Featherstone, Mary (nee Judson) (1804-1871)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Harvey

MARY FEATHERSTON, widow of the late Rev. Joseph Featherston, Primitive Methodist minister, was born at Scholemoor Farm, Horton near Bradford, November 1, 1804, and died at Bradford January 3, 1871. In early life she was upright, strict, and moral in her deportment, and for several years she was a Sabbath School teacher among the Baptists. Her father died when she was about three years of age. Her mother and stepfather were consistent members with the Primitive Methodists for many years, until death removed them to the Church triumphant. She was married to Mr. Featherston in the year 1836, he then being stationed in Bradford; and she subsequently travelled with him in the Wakefield, Louth, Swinefleet, Doncaster, Otley, and Pontefract stations. But the marriage tie was broken in December, 1847, after a most happy union, and brief experience of ministerial life. 

During her twenty-three years widowhood she suffered painful bereavements, two months after the death of her husband she buried her youngest child; in 1867 her eldest son died, aged twenty-nine years; and in 1869 her only daughter, an intelligent young woman, was laid in her grave, aged twenty-seven years; besides following her father and mother to the house appointed for all living. But they are all sleeping in Jesus. 

As a minister’s wife, Mrs. Featherston was seldom surpassed, and but rarely equalled. She was greatly respected in the stations in which they travelled, and those who knew her best esteemed her most. Her name, and that of her husband, in the Wakefield circuit are still as ointment poured forth. She was an earnest and a sincere worker in the Church, an excellent visitor of the sick, and made herself generally useful in the cause of Christ. When I entered the ministry if was my privilege and joy to live under the same roof, and sit at the same table; it was then when I had ample opportunity of judging, that I formed my estimate of her character, Her piety, cheerfulness, and motherly counsels made an impression on my own mind which nearly thirty-two years have failed to erase. She was one of the best of mothers, judicious, kind, and firm, and I think no woman was ever blessed with children more loving, respectful, and obedient than she. And may not this be attributed to efficient training and the influence of example? 

Her affliction, which extended over a year, was borne with Christian fortitude and resignation to the will of the Lord. During the last four months she gradually grew weaker, though she had the best medical treatment; but her spiritual strength was renewed day by day. She was not a subject of great ecstasy, but had a full and firm reliance on the promise and merits of her Redeemer. The night before her death she said to a friend, “I shall soon be set at liberty now,” and on Tuesday, January 3, she calmly passed away to be for ever with the Lord, leaving an only son behind, who is treading in the steps of his revered and glorified parents. May he, the writer, and the reader meet in the kingdom of heaven.


Mary was born on 1 November 1804 at Horton, nr Bradford, Yorkshire.

She married Joseph Featherstone (1801-1847) on 8 December 1835 at Bradford, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • John Joseph (1837-1867) – a warehouse stock-keeper (1861)
  • Edwin Henry (b1841) – a warehouse stock-keeper (1861); a salesman (1881)
  • Sarah Jane (abt1843-1869)

Mary died on 3 January 1871 at Bradford, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1872/116

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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