Wilkinson, Dr John Thomas, FRHS
1893-1980; e.m. 1917

PM minister and scholar, the son of a PM minister, Wilfred Reuben Wilkinson (1871-1953; e.m.1893; PM Book Steward 1921-26). He was born in Hull on 10 December 1893 and educated at Manchester University and Hartley College. After nearly 30 years in circuit, he was appointed tutor in Church History and English Literature at Hartley Victoria College in 1946, becoming Principal in 1953. He edited the memorial volume (1958) to A.S. Peake, whom he greatly admired. In 1954 he founded the Peake Memorial Lecture, which he himself gave twice, in 1960 on 'Principles of Bible Interpretation' and in 1969 on Peake's correspondence. His interest in seventeenth century Puritanism led to edited editions of Richard Baxter's Reformed Pastor (1939) and The Saints' Everlasting Rest (1962). His other interests included the Cambridge Platonists and Primitive Methodism and he wrote biographies of both William Clowes (1951) and Hugh Bourne (1952). He was awarded the rare Manchester DD for his published works. He died at Knighton on 13 November 1980.

His son, Dr. John Leonard Wilkinson (b. 24 May 1924),served as a medical missionary at Nixon Memorial Hospital, Sierra Leone from 1955 to 1971; and his younger son Dr. Alan Bassindale Wilkinson (b. 1931) became an Anglican priest and historian. He wrote books on the Church and 20th century wars and on Christian socialism.


'As a (Primitive) Methodist minister and pacifist, my father felt marginal to society. He was torn throughout his life. On the one hand he saw Jesus as an outsider,from manger to cross. But he felt drawn to art, literature, history, and certain aspects of the Church of England.'

Alan Wilkinson, in Church Times, 7 November 2014

  • Methodist Recorder, 27 Nov. 1980