is in Barrow on Humber with John Gardham Jumps and wife Jane; identified as a nephew.
  • 1881 John is recorded as a grocer and draper.

He married Lily Rosetta Dunham (1873-1954) in the summer of 1893 at Gravesend, Kent. They had five children.

  • Frances Ridley (b1894)
  • May Gladys Muriel (1896-1984) – a book-keeper (1939)
  • Ewart Wesley (1898-1990) – headmaster of an elementary school (1939)
  • Annie Ida Stuart (1900-1986) – a teacher (1939)
  • Raymond Westcott (1905-1938)

John died on 15 February 1940 at Wellington, Shropshire.


  • 1888 Bristol I
  • 1889 Balham
  • 1890 Chalfont St Giles
  • 1892 Gravesend
  • 1894 Pilowell
  • 1896 Cirencester
  • 1899 Glasgow III
  • 1902 Warrington
  • 1904 Saffron Walden
  • 1906 Hackney Road
  • 1907 Chertsey
  • 1909 Presteigne
  • 1914 Sup 1 year
  • 1915 Dawley
  • 1917 Dawley (Sup)


Methodist Minutes 1940/177

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Leary has two entries for John, one as John W. covering 1888-1902 and the second as John Gardham Reed covering 1902 onwards. The earlier census returns use the name John W.

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