Challice, Matthew (1842-1911)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911

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

Mr. Matthew Challice, for long a foremost official of the Wickhambrook and Newmarket Circuit, died on July 30th, 1911. He was born February 20th, 1842, and in the early days, when our church in Newmarket was meeting in an obscure room, he experienced a soul awakening, and at once attached himself to the small community representing Primitive Methodism in the town. For fifty-three years thereafter he continued to labour in the Master’s work.

During the ministry of the Rev. R.S. Blair, when the Wickhambrook Circuit underwent considerable development, our friend—then Circuit Steward—heartily co-operated with his minister in the extension movement. It was during this period that several village chapels were built within the area of the Circuit. Mr. Challice willingly expended money and energy in behalf of the good work. 

During his long connection with our Church, our friend held the following offices: Local preacher, class leader, school superintendent, society steward, treasurer of the Trust Fund, Circuit steward, and trustee of Newmarket, Saxon Street, and Dalham chapels. 

A sincere and earnest Christian, he was at home in a class meeting, and displayed a remarkable gift in prayer. His religion was manifest in his home relationships, and has left its impress upon the members of his family, all of whom are in fellowship with the Church of Christ. One son, Rev.. F.C. Challice is now the Superintendent of our Norwich First Circuit. Mr. Challice was twice married, and owed much during his weary days of suffering to the loving and tender ministrations of her who mourns his loss. We pray that to the widow and family Divine consolation may be given.


Matthew was born on 20 February 1842 at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, to parents James, a chimney sweep (1861), and Mary.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Matthew.

  • 1861 chimney sweep
  • 1871 chimney sweep
  • 1881 chimney sweep and coal dealer
  • 1891 coal merchant & farmer
  • 1901 coal merchant & farmer
  • 1911 coal merchant

He married Sarah Maria Mortlock (1841-1904) in late 1863 at Newmarket. Census returns identify seven children.

  • Miriam (abt1865-1926) – married Stephen William Foreman, a carpenter, in 1885
  • George Mortlock (1867-1950) – a farmer (1901)
  • James William (abt1870-1940) – a solicitor’s managing clerk (1911)
  • Philip Edwin (1872-1959) – a saddle and harness maker (1901)
  • Frederick Claude (1874-1924) – a PM Minister
  • Matthew Gordon (1877-1963) – a coal merchant’s clerk (1911)
  • Mabel Annie (1879-1966) – married Arthur Rosier, a police constable (1911), in 1908

He married Sarah Annie Derman (1874-1969), a parlourmaid (1901), in late 1905 in London.      

Matthew died on 30 July 1911 at Newmarket, Cambridgeshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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