Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W Evans
ELIZA ECKERSLEY, wife of the late Rev. John Eckersley, exchanged mortality for life December 10, 1897, aged sixty-three years. Little is known of her early life, but she was a consistent and useful member of our Church for forty years. Her piety was deep and genuine, and was of the cheerful type. About twenty-eight years ago, when they travelled in the Burton Circuit, her husband died, leaving her a widow with three sons. A little less than a year afterwards she removed to Earlestown.
A lady writing from there speaks very highly of her Christian character, and says, “She taught a young woman’s Bible class in the Sunday School, to whom she was made a great blessing.”
About fifteen years ago she came to reside in Derby, and joined the Central Church, and was a consistent member and liberal supporter of its funds up to the time of her decease. She was for some years assistant leader of one of the society classes. She had great aptitude in visiting absent members and getting them to class meeting. She was also mighty in prayer. She had her own way of doing things, did not do this or that because somebody else did. or instance, when beggars called at her door to solicit alms, she would take them in and feed them and talk to and pray with them. In temperance work she took much interest. Women whose lives she had tried to reform, and whom she had induced to sign the pledge, she would visit in a morning when she knew they were alone and would be specially tempted, buying for them teetotal drinks, and in other ways seeking to help them.
During the last two years, through failing health, she has not been so active, but she was constant in her attendance at the means of grace whenever she could get there. Her son, writing from, Uttoxeter, says: “Mother always possessed a remarkable faith in God. She has been a splendid mother, and has lived a pure and saintly life.”
Her last illness was painful and severe, but she bore her sufferings with meekness. The Saviour whom she loved was her support and stay. She frequently expressed a desire to depart and to be with Christ. Almost her last words were, “O Lord, how long!” One of the last texts she was heard to repeat was, “The blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth me from all sin.” In this state of mind and experience she passed to her eternal rest. A memorial service was conducted by the writer at Central Church, Jan. 23, when a large congregation was present.
Eliza was born in 1834 at Stickford, Lincolnshire, to parents Benjamin and Elizabeth. She was baptised on 23 November 1834 at Stickford.
She married John Eckersley (1828-1868), a PM minister, in the summer of 1858 in the Spilsby Registration District, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify three children.
- John Andrews (1860-1941) – a professor of elocution (1901)
- James Enos (1863-1936) – a coal merchant (1911)
- William Richard (1866-1907) – a coal merchant (retired by 1901)
Eliza died on 10 December 1897 at Derby, Derbyshire.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1900/392
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers