Heald, James, MP

He was a successful banker whose wealth gave him much influence in WM. Born at Brinnington, Stockport on 1 March 1796, the son of a calico printer, he was brought up a Wesleyan, but at one point considered entering the Anglican ministry. After working for some time as his father's partner, he moved to Parrs Wood, south of Manchester, in 1825. He was responsible for the Northern branch of the Theological Institution being established at nearby Didsbury in 1842 and was a lay member of its Local Committee. He was circuit steward, local preacher and class leader in the Stockport North circuit and Conservative MP for Stockport 1847-1852, but failed to gain Oldham in December 1852. A generous benefactor to many WM funds, he served as treasurer of the WMMS from 1861 to 1874 and presented the library of Thomas Jackson to Richmond College. He was one of the original guarantors of the Leys estate in Cambridge. St Paul's WM church, Didsbury (1877), which also served as the College chapel, was built by his sisters in his memory. He died at Parrs Wood on 26 October 1873.

  • W.B. Pope, Memoir of James Heald (1876)
  • G.J. Stevenson, Methodist Worthies (1884-86) 4 pp.572-75
  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number 1903, p.42
  • M. Stenton, Who's Who of British MPs, vol.1 (1976)
  • Oxford DNB