Barber, Susannah (nee Perry) (1776-1851)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by W. Ball

SUSANNAH BARBER. She was born at Nottingham, in the year of our Lord 1776, and was brought to God at the age of eighteen years, under the powerful ministry of Mr. Bramwell and other Methodist preachers. Her piety became deep; and her zeal for the glory of God and the salvation of sinners intense; and believing that she would be most useful, among our people, she united with them soon after they came to Nottingham. 

In the course of time she was employed as a local preacher and afterwards as a travelling preacher; and laboured successively in Newark, Barnsley, Huddersfield, Sheffield, and Bradwell circuits. She was one of the first who missioned Huddersfield, —where she met with much opposition and persecution, being then apprehended and cast into prison, along with, the late W. Taylor; the constable who took them thither, saying, “I have often taken drunken devils to prison, but now I am taking praying ones.” But while incarcerated, our sister could say with the apostle, “None of these thing. move me: either count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might. finish my course with joy, and the ministry which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.” 

On another occasion, when she was preaching, a “lewd fellow of the baser sort” swore he would kill her, and came towards her to lay hold of her, but was hindered in his approach by the people, until she cried out, “Let him come; make way for him!” When he came up to her, she laid her hand upon his head, and began to sing

“Stop, poor sinner! stop and think,
Before you further go;”

and the lion was immediately turned into a lamb,—this vile persecutor becoming a penitent by the saving grace of Christ. Our sister was indefatigable in labour, and was the honoured instrument in the conversion of many. 

On one occasion, in Yorkshire, while preaching an impressive sermon, many were awakened; and her own daughter, among others, came to the penitent form to be prayed for, when she, placing her hand upon her daughter’s head, stood with her eyes uplifted to heaven, engaged in solemn and earnest prayer, and never ceased, nor removed her hand till her daughter found peace.

She earnestly sought the salvation of souls, nor could she be content without seeing some fruit of her labours.

While in Bradwell circuit she became acquainted with Mr. J. Barber, to whom she was afterwards married; and subsequently she located at Waterside, in the New Mills circuit. There she prosecuted her labours as a local preacher, until the great Head of the church called her to the “rest that remains for the people of God.”

She was a loving wife, an affectionate mother, a good neighbour, and a sympathising friend. 

In 1834 she was bereaved of her husband, but through grace she was enabled to say, “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away: blessed be the name of the Lord.” Her last illness was short but severe, and she bore it with Christian fortitude and patience, and to the closing scene retained unshaken confidence in the Captain of her salvation. She entertained humiliating views of herself, and said to her son, “I want you to say nothing about me after I am dead, but that I have been an unprofitable servant.”

She departed this life on June 26, 1851, in the 75th year of her age, haying been a member of our Society about 40 years.


Susannah was born in 1776 at Nottingham, Nottinghamshire.

She married Isaac Barber on 1 February 1822 at Hope, Derbyshire. The marriage record identifies that Susannah was a widow at the time of her marriage to Isaac.

Susannah died on 26 June 1851 at Glossop, Derbyshire.

I have not been able to identify Susannah’s children in online records. Can anyone point me in the right direction?


  • 1821 Sheffield
  • 1822 disappears


W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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