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Sarah Jenkins (1808-27)

Sarah Jenkins was born of Anglican parentage at Allscott, in the parish of Worsfield, Shropshire.

She began to experience religious stirrings at the age of fifteen during a visit to a cousin in Staffordshire.

Shortly after her return, she was introduced to a circle of notable Methodist women at the centre of which was Mary Tooth of Madeley, the one-time companion of the evangelist Mary Fletcher.

Her family was against her Methodist leanings, although this worked to her advantage, as Sarah's father chose to allow the preachers to have their meetings in one of his properties, rather than allow his daughter to stray elsewhere. This provided the opportunity for the first Methodist sermon to be preached in  her village.

Sarah, despite her age, was at the forefront of the work, distributing tracts and visiting the poor. She was also quickly appointed class leader.

In 1825, she visited London for a stay of several months and worshipped at Hinde Street Chapel where she was introduced to surviving members of the Wesley family.

Upon her return to Shropshire, Sarah continued her work at Alscott. In December 1826, her father died and a few weeks later her brother Charles fell ill and also passed away. Sarah was occupied in supporting her mother and her own health began to suffer. She died on January 27th 1827 at the age of eighteen.

Her brother John died two months later and her sister Jane and brother William also fell ill and did not long survive the other members of her family. Of the Jenkins children who died during this three month period, all except John were teenagers or younger. The secondary sources do not reveal the cause of death, although an epidemic of some kind would seem likely.

Source: Memoirs of Sarah Jenkins by Mary Tooth (London, Methodist Book Room, 1829)

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