Sleight, John Story (1848-1884)

Early years

John Story Sleight was born in Laughton, near Gainsborough,Lincolnshire in August 1848. In the 1861 Census, John is a scholar living with his aunt and uncle, George and Elizabeth Cawkwell.

When he was 16, John ‘experienced a change of heart, after which he became a local preacher; after which he laboured in the Gainsborough station as an evangelist’. However, in the 1871 census, John’s occupation is listed as a blacksmith, working for Thomas and Ann Johnson. In the same year, John entered the ministry, training at the recently opened Theological Institute, Sunderland.


John married Clarissa Eleanor Kite in 1880 and the couple had three children; John, Clarissa and Gertrude.


John’s obituary on the back of the Bedford Circuit Plan July to September 1884 notes that  on 11 May 1884, ‘he preached three times in the village of Stevington, and also gave a school address, he returned to Bedford in a greatly exhausted state; the next day could not resume his work. On the following Saturday, he was discovered to be in a great danger and suffering from acute inflammation of the lungs, and by 7.30 on the Sunday morning, May 18, expired, calmly resting on his Saviour, and happy in the Faith he had lived to preach; his last words were, “Jesus,” “Jesus,” “Jesus”.’


  • 1873 London VII
  • 1874 Newport
  • 1877 Saffron Walden
  • 1879 London V
  • 1881 Bedford


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

Index of Methodist Ministers

Bedford Circuit Plan of Religious Services July to September 1884

Census Returns

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *