Kelley, Frances (nee Kirkland) (1842-1915)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by C. Kelly

In the death of Mrs. W. H. Kelley, sen., the Moss Lane Society (of Manchester II. Circuit) has lost one of its most esteemed members. Born in Salford seventy-three years ago, when the family removed to Manchester she joined the Rosamund Street Society, and on the foundation of Moss Lane Church, her father, Mr. Robert Kirkland, transferred thither in order to undertake the duties of chapel keeper. 

Our sister had a distinct recollection of assisting him to prepare tables for the first tea party at Moss Lane. She became a teacher in the school and a member of the Church. Married to Mr. W. H. Kelley in 1872, twelve years later she was left a widow with five children to maintain. She had the satisfaction of seeing them all church members, teachers and officials in the school. One son, thanks to many sacrifices on his mother’s part, entered our ministry, and is doing good service in Birmingham. 

Her translation took place, with great suddenness, on November 16th, 1915, and her mortal remains were interred at Weaste Cemetery on 20th November. 


Frances was born in late 1842 at Salford, Lancashire, to parents Robert Kirkland, an engineer (1851) and Sarah Roxthorn. She was baptised on 20 November 1842 at St Mary, St Denys and St George, Manchester.

Before her marriage Frances worked as a weaver (1861) and domestic servant (1871).

She married William Henry Kelley (1841-1884), a master painter, on 26 September 1872 at Upper Moss Lane PM chapel, Manchester, Lancashire. The marriage was carried out by Rev T.H. Hunt assisted by Rev. W. Sunderland. Census returns and birth records identify seven children.

  • William Henry (1873-1952) – an estate agent’s clerk (1891); an estate and insurance agent’s clerk (1911)
  • Eleanor Canwell (1875-1958) – artificial flower maker (1891); married Arthur Brough, an insurance clerk (1911), in 1900
  • Thomas Albert (1876-1947) – a PM minister
  • Robert Kirkland (1877-1881)
  • Fanny Rostron (1879-1880) – second name also seen as Boston or Nostron in transcribed records
  • Jessie (1881-1928) – a children’s dressmaker (1901); married Percy Douglas Freeberne, a machine tool fitter (1911), in 1908
  • Ernest (1881-1966) – insurance clerk (1901)

Frances died on 15 November 1915 at Manchester, Lancashire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1916/158

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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