Jones, Martha (nee Lawrence) (1842-1905)
Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J. Jopling
Mrs. Martha Jones, the beloved wife of William Jones, of 22, Durham Road, Sparkhill, was the third daughter of John and Angelina Lawrence, of Darlaston, Staffordshire. She was born January 19th, 1842, and died March 5th, 1905. Her father and mother were members of the United Methodist Free Church, and consequently she was greatly blessed in early life with good religious training. Being somewhat religiously inclined, while quite young she became a sincere follower of Jesus Christ, and manifested her love to Him in various ways, more especially in the Sunday School. She was converted when about thirteen or fourteen while a scholar in the school, and she remained a scholar until chosen to be a teacher, and she remained a teacher until the important duties of married life prevented her continuance.
Her husband was a member and local preacher with the Primitive Methodist Church, and so when united in marriage to him, she too became a member, and for nearly forty years she has been a loyal and devoted daughter of the Church of her choice, and a never-failing helper to her husband in his work as preacher, teacher, and for some years circuit missionary.
When she came first to Birmingham, she, in company with her husband, and a band of warm-hearted Christian men and women belonging to Gooch Street Church, stood in the open-air in Smithfield and the Horsefair, doing her utmost to assist in spreading the good news of salvation to men: also at Greet, where a church has since been instituted, and to-day forms part of Sparkhill Circuit.
For years she was a most regular attendant at the public services at God’s House, and very careful that her children accompanied her, so that by practice they might acquire the habit of regular worship, and now they are grown up to manhood and womanhood “her children rise up and call her blessed.” The love and devotion shown to her during her long and painful illness is only the reflex of the love she lavished upon them in their earlier years.
At Bristol Hall she will be remembered by the stone that bears her name, which shows her interest in the material as well as the spiritual progress of the Church; and her last public act was to give jointly with her husband a public tea at Balfour Street, in August, 1902, by which a good sum was raised for the benefit of the Church. That was her last public appearance. Since then she had been growing weaker and suffering more day by day, yet without murmur or complaint.
Her illness has been of long duration. In 1901 for five months her life seemed to hang upon a thread, yet in answer to prayer and first class medical skill she was raised up again.
Yet again in 1903 she went into the valley of suffering for five long months, giving us all a wonderful example of fortitude and faith that all things work together for good to those that love God.
On February 17th yet once again she was called to endure the most acute suffering of all, yet her last illness differed from all previous ones. On previous occasions she prayed and wished us to pray that she might be restored to us and health, if God so willed, but on this occasion she fully desired, prayed, and longed to leave these earthly scenes of sorrow and suffering, and she was often heard to be asking the Lord “How much more is it Thy will that I must suffer before taking me to Thyself?”
When near the end she repeated what she had so often said before: “Dear Lord Jesus, ease me or take me, if it be Thy will,” and in the presence of her much-loved husband, son, and daughter, she fell asleep in Jesus.
Memorial services were conducted at Balfour Street, where the family attend, on March 26th, 1905, by Mr. E. Cross, F.G.S., and at Bristol Hall, the circuit chapel, on April 2nd, by the writer. In both cases the audiences were deeply sympathetic.
Martha’s father, John Lawrence, was a coal miner.
Martha married William Jones (b abt1845) on 20 May 1866 at St Bartholomew, Wednesbury, Staffordshire. At the time of their marriage, William was a boilermaker. In 1871, William was a timekeeper at an iron works and in 1891 he is working as a commission agent. Census returns identify four children.
- Annie (b abt1868) – a dressmaker (1891)
- Lizzie (b abt1870) – a board school teacher (1891)
- Martha (b abt1872) – a board school teacher (1891)
- William E.R.F.L. (b abt1888)
Primitive Methodist Magazine1906/490
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers