Saul, Mary (nee Wadsworth) (1832-1855)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Robinson Cheeseman

Mary Saul, wife of the  Rev. Wm. Saul of Sunderland, was a daughter of Mr. R. Wadsworth, of Doncaster, one of our oldest and most respected local preachers. In early life her heart was imbued with religious sentiments, which led her, at the age of fourteen, to consecrate herself to Christ.

In her submission to parental authority she exhibited a very lovely pattern. She was early brought to reduce to practice that Divine precept, “Children, obey your parents.” On the testimony of her father, she was never known to disobey her parents, or to utter an unkind word, or tell an untruth. Being of a very reserved turn of mind, her piety seldom expressed itself in rapturous strains; it was calm and equable, but consistent and fervid. The milder graces of religion shone in her character with becoming lustre.

In the twenty-first year of her age she entered into the marriage state with Mr. William Saul, one of our travelling preachers, who survives to lament her loss. Nine months before her death she came to Doncaster, that she might pass the season of her confinement under the maternal care of her dear mother. Six months ago she became the mother of a lovely daughter, after which event she never recovered. Her affliction being caused by consumption, she had to endure many severe inward pains, much faintness, loss of appetite, weariness, loss of sleep, and all the other evils to which persons in consumption are subject. All that kindness and sympathy from her affectionate parents could do, was done to mitigate her sufferings, and alleviate her sorrows. Nothing, however, could ward off the stroke of the last enemy. She continued gradually to sink. Her medical attendant gave no hope of her recovery, which she received with great calmness. She now began to contemplate her end, and said,

“I feel my acceptance with God; but I don’t feel as I wish to do.” For some time previous to her death, she imagined the giving up of her child would be the most difficult task; but such was the grace afforded her, that when required to do so, she parted from it with the utmost resignation. A short time before her death, her father asked her on what she built her hope of heaven; to which she instantly replied, “The precious blood of Jesus;” and added, “While I was praying last night I was so happy that I could have shouted. I thought I was dying, but I was exceedingly happy, and the blood of Christ cleanseth me from all sin.”

The day before her death, she asked her father to pray with her, and such was her ecstasy, that although for some days before she scarcely had strength to speak, yet now she shouted aloud for joy, and exclaimed, “All is well; all is well!” Almost the last word she said was, “Glory! glory!” Those who witnessed her departure said it was not like dying, it was only like falling asleep in Jesus. There was a smile on her countenance after death, which her victorious spirit left upon it as it departed to the bosom of its God. She departed this life on the 19th of January, 1855, and was interred on the following Monday, when a long train of mourners followed her to the grave.

“Blessed are the dead who die in the Lord.”


Mary was born on 26 August 1832 at Doncaster, Yorkshire, to parents Richard and Elizabeth Wadsworth. Richard was a master blacksmith and wheelwright, and also identified as a Methodist preacher in the 1861 Census return.

According to one transcription of the 1851 Census returns, Mary was a wheelwright, although this may be a misreading of wheelwright’s daughter.

Mary married William Saul, a P.M. Minister, in  1853. As yet, no further details of the marriage have been traced. As her obituary states, Mary had one daughter .

  • Ann Elizabeth   born in the 3rd quarter of 1854 in Doncaster. Ann spent her early years with her grandparents in Doncaster, before joining her father. Information about her life post 1881 has yet to be firmly identified.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1855/318

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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