Cockersole, Martha (1785-1836)


Of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Tunstall circuit.

Martha Cockersole, daughter of William and Hannah Walker of Oldenshire, in Lancashire, was born in the year 1785.  In childhood she was a constant attendant of the Wesleyan Sunday school, and received impressions which never left her.  From this school she was taken to he a singer at a church chapel; and was steady, sedate, and moral.

In her eighteenth year she was married to  John Cockersole, a hatter; and they soon after removed to Newcastle in Staffordshire.

About the year 1821, it pleased the Lord to send the P. Methodists to Newcastle.   She heard the word, was directed to the Lamb of God, and by faith cast her soul on the mercy of God.  Christ became her all in all.  She walked not after the flesh but after the Spirit, and was one of the first fruits in the Primitive Methodist society in Newcastle.  Her house was opened to the people, and in her house they preached and held prayer meetings until about the year 1821, when the chapel was erected.  A class still meets in the house; and her husband and part of her children are members.

From her conversion to her death, she adorned her profession.  Difficulties and troubles beset her path through this world; but her trust was in the bleeding Lamb; her hope was fixed: and, in speaking of the Lord, she often said, “Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him.”  She was truly a pattern of piety; a humble consistent follower of the holy Jesus.  Of this she gave evidence by thinking nothing too much that she could do for his servants and his cause.

Nov. 8, 1835, she attended her class for the last time.  Her language was, “The Lord does all things well — I find it good to be here — I hope to be found faithful unto death — I know that he that has kept me to this time, is able to keep me to the end.”

The affliction which terminated in death, was very severe; but she bore it with Christian fortitude, and was thankful for all that was done for her.  She enjoyed much union with God; and when any of the friends visited her, she would ask them to help her praise the Lord.

A few hours before her departure, she exhorted two of her sons to serve the Lord and follow her to heaven.  She then exhorted others; and, clasping her hands, said, “O that I had strength, how I would praise the Lord! Help me to praise my God. — Help me to praise him.”

After this she raised her hand and said, “Praise him, he is my King — Jesus is my King — Praise him. “A friend asked her how she did.  She replied, “All is peace! all is peace within.”

Some times her mind was a little beclouded; but the cloud burst and she could say,

“Not a cloud doth arise, To darken the skies,
Nor hide for a moment, My Lord from my eyes.”

Looking for her change, she entreated her husband not to flatter her, but tell her plainly what the doctor said; observing that if he were to say she would die that night or the next day, it would not put her about.

She asked a friend present to pray; the heavens opened and the power of God came down.  Being informed that the doctor said she must soon be gone, she received the account with calm resignation, saying she was quite ready to be gone.  After this, she called her husband and children round her, and breathed her soul into the hands of her Saviour, November 21, 1836.

In her death the church has lost a nursing mother; the society a constant member; her husband a loving wife; and her sons and daughters a loving mother.  But their loss is her eternal gain. May our last end be like hers.

Wm. Sapcoat

(Approved by the Newcastle branch quarter-day.)

Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838.  Pages 61-62


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