Annakin, Robert (1820-1869)
Robert Annakin married Hannah Barber (1820-1892) and they had 14 children. William, his eldest son, was born in 1844. George, who was 20 when his father died, went on to become a PM minister. Robert founded a Primitive Methodist dynasty, with far reaching influence, especially for the Primitive Methodist church in Harrogate. One of his grand daughters, Ethel Annakin, became Viscountess Snowden.
Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1870, pp486-87
Began this life at Whixley, April 15, 1820, and ended it at Marston Moor, July 9, 1869.
When about twenty four years of age he was converted to God in a revival of religion that took place among our people in his native village. Moved by curiosity he went with trifling feelings to a Prayer Meeting to see a neighbour saved who had been some time under conviction, and while in that meeting the Holy Spirit enlightened his mind, revealed to him his sinful state, and enabled him to trust in Christ to the joy of his heart.
Soon he commenced to call others to repentance, was put on the plan, and remained an earnest, hard working, and acceptable local preacher to the end of his life. His attachment to the connexion was loyal, strong, and increasing. Its progress was ever to him a source of pleasure.
Over his family he had great influence; though, as one of his sons observes, ‘like all mortals he had his failings, one of which was a hasty temper.’ Yet no one could be long acquainted with his home life without being struck with the esteem and affection cherished towards him both by his wife and children. Two of his sons and one of his daughters are preachers among us, others are consistent members, and he prayed and believed that all his family might be brought to God. May his prayers be answered.
The last six months of his life he was a severe sufferer, but he was greatly comforted and sustained by the Saviour he had preached to others. At times he was powerfully tempted, and his faith seemed to waver, but soon he obtained deliverance. As his end drew nearer, his faith grew stronger, and his prospects brighter. Asked by his wife if he was afraid to die, he replied, ‘I should be, if I had nothing in which to trust but my own works, but the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth me from all sin. Christ is my Saviour, my all in all. Blessed be His name, He can ‘save to the uttermost’.’
Looking at his family he felt as though he would like to stay a little longer with them for their sake, yet he adopted the language of St Paul, ‘What I shall choose I wot not, for I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better.’ The day before he died, surrounded by his family, he said, with a radiant smile upon his face, ‘I am saved through the blood of the Lamb. Glory! Hallelujah!’ and desired all present to sing. That appropriate hymn was sung by the dear ones around him with throbbing hearts.
‘Come sing to me of Heaven
When I’m about to die,
Sing songs of holy ecstasy
To waft my soul on high.
There’ll be no more sorrow there,’ etc
After the singing he said, ‘I am not afraid to die, Christ hath taken away the sting of death.’
On the day of his death he said to a Wesleyan local preacher, ‘I am about to enter the valley, and am going to glory; and when you preach you can tell people I am gone to heaven, but not through my own goodness but because Christ hath died for my sins.’
Final words to his family
To his two sons, whose names are on the plan, he observed, ‘My lads, hold fast your religion; it has supported me in trial, and will support you. And now I am about to die, I have nothing to trust in but Christ, He is my all-sufficient Saviour.’ To his son William he remarked, ‘I have had to struggle hard in this life, but now I am about to finish. I am sensible of many defects, but Jesus is mine, and I am His. Through his death, I have life.’ His pain being very severe he was hear to say –
‘What are all my sufferings here,
If, Lord, Thou count me meet
With that enraptured host to appear,
And worship at Thy feet.’
When dying, he was asked if he felt Christ precious, and he answered, as best he could, ‘Christ is my all in all, I am saved for ever. Glory! Hallelujah!’ And then he calmly fell asleep in Jesus. May his stricken widow and children all meet him in Heaven.
‘There are our loved ones in their rest,
They’ve crossed the river; now no more
They heed the bubbles on its breast,
Nor feel the storms that sweep its shore,
But there pure love can live, can last,
They look for us their home to share,
When we in turn away have pass’d
What joyful greetings wait us there,
Beyond the river.’