Ratcliffe, Mary Ann (nee Maynard) (1822-1848)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Jonathan Ratcliffe

Died, in her father’s house, at East Ayton, near Scarborough, Yorkshire, on November 11th, 1848, Mrs. MARY ANN RATCLIFFE, wife of Jonathan Ratcliffe, Primitive Methodist preacher, in the twenty-seventh year of her age. Referring to her early days, Mr. William Sanderson says, “When I first became acquainted with her she was but ten years of age, her heart was light and gay, and her buoyant spirits anticipated many years to come. Being the only child of affectionate parents, she had none to dispute her right to her mother’s arms and her father’s lap. Her ways were those of pleasantness—the roses around her concealed the thorns, yet she did not appear charmed with vice, or hindered in her choice of virtue, by wildly- wandering inclinations. She was soon convinced that the region of sense, all Elysian as it often appears to the eye of inexperience, was but the outside smile of a land full of frowns within; that the enchanting bowers found at the entrance of the path of vice —those beautiful bowers, all verdure to the eye and velvet to the foot, that first receive the giddy step—are soon passed, and then the traveller is found on long tracks of desert. Notwithstanding these views, her step-was in the wrong direction; but it was a hesitating, not a decided step. Her deviations from the right way were but slight: a few steps retraced, and she was fairly on it. Amid the most amiable sensibilities her moral conflict began, and her tears of repentance were bitter drops.  The virtuous tuition of her pious mother, seconded by the labours of the Primitive Methodist preachers, who have been entertained for many years in her father’s house, assisted her to decide to serve the Lord in youth.” 

Her education was respectable, her love for reading ardent, her inclination for intellectual pursuits eager, and her manners agreeable. After her conversion she entered into church-fellowship with our people, and as age advanced she became increasingly devoted to God. My matrimonial union with her took place on November 11th, 1845; and I found her an affectionate and valuable partner. For active exercises in public ordinances she was not remarkable, on account of her diffidence; but in private and the family circle, she gave evidence that her fellowship with God was genuine and growing: also her love to sabbath-schools and the cause of missions was deep and practical. Though not robust, yet her health was pretty good until November 30th, 1846, when it was impaired by a confinement, in which she became the mother of twin sons, neither of whom lived a week after being born. Subsequently her health fluctuated, some-times leading her friends to entertain hopes of her recovery, and at others, to fear that her days would be few. By the advice of her medical attendant her native air was tried; and till within a day of her exit she anticipated many happy years might be spent with me in the service of God. 

In the furnace, she suffered the will of her heavenly Father with great patience, stated that she was not afraid of death, and that though she desired to live, it was that she might glorify God. On November 10th, she told her mother that she had no longer a hope that her life would be spared, and said, “Do not sorrow, for l am going to Jesus;” and then she requested all around her to meet her in heaven. Being desired to signify her triumph by moving a hand when unable to speak, she waved it as long as she could hold it up, and then expired with a smile.


Mary was born in 1822 at East Ayton, nr. Scarborough, Yorkshire, to parents William, a labourer, and Jane. She was baptised on 18 December 1822 at Seamer, nr. Scarborough, Yorkshire.

She married Jonathan Ratcliffe, a PM minister, on 11 November 1845 in the Scarborough Registration District, Yorkshire. They had two children (twins) who died within a week of birth in 1846.

Mary died on 11 November 1848 at East Ayton, nr. Scarborough, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1849/252

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.