Richardson, Jacob William (1882-1975)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1924

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JACOB WILLIAM RICHARDSON; born at Castle Eden, near Hartlepool, Co. Durham, on 7th June 1882, The eldest son of a pitman, he knew poverty and the hardships of confrontation with coal owners, when unions were young, At an early age he showed a gift for painting and dreamed of a career in art. Economic realities prevailed and he began work in the token cabin at the pithead, moving later to a co-operative society clerkship, from which he was called to the ministry, entering via Hartley College in 1907. 

His circuits were Cardiff II, Aberdare, Plumstead (twice), Woodley, Neweastle, Sunderland II, West Hartlepool, Nottingham IV, Nottingham (Mayfield Grove), Birmingham (Selly Oak), London (Wembley, Ealing Road), and Bolsover, He retired to Mansfield in 1947 and moved to Jesmond, Neweastle upon Tyne, in 1965. 

As a pastor he inspired affection everywhere, supported and encouraged by Mary, his wife, who was greatly missed on her death, after 62 years of marriage, in 1974, His preaching was personal, out of a depth of spirituality; social justice was a constant theme and he painted word pictures as vivid as his work in water colour and oils.

As a journalist he wrote regularly for the Primitive Methodist Leader, reporting the proceedings of Conference and reviewing the annual Royal Academy Exhibition, He contributed also to the Holborn Review and published several books of religious essays, children’s stories and religious drama, notably Our of the Whirlwind, based on the Book of Job. 

His last years were hampered by deafness and growing weakness, but he charmed all who. visited him with his humour, his handsome, bearded presence, the lilt in his voice and the stories he told of his youth and prime. He died in hospital at North Shields on 6th. May 1975 in the ninety-third year of his age and the sixty-eighth year of his ministry.


Jacob was born on 7 June 1882 at Castle Eden, Co. Durham, to parents Jacob William Richardson, a coal miner, and Mary Jane Local.

Before entering the ministry Jacob worked as an assistant in a hardware store (1901).

He married Mary Ann Knox (1882-1974) in the summer of 1911 the Chester le Street Registration District, Co. Durham

Jacob died on 6 May 1975 at North Shields, Newcastle upon Tyne, Northumberland.


  • Hartley
  • 1907 Cardiff II
  • 1909 Aberdare
  • 1911 Plumstead
  • 1912 Woodley
  • 1913 Plumstead
  • 1919 Newcastle
  • 1924 Sunderland II
  • 1927 W Hartlepool
  • 1928 Nottingham IV
  • 1934 Birmingham Selly Oak
  • 1938 London Wembley
  • 1941 Bolsover
  • 1947 Mansfield


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1924/393

Methodist Minutes 1975/187

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.