James Godfrey (1852-91)


The death of Mr. James Godfrey removes another of our comparatively young tradesmen, among whom the mortality of 1891 has been exceptionally serious. Till within the last four years the deceased was the picture of robust health; and although he rallied after a severe attack of rheumatic fever he then had, he has since been less physically strong. About five months he desisted from business and has never since returned, the illness from which he suffered being a tumour in the region of the lungs and heart, and has been distressingly painful. Death came as a relief to his sufferings on the evening of Wednesday December 23rd.

Deceased was in partnership with his father as Godfrey & Son, bacon curers and grocers, and he had shown good business ability. He was formerly secretary of the Newbury Temperance Society, and also of the Newbury Band of Hope. Latterly his labours in the cause of temperance had been chiefly confined to Wash Common, and of the Primitive Methodist Sunday School there he was successively teacher and superintendent for 26 years, devoting a portion of his Sundays and one night a week to its interests.

The funeral took place on Tuesday afternoon, the body being brought to the Primitive Methodist Church, of which he was one of the trustees. The service was read by the Revrs. J.H. Green and W.J.T. Scruby, and an address given by the Rev. D. Harding, who recounted some of the more salient features in the character of the deceased as a Christian worker, more especially his zeal in the Sabbath School and the temperance cause, and the satisfaction of knowing that though death had broken in abruptly on a life of usefulness, and one they would have wished protracted on account of his family and the church, yet they had unfaltering confidence on God’s gracious purpose, and the unerring wisdom which directed all His dealings with the sons of men. Two hymns were sung, commencing with “Hark, a voice divides the sky,” and “Say, why should friendship grieve.” The children of Wash Common School, who were in attendance, also sang the hymn “They are waiting for the coming.” As the body was removed a funeral dirge was played, and a number of the congregation joined the cortège, the procession also including the scholars of Wash Common Sunday School and about 30 Rechabites wearing scarves, the deceased having been an honorary member from the opening of the tent in Newbury.

At the cemetery the service was concluded and around the open grave was sung the hymn “Give me the wings of faith to rise,” to the tune “Welcome Home.” The ceremony was deeply impressive, and a large number of persons were present. The coffin, which was covered with wreaths, was borne by Messrs. Willis, G. Attewell, Church, and J. Coventry, of Wash Common, and the mourners included the widow and two sons, Stanley and Egbert, Mr. Godfrey (the father), Mr. William Godfrey and Miss Godfrey (brother and sister), Rev. C. and Mrs. Spooner (London), Mr. Sendall (Horsham), Mrs. Chamberlain, Mrs. Sydney Heath, Mrs. Harding, Mrs. Green, Mrs Scruby, &.

It is understood that some reference to the deceased will be made on Sunday evening next at Wash Common Chapel.

The funeral arrangements were carried out by Messrs. Lucas & Son.

Newbury Weekly News 31 December 1891



No Comments

Start the ball rolling by posting a comment on this page!

Add a comment about this page

Your email address will not be published.