Doody, Anna Maria (nee Gostling) (1831-1873)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Thomas Doody

Anna Maria Doody, of Manchester first circuit, whose maiden name was Gostling, was born March 1, 1831, soon after which her parents came to reside in the borough of Bedford, and resolved to unite with our society there. At that period of our history the feeble cause had a very eventful and at times painful struggle for life, principally on account of the unseemly conduct of some who had been conspicuous and apparently zealous members, the steady unwavering attachment of her parents would doubtless have its influence in forming the ground work of loyalty to our connexion, evinced so clearly in the life of the subject of this record. 

Her father has long been the oldest local preacher and circuit steward in Bedford. Of her mother, who sustained the office of class leader for many years till death, a memoir appeared in our Large Magazine in 1854, (page 516). Thus favoured and frequently brought in contact with our ministers, who ever found a welcome home with her parents, she was at the age of fourteen savingly converted, and some years afterwards became a very useful teacher in the Sabbath School, and afterwards had the charge of a Class Meeting composed principally of juveniles, with whom she was a great favourite. 

In her twenty-fourth year she became the wife of the writer, then stationed in Chatham, who found her a great help during his three years sojourn there, afterwards in Stalybridge and Bradwell circuits. Removing to Birkenhead circuit in 1862, she was called to pass through keen sorrow in the burial of two children, but was much comforted on seeing a gracious revival of religion, and an increase in our church membership, fruits of which remain to this day. In this work she delighted, and in her own unpretending way would labour among penitents with no common interest, nor did she labour in vain in the Lord, but while much loved and respected in all our stations, where her name will be long remembered with pleasure, her influence at home where her worth was best known will never be forgotten. Believing “the promise is to us and our children” she earnestly sought their conversion, and had the joy when in Oldham second circuit of seeing our two eldest in tender age yield themselves to Christ, and join the class of which she was a member. 

She considered it to be her duty and privilege to attend the various means and so far to be an example to others. Naturally diffident she at one time refrained from bearing her testimony in our lovefeasts to the power of grace, on which after reasoning with her she broke through the snare, and for the last fourteen years in her quiet, but decided manner, always took the first opportunity, and assured me she found the advantage to be great.

If the value of a wife is known by unwavering constancy, industry, patience, discretion, and dignified womanly affection prompting her to be ever jealous of the character and honour of her husband, and leading him to feel the force of Proverbs, 31st chapter and 11th verse, then the writer’s loss is great. If the value of a mother is seen in her unwearied exertions for the welfare of her children, and in temporal and spiritual things ever showing an example of purity and undeviating goodness, then her orphans may well feel lonely. If consistent membership with a Church means being present with the people of God at all reasonable and practicable seasons, without allowing frivolous excuses to serve for absence, and ever evincing a willingness to do her part to help in any way, then a loyal member is gone.

Physically she was of comely appearance, when in health had a robust appearance, and above the average height, and was favoured with better health than most persons—for which we often felt thankful. About Christmas, 1872, she complained of rheumatism and other unusual pains. Early in the following February dysentery, in a very virulent form, seized her, from which she never rallied, but, in the face of the best medical skill, she was soon reduced to a skeleton, but though fearfully prostrated, her habitual cheerfulness and patience were manifest to the last. The night previous to death I observed that “I thought we were going to part,” she replied, “yes, I have thought so for some time,” ‘You are not afraid?” said I, when she quickly answered in the language of Psalm Ixxiii., verse 26, and added, “Praise him! Praise him! Praise him!” Thus departed an Israelite indeed, in whom was no guile, on March 7th, 1873.


Anna Maria was born on 1 March 1831 at Shelford, Norfolk.

Before her marriage Anna worked as a bonnet sewer (1851).

She married Thomas Doody (1825-1874), a PM minister, in early 1855 at Bedford, Bedfordshire. Census returns and birth records identify six children.

  • Margaret (1856-1910) – a milliner’s apprentice (1871); a domestic help (1901)
  • Mary (1858-1908) – married John Mackinnell, a merchant, in 1878
  • Sarah (1860-1862)
  • William (1863-1863)
  • David (1865-1950) – an accountant (1911)
  • Ellen (b1869)

Anna Maria died on 7 March 1873 at Manchester, Lancashire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1874/625

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.