Saxton, James (1892-1974)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JAMES SAXTON: born at Rotherham in 1892. He spent his boyhood at Cudworth, near Barnsley, and entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry in 1921 after having been a student at Hartley College. His love of scholarship was his constant joy, keeping him abreast of modern developments in theology and New Testament studies. Even when he could no longer conduct services he still wrote out his weekly sermons, and continued in his daily discipline of devotions. In his later days of illness, he was a great source of encouragement and wisdom to his colleagues, and was always anxious to hear about developments in circuit life.

During his active ministry he travelled in a wide variety of circuits: Wickhambrook and Newmarket, Alfreton and South Normanton, Sleaford, Long Eaton, Accrington, Crewe, Ipswich (Rope Walk), Maryport, Llanymynech and Heckmondwike (Batley Road). 

He was in the R.A.M.C. in the First World War and served as a chaplain in the Second World War, travelling extensively abroad. He was a firm believer in the Ecumenical Movement and worked hard during his ministry for a closer understanding between the different church traditions. He retired in 1961, but continued service to the Church by training young men to become local preachers. It was his greatest sorrow when, through ill health, he had to give up preaching. He was a faithful Servant of the Church and of his Master, and his companionship, sense of humour and active, perceptive mind will be missed. His wife supported and shared his ministry and was a constant source of strength and love to him. 

He died in the Bradford Royal Infirmary on 26th March, 1974 in the eighty-second year of his age and the fifty-third year of his ministry.


James was born on 15 September 1892 at Thorpe Hesley, Rotherham, Yorkshire, to parents Ben Saxton, a coal miner, and Mary Ann Broomhead. He was baptised on 20 December 1892 at Petre Street Methodist Church, Sheffield.

Before entering the ministry James worked as a colliery screen man (1911).

He married Mary Lily Cartlidge (1896-1977) in the summer of 1918 in the Barnsley Registration District, Yorkshire. Birth records identify one child.

  • Una (b1920) – married Ralph L West, a lecturer in radio science & mathematics (1939), in 1938

James died on 26 March 1974 at Bradford, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1921 Wickhambrook
  • 1925 Alfreton &c
  • 1930 Sleaford
  • 1933 Long Eaton
  • 1937 Accrington
  • 1940 Crewe
  • 1941 Chaplain, H.M. Forces
  • 1945 Ipswich Rope W
  • 1946 Maryport
  • 1954 Llanymynech
  • 1959 Heckmondwike
  • 1961 Bingley (S)


Methodist Minutes 1974/152

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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