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Crabb, James

He was born on 13 April 1774, the son of a Wilton clothier and apprenticed to a Salisbury shoemaker. Converted at 19, he preached his first sermon in a chalkpit at Coombe. Accepted by the Conference of 1794, he was stationed in the Portsmouth Circuit and then, in 1796, at Salisbury. But poor health and depression caused him to retire in 1797 to Wilton, where he preached in a hired room, gathered a society and built the first chapel. He eventually settled in Romsey and opened a school. He became a champion of gypsy rights in that part of the south. In 1822 his offer to start a WM mission in Southampton was turned down, so he went ahead independently with a seamen's mission and welcomed and encouraged the PMs when they began work in the town. He died on 17 September 1851.


  • John Rudall, A Memoir of the Rev. James Crabb, late of Southampton (1854)
  • 'The Rev. James Crabb and the Welfare of Gypsies in Hampshire and Dorset', in The Hatcher Review (King Alfred's College, Winchester) No.43, Spring 1997

Entry written by: JAV
Category: Person

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