Lidster, John (1844-1900)

Transcription of Obituary in the Christian Messenger

MR. JOHN LIDSTER, whose decease we mourn, and who has been so suddenly called from our midst, came to Sheffield from Wansford, in the Driffield Circuit, about 27 or 28 years ago when 27 or 28 years of age, and was induced to attend the Stanley Street Chapel, where his wife had joined the Society, having been for some years a member of the Primitive Methodists. Although not converted at that time, he was endeavouring to live a good moral life, and entered the Sunday School as a teacher 26 years ago. One Sunday soon after he had taken the class, being unable to answer a question put to him by one of the scholars, the truth was brought most vividly home to his conscience and heart that he needed something he had not, and induced him to resolve to rest not in his search until he had found it.

At his wife’s request he attended with her the class led by Mr. Gladwin, and a few weeks after he ventured his all on the atonement of Christ and realised the liberty of God‘s dear children.

For 20 years he was the Superintendent of the Stanley Street Sunday School, only giving up the position about a year ago. For some years past, and at the time of his death, he was assistant leader in Mr. Revell’s Class. As a Christian he was earnest, faithful and consistent, and the influence of his life was felt by the men among whom he worked day by day as was evidenced by their presence and deep emotion at the graveside and the splendid wreath they subscribed for among themselves and placed lovingly upon his grave. For 22 years he worked for Mr. David Haigh, who placed the greatest confidence in him and has often spoken to others in the highest terms of his faithfulness and reliability and the strict conscientiousness he ever manifested in the discharge of his duties. As a member of this church he will be greatly missed. His seat in the sanctuary was always filled when he could be present – and as he took his place in the pew presented a silent but none the less eloquent  powerful testimony to the value and beauty of family religion. The intelligent interest he always took in the whole of the service was evident as his face lit up with the joy and peace within his breast, as the truths uttered by the preacher reached his heart; and for some time past it had been his custom to set apart one night in the week to spend in the family, when the large Bible was reached down and the sermon of the previous Sunday was gone through with his son George and a friend of the son’s. The various points and illustrations were called up, so refreshing one another’s memories in relation to the truths taught. .

Although not wealthy, out of his weekly wage he was always ready to respond to any appeal made to meet the financial liabilities of the church, and his donation towards the recent effort for the reduction of the debt on the chapel was a sufficient evidence that he occupied no mean place among the number of those liberal souls that devise liberal things. Although the call came to him suddenly, the fruits in his life evidence that he was not unprepared.

About half an hour before his usual time for closing work and going home to tea he was engaged fastening the doors of one of the coal waggons he had been working at, when suddenly the waggon was moved on and he was struck down. For six hours he suffered the greatest agonies of pain, being perfectly conscious the whole of the time, but the grace of God was sufficient to sustain him, and with the words of the Psalmist, “Bless the Lord, 0 my soul,” on his lips he passed into the presence of his Lord triumphing over death through Christ, Who giveth the victory. We pray that the consolations of the God of all comfort may richly be the portion of his sorrowing widow and children, who look forward to a glad re-union bye and bye in the Father’s house above where the many mansions are.


John was born in 1844 at Wansford, Yorkshire, to parents Moses and Sarah. Moses worked the land.

Census returns give the following occupations for John.

  • 1861 ploughboy
  • 1881 general labourer
  • 1891 labourer in iron works.

John married Mary Jarratt Maulson (1848-1912) in late 1872 in the Driffield Registration District, Yorkshire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Harriet (1876-1961) – married John Hogart, a steel smelter (1911), in 1905
  • Sarah Jane (b1878) – married Alfred Clayton, an armour plating bonding press hand (1911), in 1900
  • George W (abt1881-1924) – a fruiterer’s salesman (1911)
  • Annie Elizabeth (b abt1883)
  • Gertrude (abt1885-1951) – married Leonard Sheridan, a railway clerk (1911), in 1910
  • John Henry (b abt1892)

John died in March 1900 at Sheffield, Yorkshire.


Christian Messenger 1902/63

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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