Ride, Martha (nee Doncaster) (1804-1873)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by J. Thos. Pithouse

Martha Ride was the wife of the first Primitive Methodist missionary sent to Victoria, Australia. Paul said, I have finished my course; our sister has finished hers, and it was a lengthy course. Sixty-nine years and seven months she lived, and at the age of nine she was made a child of God, and an heir to the kingdom of heaven. Her conversion took place in Derbyshire; and the instrument God used to accomplish it was a Sabbath School teacher.

Her course. was a very rugged one. At the age of seventeen she began to preach the gospel to others. When nineteen she became the wife of the late Rev. John Ride, with him she endured the hardships and privations peculiar to early Primitive Methodist missionaries. She laboured many years on the Home Mission field, and in the year 1849 left England with her respected husband for Victoria, Australia. Two years and ten months she lived in Melbourne, from thence she went to locate at Benalla, where she remained till within six months of her death, when she removed to her son-in-law’s, at Brighton. But though rugged hers was a useful course. Not so useful the last few years of her life: we heard her speak of seeing scores of precious souls converted, of revival services in which she took part with the Revs. H. Bourne, J. Petty, and others, and after thus speaking of what she had witnessed, she gave a deep sigh, and then (with emphasis) exclaimed, “that was before we came to Australia.”

Her course was marked by circumstances over which she mourned, and would fain obliterate from the history of her life. The result of one wrong step in a family has been a maze of difficulty. Her last days were her best. During her illness, which lasted six months, she was endued with great patience and moral fortitude. When told by her medical adviser that he could not heal her, she replied, “The Lord’s will be done,” and resolved to wait patiently for the hour of dissolution. Pain of body often caused her to groan aloud, but she never murmured. At times her happiness was so great, that people passing the house could hear her praising God. She often sang “Gather at the river,” and talked of the company awaiting her, viz., her late husband, H. Bourne, J. Petty, and other early Primitive Methodist preachers. Five days before her death we administered the sacrament of the Lord’s supper to her, when she exclaimed, “O the blood, the precious blood! O the atonement! the atonement! O the love! the love of Jesus!” 

We stood by her as she passed through the Jordan; we wiped the death dew from her brow, and put water to her parched lips, and now and then we ventured to speak, “Hush! she said, I hear the angels, do you hear them?” We listened, all was silent, “A holy quiet reigned around.” “Victory! victory! victory !” she exclaimed, and at 7 o’clock, a.m., November 12, 1873, she left earth for that land

Where the anthems of glory unceasingly roll,
And the smile of the Lord enraptures the soul.


Martha was baptised on 31 October 1804 at Brailsford, Derbyshire. Her parents were William, a victualler and Mary

She married John Ride on 18 March 1824 at Oakengates, Shropshire. They had eight children.

  • Mira (1826-1904)
  • John (1827-1912)
  • Priscilla (1829-1890)
  • Mary (1830-1902)
  • Edwin (1833-1906)
  • William (1837-1882)
  • Jabez (1839-1852)
  • Mark (1840-1841)

Martha died on 12 November 1873 at Brighton, Victoria.


  • 1822 Tunstall
  • 1823 Darlaston (6 mths)
  • 1823 Ramsor (6 mths)
  • 1824 Oakengates
  • 1825 ceased


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1875/553

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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