Jane CURRY, the Minister’s Mother 1823 – 1891

by Annette Edwards

Jane Williams was born in Anglesey about 1823, she was the daughter of Hugh and Grace Williams of Careg-Cwrnach, a smallholding in Amlwch.

In 1843 she married John Curry, a copper miner from the same village.  His father David, was also a miner, his mother was Ellinor.

By 1851 they had They were living in the family home – Careg-Cwrnach in 1851 with 4 children Robert 6 , David 2, Hugh 2 and  James  who was 8 months old.   

John died in 1854, he was only 32.

Jane remained in her home working as a dressmaker, and in 1871 only Robert and Hugh were still alive, both were Weslyan Ministers.

Robert married Mary Jones on 7 Nov 1876 at Sion Wesleyan Methodist chapel, Chester Street, Liverpool, she was the only daughter of Richard Jones, a builder.  Mary died on 23rd November 1887 at 14, Wellington Place, Wrexham, she was only 32. Robert was left with 5 young children to care for. Jane went to live with Robert at his home in Wesley Mount, Bagillt but died there died on 6 September 1891. She was buried in Wrexham with Mary.  In November the same year, Robert remarried to Margaret Elizabeth Davies, the daughter of David Davies.

An obituary in Welsh was published in Y GWYLIEDYDD on 16 September 1891.

Y Gwyliedydd (established by the Wesleyan Church in 1877) was a weekly Welsh language newspaper, distributed in districts of North and South Wales

DEATH OF MRS. CURRY, MOTHER OF ROBERT AND HUGH CURRY, WESLEYAN MINISTERS.

The godly old sister, Jane Curry, died at her eldest son’s house, the Rev. R. Curry, Bagillt, on Sunday evening, the 6th inst., aged 68; and she was buried, according to her wishes, according to her daughter-in-law  (Mrs R. Curry) at the Wrexham public burial ground the following Wednesday.

Mrs Curry was a true Christian, thorough, and very clever and a firm Wesleyan of the old stamp. She was the daughter of Hugh and Grace Williams of Careg-Cwrnach, a pleasant smallholding near Amlwch, Anglesey. Her father was a respected and useful elder in Amlwch, and her mother one of the greats of the earth. She was one of the five who formed our church in Amlwch at the outset.          `

Hugh and Grace Williams had two children – Mrs Curry, and a brother, who died at the age of 15 years. Mrs Curry recalled a comment made by the late Rev. Rowland Hughes, when he called at her father’s house a few hours after her brother’s death: “When I was here before,” he said, “I knew more than the young man, but now he knows much more than me.” Mrs Curry’s father and mother, while she was not quite young, went to the good country beyond the black river; and the old home was kept up from the aunt of her aunt, sister of her faithful and steadfast Christian Wesleyan mother.

After a few years the young orphan (Jane) became married to Mr John Curry – the son of a Calvinist couple whose beliefs and denomination were less zealous, until that time in Anglesey. But the young man did not profess religion; and the result was that Mrs Curry was expelled, by the late Rev. Edward Anwyl, for “marrying a man of the world”; what he also did, at the same time, to one of his own daughters for the same crime. But neither Mrs Curry nor Mrs Tiddy (Mr Anwyl’s Daughter) would want to expel them.

At night they could live without going to class; and when Tuesday came, though they were denounced before the whole church on a Sabbath night, they were in their class. Mrs Curry thought very highly of this medicine from grace to the end of her life. The third Sunday after her marriage, her husband went with her to the Wesleyan chapel without ever prompting or asking him, but without much prayer for him. He was returned under the powerful ministry of the late Rev. Methusaleh Thomas. When his wife’s aunt, to whom reference had already been made, saw that he had remained in the seiat, she broke her joy over the limits, and justified herself by bearing two reasons; that a 20-year-old young man seeks salvation; and that Carreg-Cwrnach was not lost to the Wesleyans.

Mrs Curry had her part of the left foot of the floor. Her husband died at the early age of 32 years. He died happily; but she was left to face the difficulties of a widow. She also buried five of her children: four small, and one a 22-year-old young man. But despite being left a widow early in her life, God, her father, and her mother and her husband, were her God; and she had the privilege of bringing up the boys who had been left in her care of the Lord and was delighted to have her children walking in earnest. After the death of her daughter-in-law she moved to take care of her son’s house, and was, as before, a good mother to him, and a good Grandmother to his beloved toddlers, while her health continued.

She had little health after her move to Bagillt, a year ago; indeed she had a long and heavy affliction for a long time; but she wanted nothing from heaven or earth. Her beloved son was especially gentle of her and kind to her; and she had the subsistence and comforts of religion in abundance, her trust in the Lord firm and steadfast; and so she entered into the joy of her Lord, having lived well, and having done and enjoyed much good.

Before her mortal remains began from the house, several Bagillt faithful had come to show her respect, and condolences to her family. Sections of the Bible were read by the Rev. D. Jones, Holywell, and the Rev. W. H. Evans, Chester, prayed. Several friends, such as Messrs Isaac Hughes, R. J. Jones, H. T. Barker, T. Gratton Thomas, J, W. Barker, and others, went all the way to Wrexham.  And the ministers named above were distressed by the inability to do so due to unavoidable circumstances.

Served in the chapel in Wrexham, and on the graveside, by the Rev. John Pearce, Cefn Mawr, very purposefully. The friends of Wrexham came briefly to meet the burial. Among them were Dr Parry Jones, Messrs W Owen, J. Hughes, T. Hughes (draper), R. Morris, J. W. Jones, and John Owen. Dr Parry Jones and others provided food for the friends who had come from Bagillt.

Translation from Welsh by Alex Greene.

As the translation is practically word for word from the original and quite difficult to fully understand, Alex has kindly also done a summary of Jane`s life.

THE NEWSPAPER STORY STARTS AT THE END, with Jane’s death in her eldest son’s house, and her burial at Wrexham Cemetery.

The article then covers a life of scandal, misfortune, and a faith in the Lord as strong as Job. Jane’s heart was kind throughout her 68 years. Born in Anglesey to two zealous Wesleyans, they were co-founders of the Anglesey Wesleyan community.

Jane’s brother died, aged 15 years. The late Rev. Rowland Hughes said something which stayed with Jane: “When I was here before,” he said, “I knew more than the young man, but now he knows much more than me.”

The article poetically describes Jane’s parents’ death as going “to the good country beyond the black river.” Her aunt looked after the old house and Jane continued to live there and look after the place.

There was a scandalous marriage to Mr John Curry – “the son of a Calvinist couple whose beliefs and denomination were less zealous, until that time in Anglesey.”

However, John “did not profess religion,” and the late Rev. Edward Anwyl actually expelled her for “marrying a man of the world.” This pompous zealot was at least consistent – he’d expelled one of his own daughters for the same thing, which the article actually describes as “the same crime.” However, neither Mrs Curry nor Mrs Tiddy (Mr Anwyl’s Daughter) wanted to expel them.

They sneaked into Church, her husband going with her just to be with her and to make sure she was okay with the Lord – “At night they could live without going to class; and when Tuesday came, though they were denounced before the whole church on a Sabbath night, they were in their class. Mrs Curry thought very highly of this medicine from grace to the end of her life. The third Sunday after her marriage, her husband went with her to the Wesleyan chapel without ever prompting or asking him, but without much prayer for him.”

This was received with good news – “When his wife’s aunt, to whom reference had already been made, saw that he had remained in the seiat, (religious meeting)  she broke her joy over the limits, and justified herself by bearing two reasons; that a 20-year-old young man seeks salvation; and that Carreg-Cwrnach was not lost to the Wesleyans.”

She and John had six children between them. Only one survived. Her beloved but non-religious husband John also passed away, at the age of 32 years. John was at peace when he died, but life for widows was harsh, and when her daughter-in-law also died, she moved to her son’s home to look after him, until the tables were reversed and he had to look after her in her remaining years.

She remained a faithful Christian and a loving mother and Grandmother for the rest of her life, but the bad luck in her life took a toll on her, and her health declined. In the words of the article, “Her beloved son was especially gentle of her, and kind to her; and she had the subsistence and comforts of religion in abundance, her trust in the Lord firm and steadfast; and so she entered into the joy of her Lord, having lived well, and having done and enjoyed much good.”

Her wishes had been to be buried in Wrexham Cemetery. On hearing of her death, friends turned up to offer respects and condolences, passages from the Bible were read, and some of her friends took the long journey with Jane to Wrexham, where they were met by her friends from Wrexham, and refreshments provided for those who’d joined her on the journey to the cemetery.

Robert Curry died in 1909.  His obituary was published 5 June 1909 Rhyl Advertiser.

DEATH OF THE REV. R. CURRY. We regret to announce the death of the Rev Robert Curry, which took place with painful suddeness on Wednesday, at his house on the West Parade, in his 62nd year. The deceased gentleman was a retired Welsh Wesleyan Minister, having had considerable ministerial experience both in North and South Wales. He was connected with various circuits for 29 years, including North Wales, Abergele, Denbigh, Coedpoeth, Bagillt, Conway, Llangollen, and Hanley.  Rev Curry came to Rhyl nine years as a supernumery, owing to failing health. Every where his ministrations proved to be most acceptable, and he was always considered a popular and successful minister. He was a native of Amlwch and his loss is deeply felt by the widow and three daughters who were quite overcome with the suddenness of the end. Only last year Mr Curry and his family sustained a severe

 Bereavement in the death of his only son—a blow from which he hardly recovered. Deep sympathy has been extended to the widow and family. The funeral takes place on Saturday, and a service is to be held at Brunswick at 2 o’clock

Researched by Annette Edwards.  Many thank to Alex Greene.

Translation from Welsh by Alex Greene.

Grave ref: Wrexham Cemetery D-04000