Bosworth, James (1865-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W.D. (William Dickinson)

JAMES BOSWORTH, Junr., was born in July, 1865. When about three years of age he began to attend our Ansty Sunday School, and at four years of age his name appeared on the register, and for twelve years he remained a scholar.

About this time he became anxious about his soul. He had always had a religious home, and this proved to him a great blessing, and when quite a boy he was thoroughly converted to God. He commenced at once to labour in the Sabbath School, which he did with much earnestness and devotion until the time of his illness. For seven years he held the position of superintendent, and his exceptional intellectual abilities, his strict discipline, and loving nature, made him a general favourite; he was beloved by teachers and scholars alike. This was the work in which he delighted, and for which he lived. This, if anything, was the heaviest cross during his illness, and the writer has seen him more than once in great distress of heart and mind, when he has utterly broken down and sobbed again and again because he could not do the work he so dearly loved. All his efforts were concentrated on the salvation of the young, and eternity alone will reveal the actual results of his quiet, patient work.

After his conversion he  became a member of his father’s class, and remained in it until he was called upon to take the office of leader to a young people’s class. This appointment was made owing to the fact that a number of young people had been brought to Christ during some revival services. Our brother was also a local preacher, and one of no ordinary ability. All our societies and congregations were delighted to welcome him. His preaching was of a very “searching” nature, and some of the sermons preached will remain long in the memory of those who heard him, notably his sermon on “Absalom,” which was a stirring and searching appeal to the young. Indeed, the keynote of all his sermons, addresses and his prayers, nay, the burden of his whole life, was “the young for Christ.”

When we formed a Christian Endeavour Society there was unanimous vote for our brother to be President, and he did some good work. The scholars, teachers, C.E., and all who knew him loved him because of his noble life, and because he loved us. His was a very social nature, loved God’s cause, gave systematically of his income, and could never do too much for the cause of the Master. He also did a good work for his native village. Without a doubt his business capacity was above the average. He had a keen insight, and could grasp the true position of affairs in a moment. This made him very useful in village affairs. For three years he was a member of the Ansty School Board, but retired last March owing to ill health. For several years he was the respected secretary for the Ansty Forest Gate Land Society, and he also held a similar position for the Prudential Land Society, his acceptance of these positions gave confidence to the people. With such a secretary they felt that they were right. He also held the position of secretary to the Technical Educational Committee. ln all these positions he served with marked ability and fidelity. During the latter part of his illness his co-superintendent in Sunday School said to him, “What about the future? ” and the answer came, “The future is all right, it is the present I an concerned about.” About two weeks before his death, during a terrible relapse, his father and minister were in the room, and looking at his father, he said, “Father, I am going down again, you have seen me like this before, but I don’t think I shall get better this time. You remember how I used to talk in the school about building on the sand. Ah, but I could not understand it then, I did not think the rock was half so solid and half so true as it is to me ‘now.’ ” And then very slowly but firmly, and: as though he realised every letter he was saying, he repeated, “Rock of Ages, cleft for me,” and repeated the first and last verse, dwelling especially on the last verse. On the Sunday afternoon his father read to him the twenty-seventh Psalm, and prayed with him; after tea he read to him part of Doddridge’s “Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul,” the eleventh chapter of the last section, a passage full of comfort and consolation; then he seemed to be thinking about it. His father said, “I hope matters are all right, Jim? ” and he enquired “What do you mean?” “Well, as regards your trust in Christ.” “Oh, yes, there is not a shadow of a doubt there.” About half-past eleven his father kissed him and said, “Good night, my lad,” and he replied, “Good night, father, and God bless you. I hope you won’t have to suffer like this; you will pray for me when you get home won’t you? I do hope I shan’t suffer long.” He fell asleep in Jesus about two o’clock, Oct. 23, 1899, aged thirty-four years. We still mourn his loss and recall his patience in suffering. For months he was in at home, had the best medical advice, was in the Leicester Infirmary for several weeks in order to have better medical attention, then rallied and was at home again, but he was not to stay with us, God took him. It was always a joy to see him and minister unto him, and the remembrance of what he was is still an inspiration to us. An outsider said to his father, “Your son came the nearest to perfection of any one I ever knew.”

On the day of his interment the whole village was in mourning. Factories and shops suspended business. Representatives of societies and all the churches in the village – the Churchmen headed by the vicar – joined in the procession from the home to the chapel, where a service was conducted bv the Rev. G. Windram and Mr. S.E. Monforth (H.L.P.), Ansty. The service at the cemetery was conducted by Rev. W. Dickinson in the presence of a vast assembly.

Our dear brother leaves a young widow and one child to mourn his loss, also an aged father, who is the oldest local preacher and class-leader on this circuit, and highly respected in the whole of the Nottingham District. May God sustain and comfort these sorrowing hearts is the prayer of very many who knew the true worth of our dear departed brother.

Family

James was born in 1865 at Ansty, Leicestershire, to parents James Bosworth and Maria Draycott. James, senior, was a shoe riveter.

James followed the same line of work as his father.

James married Elizabeth Jordan (b1869) in the summer of 1892 in the Barrow upon Soar Registration District, Leicestershire. Census returns identify one of two children.

  • Lillian  (b1897)

Elizabeth was a shopkeeper (grocer and draper) following James’ death.

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/871

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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