Russell, John (1853-1888)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by Joseph Timmins

JOHN RUSSELL was born at Ludlow, in 1853. His father was a Primitive Methodist local preacher, and his mother was a very pious woman and a member of our Connexion, hence he had all the advantages of a good moral training. He was a scholar in our Sunday school, and for some years he was a member of the chapel choir, His parents wished him to have a good education, therefore they sent him to the old grammar school at Ludlow. 

In early life he was converted to God under the ministry of the writer. Soon after his conversion the officials of the Ludlow circuit saw in him the powers of a good local preacher, and after placing his name on the circuit plan their expectations were more than realised, In 1875 he entered our ministry and has laboured with great success in the following stations: St. Helen’s, Liverpool, Stockport Second, Crewe, and Burnley. 

He was pious, true, calm, and a student of no ordinary kind, His health gave way twelve months ago, ‘The officials of the Burnley Station allowed him to remove to Ludlow and Hereford, hoping that his native air would restore his health: but this and all other means made use of failed to do so, and his many months of suffering were ended by death at Hereford on Saturday, December 29th, 1888. 

His death was full of peace and rest. In his dying moments, while holding the hand of the Rev. John Guy, he said, “Tell Mr. Timmins and the officials of the Burnley circuit that I am on the Rock, and die in the faith.’ He was interred at the Hereford Cemetery on Thursday, January 3rd, 1889, by the writer and Rev. John Guy. By his death his wife has lost a true husband, his children a good father, and the connexion a man of piety, intelligence, and power.


John was born in 1853 at Ludlow, Shropshire, to parents William, a master mason (1861), and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 1 January 1854 at Ludlow.

Before entering the ministry John worked as a grocer (1871).

He married Margaret Griffiths (b1851) – in the summer of 1879 at Ludlow, Shropshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Mary Gertrude (1880-1888)
  • John Howard Griffiths (1882-1935) – a wholesale fruit dealer (1911)
  • Elizabeth Helen (b1884) – a assisting in newsagent and tobacconist business with her mother (1911)

John died on 29 December 1888 at Hereford, Herefordshire.


  • 1875 St Helens
  • 1877 Liverpool 1
  • 1879 Stockport II
  • 1882 Crewe
  • 1885 Burnley    


PM Minutes 1889/9

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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