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WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Obituary of John SMEDLEY

John Smedley was a remarkable man. In 1825 he expanded and modernised a company that is still successful 230 years after it was founded. Instead of retiring, he founded a different industry (hydropathy) that changed Matlock from a village into a town with thousands of visitors from countries worldwide. He also found the time to build a Castle and write a bestseller that went through 12 editions. His autobiography gives an insight into his mind and its driving forces. He was very religious, and in contempt of Victorian medicine. The secret of his success: He found the time for his many pusuits by getting up very early. His obituary sums up what was thought of him at the time.
The webmaster's GGFather William Doxey 1838-1906 worked for John Smedley as Clerk of the Works at Matlock Bank, and lived on Bank Road.

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More about John Smedley


Information about John Smedley, on this website:

On this page: Obituary of John Smedley.
Elsewhere on this website:
Smedley empire 1784-1893 and Smedleys autobiography 1868
Rare cabinet card of:John and Caroline SMEDLEY
Pedigree of John Smedley by Thomas INCE updated 1858.
Wirksworth Parish Register: Baptisms, Marriages and Burials | Baptisms only
Census for Hydro: 1901 | 1891 | 1881 | 1871 | 1861.
Mentioned: FLINT pedigree
White's directory 1857: Indexed | Baths | Extract
Photos: Hydro (I) | Hydro (II) | Hydro grounds | Hydro 1868 | Interior | Interior | Interior | Advert 1905
Plans: Plans & description
Photos: Smedley's engravings | Smedley's winter gardens | Riber Castle.
Details of Hydropathic Treatment: Bath Book 1934


John and Caroline Smedley, Riber Castle about 1867, more details at X352


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Page 1 Index

Jno.Smedley, Esq

John Smedley is dead! A greater
calamity never happened to this neigh-
bourhood than the loss from it which Mr
Smedley is almost certain to prove. The
mill-wheel at Lea may continue its
diurnal revolutions; the Free Hospital
close by may go on under the directions
of Mrs Smedley, dispensing mercy and
good will to the afflicted poor; the great
hydropathic sanitorium at Matlock,
which for the past twenty years has been
extending and solidifying in every
possible way, may still afford succour
and relief to suffering humanity; but,
without the genius and liberality of its
founder, all these institutions if continued,
cannot be expected to assume the same
features as when their author directed
the helm. And however great the con-
fidence may be in his representatives
carrying out as far as possible the views
of the deceased, the public will naturally
feel they have sustained a loss which
even nature herself is hardly likely to
replace. As to existing institutions
going on as nearly as possible in the
way they have so long been doing; much
will of course depend upon the "last
will and testament" of their founder.
Mrs Smedley, as we know, entered with
true womanly character into all her hus-
bands plans of usefulness, but having
had over twenty years of the closest
application at Matlock Bank along with
her husband, it would be unreasonable
to expect her to give as it were a second
life for the benefit of her species. The
loss therefore which the public has sus-
tained is beyond present calculations,
and is simply and essentially irreparable.

It is now about two years since Mr
Smedley found it necessary to withdraw
his personal supervision of the establish-
ment at Matlock Bank. This he did,
and found an able substitute in Dr.
Hunter, the present manager. From
this time up to about three months ago,
Mr Smedley enjoyed his ordinary good
health. Nature however, from the ex-
cessive it had had for upwards
of fifty years now began to give way,
and the brain, which all this time had
been strained to the upmost in the service
of humanity became impaired, and after
some three months of mental and bodily
depression broke down. The fatal attack
happened on Friday, the 24th, and lasted
till the following Monday morning about
six o'clock when Mr Smedley died. He
was attended by Dr. Hunter, who pro-
nounced the disease catarrh of the
stomach and liver, or jaundice.

Birth-place, Parentage, and
Ancestry of Mr Smedley

Mr Smedley was born at Wirksworth,
in this county, on the 12th day of June,
1803, in a cottage where the Bank is
now situated. Mr Smedley could trace
his ancestors for centuries back on both

sides. On his father's side, his ancestors
seem to have been engaged in lead
mining at Wirksworth. His grandfather's
step-sire, however, being in the worsted
spinning and hosiery trade, induced him
- Thomas Smedley - to enter the same;
and Mr Smedley's own father followed
in the same line, at Wirksworth. The
family of his mother - the Brights and
Woods (of Wirksworth, Winster, and
Woodthorpe) - were possessed of consid-
erable landed property. Her great-grand-
father was a magistrate of the county,
and her grandfather an attorney at law.
Mr Smedley had in his possession small
portraits of his great and great-great
grandparents and their wives, together
with the likenesses of two other members
of the family, who lived in the reign of
James II. Mr Smedley on his mother's
side is also related to Slingerly's of Not-
tingham; Moore of Winster, AD 1686.
Robert Moore, the ancestor of Mr Smed-
ley's mother, owned Winster Hall, resided
there, and had a considerable estate: he
married Elizabeth Heywood, of Crom-
ford Bridge House, August 10th, AD
1705. It is a singular circumstance that
some silver plate she possessed, and a
clock made at Winster, should have been
taken to Cromford Bridge House by
Mr Smedley's father in 1818, just 113
years after. On the clock is marked the
births and deaths of all Mr Smedley's
family, and is now an excellent time-
keeper in its mahogany case at Riber
Castle, where Mr Smedley had a number
of heir-looms, articles of dress, and orna-
ments; also a china bowl bowl used at the
marriages and christenings of the Woods
and Brights for 200 years. Hannah,
the great-granddaughter of Robert
Moore, of Winster, married the Rev.
D'Ewes Cooke. Their son, D'Ewes
Cooke, Esq, was owner of the Dove es-
tate, devised to him by Anthony Stones,
1721. Margaret Redgway, the daugh-
ter of Tristram Redgway, lead merchant,
Wirksworth, AD 1690, a direct ances-
tress of Mr Smedley, married Anthony
Stones, of Wirksworth , who left the
Redgways considerable property about
Wirksworth. Redgway built what was
long called "Redgway's Folly", on the
hill side near Gorsey Bank. The inten-
ded mansion was never finished, and was
purchased by the late John Toplis, ban-
ker, with the materials for building his
mansion in Wirksworth, now the prop-
erty of Dr Webb. His great-grand-
father Bright, died about 1717, leaving
to his widow real estate of large amount.
This lady took Mr Smedley's mother,
her eldest granddaughter, to reside with
her at Wirksworth. It was there, a short
time previously, that his father commen-
ced business on his own account. There
he took the lead in spinning and manu-
facturing hosiery of the best qualities.
Scarcely had Mr Smedley's parents been
united in marriage twelve months, ere
their prospects were beclouded. His
father's brother Isaac, resident in Milk
Street, London, a wholesale hosier,
failed in business. His father, having
trusted this brother, became involved,
and lost the whole of his property, and
was left absolutely without a shilling.
Fortunately, Mr Smedley's father's name
was associated with the manufacture of
very superior goods, and this led to the
offer of assistance from Mr Jeffery Lud-
lam, a hosier and army clothing contrac-
tor in London. Mr Smedley's parents
had to begin life anew, and with energy
set to work to retrieve the severe losses
through the brother's failure. With the
assistance of Ludlam, and, subsequently,
of another trader named Cane, who real-
ised large profits by a monopoly of the
goods produced; his father succeeded
in avoiding the calamity of stopping
payment. At this trying period, Mr
Smedley's mother, in no small degree,
contributed to the success of his father's
business. With wonderful endurance
and patient industry, she incessantly
superintended the sewing department of
the manufacture, which tended to lighten
the expense of wages, and which, by
others in her social position, would have
been considered derogatory. In the
year 1818, the requirements of business
had outgrown the capacity of the estab-
lishment at Wirksworth, and Mr Smed-
ley's father, with a view to the further
development of his trade, obtained pos-
session of Lea Mills, and removed to
Cromford Bridge, two miles from Wirks-
worth, to reside.

Early Vicissitudes

At this time Mr Smedley was fifteen
years of age, and assisted his father
in the business: he had an only
brother, George, who was two years
younger than himself. His parents
might now have said fortuna sequater to
their new enterprise, but fortune did not
follow; the new venture did not succeed
as was anticipated. The old trade in
the various articles of which their manu-
facture consisted, was being superseded
by new fabrics, and they found it grad-
ually declining. To make up for the
loss consequent on this change in the
market, an effort was made to spin fine
worsted yarns for the Norwich trade;
but the experiments failed, owing to the
machinery being unsuited to the work,
and the attempt resulted in a consider-
able loss. Notwithstanding unwearied
attention to business, the decline still
continued; while the maintenance of
the new premises greatly exceeded the
expenditure at Wirksworth, and rendered
it impossible to bring the expenses within
the limits of profitable working. Thus
in 1823, for the second time, Mr Smed-
ley's father found himself in a state of
insolvency. His hope for the future may
be imagined from the fact that the mill
wages were under 10 per week. As
on the former occasion, however, the
final blow was averted, and with great
difficulty they managed to escape bank-
ruptcy or compounding with creditors.
Mr Smedley had now acquired some ex-
perience of business life, while helping
to bear his parents' burdens, that fitted
him for the heavier duties he had now to

Supplement to the Wirksworth Advertiser

Page 2 Index
take. The second disappointment of
his earthly hopes and loss of nearly all
but his integrity, naturally affected the
elder Mr Smedley's spirits and cause
him almost to despair of ever being able
to recover his position. The death also
of his younger son, took place suddenly
in December 1827, which so prostrated
him that he was never able afterwards
to enter actively into the business. Mr
Smedley, conscious of the responsiblities
that now devolved upon him, and so well
trained to business habits, nerved himself
to the task, resolved to put forth all his
energy, and to retrieve this state of affairs
He had for some time previously been
experimenting on the adaptation of cot-
ton machinery to the manufacture of
woolen goods; and endevouring to
inprove the shape and quality of under-
clothing; and the best then produced
(Mills' and Warner's), seeming to him in-
ferior to that which he could make, he
resolved to commence operations. He
made a purchase of a small quantity of
Spanish wool, value £18, from Taylor,
London, who allowed 12 months' credit,
as it was simply for an experiment. How
to work the wool however, was not yet
clear; and day after day, and night after
night, assisted by mechanics, but oftener
alone, he laboured to adapt the old cot-
ton machinery to the new description of
work, he was determined, if possible, it
should perform. The dilemma was per-
plexing' if he failed bankruptcy was in-
evitable; if he succeeded, he might hope
for a gainful trade. He persevered how-
ever, and after fifteen years of concen-
trated effort, during which period his
father died (March, 1840), he found him-
self possessed of a considerable balance
at his bankers. A few years after his
father's death, Mr Smedley had a great
deire to retire from business, which
however, he did not gratify and contin-
ued the business as usual
(the foregoing appeared in last Saturday's

Mr Smedley's Marriage

This interesting ceremony took place
at Wirksworth, on the 24th June, 1846.
After his marriage, Mr Smedley took
his bride on a wedding tour to the con-
tinent. During this tour Mr Smedley
caught a severe cold, and was laid up
of a fever and his life was for some time
despaired of. Mr Smedley's kindness
and consideration for others, in times of
need, was well reciprocated by his work-
people, who at this critical period,
though they were not called upon to
give of their substance, gave what they
could, namely their sympathies and
prayers. Many now living, but scat-
tered in different parts of the country,
will well recollect that memorable special
meeting, in Mrs Wass's chapel, for
united prayer for Mr Smedley's restora-
tion to health. The building was filled
with sympathising, praying, men and
women, and they "wrestled" as it were
"with the Angel", and he blessed them
there. Restoration of the object of
their supplications to bodily health fol-
lowed, and with it a mighty awakening of
a nature which for five-and-twenty years
after manifested a religious philan-
thropic zeal which is but rarely witnessed.

New Start from Vantage Ground

With recruited health, and a renewed
spirit, plans of future usefulness were
laid down. Commencing with his own
work-people, for whom he made provis-
ion for morning meditation and prayer

and which has continued unto this day,
Mr Smedley, went on to show his faith
by his works, in the building of chapels,
and in establishing day-schools. A free
hospital was opened for the sick, and
kept on at a cost of several thousand
pounds a year, whilst many private cases
of distress found deliverance at his
hands. He was much impressed with
the piety of many of his own work-
people, whose counsel and communion
he often sought. No less disposed to
do good than to combat what he re-
garded as errors and dangers into which
his own church (the church of England)
had fallen, he set to and by his writings
and speech administered reproof to those
in communion with the church especilly
the more liberal portion thereof. He
wuld fain have tolerated and let be
what is termed the High Church party,
who, he said were consistent; but he
had much fault to find with the 'evangelical'
clergyman, who he held subscribed to
one thing and preached another. But
the claims of Hydropathy increasing
upon him necessitating extensive build-
ing operations, gradually drew his atten-
tion away from these contoversial mat-
ters to the study of Physiology and the
application of hydropathy to disease.

Mr Smedley and Hydropathy

Having studied carefully some of the
greatest authorities in medicine, at the
same time going quietly on with, and
gaining knowledge by his experience at
Matlock Bank and the Free Hospitals at
Lea Mills, Mr Smedley re-commenced
as an author, publishing first a pamphlet
for gratuitous circulation and afterwards
his famous half-crown book with anatom-
ical illustrations, cases of cure and gen-
eral directions for the carrying out of
the new mose of treatment at one's own
home. This book, which has now gone
through 13 or 14 editions, Mr Smedley
always regarded as the "great work of
his life." In this book the author as in
other things does not mince matters, but
states in plain language his opinion of
the medical profession generally.

Mr Smedley has proved by the most
conclusive evidence that his system of
treatment will do all that can be done
by the powerful agencies of the Pharma-
copoeia, and much more, do it far more
easily and effectively, and that, too,
without the slightest injury to the vital
powers of the patient. He can lower
the pulse and subdue inflammation far
more rapidly than the College of Sur-
geons can by their applications, and,
what is of the greatest consequence, do
this without lowering the vital energy of the
The aim of the physician, says
Mr Smedley, in the treatment of disease
is to restore vital tone, and that can only
be accomplished through the stomach
and the blood, and you can only do this by
acting upon the organs of nutrition.
What is the speediest and most effective
way of doing this? Nature tells us very
plainly herself. She is the best physician
and the highest education of medical
science in the end brings us back to the
suggestions of instinctive and untutored
intelligence. Dr Todd himself acknow-
ledged frankly that it is Nature herself
who performs by far the most important
work of cure, while the Physician and
the Surgeon are only her humble assist-
ants and co-operators. This is what
Mr Smedley does. He acts upon
Nature's own principles of restoration,
and he succeeds; and his success in this
method of treatment has been so marked

and conspicuous that it is impossible to
doubt the day is near at hand when
Hydropathic principles of action will be
acknowledged to be the only true and
successful principles of therapeutical
Mr Smedley has done as much, per-
haps more, than any single man who has
taken the question in hand to explode
the existing system of physic, to explain
and demonstrate the efficacy of Hydro-
pathy in the treatment of nearly all
diseases that human flesh is heir to; and
when the College of Physicians turn their
back upon themselves and upon the
false deities to whom they have so often
sacrificed, Matlock Bank will, in all prob-
ability, be the temple of the new science.
They could not turn their steps to a
pleasanter pilgrimage; and who shall
say that a few years hence we may not
see the College of Physicians claiming
Hydropathy as their own; and celebra-
ting its discovery, as they celebrate the
discovery of the circulation of the blood,
in a splendid Latin oration at Matlock
Few lives have been more eventful,
more interesting, or, on the whole, more
useful than that of John Smedley.
That he was perfect, no one will dare
to affirm; who is? From the period
when Mr Smedley became alive to the
claims of religion, and the duties of the
rich to the poor, no one will dispute the
good which he has been the means of
accomplishing. He has relieved the
distressed, and fed the poor, and has
done this systematically for upwards of
twenty years, sacrificing his own per-
sonal comfort, and that of his wife like-
wise. His aims during this period have
undoubtedly been high, however short
he may have come of his own standard.
His enthusiasm in Hydropathy, coupled
with a strong sense of obligation to do
good to the poor around him, has led to
acts of benevolence which would do
credit to any heart. Hundreds of in-
stances of kindness, in cases of sickness
and poverty, might be cited if space
permitted. The two following incidents
which have come under the writer's
notice - mentioned because of recent
date - will serve to show the sort of
sontaneous liberality which has been
of almost daily occurrence for the past
four-and-twenty years. Walking to-
wards the grave-yardon the day of the
funeral, the writer chanced to overtake
a female dressed in mourning. "You're
going to the funeral?" "Yes" said she,
"I could not go to the funeral of a
better." "I suppose you're one of the
hands?" "No," said she, "I'm not, I
don't work there at all but Mr Smedley
was very kind to me when my husband
lay ill in the house. So I am merely
going out of respect." "Indeed," said
I, and then continuing her story, she
said: "I once went to the Castle to see
Mrs Smedley about my husband, who
was ill. When I got there Mrs Smed-
ley was out, but Mr Smedley came to
me and I felt quite afraid to speak, as I
had never spoken to him before. He
asked me what was the matter, and I
told him my husband was ill at home of
the dropsy, and I wanted to ask for a
bit of mustard and a bandage." "I'll
give you a note to George Gratton, and
he shall give you what you require. But
how are you off for bedding?" inquired
Mr Smedley. "Well he has not com-
plained yet."But the cold weather is
coming on," observed Mr Smedley,
"and if your husband is dropsical he'll
require extra clothing. George Gratton

Supplement to the Wirksworth Advertiser

Page 3 Index
must give you one of the best blankets"
So the poor woman, now a widow, got
all she went for, and the blanket besides.
It was the unexpected gift of the blanket
which touched her heart. - Coming in
the same direction a day or two ago,
the writer met another who deeply
deplored Mr Smedley's loss to the
neighbourhood. He said: "Mr Smed-
ley saved my son's life. He came home
with a fever. I sent," said he, "to Mr
Smedley, and he immediately sent a
carriage to fetch him to the hospital,
where he was quite restored to health,
without any charge whatever. I shall
always respect Mr Smedley," said he.
Our space prevents our citing further
instances of Mr Smedley's liberality.
Let us hope his successors will, as far as
may be in their power, follow on in the
same path!

Mr Smedley's successor is, as was ex-
pected, Mr John Marsden, son of -
Marsden Esq, of Manchester, to whom
everything is left, subject to certain
annuities and furniture to Mrs Smedley,
with Riber Castle for her life, Mr
Geo. Marsden, (a second cousin), Miss
Gibbins, formerly matron at Matlock
Bank, and a bequest to his manager at
the Mills, Mr Wildgoose.

The Funeral

Last Saturday, the mortal remains of
this remarkable and highly esteemed
gentleman were interred in the new
Cemetery at Holloway, near Matlock,
amid indesribable scenes of mourning
and grief. Although the time when the
obsoquies of the deceased would take
place was known only amongst friends
and employees, a large multitude of
sympathising and mourning spectators
had gathered together amounting to
something like 5,000 persons. The nar-
row roads betwixt Holloway and Lea,
and indeed all the way to Riber and the
surrounding hill-sides, were covered with
anxious spectators. After the body had
been placed in the coffin at the Castle,
the widow of deceased offered no obstacle
to any one might wish to see him,
consequently, hundreds have been to
view and to shed a silent tear upon one
who claimed more than respect.

The funeral was carried out strictly
after the custom practised by Dissenters
and especially of the particular body -
the Wesleyans - to which Mr Smedley
had been intimately attached by com-
munion. The deceased, though not a
musician, was very fond of music and
singing, and encouraged the singing of
hymns and spiritual songs as much as
possible. At his Manufactory at Lea,
along with the buzzing and almost deaf-
ening sound of machinery, might be
heard swelling above this earthly sound
such songs as "The Shining Shore";
Homeward Bound' &c. The same or
similar songs might be heard amid the
clatter of pots and dishes at the Estab-
lishment at Matlock Bank, and to a more
limited extent in the Castle itself. What
could have tended more to sweeten the
toils and troubles of life than for the
factory hands, as the busy wheels were
spinning round and round to sing thereto
"My days are gliding swiftly by,
And I a pilgrim stranger-
Would not detain them as they fly,
These hours of toil and danger."
And at Matlock Bank, what could be
more inspiring whilst witnessing the pain
and suffering from day to day of those
who go there for ease and rest, then to
sing such hymns as "Homeward bound".
In the midst of all this suffering may be
heard as a fit accompaniment-

"Out on an ocean all boundless we ride,
We're homeward bound;
Toss'd on the waves of a rough restless tide
We're homeward bound." &c

No wonder therefore that at the funeral
ceremonies a good deal of singing should
be introduced. We ought to sing more
than we do, perhaps!
At length the sad hour came round
when the coffin must be sealed to the
day of the Resurrection, and about 1 pm
it was removed from the castle into the
yard amid scenes of inexpressible sorrow.
The funeral procession was then ar-
ranged in the following order and pro-
ceeded slowly down the highway be-
tween Riber and Holloway;-
Mr S Skidmore   Mr R Adams
Mr S Eley       Mr Hickton

Mr Robt Lowe    Mr G Harrison
Mr Thos Boden   Mr John Ward
Mr Bush         Mr Frost

  BEARERS   |-----|   BEARERS
            |  T  |
Mr Philips  |  H  | Mr Gilson
            |  E  |
Mr G Gratton|     | Mr Geo Elliott
            |  B  |
Mr G Peach  |  O  | Mr J Ashmore
            |  D  |
            |  Y  |

Mrs Smedley      Jno Marsden Esq
Arth Harward Esq Miss Marsden

Mrs Marsden      Mr Geo Marsden
Mr Mason Roebuck Mr Sampson

Rev J Danvers    Mrs A Harward
Mr Rob Wildgoose Mrs Rob Wildgoose

Mrs Middleditch  Mrs Middleditch
D Hunter         Miss Fielding

Hy Gibbs Esq     Miss Bush
Mr Blest         Mrs Orrocks

          Mr Barker
Rev S Dyall      Miss Marsden
Mr Hanson        Miss Pipe

        7.- PHAETON
Miss Gibbons     Mr Welton
Mr Jonas Brown   Mr John Dawes

Rev Weatherhead  Mr Fletcher
        Mr Alfred Douglas

The following is the inscription on the Coffin:

JULY 27th, 1874
Aged 71 Years

On arriving at the village of Lea, the
procession was met by about 500 of Mr
Smedley's employees, and a few friends
(mourners) all dressed in a becoming
manner. The procession was now very
lengthy and imposing, and wended its
melancholy way to the Chapel at Hol-
loway, where the burial service from
Mr Smedley's own prayer book was im-
pressively read by Mr Barker, for many
years a Wesleyan Local Preacher, and
foreman mechanic at the Mills. Some
disappointment was necessarily felt that
the accommadation was so very small,
as it was inpossible to seat even 500 of
the 5,000 who it is estimated were pres-
ent. This is much to be regretted, so
many of Mr Smedley's friends being so
anxious to hear some particulars of

his last moments, and which, to-
gether with a sketch of Mr Smedley's
character was so ably set forth by Mr
Barker. Our readers however will find
this address furthr on.
After a portion of the service had been
gone through, Mr Barker said that as
Mr Smedley was so fond of singing, and
especially certain hymns which he had
had printed, the friends had thought it
right to sing some of them at the funeral.
He then called on the choir to sing
"We're waiting".
Another portion of the service having
been read, Mr Barker delivered a short
address desciptive of Mr Smedley,
giving some particulars of his last words.
In this


Mr Barker said they were about to con-
vey to his last resting place the mortal re-
mainsof one whose loss would be univer-
sally felt, for he was a public benefactor
and a familiar friend. As to his life and
character these must be judged of as a
whole. Mr Smedley was not a man of
a class but essentially a man of his own
ideas. He had a strong intellect and a
strong will, as many present knew. He
was prompt and rapid in his judgment,
and if these characteristics were taken
into account much of the deceased which
might appear harsh could be accounted
for. It would not be right to judge him
by any single act but by the whole scope
and outcome of his life. If we looked
at him as a man of business, he was
most successful and prosperous. This
might be attributed to his clear sighted-
ness, thoroughnes, and his indomitable
perseverance. Then look at his philan-
thropy! he had a heart which ever beat
true to the cries and wants of the poor,
(sensation). For these his money,
his talents, his time, and even his health
were willingly sacrificed. His religious
zeal was manifested in the erection of
chapels, and sabbath and day schools,
whilst Tract Societies, Missionary and
Temperance Societies, all found in him
a warm supporter. He, (the speaker)
might just advert to the Hydropathic
Institution at Matlock, and in regard to
this, who could calculate the benefit
which thousands had derived here both
to body and mind? Witnesses of
his success were not wanting in all
parts of the world. Many around found
in him a kind and sympaththising friend,
and since his death letters and come to
the family stating that the writers had
lost their best and only friend. If we
come to his workpeople, there was
nothing he considered too much if he
could minister to their comfort. The
speaker had seen deceased shed many
tears of joy at the kind letters he used
to receive of the benefits derived by a
stay at Matlock Bank, and he would re-
mark "what is the world with all its
riches when compared with the good
which is done here?" Latterly, Mr
Smedley seemed to be under gracious
influences, and was open to good teach-
ing. He seemed to long for christian
communion, and he would call some of
his workmen together for prayers, and
these occasions he has said had been
seasons to him of much good.

The Closing Scene

Coming down to the close of his life,
the speaker said it was on Friday week
that he last called at the Mill when on
his way to Riber. He partook of a glass
of water and shortly after was seized
with violent sickness which continued
for two days. On the Sabbath evening
his sufferings abated and he became calm

Supplement to the Wirksworth Advertiser

Page 4 Index
and quiet. "I should like" said he, "to
have lived a little longer to show my
faith by my works." Among his last
words were "looking unto Jesus".
What a simple and beautiful expression!
Whatever talents we might possess or
whatever riches, we must all come to
this if we must enter heaven. Another
portion of scripture which he quoted
was "And they shall walk with me in
white, because they are worthy." The
deceased was especially fond of the song
"Homeward bound" and in some of his
last moments he repeated the portion of
"Softly we drift o'er its bright silver tide
We're home at last!"

Thus Mr Smedley passed away - looking
unto Jesus! Mr Barker concluded his
address - a very able and impartial one
- by a hope that all present may so
number our days as to apply our hearts
unto wisdom".
The procession was then re-formed
and the body conveyed to the cemetery
where the concluding portion of the cer-
emony was performed by the Rev S
Dyall. On the following Sunday the
chief moourners attended divine service
at Holloway Chapel, and the grave was
again visited by thousands of persons
from the adjoining neighbourhood.
Several eminent personages came from
a distance specially to be present at the


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The obituary was found and bid for on Ebay. The bidding was "last second" and rather successful.

                BIDDING for John Smedley's Obituary

Item condition:Used
Ended: 12 Jul, 2014 17:40:43 BST
Winning bid:**.** [5 bids]
Postage: 1.30 Economy Delivery
Item location: Brighton, United Kingdom
Seller: tamos123 (Feedback score: 24049)

Bidders:3  Bids:5  Duration: 7 days        Time ended: 12-Jul-14 17:40:43 BST 
johncpalmer (1100 Feedback score is 1000-4,999) **.** 12-Jul-14 17:40:39 BST
z***z       (1057 Feedback score is 1000-4,999) **.** 12-Jul-14 17:40:36 BST
t***6       (432  Feedback score is 100-499)     *.** 07-Jul-14 11:52:27 BST
johncpalmer (1100 Feedback score is 1000-4,999)  *.** 06-Jul-14 19:12:53 BST
t***6       (432  Feedback score is 100-499)     *.** 07-Jul-14 11:52:15 BST
Starting price                                   7.99 05-Jul-14 17:40:43 BST

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