Whittle, John (1853-1919)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912

Early years

John was born in 1853 at Warrington, Lancashire to parents Thomas and Mary. Thomas was a cotton spinner and was a local preacher and class leader for thirty years. The family moved to Bolton when John was a few months old. He was converted aged eleven and went of the plan when fifteen. John’s zeal and devotion found many outlets in Christian service; in school, church, circuit, and in establishing new missions in neglected localities. His commercial prospects were bright and promising. At the time of the 1871 census, John was working as a book-keeper. It was Rev J Travis who recognised his potential for ministry and although a married man, John was pledged by the Manchester third circuit in 1876.


Most of John’s ministry took place in the Manchester District and he served as Secretary of nearly every Committee in his District.

His obituary records that as a preacher, John was a remarkable blend of prophet and evangelist. There was intellectual vigour, Culture, and careful preparation. The matter was always first, the manner second. The truth was first passed through his own soul as living experience, and then uttered with clear conviction, spiritual passion, and power.


John married Margaret Garlick (b1852) in the summer of 1873 at Bolton, Lancashire. Census returns identify four children.

  • Alice (1874-1954)
  • William Garlick (1876-1935) – a civil servant (Post Office) (1919)
  • Mary Margaret Garlick (b1882) – a telegraph operator (1901)
  • Catherine Stuart (b abt1887)

John died on 18 July 1919 at Southport, Lancashire.


  • 1876 Manchester III
  • 1878 Manchester I
  • 1881 Rochdale
  • 1883 Heywood
  • 1887 Southport I
  • 1894 Blackburn I
  • 1899 Bolton I
  • 1905 Buxton
  • 1907 Southport I
  • 1912 Leicester IV


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/548; 1920/511

PM Minutes 1920/276

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • The Heywood Advertiser of 8 July 1887 carries a report of two addresses written on behalf of the officials, members, teachers, scholars and friends of Bridge Street Chapel and Miller Street Chapel, Heywood, to Rev. J Whittle ‘as an expression of our sincere regard towards you as our minister’; at the end of ‘the four years of your ministerial work as a teacher of the Gospel you have discharged your duties with credit and ability; as a pastor you have earned the general respect and love of our society, and as a friend and brother you have entered deeply into our sympathies and affections … also making honourable mention of your assiduous labours in connection with our late bazaar, whereby the debt on our premises (Bridge Street Chapel) was liquidated, in addition to refurbishing and beautifying the school and chapel.’

    By Chris Wells (04/07/2023)

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