Shaw, George (1830-1903)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1883
George Shaw, c1885-89
Englesea Brook Museum 10.04
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904

Early years

George was born on 26 September 1830 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire to parents George and Jane. George senior was a tailor. Prior to entering the ministry George trained as a tailor.

George’s grandmother was one of the earliest members of the first Society at Grimsby, which was formed in 1819. George joined the Primitive Methodists in 1849 and soon became a local preacher.


George’s obituary records that the temperance cause found in him an earnest advocate, and progressive politics a stalwart friend.

His public ministry evinced wide and varied reading. In knowledge of the Scriptures, and ability to forcefully and intelligently expound them, especially the more obscure and difficult portions, he excelled. His great stories of pathos, humour and reminiscence contributed largely to his pulpit power. He held fast to the central and vital truths of the Gospel. Christ had inn every sermon ‘ the pre-eminence’.


George wrote the following.

Our Filey fishermen, 1867

Rambles about Filey , 1867

Gems and pearls: a collection of choice readings from many writers , 1870

Scenes on the sea, including A night on the deep, and other stories , 1872

The twistings and twinings of Mr. Timothy Turnabout , 1874

Councillor Kerwood’s investment, and what became of it , 1891

Life of Rev Parkinson Milson Primitive Methodist Minister, 1893

Life of John Oxtoby (Praying Johnny), 1894

Old Grimsby, 1897


George married Kezia Gover (1833-1875) on 27 June 1857 at Grimsby. Records identify eleven children.

  • George William (1859-1933) – a printer compositor
  • Susannah Mary (1861-1960) – married Thomas Stephenson Stead, a wood working machinist
  • Kezia Jane (1863-1934) – married Himsworth Stead, a weft man in worsted mill
  • John Henry Gover (1865-1949)  – a printer
  • Isabella (1867-1945) – married John William Beswick, an insurance agent (1911)
  • Julia (1868-1868)
  • Priscilla (1868-1868)
  • Martha Ann (b1869) – a blouse machinist (1911)
  • Charles Thomas (1872-1872)
  • Arthur Ernest (1873-1951) – provision merchant clerk (1911)
  • Branton Abbey (1874-1875)

George married Mary Ann Gray, nee Gover (1837-1921) on 1 August 1875 at Scotter, Lincolnshire.

George died on 20 July 1903 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire.


  • 1854 Bridlington
  • 1855 Winterton
  • 1857 Scarborough
  • 1859 Hull ll
  • 1862 Louth
  • 1864 Filey
  • 1867 Pocklington
  • 1870 Swinefleet
  • 1874 Scotter
  • 1878 Howden
  • 1880 Leeds Vl
  • 1883 Dewsbury
  • 1886 Grimsby (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1883 (portrait); 1903.489

PM Minutes 1904/33

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Plant Bramwell Tree on


Comments about this page

  • This page was modified on 13 December 2017 to add a transcription of George’s obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904.

    By Geoff Dickinson (13/12/2017)
  • Thank you for this really informative article. George Shaw was our maternal great-great-grandfather (our mother’s mother’s mother’s father). We became interested in him when, on clearing our mother’s house, we found a box of his books, each dedicated – most of them to our great-grandmother Kezia Jane, but some to his other children and grandchildren. He was a fascinating man. I would be delighted if anyone has any other information about him.

    By Joan Dawes (06/02/2014)
  • I was researching some further information re George Shaw who was a Primitive Methodist Minister in Filey. I have been given (some time ago) a copy of his ‘Service of Song’ “A Night on the Deep” – A story of Peril and Escape. Musicallly arranged by Mr J Broadbent Fourpence Each 50 copies half price, carriage paid I am not a Primitive Methodist myself but very interested in local history and the effects that Primitive Methodism had on this area since the arrival of Johnny Oxtoby. It is not only a ‘Service of Song’ but a written record with notes written along the sides of the hymns and an insert. I shall be placing this in the local Museum for safe keeping. I was given this several years ago and which I ‘put away’ for safe keeping.

    By Kath WIlkie (22/11/2013)

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