Nicholle, Susannah (nee Williams) (1810-1849)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Edward Nicholle

SUSANNAH NICOLLE was born on April 6th, 1810, at Bromyard, in the county of Hereford. When young, her thoughts were frequently and seriously engaged about the existence and character of God, the vastness and grandeur of creation, the frailty and wickedness of man, the nature and extent of the atonement, the solemnity of death and judgment, the blessedness of heaven, and the torments of hell; consequently she was preserved from the love and practice of numerous vices to which the generality of young people yield, but was nevertheless a stranger to saving grace till certain Primitive Methodist missionaries visited the place of her nativity. The zeal and energy with which they laboured in the vineyard of Christ arrested public attention, and caused much and long-to-be-remembered persecution. A band of music was unsuccessfully engaged by some of “the baser sort” to drown the voices of the missionaries; but prayer was offered for the wayward; the Lord heard it, copiously poured out his Spirit, impressed sinners with sense of their danger, and then saved them, and made the Opposers of his truth visible objects of His displeasure: almost every man who had been engaged with the band came to an untimely end. The deceased was among those who resisted not the Holy Ghost. The words, “Why seek ye the living among the dead?” led to her earnest supplication for mercy; and by faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the evidence of her acceptance with God was obtained. She was one of the early members of our Connexion where she lived, and till  “mortality was swallowed up of life,” her path was “like that of the just, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.”

Her talent for public usefulness being soon observed, she was called to the office of local-preachership, and her labours herein were abundant and successful. Though she often had appointments ten or twelve sabbaths in a quarter of a year, each appointment extending from eight to ten miles distance, yet she was punctually and prayerfully at her post, like Hannah in the temple of the Lord. She did not “spend her strength for naught,” for though her father, mother, and sister were unsaved when she entered the service of the Lord, yet her pious conduct and persevering efforts caused religion to be introduced into the family, for she commenced family worship as soon as she was converted. Her mother and sister have died in the Lord, and her father is a devout member of our Connexion; and all of them were persuaded to become Christians through her instrumentality. Nor was her usefulness confined to her own family; she had the care of a class, for the welfare of which she laboured diligently, and had the pleasure to see it in great prosperity. Her attachment to Primitive Methodism was ardent and unabating, and her piety was decided, vigorous, and useful. At Bromyard, our Society underwent numerous changes; many of the members made shipwreck of faith and of good consciences; some who had been pillars in the church were removed to glory; but the deceased, in prosperity and adversity, honour and dishonour, remained to support the little flock amid all its vicissitudes—she was not a reed shaken with the wind, but was well established in grace. About eighteen years ago she became a living stone in the church of God, and in each succeeding year her polish and beauty increased till she was removed to the heavenly temple.

In July, 1847, she became the partner of my joys and sorrows; and her first station with me was the Dudley circuit, where, as well as at Hadnall, which was our second station, she preached occasionally and led a class. The last time she preached was in our Brierley Hill chapel; and eleven souls then professed to be brought to the knowledge of the truth.

In the beginning of June, 1849, she became so ill of pulmonary consumption that she could not be removed to Hadnall till the beginning of September following, and rapidly she descended to the house appointed for all living. Her attachment to me and our child seemed for some time to bind her to earth; but grace enabled her to give us up, and say, “Whatsoever the Lord does is right; not my will, but His be done.”

She endured her affliction with exemplary patience, and calmly and meekly kissed the rod of her heavenly Father. Sometimes she was much tempted, but at others she enjoyed great peace of mind, especially towards the close of life. Often she said to me, “If I should die while you are attending your appointments, you may rest assured that I am gone to heaven.”

Frequently she was visited by brothers Powell and Gregory, and Mr. James, the Independent minister; and these and other friends were profited by her Christ-like behaviour and converse while in the furnace. A few days before her departure, she took our child in her arms, and kissed him, and then cheerfully resigned him to the care of her heavenly Father, praying that she might meet him in the promised land. At one time, after recovering partially from a state of apparent suffocation, she shouted, “Yonder’s my house and portion fair,” and pointed upwards. While Mr. Powell was engaged in prayer, her chamber was a Bethel; an overwhelming sense of the Divine presence was experienced by all present. To Mr. James she said, “I have every cause for thankfulness, none for regret; and all I have is through Christ.” Fully she acknowleged to him the great kindness which she had received from the Hadnall friends, especially the attention which had been paid to her during her affliction. Nearing the tomb, she said to me, “Give me a promise.” I replied, “My flesh and my heart faileth; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever!” Psa. Ixxiii. 26. “Yes,” she replied, “He will support me; he does support me.” Shortly she asked, “Don’t you think I am in the river now?” and uplifting one of her hands she said, “Yonder is Jesus.” Happy words! “Yonder is Jesus.” Thus, on October 28th, 1849, she had a glimpse of Him whom she loved, and was then ushered into his immediate presence in the thirty-ninth year of her age. Glorious change for her whose removal it is my lot to mourn! Mourn! no! the Lord does all things well.

Family

Susannah was born on 6 April 1810 at Bromyard, Herefordshire, to parents Charles, a gardener (1841), and Mary. She was baptised on 16 April 1810 at Bromyard.

The 1841 census return records Susannah working as a school mistress.

She married Edward Nicholle, a PM minister, in July 1847 at Bromyard, Herefordshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Edward (b1848) – a clergyman (1892)

Susannah died on 28 October 1849 at Hadnall, Shropshire.

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1850/131

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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