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James Austin Bastow (1810-1894) was a Primitive Methodist Minister

James A. Bastow was born in Hunslet near Leeds in 1810 and was the eldest child of John Bastow, a weaver, and Mary Wade, As a youth he attended a Primitive Methodist church in Leeds, where he was converted and soon began to work as a lay preacher. He married Dorothy Smith on 11 November 1836. They had at least six children, three boys and three girls. Their eldest son Richard Austin Bastow became an Architect and emigrate to Australia. After Dorothy's death in 1869 he married Matilda Holden in 1883.

In 1832 he became a minister on the Preston circuit, and subsequently travelled in Bolton, Ireland, Darleyton, North Shields, Edinburgh, Bradford, Grimsby, Dewsbury, Newcastle upon Tyne, Westgate, Hexham, Durham, Alston, Carlisle, Gateshead, Heston, Middlesbrough and Motherwell.

James was seen as a diligent student and laboured hard to become rich in standard Biblical literature, the latest discoveries in science and the most recent exploration in Palestine. The first edition of his Bible Dictionary was published in three volumes, between the years 1845 and 1853, there had been earlier parts issued from 1842, and at the time it was seen as a comprehensive digest of the history and antiquities of the Hebrews and neighbouring nations. The dictionary had five editions and was published by Longman, Brown, Green, Longmans, and Roberts. James became a member of the Syro-Egyptian Society (Established December 1844) whose purpose was ‘to encourage and advance literature, science and the arts in Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, Arabia, Palestine, Syria, Mesopotamia, and Asia Minor

After 48 years of active ministry, James retired to Southport 1879 and joined the High Park Society.

In 1893 James had a fall, and never fully recovered, he was confined to his bed but was a poor patient and agreed to stay ther for only two days. On April 7, 1894, he passed quietly away with his son, the Reverend Samual J.Barstow, at his bedside. His remains were interred in the circuit minister's grave at St.Cuthbert's, Churchtown. A short service was conducted at his residence after which a service was held in High Park Chapel. A memorial service was conducted at the Marshside Road Chapel on Sunday evening, April 14, where a large congregation assembled. (Primitive Methodist magazine, 1894/864)

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