Wilkinson, John (1818-1867)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by P Daykin

JONN WILKINSON, son of John and Ann Wilkinson, was born at Ruddington, in the Nottingham First Station, January 6th, 1818, He had not the advantages of either a moral or mental training any further than he obtained at his native village in the Wesleyan Sabbath school, where he received good impressions. At the age of fourteen he identified himself with the Wesleyans. He afterwards removed to Gotham; and in the year 1838 he united with the Primitive Methodists there. After continuing a member nearly two years, his name appeared on the Circuit’s plan as a local preacher, and in 1843 he received an invitation from his own station to labour in the regular ministry on the Arnold mission of the Nottingham First Circuit. 

He afterwards travelled on the following stations, Sleaford, Horncastle, Leicester, Rugby Mission, Earl Shilton, Bottesford, Melton Mowbray, Chesterfield, Winster, Nottingham First, Leicester Second, Sleaford, Newark, Burton-on-Trent, Wirksworth, and Hinckley. 

In some of these stations he was very successful in the conversion of sinners; some of his converts are now not only adorning their profession by a holy life, but are bearing the message of mercy to others. His numerous changes bore very heavily on his physical and mental constitution, especially in the closing years of his ministry, and he gave striking indications when at Newark, Burton-on-Trent, and Wirksworth stations, of failing health. 

He tried, by the use of medicinal herbs and the hydropathic treatment at Matlock, to restore his health and invigorate his feeble frame. I saw him for the last time on earth at the “Nottingham District Ministers’ Association,” held at Matlock in March last. In April his memory began to fail, hence he became confused in his pulpit ministrations, and had to cease in the midst of his sermons to recall his thoughts. Still he did not apprehend any approximate danger, and refused to listen to the advice of the Circuit Committee to cease for a time from his ministerial labours, until he was unable to perform them any longer. 

On Saturday, May 11th, he retired to rest, having been in the town and to the post-office the same day. On Sabbath morning, at two o’clock, he was seized with convulsions, his speech failed him, and he continued in this state until Monday, May 13th, about six p.m., when congestion of the brain terminated his earthly probation, without his being able to bless his wife and children, or to say to his surrounding and sorrowing friends “Farewell.”

He died in the forty-ninth year of his age, and the twenty-fourth of his Christian ministry. 

It has been my lot to follow the late John Wilkinson in three of his stations, and now, by request of the District Committee, I follow him to the Hinckley Circuit. I have always found him a man of piety and peace, more willing to quietly suffer than complain. He was called from the working classes into the ministry. He was a labourer in God’s vineyard, “a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth”; and, no doubt, had more strength been given more success would have attended his labours. May his wife and children meet him in heaven.


John was born on 6 January 1818 at Ruddington, Nottinghamshire, to parents John and Anne. He was baptised on 13 January 1818 at Ruddington.

He married Ann Louisa Dudley (1826-1907) in late 1848 at Rugby, Warwickshire.  Census returns identify four children.

  • John Edwin (1853-1872) – an attorney’s clerk (1871)
  • Frederick William (1858-1920) – a PM minister
  • Louisa Dudley (1860-1918) – a dressmaker (1881); married Joseph Maw, a Prudential assurance agent (1901), in 1889
  • Selina Jane (1867-1935) – a dressmaker (1891); married Thomas George Argyle, a grocer (1901) and later an insurance agent, in 1893

John died on 13 May 1867 at Hinckley, Leicestershire.


  • 1843 Sleaford
  • 1844 Horncastle
  • 1845 Leicester
  • 1846 Rugby
  • 1847 E Sheldon
  • 1849 Bottesford
  • 1851 Melton Mowbray
  • 1853 Chesterfield
  • 1854 Winster
  • 1855 Nottingham I
  • 1856 Leicester II
  • 1857 Sleaford
  • 1859 Newark
  • 1861 Burton on Trent
  • 1863 Wirksworth
  • 1865 Hinckley


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1868/35

PM Minutes 1867/15

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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