Catherine Mumford was born in Ashbourne, in Derbyshire, on January 7, 1829. She was the only daughter in a family of five, but three of her brothers died in infancy. From very young, Catherine became her mother’s companion and confident. Her brother went to America when he was 16 and apart from him she had no play-mates as her mother believed that children were normally badly brought up and did not want any contaminating influence on her daughter.
Her mother could be termed a Puritan. Their time was only taken up with godly things and conversation was never trivial. She seems to have believed, probably correctly, that a mother can “indoctrinate“ her child by spending a lot of time with her. Indeed, this is probably why Catherine turned out to be such a powerful and influential Christian. Throughout her life she spoke out against schooling and educated her own children who all became Kingdom warriors. She would often express fervently her thankfulness that her dead children were in heaven and that she would not have them back for anything.
The result of this upbringing is that Catherine wrote, “I cannot remember the time when I had not intense yearnings after God.” Although her mother was mainly concerned with her spiritual side, she also ensured that education developed her mental side. Reading was her main joy, especially the Bible and by the time she was 12 she had read it from cover to cover eight times. Her great love of the Word of God meant that she passed this on to her children in due course.
Catherine’s father was a passionate lay preacher and should have gone into the ministry, but he was a coachbuilder. When his daughter was only four or five he lost his fire and later lost his faith. Catherine and her mother did much prayer on the subject that bore fruit 30 years later.
From my biography of Catherine Booth on this website.