Broadbent, John
1829-88; e.m. 1854

Born in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire to James Broadbent a Local Preachers and Susan née Clay. He married Emily Anna Collins the daughter of Rev Collins, Thomas. They had one child Emily M. who was 2 years old when her mother died in 1863. John Broadbent married Charlotte Elizabeth Stratton a few months later. They had at least 11 children. Following several circuit appointments of a year and occasional three years in 1865 he was appointed to Sunderland and then to North Shields. During these two appointments he became well respected as an outstanding evangelist, social reformer, and Temperance advocate. He started to preach evangelically temperance on the steps of Howard Street Library Sunderland. He continued this ministry in the Assembly Rooms which were later named Broadbent Hall. When he left the area his supporters in 1870 established the “Evangelistic Temperance Church” which became the Stephenson Street Congregational Church and later St Andrew’s URC. On a seven pointed star, white metal medallion, there is an inscription which reads ‘Reverend John Broadbent’ …‘Instituted the Evangelistic Temperance Union … 1865.’ On 23 August 1869 Broadbent was brought before the North Shields Police Court Bench by two public house landlords for preaching and causing an affray outside their establishments. Broadbent lost the case and an appeal was made to the quarter sessions. The ‘rate payers of the Borough of Tynemouth’ made a public appeal to pay for the case to be defended. A sum of around £100 was raised. The case was lost, and Broadbent was fined. He refused to pay believing himself to be innocent of the charge. He was committed to prison. An anonymous benefactor paid the fine and Broadbent was released. Whilst faithfully fulfilling another 18 years of ministry his health never fully recovered for his experience in the North East of England. He died aged 59 in Knighton on 16th December 1888.

  • Wesleyan Methodist Magazine 1864, p. 288
  • Wesleyan Methodist Conference Minutes 1889 pp. 19-20
  • Hill's Arrangements (1887), p. 20
  • Shields Daily Gazette, 23 August 1869, p. 2
  • Shields Daily News, 17 September 1868, p. 4
  • Newcastle Daily Chronicle, 4 October 1869, p. 1
  • Berkshire Chronicle, 13 November 1869
  • Shields Daily Gazette, 20 December 1888, p. 3
  • Peter A. Crummett, The Temperance Movement Its Medals and Badges, (Congleton, 2019), p. 67

Entry written by: DHR
Category: Person
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