Mitchell, Henrietta (nee Stothard) (1816-1905)

Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by D. Illingworth

Henrietta Stothard was born at Swinefleet on the 15th of June, 1816. When a girl she lived with her aunt, Miss Elizabeth Stothard, who kept open house for all the ministerial visitors to the circuit, and so was early taught by her aunt’s example to consider it a part of her pious and cheerful duty, to entertain the ministers; and this formed a very striking feature of the whole of her married life, as many of our ministers could testify. She was brought to a saving acquaintance with Jesus when about fourteen years of age.

As a girl she knew Johnny Oxtoby, William Clowes, and many others of the early ministers of our beloved Connexion, who made their home with her aunt, and no doubt, was largely influenced for good by their pious examples and godly conversation; she at once joined the church and laboured constantly and hard, both for the spiritual and material prosperity of the cause she had espoused.

She was married to Mr, James Mitchell, a local preacher in the Swinefleet Circuit, December 28th, 1841. They made their home at Swinefleet for a number of years, eventually removing to Batley (then in the Dewsbury branch of the Leeds 1st Circuit), in the autumn of 1853. They were at once strongly and persistently urged join the Wesleyans, and as our cause at Batley in those early days was very weak, worshipping in a small room in a back street, It was pointed out to Brother Mitchell, that from a business point of view, it would be an advantage for him to join the “Old Body,” who were very much stronger, both numerically and financially; however, both at that time and on a subsequent occasion, when invited to join others in going over to another church, Brother Mitchell’s quiet reply was, “I am a Primitive Methodist.”

They had two children, one of whom died in infancy, but the eldest still survives in the person of the Rev. John Mitchell.

Mrs. Mitchell was a most useful, all-round member of the Church, especially when it was found necessary to raise funds, either by tea meetings or bazaars.

Such was her character all through her life, she was never happier than when working to promote the glory of God, and the best interests of the people around her.

During the last few years of her life, though retaining all her faculties, she was very weak, and consequently could not got to the House of God, as she would have liked; but to the last she maintained the liveliest interest in things pertaining to life and salvation.

She entered into rest January 22nd, 1905, this being in her eighty-ninth year.

Her remains were brought to Batley to rest with those of her husband, until the resurrection of the just. A short funeral service was held in our chapel at Batley, when the Revs. Jackson Harding, and J.T. Clarke, minister of the Batley Circuit, officiated.

Mr. Harding, who had known her for a number of years, gave a very interesting and instructive address in the Chapel, after which a procession was formed, and proceeded to the cemetery, a large number of friends assembling to pay a last tribute of respect to her memory. Her life was such, that “she being dead yet speaketh.”


Henrietta was baptised on 10 July 1816 at Swinefleet, Yorkshire. Her parents were Jonathan, who worked the land, and Henrietta.

She married James Mitchell, a tailor, (abt 1816-1889) on 28 December 1840, not 1841. Census returns identify one child.

  • John (1841-1908)

Henrietta died in Leeds, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine1906/159

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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