Cox, Harriet (nee Harris) (1847-1878)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Edward Cox

HARRIET COX, class leader, and Bible class leader, of Hornton, in the Banbury circuit, was born at Leamington on February 11, 1847. Her grandfather was an old Primitive Methodist, who found a preaching house for us in the early days of our preaching at Tysoe, in the Banbury circuit, and her mother was a Wesleyan, and gave her an excellent training in early life. In the fifteenth year of her age, God gave her a most clear and distinct testimony of His pardoning mercy. She laboured hard for several years in the Aston Villa Wesleyan Sabbath school. But the friends, seeing her aptitude for more extensive labour, set her to raise and lead a Bible class. In this she succeeded beyond all expectation, The sweetness of her manners, the tenderness of her care, her deep anxiety for souls, her strong faith in God, and her constant prayerfulness, soon brought numbers of the young into her Bible class, so that she soon had eighty or ninety members under her instruction. In a short time some of these manifested a desire to be saved. She was then appointed to raise a society class. She laboured hard to lead these young people to Jesus, and God crowned her labours with His blessing; and soon upwards of twenty were joined in church fellowship. Her hands were now full of work for Jesus; she not only laboured as school teacher on the Sabbath, and in her Bible class and society class, but frequently visited from house to house among the poor and afflicted, feeling it her meat and drink to do her Master’s will, and nothing pleased her so much as to lead souls to Jesus. At revival services she would labour with souls till nine and ten o’clock at night.

In the thirtieth year of her age she became united to Edward Cox, Primitive Methodist local preacher, in the Banbury circuit. She then removed to Hornton, and as soon as possible she began to work for God in this place. She soon raised a Bible class of upwards of twenty young people, whom she met weekly. On seeing signs of good, she began at once a society class, and in less than twelve months she had ten members in this. She was very faithful in her work; and if her members did not attend, frequently before returning home, she would go to their homes and inquire the reason of their non-attendance. She was, too, greatly beloved by those beneath her charge. Oh, had we such workers in all our churches, how soon should we see spiritual improvement.

As a woman she was highly gifted. Her mind was very keen and comprehensive, and her memory very strong, her judgment sound, and her conscience tender. She had had the care of a judicious and pious mother; this, together with a good education, and great musical talent, together with a sweet voice, made her company most pleasant and agreeable. She was also a most diligent student of her Bible. This blessed book was her constant companion. From a child she had known its great and glorious truths. She had learned and believed its doctrines. She had accepted its grand offers of mercy, pardon, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost; and its promises were to her, yea, and amen. 

Her faith was childlike, firm, and unshaken, and her obedience constant and unwavering. Indeed it was her meat and drink to do her heavenly Father’s will.

As a wife she was most loving, kind, gentle, tender beyond expression, good-tempered at all times; a good housewife, loving to see her home a pattern of neatness and order. She was most kind and good to, preachers and friends; a lover of home and of good men; and at family worship her fine music and sweet singing made earth feel near heaven. Rising moderately early in the morning, and being diligent in her household work, she could spare time in the evening for the public worship of God. Monday evening she attended prayer meeting. Tuesday evening she met her class. Wednesday evening she met her Bible class; and often on Thursday or Friday, she attended either the preaching service or the prayer meeting,

She was a firm believer in the great doctrine of sanctification. She believed it to be a second great work of God in the soul, bringing it into subjection to the whole mind of God. Faith too for the realization of this blessing she had, and could rely on that blessed truth, ‘The blood of Jesus Christ His (God’s) Son cleanseth from all sin.’

But in the prime of her age, and in the midst of her usefulness, the Master came and took her to Himself. On her thirty-first birthday she gave birth to a little girl, and appeared to be doing well, but about three days after puerperal peritonitis came on, and on February 19, 1878, she died. She was most patient under her affliction, and about three hours before her death said, ‘Jesus is come, I am going home.’

Thus lived and died one whom God had early called to know Him, who was kind and good to all with whom she was associated, a sweet singer in Israel, a friend of the poor and needy, a bright ornament to society, a faithful wife, a genial friend, and a faithful worker in God’s church. She is gone to her rest, and her works will follow her. The fact of her death was announced to the young of her class at the Aston Villa chapel, Birmingham, on the Sabbath evening after her death, and nine of these offered themselves to Christ. She being dead yet speaketh. Her crown will be begemmed with souls.


Harriet was born on 11 February 1847 at Leamington, Warwickshire, to parents Francis and Ann.

She married Edward Cox (1821-1903) in the spring of 1877 at Aston, Warwickshire. They had one child.

  • Sarah Ann Harris (1878-1943) – married George Henry Mander, a cabinet maker, in 1899

Harriet died on 19 February 1878 at Hornton, Oxfordshire.

Edward Cox was a tailor and draper.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1879/498

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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