Hill, Hannah (nee Fisher) (1805-1869)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by T Doody

HANNAH, the wife of the Rev. Robert HILL, was born May 21st, 1805. Her parents, George and Ellen Fisher, were among the first fruits of Primitive Methodism in Preston; and for years her father was a class-leader, till removed to the Church above. Thus favoured, our sister would in early life be subject to the gentle operations of the Holy Spirit, through whose influence she was powerfully awakened about her twentieth year, under a sermon preached by the late Rev. William Clowes. Some time afterwards she found peace and joy in believing, while in a prayer-meeting in Preston, after a sermon by the Rev. Samuel Smith,  —from which time her heart was fixed and her lot cast in with our people.

On March 29th, 1836, she became the wife of Mr. Hill, to whom she proved herself an invaluable helper and companion. “The heart of her husband could safely trust in her;” for while she had much discernment in her judgment of human character, the law of kindness was on her tongue. The keen privations and inconveniences of our ministers in days of yore in no way damped the ardour of her love for the Connexion; and how far the patient uncomplaining constancy of such wives has contributed to make our old ministers what they were and our community what it is, the day will declare. Not believing herself called to speak in our public assemblies, she often distinguished herself by her successful labours in our prayer-meetings, and sometimes her physical energies were considerably taxed in such services. Many old friends could gladly attest her unwearied exertions with penitents, till victory was proclaimed. This was notably the case when at Douglas, where for the space of six weeks a blessed special work was carried on, and a goodly number “found him of whom Moses in the law and the prophets did write.”

The Gospel plan in all its simplicity was her delight; and in communion with its blessed Author, she seemed to forget her own frail frame; for, although of goodly appearance and well proportioned every way, she was often prostrated and the subject of much languor after extra exertion. Heedless of this, the next case presenting itself would find her plying the penitent with “Do you believe in Jesus?—Did he not die for you?—Is he not willing to save you?—to pardon you?—Does he not save you?—Now? he does! he does!!—Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved!!” And in many a case she found results precisely the same as in Acts, 16th chap., 30th to 34th verses. In some stations she had been a very useful class-leader, but more recently was relieved from such posts of responsibility and toil.

The Rev. Walter Graham says:—“I first became personally acquainted with the late Mrs. Hill in July, 1867. She had then an affection of the respiratory organs, which caused her to breathe with the greatest difficulty, and often have I found her gasping for breath as if every moment would be her last. Yet in these circumstances she ever cherished strong and unshaken confidence in that God whom she had served for so many years. The hope of the Gospel sustained her, and enabled her to rise superior to the affliction from which she suffered. Christianity in her was not longfaced melancholy but happy and cheerful. She exemplified the saying of Solomon, “Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.” Her love to God’s cause was fervent, though for some time unable to go to his house. When she heard of souls being saved, she would seem to forget all her pain for the moment, and raise her eyes in devout gratitude to heaven, and loudly utter her praise to God. Then she would refer to scenes in the active labour of herself and husband, recounting with the greatest pleasure how souls were awakened and saved; and often has my heart warmed whilst conversing with her on the kingdom of God. I always found her a true and faithful friend and a devoted Christian. In her death her husband will have sustained an irreparable loss, but his loss is her gain. She had no fear of death. With the greatest calmness she would often speak of ‘the time of her departure.’ Death to her was disarmed of his terrors. May her sorrowing husband, the Writer, and the reader

‘triumph so,
When all our warfare’s past,
And dying find our latest foe
Under our feet at last.’ Amen.”

Contemplating her departure, she sang the following lines but a short time before it:—

“When the spark of life is waning,
Weep not for me.
When the languid eye is straining,
Weep not for me.
When the feeble pulse is ceasing,
Start not at its swift decreasing,
‘Tis the fetter’d soul’s releasing,
Weep not for me.

When the pangs of death assail me,
Weep not for me.
Christ is mine, he will not fail me,
Weep not for me.
What though sin and doubt endeavour
From this love my soul to sever,
Jesus is my strength for ever,
Weep not for me.

When the grave my body closes,
Weep not for me.
’Tis but dust that there reposes,
Weep not for me.
And if by his Spirit lighted,
When before his bar we’re sighted,
We shall there be reunited,
Weep not for me.”

This calm composure never left her; and when, towards the last, she was asked, “Is Jesus precious to you now?” she said, “Yes, I know that my Redeemer liveth. Thanks be to God who giveth us the victory. O grave; where is thy victory? O death, where is thy sting? I am going; I shall soon be gone—a few more minutes.” And as sight was failing her, she said, “Raise the gas; let me have a good light to go out with; I shall be off in five minutes,”— which was true, and so, after about thirty years’ affliction, she fell asleep in Jesus, to prove what she so often quoted,— “This light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” on Oct. 16th, 1869.


Hannah was born on 21 May 1805 at Blackburn, Lancashire, to parents George and Ellen. She was baptised on 6 July 1806 at Blackburn.

She married Robert Hill (1800-1874) on 29 March 1836.

Hannah died on 16 October 1869 at Preston, Lancashire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1870/373

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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