Jane Williamson

(16/11/1814 - 18/07/1896)

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Born: 16/11/1814 at Ballincollig, County Cork, Ireland Certified Father: James Williamson (Born 00/00/0000)
Died: 18/07/1896 Certified Mother: Ann Stewart
Children: Jane Elizabeth Hartley (Died 01/12/1877)
(female) Hartley
Anna Christiana Hartley (00/00/1840 - 02/05/1874)
William James Hartley (21/04/1845 - 31/08/1898)
Robert Taylor Hartley (30/01/1848 - 00/00/1918)
Stewart Williamson Hartley (00/00/1850 - 25/09/1909)
Siblings: Stewart Williamson Rev
(male) Williamson
Anne Williamson
(female 2) Williamson
James Williamson (00/00/1822 - 01/11/1839)

Robert Hartley Rev. on 12/05/1840 at St Peters Port, Guernsey, Channel Islands Certified


Died peacefully in her sleep at 5pm on 18 July 1896 in the home of her eldest son, William James Hartley (Police Magistrate, Mackay).

When Jane was little more than an infant the family moved to the Channel Islands, where they lived for many years. Upon the advent of Primitive Methodism to these Islands, she and other members of the family joined the society, having formerly been connected with the Church of England, of which her parents were members. Her class leader was Rev. John Petty, one of the early preachers and prominent ministers of the connexion, who later became Editor of the Magazine and President of the Conference.

Her mother died when she was 14 years of age. This event led to the breaking up of the family, and Jane went to live in St Petersburg, Russia. While here she continued to retain her membership, and wrote a weekly letter to her class leader, giving her religious experience, and received a reply thereto by each return mail during her absence from England.

For 62 years she retained an unbroken membership and remained to the last devotedly attached to the church of her early choice.

After a few years residence in Russia, she returned to live at Guernsey, where her father and some of the members of the family still resided. It was here that she met the Rev. Robert Hartley, with whom she became united in the marriage on 12 May 1840 and for 52 years was his devoted wife, surviving him four years and two months. For 20 years she was his constant and faithful helper in the old land, in Southhampton station twice, the Isle of Wight, Belfast, Chippenham, St Ives, Penzance and Bristol stations. While in Bristol, the last of their English stations, her husband received a letter from the Missionary Committee asking if he could suggest any one likely to go to Australia. Mrs Hartley said "why not yourself?" and after much anxious thought and many prayers for guidance they resolved to sever old ties and commence and commence life anew in these colonies.

They landed in Sydney in 1860 and for 4 years she and her husband struggled with financial and other difficulties that appeared to threaten the existance of Primitive Methodism in that city. She and the late Mrs Goold toiled early and late, and their efforts were crowned with considerable success.

In 1864 they came to Rockhampton, and both she and her husband remained attached to the cause there until the time of their death. Her work in Rockhampton was highly regarded. The difficulties were of the most crushing kind and to the devoted co-operation of his wife, Rev. Hartley owed much of his success in grappling with them and her name will ever be associated with his in all Christly work.

The condition of the church was ever a burden upon her heart, and of her own she gave freely and was a most active and successful solicitor of help from others. When increasing physical infirmities made it impossible to take the same active interest as formerly she busied herself with her pen in the cause of the church and of the needy.

In all benevolent work she was ever amongst the foremost and most energetic. She took part in the founding of the Rockhampton Benevolent Society, and for many years was its District Secretary; and with every good work in the town and district of Rockhampton her name was freely associated.

On the Monday following her death the Rev. Canon Richards of Rockhampton, at a public meeting, made a very pleasing reference to her active and untiring interest in all Christly work. On the week following her death the writer received a communication from a lady in the town enclosing a subscription to be sent by him to its destination. This was in response to a letter from deceased soliciting aid on behalf of some family in need. Thus it will be seen that up to the last her heart was in sympathy with the human needs and with all the infirmities of her age she did what she could.

As a mother she was most attentive and loving and her children grew up to all her blessed. The positions of public trust and confidence to which her sons have risen speak eloquently of her influence and training.

As a wife she was most devotedly attached to her husband and fully entered into the spirit of his life, a spirit of self-sacrificing humanity. He often spoke of her as an earnest helper and wise counsellor. When unable to be with him at the meetings she would fail to meet him upon the door step on his return, eager to welcome him home to rejoice in his success or share in his discouragements. For some years prior to his decease, her health had been in a very precarious ondition causing much anxiety to her friends, and few expected her to survive him.

Her husbands death was a great blow to her and she often mourned that he had been taken and she left. After her husband's death she resided with her youngest son in Rockhampton until 11 months before her passing, when, on her eldest son being transferred to Mackay, she went with him and her health seemed much improved by the change. On the Monday prior to her death, she complained about feeling unwell, but the next day was able to be driven to her son Robert's.

On Wednesday the doctor was called in but did not regard her case as sufficiently alarming to call the following day. On Friday however she was taken worse, still no apprehensions of immediate death were entertained. During the night it became evident to the nurse that her end was approaching, and the family was called at 3:30am and her son Robert sent for. She retained complete consciousness up to within half an hour of her death, and when asked by gher son if she felt the Lord to be her Shepherd she said "Oh yes, I've no fear, no fear!" She promised to carry love to her husband whom she soon expected to see, bid good bye to the members of the family and imparted her blessing, and after a short period of unconsciousness passed peacefully away.

The Rev. W Smith who was present and held her hand when she died wrote "So gently did her spirt take its flight that we hardly knew she was gone."

On Sunday 2 August the Rev. W Faulkner conducted a service in reference to her decease in the Fitzroy Street Church, when a large number of friends assembled. He took or his subject "The Saint's Consummated Life", founding his discourse upon John xvii 24, "Father I will that they may behold my glory". The pulpit was appropriately drapted and a number of flowers were provided by the Flower Committee of the Christian Endeavour Society. Rev. Faulkner also conducted a similar service at the Pink Lily Church.

At Mackay a memorial sermon was preached by the Rev. W Smith to a large and sympathetic congregation on the death of Mrs Robert Hartley. The pulpit was draped and a beautiful wreath of flowers in front marked the impressive event. The family of the deceased lady were present. The text chosen was from 1 Thessalonians iv. 14 and 15, when an able discourse was delivered on death being to the christian as sleep, with the grand assurance of a glorious awakening to an eternal inheritance. Special reference was made to our deceased sister's close connection with the church for the long period of 62 years and with her husband, always a willing helper in all good work. The preacher having visited her during her illness and being present during her dying moments was able to bear testimony to her victory over death and the bright assurance of her triumphant entry into the celestial city. Special selections were rendered by the choir: "Vital Spark", "The Christian's Good-night" and a duet by Miss Tait and Mr White "She Sleeps in the Valley" bought to a close a most impressive service.

Rev Robert Hartley and family came to Australia on board the ship "Echo". It departed from London and arrived in Sydney on 22 June 1860. The family members that came with him were: Mrs Jane Hartley, Miss AC Hartley, Master WJ Hartley, Master RT Hartley, Master SW Hartley and Miss Jane E Hartley.

Death Ref: 1896/002618 (microfiche very unclear - the 6 and 1 may not be 100% correct).

Image Gallery

Jane Williamson Hartley with grandson Campbell Robert Murray
Jane Williamson Cambell Murray

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