Harvey, Jane (nee Merrill) (1824-1866)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W Harland

Mrs. Jane Harvey, the beloved wife of the Rev. John Harvey, and the youngest daughter cf the late Joseph and Jane Merrill, of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, was born October 10th, 1824, and died February 6th, 1866. From a child she was religiously impressed, so much so, that she was known to rise at times during the night season, in order to pour forth her prayers to God.

Miss Merrill became a teacher in the Wesleyan Sunday-school, when she was about twelve years of age, and she continued to discharge the duties of that office, and was a member of the Wesleyan Methodist Society at Gainsborough till her marriage,

She received a good education which tended to more fully qualify her for that station in life she was called to fill.

She experienced a change of heart in a class-meeting, November 28th, 1840.

She was married to him who is now bereaved, in July, 1849, and their union was of the happiest character. Mrs. Harvey was thoroughly domesticated, was intelligent and cheerful, excelled in cleanliness, and those relative endearments, so well adapted to encourage her husband in his ministerial toil. In the itinerant life she generally regretted leaving her loved friends; but in no case so much as at Keighley, where she and her husband spent three of the happiest and most prosperous years of their lives. Those who knew her best could not fail to entertain for her great respect.

After the removal of herself and husband to Dewsbury, in 1864, her health declined, and in September last she visited friends at Malton and Keighley, consulting a medical gentleman at each place, neither of whom appeared to apprehend any danger. On her return to Dewsbury she grew worse, medical aid was again sought, and the case being a peculiar and difficult one, the doctor advised her husband to call in the most eminent physician in Leeds, but he held out but little hope of her recovery.

Being advised to try a change of air, she, on the 26th of December, 1865, accompanied by her sister and brother-in-law, was removed to their residence at Gainsborough. Much anxiety was manifested, and many prayers were offered up on her behalf and for her restoration, but she gradually grew worse. It was hard to give up her husband and her only child, a lovely little girl; these, however, she was enabled to resign into the hands of her heavenly Father.

She was very grateful for the kindness of her friends who obtained for her everything she could desire; for many letters of sympathy, which were sent by friends at a distance; but, above all, to that gracious Providence, which so blessed and crowned her married life.

The last letter which she wrote was written to her husband, January 9th, 1866, while writing which, her sister had to rub her fingers to promote sufficient circulation to enable her to hold the pen.’

At Gainsborough Mrs, Harvey was visited by the Rev. W. Harland, who on one of his visits administered to her the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, when the dear sufferer rejoiced, with uplifted hands, in God her Saviour. She was conscious of her unworthiness, and that she might and ought to have done more for the Lord than she had done. She did not experience great ecstacy during her affliction; but to her husband she said, “My dear, I feel determined to leave myself in the hands of my heavenly Father, resting assured all will be right. If I die heaven will be my home; but if God spare me a little longer, I hope it will be to spread forth his praise.”

To her sister, who one day asked her what she wanted, she said, “I want transplanting.” Not long before she died, she exclaimed, “I am going to my Father’s _____,” the nurse said, “house,” she replied, “That’s it.” The last words she uttered, that could be understood, were, “Come, Lord Jesus!” On approaching her end she was cheered by the thought of meeting with relatives and friends in heaven. Two of her brothers died in the Lord many years since; a child of her own, her kind father, and her affectionate mother, since then have gone to be for ever with the Lord. O the bliss of meeting in heaven!

Her body was interred by the Rev. W. Harland, in the beautiful cemetery at Gainsborough, where rest the remains of the Revs. W. Taylor, W. Lonsdale, Mrs. Harland, and others. May we meet her in heaven. Amen.


Jane was born on 10 October 1824 at Carlton le Moorland, Lincolnshire, to parents Joseph, a wheelwright (1941), and Jane. She was baptised on 21 August 1825 at Carlton le Moorland.

She married John Harvey (1819-1894) in July 1849 at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Annie Brewitt (1860-1929) – a music teacher 

Jane died on 6 February 1866 at Gainsborough, Lincolnshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1866/378

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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