Ebenezer Joseph Mather

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Ebenezer Joseph Mather
Ebenezer Joseph Mather.jpg
Born (1849-06-12)12 June 1849
Stafford, Staffordshire, England
Died 23 November 1927(1927-11-23) (aged 78)
Cause of death Heart failure
Resting place Canvey Island, England
Occupation Social activist, accountant, writer
Known for Founder of the Fishermen's Mission[1]

Ebenezer Joseph Mather (12 June 1849 – 23 December 1927) was the founder of The Royal National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen now often abbreviated as the Fishermen's Mission. He is affectionally remembered as 'the fisherman's friend'.

Early life[edit]

Ebenezer was born on 12 June 1849 at Foregate Street, Stafford, England.[2] He was the son of a shoe manufacturer Henry Penkett Mather and his wife Elizabeth Douthwaite. Ebenezer was raised as a member of the Plymouth Brethren however in later life he joined the Church of England and remained Anglican for the rest of his life.[3] According to the 1871 census He was noted as an auditor. Ebenezer married his first wife Caroline Eliza Lough in Islington on 4 September 1872. After various moves and a growing family Ebenezer moved to Islington where he became a [clarification needed] of the 'Thames Church Mission Society' which was founded in 1844.[4]

Fishermen's Mission[edit]

Ebenezer founded "The National Mission to Deep Sea Fishermen" in 1881[5] after being shocked by the poor conditions in which fishermen worked and lived. In the 19th Century fishing was notoriously dangerous with high fatality rates. In 1896 the Mission was given the Royal approval by Queen Victoria adding Royal to the missions name.[6] The Mission went on to help many during WW1 and WW2 as scores of fisherman's trawlers were used to help merchant convoys and defense against attacks from the air as well as mine sweeping. The mission still operates to this day.


According to the Bibliography of Australian Literature[7] Ebenezer wrote a fiction piece called 'The Squatter's Bairn'.[8] He also wrote 'Nor'ard of the Dogger'and 'Deep sea Trials and Gospel Triumphs in 1887.

Later life[edit]

Ebenezer Mather retired to Canvey Island where he published his biography, Memories of Christian Service. He married his second wife May Ethel Timewell (who was his nurse) on 16 June 1925. Only two years later Ebenezer died of heart failure. On 28 December 1927 He was buried at St Katherine's Churchyard on Canvey Island.

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