Ramsden, Maria (nee Marsden) (1820-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by F Richardson

MARIA RAMSDEN was born at Middleton, near Leeds, on January 18, 1820, and departed this life on Sunday, January 8, 1899, and in her decease a long and beautiful life has closed, and a “mother in Israel” passed into the presence of her Lord. When very young she was converted to God, and united in church fellowship with the Wesleyans at Rothwell, of which Church her parents were devoted members.

In 1838, she was married to George Ramsden, of Morley, and in deference to his wishes joined the Primitives, who had just formed a society in that place. She soon manifested intense enthusiasm for the Church of her adoption, and in numerous ways rendered invaluable service. Her house was a “home” for the pioneer ministers, and such names as Hugh Bourne, A.G. Beckerlegge, G. Lamb, C. Kendall, the Brothers Garner were fragrant in her memory. About 1848 she removed with her husband to Leeds and joined the Church worshipping in Rehoboth Chapel, Park Lane; and with two brief interruptions occasioned by brief changes of residence, was connected with it for over fifty years. To the last she retained the greatest veneration for the old place, every stone of which she loved. She often referred to the heroism of the first trustees, and to the glorious experiences she enjoyed during its golden days. Her reminiscences of Leeds Primitive Methodism were most interesting. The Conferences of 1848, 1863, and 1879, were very precious memories; while it was a great grief to her that she was unable to attend any of the services of the Conference of 1898. During the last few months of her life, as she lay in her bed, nothing gave her greater pleasure than to call up the distant past and pour into willing ears the story of those long past years. The old hymns and tunes would recur to her memory, and, with faltering voice, she would sing those old-time melodies of early Methodism with a strange light glistening in her eye.

Her last two years were a time of suffering and waiting. The writer often visited her during those weary months, but with unmurmuring trust she calmly waited her Lord’s time. About a month before her decease, a change was observed. Her youngest daughter was summoned to her side, and day was added to day – a long trial to patience – but she calmly waited. In the early hours of the Sabbath morning, Jan. 8, 1899, the pure, gentle, saintly spirit passed away to join husband and son gone before, and to mingle in the fellowship of the Church above. On Thursday, Jan. 12, her remains were borne into “old Rehoboth,” and an impressive service was held, conducted by Rev. F. Richardson, in which the Rev. G. Parkin, M.A., B.D., Principal of Manchester College, and the Rev. E. Dalton took part.

Mr. Parkin, in a beautiful and tender tribute, says: “l have known Mrs. Ramsden for almost twenty years. I was frequently brought into relations with her during my ministry in Leeds, and found her to be a woman of deep and unostentatious piety, and strongly attached to our Church in Park Lane. Her conversation was always elevating, and she had special pleasure in speaking of those connected with Rehoboth in its early days, and how their sermons and prayers had taken hold of her mind and enriched her life, Now she has been called to join them, and with them to receive the higher vision and take part in the higher service.”

Her remains rest in the Morley Cemetery, and her precious memory remains to comfort her bereaved daughters. A long, brave, beautiful life has closed in peace.


Maria was baptised on 13 February 1820 at Rothwell, Yorkshire. Her parents were John and Mary marsden. John was a miner.

She married George Ramsden (abt 1816-1891), a cloth dyer, on 19 February 1838 at St Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire. Census returns identify three children.

  • John (1844-1869) – a woollen dyer (1861)
  • Hannah (1848-1929) – a head teacher (1911); married Tom Barmby in 1875
  • Emma (abt1854-1929) – a telephone clerk postal (1881); married Thomas Henry Fairhall, a postal telegraph clerk (1911), in 1882


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/312

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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