Robertshaw, Martha (nee Oates) (1845-1912)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine

Mrs. Robertshaw, neé Miss Oates, was born, at Liversedge in March, 1844., She was of godly parentage. All her life she displayed a strong but unobtrusive religious bias. What must have been a sore trial to her was, that all the way of her married life, which extended to nearly fifty years, she trod the Christian path alone. The Lord’s work and people were dear to her heart. For many years she was a missionary collector. 

In recent years she was prevented by affliction from regularly attending the services. On the last occasion that she went she was taken in a bath chair to hear her minister’s son. She met the trials of life with a brave and trustful Christian heart. In trial she would quietly say:— “God knows all things.” We shall long remember her for her freedom from fretfulness, her Christian charity, her strong and simple faith in God. 

She was interred at Scunthorpe on November 11th, 1912; in sure and certain hope of her rising to everlasting life.


Martha was born in March 1845 at Dewsbury, Yorkshire, to parents Marsden Oates, a currier (1861), and Mary Walker.

Before her marriage Martha worked as a worsted spinner (1861).

She married James Robertshaw (abt1840-1912) , a boiler maker (1901), in the summer of 1862 in the Dewsbury Registration District, Yorkshire. Census returns identify six children.

  • Ben Sinkinson (1864-1934) – an iron moulder (1911)
  • Mary Ann (1867-1917) – married Frederick Albert Judd, a coal miner (1901), in 1886
  • Fanny (1870-1939) – married Thomas Hockney, a stationary engineman (1911), in 1902
  • Sarah Ellen (1873-1946) – married John William Green, a boilermaker’s labourer (1911), in 1891
  • William Marsden (1876-1958) – a building contractor (1911)
  • Joseph (1878-1955) – a bricklayer’s labourer (1911)

Martha died in November 1912 at Scunthorpe, Lincolnshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1913/330

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Note: Census returns record Martha’s birthplace as Dewsbury, rather than Liversedge, and date of birth March 1845, as recorded in the obituary.

Comments about this page

  • Mike,
    I think it is a reasonable interpretation that Martha’s husband was not a practising Christian of any denomination.

    By Geoff Dickinson (20/02/2023)
  • Martha is my g-g-grandmother, so many thanks for posting the transcript! Her birth certificate shows that she was born on 13 Mar 1845 at Town End, Dewsbury.
    I was very interested to read “What must have been a sore trial to her was, that all the way of her married life … she trod the Christian path alone. ” Does that mean that my g-g-grandad was not a Primitive Methodist, or can we read more into it ?

    By Mike (19/02/2023)

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