“Brother Whittaker evinced great earnestness in labouring to improve the (Adelaide) Mission. Through his judicious business transactions, good sound preaching, and earnest pastoral labours, there was soon an improvement in the mission. I was his colleague for three years, and I always found him up and doing, planning, or executing to the best of his ability his plans for the good of the cause of God. Having a good knowledge of architecture, he rendered valuable service to the connexion in this department of labour. After travelling at Adelaide four years, he was stationed at Kooringa, and he had not been here long before a glorious revival broke out, and he laboured incessantly in it. In writing to me about this time, he says, ‘We have a blessed work going on here, one of the best and most solid revivals I have witnessed since I left Birmingham.’ . . . As a man, he was rather sensitive; as a friend, I always found him make himself friendly; as a husband and father, he was affectionate and kind, at the same time, when necessity required, he was strict and faithful. As a Christian, so far as I have seen and heard, he was one who walked and talked with God. As a preacher, he was above mediocrity; the more he preached—the oftener he was heard—the more he was liked. He could bring out of his treasury things new and old. As a colleague, I travelled comfortably with him. I have been with him on sea and on land, at religious meetings and in official meetings, and, also, in family bereavements; and I found him a consistent Christian, a faithful minister, and an affectionate brother in Christ.”
James was born on 14 January 1822 at Hippings, Lancashire, to parents James, a dyer (1822), and Elizabeth. He was baptised on 27 January 1822 at Whalley, Lancashire.
He married Mary Yapp (1825-1911) in the spring of 1851 in the Ludlow Registration District, Shropshire. Records identify three children.
- Anne Mehetabel (b1853) – married Francis Loudon, a land agent (194), in 1877
- James Neander (1856-1857)
- Octavia Frances (b1860) – married in 1882 but unable to identify husband.
James died on 3 October 1862 at Wellington, New Zealand.
- 1845 Birmingham
- 1847 Rubury
- 1849 Ludlow
- 1851 Darlaston
- 1852 Congleton
- 1854 Adelaide – Australia
- 1859 Kooringa
- 1861 Wellington – New Zealand
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1863/385
PM Minutes 1863/9
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers