Heute vor 200 Jahren wurde Charles Stanley, einer der bekanntesten Evangelisten der Geschlossenen Brüder im 19. Jahrhundert, in Laughton-en-le-Morthen bei Rotherham (Nordengland) geboren. Im Brotberuf selbständiger Geschäftsmann, nutzte er seine häufigen Reisen zur Verkündigung des Evangeliums und ließ später auch zahlreiche Traktate drucken, die als „C. S. tracts“ weite Verbreitung fanden. Ab etwa 1880 war er Herausgeber der von Charles Henry Mackintosh gegründeten Zeitschrift Things New and Old.
Über Stanleys Leben liegen online die Kurzbiografie aus Henry Pickerings Chief Men among the Brethren (mit falschem Todesjahr), ein Artikel von John Bjorlie (aus Uplook, 1992), Stanleys autobiografischer Bericht The Way the Lord has Led Me; or, Incidents of Gospel Work sowie Hugh Henry Snells Recollections of the Last Days of Charles Stanley (auch als Faksimile) vor. Das Kapitel über Stanley aus Arend Remmers’ Gedenket eurer Führer scheint – im Gegensatz zu vielen anderen Lebensbildern aus diesem Buch – bisher nicht digitalisiert worden zu sein.
Welche Bekanntheit Stanley zu Lebzeiten genoss, macht die Presseberichterstattung über seinen Tod und sein Begräbnis deutlich. Am 31. März 1890 brachten der Sheffield Daily Telegraph und der Evening Telegraph & Star gleichlautend folgenden Artikel:
Im Sheffield & Rotherham Independent hieß es am selben Tag:
Die Altersangabe 72 ist offensichtlich falsch; das richtige Alter konnten die Leser der Zeitung einen Tag später unter den Familiennachrichten finden:
In großer Ausführlichkeit wurde über Stanleys Beisetzung am 3. April 1890 berichtet; tatsächlich sind zwei der Artikel so lang, dass ich sie nicht als Bilddateien wiedergeben kann, sondern transkribieren musste. Hier zunächst der Bericht des Sheffield Daily Telegraph vom 4. April 1890, S. 7, der auch einige sonst nicht überlieferte Einzelheiten über Stanleys berufliche Tätigkeit enthält:
THE INTERMENT OF MR. CHAS. STANLEY OF ROTHERHAM.
Yesterday the funeral of Mr. Charles Stanley, of Moorgate Grove, Rotherham, took place in the Rotherham Cemetery amid many manifestations of respect. Mr. Stanley died whilst seated at the dinner table on Sunday last. For many years he had carried on the business of an export merchant in Sheffield and Birmingham, and at one time the growth of the Indian trade for general Birmingham goods necessitated his removal from Sheffield to the Midland town. Just over quarter of a century ago Mr. Stanley was offered the sole right of working a French patent brought out by the brother of a great friend of his, and seeing that it could be turned to good account he gradually relinquished the Sheffield and Birmingham businesses. This patent was a new plan for chemically scouring wool, in fact for the extraction of oil or fatty matter from any material, seeds, &c. His son, Mr. C. L. Stanley, joined him at this time, and greatly improved the machinery, which quickened the process, making the business a great success. The works at Wath grew, and are now the largest of the kind in the country. Although Mr. Stanley retired from business ten or eleven years ago, he did not give up work. He laboured hard in other ways. He conducted a religious periodical, was the writer of a very large number of tracts, preached regularly in the meeting-room of the brethren in Moorgate, and had a large correspondence with friends all over the world. In public affairs he never seemed to take any prominent part, but he was nevertheless very widely known. The large attendance at the graveside yesterday was some slight testimony of the loss which has been sustained by his decease. The funeral cortége left the residence in Moorgate Grove at about half-past eleven o’clock, and proceeded to the meeting room in Moorgate, where service was held in the presence of a large congregation. Mr. H. H. Snell, of Sheffield, officiated, and with Dr. Davy, of Sheffield, assisted in the ceremony at the grave. The mourners were: – First carriage: Mr. C. L. Stanley, of Oakwood, Rotherham; Mrs. Stanley, widow; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Andrews, of Wortley. Second carriage: Mr. and Mrs. W. A. Stanley, of East Farleigh, Kent, and Mr. and Mrs. P. H. C. Chrimes, of Plumtree, Bawtry. Third carriage: Mr. C. H. Stanley, Mrs. C. L. Stanley, Mr. S. H. Burrows, of Sheffield, and Dr. Dyson, of Sheffield. Fourth carriage: Mr. and Mrs. Richard Chrimes and Mr. and Mrs. J. Kay. Fifth carriage: Mr. J. H. Burrows, of Sheffield; Mr. Fred. Elgar, of Rochester; Mr. H. H. Snell, of Sheffield; and Dr. Oxley, the deceased gentleman’s medical attendant. Sixth carriage: Dr. Davy and family, of Sheffield. Seventh carriage: Mr. Charles E. Chrimes and family. The private carriages brought into requisition were those of the deceased gentleman, Mr. C. L. Stanley, Mr. P. H. C. Chrimes, Mr. R. Chrimes, Mr. S. H. Burrows, and Dr. Davy. Amongst those attending the funeral were Mr. P. H. Stanley, Mr. E. Stanley, Miss Stanley, the Misses Lillian, Beatrice, and Irene Stanley, Mr. Thomas Barker (Otley), Dr. Snell (Sheffield), Mr. Moore, Mr. Hardy, Mr. Loveridge (Harrogate), Mr. Cutting (Derby), Mr. C. Spink (Chiselhurst), Mr. A. Mace (London), Mr. G. Morrish (London), Mr. J. Morrish (London), Mr. Sharpley (Sheffield), Mr. Brammer (Sheffield), Mr. Bowen (Ollerenshaw Hall), Mr. P. B. Coward, Mr. E. G. Cox, Mr. F. L. Harrop, Mr. H. Bray, Dr. Branson, Mr. F. Myers, Mr. J. S. Ward, Mr. J. Dickinson, Mr. J. M. Horsfield, Mr. H. Leedham, Mr. W. H. Sheldon, Mr. J. Hudson, Mr. J. Rodgers, Mr. Joseph France, Dr. Wolston (Nottingham), Mr. J. M. Radcliffe, Mr. J. Gillett, Mr. O. Fox, Mr. Pontis, and many other friends. The coffin, which was of polished oak with brass mountings, had placed upon it beautiful wreaths sent by grandchildren – Irene and Harry Cecil Stanley, of Oakwood. The interment was in the family vault. Mr. W. Arnett, of Rotherham, had charge of the funeral arrangements, and Mr. J. Hutchinson was the undertaker.
Weniger Informationen über Stanleys Leben, aber dafür noch mehr Details über die Beisetzung lieferte der Bericht des Sheffield & Rotherham Independent vom 4. April 1890, S. 6:
INTERMENT OF THE LATE MR. C. STANLEY, OF ROTHERHAM.
Yesterday afternoon the remains of Mr. Charles Stanley, of Moorgate Grove, who died suddenly on Sunday, were interred at the General Cemetery, Rotherham. The deceased gentleman was greatly respected by the members of the denomination of Christians known as “The Brethren,” and his local philanthropy and consistency of life had gained for him the esteem and regard of his neighbours. The attendance at the funeral was therefore large, and included many from distant parts of the country with whom the deceased gentleman had been connected in various ways, amongst them being gentlemen of distinction in the religious denomination to which the deceased belonged. The funeral procession left Moorgate Grove about noon. Preceding the hearse were about forty workmen from the oil and silver refineries at Wath. The coffin, which had been supplied by Mr. James Hutchinson, was of polished oak with brass mountings, and bore the inscription, “Char[l]es Stanley, born March 10, 1821; died March 30, 1890.” The mourning carriages contained the following relatives: – First carriage, Mr. C. L. Stanley, Mrs. Stanley, Mr. Andrews, and Mrs. Andrews, of Wortley; second carriage, Mr. and Mrs. W. Stanley, East Farleigh, Maidstone, Kent; Mr. P. H. C. Chrimes and Mr. H. Chrimes; third carriage, Mrs. Luther Stanley, Mr. Charles Stanley, Mr. L. Burrows[,] Sheffield, and Dr. Dyson, Sheffield; fourth carriage, Mr. J. H. Burrows, Mr. Farr, Mr. H. H. Snell, Sheffield; Mr. Elgar, Maidstone, Kent; fifth carriage, Mr. and Mrs. Chrimes, Mr. and Mrs. Kay. The carriages following were those of Mr. Stanley, Mr. Hy. Chrimes, Mr. Luther Stanley, Mr. S. H. Burrows, and Dr. Davy. The cortege proceeded to the church of the Brethren, Moorgate, and this being the first service of the kind held in the building, there was a large attendance, every seat being occupied, and many persons unable to obtain admission. Among those present were Captain Thompson, Bedford ; Mr. C. Spink, London; Mr. Walsh, Bedford; Mr. George Cutting, Derby; Dr. Snell, Sheffield; Mr. F. Smith, Hoyland; Mr. Doughty, Barnsley; Mr. Bowen, Whaley Bridge; Mr. Heighway, Manchester; Mr. Young, Hull; Mr. Garbutt, Driffield; Mr. T. Barker[,] Otley; Mr. Oglesby and Mr. Springthorpe, Barnsley; Mr. Hardy, Mr. Moore, Mr. Loveridge, and Mr. Mace, Harrogate; Mr. Ramsden, Carlton Hall; Mr. F. C. Harrop, Swinton; Mr. T. Bramah and Mr. C. J. Bramah, Clifton; Dr. Davy, Mr. R. Jardine, Mr. R. Brown, Mr. J. Dalton, and Mr. M. Harrison, Sheffield; Dr. Oxley, Dr. Branson, and Messrs. P. B. Coward, J. M. Radcliffe, H. Bray, J. S. Ward, F. J. Myers, W. H. Sheldon, J. France, J. Rodgers, J. Dickinson, T. Horsfield, Dawson, Marcroft, Pontis, &c., Rotherham. The service was conducted by Dr. H. H. Snell, Sheffield, who offered prayer, and then selected the words, “He is Lord of all,” from Acts, x., 36, upon which he delivered a discourse. He remarked that he did not suppose he could select any words in the whole compass of the Scriptures more comprehensive, more solemn, or more personal to every one that day. He dwelt on how Christ came to be Lord over all, and the fact that all things were subjected to Him. He created everything, and had a right by reason of His deity, His eternal Godhead, to everything. He pointed out how that Christ died, rose, and revived to the end that he might be Lord both of the dead and the living. He did not think that was the time and place to say much of the departure of their brother. He himself felt bereaved. He was not using the word without meaning, for personally he felt bereaved. Through God’s mercy for more than twenty years he had been in happy Christian fellowship with the deceased, for the most part in fellowship beyond that which usually existed between men. The last occasion they met together was he thought the happiest they had ever had, and he could only say to them, as brethren and sisters in Christ, that they would be happy in eternity. Let them therefore own God together, and God would take and keep them. He believed none of them were yet sensible of the loss they had sustained, but they had confidence in the confidence their departed brother had in Christ, and he believed that he was lifted up where they would see him again. They would take and deposit the body in the grave feeling that the spirit had gone to the Lord himself who was Lord of all, of the dead and the living. A hymn was then sung and prayer was offered by Mr. Harrison, and the service ended. The procession was re-formed, there being about 300 persons preceding the hearse, and at the cemetery the coffin was lowered into the family vault, and prayer was offered by Dr. H. H. Snell and Dr. Davy. Two of the children of Mr. Luther Stanley placed beautiful wreaths at the entrance, and the sad ceremony terminated. Mr. Arnett was the undertaker, and Mr. J. Moorhouse supplied the hearse and mourning coaches.
Der Leeds Mercury fasste sich kürzer, wusste aber noch einige neue Einzelheiten zu berichten (auch wenn er sich im Blick auf Stanleys Gemeindezugehörigkeit nicht sonderlich gut informiert zeigte):
Wie erfolgreich Stanley als Geschäftsmann gewesen war, zeigt sein Eintrag im National Probate Calendar:
Das angegebene persönliche Vermögen von £ 20.448 6s. 11d. entspricht nach heutiger Kaufkraft mindestens 2,258 Millionen Pfund (= ca. 2,635 Millionen Euro).