Cook, Louisa (nee Gazeley) (1843-1899)
Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Charles Leafe
MRS. LOUISA COOK was born in Church Street, DunstabIe, January 19, 1843, and died at Dunstable, Sept. 30, 1899, in the fifty-sixth year of her age. Her father died when she was very young, for she could only just remember him. However, her mother having been closely identified with our Church for many years, she learned from her earliest days to value its services and take an interest in its prosperity. This she continued to do in various ways until her end carne – so suddenly and so safely. When fifteen years of age she was brought into the enjoyment of the saving grace of God, and there was every evidence that she had become conscious of an inward change. Her after-life abundantly showed that she was an “heir of the kingdom of heaven.” Years of parental care for her religious welfare were not lost. Her views were clear, her convictions definite, and her attachment to our Connexion strong. She had her reasons for being a Primitive Methodist. She was fully persuaded in her own mind that the teachings and principles of our denomination were well worth holding at any cost. Soon after her conversion she was called to exercise her gifts as a teacher in the Sabbath School, and as a singer in the choir, and in that capacity she continued to serve her Lord and Master with considerable acceptability and success for a long period of time. Also she took part in the collecting of the first hundred pounds in aid of the erection of the chapel at Dunstable, and she was ever ready to work and give as far as time and means would permit. In a word, she lived in daily communion with the Saviour, and in her dealings with her fellow-creatures was open, straightforward, just kind, and generous.
For many years her health had been far from robust, but a fairly strong constitution meant capacity for suffering, and its intensity can never be known. A little more than a week before her death illness overtook her again, from which she never recovered. Her affliction was bronchitis and yellow jaundice. The day before her departure it was evident the end was near, and on Saturday morning, Sept. 30th, she said to her husband, who is one of our esteemed local preachers, “I shall soon obtain that rest I have long sought for.” There was no struggle, no agony, and in the early morning, about 9.30, all was over. She sank peacefully into the bosom of her God, like a weary infant in sweet repose. “He giveth His beloved sleep.”
A memorial service was held in our chapel at Dunstable, and her remains laid in the cemetery on Oct. 4th, in the presence of the family and a large number of sympathising friends, including the Revs. C. Leafe and J. Shergold, who performed the ceremony. Loving hearts had sent beautiful floral tributes, which were laid on the grave. The occasion of her death was improved on Sunday evening, Oct. 15.
To her husband and family of six children the loss is irreparable; but behind there is the memory of more than forty years of devotion to Christ.
We bow before the mystery, for such it is. Sin and suffering can be understood, they are cause and effect; but suffering to the Christ-like is not for us to explain, it is too deep for human thought and speech. We can only believe that God wanted her, and she was His and ready to meet Him; gone a little while before us, beyond the shadow, where all is love. May the Lord whom she devoutly loved and followed be our comfort and guide till the shades of earth have all departed, and the white light of the Throne makes clear the mysteries that perplex us now.
Louisa’s mother was Mary Gazeley.
Louisa worked as a bonnet sower before her marriage. She married Edward Cook (abt 1847-1923), a bootmaker, in early 1868 at Dunstable, Bedfordshire. Census returns identify six children.
- Arthur Henry (b1868)
- Louisa (1870-1911) – taking in lodgers (1911)
- Albert Edward (b1873) – emigrated to Canada in 1906; a Methodist minister in Canada
- William (b abt1877) – a grocer’s assistant (1901); emigrated to Canada in 1906
- Frederick (b abt1879) -a bootmaker (1901)
- Nellie (b abt1881) – a print worker (1911)
Edward married Mary Hannah Lake in 1900 and had two further children.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/711
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers
Note: I suspect there is a typo in the Magazine text, in that the second minister officiating at the funeral was probably Frank Shergold, not J. Shergold. Frank Shergold was stationed in the Luton circuit, which included Dunstable, in 1899.