Sunday’s Obituary – John Gawthrop (1853-1924)

I first wrote about John Gawthrop last October.  He is my 1st cousin 2x removed.

John became a Wesleyan Minister and since last October I discovered that the Methodist archives are held at the John Ryland’s University Library in Manchester.  I did some research about the material held at the library.  Unfortunately there are no records of John’s sermons or any other personal papers.

However I was able to access his entry in the Methodist Who’s Who.  I was also able to get a list of all the places he served as a minister from something called the Hill’s Arrangements.  Finally I was able to obtain a copy of his obituary from the 1924 Methodist Conference minutes.

The library have strict rules about using the material from the archives.  Whilst I was permitted to photograph the documents I am not allowed to publish or share them.  I can however transcribe the documents.

According to the Hill’s Arrangements published in 1922 show that John began his ministry in 1886 and finished in 1922.  Here is the list of all the places he worked.

Year Place Length of time
1886 Halifax 3 years
1889 Bedford 3 years
1892 Coventry 3 years
1895 Louth 3 years
1898 Leeds Mission 1 year
1899 Kirkby Stephen 4 years
1903 Huntingdonshire Misc. 4 years
1907 Louth 3 years
1910 Gainsborough 3 years
1913 Gloucester 6 years
1919 Bristol 3 years
1922 Huntingdonshire Misc.

The John Ryland’s library have a 1914 copy of the Methodist Who’s Who and I was able to photograph the entry for John Gawthrop.  I also found the 1912 Who’s Who at www.archive.org which I was able to download as a PDF document.

John died on 19 May 1924 and his obituary is recorded in the minutes of the Methodist Conference held later that year.

Obituary

John Gawthrop: born at Cowling in Yorkshire in 1853.  His conversion filled him with an intense love for every kind of Christian evangelism.  He became a local preacher, and for six years served as a Lay Evangelist.  He was accepted as a Candidate, and after a term at Headingley College entered the Ministry in 1886.  He served six years as District Evangelist, and throughout his life spent himself utterly in the work of saving souls.  His name is held dear by very many in all parts of the country whom he led to Christ.  In 1922 he was obliged to retire through ill-health to Great Paxton, near St. Neots.  He was unable to preach, but loved God’s house greatly.  His light burned and shone even in his affliction.  The last months were spent in much pain till on May 19, 1924, he passed home in the seventy-second year of his age and the thirty-eighth of his ministry.

I am glad that I have been able to find out a bit more about John and to share it with you.

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3 comments

  1. Hi, Mike – I was interested to read your posting and the fact the Methodist records are at John Ryland Library in Manchester, which I visited last year when at a conference in the city. On my father’s side his grandfather in Bilston, Staffs was, according to the family, a Methodist lay preacher, but so far I have not done too much investigating on this line. You have given me a prompt, so thanks!

  2. Thanks Mike . I have been able to read your piece about my Grandfather John Gawthrop on this page so progress has been made! The list of postings has been helpfull in making more sense of the letters that my father wrote to his mother from the first world war when he was in the royal flying corps in France and also when lecturing in aerial gunnery in the U.K. I have read somewhere that J G wrote some sort of sermon or essay when he was positioned in S Neots but can’t find it at the moment,I will send more about this later if you would like me to. It was also in St Neots that the Gawthrop family met the Cardell family which in turn led to my Aunt Elsie marrying Harold Cardell in 1916. I have a precious photograph of that wedding which portrays J.G on the back row, if you would like me to I will send you a copy.

    best wishes
    Shirley

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