Barker, Ambrose (1844-1929)

Christian Messenger 1911

Transcription of ‘Sketch’ In the Christian Messenger

MR. AMBROSE BARKER is one of the host of loyal workers, who by their spirituality and devotion, have made Upper Moss Lane Society, in Manchester Second Circuit, famous as one of the finest churches, schools, and centres of work in our beloved Connexion. By the hearty and unanimous vote of his brethren he is, and has been for years, Senior Society steward. He was born in Hull in 1844 of godly parents, who came to reside in Manchester while he was young. In 1861 he became a scholar in Moss Lane School and for these fifty years he has maintained a worthy and unbroken connection with the church.

He has always been a willing worker and ever ready if called upon by his fellow-labourers to share the burdens and responsibilities of official life. Hence during these years he has acted, to the great satisfaction of his brethren, as trustee, superintendent and secretary of the Sunday school, Band of Hope secretary, and treasurer of the Pleasant Thursday Evening. He is a brother beloved, methodical, painstaking, reliable in all the work he takes in hand. He is deeply spiritual, in whole-hearted sympathy with all that fosters the true prosperity of the church. In regularity and punctuality of attendance at the Sabbath services he gives a worthy and inspiring example. He is not too tired to remain for the Sabbath evening prayer meeting, and busy man as he is his place is rarely vacant either at his class or the Thursday service.

Generous and sympathetic to all needy causes, he is also modest and retiring, eager to do his work without flourish of trumpets, and only consenting after some pressure for this modest recognition to appear. There is still upon him the dew of youth. May he be long spared to serve our church.

W. H. T.

Family and other information

Ambrose was born in 1844 at Hull, Yorkshire, to parents Ambrose and Sarah. Ambrose, senior, was a joiner.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Ambrose.

  • 1871 machine fitter
  • 1881 foreman, button maker
  • 1891 button manufacturer’s manager
  • 1901 coal merchant
  • 1911 coal merchant

Ambrose married Emma Mills (abt1845-1914) in early 1866 at Manchester, Lancashire. Census returns identify three of five children.

  • Annie (abt1869-1919) – married Jarvis Blankley, a commercial traveller, in 1889
  • Harry (1869-1955) – an engraver to wallpaper stainer (1911); a draughtsman (1929)
  • William (b abt1875) – manager for shipping merchant (1911); a company director (1929)

Ambrose died on 15 February 1929 at Manchester, Lancashire.


Christian Messenger 1911/336

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Comments about this page

  • Peter,
    Many thanks for the correction. I have amended the text to reflect your information.

    By Geoff Dickinson (28/01/2021)
  • I was fascinated to see the ‘Sketch’ of Ambrose Barker published 1911 in the Christian Messenger. Ambrose was my wife’s great-great-grandfather, through his daughter Annie’s marriage to Jarvis Blankley on 6 June 1889. Unsurprisingly, they were married in Ambrose’s beloved Upper Moss Lane Primitive Methodist chapel in Hulme, Manchester, by the minister James P. Langham (Manchester II 1886-1890). More surprising, perhaps, is that on their marriage certificate the ‘Residence at the time of Marriage’ for both was 115 Clifton Street, Old Trafford (about a half-mile from the chapel) – and that their first child, Ruth Edna, was born just six months later, on 16 December. Presumably neither the ‘deeply spiritual’ Ambrose nor minister Langham would have approved.

    I can offer one correction. You have Ambrose’s daughter Annie’s year of death as 1948. She died aged 50 on 29 March 1919 at Morelands Farm in the village of Forton, near Garstang, where for a period her husband Jarvis became a farmer. By the time of their mother’s death, Ruth Edna and her youngest brother Roland had married another brother and sister from Forton, John and Mary Storey, in 1913 and 1918 respectively, both at Forton Independent Chapel (which still stands).

    For some reason, in about 1912 Jarvis decided to change his family surname from Blankley to Blankney; both marriages in Forton Chapel and Annie’s death were registered under ‘Blankney’.

    Roland Blankney and Mary Storey’s second child was my wife’s father, Peter (b. 1923). I have a photograph from 1920 showing Mary (holding her first child) with Ambrose Barker (then aged 76), sitting in the back garden of a terraced house – perhaps Ambrose’s home in Moss Side, Manchester.

    By Peter Crowther (27/01/2021)

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