Wilson, Joseph Bastow (1864-1921)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1922


A transcription of the obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.T. Clarke is attached. He records the following.

“It must be said of him that he loved work. To be usefully busy was a joy to him. He cheerfully shouldered burdens from which many men of stronger physique would have shrunk. To him work was laborious, exacting, wearying, but not drudgery. It was a dignity and a glory, and he went forth to meet it as a man goes to meet his love.

His interests were wide. There was nothing of narrowness in his “make-up.” Politics, temperance, Free Churchism, education, Christian Endeavourism, and other agencies to promote moral and physical well-being strongly appealed to him, and hours that ought to have been devoted to rest and recuperation were freely given to their advocacy. 

His sympathies were quick. When at Northfleet, whilst still a married probationer, a severe winter, during which the Thames was frozen, threw many out of work, causing wide-spread distress. Without funds, but with plenty of faith, and a good wife to help, he opened a soup kitchen and daily fed hundreds of children. On other circuits he undertook similar work, but greatly widened the scope at Canning Town.”


James was born on 26 February 1864 at Dudley, Worcestershire, to parents James Wilson, a boilersmith’s riveter (1871), and Martha Round.

In 1881 James is recorded as a stocktaker in an ironworks.

He married Sarah Dunn (b1862) in early 1887 in the Stockton Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify five of eight children.

  • Amy Louisa (1889-1908)
  • Edith Emma (b1892) – a student (1911)
  • Harold Dunn (1893-1969) – a PM minister
  • Joseph Bastow (1900-1971) – a schoolmaster (1939)
  • William Chadwick (1902-1975) – a dentist

James died on 15 October 1921 at Yarmouth, Norfolk.


  • 1892 Aldershot
  • 1894 Gravesend
  • 1896 Paisley
  • 1897 Glasgow III
  • 1899 Barrow in Furness
  • 1902 Alnwick
  • 1905 Seaton Delaval
  • 1909 Plumstead
  • 1913 Plaistow
  • 1919 Yarmouth


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1922/286

PM Minutes 1922/289

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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