Hugh Bourne was born in Fordhays near Stoke in 1772. Bourne worked as a carpenter but was also a Methodist lay-preacher. He developed a reputation as a zealous preacher but the leadership of the Methodists did not always agree with his radical ideas. When Bourne refused to accept the leadership's ban on camp meetings in 1808, he was expelled from the movement.
Bourne and his 200 or so followers became known as Primitive Methodists. Bourne adopted the name from a statement that had been made by John Wesley in 1790: "I still remain a primitive Methodist." Bourne's followers were also called Ranters.
Bourne built his first Primitive Methodist Chapel in Tunstall in 1811. By 1842 membership had increased to nearly 80,000 with 500 travelling evangelists and more that 1,200 chapels. Bourne also worked as a missionary in Scotland, Ireland and the USA. Among his writings is his History of the Primitive Methodists (1823). Hugh Bourne died in 1852.