Jukes, Richard
1804-1867; e.m. 1826

PM itinerant and hymn writer. Born at Goat Hill in the Clun valley on 9 October 1804, the son of a stonemason, he worked in that craft when young. When PM came into the valley in 1825, he was converted at a cottage meeting at Clungunford, became a local preacher and in December 1826 was enlisted as an itinerant, serving in Midland and southern circuits until his retirement in 1859. He was confronted by many spiritual and social problems in the course of his ministry and in some cases it may be wondered whether he was not sent to address problems in the circuits to which he was appointed. He received many invitations from outside his circuit to speak at chapel openings and other such occasions. At the opening of the refurbished Kidderminster chapel in 1832, two young men committed themselves to the ministry.

His native love of poetry and music was applied fully in his ministry. His first identifiable appearance in print was in 1833, when the PM Magazine published some of his poems. He wrote many hymns and songs, becoming known as 'the bard of the poor'. These were published in pamphlet form, often now very rare, and sold in large numbers, but very few were used in connexional hymn-books. The 1854 hymn book included eight of his hymns. One of his hymns is MHB 403, 'My heart is fixed, eternal God'. The PM Magazine in December 1852 included his 'Elegiac lines' on the death of Hugh Bourne. He collaborated with William Harland in the production of the second edition of the PM Revival Hymn-book (1861) He also published addresses and recitals for Sunday School anniversaries. He died at West Bromwich on 10 August 1867.

  • Thomas Church (ed.), Gospel Victories or Missionary anecdotes of imprisonments, labours and persecutions endured by Primitive Methodist Preachers between the years 1812 and 1844 (1851) pp.79-82
  • James Pritchard, The Poet of the Million; or, Memorials of the life and labours of the late Rev. Richard Jukes of Westbromwich... (1867)
  • Aldersgate Magazine, 1903, pp.69-70
  • A. Wilkes & J. Lovatt, Mow Cop and the Camp Meeting Movement (Leominster, 1942) pp.87-94