Ashton, James
1819-1874; e.m. 1841

BC minister and missionary in Australia, was born at Beaford, Devon on 20 January 1819. He left school at 9 to help cultivate his father's large garden; then at 12 went to live with his maternal uncle's family at Hartland. The death of his eldest brother, mother and only sister in quick succession deeply affected him. He was converted under the preaching of the BC itinerant William Reed and became a teetotaler. During his first appointment, to Falmouth, hundreds were converted. After eight other circuits, in 1857 he was sent to South Australia in response to an urgent request on account of the illness of James Way. His ministry at Willunga, Bowden and Mt. Lofty involved riding many miles on horseback. He was a shy man, but orderly, prompt, handy and inventive. He read widely, with a particular interest in Mental and Moral Philosophy and Geology. He was Chairman of the District and Connexional Book Steward. The church at Stirling (of which James Way laid the foundation stone in 1878) was named the Ashton Memorial BC Church. He died at Angle Vale, South Australia on 14 December 1874.