Rivers, Friend (1846-1871)

Transcription of obituary published in the Primitive Methodist Magazine by John Tuck

The Rev. Friend Rivers was born May 1st, 1846, at New Swindon, in the county of Wilts, and died at Frome, in Somerset, April 11th, 1871. He was blessed with pious parents and was early taken to the Sabbath-school. At the age of fifteen, under a sermon preached in the Wesleyan Chapel, Frome, by the Rev. Richard Roberts, he was awakened to a sense of his sinful state, led to believe in Christ, and experienced a death unto sin and a birth unto righteousness. He became a member of the Wesleyans, and soon began to exercise his gifts by prayer and exhortation.

About the year 1864 he removed into Yorkshire, and in the Pontefract circuit joined our Connexion, and became a very useful local preacher among us, and the Conference of 1867 called him into the regular ministry. He travelled in the following stations: Middleham, Leeds second, Clayton West, and Chipping Norton. In each of the above stations he laboured with great zeal, was successful in the conversion of sinners, and much beloved and respected by all who knew him.

In February, 1871, he was obliged to cease from his labours and visit his friends, in order to rest for a time. But it was soon found that disease had taken him in the left lung; hence he rapidly sank, and slept in Jesus. His struggles in death were great, but while sinking in the river he could shout, “Glory” and praise the Lord for victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. His friends very much mourn their loss, but they laid him in the grave in sure and certain hope of a joyful resurrection.


Friend was born on 1 May 1846 at Swindon, Wiltshire, to parents Richard, a carpenter and joiner (1851), and Ann. He was baptised on 10 June 1846 in the Wesley Methodist Chapel, Swindon.

The 1861 census return records Friend as a pianoforte case maker.

Friend died on 11 April 1871 at Frome, Somerset.


  • 1867 Middleham
  • 1868 Leeds II
  • 1869 Clayton West
  • 1870 Chipping Norton


Primitive Methodist Magazine 1872/562

PM Minutes 1871/11

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

Census Returns and Births, Marriages & Deaths Registers

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