Reavley, Ann (nee Brown) (1850-1888)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J Moseley

Mrs. ANNIE REAVELEY, wife of the Rev. Matthew Reaveley, was born at Bishop Auckland, on the 2nd of May, 1850. She was cradled in a home of rare piety, her father, Mr. George Brown, and her mother, a sister of the late Rev. John Snowdon, being among the earliest adherents to Primitive Methodism in the town. Her parents’ house was the home of both travelling and local preachers, and many were the prayers and words of useful counsel she heard from the lips of those who thus shared their generous hospitality. She was taken early to the Sunday school of which her devoted father was the honoured superintendent for many years; and while in the springtime of her life she consecrated herself to God and His cause.

She was of a remarkably quiet disposition, seldom demonstrative about anything, but always to be depended upon when work was to be done for either school, chapel, or missionary cause, Unassuming in character, chaste in conversation, truthful, averse to slander and tale-bearing, cheerful, generous, kind, and neat in dress, she was a pattern to young women,

Her experience at class and other meetings gave clear evidence that she was rooted and grounded in the love of God. She was a Sunday-school teacher for many years, during which she had charge of every class of girls in the school, from the lowest to the highest, many of whom she led to the Saviour.

On the occasion of her marriage to the Rev. M. Reaveley, on the 10th of July, 1877, she was presented with a silver tea and coffee service, by the teachers, scholars, and friends of the cause at Bishop Auckland,

Her husband was travelling in the Whitby circuit at the time, and to this old-fashioned watering-place she first went as a minister’s wife. Her amiable life and gentle nature soon attracted a number of lasting friends.

During their five years’ sojourn at South Shields, Mrs. Reaveley proved a true helpmeet to her husband, and in a glorious revival at the ‘Glebe,’ she, with many others, participated in the blessing of what is popularly known as the ‘higher life.’

Here, as in Whitby, the quiet, unobtrusive interest she took in the general prosperity of the circuit, won the respect and confidence of those who knew her best. From South Shields they removed to Sunderland First circuit, in 1883, where, during a protracted season of trade depression, she proved a most unselfish helper of the poor and distressed.

From Sunderland they removed to Grimsby, in 1886. Her health, which was never robust, gave way in this circuit, and on the 23rd of January, 1888, she peacefully passed away to the restful realms.

During her last illness she was remarkably patient, contented, and cheerful, when conscious. She said she would like to get better for the children’s sake, but trusted in Jesus, and felt fully prepared for God’s will to be done.

Early on the Sabbath before her death she sang two verses of ‘Jesus, Lover of my soul,’ and prayed. She made several other attempts to sing, but was too weak to be heard. During the afternoon she gradually became weaker, and sweetly sank into the repose which shall last until the resurrection morn.


Ann was born on 2 May 1850 at Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham, to parents George Brown, a miller (1851), and Elizabeth Snowdon.

Before her marriage Ann worked as a dressmaker (1871).

She married Matthew Reavley, a PM minister, on10 July 1877 at Bishop Auckland, Co. Durham. Census returns identify two children.

  • John (1879-1947) – an accountant      
  • Elizabeth (b abt1881)

Ann died on 23 January 1888 at Grimsby, Lincolnshire. 


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1890/309

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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