Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J.T.
Mrs. Mary Ann, widow of the late Rev. James WALKER, aged sixty-nine years, died at Great Yarmouth, her native place, April 23, 1878. Her mother, Mrs. Wright, was one of the first Primitive Methodists in Yarmouth, and was one of the first to open the door of her cottage home for religious services. Mrs. Walker being brought up amid the simplicity, earnestness, and rich spiritual influences of those days was early impressed, and lived near the gates of the kingdom for several years. At the age of twenty-eight years she pressed in, and became and continued a faithful subject of saving grace. On October 29, 1838, she became the wife of the earnest and laborious Primitive Methodist minister, the Rev. James Walker—a union happy, but painfully short, for it was severed by death in the year 1845. The widow, with heart bleeding with grief, and having four children to sustain, submissively bowed to the Divine will, and located at Yarmouth.
Mrs. Walker even now found opportunity for usefulness. She became tho leader of a class in the Priory Plain society, and was greatly beloved. There was nothing spasmodic in her religious experience; it kept an even tenor. Her piety shed its gentle genial rays abroad wherever she went, but was seen to the greatest advantage amid the quietude of home. She kept a strict watchfulness over her tongue, seasoning her conversation with grace, as becometh everyone professing godliness.
About five years ago, Mrs. Walker had an attack of bronchitis which assumed the chronic type, and henceforth confined her almost exclusively to her home. Her strength was dreadfully reduced, her sufferings very acute and prolonged. But she endured with marvellous patience, was never heard to murmur or repine, but much to praise and pray. She thus ‘glorified the Lord in the fires.’ She took frequent opportunity, too, to give sympathetic words of counsel and warning to those that came within her reach.
When coming toward the close of her pilgrimage, she appeared to have striking forebodings of her end; but death had no terrors, his sting had lost its poison. The Sunday before her death, she said, ‘I am patiently waiting for the Master.’ When life was fast ebbing out she said, ‘I am in the valley, but I am in my Heavenly Father’s hands.’ Her last words caught on earth were, ‘Blessed Jesus!’ and she joined the chorus of the skies. The moral excellences of the parents are inherited by the children, three of whom survive, who are admirably serving their generation within the sphere of the Connexion of their early days.
Mary was born abt1808 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk to parents Benjamin Wright and Maria Fuller. She was baptised on 25 October 1808 at Great Yarmouth.
Mary married James Walker on 29 October 1838 at Soham Toney, Norfolk. Census returns identify four children.
- James (1841-1862) – a slater (1861); a PM minister
- Elizabeth (1842-1907) – a dressmaker
- Zacharias (1842-1900) – a tailor
- Susanna (1844-1918) – a milliner (1861); married George Rudram, a PM Minister, in 1866
Mary died on 23 April 1878 at Great Yarmouth, Norfolk..
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1880/119
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers