Beal, Catherine (nee Kirby) (1843-1911)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by P.G.

The subject of this memoir was born at Malton in 1843. Her parents were members of our Church. When twelve years old she was converted, and began regularly to attend the Young People’s Class. Shortly afterwards she left home to become lady’s maid at Welham Hall, and in a similar capacity went to a family at Silver Hill in Staffordshire At neither place did she forsake the Church of her parents. While at Silver Hill she had her membership at Barton-under-Needwood in the Burton-on-Trent Station. For seven years she helped that small Society, assisting in bazaar work and by loaning money free of interest. The family with whom she lived regarded her highly, and when she left them to be married to the Rev. J. Beal they made her valuable presents. 

From 1872 onwards she was for thirty-nine years the devoted wife and faithful helpmeet of her husband. She was deeply pious and strictly conscientious, and for many years a most laborious worker in the Church, especially among the young People’s Classes and Bands of Hope. As organiser and frequent president in bazaar efforts she with her husband raised thousands of pounds for new chapels, debt reduction, and circuit funds. While thus liberally supporting the Church, she did not forget to be kind to the poor and to visit the sick and the sorrowing. 

She was most attentive to her family, and was a model of industry and economy. Besides her husband she leaves a son and two daughters to mourn her loss. Her end came somewhat suddenly. On Wednesday, August 9th, she had a seizure from which she never rallied, and just before noon of the following day God put His tired worker to sleep.


Catherine was born in 1843 at Malton, Yorkshire, to parents Francis Kirby, a basketmaker (1861), and Ann Braithwaite.

She married Joseph Beal (1846-1925), a PM minister, in the summer of 1872 at Malton. Census returns identify four of their five children.

  • Emily Florence (1873-1940) – married George Colin Clarke, a boot & shoe operator’s edge setter (1901)
  • Frederick Walter K (1878-1900)
  • Frances Edith (b1880)
  • Sydney Percival (1885-1956) – a dairy manager (1925)

Catherine died on 9 August 1911 at Owston Ferry, Lincolnshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1912/657

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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