Rook, John (1833-1908)
Transcription of Obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.G. Cushing
Maryport Church and Circuit has sustained a real loss through. the death, on Wednesday, September 23rd, 1908, of Brother John Rook. He was born at Aspatria (CumberJand), July 19th, 1833. Nearly fifty years ago he was brought into saving acquaintance with Jesus Christ, and immediately began to serve his Lord and Master. To the time of his death he remained a consistent Christian, widely respected, and in truth really loved.
As a local preacher in his early years he frequently travelled twenty miles on foot to his appointments, returning home at two a.m., and would then reach his work, two miles distant, at six am. At one place, twenty miles away, a gentleman so appreciated his labours that he insisted on giving him his day’s wages rather than he should go to work on Monday after his forty miles’ journey, etc.
As a preacher he was a successful soul-winner. His fine presence, musical voice, bright happy countenance, together with his piety and manliness, won him a respectful hearing and full appreciation. He was also a class leader, and for many years circuit steward. His generosity toward religious and other objects might always be relied upon.
Returning home after an absence of some three months, apparently in better health than for some time past, Mr. Rook took part in the Sunday and Monday meetings. On the Wednesday morning following he went out for a short walk, and sat down at home for lunch; then without any warning, expired. His death was a great shock to many friends, but for him it was the gentle passing to his Father’s house.
The funeral services were attended by a great number of people, and were conducted by the Revs. R. Crewdson (Stockport), and J.G. Cushing. The widow and several children have been much comforted by letters from various friends, including those from Revs. P. Norman Kennedy (Church of England), J. Burton (Laxey), W. Spivey (Colne), and Mr. T. Greenhow (Circuit Steward). The superintendent. minister conducted an “In Memoriam” service on Sunday evening, October 11th, which was largely attended.
John was born on 19 July 1833 at Aspatria, Cumberland, to parents Joseph, a nailer (1841), and Margaret.
Census returns identify the following occupations for John.
- 1851 apprentice joiner
- 1861 journeyman joiner
- 1871 joiner
- 1881 life assurance agent
- 1891 medical botanist
- 1901 botanist (herbalist)
He married Eleanor (Ellen) Graham (1836-1865) in late 1858 at Wigton, Cumberland. Census returns identify two children.
- George (b1859)- – a tailor (1881); not identified after 1881 census
- William (b abt1863)- – an apprentice joiner (1881); not identified after 1881 census
He married Margaret Graham (abt1838-1913) on 10 February 1866 at Wigton, Cumberland. Census returns identify six children.
- John Joseph (1866-1940) – a warehouseman, dyed goods linings (1911)
- Daniel (b1869) – not identified after 1881 census
- Moses (1871-1957) – a dispensing chemist (1901); a pharmacist manager (1939)
- Margaret Eleanor (b1874) – not identified after 1911 census
- Elizabeth (b1877) – married George Herbert Shepherdson, a commercial traveller, in 1901
- James (b1879) – a general labourer (1911)
They additionally brought up an adopted daughter, Sarah Ann Graham (b abt 1864).
John died on 23 September 1908 at Maryport, Cumberland.
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1909/157
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers