Yarker, Phillip Thornton (1847-1934)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907

Early years

Phillip was born in 1847 at York, Yorkshire to parents Matthew Yarker and Mary Thornton. Matthew worked as a plumber and glazier.

Philip was converted under the ministry of Rev John Milner. He received his note to preach from Rev Thomas Newell in June 1867. Before entering circuit ministry, Phillip spent a year at the Sunderland Theological Institute.


During his ministry, Phillip superintended the erection of six chapels and four schoolrooms.

Phillip served his districts in the roles of Building Committee Secretary, Christian Endeavour Secretary and Sunday School Secretary.

As a preacher and platform speaker, Phillip was above the average. He had a thoughtful and cultured style; and though his delivery was quiet, it was usually impressive. He could always be relied upon to say something worth hearing.

His obituary records that he laboured on wide and difficult circuits, and won the affection of the people by his gentlemanly bearing and transparent, saintly sincerity.

After superannuation, Phillip settled for some time at Evesham. The last five years of his life were spent at Englefield, Surrey.


Phillip married Emma Turley (1847-1934) in the summer of 1874 at Salford, Lancashire. Census returns identify five children.

  • Phillip Henry (1875-1940) – a chemist’s assistant
  • Margaret (1877-1883)
  • Herbert Thornton (b1878) – a shop assistant (1911); emigrated to Australia
  • Leslie Laybourne (1886-1957) – a draughtsman
  • Ernest Leon (1887-1965) – a gas fitter

Phillip died on 4 March 1934 at Englefield Green, Egham, Surrey.


  • Sunderland
  • 1870 Knaresborough
  • 1872 Heckmondwike
  • 1874 Wakefield
  • 1877 Shipley
  • 1880 Barrowford
  • 1883 Normanton
  • 1887 Leeds II
  • 1891 Brigg
  • 1894 Bradford III
  • 1897 Hungerford
  • 1900 Southampton
  • 1904 Weymouth
  • 1908 Normanton
  • 1912 Hungerford
  • 1915 Haverhill
  • 1916 Evesham (S)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907/801

Methodist Minutes 1934/215

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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