Foster, William (1838-1904)

Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger

WILLIAM FOSTER was born at Seaton Delaval on April 27th, 1838, and was converted at Earsdon when only eighteen years of age, during a gracious revival which took place, under the ministry of the Rev. J Foggon and the late Rev. T. Southron. At this time over a hundred souls were added to the Lord, many of them continuing for many years as active members and officials in connection with our Church. Some time after his conversion he left the North Shields Circuit and went to reside in the Blyth Circuit, where he remained for a short time, and returned again to reside at Earsdon thirty years ago, at a time when he was much needed, our church at that time being only in a feeble condition. He was a loyal Primitive Methodist, a most earnest worker, and one who had a passion for saving men. It was a sore trial for him to see men living in apathy and indifference. He proved himself to be a capable class-leader, the writer joining his class as soon as he became a member of the Church, and having grateful recollections of his anxiety for the spiritual welfare of all who met in fellowship with him. He occupied the position of local preacher for over forty-two years, and faithfully sought to discharge the work he was called to in a satisfactory way. He was never known to neglect an appointment if health permitted. He was what we now call one of the old school, whose responses were a help and inspiration to all who officiated in the village chapel. Some months previous to his death he was taken ill, his illness being brought on by an accident which overtook him while following his employment as a miner. He gradually sank, and passed peacefully away on March 23rd, 1904. His remains were interred in the Earsdon Churchyard on Sunday, March 27th, the Rev. J. K. Ellwood officiating. Messrs. J.H. Joplin and T. Lowes assisted in the service, which was conducted in the chapel. As a mark of esteem, Wesleyans, Free Methodists, as well as Primitive Methodists in the adjoining villages, closed their places of worship in the afternoon, in order to pay their last tribute of respect to one who was deservedly held in high esteem. Mr. Foster has left a widow and three married daughters, also a grandson, who lived with him, and to whom he was greatly attached, to mourn their loss. Great sympathy is felt for them in their bereavement, but their sorrow is relieved by the hope of an eternal reunion in that better and brighter world beyond.

T. L.

Family and other information

William was born to parents John and Catherine, probably in 1839, not 1838 as the obituary states. John was a coal miner, the occupation that William also followed.

William married Maria Fittis (1843-1905) in the summer of 1860 in the South Shields Registration District. Census returns identify four children.

  • Catherine (1861-1924) – married Edward Dunn, a coal miner, in 1878; married William Jackson, a coal miner, in 1884
  • Isabella (b abt1864)
  • Maria Jane (1868-1910) – married William Mather, a coal miner, in 1888
  • Mary Elizabeth (b abt1872)


Christian Messenger 1905/191

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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