Posted by on Dec 29, 2014 in People - Historical | No Comments

Date: 1897
Source: ‘My Quest for God’ by John Trevor, published 1897 by the “Labour Prophet” office, London.

John Trevor (1855 – 1930) was the son of Henry Trevor’s brother Frederic Francis (cf PGPT106), who died in 1860 when John was only six. John was therefore brought up in Wisbech by his grandparents who were very strict Baptists (PGPT164). This upbringing probably contributed to his later religious crises and nervous breakdowns.

He first trained as an architect in Norwich, but did not settle to the work and went (probably encouraged by Henry) to seek his fortune in Australia and America. Again he did not settle, and returned to England and in 1881 married his cousin Eliza (PGPT162), Henry Trevor’s daughter, some eleven years his senior. They were married in London rather than in the Baptist chapel in Norwich, as might have been expected.

John finally found his vocation as a Free Church minister and was appointed to Manchester, where he founded the first Labour Church. Its ideal was that the working man should feel at home with its simple style of worship. Famous socialists like Bernard Shaw and Kier Hardie came to speak at John’s meetings and so nowadays religious and political historians take a great interest in this period of John’s life.

Sadly, he had another nervous breakdown, and moved away from Manchester to Cheshire, Sussex and London. He wrote articles putting forward socialist policies, married a second time and became a photographer.

It is noticeable that among the many legacies Henry Trevor left to his relatives there was no personal bequest to John.