Jackson, William (1818-1904)

Transcription of Obituary In the Christian Messenger

The venerable WILLIAM JACKSON died at Wellington, in the Oakengates and Wellington Circuit, on March 28th, 1904, aged 85 years. His life had been one psalm of thankful service to God; his career had been one of heroic confession of Christ, masculine work for Christ, and lowly imitation of Christ. The Divine magnetism of the Cross of Christ was the inspiring force of his useful life, and it so unified his mental and moral powers, that in his gospel preaching his whole baptized manhood was taken up into his work, and his utterances were like the strokes of a Divine hammer. The cynical sceptic who would sneer at the very idea of any man living a disinterested life, could find in brother William Jackson an object-lesson worthy of his study and hard to ignore. With glorious Christlike abandon, with self-forgetting zeal for souls, he filled up sixty-four years of labour as a local preacher. He joyfully tramped very long journeys from and to home. He has arrived home on a Monday morning at four o’clock, and, after an hour and a half’s sleep has gone off to his daily work. Speaking of so good a father, his son, Mr. Enoch Jackson, informs us that he was born at Wem in April 1819, whence he removed to Dawley, and there worked in the coal mine. This was included in the then far-reaching Wrockwardine Wood Circuit. The services were held largely in cottages or in the open-air. A wave of revival influence was passing over Dawley, and at a camp meeting, whilst a rough uncultivated man was praying with much power, Mr. Jackson was convinced of sin, and after carrying his burden some days he found peace with God at a cottage service, whilst Mr. Noah Rhodes was preaching. He was appointed superintendent of a Sunday school just started at Dawley, which position he held for three years, and during that period he laboured unsparingly in gospel work. He was also appointed a class leader. His class was started with three members, and in a short time increased to thirty. One of his first members went by the name of “Jack the Lion,” and his wife was a fortune-teller, and amongst this class of people our late venerable friend saw many triumphs of Divine grace. He was in his proper element when in a prayer-meeting, and to pray with the afflicted and the dying was to him a most congenial work, and he was often sought for in such cases. God honoured him on these occasions. To give one instance ; “When my mother,” says Mr. Enoch Jackson, “was on her death-bed, a Christian person called to inquire after her, and I asked her if she would like to see him. She replied: ‘Your father is sufficient, he will guide me through the valley.’ ” He rests from his labours, and they were many and precious, and his works, so perseveringly and humbly wrought, do most certainly follow him. May we be endowed with grace not to be slothful, but followers of him, as he followed his Lord!

W. FORTH.

Family and other information

William was baptised on 12 April 1818 at Wem, Shropshire, a year earlier than the obituary records. His parents were George and Sarah.

Census returns identify that William worked as a labourer, although the 1851 census return just records Primitive Methodist Local Preacher.

William married Esther Histon (abt1823-1895) on 6 December at Malinslee (also called Dawley Nova), Shropshire. Census returns identify ten children.

  • Enoch (1842-1912) – a confectioner and sugar boiler
  • William (b1844)
  • George (b abt1847) – a sawyer and wood turner
  • Martha (1848-1919) – a servant (1871); married William Price, a cabinet maker, in 1874
  • Sarah (b1850)
  • John (b1852) – a house painter
  • Mary Jane (b abt1855)
  • Esther (1857-1873)
  • Emma (1859-1862)
  • Jabez (b1863) – a wood turner (1881)

References

Christian Messenger 1905/63

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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