Shimmin, Francis Neil (1851-1937)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910

Early years

Francis was born in 1851 at Douglas, Isle of Man to parents James and Jane. James was a shoemaker. Francis was baptised on 12 October 1851 at Braddan, Isle of Man.

Francis was converted during a great revival in 1868. He worked as a painter before entering the ministry.


Francis delivered the 1914 Hartley lecture, entitled ‘Permanent Values of Religion.’

His obituary records that Francis was a fine preacher, a wise administrator, and a faithful pastor. He was a man of honour who never stooped to anything mean or petty, but had a tender heart for the sorrows and frailties of men. He was useful in the councils of the Church, for he had an alert and well-disciplined mind, and a strength of character that would distinguish him in any community. He filled various District offices and was a Trustee of Hartley College.


Francis married Phebe Jane Nixon (1852-1943) in the summer of 1879 at Tynemouth, Northumberland. Census returns identify five of six children.

  • Ethel (b1881) – married Edward Wright, a schoolteacher
  • Nellie (b1883) – married Holden Pickup, a PM Minister
  • Francis Herbert (1884-1956) – a PM Minister
  • Walter McNeil (1887-1955) – a civil engineer (1911)
  • Arnold Nixon (1889-1961) – a commercial student (1911)

Francis died on 26 November 1937 at Nelson, Lancashire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1874 Birkenhead
  • 1876 Barrow in Furness
  • 1878 Manchester III
  • 1880 Manchester II
  • 1883 Earlstown
  • 1886 Southport II
  • 1890 Bolton I
  • 1892 Liverpool II
  • 1896 Middleton
  • 1901 Nelson
  • 1905 Blackburn I
  • 1909 Walkden
  • 1913 Manchester XII
  • 1915 Southport (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1910/843; 1914/627

PM Minutes 1938/186

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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