Born: De­cem­ber 29, 1856, Leeds, Eng­land.

Died: 1944, Ly­tham, Lan­ca­shire, Eng­land.


James was the son of Wes­ley­an min­is­ter Ed­ward Light­wood. He was born and bap­tized while his fa­ther was on the Leeds Bruns­wick Cir­cuit.

He at­tend­ed Kings­wood School (1866–72), earned a BA from Lon­don Uni­ver­si­ty, and be­came head­mas­ter of Pem­broke House, a pri­vate school in Ly­tham.

He went on to serve three years on the Board of Im­prove­ment Com­mis­sion­ers in Ly­tham, on the Ly­tham Coun­cil for six years, and as Chair­man of the Streets Com­mit­tee for four years. His re­so­lu­tion to bring gas in­to Fair­ha­ven was ev­en­tu­al­ly car­ried by one vote.

Apart from mu­sic, his oth­er pas­sion was cy­cling. He be­gan cycl­ing in 1874 on a bone­shak­er. By 1885, he was a mem­ber of the Cy­clists Tour­ing Club (CTC), and soon gained pro­mi­nence.

He was Chief Con­sul for Lan­ca­shire, and was on the CTC Coun­cil from 1887. Hon­or­a­ry life mem­ber­ship came in 1907 in re­cog­ni­tion of his ser­vic­es to the club, and in par­ti­cu­lar with pub­li­ca­tion of the club’s route books and oth­er writ­ings.

Music was his greatest love, though, and hym­no­dy in par­ti­cu­lar. He was an ac­comp­lished or­gan­ist, and af­ter two years as de­pu­ty or­gan­ist at the Drive Wes­ley­an Church, St. Annes, he was ap­point­ed Hon­or­a­ry Or­gan­ist and Choir­mas­ter in 1894.

Due to the press­ure of work from his ap­point­ment as ed­it­or of the new Me­tho­dist pub­li­ca­tion The Choir and or­gan­iz­ing the new­ly formed Mu­sic De­part­ment of the Me­tho­dist Pub­lish­ing House, the trust­ees at Drive Church made him a grant of £20 to as­sist him in his re­search in hym­no­lo­gy.

While ad­vis­ing Me­tho­dism on mu­sic­al mat­ters, he found the unique 1761 Snetz­ler or­gan for the New Room at Bris­tol.




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