Wearmouth, Robert Featherstone M.A., B.Sc., PhD (1882-1963)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference

RoBERT FEATHERSTONE WEARMOUTH, M.A., B.Sc., Ph.D.: born in Oxhill, Co. Durham, in 1882. In his late teens he enlisted in the Army and saw service in India. While at home, on leave, he went to the village chapel and heard the call of God, to which he responded. After completing his Army service, he gave himself to serious study, and after training at Hartley College, entered the Primitive Methodist Ministry. He served in the following circuits: Grimsby, Oakham, Birmingham, Penzance, West Ham, Willesden Green, Leighton Buzzard, Berkhamsted, and South Bank and Eston. During the 1914-18 War he served as an Army Chaplain.

On his retirement he continued to serve the churches in the Darlington and Newcastle Districts. It was during his ministries in Birmingham and London he began his research into the contribution of the Methodist Church to the life of the working classes and the Trade Union movement, and from his pen there came several volumes which will remain as records of the influence of the Church among the working classes of the last century. He was a student to the end of his days. 

Methodical in his living he was methodical in his preparation for his pulpit ministry. Those who listened to him realised he was a man who knew what he wanted to say, and had prepared himself to say it in the way best suited to his hearers. He never forgot those who had helped him in his early days, and found joy in giving recitals in North-country dialect. During his retirement he enriched the lives of many who attended his lectures at Evening Classes. He loved his Church, and was happy preaching. 

He died on 28 March 1963, in the eighty-first year of his age and the fifty-fourth year of his ministry.


Robert was born on 10 June 1882 at Oxhill, Co. Durham, to parents William Wearmouth, a coal miner (1891), and Sarah Walker.

He married Mary Hannah Gibson (1881-1953) in the summer of 1913 in the Lanchester Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify one child.

  • John Robert (1919-1992) – a civil servant (1963)

He married Olive Summerbell (1885-1966) in early 1955 in the Northumberland South Registration District, Northumberland. 

Robert died on 28 March 1963 at Tynemouth, Northumberland.


  • Hartley
  • 1909 Grimsby I
  • 1913 Oakham
  • 1915 Chaplain H.M. Forces
  • 1920 Birmingham V
  • 1922 Birmingham II
  • 1925 Penzance
  • 1929 West Ham
  • 1933 Willesden Green
  • 1935 Leighton Buzzard
  • 1938 Berkhamstead
  • 1946 South Bank &c
  • 1948 Darlington (S)


Methodist Minutes 1963/202

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Lovely to read this summary. This is my grandfather. My father was John Robert Wearmouth born 1.12.1919

    By Alexandra Chicken nee Wearmouth (05/07/2022)

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