Kirby, Charles (1833-1910)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by A. Banham

The Queen’s Road Church, Great Yarmouth, 2nd Circuit, lost one of its oldest members in the passing away of Brother Charles Kirby, December 9th, 1910, at the age of 79.

Born at South Creek, and converted while a lad of sixteen, a few years later he moved to Yarmouth, when he joined the Temple Society, until, when the Queen’s Road Society was formed, he worshipped with them. For sixty-three years he was a quiet consistent member, and loyally supported the Church in every way. For many years he led the Sunday morning class at Queen’s Road.

Not aspiring to position in the Church, when office was given him he only filled such office in order to bless and help others. As a leader in the Class he was able to impart encouragement and strength by his own saintly life, and his rich experience of God. There was no Church like the Primitive Methodist Church to him. He loved to speak about the early ministers whom he knew forty and fifty years ago, and would relate stories of their preaching, and the effect that preaching would have upon their audiences. 

Three years ago he was obliged to leave his work owing to heart weakness. For nearly eighteen months he was obliged to remain at home, except on very rare occurrences. When he took to his bed, and his weakness increased, he bore all with unflinching courage and patience. His trust in God never wavered, and to visit him and talk with him was always a benediction. He grew spiritually all through his life, and his months of illness ripened him and made him fit for the higher and richer life above. The end was very quiet, death came to him like sleep. 

Our sympathy goes out to the widow, who was his helpmeet in every good work for more than fifty years. On a dull, rainy day we laid him to rest. We thank God that ever we knew him, and many rich influences abide in the hearts of all who had fellowship with him,


Charles was born abt1833 at North Creake, Norfolk, to parents Charles, who worked the land (1841), and Hannah. He was baptised on 11 February 1833 at North Creake.

Census returns identify the following occupations for Charles.

  • 1851 agricultural labourer
  • 1861 stationer
  • 1871 blacksmith
  • 1881 blacksmith
  • 1891 blacksmith
  • 1901 journeyman blacksmith

He married Mary Ann Coker (1835-1919) in the summer of 1859 in the Yarmouth Registration District, Norfolk. Census returns identify two children.

  • Mary Matilda Coker (1860-1940) – an upholstress (1901)
  • Margaret Hannah Coker (1863-1939) – married Richard Samuel Phillips, a shipyard fitter (1901), in 1891; married Robert G Taylor in 1917

Charles died on 9 December 1910 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1911/410

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Most records record his place of birth as North Creake, Norfolk, not South Creek as identified in the obituary.

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