James Davison (1810-1880), born near Wooler, Northumberland, was brought up a Presbyterian. His first encounter with Methodism was in 1824 when h ws converted under the Bible Christian evangelist Mary Armstrong. In his mid-twenties he joined the PMs under the influence of the Rev. William Lister and gave them loyal service as a local preacher, particularly in the Hexham area. During more than 40 years as headmaster of Greenwich Hospital's Deanraw School in Lower Allendale, he served as a local preacher in the huge Hexham Circuit and was a frequent representative at District Meetings and Conference. He was a keen temperance advocate. 'His pupils went far and wide' and included the Rev. William E. Crombie, Governor of Elmfield College, the Rev. G. Armstrong, pastor of a large church in America, and the Rev. George Armstrong, President of the PM Conference in 1923. (Tradition claims that five of his pupils became Presidents of the PM Conference.) He died on 19 March 1880.
One of his pupils was his own son Matthew P. Davison (5 March 1853 - 12 February 1922; e.m. 1875) who trained at the Sunderland PM Institute 1870-71 and was President of the Conference in 1920. He was followed into the ministry by his son Hugh Allan Davison (28 December 1892 - 10 December 1973; e.m. 1917) and grandson Richard Matthew Davison (4 August 1924 - 20 April 2011; e.m. 1948), who was a conscientious objector during the war and later chairman of Wythenshaw Labour Party. Another son, Richard E. Davison (1891-1916), was articled to the connexional solicitors Rawlings, Butt & Bower, but died on 10 September 1916 in the battle of the Somme.