Hales, Mary (1821-1898)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by R.C.

MRS. MARY HALES, widow of the late Mr. Thomas Hales, of Ellesmere, Shropshire, “fell asleep in Jesus” on August 29th, 1898, at Copfield House, Chester, the home of her second son, Mr. Thomas Hales. The deceased was seventy-seven years of age, having been born at Northwood, near Wem, Salop, August 16th, 1821, and was for fifty-three years a member of the Primitive Methodist Church, first at Ellesmere Port, Cheshire, and afterwards at Ellesmere, Salop.

Shortly after her marriage to Mr. Thomas Hales, of the Cornhill Farm, near Wem, in 1840, she removed with her husband to Ellesmere Port, Cheshire; and on the introduction of Primitive Methodism into the village, Mr. and Mrs. Hales became identified therewith. Mr. Hales was chosen as the first superintendent of the Sunday School there, which position he held for nearly a quarter of a century. He also did good service as a local preacher. Their home was always open to entertain our preachers, both ministerial and lay; and among those who have shared its hospitality were the venerable Hugh Bourne and a number of the Connexional fathers, as well as many of the present generation of ministers and laymen. Only a few weeks before her decease, in a letter to the writer of this article, she spoke of the great pleasure it had given her to be privileged to entertain our present General Sunday School Secretary, the Rev. Danzy Sheen, during his visit to the Ellesmere Circuit. For some time before the end Mrs. Hales felt herself to be in failing health, and was often absent from the services of the sanctuary through her inability to walk so far. This was a great trial to her, as the services of God’s house were always to her delightful and refreshing means of grace.

The end, however, came somewhat unexpectedly. She had spent a short holiday at Penmaenmawr, and on her way home to Ellesmere, made what she intended to be a two or three days’ visit to the home of her son in Chester, there she was taken ill and confined to her bed, and after a few days, passed quietly away “to be with Jesus, which is far better.”

The remains were conveyed to Ellesmere, and on Wednesday, August 31st, were interred in the grave where six years ago all that was mortal of her beloved husband was laid to rest.

The Rev. R. Curson, of Church Cresley, assisted by the Rev. W. Perry, of Ellesmere, officiated at the funeral, which was of a private character, only relatives being invited. The bearers were members of our Church at Ellesmere. Many friends sent beautiful wreaths and other floral tributes, and a large number of residents of the, town gathered at the cemetery to watch the interment; thus showing the great respect they had for the deceased, and the sorrow they felt at her removal from their midst.

We are thankful to Almighty God for her long life, so rich in its influence for good and blessing to others. And her memory will always be dear and sacred to us.


I have been unable to unambiguously identify Mary’s marriage in on-line records.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Thomas Hales (1818-1892).

  • 1851 toll collector (canals)
  • 1861 book-keeping clerk
  • 1871 agent to canal company
  • 1881 agent, canal company
  • 1891 agent for Shropshire Union Canal Co.

Census returns identify seven children.

  • George (1842-1913) – a ship’s freight clerk (1891)
  • Thomas (1843-1912) – a canal manager (1911)
  • Elizabeth (1846-1914) – married Thomas Alfred Layton, a commercial traveller, in 1868
  • Joseph (1851-1930) – general secretary, YMCA (1881)
  • Walter (1853-1906) – a railway and canal agent (1881)
  • Mary (b1856) – married John Scott in 1883
  • Edward John (b1863) – apprentice at iron foundry (1881)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/147

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers


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