Swales, John (1845-1923)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1923
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1925

Early years

John was born on 25 December 1845 at Lockton, nr Pickering, Yorkshire to parents John and Ann. John senior was a farmer (1851) and later a huckster (door-to-door salesman) (1861). His mother was a local preacher in the Pickering circuit for more than sixty years.

John’s name appeared on the Pickering circuit plan when he was twenty years old. He worked as a hired local preacher at Huddersfield for a while. John spent twelve months at Elmfield College to prepare for the ministry.


John served his districts as Building Committee, Equalization and College Committee secretary. John also became a director of the Connexional Insurance Company.

For about eight years after superannuation, John took charge of the Central Road Mission, Blackpool.

John’s obituary records that his work as preacher and pastor made the strongest and most urgent appeal to his intellect and heart. A diligent student of the Scriptures and of theological and general literature, he aimed at being one of God’s best workmen. To “preach the Word” was his delight, and to do it efficiently and effectively he spared no pains. Most carefully prepared, his sermons and speeches were clear, forceful, arresting and impressive. He considered no effort too arduous if, by any means, he might win souls for Christ and edify, comfort and cheer his people.


John married Sarah Ann Humphrey (1843-1925) in the summer of 1871 at Malton, Yorkshire.

John died on 10 April 1923 at Hutton-le-Hole, Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire.


  • 1867 Huddersfield
  • 1869 York
  • 1872 Thirsk
  • 1874 Bedale
  • 1876 Burnley
  • 1882 Bingley
  • 1884 Bradford I
  • 1887 Keighley II
  • 1890 Colne
  • 1895 Silsden
  • 1899 Bingley
  • 1903 Crowle
  • 1907 Horbury
  • 1911 Blackpool (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904/591; 1923/584; 1925/591

PM Minutes 1923/282

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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