Hitchen, Ann (1802-1837)
Ann Hitchin [sic] of Newmarket in Mattishall circuit, was born March 30,1802. Her pious mother early taught her to attend the house of God. About the twentieth year of her age she was acquainted with some pious Independents, engaged in sabbath school teaching, tract distributing, and collecting for the Bible society.
In 1829, she was united in marriage with W. Hitchen, a respectable master bricklayer in the town. She had five children, three of whom have joined the family above. At a prayer meeting in her father’s house
“Her chains fell off, her heart was free.”
This was while Bro. W. W. laboured on this mission. She joined the society (with her husband and four more of the family), and continued a steady member to the day of her death.
At class she would, at times, speak largely and feelingly of God’s love to her soul; and would say,
“Make me little and unknown,
Lov’d and priz’d by God alone.”
She was frequently a subject of affliction, which she bore with christian resignation and patience. To her husband she manifested tender regard. She had much zeal in the cause of Christ; and was a means of establishing a prayer meeting in one part of the town. To our preachers she was kind, and her house was open to add to their comforts.
In the summer of 1836, she was much afflicted; and as the winter came on the affliction gained ground; but she bore it with resignation, knowing that her Redeemer liveth. As the outward man decayed, the inner man was renewed; and though confined to her room, she was satisfied that her soul was right with God. To her husband she said, “Hitchen, I am going to die, and shall leave you without a-friend to speak to.” And she added, “I was not permitted to see my infants die, but I shall see them in glory.” After this she was violently assaulted by the enemy of souls; and the horrid temptations continued for the space of eight or nine days. The agony of her soul was great; she wept and prayed for deliverance. And Jan. 15,1837, the temptation was still more powerful, attended with an increase of bodily pain. She said to her sorrowful partner, “I shall pass through the dark valley and shadow of death all alone.” Her pain was so extreme that she called for the doctor. But her husband said, “No, my dear, let us pray.” She said, “Do, and pray for me.” They both prayed, and the heavens opened, and the power of God came down; she was delivered from the furnace, and shouted, “I see Jesus! I see Jesus! I see him! I see him! He is come!” And in loud strains she sung the praises of her Deliverer.
The day before she died, she called all her family around her, and gave them a very pathetic and powerful address. Her farewell of her beloved husband was truly affecting. He shed tears in abundance, but meekly resigned her, saying, “The will of the Lord be done.” To him and the Lord she committed the care of her children. The scene of parting was very solemn.
To her father she said, “Father, I am about to die, and I charge you to lead a good life.” Then she added, “I am going to heaven to be with Jesus and my babes, and I charge you, father, that you prepare to meet me there.” To the rest of the family, who are all in the way to heaven, she gave a similar address. She continued to enjoy that peace which passeth all understanding, and with this prayer on her lips, “Come, Lord Jesus, and come quickly! Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!” she fell asleep in the arms of her Redeemer, Jan 29,1837, in the thirty-fifth year of her age, leaving a pious husband and two small children to mourn their loss. Feb. 3, her remains were interred in the Independent chapel-yard, when the Rev. Mr. Simpson, Independent minister, walked before the procession, to which he gave a solemn address.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 35-36.