Stamp family

John Stamp (1761-1831; e.m 1787) was born on 28 October 1761 at Morpeth. Deeply moved by the preaching of John Wesley at Alnwick in 1780, he became a local preacher in 1782 and a workhouse and hospital visitor. At the Conference of 1787 Wesley startled him by sending him as a preacher on trial to the Dales Circuit and for the next 36 years he was stationed mainly in northern circuits, especially in Yorkshire. He was married three times. His first wife, Mary Smith (d. 1794), was the elder daughter of William Smith of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Jane Vazeille (and therefore step-granddaughter of John Wesley). In 1797 he married Ann Wood of North Cave (d. 1811). Seven of their nine children reached maturity. All four sons attended Woodhouse Grove School. The two eldest, John Sundius Stamp and William Wood Stamp, were among the first nine pupils when the school opened in January 1812 and both entered the WM ministry.

He was one of those who promoted the founding of Woodhouse Grove. He served on the school committee and from 1824 until 1831 was its Governor. He died in office on 1 May 1831.

John Sundius Stamp (1799-1849; e.m. 1821) was born on 13 December 1799 and named after Christian Sundius. He received medical training and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. While stationed in the Southampton Circuit 1826-1829, he compiled a history of Methodism in Hampshire, which survives in two ms volumes at the Methodist Archives Centre. As Superintendent of the Chester Circuit 1835-1838, he wrote a long letter to Jabez Bunting (13 March 1836) expressing concern for the young people of Methodism and outlining his catechetical method of training them in the faith. In another letter the following year he revealed himself as a high church Methodist who wished to preserve Methodism's relationship with the Established Church. He was treasurer of the Chapel Fund, 1837-1838 and Assistant Editor at the Book Room 1842-1848, before resigning under something of a cloud. The Book Committee felt that 'the tone of a number of articles in the <span class="font-italic">Magazine</span> for two or three years ... renders it unacceptable to the bulk of our people'; and there were further disputes over his vacating the manse. He emigrated to Australia, but died on board as the ship reached Geelong, Victoria on 6 November 1849. His twin sister, Sarah Stather Stamp (1799- 1867) married into the Keeling family.

William Wood Stamp, DD (1801-1877; e.m.1823) was born in Bradford, Yorks on 23 May 1801. Like his brother he was a pupil at Woodhouse Grove School. While apprenticed to a London surgeon, he came under the influence of Joseph Butterworth, and was converted in 1822. Showing ability as a preacher, he entered the WM itinerancy. He was Governor of Richmond College 1846-1848, became a member of the Legal Hundred in 1854 and was elected President of Conference in 1860. For many years he was editor of the Wesleyan Year Book. His publications include Wesleyan Methodism in Bradford (1841) and The Orphan House of Wesley (1863), and contributions to the Wesleyan Methodist Magazine. He received a DD from the University of Chicago in 1869. He became a supernumerary in 1873 and died at Waterloo, Liverpool on 1 January 1877.


'John Sundius Stamp seems to have behaved peculiarly, to say the least. The 1849 Book Committee felt that "the tone of a number of articles in the Magazinefor two or three years now renders it unacceptable to the bulk of our people," and in the previous December a sub-committee had received Stamp's resignation. What had happened in the previous years of his service is not recorded. Unfortunately, Stamp declined to give up house and furniture, even under the direction of a Minor Synod and the Chairman of the District. In March 1849 Stamp's agent wrote that he would leave the house as soon as his finances could be placed in a position to enable him to do so, and a month later the Book Steward reported his departure - though he had taken away the whole of the linen belonging to the house, and other articles of furniture, as well as his salary up to Conference.'

Frank Cumbers, The Book Room (1956) p.122


Terry Hurst, 'The Daughters of John and Mary Stamp / Sons of John and Ann Stamp', in David J. Hart and David J. Jeremy (eds.), Brands Plucked from the Burning: Essays on Methodist Memorialisation and Remembering (2013) pp.207-10

J.S. Stamp:

  • Frank Cumbers, The Book Room, (1956) p.122
  • W.R. Ward (ed.), Early Victorian Methodism: the Correspondence of Jabez Bunting 1830-1858 (Oxford, 1976) pp.140-42, 182-83

W.W. Stamp:

  • A.E. Keeling in WM Magazine 1885 pp.86-94, 169-77
  • Wesley and his Successors (1895) pp.193-94
  • Oxford DNB