Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by R. Langford
MRS. FANNY PARKER, of Longbridge Deverill, Wilts, was the daughter of respectable parents, who were strongly attached to the Church of England and were firmly persuaded that all other sects and creeds were wrong, so that our departed sister was thoroughly indoctrinated into Episcopalianism. Strictly moral and upright in all her demeanour, studious in her habits, and a well informed young woman, but with all those excellences and praiseworthy acquirements, she was a stranger to vital Christianity, though at times she heard the whispering and felt the influence of the Holy Spirit, suggesting that all was not right within. Thus she lived and struggled on in the regions of moral darkness, with here and there a streak of light in the distant horizon; this was a cause of great perturbation of mind, yet she knew not where to look for peace and consolation. It appears that nothing remarkable occurred in her history, so as to fully convince her of her lost state without an interest in the merits of Christ, till she was about twenty-three years of age. About that time she went into Wales, to visit a sister who was afflicted; while there, knowing herself to be beyond the scrutinizing eye of parental vigilance, she availed herself of an opportunity to attend a Wesleyan chapel; this was the first time that she ever visited any Dissenting place of worship, consequently the service was to her a novelty, but nevertheless striking and impressive. At the Meeting in question, it was announced that there would be a watch night meeting held in the chapel at a time specified; when the time arrived, she attended the meeting, and during the solemn exercises of that night the word of God entered her heart with great power; her eyes were suffused with tears, and her heart oppressed with sorrow, she retired to rest under the pent-up feelings of conviction and remorse, but, during her broken slumbers, the Lord spoke peace to her troubled soul, and from that period till the end of her earthly career she was a persevering and a consistent Christian.
She remained in Wales about a month after her conversion, knowing with what rigid tenacity her parents adhered to the Establishment and their entire abhorrence to all other sects, she naturally enough expected persecution from that source; as she had imbibed that religion which differed from the world in all its bearings, she knew well that the change could not be kept from their cognizance, for she had laid by her gaudy attire and assumed that plain garb which becomes the Christian. As might be expected, she met with determined opposition; but, without swerving from the point, she maintained her ground and held on the even tenor of her way; she was ultimately appointed a class-leader in the old body, and was highly respected. Some of her old class-mates are still surviving, who speak of her worth with the highest respect. John Joseph Harrison, a Primitive Methodist missionary, visited these parts; she was much pleased with his zealous and animated preaching, and as often as convenient she formed part of his auditory, and after some time, having well weighed the matter, she left the Wesleyan body and became a member with us. I know not the date of her admission into society, but, as she received her first ticket from brother John Prince, it cannot be less than thirty years since.
Our people soon discovered that she possessed a strong love for the souls of mankind, and added to that she possessed a moderate share of scholastic intelligence, with a good share of common sense, consequently she was soon appointed to preach, and as she made great proficiency in that capacity, she was taken out to travel in the Bath Circuit, but here again the date is wanting, neither do I know how long she remained labouring in that circuit, but she came to Shefford Circuit in the spring of 1834. She travelled in the Farringdon, Shefford, and Andover branches perhaps eighteen months, and about twelve months of that time she was a co-partner with me in labour and toil. I always thought her to be a woman of deep piety and good ability; she was persevering, as far as health and strength would admit, but she never had bodily strength to cope with the labours of so large a sphere of action.
In manner she was rather stern. In the fall of the year 1835, she was advised to go home to recruit her health, and as the brethren saw no hope of her being able to labour in any regular way, they ultimately wrote to her, to inform her that it was their opinion she had better remain at home, as travelling would be increasingly injurious to her already enfeebled constitution. I am not aware that she was ever pledged by any circuit. Soon after her return home, she was united in marriage to Mr. John Parker, a respected local preacher in the Frome Circuit; this union caused her to remove from her native village, Kingston Deverill, to Longbridge Deverill. I believe their union was prudent and happy. They were spared to labour together for many years in the vineyard of Christ, with advantage to themselves and with benefit to the cause of God. She was quite a mother in Israel, kind and hospitable to both travelling and local preachers, for they always when needful found repose beneath her roof. Her last affliction, which was dropsy, was long and painful, the whole of which she bore with Christian fortitude and lamb-like patience, till, overpowered with age, pain, and toil, she turned her pale visage to the wall and gathered up her feet in death, on the 28th of April, 1858, aged sixty-eight years, having been a subject of Gospel salvation forty-five years.
Fanny was born in 1789 at Kingston Deverill, Wiltshire, to parents Thomas and Anne. She was baptised on 22 November 1780 at Monkton Deverill.
She married John Parker (b abt1790), who worked the land, in early 1838 in the Mere Registration District, Wiltshire.
The 1851 census return records Fanny working as a school mistress.
Fanny died on 18 April 1858 at Longbridge Deverill, Wiltshire.
- 1834 Shefford
- 1835 disappears
Primitive Methodist Magazine 1858/461
W Leary, Directory of Primitive Methodist Ministers and their Circuits, 1990
Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers