Waterhouse, Isaac (1818-1899)

Transcription of Obituary In the Primitive Methodist Magazine by H. Cooke

Our church at Stanningley, Leeds and York District, and the Primitive Methodist Connexion have the loss of one of their oldest, most loyal, generous, and useful members and supporters in the death of Brother I. Waterhouse, which took place in his own home, Ebenezer House, Stanningley, on Wednesday morning, December 20, 1899, at the ripe old age of eighty-one years. Brought up at Bramley, not more than two miles from where he mostly lived and died, when only eleven years of age he joined our Church there, and has kept an unbroken membership for nearly seventy years. When nineteen years of age he removed from Bramley to Stanningley, being engaged as a cloth-fuller at Providence Mills, where he rose to the head of his department, and where he, under different employers, remained forty-six years. At the end of that long term of service, he wisely retired from the work and worry of his responsible situation to the great regret of the head of the firm, but he entered with his son into a small oil and soap business for a few years, and then leaving the business entirely, he lived the rest of his life on his means. Coming to the last-named place, he annexed himself with our Church, with which he has lived in happy fellowship from thence to his death. During this period he has aided in building one, if not two, chapels in Richardshaw Lane, and one Sunday School, and in the enlargement of the last two buildings. No man within the range of our acquaintance has been truer to the Church of his choice, taken a deeper interest in its welfare and progress, known more of its ministers and leading laymen, and more about its condition and work. From his young manhood to the last Conference but one, he seldom, if ever, missed attending the sittings of our highest annual assembly either as hearer or delegate, and seven years since next Conference he reached the highest honour he coveted in our Church – a permanent member of Conference. Any honour given him in our denomination he richly deserved, and any position and work assigned him he has ever sought conscientiously to fulfil to the best of his power. Nor has he allowed any other claims to come before the claims of his Church or the cause of Christ. While he served for years on Pudsey Old Local Board, Pudsey and Stanningley  Sunday School Union, and the United Free Churches’ Movement, yet no business, or local claims were allowed to push aside the claims of his own Church. For many years he was member of District Committee, trustee, treasurer, and leader, and for forty years superintendent of the Sunday School. He was greatly beloved by the children, and they would come to him in the street, or elsewhere, like coming to a grandfather. The most touching remarks made by those who came to see his corpse were those by the Sunday School scholars.

An incident which occurred near our Connexional property in Richardshaw Lane, and not far from our brother’s house and which he himself reported to the writer, is worth recording because it shows his Connexional loyalty and strong attachment to his Church. One day he was in the lane near the chapel when he was accosted by the clergyman of the Church near, who said, “Mr. Waterhouse, I have never yet seen you at the church.” “No, sir,” he relied, “I find no time. You see we have morning and evening service at our own place here, and school in the morning and afternoon. Then prayer meeting after the service at night, so you see, sir, my time is fully taken up every Sunday.” “Yes, yes,” said the parson, “but you should come to church, you know, the national Church.” “Well,” was the answer, “I don’t think I ought to come to church and neglect the children and my own place of worship.”  Changing his ground a little, the reverend gentleman, turning towards our chapel and school, remarked, “I understand you have a heavy debt on these buildings.”  “Not a very heavy debt, sir, but heavy enough for poor folk comparatively.” “Yes,” said he, “it must tax your pockets and be a great burden to you. Now see, I can show you how to case yourselves, and, indeed, get rid of your load. Sell the property to us, and we will turn it into a church mission. You can still worship and work here, and save your pocket.” That clergyman had succeeded in proselytising a number of our people away from us to the no small annoyance of our brother. So he warmly replied, “Oh, that’s it you are wanting now, then! Now, sir, you see that block of property there; and you see yon row houses yonder, and let me tell you I have a bit more property beside that, and all debtless, and not without a little invested capital. Now, all that, sir, has come out of these finger ends,” lifting both hands to show his fingers, “all by hard and honest toil. Now, sir,” said he,“I am going to tell you, all that would have to go – every bit – before that chapel and school would have to be sold from the Primitive Methodist Connexion to the National Church, as you call it.” The Church minister turned away, and I think he said had never spoken to him again.

Towards his latter end our aged brother became slowly more; and more infirm, but kept his mental faculties strong and clear, and his usual cheerfulness and confidence. An old class-mate not long before he finished reminded him of their singing in class, “On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand,” etc., and taking up the verses, he repeated all he had strength to, with great ecstacy, throwing up both arms in token of joy and triumph, particularly emphasising the verse, “No chilling winds,” etc. – alluding likely to the cold weather at the time. He passed away very peacefully of sheer exhaustion of nature, giving his partner a bright smile as he went.

The funeral service was conducted by Rev. H. Cooke, and Rev. J. Hawkins gave an appropriate address. Lessons were read by Rev. E. Dalton (who, with Councillor Chippendale, represented the General Committee), and Rev. W. Shaw; the Rev. W.R. Fallas offered prayer. A large number of people from far and near attended the funeral. On December 31, 1899, Rev. H. Cooke preached a memorial sermon to a crowded audience on Job v. 26.

May the God of all comfort sustain and bless his widow and the whole family, and help them to “rest in the Lord and wait patiently for Him.”


Isaac was born abt 1818 at Stanningley, Yorkshire. His father, John, was a cloth weaver.

Isaac married Maria Morris (abt1821) on 20 July 1820 at St Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Mary Ann (b1842) – married Thomas Wilkinson, a painter, in 1863

He married Phoebe Marshall (abt1816-1888) on 11 October 1852 at St. Peter, Leeds, Yorkshire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Moses Marshall (1854-1932) – a coal merchant (1899)

Isaac married Sophia Welham (1839-1914) in the spring of 1889 at Leeds, Yorkshire.


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1901/791

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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