Mr Mansfield was born in the parish of St. Peter’s, Liverpool, on 24 January 1827, the son of William and Mary Mansfield. He married Mary Hughes in 1851 in Liverpool. By 1856, when their first child, Mary, was born, the Mansfields were living in the village of Milton, to the north of Glasgow (now covered by a large housing scheme).
How John Mansfield came to be called to Ardbeg Baptist Church I don’t know, but he was formally called on 1 September 1857 (1)
John and Mary had two more children in Rothesay, William (born 1858) and John (born 1860).
Mr Mansfield is noted as giving an address (amongst several others) at the celebration of the jubilee of Rev. Samuel McNab of the United Presbyterian Church in Rothesay on the evening of Tuesday, 27 September 1864 (2).
The Centenary History of Ardbeg Baptist Church says of him only that, “Mr Mansfield’s ministry came to an abrupt end with his sudden home-call in July, 1865, at the early age of 39 years.” (3)
His family did not immediately leave the town, and Mrs Mansfield and their daughter Mary (aged 15) were living in Rothesay at the time of the 1871 census. At the same time, however, the two boys (aged 12 and 10) seem to have been in an orphanage in Yorkshire. Perhaps Mary simply could not afford to look after them. The boys seem to have stayed in touch, as the 1891 census shows John Mansfield Jr (now aged 30) in Rothesay. Mr Mansfield’s daughter Mary seems to have married locally, as the History of the Baptists in Scotland tells us that, “His son-in-law, Captain James Low, OBE, was a member of the Church at the time of his death in 1923.” (4)
- G. Yuile (ed.) History of the Baptists in Scotland, Glasgow, Baptist Union Publications Committee, n.d., page 196
- P. MacFarlane, A Historical Sketch of the United Presbyterian Church, Rothesay, Rothesay, 1885, page 73
- These Hundred Years 1855-1955, Rothesay, Ardbeg Baptist Church, 1955, page 6
- Page 196