Shaw, James (1842-1921)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1905
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1921

Early years

James was born on 19 December 1842 at Mexborough, Yorkshire. His father, Thomas, was a potter, but died when James was only two years old. His mother, Elizabeth, was left to bring up eight children. She married again, Enoch Jackson, a potter printer. James was baptised on 29 January 1843 at Mexborough.

When he was still young, James was apprenticed to the glass trade.

James was converted when aged eighteen, in a class meeting led by his brother. He soon became a local preacher. The death of Rev Phillip Newton, in January 1866, gave James the opportunity to supply in his own circuit, after which the circuit pledged him. James preferred, and was able, to study at Elmfield before entering circuit work as a minister.


James served as district Missionary Secretary in both the Bradford and Halifax District and the Hull District.

His obituary records that, as a preacher, James was keenly penetrative and persuasive. Preaching to him was a great passion. Even on his death-bed he gave his minister a text with new divisions.

As a minister he was conscientiously attentive to all the manifold duties of his office.

Rev. George Armitage wrote: ‘ Our brother had large endowments of nature and grace. He possessed a vigorous intellect, was an individual thinker, and, above all, a great evangelical preacher.’


James married Sarah Jane Walker (b1851) in the summer of 1871 at Glanford Brigg, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify nine of eleven children.

  • Charlotte Elizabeth (b1872) – married Albert Henry Laycock
  • George Thomas (1874-1886)
  • Joseph Edward (b1876) – a manager in cotton dyeworks (1901)
  • Amelia Mary (1878-1924) – married Nettleship Bingham, a grocery manager
  • William Joshua Walker (1880-1912) – a confectionary assistant (1911)
  • Rosa (b abt1883)
  • Sarah (b1886)
  • Agnes (b1889)
  • Eric (1895-1916) – killed in Action in France, WW1

James died on 28 January 1921 at Nafferton, nr Driffield, Yorkshire.


  • 1867 Barton on Humber
  • 1869 Tadcaster
  • 1871 Retford
  • 1873 Pocklington
  • 1874 Barton on Humber
  • 1876 Tetney
  • 1879 Grimsby II
  • 1883 Goole
  • 1888 Halifax II
  • 1891 Bradford II
  • 1895 Driffield
  • 1897 Sheffield V
  • 1901 Bridlington
  • 1906 Hull IV
  • 1910 Grimsby (Sup)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1905/759; 1919/388; 1921/513

PM Minutes 1921/277

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • This page was updated on 20 October 2015 to add more information about James’ parents.

    By Geoff Dickinson (20/10/2015)

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