Poulton, Martha (nee Fowler) (1835-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Charles Leafe

MRS. MARTHA POULTON was born at Tilsworth, Bedfordshire, in the year 1835, and died at Dunstable, Feb. 9, 1899, in the sixty-fourth year of her age.

She was the subject of good impressions while very young. To the close of life she was a strict observer of the Sabbath as the day of rest and worship, and when compelled to stay away from the public services, she would have a service to herself. She was of a rather retiring disposition, and though not one of the most emotional of Christians, she was, nevertheless, very conscientious, and always afraid of saying more than she felt. The integrity of her Christian character and conduct was manifest to all who came in contact with her.

Many years ago she came to reside at Houghton Regis, in the Dunstable Circuit, and united herself with the Primitive Methodist Church, and under the earnest ministry of the Rev. M. Fuller, she was brought to the knowledge of the truth as it is in Jesus. On the sure foundation she built up the superstructure of a Christ-like life, exercising an unwavering fidelity to principle and to the Church of her choice. She was extremely sensitive and sympathetic, pained at anything which seemed detrimental to the honour and prosperity of Zion, and rejoiced with exceeding joy at any signs or tidings of victory on Israel’s side. True, her Bible was her bosom companion, and the Word of Christ dwelt richly in her heart, but she also delighted herself in reading the Connexional magazines and newspapers, which proved that her interest was not confined to the limits of the station to which she belonged, but was extended to every work and sphere of Primitive Methodism. When able she was most regular and punctual in her attendance at the means of grace; was never known to fail in her contributions to circuit funds according to Methodist rule. For several months she was unable to attend Divine services on account of affliction and the increasing infirmities of life. About five weeks before her death she suffered from influenza and pneumonia. The writer frequently visited her during her last illness and found that she patiently and cheerfully waited the coming of her Lord. On several occasions she expressed some concern about the future of her children, but on being reminded of the promised care of the great loving Father, all concern and distrust immediately vanished, and there followed a fully experienced and avowed submission to the will of Him who “doeth all things well.” The minister visited her a short time before her death, she was too weak to speak much, but her sun was setting in a clear sky, her prospects were bright, and after declaring she could see her loved ones in heaven, waved her hands in victory, and said, “Jesus was waiting for her,” and it was so, for in a few minutes a happy smile lit up her countenance, and without a sigh or lingering groan she fell asleep in Jesus, and entered “the rest which remaineth for the people of God.” Her funeral sermon was preached by the writer on Sunday evening, Feb. 26, 1899, to a large congregation.


Martha was born to parents Samuel, a farm labourer, and Fanny. Before her marriage she worked as a straw plaiter.

She married Samuel Poulton (1834-1896) in the summer of 1851 at Houghton Regis. Census returns identify the following occupations for Samuel.

  • 1861 coal dealer
  • 1871 dealer in pigs
  • 1881 dealer poultry
  • 1891 general dealer

Census returns identify five children.

  • Sarah (b1851) – married Alfred Squire, a railway platelayer (1911), in 1872
  • George (abt1854-1931) – a bricklayer’s labourer (1891)
  • Albert (1858-1931) – a shoe rivitter
  • Agnes (b1860) – a straw hat sewer (1881); married Charles White, a butcher slaughterman (1901), in 1888
  • Joseph (b1866)


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/391

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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