Binney, Barbara Hannah (nee Todd) (1854-1879)

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

BARRBARA HANNAH, the beloved wife of the Rev. J. G. Binney, and youngest daughter of John and Elizabeth Todd, was born at Marley Hill on February 18, 1854, and died on Tuesday, December 9, 1879. As a child she was gentle, obedient, and true. Early in life she became a scholar in the Wesleyan Sabbath school, where she received much profitable instruction — instruction which, joined to other influences, led her in after years to yield herself to the service of Jesus Christ. This happy event took place when she was about eighteen years of age. After this she became deeply attached to the Sabbath-school, and sought, by precept and example, to lead the children under her care to the Saviour who had become her joy, her life, her all in all. She constantly showed her appreciation of the means of grace by a diligent and regular attendance, and evinced her love to Christ and her loyalty to His cause by self-sacrificing labour and genuine liberality.

In the summer of 1877 she was united in marriage to the Rev. J. G. Binney. After the marriage she returned with her husband to Staithes Circuit, where he was then stationed. In 1878 they removed to the Stanley Circuit, strong in the hope of a long life of happiness and devotion to the cause of Christ – but alas! their hopes were not realized ; ‘Man proposes, but God disposes.’ During her sojourn in the circuits named, she won by her kindliness and Christly sympathy and transparent Christian character, the respect and love of all with whom she came in contact. She was in all things devoted to her husband. In ministering to his comfort she found constant pleasure, and whatever contributed to his success in the great work to which he has consecrated his life, gave her real enjoyment. As a wife she was ever loving, faithful, and kind. Her religious life was characterised by the Christly humility which knows nothing of ostentation, &c. Her piety was seldom demonstrative, and never boisterous, but it was transparent, sincere, and strong. To do the will of God was the work of her life.

In the February of 1879, her husband was appointed to conduct a fortnight’s revival services in Marley Hill Chapel, and she, feeling somewhat unwell, determined to accompany him, with the hope that she would be well in a few days. It was, however, ordered otherwise, for from that time she gradually declined in health. Her husband and her parents soon apprehended the serious nature of her case, and they spared no pains and expense to secure her recovery, but of no avail. In spite of the best medical advice and treatment that could be secured, she slowly sank, and, after eleven months of weary, and somewhat painful affliction, she succumbed to death in the twenty-sixth year of her age.

During the whole of her protracted illness, she was never heard to murmur or repine at the ways of God; but in calmness and patience she possessed her soul, trusting in Christ. When interrogated concerning her feelings and prospects, she often replied, ‘I have no fear of death;’ ‘My life is hid with Christ in God;’ ‘For to me to live is Christ, to die is gain.’ In this confidence and hope she passed away, to find in the realisations and progress of the skies the perfect heaven of the pure and the good. On December 12, an impressive service was conducted in Marley Hill Chapel by the Revs. W. Bowe, H. Gilmore, and W. Welford, after which her remains were interred amid sorrowing friends in the burial-ground of St. Cuthbert’s Church. ‘So He giveth His beloved sleep.’ 


Barbara was born on 18 February at Marley Hill, Co Durham, to parents John, a coal mine overman (1861), and Elizabeth.

Before her marriage Barbara worked as a dressmaker.

She married John G Binney, a PM minister, in the summer of 1877 in the Gateshead Registration District. Census returns identify one child.

  • Ann (b1878)

Barbara died on 8 December 1879 in the Gateshead Registration District, Co. Durham


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1881/117

W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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