Semper, Herbert (1868-1955)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1922
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1922

Early years

Herbert was born on 28 April 1868 at Dunston, Lincolnshire, to parents Richard and Mary. Both parents were local preachers and successful evangelists. Richard worked as a grocer.

The family moved to Hull when Herbert was six years old, and joined Williamson Street Church in the Hull VI circuit. Herbert worked as a solicitor’s clerk before entering the ministry.


Herbert served as Secretary to District Temperance, Education and orphanage Committees and represented his Distract on the General Candidates’ Examining Committee.

Herbert enjoyed a long retirement of about twenty years at Macclesfield. He continued to serve the Church with great acceptance and also officiated as chaplain at the Parkside Hospital for about ten years.

His obituary records that Herbert was a man of quiet qualities. His sermons revealed thoughtful preparation, were full of conviction, and, above all, revealed nearness to the Master whose message he proclaimed. The outstanding feature of his ministry was the pastoral side, abundantly successful simply because of his faith and devotion and his sympathetic interest in and understanding of people. His gift of humour, his unlimited capacity for friendship, his true affection for fellow ministers, his choice character, and his life’s work as a builder in the kingdom of God were remembered with gratitude.


Herbert married Annie Margaret Seymour (1869-1945) in the summer of 1896 at Hull, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three of four children.

  • Edwin Seymour (1897-1965) – an engineer (1958); died at Cape Town, South Africa
  • Emily Eleanor (b1900)
  • Wilfred Herbert (1905-1975)

Herbert married Gladys Edith Kirkland in late 1948 at Macclesfield, Cheshire.

Herbert died on 26 July 1955 at Holmcroft, Arclid, Cheshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1892 Selby
  • 1895 Whickhambrook
  • 1896 Louth
  • 1899 Helmsley
  • 1900 Burton on Trent III
  • 1903 Scotter
  • 1907 Wakefield II
  • 1910 Kings Lynn
  • 1914 Peterborough I
  • 1919 Leeds V
  • 1922 Congleton
  • 1926 Macclesfield
  • 1931 Rochdale
  • 1934 Macclesfield (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1922/298

Methodist Minutes 1956/174

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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