Weaste Cemetery

Biographies of people buried between 1870 & 79

Joseph Moss (1802 - 1875)

 Joseph Moss served for more than forty years as School Master of the New Jerusalem Schools in Peter Street, Manchester.

He was born in 1802 in Sowerby Bridge, near Halifax, Yorkshire and baptised at Steep Lane Baptist Church there. In 1840 he married Margaret Thomas at the New Jerusalem Temple in Bolton Street, Salford. Margaret was already a member of the New Jerusalem Church acquiring much knowledge from her uncle Richard Parkinson of Preston and also Mr Thomas Walmsley of Manchester.

The New Jerusalem Church or "New Church" had developed from the teachings of a Swedish Theologian/Teacher named Emmanuel Swedenborg. It took root in Salford and Manchester under the auspices of Rev.Robert Hindmarsh, Mr Thomas Agnew (of the famous Art Dealers and Mayor of Salford 1850 - 51), Mr William Lockett (first Mayor of Salford 1844 – 45), Mr Francis Goadsby and Mr John Barge.

In December 1824, Thomas Agnew proposed a meeting to discuss the addition of a school to the church at which the following resolution was passed unanimously, "That this meeting, considering it of the greatest importance to instruct the youthful mind in the principles and doctrines of the New Church, is of the opinion that a Day School, founded for this specific purpose, would be highly beneficial to the rising generation in this neighbourhood, and extensively useful to the Church at large."

At first, the school used the Sunday School building at the New Jerusalem Temple in Salford and it opened in June 1827. Mr Thomas Moss was appointed School Master. Thomas was described as "an excellent man, a first-rate Teacher, and an earnest New Churchman." The project was so successful that in 12 months it was resolved to open a second school in the lecture room adjoining the Peter Street Church in Manchester. Thomas Moss was transferred to the Peter Street School and both became successful.

In 1850, when Thomas Agnew was Mayor of Salford, he invited Queen Victoria and Prince Albert to visit their successful schools.

The 1861 census shows Thomas and Margaret Moss living at 5, Moss Lane West, Stretford, with their 19-year-old son Thomas. In 1871 Joseph and Margaret were living at Nelson Terrace, Stretford.

Joseph Moss died on 5th July 1875 aged 73 and was buried in Plot 32, number 2423 of the Dissenters portion of Weaste Cemetery. The inscription on his memorial reads, "For more than 40 years Master of the New Jerusalem Schools, Peter Street, Manchester. No man had higher or more liberal views of education and no man laboured with more zeal and singlemindedness for its advancement."

Margaret Moss died on 27th May 1871 aged 57 and was buried with her husband. Her obituary included, "Throughout her life the love of use was most actively manifested in all her conduct. She was willing to endure any discomfort if necessary to confer benefit on others. Her cheerful disposition made all around her happy."