John was born on 23 February 1841 at Hutton Cranswick, Yorkshire to parents Robert Scruton and Catherine Petch. Robert worked the land. Both parents were Primitive Methodists.
John was converted on 3 February 1856 under the ministry of Rev Thomas Greenbury. He had just started as an apprentice to Mr Robert Drosser, a tailor, grocer and draper, who was also a local preacher. John lived with the Drosser family for 6 years.
John began as a public speaker accompanying Mr W Bowes on his preaching appointments.
John served as a General Committee delegate and attended conference on four occasions.
As a preacher he thought out his own discourses on his own lines, his manner in the pulpit was peculiarly his own. His preaching was always useful and frequently very powerful.
John wrote the following.
Christians and politics, or, the duty of Christians in relation to politics, with special reference to household suffrage and county franchise , 1844
John married Harriet Leefe (1832-1877) on 6 July 1865 at Driffield, Yorkshire. Census returns identify five children.
- Maria Jane (1867-1944) – a music teacher; married James Shaw
- Emma Lizie (1868-1888)
- Ette (1870-1951) – a grocer
- Florence (1874-1901)
- John Ernest (1876-1960) – a cashier
John married Ann Elizabeth Gowland (b1853) in July 1878 at Doncaster, Yorkshire. Census returns identify five children.
- Jesse (b1879) – a journalist, emigrated to Canada
- Harriet Annie (1881-1960) – a secondary school teacher
- Kate Ellen (1882-1953)
- Ralph (1883-1976) – a clerk, emigrated to Canada
- Grace (1887-1958)
John died on 1 December 1919 at the Cottage Hospital, Driffield.
- 1861 Hornsea
- 1862 Louth
- 1863 Hull I
- 1865 Scarborough
- 1867 Barton on Humber
- 1870 Hull I
- 1872 Hull IV
- 1873 Grimsby I
- 1876 Doncaster II
- 1878 Goole
- 1881 Mexborough
- 1885 Sheffield I
- 1888 Manchester III
- 1890 Driffield
- 1894 Leeds I
- 1897 Wirksworth
- 1901 Scunthorpe
- 1904 Swinefleet
- 1907 Leeds (Sup)
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1878/118 (Harriet); 1896/83
PM Minutes 1920/267
W Leary , Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits , 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers