Carr, Robert (1850-1889)

Transcription of obituary published in the Minutes of Conference by R Jones

ROBERT CARR was born at Leadgate, in the county of Durham, on April 16th, 1850, and died at Parkside, Adelaide, South Australia, June 23rd, 1889. When about 21 years of age he went to reside at Castleside, near Consett, in the Shotley Bridge circuit. Occasionally he attended the Primitive Methodist chapel there, and during some special services conducted in that place he resolved to live the Christian life. The spiritual conflict through which he then passed was exceedingly severe, but it was decisive. He at once joined the church, and his conversion was followed by that of his parents, who also joined. His education up to this time was very imperfect. But his conversion, and the consequent desire for usefulness, revealed to him at once the need and the method of self-improvement. He applied himself diligently in his brief leisure to study. His profiting soon appeared to all, notably so to the Rev. T. Southron, at that time superintendent of the circuit. Mr. Southron took great interest in him, and directed his studies; and encouraged by him he was led to offer himself for the ministry. 

After spending a year at the Institute at Sunderland, he was stationed in 1876 to Manchester First circuit. He subsequently laboured in the Manchester Third, Rochdale, Liverpool Second, Liverpool First, Blackpool, Earlstown, and Douglas circuits. 

In 1880 he married Miss Linnley, of Whittonstall. But their union was of short duration, for in January of the following year she was suddenly cut off. Her death shadowed the remainder of his life. In May, 1887, he married Miss Meredith, of Bootle, in the Liverpool Second circuit. Again the union was short, but this time it was he who fell. 

From the first Brother Carr was a diligent and accurate student. His great ambition was to be a worthy follower of Jesus Christ, and an able exponent of His teachings and will. By dint of patient study he acquired an intimate acquaintance with the Hebrew Bible and the Greek Testament and Biblical criticism. He had also an extensive and accurate knowledge of all the great currents of philosophical and speculative thought active to-day. He was liberal in his beliefs and teachings, and at times gave some concern to friends who, while they greatly admired him, did not altogether understand him. All that is essential, however, to the highest form and experience of the Christian life, and to its richest and rarest power Brother Carr held with tenacious grip. In his ministry he strove particularly to be helpful to the young people in his congregations who were perplexed by doubt and. beset with temptation and peril. In life he was guileless as a little child, utterly incapable of meanness, a fearless foe, but forgiving as fearless, and a faithful and affectionate friend. 

As a pastor he was diligent and always overflowing with sympathy and help for the sorrowing and needy. His manliness, his courage. his sympathy. his charity, and his devotion to duty, always impressed his people with the reality and depth of his spiritual life. Those who knew Brother Carr intimately expected great things from him. Had he been spared we do not doubt these hopes would have been amply realised. But the Master willed otherwise. In the spring of 1889 the symptoms of consumption asserted themselves. He went to Bournemouth, but in vain. The Rev. H. Gilmore and family were going to Adelaide, and he resolved to accompany them. Many of his friends thought this unwise, but he persisted. During the voyage he gradually sank, and when on June 6th he arrived, it was quite apparent he had only gone to find a grave. The Rev. J. Goodwin opened his hospitable door to him, where he was nursed with all the care and attention which the thoughtful love of Mrs. Goodwin could bestow. When he realised that his end was approaching he was perfectly resigned. His only care from the first had been his wife and their dear child. Death had no terrors for him. On Sabbath evening, June 23rd, he calmly fell asleep, like a tired child, to awake in the presence and home of that Father whose fellowship he had so long shared, whose love he had delighted to proclaim, and whose service had been the joy and glory of his life. 

He was interred on the following Tuesday in the lovely little cemetery attached to the Primitive Methodist chapel, Payneham, just outside the city of Adelaide. An address full of tender sympathy and warm appreciation was delivered in the chapel by the Rev. H. Gilmore, and the service at the graveside was conducted by the Rev. J. Goodwin. The news of his death, though not altogether a surprise, was yet extremely sad to his many friends in the Liverpool and Manchester Districts. In behalf of Mrs. Carr and these friends, we tender our warmest thanks to Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore for their kindness and attention to him during the voyage, and especially to Mr. and Mrs. Goodwin for their beautiful, loving ministry to one who was previously a stranger, and whose loved ones were far away. Doubtless they were rewarded for this service by the undying faith, the sweet simplicity, and the affectionate gratitude of our dear brother. This they testify in their letters to Mrs. Carr. But we gladly put on record the high appreciation and the warmest thanks of the Liverpool and Manchester Districts and Mrs. Carr for their timely sympathy and Christian hospitality. May the good Father in heaven graciously succour the lone wife in her bereavement, and protect and prosper her dear boy.

Family

Robert was born on 16 April 1850 at Leadgate, Co. Durham, to parents Samuel, an ironstone miner (1851) and later a coal miner (1871), and Isabella.

Robert worked as a coal miner (1871) before entering the ministry..

He married Jane Lumley (1840-1881) – (not Linnley as in obituary) in the summer of 1880 in the Hexham Registration District, Northumberland.

He married Sarah Elizabeth Meredith (1857-1949) in May 1887 at Bootle, Lancashire. Census returns identify one child.

  • Robert Meredith (1888-1918) – a school master (1911); killed in action (WW1)

Robert died on 23 June 1889 in Adelaide, South Australia.

Sarah married Hubert P Hughes in 1913.

Circuits

  • Sunderland
  • 1876 Manchester I
  • 1878 Manchester III
  • 1880 Rochdale
  • 1881 Liverpool II
  • 1885 Liverpool I
  • 1886 Earlstown
  • 1888 Douglas
  • 1889 N Adelaide

References

PM Minutes 1890/19

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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