Leak, Ann (nee Waite) (1826-1904)
Transcription of Obituary in the Christian Messenger
ANN LEAK was the daughter of Christopher and Ann Waite of Oldfield, Ripon, and was born in the month of August 1826. Her father was for many years a local preacher in our Ripon Circuit, and her mother was also a member of our Church. Mrs. Leak was converted when she was sixteen, and immediately joined our Church, and continued a member until sixty-two years later her Master called her from the Church militant to the Church triumphant. Early on she was made a local preacher, and took her first appointment in the Knaresborough Circuit along with the late Rev. John Hedley, and later travelled many miles to proclaim from the pulpit the unsearchable riches of Christ. By reason of much bodily weakness she did not preach for some years before her decease, but she had her place on the preacher’s plan up to the last. For nearly thirty years she was an official of our Harrogate Church, and her work as a visitor of the sick and the sinful, along with her most regular and punctual attendance at the means of grace will be remembered for many years. The cause of missions lay near her heart. For them she prayed regularly and tramped many weary miles to beg for them. And what she asked others to do she did herself. She was for years one of the largest subscribers to the Missionary Fund in this Circuit. And this is not because she had money, but because she would not give to Christ that which cost her nothing. In her later years, when she was no longer able to work as she had been wont to do or attend the services of the Church, she felt she must do something, and so she made it her business to be an intercede with God in behalf of the Church and the salvation of men. And how she could pray! And no wonder since she lived continually in the spirit of prayer. To her unseen things were really engrossing and commanding realities of life. She always sought first “The Kingdom of God and His righteousness.” Writing of her the Rev. H. Cooke, who for thirty-eight years knew her intimately, says, “I never knew her utter a word or perform a deed I could condemn. She had various trying bereavements, disappointments and changes in life, but in all these there was no change in her towards Christ and His Church. While she was excitable and emotional in temperament, I never knew or heard of any flaw in her moral deportment. Nor did I ever find her despondent as to her personal acceptance with God or her circumstances in life. She was for years a great sufferer, but she was ever radiant with joy in the Lord, and happy in His service. With both hands holding her crutches and her missionary book and money slung in a bag round her neck she would trudge from street to street gathering for missions. Her delight in public worship and Christian service was intense. She believed in being filled with the Holy Ghost every moment, and in being controlled by Him; and going along the street, if she felt moved to speak even to a stranger about salvation, she would do it lest she might grieve the Spirit of God. Her experience of the grace of God was so rich and real that in her attempts to tell them I have known her at her own fireside break down with emotion and then burst out in grateful praise.” My own knowledge of our sister exactly corresponds with what Mr. Cooke says. She passed away on December 17th. Her death is a distinct loss to our Church in Harrogate, and our sympathies are kindled for her beloved husband, one of our local preachers, with whom she lived in happiest companionship for just over thirty years.
Family and other information
Ann was born at Aldfield, nr Ripon, Yorkshire.
Ann was working as a domestic servant at the time of 1851 census. She married Edward Stephenson Weatherhead in early 1852 in the Knaresborough Registration District. The 1861 census places her at Horton, nr Bradford; a widow working as a dressmaker.
Ann married William Atkinson (1817-1871) in late 1865 in the Knaresborough Registration District. At the time of the 1871 census William was an agricultural labourer living at Whixley, Yorkshire.
I have not identified a marriage with William Leak (1835-1913), who worked as a gardener, which must have taken place circa 1872.
Ann died on 17 December 1904 at Harrogate, Yorkshire.
Christian Messenger 1906/255
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers