Brown, Robert (abt1834-1897)
Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W.R.
We never know the value of a man, nor the measure of our indebtedness to him, nor the large place he occupies in the service of the Church until he is removed from us. This was strikingly illustrated in the death of Mr. Robert Brown, of Consett. He was class-leader for twenty years, local preacher, superintendent of Sunday School, and was ever present and took a prominent part in all our public religious services. His removal was a loss, not only to his own domestic circle, but to the Church and circuit to which he belonged.
He was born at Tantobie in the county of Durham, and very early evinced strong religious desires and tendencies. He removed to Bradley Cottages in the Shotley Bridge Circuit, where religious services were held in a dwelling-house, and there, under a sermon preached by Mr. Pile, a local preacher, he was converted, and at once joined our Church. He became a zealous and willing worker, and very soon was made a local preacher, and took a prominent part in the establishment of a Sunday School. He then removed to Consett, where he was associated intimately with our Church and its movements to the end of his life. He was a man staunchly loyal to his Church, and was regular and devoted to his class as a leader. As a local preacher he was very acceptable, earnest, and single in his aim at the salvation of men, and many were added to the Church through his agency. He was specially interested in Sunday School work, and often selected in conduct Sunday School anniversaries. He was greatly respected by his workmen, having been in the service of the Consett Iron Company for forty-five years. But in his home life he was probably the most fortunate, for no one could casually visit his house without feeling that supreme affection bound the members in happy union. His last illness was brief, no one suspecting the sudden end. But though unexpected, he was confident and peaceful, and passed hopefully away beyond the shadows, Jan. 8, 1897, aged sixty-three years.
The funeral service was conducted by the circuit ministers, Revs. W. Raistrick, R.B. Hanley, assisted by Revs. T. Durrant (Baptist) and Metcalf Elliott, in our Church at Consett, which was crowded. The whole town seemed in mourning. All the Sunday School children were present, their eyes dimmed with tears. Amidst a large concourse of friends and. townspeople, we committed him to the grave, hopeful of a brighter and better life.
Eight months after Mrs. Brown was called upon to suffer another sad bereavement in the death of her only son by accident. Sudden and severe was the loss of a son whose sole concern and aim were the comfort and support of his mother. With Christian courage and resignation the bereaved mother bore her loss, upheld by the affection of her children, the generous sympathy of many friends and the sustaining grace of God. May her darkened lonely days be brightened with Christian hope and consolation.
Robert was baptised on 2 February 1834 at Tanfield, Co. Durham. His parents were William, a coal miner, and Elizabeth.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Robert.
- 1851 blacksmith
- 1861 blacksmith
- 1871 blacksmith
- 1881 blacksmith
- 1891 colliery engine-wright
His probate record describes him as a foreman engine-wright.
Robert was married to Annabel (abt 1834-1906). Census returns identify three children.
- Isabella (b abt1853) – a dressmaker (1871)
- Lizzie (1855-1927) – married Amos Bulmer Stockton, a locomotive engine fitter, in 1879
- William (1861-1897) – a colliery enginewright
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/393
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers