Veal, John Henry (1881-1970)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

JOHN HENRY VEAL: born at Goodmanham, East Yorkshire, on 21 September 1881. On acceptance as a candidate for the Primitive Methodist ministry he received his training at Hartley College, and completed his probation in the Sleaford and Horwich circuits. After ordination in 1906 he was appointed to Brigg and thereafter served in the following circuits: Knighton, Wolverhampton II, Bedale, Bakewell, Newton and Hyde, Haworth and Oakworth, Glasgow (Alexandra Parade), Newport (Salop), Manchester (New Islington), Stoke-on-Trent (Hanley), Rochdale (North). It was from the Rochdale Circuit that he retired in 1947. 

After some years he became resident in Berwick Grange, Harrogate, in 1968, where, for the two and a half remaining years of his life he rejoiced in the continual fellowship of his fellow-Methodists of his own generation and exercised a gracious ministry among them. 

Throughout his ministry he continued to be at heart a countryman and rejoiced most to be able to serve in country circuits at a time when the most advanced means of mechanised travel for preachers was the humble pedal-cycle. By nature he was a man of considerable physical strength and this he rejoiced to use fully in his circuit work. In being ordained he realized his great ambition, and throughout his life he was ‘content to fill a little space, if God be glorified’. Through his life he exercised himself in a ministry that was in him distinguished by a deep but unobtrusive concern for the spiritual and moral well-being of all whom he knew he was called to serve in the name of his Lord. The essential quality of his character and ministry was perhaps expressed by himself shortly before his death, when he said to the Superintendent of the Harrogate Circuit, ‘I am not worrying. Worry and trust don’t go together . . . and I trust’. 

He died on 15 November 1970, in the ninetieth year of his age and the sixty-fifth of his ministry.


John was born on 21 September 1881 at Goodmanham, Yorkshire, to parents Mantle, a rural postman (1891), and Hannah. He was baptised on 11 October 1881 at Pocklington, Yorkshire.

Before entering the ministry John worked as a chemist’s general assistant (1901).

He married Annie Elizabeth Smith (1888-1962) in the spring of 1991 at Market Weighton, Yorkshire. Birth records identify one child.

  • Keith Howard (1917-1975) – a laboratory assistant in dye stuffs industry (1939)

John died on 15 November 1970 at Harrogate, Yorkshire.


  • Hartley
  • 1906 Sleaford
  • 1909 Norwich
  • 1910 Brigg
  • 1912 Knighton
  • 1916 Wolverhampton II
  • 1920 Bedale
  • 1922 Bakewell
  • 1925 Newton & Hyde
  • 1930 Haworth


Methodist Minutes 1971/170

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: For some unknown reason Leary did not list John’s stations post Methodist Union.

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