Scribbans, Mary (1781-1853)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by Mary Chapman

Mrs. MARY SCRIBBANS was born at Sullamstead, in the county of Berks, in the year 1781. She was naturally of a quiet, kind, retiring disposition, and was truthful, conscientious, and industrious; hence she gained the esteem of those around her. She spent the principal part of her youth in the service of a gentleman’s family in the immediate neighbourhood of her birthplace; and after her marriage, her husband (who, a few years since, died in the faith and hope of the gospel) and herself held a responsible situation under the same gentleman for eighteen years. 

Yet she lived without evangelical piety till the Primitive Methodists missioned Reading and the neighbourhood in 1835. The Holy Spirit was then largely poured out, and many souls were brought to Christ, among whom was my revered mother. Henceforward she held on her Christian course amidst her varied trials with a steady determination to fight the good fight of faith, and lay hold on eternal life. She was a simple-hearted, unobtrusive, plain, humble, earnest Christian, and usually enjoyed much of the presence of God.

Shortly after she joined the Society her house was opened for the preaching of the gospel, and continued so till the present chapel was erected.

In the autumn of 1851 her health began to decline, and she continued in a delicate state till September, 1852, when she became confined to her room; but as her earthly tabernacle decayed, her faith in Christ became more vigorous; and though she experienced no ecstasy, she enjoyed that calm peacefulness of spirit which arises from the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins. Shortly before her death, one of her children asked her if she had any fear of death; she replied, “None; the sting is taken away.” When asked how it was that she was so wonderfully supported in the prospect of death, she answered with emphasis, “Grace, my child; abundant grace.” Her expressions of gratitude to her son and his wife, with whom she had lived several years in harmony, were truly affecting; at the same time she exhorted them to confidence in Him who had been both a husband and father to her. Shortly before the closing struggle she repeated with much emotion the words of a favourite hymn,—

“Soon as my all I ventured
On the atoning blood,
His Holy Spirit entered,
And I was born of God,”

In the full assurance of faith she departed this life on February 22nd, 1852, in the seventy-second year of her age.


Mary was born in 1781 at Sulhiamstead, Berkshire.

The 1841 census return describes Mary as a butter dealer.

She married Thomas Scribbans (d1840).  Census returns and online baptismal records identify five children.

  • Ann (b1810)
  • William (1813-1870) – a farmer
  • Charles (1820-1874) – a butter dealer (1861)
  • Henry (1822-1893) – a railway signalman (1871)
  • John (1825-1828)

Mary died on 22 February 1853 at Burghfield, Bradfield, Berkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1853/441

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

Records online spell the surname Scribbans, Scribbins, Scribens.

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