Archives provinciales du Nouveau-Brunswick

Dictionary of Miramichi Biography

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CRISP, JAMES (1849-1921)

CRISP, JAMES, Methodist minister, Newcastle circuit, 1894-96; b. Stratton, Norfolk, England, 26 Sep 1849, s/o James Crisp Sr and Sarah Field; brother of Robert Samuel Crisp; m. 1876, Mary Knapton, of Hapton, Norfolk, England; d. Alma, N.B., 21 May 1921.

"It was in England," wrote James Crisp, "in the county of Norfolk, ten miles from the old and historic city of Norwich, in the village of Stratton that I first saw the light. My father was a tenant farmer; my mother's father and brothers were carpenters and joiners, cabinet-makers and general workers in wood."

At age fourteen Crisp was converted to Methodism, and at nineteen he was enrolled as a local preacher. After three years in this role he "felt a strong impulse or inclination to leave England and go to America with a view to entering the ministry." His brother Robert S. Crisp was already a probationer with the Eastern Conference of the church, so he set sail for Halifax. He arrived in the summer of 1872 and had his first assignment on the Grand Lake circuit in New Brunswick.

In 1873 Crisp was appointed minister of the Newcastle Methodist church, under the supervision of the Rev. John Waterhouse at Chatham. He found ready acceptance in the Newcastle congregation and continued as pastor for two years. He left in 1875 to complete his probation in Charlottetown and was ordained in 1876. After having assignments on a number of different circuits in New Brunswick he returned to Newcastle in 1894 to complete the term of the ailing Rev. Levi S. Johnson. Following his arrival, in November 1894, the Methodist church was reopened and rededicated, after having undergone extensive renovation.

Crisp later served in Saint John, Fredericton, and elsewhere in the province, his last appointment being at Alma. He was a broadminded man who wrote in his spare time and enjoyed addressing secular as well as religious subjects. Much of his literary output was promotional of New Brunswick, such as his article entitled "New Brunswick, the Land of Comfortable Homes," which was published in The Busy East in October 1917, and a small book from the same period entitled Farming as an Occupation: New Brunswick as a Province in which to make a Home.

Crisp's wife, Mary Knapton, died in 1886. Three daughters and two sons survived him in 1921. His son T. Spencer Crisp (1882-1957) was also a minister, and was pastor of the United Church at Boiestown for two separate terms between 1929 and 1941.


[b/m] Can. Album [d] official records / Advance 8 Nov 1894; Advocate 22 Oct 1873, 2 Sep 1875, 13 Oct 1886, 8 Jul 1896, 24 May 1921, 31 May 1921; annual 1921; Cornish; Crisp; Telegraph 23 May 1921; Walkington