Ely, Charles (1840-1906)

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by George B. Gleghorn

Born March 6th, 1841, Mr. Charles Ely passed away April 23rd, 1906. His parents were staunch Methodists, and had the joy of seeing their children devoted members of Society. Sent early to tend the sheep he had little schooling. At fourteen and a half he left home to fight the battle of life. He was converted at the age of twenty-four, and as he returned home singing “Am I a soldier of the Cross?” his wife said, “I do believe Charles has got converted.” 

Twenty-eight years ago he removed to Ealing, and joined our little society there and helped to erect the old iron chapel. When finances were low, he agreed with five others to do the chapel cleaning. The others soon tired but he and another kept the place going. Twenty years ago an attack of typhoid weakened his constitution, and bronchial trouble followed, yet he remained regular in attendance on the House of God. He loved the class meeting and the prayer meeting! He anticipated the building of the new chapel with keen interest, and it was a great joy to see the opening services. 

A serious operation, followed by a recurrence of his old trouble, ended his life. At his dying bed his family and friends sang “Rock of Ages” and in response to inquiries he said, “It will be all well when the mists have rolled away.” 

The Rev. J.L. Williams writes: ‘‘I saw in him one of the earnest, faithful saints of God. How much I am indebted to his simple, kindly, sympathetic, laughing life, I know not.”


Charles was born 6 March 1840 at Highworth, Wiltshire, to parents William, a labourer, and Harriett. He was baptised on 5 April 1840 at Highworth.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Charles.

  • 1851 scholar
  • 1861 labourer
  • 1871 navy
  • 1881 milkman
  • 1891 dairyman
  • 1901 green grocer

He married Ann Hollister (1840-1913) on 28 April 1861 at Holy Trinity, Paddington. Census returns identify six children.

  • Ann (1868-1945) – an ironer (1911)
  • Harriet (1871-1932) – a dressmaker’s assistant (1891); married Robert Marshall, a painter & decorator, in 1898
  • Eleanor (b1874) – married Fred Chapman, a printer compositor, in 1898
  • Charles (1876-1963) – a greengrocer
  • Robert (1878-1891)
  • Edith (1884-1968) – a supervisor in soft toy factory (1939)

Charles died on 23 April 1906 at Ealing, Middlesex.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1907/408

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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