Richardson, James William (1880-1953)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES WILLIAM RICHARDSON: born in Co. Durham in 1880. Through the influence of his father, a Primitive Methodist local preacher, he heard the call of Christ, and for a few years took charge of a mission church at Esh Winning. He went to Hartley College in 1903. He served devotedly in the following circuits: Coalville, Brierley Hill, Hay, Crook, Sheffield (Bethel), Leek, Morecambe, Whitehaven, Manchester (Broughton), Manchester (Newton Heath), and Northwich (Bourne). 

He won affection and gratitude throughout his ministry, and they were still kindled by him during his active retirement at Norton (Burslem, Hill Top) and in later years at Starbeck (Harrogate). In spite of ill-health, he had his own regular class-meeting and preached until a few weeks before his death. All through his ministry he-was a great friend of young people. He looked upon this as his special work, and there are many to-day, some of them now in the ministry, who owe everything to his influence in their most impressionable years. The same interest well qualified him to serve his Church effectively for several years as a District Sunday School Secretary. 

His preaching was that of a man who loved his people and loved his Lord. He was humble and thoughtful, and had a deep understanding of the problems and sorrows of ordinary folk. His closest friends did not think it extravagant to say that they saw in him the marks of the life of  ‘perfect love’.

He joined the Church Triumphant on 12th July 1953, In his seventy-fourth year and in the forty-eighth of his ministry.


James was born on 19 February 1880 at Sunniside, Co. Durham, to parents Aaron, a coal miner, and Mary Ann.

He married Lillie Applebey (1882-1972) in the summer of 1910 in the Stourbridge Registration District, Worcestershire. Birth records identify two children.

  • Florence (b1913) – a school teacher (1939); married Richard T Wilson in 1940
  • John (b1915)   

James died on 12 July 1953 at Harrogate, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1905 Coalville
  • 1908 Brierley Hill
  • 1910 Hay
  • 1911 Crook
  • 1914 Sheffield Bethel
  • 1920 Leek
  • 1925 Morecambe
  • 1929 Whitehaven
  • 1933 Manchester Broughton
  • 1935 Manchester Newton Heath
  • 1937 Northwich Bourne
  • 1946 Burslem (S)


Methodist Minutes 1954/115

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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