Fenwick, Robert (1836-1861)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by T Hindley

ROBERT FENWICK was born at Haslingden in 1837. During his boyhood he manifested a very spirited disposition of mind, and was at times very bad to manage; but being blessed with pious parents, both of whom were members of our society, they endeavoured to train up their children in the fear of the Lord. His mother frequently spoke to him of good things, and used to exhort him to be a good boy; and he would very seriously say, that he would some time become a good boy, and that he would also be a preacher. He was sent to our Sabbath-school, and it is said by his teachers that he was difficult to control for a time, but he had not been a scholar long before he began to manifest a serious concern for his soul’s salvation. He sought the Lord by earnest prayer and deep penitence of heart, and wept bitterly on account of his sins; but ultimately he was brought to see clearly the plan of salvation. He ventured his soul on the atonement of Christ, and obtained redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. He forthwith joined our society at his native place, and from this time he became a devoted follower of Christ. 

He was often found in private, wrestling with God in prayer. His class-meeting was a real delight to him. He was punctual in his attendance at the means of grace, and signs of adaptation for usefulness soon manifested themselves. Hence in 1854 his name was placed on the preachers’ plan among those of exhorters, and in 1855 he was advanced to an approved preacher. He was attentive to his appointments, and was acceptable and useful in his public ministrations,

In April, 1859, he was called into the regular ministry by the Oldham Circuit, and laboured with great acceptance till July, 1860, when he was removed to Rochdale, where he was well received and very useful. He returned home in December of that year, evidently far gone in a consumption. His affliction was protracted and severe, and he often expressed a desire to recover that he might resume his labours. But when he was informed that there was no hope of his recovery, he cheerfully acquiesced, saying, “It is all right;” adding, “I am the Lord’s, and he is mine.”

He enjoyed perfect peace In prospect of his departure, which event occurred on the morning of Friday, April 5th, 1861, in the twenty-fourth year of his age and the second of his itinerancy. At his funeral a large number of friends from Oldham, Rochdale, and Haslingden were present. The Rev. R. Hill, his superintendent, delivered a short address, and the scene was very affecting. Many felt the force of that saying in the book of Ecclesiastes, “It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.” May those that were present, and all that read this short sketch meet him in the better land. Amen.

[As I was in the Haslingden Circuit when Brother Fenwick was put on the plan, and was in the Oldham Circuit, as superintendent, when he was taken into the regular ministry, and repeatedly visited him after he became unable to labour, I may state that I have good reason to believe that he was a devoted young man, and was very much respected. He would have been useful to many, I doubt not, had his life been spared. But our loss is his infinite gain. By some oversight, no memoir of him has been prepared for the Magazine until now; but I give insertion to this short account as soon as it has come to hand.—ED.]

Family

Robert was born on 22 August 1836 at Haslingden, Lancashire, to parents Henry, a cotton overlooker, and Jane. he was baptised on 4 September 1836 at St. James, Haslingden.

Robert died on 5 April 1861 at Haslingden, Lancashire.

Circuits

  • 1859 Oldham
  • 1860 Rochdale

References

Primitive Methodist Magazine 1863/130

PM Minutes 1861/6

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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