Manley, Elizabeth (nee Foster) (1861-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by I.R.M.

ELIZABETH, the second daughter of Thomas and the late Hannah Foster, of Baldiston, was born in Duckworth’s Row, Sandycroft, near Hawarden, on July 7, 1861. From the age of two years she was entrusted to the entire care of her great-uncle and aunt, viz., the late Thomas and Hannah Foster, who died respectively at the ages of seventy-five and seventy-six years, and who at the time of their decease in 1889 and 1888 were members of the Primitive Methodist cause here. They often spoke of having been in the company of Hugh Bourne and W. Clowes; thus it will be seen that Elizabeth was placed in good hands. Being of a nervous temperament, she always exhibited a reticence in taking a very active part in things pertaining to the chapel and Sunday School work, yet when she was asked to recite or sing at the school anniversaries or Band of Hope meetings, she had not the  courage to say “No,” – thus she was gradually drawn to exercise her few talents in the chapel and Sunday School founded by the late Robert Carter in 1864. The school registers show her to have been very regular in her attendance, punctuality being a very great feature throughout her life. She would regularly send all her three girls to the day school, and to keep any of them home from either the day or Sunday School to help her with her domestic duties even when she felt unwell was quite out of the question.

She was a member of the society class for about twenty years, and when asked by the class-leader to relate her experience, she did so with few but earnest words. She was appointed as teacher to the juvenile class, in  which she took a keen interest, until two years ago, when she complained of pains in the head, and sought medical aid without any apparent relief. Her complaint was medically described as a diseased retina.

For some time past she had been under the impression that she was not in possession of the one thing needful; this thought preyed upon her mind so much that she resolved to place herself once more on her knees at the penitent form, with a hope of receiving the assurance she was accepted by the Lord. The members were somewhat surprised at this act, seeing that Elizabeth was of a quiet, amiable and generous disposition, evidently a sincere follower of the Lord. Even after this she often said she did not know why it was that she could not enjoy the services, nor take the same interest in things pertaining to God’s house as she formerly had done. She at last concluded it must be owing to the additional pain she had in her temples when she looked at the preacher or members of the congregation. The last time she was privileged to attend her place of worship was on Sunday evening, October 22. The following day she caught a chill which resulted in acute dysentery, accompanied with intense pain which she bore throughout with Christian fortitude. It was during this latter sickness the light for which she had so long sought, and often with tears, sweetly came. She prayed earnestly and audibly for a cleansing in Christ’s blood, to be made fit for the heavenly kingdom beyond the reach of all pain and sorrow and not forgetting to mention in her prayers names of persons she had known for years, finishing with an earnest, “for Jesus Christ’s sake, Amen, Amen.” Occasionally she would repeat some of our well-known hymns. In repeating the hymn, “Rock Of Ages,’ she faltered in the second line of the second verse, whereupon her husband read the hymn through, also the hymn, “Jesus, Lover of mv soul,” and then the twenty-third Psalm, after which she seemed to enjoy great calm. On Sunday morning, Nov. 5, three of the brethren called and prayed with her. Her responses to Brother Thomas Roberts’s prayer were very emotional, so full of meekness and submission to God’s ruling, and moving us all to tears. After a sharp attack of pain she noticed her husband weeping, and at once asked why he wept, and what he was thinking about? When told he was thinking about the parting, she asked in Quaker-like fashion, “Dost thou believe?” “Yes,” was the response. She again asked (with greater emphasis), “Dost thou believe?” “Yes, love,” was the response. “Well, then,” said she, “why weep, we shall meet in heaven!” She then desired to see her children, (three daughters) once more: they came to the bedside and received their tender mother’s farewell words, “Be good girls and go to Sunday School. God bless you all!’’: amidst     sobs she implanted another kiss on their youthful cheeks, and they retired. On Tuesday, Nov. 7, she anxiously prayed for the dear Master’s call; her strength was fast declining, and the kind hands that moistened her parched lips with a few drops of water, received a very grateful “Thank you.” She calmly breathed out her soul in the arms of her Saviour on the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 8, 1899, aged thirty-eight years. Her remains were interred in Hawarden Churchyard. Although the weather was inclement, the company that gathered to pay loving respect to her memory was very large.

On Sunday, Dec 3, her death was improved by the Rev. J. Phillipson, circuit minister, (from 1 Cor. XV. 55-57), who preached an impressive sermon to a crowded congregation. At the close of the service the above memoir was read. The Rev. J. Phillipson commented on the character of the deceased, remaking on her amiability and her kindly consideration of others, and referred to her life abstinence from intoxicating drinks.

The united sympathies of the members of that church and many friends are extended to Brother James R. Manley and family in the loss of a faithful wife and tender mother, who has gone to take part in the perfect service of the Lord.


Elizabeth was baptised on 18 August 1861 at Hawarden, Flintshire.

She married James Reed Moody (1857-1937) in early 1882 in the Chester Registration District. James was an iron turner. Census returns identify three children.

  • Elizabeth Ann (b1882)
  • Hannah Maria (1885-1948) – a teacher (1911)
  • Ellen Reed (1890-1978) – married George Salathiel Tilston, a corporation cleaner inspector (1939), in 1922

James married Henrietta Alice Yarwood in 1922.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/870

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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