Rostance, Susan (nee Massey) (1859-1898)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by A Johnson

OUR beloved sister, Susan Rostance, whose rather sudden demise we so much lament, was born at Harding, Staffs, March 16, 1859. She commenced working for God early in life, for at the age of fourteen she became a Sunday School teacher, and twelve months later a member of society at Littleworth. She took the deepest interest in the cause of temperance, and warmly espoused the Good Templar movement, continuing in the good work until 1876, when she became the wife of our esteemed friend and brother, Mr. James Rostance. After their marriage they removed for a time to Laydon, but finding no Primitive Methodists, and the Wesleyan Chapel being closed, they exerted their influence successfully for its re-opening, the Rev. Joseph Agar Beet being secured for the occasion.

In July, 1880, Mr. and Mrs. Rostance came to reside at Chase Terrace, in the Lichfield Circuit. Mrs. Rostance at once united herself with our people, and joined Brother Thomas Wright’s class, a means of grace which she dearly loved, the last she attended being but a fortnight before her death.

In her Christian duties, such as family worship, reading the Scriptures, and supporting the cause of God, she was faithful. Being sociable in her manners, and of a cheerful disposition, she won many friends. Ministers and local preachers were always made welcome to her home and hospitable board.

To human appearance our sister seemed to promise many years of usefulness to her Church and family. Evidently she worked when rest was absolutely needed, for, for some time she was far from well. Then came the end, but it found her quite ready. Notwithstanding the best medical skill and tender nursing, death was inevitable. Both ministers of the circuit visited her, and found her perfectly resigned to the will of God. Between one and two o’clock on the morning of the day previous to her departure she said to her husband, “I wish I could go to sleep.” “My dear,” he said, “you will never sleep in this world, when you sleep you will sleep in Jesus.” She answered, “Yes; and there will be no night in heaven.” Her children being gathered into her presence, she gave them a dying mother’s benediction. To her grief-stricken husband she said, “Don’t hang your harp upon the willow, but trust in the Lord as you have told me to do, and as you have done aforetime.” Her last words were, “Home! Home!” She entered into rest December 27, 1898. Her funeral was attended by a large number of sorrowing friends. A beautiful and impressive memorial service was held in our Chasetown Chapel on Sunday evening, Jan. 15, when Brother T. Wright preached from 1 Thess. iv. 13 and Rev. xiv. 13, and at which service a carefully prepared memoir was read by Brother T. Wood. May the sorrowing husband and children meet the departed one in the glorious home of rest.


Susan was born to parents Ambrose, a miner, and Mary Anne.

She married James Rostance (abt1852-1940), a coal miner, on 15 May 1877 at St John the Baptist, Armitage, Staffordshire. Census returns identify four children.

  • Mary Ann (1878- – a school teacher (1901); later a nurse; emigrated to USA in 1906
  • Ambrose Massey (1880-1962) – a house painter (1901); a stationary engineman (1911)
  • Frederick (1884-1954) – a carpenter (1901); a coal miner (1911)
  • Wilfred Lawson (1892-1978) – an assistant teacher (1911); a headmaster (1939)

James married Ethel May Thomas in 1902.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/310

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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