Shields, Ralph (1856-1923)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914

Early years

Ralph was born on 14 July 1856 at Lumley Thicks, nr the city of Durham, Co. Durham.


Under his ministry, Wigton, which was a branch of the Maryport circuit, became an independent station and its membership more than doubled. At South Shields, four new chapels and schools were built during his term and about sixty members added to the Church roll.

His obituary records that Ralph was pre-eminently a circuit minister. He was possessed of a fine presence and a good voice. His earnestness, his mental equipment, the grip he had on the fundamental truths of the Christian faith, the power with which he delivered the message, deeply impressed the minds and hearts of his hearers.

For sixteen years Ralph wrote the leading article for The Primitive Methodist, succeeding Rev Hugh Gilmore in that work.

Ralph served as secretary of the district Sunday School and Building Committees and was also a member of the Candidates’ Examining Committee. He served twice as Assistant Secretary to Conference.


Ralph married Mary (abt 1857-1926) circa 1883. Mary’s great grandmother was Mary Smith, in whose home the first Primitive Methodist meetings were held in Tunstall.

Ralph died on 29 July 1923 at Morecambe, Lancashire.


  • Sunderland
  • 1878 N Sunderland
  • 1880 Wigton
  • 1884 Maryport
  • 1885 Spennymoor
  • 1889 Shildon
  • 1893 Hartlepool
  • 1900 Wingate
  • 1901 S Shields
  • 1905 Sunderland
  • 1908 Westgate
  • 1912 Haslingden
  • 1916 Morecambe
  • 1919 Morecambe (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1914/714; 1924/69

PM Minutes 1924/279

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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