John Taylor, the third president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was born in Milnthorpe, Westmoreland, England, on Nov. 1, 1808, in a home described in a land tax document as “a house with a garden.”
John Taylor was christened in St. Peter’s Church, the parish church at Heversham, a village close to Milnthorpe. It was the same church in which his father, James, had been baptized as an infant. The present church is mostly a reconstruction of an earlier structure following a fire in 1601.
The James Taylor family remained in Milnthorpe for several years. In 1814, James Taylor received a government appointment requiring a move to Liverpool. The family resided in Liverpool for the ensuing five years, then returned to Westmoreland and the village of Hale.
Not only did John Taylor’s father inherit a farmhouse and 7 acres of land in Hale, he may have inherited King’s Arms Inn, located just a short distance from the farmhouse.
John Taylor attended grammar school for three years in the nearby village of Beetham in a building resembling one which is currently situated near the site of the original building.
While in the village of Penrith, John Taylor served as a local preacher in the Methodist Church at age 16. He remarked to a friend near the village that, according to the voice of the Spirit, “I have a strong impression on my mind that I have to go to America to preach the gospel."
Note: Some of this information was provided by J. Lewis Taylor of the John Taylor Family Organization.