Shimmin, Francis Herbert (1884-1956)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

FRANCIS HERBERT SHIMMIN: born at Earlestown, Lancs, in 1884, son of the Rev. Francis Neil Shimmin. He was educated at Manchester Grammar School, was accepted as a candidate for the Primitive Methodist Ministry at the age of twenty, and after training at Hartley College was appointed to the Hull (Williamson Street) circuit in 1906, with charge of the then new Portobello Church. There his lack of self-concern in devotion to his work led to a serious illness. 

On his recovery, he was appointed to another new church at Bexhill-on-Sea which, under his leadership, saw substantial progress. Subsequently he worked in Southport, Skelmersdale, Leeds, Wakefield, Scarborough, and Scunthorpe. He became a supernumerary in 1946, but remained to give valuable service in the Scunthorpe circuit until 1950, when he removed to Ealing. 

To all his circuits he gave himself with conscientious devotion. A man of high integrity, he scorned all that was mean and unworthy, yet he loved human nature, with all its faults, and he always won the love and trust of his people. He thought modestly of himself and sought no personal honours, but he justified the confidence of his brethren whenever any special service was asked of him. His interests were broad and he read widely, loving good literature. A forceful preacher, a sympathetic and faithful pastor, and a loyal friend, he set a fine example of Christian manhood. 

His last years at Ealing were years of increasing physical limitation, but he sustained the repeated assaults of illness with patient and uncomplaining courage. He passed peacefully to the fullness of life on 15th June 1956, in the seventy-first year of his age and the forty-ninth of his ministry.


Francis was born on 8 October 1884 at Earlstown, Lancashire, to parents Francis Neil Shimmin, a PM minister, and Phebe Jane Nixon.

He married Ethel Robinson (1884-1960) in early 1912 at Eastbourne, Sussex. Birth records identify two children.

  • Francis Neil (1913-1986) – a civil engineer (1956)
  • Margaret Joan (1915-2010) – a school mistress (1939); married Albert T Allen in 1942

Francis died on 15 June 1956 at Margarets Littledean, nr. Anderford, Gloucestershire.


  • Hartley
  • 1906 Hull VI
  • 1907 Blackburn I
  • 1909 Walkden
  • 1910 Bexhill
  • 1914 Southport II
  • 1918 Skelmersdale
  • 1921 Leeds Vi
  • 1929 Leeds III
  • 1934 Wakefield
  • 1935 Scarborough
  • 1941 Scunthorpe &c
  • 1946 Scunthorpe (S)


Methodist Minutes 1956/203

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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