Wenn, John (1830-1908)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1884
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1908
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1919

Early years

John was born on 27 December 1830 at Great Ellingham, Norfolk to parents William Wenn and Julen Terrington. He was baptised on 23 January 1831 at Great Ellingham.

As a child, John attended the Parish Church. He grew up a careless lad, not exactly malicious and wicked, but at the same time giving occasional proof of the fact that he was a child of Adam. He was converted when aged 18 whilst listening to a sermon preached by an unknown local preacher. The inner change affected his whole life – he immediately gave himself to study.

Aged 20, he was approached about being a minister, but he married and commenced a small business, as a shoemaker, on his own account. After two years, having built up a steady business, his wife died leaving him with a six month old child. He also had a severe fever and as a consequence lost his business.

John moved to London, found a position and continued preaching. One Sunday he preached to a congregation that included John Petty. Petty recognised his potential and a further call to ministry came from the London lll circuit.


John spent 28 years in the Nottingham District. He was Secretary of the General Committee for five years. He spent 20 years from 1869 to 1889 as Secretary of the General Examining Committee.

John was Secretary of Conference in 1886 and President at the Chester Conference in 1894.

John was also Deputy Treasurer to the Missionary Committee when the Jubilee Fund was inaugurated.

With all his committee work, his obituary records that John never forgot that he was first of all a preacher of the Gospel. He was slow to accept new theories, but never prejudiced and never narrow. He clung tenaciously to the old ways, because they were well tried, and he believed them to be safe. His preaching was a fine blend of the doctrinal and the practical.


John married Ann Darnell (1832-1853) in early 1852 at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Sabina Sarah (1853-1928)

John married Susan Hume Unknown (1832-1877) whilst in Scotland. Census returns identify four children.

  • William John Anderson (b1861) – a Presbyterian minister in Erie, Kansas
  • Joseph Henry Hume (1862-1933) – a chartered accountant
  • Julian Gray (1865-1926) – a wholesale confectioner
  • Isabella Campbell (1866-1948) – married Samuel Brown, a fruit and potato merchant (1911)

John married Emily Clews (1837-1911) in 1878 at Shardlow, Derbyshire.

John died on 23 May 1908 at Littleover, Derbyshire.


  • 1855 London lll
  • 1856 Gloucester
  • 1859 Motherwell
  • 1860 Edinburgh
  • 1862 Ilkeston
  • 1863 Sheffield ll
  • 1866 Lincoln
  • 1869 Derby
  • 1873 Sheffield lll
  • 1877 Chesterfield
  • 1883 Nottingham lll
  • 1887 Leicester l
  • 1889 Sec of Gen Comm
  • 1895 Long Eaton
  • 1897 Derby lll (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1884 (portrait); 1895/3; 1908/651; 1919/250 (portrait)

PM Minutes 1908/37

H B Kendall, Origin and History of the PM Church, vol 2, p404

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers



Transcription of Obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine

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.