Spence, John
1816- post 1889

Primitive Methodist coalminer, draper and politician, born in July 1816 at Percy Main, near North Shields, one of seventeen children. At nine he became a trapper boy in the pit, opening and shutting doors for the men to push the tubs of coal to the shaft. In 1826 the Primitive Methodists missioned the colliery village and this led to his conversion. At twenty-one he left the pit and began a small drapery business in Percy Main, then in 1845 moved to North Shields. He was elected to the Board of Guardians in 1864 and so continued until at least 1889. Elected to the borough council in 1870, he was mayor in 1881 and an alderman from January 1884. He was also a director of the Primitive Methodist Insurance Company.

  • Primitive Methodist Magzine, 1889, pp.641-2


Entry written by: DCD
Category: Person
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