Flanagan, James
1851-1918; e.m. 1891

PM missioner, was born on 18 September 1851, to a drunken Irish RC father. For much of his childhood he lived with an aunt. The family later moved to Burnley, then to Birstall and Ilkeston. James became a clay pipe maker, like his father and brothers, and then, for a time, a coal miner. In Nottingham he met his wife, whose example drew him to Christianity. He was converted at Bath Street PM chapel, Ilkeston in 1872 and became a local preacher in 1874. Gaining a reputation for evangelism, he was appointed Nottingham City Missioner in 1885 and in 1887 a regular preacher at the Albert Hall. Entering the PM ministry in 1891, he served in the Southwark Circuit, which became the London South East Mission following the opening of St George's Hall in 1905. He gave himself particularly to serving the destitute and to the temperance cause. A memorial plaque in St. George's Hall recorded: 'He loved the poor, he was beloved by the poor; he gave his life to bless and save the poor.' But his health failed in 1905 and he moved back to West Bridgford. His autobiography, Scenes from my Life, both grave and gay was published in 1907. Following his wife's death in 1911 he accompanied his widowed daughter on visits to New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. He died on 30 March 1918.

  • Methodist Recorder, Winter Number, 1907 pp.51-3
  • Dennis Crane, James Flanagan, the story of a remarkable career (1906)
  • R.W. Russell, The Life of James Flanagan, Preacher, Evangelist, Author (1920)
  • Samuel Horton, From Coal Mine to Pulpit: the life story of James Flanagan (1938)
  • Peter J. Hammond, 'James Flanagan: the story of a remarkable career', in Nottinghamshire Historian, no. 72 (Spring/Summer 2004) pp. 9-11


Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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