Passmore, Henry (1830-1902)
Transcription of Obituary in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Joseph Ferguson
This is a name that kindles tender emotions and thoughts of days gone and work done. He was born at Smestow on October 15th, 1830, and went to his home in heaven November 25th, 1902, being 72 years of age. He, like all village lads in those days, suffered the loss of careful and efficient education. The rulers – local and imperial, ecclesiastical and civil – with few exceptions, did not think education the privilege or necessity of the children of the toilers. These must be contented in “the state of life into which God had called them.” For forty years he lived without God and without hope in the world. Sometime in 1862 he found the pearl of great price – the light of Christ which entered his soul revealed to him a new world, kindled within him aspirations that touched the infinite and lifted his soul into the heavenlies with Christ Jesus. Having opened his heart for the incoming of Christ he now opened his house for His worship. Four years after his illumination and spiritual change the foundation stones of the little church were laid with palms of joyful gratitude. It was a day of happy Ebenezers to a few, among whom Henry Passmore was a leader. Henry Passmore’s heart grew larger, and his good hope burnt with a brighter flame. The Church called him to the office of class leader and also to other forms of Christian work into which he entered with almost apostolic fervour. Idle in the vineyard of his Lord he could not be. He was an earnest worker; consistent in his life. His religion was sterling and strong. He did not ask convenience nor policy what he must do. His guiding question was – “What is right, and what would my Lord have me to do?”
He was a genuine Free Churchman; conviction and not pleasurable ease was his guiding star. He could not be hindered in a clear duty by threatening, nor cajoled by promises of gain. Persecution he suffered, but still he held on to the end. He was a true Puritan, of robust order. To his intelligent conviction God was accessible to the rich and poor alike, and the ignorant and scholarly. He knew his Lord as the great High Priest of his profession; and his sisters and brethren as a holy priesthood offering up spiritual sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God through Jesus Christ; but knew no other priest, professedly ordained by men, through whom penitent and sincere souls must draw near to God.
Henry Passmore was an unsophisticated Christian. His love to God was ardent and simple; God’s Word of promise was enough for his faith, and he was not a stranger to the divine sunshine. He walked in the light here and often saw its fuller rising on the eternal side of life. He was thoroughly unselfish, given to hospitality. At his table the servants of God were often refreshed, and this Christian life-habit he has left as a legacy to his family. He was a “cheerful giver.” He did not pay sixpence to enter a football field and subsequently give a penny to the cause of God. Our dear friend has gone to the multitude which no man can number – which earthly arithmetic cannot reach – and has already increased the volume of the Song of Moses, “the servant of God and of the Lamb,” the purport of which Song he learned in our church at Smestow. Farewell, dear father and friend, farewell till we meet where there is no shadow, no sorrow, no sighing, but “where there is fulness of joy, and at God’s right hand, pleasure for evermore!”
Henry was baptised on 29 October 1830 at Womborne, Staffordshire. His parents were Joseph, a nailer, and Sarah.
Census returns identify the following occupations for Henry.
- 1851 nailer
- 1861 nailer
- 1871 horse nail maker
- 1881 farm labourer & grocer
- 1891 labourer & grocer
- 1901 farmer
Henry married Ann Porter (abt 1834-1866) in the Dudley Registration District, Staffordshire. Census returns identify five children.
- Ann (b abt1853)
- Joseph (1855-1914) – a forge blacksmith (1881); a pump turner’s labourer (1911)
- Sarah (1857-1913) – married Joseph Cross, a publican, in 1884
- Henry (abt1859-1919) – a farmer
- Elizabeth (1861-1933) – married John Hawthorn, an agricultural labourer (1901) and a grocer (1911), in 1890
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1904/240
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers