Charter, Robert Thomas (1828-1902)

Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger

In the death of ROBERT T. CHARTER, which occurred on Christmas Day, 1902, the Stockton-on-Tees Circuit has lost its oldest local preacher, and one of its most devoted leaders and members.

Mr. Charter was born at Kirbymoorside, in the Pickering Circuit, on Sept. 9th, 1828, and so was in his seventy-fifth year when summoned to join the church triumphant. He was converted in his early teens under the preaching of Mrs. Mannering, and received his first-class ticket from the late Rev. R. Smith. The young convert, it was soon seen, was endowed with more than ordinary gifts, for within a year of his conversion he was put on the plan as a local preacher. In this capacity he laboured with great zeal and considerable success. Many under his preaching were led to the Saviour. The Pickering and Scarborough Circuits were both enriched by his early labours. From Scarborough he came to Stockton about fifty years ago. The Stockton Circuit was then a very wide one, and the office of local preacher was no sinecure. Long tramps were the order of the day. Mr. Charter threw himself into the work of the Circuit with great heartiness. His appointments, distant and near, he faithfully fulfilled. In his old age he delighted to tell how for many years in succession he was planned at the Hartlepool Camp Meeting. This meant a very hard day. He would reach Hartlepool, twelve miles from Stockton, by 9 a.m., and help in missioning the streets. On the camp ground he would take a full share in the preaching, singing, and praying, and would also assist in conducting the lovefeast in the evening. With what little energy he had left he would walk back home, and would arrive there about midnight. This prodigal expenditure of energy in the morning and noontide of life left him comparatively feeble as the evening drew on. For many years before his death he was unable to preach; but right up to the very last he was most regular in his attendance at the means of grace. His class meeting and the public services of the church were to him binding engagements. The preacher planned at Paradise Row, week-night or Sunday, could always count on the presence of Mr. and Mrs. Charter.

The end came, as we have said, on Christmas Day, and his remains were laid to rest three days later in the Oxbridge Lane Cemetery. The Rev. J.H. Sherman officiated, and the funeral was largely attended by the members and officials of our Paradise Row Church, of which place Mr. Charter was a member and leader.

Our brother was twice married, and he leaves his second wife and a grown up son and daughter to mourn his loss. We bespeak for them the prayers and sympathy of the church which their dead one loved so much and served so well.


Family and other information

Robert was baptised on 16 October 1828 at Kirbymoorside, Yorkshire. His parents were Jeremiah and Ann.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Robert.

  • 1851 joiner & cabinet maker
  • 1861 joiner & cabinet maker
  • 1881 model maker (engine)
  • 1891 pattern maker
  • 1901 pattern maker

Robert married Hannah Humble (1829-1885) in late 1853 at Pickering, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • Thomas (abt1858-1865)
  • Ann (1860-1928) – married Thomas James Medcalf, a rural postman, in 1898
  • John (abt1863-1919) – a joiner & cabinet maker

Robert married Jane Robinson (1834-1907) in the spring of 1886 at Stockton-on-Tees, Co. Durham.


Christian Messenger 1904/223

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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