JOHN GLEESON

john-gleeson-religion

Congregational Minister of St. Nicholas Congregational Church, St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich

September 1906 – September 1915

 

Born: 1858, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

 

Father: (Patrick) Patsey Gleeson, born 1829, Ballyhaunis, County Mayo, Ireland. Patsey was a General Dealer/Hawker with a freehold dwelling house, shop and workshop, at Dale Street, Wirksworth. Patrick Gleeson died 1896, Wirksworth, Derbyshire. During lectures by Patsey’s son, the Reverend John Gleeson, about his rambles across Ireland, the story of Patsey and his brother James was told –  “My father after that terrible famine of years ago was forced to come to England, and after he had worked a passage across, was forced, owing to the stress of funds, to be content with the common lodging houses of London. There he had to be content, and, kicked and buffeted about, he became prosperous, eventually sending me (John) to Trinity College, Dublin, and gave me a good education.” Sheerness Times – Saturday, 23rd February 1907.

 

Mother: Mary Gleeson (nee Alsop), born 1836, Wirksworth, baptised 7th August 1836, at St. Alkmund, Derby. Mary Gleeson died 13th June 1868, at Dale Street, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

 

Brother: Andrew Gleeson, born November 1856, Wirksworth, Derbyshire, baptised 21st November 1856, at Wirksworth. Baby Andrew Gleeson died November 1856, aged 2 weeks. Laid to rest 25th November 1856, Wirksworth.

 

John was educated at Wirksworth Grammar School, before moving on to continue his education at Trinity College, Dublin (travelling via steamer at Holyhead on the coast of Wales and landing at Dublin Bay). His first pastorate was at Kilmainham, a suburb of Dublin. Whilst in Dublin, John was present in Phoenix Park, on the 6th May 1882, when Lord Frederick Charles Cavendish and Irish civil servant Thomas Henry Burke was assassinated. In June 1884, John was appointed to the Ebenezer Chapel of the Congregational Church, at Newry, and thence to Lisburn in the north of Ireland, holding each pastorate for a couple of years.

In 1889, Reverend John Gleeson accepted the call to minister at Penrith Congregational Church, Duke Street, Cumberland, after the Reverend Robert Jackson accepted a position at Petworth Congregational, near Brighton, leaving in early December 1888. John’s ministerial work at Penrith terminated on the first Sunday of July 1892 after he accepted the call to minister at Upper Chapel, Idle, Yorkshire. The Reverend Simeon Dyson of Penrith Congregational Church resigned from his pastorate in 1891.

INVITATION TO THE PASTORATE AT IDLE

The Reverend John Gleeson announced that he has decided to accept an invitation to the pastorate at Upper Chapel, Idle, expressing sorrow that he would have to leave the people of Penrith who had treated him with much consideration and kindness. He felt that a field of greater usefulness had been opened up to him and believed he was acting on the line of duty in accepting the hearty and unanimous call. Cumberland and Westmorland Herald – 11th June 1892

After twelve years, the Reverend John Gleeson rendered his resignation at Upper Chapel, Idle, towards the end of 1905 to accept the call to minister at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich, after the Rev. John Reuben Saunders, Congregational Minister at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich retired and moved to Wallington, Surrey to reside with his son Percy John Saunders.

THE REVEREND JOHN GLEESON, OF IDLE – A “CALL” FROM IPSWICH

The Reverend John Gleeson, the well-known pastor of the Upper Chapel at Idle, has received a “call” from the congregation of the St. Nicholas Congregational Church at Ipswich, and it is exceedingly probable that he will accept it. Last Tuesday evening Mr. and Mrs. Gleeson attended a social gathering in connection with the church at Ipswich. The Reverend gentleman has informed the deacons of the Idle Upper Chapel of the “call,” and it is expected that he will make some reference to it from the pulpit on Sunday morning. Mr. Gleeson has laboured with great acceptance at Idle, and his fame as a lecturer is widely known. Shipley Times and Express – 9th March 1906

COMMENCED HIS MINISTRY AT IPSWICH

The Reverend John Gleeson, F.R.G.S., commenced his ministry at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich, on Sunday, by preaching to large congregations, morning and evening. It is confidently expected that Mr. Gleeson’s advent to St. Nicholas Congregational Church will cause a revival of interest in this time-honoured sanctuary, where good work has been done by former pastors, all of whom, with one exception, have passed away. Mr. Gleeson is evidently an original thinker and preacher. Evening Star – 4th September 1906

 

On Wednesday, 18th April 1900, at Eccleshill Congregational Chapel, Eccleshill, Yorkshire, John, of the Idle Congregational Church, married Alice Smith, born 1860, Eccleshill – sixth daughter of William and Elizabeth Smith, of Eccleshill, Yorkshire.

Father: William Smith, born 1823, Eccleshill. William with his brother-in-law John Hutton was a founding partner of the woollen cloth manufacturer ‘Smith and Hutton,’ at Victoria Mills and Tunwell Mills, Eccleshill – employing over 200 workers. The company’s products became popular, so William and John opened a mill in Leeds. William retired from the company in 1882. In politics, William was a Liberal and a strong supporter of the Congregational Church. He became a director of the Shipley Gas Company, and for 23 years William was a member of the North Bierley Guardians and was twice their chairman. William was also a member of the Eccleshill Local Board and the Calverley Joint Hospital Board, on which he was chairman. William Smith died Wednesday, 15th June 1892, at his residence Ashcroft, Undercliffe, Bradford. He had been in failing health for some time when he caught a chill on his return journey from Harrogate on the day of the Guiseley collision when the train was much delayed, and it is thought this hastened his end somewhat. Laid to rest with his daughters, Sarah Elizabeth Smith (died 22nd August 1872), and Martha Ann Smith (died 20th September 1869). Yorkshire Evening Post and Leeds Mercury – Thursday, 16th June 1892

Mother: Elizabeth Smith (nee Hutton), born 23rd January 1822, Eccleshill, Yorkshire, baptised 4th February 1822, at the Upper Independent Chapel, Idle, Yorkshire. Elizabeth was sister to her husband’s business partner John Hutton who had first gone into business with their brother Charles Hutton, under the title C. and J. Hutton, at Eccleshill. Elizabeth Smith died 16th December 1897, Eccleshill. Laid to rest with her husband, William, and daughters Sarah Elizabeth Smith (died 22nd August 1872), and Martha Ann Smith (died 20th September 1869).

Maternal cousin: Alice Smith’s  – Alfred Eddison Hutton, born 31st December 1865, Eccleshill – son of John Hutton and Eliza Hutton (nee Bottomley), was elected the Liberal Member of Parliament for Morley, West Riding of Yorkshire during the 1892, General Election. He retired from the House in 1910. Alfred Hutton died 30th May 1947, at his residence Zephyr Cottage, Bognor Regis, West Sussex.

 

Alice and John had 1 son:

William Smith Gleeson, born 1901, Idle, West Yorkshire. William was a Dairy Farmer, at Quarry Farm, Morley. On the 10th September 1924, at St. James’s Church, Derby, William married Ada Mary Maddock, born December 1896, Derby – daughter of Herbert Maddock, an engine driver – railway) and Annie Isabel Maddock (nee Pegge), of 28, Boden Street, Derby. William and Ada had 1 son – John H. Gleeson, born 1934, Derby – died 1934, Derby. William Gleeson died 1950, Derby. In 1956, Derby, Ada Gleeson married widower Charles Elton Whatmore, born 1885 – died July 1958. Ada Whatmore died June 1975, of 44, Dexter Street, Derby.

 

CENSUS

1861   Greenhill, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

John was 2 years old and living with his parents and maternal cousin.
Patsey, 32, a General Dealer.
Mary, 24.
Hannah Alsop, 9 born Wirksworth.

 

1871   The Dale, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

John was 12 years old and living with his widowed father.
Patsey, 44, a General Merchant.
1 general domestic servant.

 

1881   The Dale, Wirksworth, Derbyshire.

John was 22 years old, a Student of Theology. He was living with his widowed father and paternal cousin.
Patsey, 50, a Small Ware Dealer.
William Gleeson, 19, a Small Ware Dealer, born Manchester, Lancashire.
1 general domestic servant.

 

1891   110, Lowther Street, Penrith, Cumberland.

John was 32 years old, a Congregational Minister. He was lodging at the home of 34 year old, Elizabeth Atkinson, a Lodging House Keeper.

 

1901   Westfield House, Idle, West Yorkshire.

John was 42 years old, a Congregational Minister. He was married and head of the household.
Alice, 40.
William, 1 month.
1 cook.
1 housemaid.
1 monthly nurse.

 

1911   55, Christchurch Street, Ipswich.

John was 52 years old, a Congregational Minister. He was married and head of the household.
Alice, 50.
William, 10.
1 domestic housemaid.

 

THE BEAUTIFUL EMERALD ISLE

During his ten years residing in Ireland, he rambled over every part of the country photographing its numerous places of beauty, history and of interest from the County Wicklow, Enniskillen Village and Kilkenny, down the Blackwater, and back to Cork, and over St. Patrick’s Bridge and on to Blarney Castle until he reached the lakes of Killarney then through Ross and Kylemore and crossing over to the County of Antrim. John also studied intimately the characteristics of its people. Western Daily Post – Wednesday, 16th November 1904 and Sheerness Times – Saturday, 23rd February 1907

TWO-MONTH TOUR OF THE RUSSIAN EMPIRE

In 1904, John had a two-month tour across the Russian Empire. He made good use of his camera, sometimes under difficulties, for often he was under suspicion, and was once arrested for taking snapshots without authority. He felt it was a false belief that Russia was our natural enemy, in his own personal experience of Russian people, there was no general dislike of Britain among the Russian people, whatever the policy of their Government might be. During his tour, he felt that there was a great gulf between the classes, but no immediate prospect of a revolution, though the press of the country seemed to see signs of it in the present disturbances. The artisan classes in the towns were the agitators, and not till the great peasant class, forming 87 per cent of the whole population had advanced in thought would the revolution take place. John maintained that in the main they were not a drunken people. Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette – Saturday, 4th February 1905.

THE RAMBLING PARSON

John was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.  He enjoyed travelling the country to deliver lectures and talks. John was described as a typical Irishman, a ready speaker and a genius for eloquence at the pulpit, and the platform. He gave delightful introductory addresses, which sparkled with examples of Irish wit and humour, presented in characteristic Irish fashion, but at the same time, John could also present lectures of a more serious vein. During each lecture, John always favoured the audience with a large number of beautiful lime-light pictures. John would often return to Wirksworth to give a lecture or to preach, where he always received a warm welcome from his home town. E.A.D.T – Tuesday, 24th October 1905

 

John had also made tours through France, Switzerland, and Italy.

 

“AWAKE, ARISE AND ADVANCE”

The eighth annual parade promoted by the Idle United Friendly Societies in aid of charity was held on Sunday, 30th July 1905. The parade was headed by the Idle and Thackley Public Brass Band and proceeded from the Green to the Upper Chapel, where the service was held. The pulpit was occupied by the Reverend Gleeson who delivered an eloquent address on the words “Awake, arise, arm, advance.” Man’s life, he said, was warfare, and every man was a soldier, and ought to awake, arise and advance individually and collectively. In spite of difficulties, go forward. May you go ahead, and may your practical work so influence the public of this country that it will hasten and not hinder the day in England when there shall be neither millionaires nor paupers when there shall be no parasites feeding upon the people, but when all men shall feel as one grand national friendly society in which prosperity and contentment shall prevail. The collection in the chapel amounted to £3 3s. 4d. whilst £2 11s. 7d. was collected en route. Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 4th August 1905

 

On the 13th November 1904, the Reverend John Gleeson gave a lecture to the Bristol Sunday Society, at The Empire, Old Market Street, Bristol, titled “My Rambles in Ireland,” with lantern illustrations. A programme of songs and Irish ballads preceded the lecture.

At the Institute of Science, Art, and Literature, Cookridge Street, Leeds, on Wednesday, 14th December 1904, John Gleeson, F.R.G.S., delivered a lecture on “Russia Of Today; or, “Russia In War Time.” His personal impression of 1904 was illustrated by 100 lantern views of Russian life and scenes from photographs taken by John. Admission tickets 3s. 6d. each.

On Friday, 3rd February 1905, the Reverend John Gleeson, delivered a lecture to the weekly meeting of the Greenock Philosophical Society, on “Russia of Today,” with lantern illustrations. He gave the audience a witty turn, illuminated with frequent humorous touches.

At the Institute of Science, Art, and Literature, Cookridge Street, Leeds, on Wednesday, 10th October 1905, the Reverend John Gleeson delivered a lecture on “Cities And Lakes Of Sunny Italy,” illustrated with over 100 lantern views.

At the Ipswich Social Settlement, on Saturday, 21st October 1905, the Reverend John Gleeson, of Bradford, gave a lecture on the subject of “That’s Irish!” Mr. William John Catchpole presided. On the following morning, John preached at St. Nicholas Congregational Church.

On Monday, 19th February 1906, at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, the Reverend John Gleeson, of Bradford, delivered his popular lecture on “Russia,” illustrated by lanterns. E.A.D.T – Monday, 19th February 1906

During the Congregational Guild Lectures, at the Congregational Hall, Ocean Road, South Shields, on Tuesday, 19th November 1907, the Reverend John Gleeson gave a lecture illustrated with magnificent limelight views on “America of Today.” Admission 1s. 6d.

Reverend John Gleeson, on Saturday, 7th March 1908, at the Ipswich Social Settlement gave a lecture “My Rambles Among The Cities And Lakes Of Sunny Italy.” Entry 6d., 3d. and 1d. Chairman: Dr. Francis Ward.

On Wednesday, 8th April 1908, at the St. Luke’s Institute, Radnor Street, Islington, John Gleeson delivered a lecture illustrated with lantern views, entitled “Irish Wit, Humour and Genius.” Alderman William Howes (mayor of Finsbury 1904-5) presided.

Thursday, 1st October 1908, the Autumn Session of the Exeter Literary Society commenced with a lecture from the Reverend John Gleeson, entitled “Irish Wit, Humour, and Genius” in front of a full house at Barnfield Hall. Mr. John Isaac Pengelly, the hon. secretary of the Society was the chairman for the evening and introduced John Gleeson. John took his audience on a descriptive tour through the “Emerald Isle,” with a ceaseless flow of anecdotes about each place visited. John kept his audience bubbling over with laughter from start to finish as he dealt with the Irish from a humorous, witty point of view, which as he told his audience was hereditary. The lecture was illustrated with limelight slides of Irish views, scenes, and celebrities. Western Times – Friday, 2nd October 1908

john-gleeson-religionReverend John Gleeson chaired extremely well-attended meetings hosted by the Men’s Society in the classroom at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich. On the 18th November 1908, John chaired a discussion on the subject of “Remedies for Poverty.” Many of the men of all classes took part. John concluded with a careful summary of the whole discussion, urging a higher standard of endeavour on the part of the worker regarding integrity, thrift, and honest effort, thereby giving the other classes no cause to regard them as unworthy of fair support. Evening Star – 19th November 1908

On the 17th February 1909, at a filled St. Nicholas Congregational Chapel, the Reverend Gleeson delivered a lecture on “Germany and the Germans.” Mr. Frederick William Haddock ably presided. John included the many phases of German Life, the administration of municipal affairs, town planning and military life. John also spoke on the German war scare, pointing out that the Germans would overwhelm us with their trained millions on land, but on the sea, we would be immeasurably superior. He likened a war between a whale and an elephant, the difficulty being the common ground they could meet on. John told the audience that disliked compulsory training, but he urged young men to support the Territorials, as a man who wouldn’t devote a little of his time to aid the scheme of defence did not deserve to share the benefits the country conferred on him. John illustrated his lecture with views of the various towns, views of the Rhine and battlefields, interesting memorials, and the German Royal Family. E.A.D.T. – Friday, 19th February 1909

In the Music Salon, Wakefield, on Monday, 11th October 1909, John Gleeson, of Ipswich, delivered an interesting lecture on “Russia Today,” illustrated with lantern views before a crowded audience. The President, Mr. John Walker, F.S.A., presided. John used graphic word pictures of the past and present conditions socially, politically, in fact generally, of the working classes of Russia. He believed it was a Godsend, for those people that the Japanese were the victors in the late war; otherwise, they would have suffered still more terribly from the iron hand of despotism. John described Russia, geographically, as a flat, monotonous, uninteresting country. Wakefield and West Riding Herald – Saturday, 16th October 1909

On Monday, 6th December 1909, the Reverend Gleeson delivered a lecture with illustrated by lantern views on “Irish Wit, Humour and Genius,” at the Coventry Science Lectures, at the Bath Assembly Hall. John was described as a born lecturer, with a brimful of humour which boils over now and then by accident, his audience being kept in a state of great merriment. Kenilworth Advertiser – Saturday, 4th December 1909

On Friday, 10th December 1909, John Gleeson delivered a lecture on “Irish Wit, Humour and Genius,” during the Extension Lectures, at the Pier Pavilion, Colwyn Bay, North Wales.

On Monday, 20th February 1911, at the Wakefield Institute of Literature and Science, John Gleeson gave a lecture titled “The Pleasant Land of France” which was illustrated with 120 coloured slides.

 

Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 1st October 1915 BNA

 

THE MEN’S SOCIETY AND SISTERHOOD

The meetings of the Men’s Society were held in the classroom at St. Nicholas Congregation Church. With the Reverend John Gleeson presiding as chair the meetings became a great success with a considerable large number of gentlemen attendees. The Sisterhood, which had a regular attendance of about 250, was conducted by Alice Gleeson. Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 28th May 1915

 

WHEN THE WAR BROKE OUT – AUGUST 1914

John was travelling in Switzerland when the war broke out. At the hotel where he was staying a notice appeared on the dining table to the effect that visitors were requested to eat very sparingly. Considering that the tariff had gone up to £1 a day such a notice had the appearance of “piling on the agony.” John, however, managed to get away and landed home just as the first British Expeditionary Force was reaching France. In his lectures subsequently, he described the men as a fine lot of fellows. Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 28th May 1915

The Gleeson family home at 55, Christchurch Street, had a large cellar. During the air raids in 1915 on Ipswich, John fitted his cellar up so that when there was a threat of an air raid he and his family could go underground.

 

HEARTY RECEPTION

During the weekend of the 21st – 22nd May 1915, John and his family returned to Idle, as invited guests. John received a hearty reception from a crowded Upper Chapel when he preached the anniversary sermons at the chapel where he had been the proud pastor for 14 years. Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 28th May 1915

 

On the evening of the 28th September 1915, due to the darkening of the streets under military regulations, John fell down a flight of steps leading to the basement of the County Club, Ipswich. He was picked up unconscious and taken to the hospital.

John died on the 29th September 1915, at the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital, Ipswich, from a fracture of the skull as a result of injuries sustained in an accident on the evening of the 28th September.

Laid to rest at Ipswich Old Cemetery, on Saturday, 2nd October 1915. A short service was held at the Gleeson family home at 55, Christchurch Street, before the funeral service was held at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, followed by final obsequies at the Ipswich Old Cemetery.

 

A telegram was sent by Alice Gleeson to Mr. John Gratton, the Town Clerk, of Wirksworth, briefly announcing his death that morning after an accident the previous evening.

 

On Sunday, 4th October 1915, at a beautifully decorated Upper Chapel, Idle, the Reverend Charles Paul Tinling during the course of his Harvest Festival sermon in the morning made a touching reference to the death of the Rev John Gleeson. Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 8th October 1915

DEATH OF THE REV. JOHN GLEESON

“One who knew him,” writes: “What a terrible shock the death of the Rev. John Gleeson has been to all who knew him! To think that our friend is dead is almost inconceivable. And that in the prime of his life. It is more than strange that Mr. Gleeson should have had two serious falls in his life, one of which crippled him for all time, and the other killed him! John Gleeson was one of the broad-minded and most tolerant men of the cloth that I ever met. It was a pleasure and an education to be in his company. There was never anything mean or narrow about either what he said or did. And I have heard and seen him say and do some unorthodox things. He had not about him even the semblance of a bigot – in anything either temporal or spiritual. He was as sympathetic as he was generous – and few will ever know how generous John Gleeson was. He gave by stealth. No one who deserved it was ever refused sympathy and help.”

HE WAS A MAN!

“Humour was in his Irish blood, and he could tell a funny story as well as any man living. He perhaps did, at times, as some narrower-minded people might have thought, little acts that were not quite traditional, but these were always the acts of a man and done in a good cause. For instance, it is said that on one occasion he found a man, one who could use his fists – badly ill-treating a woman, whereupon Mr. Gleeson quickly and quietly twice knocked him down. The man was astonished, but the act made him and t’ Top o’ t’ Tahn parson excellent friends until the former’s death. A kinder-hearted, more helpful and considerate man I did not know, but he was not one to make a mistake with, as the woman-beater found to his cost. And now he is dead. The world is all the poorer. Those who knew him best loved him most. John Gleeson was a man!  Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 8th October 1915

 

John was commemorated on the First World War memorial at St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich.

 

 

Grantham Journal – 9th October 1915 –

The Rev. John Gleeson, minister of St. Nicholas Congregational Church, Ipswich, has lost his life by an accident due to the darkening of the streets under military regulations. John was on his way home from an evening meeting at his church, when, by mistake, he walked into a gateway at the back of the County Club and fell down a flight of steps leading to the basement. He was picked up unconscious and died the next day in Hospital.

Diss Express– 8th October 1915 – FUNERAL OF THE REV. GLEESON –

The interment of the Reverend John Gleeson, pastor of St. Nicholas Congregational Church, who met with a mysteriously tragic death on Tuesday night in last week took place at Ipswich Cemetery on Saturday. Prior to the removal of the remains from the deceased’s residence in Christchurch Street, a short service was held there, at which, besides the family mourners, the deacons of St. Nicholas Congregation Church attended. The service at the Church, where a large congregation assembled, was conducted by the Rev. Thomas John Hosken, pastor of Tacket Street Congregational Church, assisted by the Rev. Edward James Gilchrist, minister of the Presbyterian Church. The remains were taken into the Church during the singing of the hymn “Hush! Blessed are the dead.” The lesson was read by Rev. Hosken and prays offered by the Reverend Gilchrist. Rev. Hosken paid a glowing tribute to the life work of the deceased pastor. During the service, the Rev. Gleeson’s favourite hymn, “God holds the key of the unknown,” was sung, and before the remains were borne away to their final resting place in the Cemetery the congregation joined in singing the hymn, “Now the labourer’s task is o’er.” At the conclusion of the service the organist, Mr. S. Squirrell played the “Dead March” from “Saul.” The large congregation included many of the deceased’s personal friends, co-workers, and acquaintances in his numerous spheres of activity. At the Cemetery, a large number of people gathered to witness the final obsequies. The remains were deposited in an evergreen and flower-lined brick grave. The coffin was of English oak, French polished, with heavy brass fittings, and it bore the following inscription: “John Gleeson, died 29th September 1915, aged 57 years.” The floral tributes numbered over fifty.
There was a large congregation at the Sunday morning’s service, which was conducted by the Reverend Daniel Clayton, of Debenham. At the evening service, when the Rev. Thomas Hosken was the preacher, there was a crowded congregation, and many who were unable to gain admission were turned away before the service even commenced. This was an eloquent tribute to the work of the deceased as a minister, and to his popularity, not only amongst those who were members of the congregation but to others of his townsmen as well.

DEATH OF THE REV. JOHN GLEESON

“One who knew him” writes: “What a terrible shock the death of the Rev. John Gleeson has been to all who knew him! To think that our friend is dead is almost inconceivable. And that in the prime of his life. It is more than strange that Mr. Gleeson should have had two serious falls in his life, one of which crippled him for all time, and the other killed him! John Gleeson was one of the broad-minded and most tolerant men of cloth that I ever met. It was a pleasure and an education to be in his company. There was never anything mean or narrow about either what he said or did. And I have heard and seen him say and do some unorthodox things. He had not about him even the semblance of a bigot – in anything either temporal or spiritual. He was as sympathetic as he was generous – and few will ever know how generous John Gleeson was. He gave by stealth. No one who deserved it was ever refused sympathy and help.” HE WAS A MAN!

“Humour was in his Irish blood, and he could tell a funny story as well as any man living. He perhaps did, at times, as some narrower-minded people might have thought, little acts that were not quite traditional, but these were always the acts of a man and done in a good cause. For instance, it is said that on one occasion he found a man, one who could use his fists – badly ill-treating a woman, whereupon Mr. Gleeson quickly and quietly twice knocked him down. The man was astonished, but the act made him and t’ Top o’ t’ Than parson excellent friends until the former’s death. A kinder-hearted, more helpful and considerate man I did not know, but he was not one to make a mistake with, as the woman-beater found to his cost. And now he is dead. The world is all the poorer. Those who knew him best loved him most. John Gleeson was a man!  Shipley Times and Express – Friday, 8th October 1915

Probate in 1927 to William Smith Gleeson – son, a farmer. Former Probate grant to Alice Gleeson – widow.

 

Alice Gleeson died 4th November 1922, at Burlington Road, Ipswich, of 70, Christchurch Street, Ipswich. Laid to rest with her husband at Ipswich Old Cemetery.

 

Probate to Harold William Vint – nephew, an engineer, William Henry Vint – nephew, a spinner and John Gratton, a solicitor.

 

In July 1916, the Reverend Albert Bage, who since 1914 had been minister of Laisterdyke Congregational Church, Bradford, and formerly pastor of the Stannary Church, Halifax, accepted the pastorate of St. Nicholas Congregational Church.

 

Reported in the Shipley Times and Express, Wednesday, 18th September 1957, retired barber, Mr. Ernest Knowles, of Victoria Road, Calverley, remembers how both the Reverend John Gleeson, Congregational Minister, at Idle, and Reverend Albert Bage, Primitive Methodist Minister, at the Windhill Chapel, Shipley had been his customers at the “Naples of the North.”

John’s successor, Albert Bage, Congregational Minister of St. Nicholas Congregational Church, St. Nicholas Street, Ipswich. October 1916 – July 1940

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