Hodson, Harriet (nee Newborn) (1805–1891)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by F Rudd

Mrs Harriet Hodgson, of Fishlake, Doncaster Second circuit, was released from her watching and waiting on May 18th 1891.  Her maiden name was Newborn.  She was born at Burnham, near Epworth, and was the daughter of a well-to-do farmer.  When but a girl of fourteen years she experienced the new birth, and at once joined our society at Burnham, about eight years after the first class was formed.  Being naturally gifted and very zealous, she became a local preacher at the age of eighteen.  The circuit at that time was large, so that she often walked twenty miles and preached twice, and sometimetimes three times, on the Sunday.  She was sometimes associated with Revs Hugh Bourne and William Clowes on special occasions; and was a co-worker with John Oxtoby in conducting revival services. (Note: John Oxtoby, 1767–1830, nicknamed ‘Praying Johnny’ was an English evangelist and Primitive Methodist preacher).  She often preached in the open air and was in great request for camp meetings, preaching at these meetings along with Revs G Lamb, W Harland, Wm Sanderson, and other veterans of those early days. She remissioned Butterick, which for some reason had been left off the plan; Preaching in the street, crowds came to listen, the word spoken was with power; a society was formed, and a chapel was subsequently erected.  She assisted Rev G Lamb in missioning Hatfield, and preached at the opening of Duke Street chapel, Doncaster.  For about twenty years she preached nearly every Sunday, and always paid her own travelling expenses.

She took a great interest in the young and was appointed the leader of a class of youths who had been converted.  She watched over her young charges with prayerful vigilance, and had the unspeakable joy of seeing three of the number, Revs Thomas Whitehead, George Whitehead and Robert Ducker, called into the ranks of the ministry, one of them becoming a Connexional Officer and President of the Conference.  She often spoke of them with pardonable pride.

After the death of her father she was invited to preach at the anniversary services of the chapel at Fishlake.  Her visit was a memorable one and marked an epoch in her life.  She became acquainted with Mr Hodson, a farmer and local preacher, who asked her to become his wife.  Accepting his offer, she left Burnham for her future home.  Her name was put on the Doncaster plan and she continued to take appointments as long as she was able.  Having one son, she consecrated him to God, and had the joy of seeing him become an efficient local preacher.  For seven years she paid the interest of the debt on the chapel herself.  We have now a prosperous society and a new chapel has been opened.

For some time she was unable to attend the house of God but she manifested earnest solicitude for the spiritual well-being of her grandchildren.  Only a few days before her death, one of her grandsons being ill, she went to his bedside and urged him to give himself to Jesus, praying with him, and pleading with him with all the earnestness she manifested in addressing a thousand people, finishing by saying she did wish to meet him in heaven.  In her last sickness she was calm, peaceful and confident.  She knew whom she had believed.  She fell asleep in Jesus in the eighty-seventh year of her age.

She was interred by the writer in the Fishlake churchyard, her funeral being the first conducted by a Nonconfirmist minister in Fishlake.  She has gone to join the earnest co-workers, the associates of her early labours in the church she loved so well.  She longed for rest, and God in His love has called her home where toil and suffering are unknown.


Harriet was born abt1805 at Burnham, nr Epworth, Lincolnshire, to parents Pogson Newborn, a farmer, and Ann Robinson. She was baptised on 7 January 1805 at Haxey, Lincolnshire.

She married Joseph Hodson (1775-1856), a farmer, on 25 December 1840 at Haxey, Lincolnshire. Census returns identify one child.

Harriet died on 18 May 1891 at Fishlake, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1894/311

Note: Some records, including the obituary record the surname as Hodgson.

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