Beavan, Elizabeth (nee Calvert) (1852-1901)

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by S.A. Barron

Mrs. Elizabeth Beavan, the wife of the Rev. Arthur Beavan, of Manchester, and sister of the Rev. A.E. Calvert, of (Great Yarmouth, was born 7th May, 1852, and after much suffering, patiently borne, entered into the “rest that remaineth,” on September 1st, 1901. She early gave herself to the Saviour, under the influence of a godly parentage and training. Her father, the late Mr. Thomas Calvert, was, at one time, a travelling preacher, but was compelled, owing to failure in health, to resign the position. Resuming business, and locating at Hereford, he manifested there the high character, strength of mind, and devotion to Christ and His cause, which had marked his ministerial service; and became, and for many years remained, a leading personality in the circuit and district. For twenty-five years he superintended the St. Owen’s Street Sunday School. His home and hospitality were ever open to the servants of God, and many ministers were aided and cheered by his kindness and loyal support. Her mother, who came of an old Primitive Methodist family, with associations going back to the first days of the Connexion, and who had herself been, from her early days, a member of our Church, was a woman of balanced judgment, clear perception, and deep religious experience. The daughter united happily, in her qualities and disposition, the excellences of both parents. Of a highly impressionable nature, and sensitive to all good influences, she early responded to the pure and gracious influences of the home and the sanctuary, and, at fourteen years of age, made an open avowal of her faith in Christ and joined the Church. Shortly afterwards she became a teacher in the Sunday School. In this work she took a deep and intelligent interest; and was greatly beloved by her scholars. Sharing the musical tastes and gifts which were a family characteristic, she was also a member of the chapel choir. The Rev. G. Mitchell, who was the minister of the Hereford Circuit at the time of her conversion says: “The vision of her which is vividly before me is that of the prudent, pious, happy girl, as she was in her father’s home, and as a member of our church in St. Owen’s Street.” The Rev. T.M. Lakin also says: “She was a member of my class during my term in the Hereford Circuit, and a more consistent and honourable Christian could not be found. She was most highly respected by all who knew her.”

Her religious life, begun thus early, although, like herself, unobtrusive and unostentatious, was genuine and profound. She was a lover of good people, good books, and good causes. She was also a woman of true Christian kindness, and tenderness of heart; full of ready sympathy and helpfulness for the needy and sorrowful. Amiability of disposition, guilelessness and integrity of character were marked in her. She was the soul of honour, and abhorred insincerities. Where she loved it was intense, whole-hearted, and unchanging affection. Her natural reticence concealed some of the charm and beauty of her spirit from the casual observer, but those who were privileged with her more intimate friendship felt her to be one of those elect spirits whose friendship grows ever endearing and precious with the years.

In 1876, she was united in marriage to the Rev. A. Beavan. The union proved to be an ideally happy one. As a wife she was devoted in affection, sympathetic in difficulty, winsome in companionship, a helpmeet indeed, whose society was a constant solace and stimulus to her husband. She identified herself with his great work and made its interests her own. Inheriting from her mother a quick and keen intuition, her insight made her, in time of perplexity, a valuable adviser. Not a little of the success and usefulness which have given Mr. Beavan a distinguished position in our ministry were due to the gracious presence which strengthened and brightened his life. “The heart of her husband did safely trust in her.” Her refinement, love of order, and high ideals of life found their expression in the home which she made, and over which she presided. To those of us who knew her in the days of weakness and affliction, when frequently any exertion must have been painful, it was a marvel that so high a standard could be maintained. But she had seen the vision splendid, and in the commonplace details of life, not less than in higher things, she strove, at whatever cost, to follow its leading. The Rev. J. Harryman Taylor, M.A., writes: “I have such pleasant recollections of the year we spent together at Reading, and of the kindness received from Mrs. Beavan and yourself, that I was quite looking forward to next year, that we might be together again.” Our own opinion of Mrs. Beavan, formed during a period of happy association with her husband, in the work of the ministry, and strengthened in later years of friendship, was of the highest. She was a rarely beautiful example of Christian womanhood; of natural amiability, sanctified and intensified by the renewing grace of God. “The beauty of the Lord our God was upon her.”

After her marriage to Mr. Beavan, she continued for a number of years to do the work of a Sunday school teacher. In various bazaar and other efforts, she toiled also, often beyond her strength. But for a number of years her life was clouded with the shadow of much physical weakness. While residing in Reading, having nursed her mother through the long illness that preceded her death, her own health broke down. From that time, she suffered from affliction that, though not until a little before the end entirely prostrating, was continuous, and often exceedingly painful and distressing. This was endured uncomplainingly: few understood the cross so bravely and patiently borne. In the summer of 1901 her condition grew worse, and her sufferings were greatly accentuated. A fatal termination, however, was not apprehended. She had promised to visit, her sister at Carnarvon, before proceeding with her husband to his new station at Manchester. It was hoped that rest and change would benefit her. This was not to be. All that medical skill and loving care could do was done, but her strength, wasted by protracted suffering, gradually declined, until on the Sabbath evening of September 1st, 1901, peacefully, without a struggle, as a tired child falling asleep in the arms of its mother, this sweet and saintly spirit entered into the presence of the King.

She was interred at Carnarvon, on September 5th, after a service in the Calvinistic Methodist (English) Church, conducted by the pastor, the Rev. D. Hughes, M.A. In addition to the numerous letters of sympathy and of warm admiration for the character of the departed, floral tributes were sent from the Reading and Hull Circuits, and from the Bakewell Society, places in which the deceased had been well known and greatly beloved. Principal Parkin, B.D., of the Manchester College, conducted an impressive memorial service in the Moss Lane Church, Manchester, on October 6th, and made many appreciative references to the character and worth of the departed, whom he had known some fifteen years.

A life-long student and lover of the Word of God, one of Mrs. Beavan’s latest requests, was to ask her husband, on the last day of her life, to read to her our Lord’s intercessory prayer. With strength fast failing, she sought to enter into the meaning and power of those great words: “Father, I will that they also whom Thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which Thou hast given me, for Thou loved’st me before the foundation of the world.’’ And with the wonderful intercession in her ears, her ripe and chastened spirit passed upwards to the rapture of the vision that is “face to face.”

(We regret owing to an oversight by the Press the above memoir has not had earlier insertion. – Ed.)

Family

Elizabeth was born in 1852 at Preston on Wye, Herefordshire, to parents Thomas and Sarah. Thomas was a PM travelling preacher from 1835 to 1849, when he was forced to retire to Hereford due to ill-health. He worked as a commercial traveller (1861), and later as a cider merchant (1871).

She married Arthur Beavan (1850-1922), a PM Minister, in the summer of 1876 at Hereford, Herefordshire.

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904/490

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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