Coulthard, Frances (nee Jaques) (1857-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Emerson Phillipson

FRANCES COULTHARD was born at Stanhope, Weardale, April 29, 1857, and was the daughter of Henry and Hannah Jacques. She had the misfortune to lose her father when a little over four years of age, at which time the mother removed to Westgate, in Weardale, the village in which she had lived from her childhood, until her marriage and removal to Stanhope.

It will be seen, when very young Frances and her brother were left to the care of the mother; but they were favoured in having a Christian home, as the best influences were brought to bear upon them in their childhood. She became a scholar in the Sunday School at Westgate, afterwards a member of the choir, and linked herself with all the movements in connection with that church and Sunday School. It is thought she distinctly surrendered herself to Jesus in a revival of religion at Westgate when she was about fourteen years of age; prior to that time: she had lived what her friends considered a Christian life. Though young she was in complete sympathy with all the religious movements in the village. In imagination I can see the cottage in which she lived for some years, a home so orderly and spotlessly clean; receiving a training fitting her for the place she afterwards took in the Stockton Church.

Were I called upon to give the main elements that moulded her life and gave it beauty, I would name as the first, home influence: a mother’s example constantly playing upon her life, a mother’s prayers, which were not only answered in her case, but also in her brother’s, who holds an honoured place in our Church at Stockton. We thank God for such mothers. The second active force came from the Sunday School; our Sunday School teachers should take encouragement in their work, they are training a generation that will take their places in after years.

Frances was married December 31, 1881, to John Coulthard, who with his son and daughter, mourn their loss. Soon after the marriage they came to live in Stockton, and identified themselves at once with the Church of their childhood, and maintained an unbroken membership. What strikes one is the exceptional interest she took in the welfare of the Church. She was a most willing worker, so constant, and yet free from parade; she was plodding, persistent, continuous. She gave ungrudgingly to the cause she loved and the: Christ she served, as Mary anointed Jesus, and her Saviour understood it as love’s offering; and it was unconscious sacrifice; so it was with our dear sister, she must work and give to the object of her love. Her influence and life will be felt for years to come. She has not been allowed to see old age; the sun of her life set while it was yet noon. It is known for some years she had been a great sufferer, and yet it has been astonishing the amount of work she has done during these years. We had hoped her life might have been spared to her family, to her Church, but it was not to be so, “His ways are not as ours.” She had been ailing for some few weeks, but her friends hoped it might not be serious. Everything was done that friends and medical skill could do, but all to no avail. On Monday, Feb. 20, 1899, it was seen a change had taken place; the friends gathered to see the final struggle; yes, thank God the victory. With her head laid upon her husband’s arm, she quietly passed into life.
“So fades the summer cloud away,
So sinks the gale when storms are o’er,
So gently shuts the eye of day;
So dies a wave along the shore

“A holy quiet reigns around,
A calm which life nor death destroys,
And nought disturbs that peace profound
Which her unfettered soul enjoys.”

Am I able to sum a life such as she lived in a few words? It is difficult to do so. She was so gentle and kindly towards all; charitable, if unable to speak well of others she was silent, always considerate about other people’s feelings; she was essentially a peace-lover and a peace-maker; in her home she exerted a hallowed influence, she will be much missed; the loss is ours, the gain is hers; if earth is poorer, heaven is richer; one step in advance has been taken, she has gained the rest, the home prepared for the people of God. Her memory will remain green for years to come. “The ashes of the just smell sweet, and blossom in the dust.”

On Thursday, February 23, devout men bore her to her burial, where amid every token of respect, all that was mortal was laid, but the spirit had gone aloft. The sun shone over that grave, reminding us of resurrection light. We say, Peace be to thy memory; and our prayer is, that God may comfort those that mourn, and when death shall have been done away, and the shadows shall flee, may they all stand in the light of God.


Henry Jacques was a lead miner.

Before her marriage, Frances worked as a milliner.

Frances married John Coulthard (b abt 1854), a joiner, in the Weardale Registration District. Census returns identify two children.

  • Elizabeth (b1883) – see comment below
  • Henry (b1891)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/390

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


Comments about this page

  • Judith,

    Many thanks for your correction. I have modified the page to reflect your information.

    By Geoff Dickinson (06/10/2021)
  • I was very interested to read this obituary for Frances Coulthard, which was written by my great grandfather.
    My connection with Frances is through her brother Thomas Jacques, who was the adoptive father of my grandmother Annie Phillipson.

    I see that Frances’ daughter Elizabeth is listed as having married a Jonathan Wallis in 1909. I’m sure this can’t be right because I’ve found Elizabeth (known as Lily) on the 1911 census, unmarried and living with her widowed father John and brother Harry in Stockton. I believe Jonathan Wallis was married to another Elizabeth Coulthard and they are also living in Stockton on the 1911 census.

    I wish I new if Elizabeth/Lily ever did get married. I think I’ve found her on the 1939 Register and she’s still single, so maybe she didn’t.

    By Judith Rogers nee Phillipson (05/10/2021)

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