Newton, Mary (nee Armstrong) (1848-1912)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by B.D.

On November 16th, 1912, Mary Newton entered into rest. Her association with Primitive Methodism was long and honourable. When a girl of sixteen she joined our cause at Annfield Plain, and from the first proved herself an eager and reliable worker. From Annfield Plain she came to Stanley, and in 1881 removed with her husband, Mr. John Newton, to Castle Eden. Here she found a society housed in a cottage, but in a very short time, aided by a few kindred spirits, she was successful in securing a permanent and useful building. Returning in 1892 to Stanley, from that time her life was spent in the fellowship and service of the Stanley Church. 

Nature had treated her with a generous hand. She had a fine physique, an alert and capable mind, and a heart overflowing with sympathy. The Church’s burdens were her burdens, and the Church’s opportunity her opportunity. All the obligations of Church membership, financial or otherwise, she frankly acknowledged and promptly met. She was generous to a fault, and her generosity embraced in its sweep her time and strength as well as her substance. It would be impossible to tell how many bazaars she helped to organise and carry through, and it were vain to estimate how many weary yet joyful hours she spent in working for new chapels, and for liquidating the debt on old ones. 

And now the labourer’s task is o’er. At the age of sixty-four she laid aside her work and went to her reward. The funeral service was conducted by Revs. B. Dennison and J.A. West in our Stanley Church, and what was mortal of our sister was buried in the adjoining Cemetery. She rests in hope! 


Mary was born in the spring of 1852 at White Ridge, Allendale, Northumberland. I have not been able to unambiguously identify her parents in online records.

She married John Newton (1848-1926), a miner, in late 1868 in the Gateshead Registration District, Co. Durham. Census returns identify five of six children.

  • Mary Elizabeth (1871-1935) – assistant to newsagent (1891); married Thomas Henry C Potter, a newsagent (1901), in 1896
  • Isaac (1874-1951) – a commercial traveller (1911)
  • Caroline Armstrong (1876-1944) – a letter carrier (1891); married Frederick Porter, a Post Office telegraph wireman (1911), in 1909
  • Rachel (b1879)
  • George Armstrong (1882-1917) – a coal miner (1901); died in WW1

Mary died on 16 November 1912 at Stanley, Co. Durham.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/413

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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