Wattes, James (1801-1836)
MEMOIR OF JAMES WATTES,
(Local Preacher, Cwm circuit.)
James Wattes was born at Little Corvern, about the year 1801; and, like most of the Herefordshire people, he was brought up to husbandry. – Perhaps no county was freer from Methodism than this; but of late there has been a great change.
James was led, through curiosity, to Acton preaching, where his mind got enlightened. He began to pray, to believe, and turn to God with his whole heart. He afterwards became an eminent local preacher. He was the first on the plan of the Bromyard branch of Cwm circuit, and was well received by the people.
Whether his appointments were three, six, twelve, or twenty miles off, he was always at his post. Also the Committee say, he has gone miles after the close of his days’ labour, to supply appointments.
He was a hard working man, had a large family, and had to endure many afflictions.
He was the leader of Acton class, and was very diligent in visiting his members. He also took an active part in meetings for business, being a member of the branch committee. He frequently accompanied the writer of this memoir after the night’s preaching at Acton to converse on the welfare of the branch. His heart was in the work.
Soon after our September quarterly meeting, 1836, he was seized with the small pox, then very prevalent. I took the first opportunity to visit him. The scene was distressing. A child of his, dreadfully burnt in the hop yard, lay in agonies on a sort of bed by his side; and he himself was covered with large pocks.
Mrs. Presdee had enabled me to administer to his temporal wants. After prayer I left him, but soon saw him again. His child’s agonies had ceased, its spirit had fled to its rest. He, Brother Wattes, spoke of heavenly messengers visiting him, and of his departed child being with those celestial visiters. I felt a solemn awe. I saw him once after this, but no more.
(Approved by the Branch Committee.)
Thomas Wattes, brother of James, and who was a local preacher on trial, caught the small pox, and died soon after; as did also James Wright, a member of our F. Hill society.
Primitive Methodist Magazine, 1838. Pages 133-134.