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,.■ St, •
• » *
Tdyior ^ John
^ HISTORY OF ^
College %tKe^ (^\)\XK%
BIOGRAPHIES OF PASTORS, MISSIONARIES,
AND PREACHERS ;
NOTES OF SUNDAY SCHOOLS, BRANCH CHURCHES,
ILLUSTRATED with PORTRAITS and DRAWINGS.
TAYLOR 8c SON, THE DRYDEN PRESS, 9, COLLEGE STREET.
THE labour of many years of research and collection is crystallised
in the following pages, which contain a careful revise of the
History of College Street Chapel, published in 1893, at the Jubilee of the
Pastorate of the Rev. J. T. Brown, and many additional particulars and
much fresh matter. The work deals with one of the earliest and most im-
portant Nonconforming Churches in the Midlands, and contains much that
is essential to a correct view of the History of Dissent in Provincial England
during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries,
I have to thank the Minister and Deacons of College Street Church for
the use of Church Books and documents, and the Ministers of neighbour-
churches for similar and other assistance. My deep acknowledgements
are also due to Dr. Culross, Mrs. Trestrail, Dr. Booth, the Rev. J. B. Myers,
the Rev. W. Fidler, and Mr. R. Timms, for the loan of documents and other
help ; to Mr. Frank Bates, Secretary of the Northamptonshire Sunday
School Union, who has written the Sunday School section ; to Miss
Covington, and to Mr. A. Adcock for valuable assistance throughout.
The Dtyden Press,
December ist, iSg^*
The Church Covenant, 1697
The Rev. John Moore
Addition to the Church Covenant, 1700
The First Chapel, 1713
Ending the Church State
Mr. Rodgers, Anabaptist
The Church Covenant, 1732...
The Church Covenant, 1733...
The Church on the Green ...
Samuel Haworth, 1736
Samuel Shepherd, 1745
William Tolley, 1756
John Collett Ryland, M.A., 1759
First Enlargement of the Chapel, 1760
Second Enlargement, 1775 ...
John Ryland, D.D., 1781
Foundation of Foreign Missions, 1792
Dr. Staughton, 1793
George Keeley, 1799
Thomas Blundell, 1810
Sunday School Formed, 18 10
William Gray, 1825
Erection of New Schools, 1850
John Turland Brown, 1843 ...
Erection of New Chapel and Schools, 1863 ...
Frank Ward Pollard, 1882 ...
Philip H. Smith, 1894
Missionaries Designated from College Street Church
Notes and Dates
The Sunday Schools
The Chapel Deed ...
College Lane Chapel, 17 14-1862.
Interior of Old College Lane Chapel.
Rev. John Ryland.
Facsimiles of Dr. Ryland's Notes.
Rev. William Gray.
Rev. John T. Brown.
Old Meeting House, Bugbrooke.
Rev. J. T. Brown's Acceptance of Pastorate.
College Street Chapel, 1863.
Rev. J. T. Brown's Resignation. 1894.
Rev. Philip H. Smith.
Rev. Thomas Martin.
Rev. Richard F. Laughton.
Mr. William Rice.
Mr. Thomas Pressland.
Mr. Robert Brice.
Mr. John Perry.
Mr. William Gray.
Mr. H. M. Mawby.
Miss Marianne Famingham Heam,
Mr. Thomas Ager.
Mr. George Hall.
History of Qoilege Street Qhapel.
^HE seeds of Dissent were aown in England almost as
early as the Beformation, though naturally it was some
considerable time before their growth was forced upon
public notice. First of the fmits was the preaching of
Robert Brown, who was the founder of the Brownists both in
England and on the Continent, and who ended his days in North-
ampton gaol. He was incarcerated for striking a constable
after returning to the Established Church, and whilst Bector
of Achurch in Northamptonshire. Henry Jacobs, a coadjutor of
Brown in Holland, returned to England in 1616, and founded a
meeting-house — the earliest known Independent or self-governing
Church in the country, though the Baptists had a Congregational
Church of a sort in London in 1608. When Episcopacy was
abolished by the Act of Parliament of 1642, the Presbyterians in
turn became dominant, and refused toleration to the Dissenting
congregations that had sprung up during the previous five-and-
tweoty years. The Particular Baptist Churches of Zjondon
published the first known Baptist Confession of Faith, in 1644.
Among the young Dissenting Churches were some in Northamp-
tonshire ; almost all of the General Baptist persuasion, and collo-
quially, if not generally, known as Free Willers, Appended to
" The Creation and Fall of the First Adam reviewed," published
in 1651, by Capt.ain Bobert Everard, no doubt an officer in the
Cromwellian army, is the earliest record of its kind, " The Faith
and Practise of Thirty Congregations Gathered according to the
Primitive Pattern " in Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire, &c. This
was followed by the " Confession of Churches in Somerset " (by
Collier and others), in 1656. The first of these is the earliest
Conlession issued by provincial Baptist Churches. Amongst the
" Subscribers, with the places of their Meetings," are
Benjamin Morleyl , „ ,,
Francis Stanley | f» B»v»"torp,
a churph which is known to have been in existence in 1649. The
Fenstanton Church, the' only Huntingdonshire Meeting sub-
2 Castle Hill and College Lane,
i^cribing to this document, in 1665 sent out Isaac Spence and
Christopher Bell to establish a church in Peterborough, and to
*' stir up '' Fenstanton and Wisbech. At the same time, John
Fairbrother and William Beignolds were sent as messengers
" unto the west for the Work of the ministry." Provision was
made for the families of these two apostles or messengers during
their mission ; Benjamin Morley and Francis Stanley, the signa-
tories above mentioned, being appointed to " take care of Sister
Fairbrother, to visit her in her husband's absence."
After the Battle of Worcester, in the year of the publication of
Everard's book, Cromwell, by purging Parhament, gained for
Dissenters the toleration they had previously vainly asked for ;
but the Restoration in 1660 brought cbgain the old trials and
disabilities. The Act of Uniformity of 1662 caused the Puritans
to break from the Church. Jeremiah Lewis, the vicar of St.
Giles', Northampton, was *' ejected," and his congregation formed
the nucleus of an Independent Congregational Church. The
church plate — ^pewter, still in existence, bearing only the word
** GiUes," without any symbol for Saint — bears evidence to-day
of the Puritanism of Jeremiah Lewis and his church. Already
there was an Independent Church at Bothwell, the Church
Covenant of which was signed in 1655, six years subsequent to
the known existence of Baptist Churches in Northamptonshire^
as is shown by the Meeting at Bavensthorp.
Coming to Northampton, the earliest record of the Castle Hill
congregation is in 1694, though that record is of the departure
of the Bev. Mr. Blower after a successful ministry which must
have been of some years. As early as 1672 licenses were granted
for services in various houses in Northampton. It is almost
certain that the people who worshipped in this year in Bobert
Marsey's house, and who were burnt out in the Great Fire of
1675, afterwards met at '* Lady Fermor's." Castle Hill was
formed mostly by those who were PsBdobaptists without regard
to the question of Baptism in their Church order, leaving those
who in the main held Baptist opinions. Thus it came about that
friendly relations always existed between the Castle Hill and
College Lane Churches, and that non-belief in Baptism excluded
none from the Baptist Church ; and pubUc baptism by immersion
was lawful for those joining the non-Baptist Church at Castle
Hill. The license for holding services in Castle Hill Chapel is
dated 1695, the year of its erection.
The First Chwrch Covenant, 3
It was on October 27th, 1697, eight years after the passing of the
Act enabling Dissenters to attend their own places of worship,
that the Baptist Church in Northampton, now known as Col-
lege Street, was formally established. For a number of years
previously a small body of Dissenters, not agreeing in all things
with those who established a meeting at Castle Hill, met
week by week for worship and self-encouragement. The
place for meeting was usually in the house of the Dowager
Lady Fermor, in the ''Quarter," the fashionable and aris-
tocratic portion of Northampton overlooking the river Nene that
flowed a few score yards away at the end of the greensward. It
was in this house that the small body of worshippers, whose
names unfortunately have not been handed down to us, were
solemnly enchurched as a " Congregational Church of Christ "
in the presence of the Bev. Bichard Davis, the pastor of the
Congregational Church at Bothwell, the greatest organising
Nonconformist minister the English Midlands has ever seen.
Besides performing the duties of the pastoral office, he added the
character of an itinerant, and extended his journeys eighty miles in
every direction around his place of abode. In all probability the
new Church at Northampton was in the main composed of mem-
bers of the Bothwell Church. Mr. Bobert Betson, the first
pastor of the Church at Wellingborough ; Mr. Shorten, pastor of
Eimbolton Church ; and some private members of the Bothwell,
Wellingborough, and Eimbolton Churches, were present on thia
occasion; the latter, as Messengers, says the Church Book,
** were Spectators of and Advisers in this solemn Action." In
brotherly love and amity the Church Covenant was agreed to in
the following form, as it appears in large, bold characters on a
damaged page of the first Church Book : —
The Chubch Covena*^.
We the Members of this Ghuroh of God, whose Names are all inserted in thi»
Book ; Do solemnly promise in the presence of Qod and his holy Angells, and
also in the presence of each other : to walk togeth[er] in the performance of
all [Gospel-Ord]inances, and in the pre[sen]oe and di8cha[rge] of all Bela-
tiy[e] Dntie[^ as] the Lord [shall] please to enable us.
The Church continued to meet in Lady Fermor's house for
seventeen years. The house is described as being next to the
Watering Place, a portion of the Nene that ran a hundred yards
or so almost parallel with Bridge Street. Its site, as well as
that of the Watering Place, is now occupied by the extensive
premises of the Northampton Brewery Company. Previously the
4 Th$ Bev. John Moore,
place was used by Messrs. Pickford & Co., water carriers, for
their wharf. Galled Lady Farmer's, because the Northampton
house of Lady Mary Fermor, who died in 1670, surviving her
second husband, Sir Oeorge Fermor, of Easton Neston, a long
period, it was probably at first lent for religious exercises to the
little band of worshippers whom she may in her lifetime have en-
couraged in more ways than one. Lady Fermor was a most
pious and charitable woman, and though an adherent to the
Church of England, exhibited a broad-minded liberality to Dis-
senters, rare enough in her days. The Bev. John Dobson, B.D.,
Fellow of Magdalen College^ Oxford, preaching a flowery funeral
sermon at Lady Fermor's obsequies at Easton Neston, on August
5, 1670, said of her : — ** She was righteous in every Action, and
patient in her greatest Sufferings ; temperate in all Things, and as
Modest as the Morning ; So we may say of her what Victor does
of his admired Trajan, Oraces and Virtues were the very elements
of her Temper ; and were Brutus now alive he would recant that
rash Opinion, that Virtue is but an empty Frame ; because it was
here embodied, and he might have conversed with it in human
It is a matter of extreme regret that there are no entries relat-
ing to the little Church in any of the Church Books. It ap-
pears that very soon after its enchurching, a Mr. Ward from
Weedon Beck ( Weedon-on-the- Street— Watling-Street) was elected
as the pastor. He was tolerably successful for a year or two, but
dissensions between himself and his flock arose. He was ad-
monished '' For Lieing and Equivikatio* about his depts," and
'* Brother Jeremiah Bass ** was chosen and ordained Deacon, pre-
sumably to carry on the public services. After an interval of six
months, a second admonition was sent to Mr. Ward, but on
January 8, 1700, '' Being a solemn day of prayer, Mr. Ward and
y* Church reconciled and parted." Mr. Ward returned to Wee-
don to be pastor of the Church there. These were evidently
stormy days for the little Church. There were some strong God-
fearing men in it ; and their faith and courage were put sternly to
Mr. John Moore, a ruler of the Church in Bossendale, Lanca-
shire, was invited to preach to them, with a view to his becoming
their stated minister. On July 80 of the same year, another
solemn day of fasting and prayer, for in those times Nonconformist
Churches looked to God for direction in all important under-
takings, he was invited to become the pastor, a request he
Baptism of Adults. 5
immediately complied with. The record in the Church Book
reads : —
July 30th, 1700, being a solemn day of fasting & prayer, brother John
Moore, being by the Ghurch aproved, both in conversation & doctrine, &
qualifications suitable to the pastorall Office, was by the Ghurch aforesaid
Galled & invited to accept of the same ; the Ghurches Gall was answered
by his accepting of the same : therefore the Letters (ordered by the Ghurch
y« Lords day before requesting his dismission of the Ghurch of Xt in Bossen-
dale) were now aproved and agreed.
Some were dissatisfied with the change, and it was felt neces-
sary at the next Ghurch meeting to make a formal declaration,
" and a promise one with another that Mr. Ward is not to be
imposed on y^ Church to preach amongst us, without y*^ Churches
Leave.'' Moreover, the following month, a day was set apart
for fasting and prayer, and the solemn renewing of the Church
Covenant. Thus fortified, the Church received Mr. Moore and
his wife as members on October 30th, and he was publicly or-
dained on December 3rd of the same year, 1700. Mr. Moore
was a believer in adult baptism, an Anabaptist. The Church was
based on a mixed communion, and Mr. Moore considered it would
conduce to amity if that fact were formally stated in the Church
Covenant before his ordination. The members had no objection,
and at a Church meeting on November 18th, 1700, this was done,
the record reading : —
Whereas this Ghurch professeth Mixt Gomunion (as to matter o Judgm^
about Water Baptism). It was agreed upon, & passed as an Act (Nem : Gon-
trad :) That a few Lines should be inserted in the Ghurch Book, & annexed
to the Govenant, wherein our Members unanimously do solemnly Testify
& Engage not to Impose or Reflect on one another, as touching that
** The few lines '* annexed to the Church Covenant are thus
preserved : —
And whereas we differ in our Judgments about Water-Baptism, We do now
Solemnly declare. That we that are for Infant-Baptism do not hereby, nor
will not impose on the [others] or any of our Brethren or Sisters that are
among [us who] are for Baptism upon Profession of Faith. [And on the
other] hand, We that are for Believers Baptism do not, nor wiU not impose
upon the Gonsciences of any of our Brethren or Sisters that are amongst us,
that are for Infant Bapti8[m]. Nor will we [(either] Party, or any of ub)
impose upon any that hereafter [may jo] yn in Gommunion with us ; But do
all promise (freely & oordiaUy, without casting Beflections, &c., on the
Persons or Practice of any) to leave every one to his or her Liberty of
Judgment & Practice herein ; Each [of us] walking Gonsoientiously up to
our Light; Engaging & Endeavouring in the Strength of Ghrist that our
difference in Judgement shall not cause Breach of Union or Affection.
6 Life of John Moore.
Mr. Moore's ordination, on ajiother day of fasting and prayer,
was witnessed by the Rev. Richard Davis and Mr. Robert
Bolderson (messengers of the Church at Rothwell), the Rev.
Robert Betson and Mr. John Chater (messengers of the Church
at Wellingborough), and others, '' both Professors, and of ,the
World." Mr. Moore's ministry at Northampton extended over
more than twenty-five years. He was a learned and enlightened
minister of the Gospel, favoured with a sound education, in-
cluding a good knowledge of Hebrew and Greek.. He was a
descendant of John Moore, " Good old Liberty Moore," rector of
Guisley, who died in 1640. He was bom, as he himself tells us,
at Okeworth Hall, Keighley, Yorkshire, in 1662. His parents, a
God-fearing, pious couple, carefully attended to his training in
early years, and afterwards sent him to be educated, first, by a
namesake, Mr. John Moore, of Pendle Forest, Lancashire ; and
afterwards by Mr. W. Hulster, of Bingley, Yorkshire. Dr. Ryland,
a subsequent pastor of College Lane, in some collected notes
respecting the history of Baptist Churches in Northamptonshire,
writes of Mr. Moore : —
He was first awakened and convinced at sixteen years of age, and con-
tinued nine years in great distress of soul, till he received consolation under
the ministry of Mr. William Mitchell, whose labours were very successful in
Yorkshire and Lancashire. In those parts, Mr. Moore himself began to
preach, having joined a church in Bosendale. After some years he removed
to Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire, and preached there about one year and a
half ; from thence he came into Northamptonshire, November 9th, 1699, in the
37th year of his age, as Chaplain to Arthur Brooks, Esq., of great Oakley ;
but that religious gentleman was seized with a violent fever and died about a
month after Mr. Moore was received into his family: his lady being
differently minded from her late husband, respecting divine ordinances, Mr.
Moore perceived he could not long stay there ; but was invited to preach in
several neighbouring congregations, as at Kettering, Kimbolton, Corby, and
at Northampton. To which last place he removed with his family in March,
1700, at the request of the church.
William Mitchell was a zealous preacher of Antinomian tenets
settled at Hunslet, near Leeds. He was continually engaged in
itinerant preaching, establishing many societies in the hilly parts
of Lancashire and Yorkshire. The centre of this religious
activity, similar to Bothwell, in Northamptonshire, was Bacup
in Rossendale Valley, where a church was founded in 1691. Mrs.
Brooke, of Great Oakley, was a Roman Catholic, and this was the
cause of Mr. Moore's leaving the family so soon after the decease
of his patron.
Some of the admirers of Mr. Ward were dissatisfied ; and
The Infant GhurcK 7
they found a vulnerable point in the Church's proceedings.
Accordingly, early in the new year, several members objected to
the '< Churches Actings " in regard to the bringing in of Mr.
Moore. The Church was convicted, it admitted its evil ; but a
few were not satisfied, and on April 22, 1701, it was deemed wise
to more fully explain. Accordingly we find the following entry
under that date in the Church Book : —
This Churoh taking that business of Fetching Mr. Moore & his family
hither, into farther Consideration, judged that tho the majority of them
freely consented & subscribed the letter that was sent, &c., it might have
been better, more prudent, & might have prevented Objections, if it had
been done by a Church Act. Whereas Mr. Moore was called to Office, &
the letter requesting his Dismission, was signed both on the same day. The
Church now considering of it, do judge that it might have been more proper
if there had been more distance of time betwixt them.
John Moore brought to the little impoverished Church many, if
not all those qualities necessary for a successful ministry. He
was first of all methodical, next a disciplinarian, an able preacher
and careful adviser. He had a firm beUef in the need not only
of church worship, but of frequent and regular participation in
Christian ordinances* He stamped his individuality on the
Church, which seemed to look to him for guidajice and counsel in
its many straits and trials. It was a severe monetary burden
upon the members to maintain their pastor's modest salary. But
he never complained that they did not give him enough, and no
one worked harder than he did for the growth of the Church and
for the building of a chapel for their own use. Within two months
of his ordination we find the Church soliciting financial aid from
the London churches ; five years later a special collection was
ordered amongst the members to raise seventy shillings that had
for several years been owing to four of their number. A year
later the same matter received the serious attention of the
Church. "Whereas'* runs the entry in the Church Book on
February 4, 1708, '* Whereas Contributions for y* Maintenance
of y® Ministry amongst us are but small & much decreased of late
years, & y® full Kent of y* Meeting-place is not at any time made
up by what is given for that end, both upon Subscriptions & at y*
publick Collections : Mr. Abbott & Mr. Wilkins were now ap-
pointed to Examine into this matter, & where they found a
deficiency or neglect to endeavour a Begulation in these Concerns
according to persons AbiHties by stirring up such as are awanting
or deficient in Contributing hereto, unto their Duty." It was
probably to enable Mr. Moore to eke out a Hving that it was
8 Financial Difficvltiet.
unanimously agreed by the Ghurch that he should have free
liberty ''to go to London, or elsewhere, for 3 or 4 Weeks in
every year," if he desired it. The finances never improved, though
not long afterwards we find the Ghurch generous in promising
financial aid in a matter in which it was its duty to be generous.
On January 26, 1709 :—
This Church] declared & resolved that in cas any of the members of this
Church or of any of the Churches in communion shall marry among them-
selves (which to do this church thinks it most proper & regular and not to be
married by the Parsons of the church of England) If any trouble or suit of
law shall arise thereupon, they will be assisted as Contributors towards the
necessary expenses and charge that any such persons (so married) shall be at
in defence of such a cause.
To show how needful was some such provision it may be
mentioned that as late as 1750 a man in Leicestershire who was
married at a Baptist Meeting-house in accordance with Dissenting
custom, was indicted by a zealous Churchman for living in
adultery with his wife.
To return to the Church's finances. On February 1, 1711,
Deacon Bass informed the Church that three-quarters of a year's
rent was due, leuid it was resolved to lay the matter '' before y*
Congregation on a Lord's day, y® first convenient opportunity,
when there is a pretty full meeting, and more of y^ Church
together." The congregation rose to the necessities of the case.
They came to the conclusion that it would be best and cheapest
to have a meeting-place of their own. Means were promptly
adopted for erecting a chapel. A site, a portion of the ground
upon which the present handsome chapel stands, was selected.
It, and the old buildings upon it, a rookery let out to no less than
nine families, were purchased for £160. A document in Mr.
Moore's handwriting, preserved in the chapel vestry, gives an
account of the money contributed for the erection of the new
building. It commences : — "Mar. y* 12th, 1712 , Mr. John
Pheasant, Nath. Sharpe, with some others bought of Thomas
Bams Nine Messuages or Tenements (formerly one Messuage)
scituate in CoUedge-Lane, in y® Parish of All Sts., Northampton, for
to erect a Meeting-House & a Dwelling-Housefor a Minister upon,
for y« Sum of £160, to be paid on Jun. y« 24th, 1713, & at
the same time to take possession thereof, &c." Then follows "A
Catalogue of y* Names of such Persons who have Contributed
towards y** Purchasing of y* said Messuages, & y® Buiiding a
Meeting-House, &c. thereon, together with a just Account of y*
Sums of Money contributed by y* said Persons." At the head of
The First Chapel. 9
this '' oataloge ** we find the names of Mr. John Pheasant as a
contributor of £20, Mr. Robert Wilkins £10, Mr. William
Abbott, Mrs. Elizabeth Watts, Mrs. Sarah Blundell, Mrs. Mary
Grouch, and Mrs. Alice Brine £5 each ; Samuel Haworth con-
tributes £2 10s., Mr. Edward Houghton £2 Ss., and then follow sums
of £1 each and below. The " sum total '' is £84 2s. lOd. The
account is followed by another of a collection made in London.
"At y* Request," says Mr. Moore, "of y Church & other
firiends, I undertook a Journey to London, staying there about 8
weeks (viz, from May y® 28 till July y® 24, 1713) on purpose to
request y" Liberahty of Christian ffriends there for our Assist-
ance in Building a Meeting-House, &c. Where (through y* good
hand of y® Lord with me) I procured of y*" Persons here-
under Nominated as followeth.'' A sum of £85 14s. 2id. was there
collected. The contributions collected in the country amounted
to £179 6s. 6d., making a total collected in " City and Country *'
of £264 19s. 8id. The disbursements came to £264 17s. Bjd.,
leaving in hand 2s. 5d. Among the items in those disbursements
we find half the purchase-money of the tenements — £80. Then
follows a payment of £2 3s. to " Mr. Brittaine, Lawyer."
Appended to these statements is an account of Mr, Moore's
own expenses, with the following introduction : — ** Whereas I,
John Moore, proposed to allow something towards y^ Building of
a Meeting-House & a Dwelling-House for me & my ffamily to
live in. Here follows a true Account of what was given, paid, &
expended by me, (besides my Labour in Writing down all Accounts,
Receipts, Letters, 3 bonds, &c., & my Travelling from place to
place to the damaging of my Apparell, & besides, my giving
Yictualls & Beer to Workmen, &c.,) in serving about y* said
Meeting-House, A.D. 1713 & 1714. And yet no Dwelhng-House
is Erected for mee, as 1 expected/'
The little stone chapel was one of those plain rectangular
buildings that the poverty or the will of early Dissenters dictated
for pubHc worship. It faced College Lane, exactly opposite the
curious old passage from the Drapery, that had been legally
established as a right of way for at least one hundred and fifty
years before on payment from the rent of ** Swan Inn " of two-
pence each every Sunday to thirteen poor people. The Church
was fortunate indeed in obtaining so eligible a site for their
chapel. In those days meeting-houses were an abomination not
to be endured by the majority of the people who professed
allegiance to the Establishment. It was an unheard-of thing
10 Improved Conditions.
for Dissenters to be allowed to purchase ground on a front
street whereon to erect a place of worship. A remnant of this
hostility yet exists in many parts of the Midlands, where some of
the aristocratic landowners, whenever they sell land or grant it
on a long lease, insist on a covenant that no Dissenting place
of worship shall be erected upon it. Nonconformists were driven
into the bye-ways for their chapels, as witness the Independents
in ** Quart- Pot Lane," the Wesleyans in " King's Head Lane,"
and the Quakers in ** Kingswell Lane." The College Lane
Church secured a site in the very centre of the town, and
within twenty or thirty yards of the middle of the chief
thoroughfare. An inexpensive piece of ground could not possibly
be found, whether for a chapel or not, so advantageously situated.
The new chapel, with its rigid lines of high-pitched roof and
eaves, windows and doorway, was as plain and impretentious as
the congregation was lowly and poor. It was pewed in the same
plain style ; the floor was of brick, and there was no baptistry. The
little piece of land at the rear was sometimes used as a burial
ground, for we find the following entry in the Church Book under
date December 25, 1717 : —
Some desiring that y*' Garden behind our Meeting-House might be oon-
verted to a Burying-Plaoe, it was now proposed to y« Consideration of y^
Church ; Whereupon ye Church unanimously assented thereto, In Case y®
trustees would also give their consent to it.
When the chapel was demoHshed in 1862 a number of graves
were found, showing that the garden was extensively used as a
burying ground. Afterwards, when the original chapel was en-
larged, burials took place in the aisles, in the opposite direction
to, or across, the earlier buryings.
Up to the opening of the chapel in College Lane the Church
had been most successful. It was indeed in the full vigour of its
first manhood. The cultured and able pastor brought to bear all
his learning and all his force of character upon the Church, and
from the Church upon the town. The Church was a model of
what a Church should be. Public worship and the Christian
ordinances were attended to in the most exemplary manner;
inquiring souls were comforted and assisted ; members growing
lukewarm were encouraged, their difficulties were surmounted ;
those that backsUded were gently, though firmly, admonished.
It was a well-ordered Church, and it progressed. To give an idea
of the methods adopted for maintaining the Christianity of the
The Town Waits. 11
Church untarniBhed, the following, bom among the many instances
of the administration of discipline, may be quoted : —
Novem: ye: 24th, 1700. Bro. John Warner came before y^ Ghnroh A
hie case was considered, as to his practice of Mnsick, & being duly debated,
the Ghoroh judged it to be nnlawfoll A not allowable for him to practise it
in any Company, Oivil or pro&ne (because of y« evil attendances or Gonse-
sequences that might arise thereupon), but oidy in y« Service of y® Town,
accordingly as was allowed him at his first Admittance into y^ Ghurch, &
he was treated with & desired to take it into farther Consideration.
A month later (December 22, 1700) it is recorded : —
Bro. John Warner acknowledged his Evil (as to his unlawfoll using his
Musick) to y^ satisfaction of the Ghurch, Confessing it was (he believed) a Sin
against God, as well as Offensive to his Brethren, & therefore promised he
would not any more practise it, but only in the service of the Town, as was
First allowed him.
It would appear from this that John Warner was one of the
Town Waits, and that on his case being considered by the Church,
it was thought he could legitimately play for the town, because
it was his living, but not for pleasure, because such music
was ^^prophane." Christmas-tide proved too much for the
musician. He scandalously misbehaved himself, and was excom-
municated therefor in the following February.
Next we have one of many cases of a similar nature of a
member keeping company with " one of the world " in order to
marriage. *' Camall " was then understood as meaning being
affected with human infirmities, not saved, as in 1 Cor. iii. 3.
June y« 15th, 1701. Sister Eliz. Fowler was treated with about her
keeping Gompany with a man, who is judged Gamall, in order to Marriage,
A was warned against it; & It was agreed upon that on y« 30th day of
this Instant June, some time be spent in Prayer on her behalf as touching
this matter. And that the next Ghurch meeting be deferred till that day.
Sometimes the horrified Church meeting knew nothing of the
crime of the erring brother or sister until the marriage— most
likely ** prophanely ** gone through at the '^ Pubhck " (the parish
church) — had actuaUy taken place. Sometimes there was con-
fession of wrong, and contrition, followed by the forgiveness of
the Church. In one or two cases, as in the above instance, the
match was broken off. In one case a sister unblushingly denied
at several Church meetings that she was ''keeping company"
with the man ; and married him the week after. One question
which came prominently before the Church in its early years was
that of members going to Church of England services. Most
Nonconformists seemed to agree with the dictum '* That it is
tmlawful for any members of the congregation to hear the teachers
12 Grinding on Sundays.
of the Church of England except to reprove them/' Other
religious denominations fell also under the han. At the Church
meeting on July 30, 1702, ** An Accusation was brought before y«
Church agt several Members for going to y« Quakers Meeting ;
and the Church judged them worthy of Acbnonition." We sub-
sequently find the following entries : —
Aug : ye : 20th, 1702. Bro : Tho. Oooper behig farther treated with about
his going to 7« Quakers Meetiiig, Acknowledged that he saw no Evil in his
going Occasionally at that time, yet seeing it was Offensive to others, he
hoped he should go no more ; Whereupon the Church declared their Satis-
Septem: ye 10th, 1702. Sister Eliz. Blundell being treated with about
her going to hear the Quakers made Hacknowledgm^ and expressed her
ooncemedness about it, to the Churches Satisfaction.
One other instance in later years may be given. At a Church
Meeting on January 6, 1719  : —
George Kirkham, MiUer at Nun-Mills, having some time ago signified (to
some of y<^ Members of y<^ Church) his desire of Comunion with us, but
withall desiring that y<^ Church would first take Case into Consideration as
touching his grinding on y^ Lord's day, alledging his being necessitated
thereunto ; The Church accordingly having consulted about it some weeks
ago, Several of y« Members intimated their dislike of that practice : But
his Case being again proposed to Consideration on Friday last (upon his
desire to know y Churches Besolution about it), it was then agreed for him
to come before y« Church, that we might hear his case from his own mouth,
Bro. Cooper & Bro. Browne being order'd to tell him so: Wherefore he
being now present, he was treated with & by several perswasive Arguments
was advised to venture to break ofi his said practice of grinding on Lord's
day & to depend upon Divine Providence, but in vain ; Whereupon many
of y« Brethren & Sisters declaring their utter dislike of yf said practice,
& their unwillingness to admit of his Comunion with us, unless he would
leave it ofi The Church agreed to drop it & he was hereupon acquainted
with their determination & Conclusion.
Meanwhile, at the commencement of 1713, on January 14, a
difference of opinion in the Church appears to have been settled
by the following resolution : —
It being signifyed & attested by y^ Church that y® latter part of our
Church-Covenant (which respects our differing in Judgment about Water
Baptism. &c.) as it is worded, hath been & is an occasion of stumbling &
dissatisfaction To some persons. The Church took y« matter into their serious
Consideration, & unanimously agreed k resolved (to cut off such occasions
through weakness or tenderness of Conscience) that y« said latter part of y^
Covenant Shall for y« time to come be wholly left out, & that y« first part only
of our former Church-Covenant (which is all one) shall be hereafter used k
observed in the admission of members, &c.
The Death of John Moore. 13
This appears to have been merely a technical or nominal
alteration, for in the following April two women proposed for
communion with them were accepted by the Church, but the
candidates signifying that they judged it to be their duty to be
baptized, they underwent the rite the ensuing Sunday, and were
thereupon received into Communion. Similar baptisms occurred
^ on other Sundays during the same year. A sermon by Mr.
Moore on baptism about this time gave offence to one or two
members. This difficulty, which was apparently smoothed over,
was the begmning of sorrows. Mr. Moore, the cultured, pious
Calyinistic minister of College Lane, the pastor quick to note the
wandering of any member of his flock, never weary in well-doing,
the head of a faithful Christian household, fell A time of
severe tribulation came upon the little Church. Spiritual life
weakened, members grew indifferent, discipline became lax, the
sacred ordinances of the Church were neglected. The Church
state weakened, and in the midst of the distresses, the repenting
pastor died on January 14, 1726. '' He died with grief," is the
brief and eloquently pathetic statement in the Church Book at a
time when the entries becaone few and irregular.
We are living at too distant a date from John Moore's death,
and we have too meagre information to judge rightly of his trials
and temptations. The veil must be drawn around his failings,
and we must look upon him as the first great pastor of College
Street. During the twenty-five years he held ministerial office
over that Church, 264 members— 80 men, 184 women — ^were
admitted. Some of them were backsliders : it was the great
impediment to the growth of success in the early part of the
eighteenth century that some of the members of struggling
Churches were afterwards branded as public criminals. We have
seen above instances of the Church's application of its discipline
to offenders. The cases quoted are by no means the worst.
There is one case in particular where the Church member
admitted a number of crimes, for every one of which the civil
law would have hanged him. The Church grew in numbers and
character for the first twenty years of John Moore's active
ministry. It declined in the last five. John Moore must be
remembered for the twenty years of increase. BAs wife, who
was admitted member of the Northampton Church with him, was a
lady of exemplary piety. One of the daughters of Mr. and Mrs.
Moore married the famous John Brine, a Calvinistic Baptist
minister, bom in humble circumstances at Kettering in 1703.
14 Ending the First Church.
In 1730 he became pastor of a congregation meeting in Curriers^
Hall, Gripplegate, London, and held the pastoral office there
till his death in 1765. He acquired considerable celebrity as a
preacher and as a man of great understanding, a foremost
controversialist of sound judgment in the doctrines of the Gospel,
and of exemplary life. Mrs. Brine died in 1750, and her husband
published *^ Some Account of the Choice Experience of Mrs.
Anne Brine, As written by Herself, and collected out of her
John Moore, as is shown by the contents of his library, as
lately discovered, was a highly literary man, and well versed in
the religious controversies of his time. He published several
sermons, all apparently printed at the Dicey Press, Northampton.
They include *' God's Matchless Love to a Sinful World. Plainly
demonstrated, in several Sermons Preach'd at Bromesgrove in
the County of Worcester, May 22, and 29, 1698," printed at
Northampton in 1722 ; and ** Some Gospel-Truths plainly stated^
clearly proved, and calmly vindicated, in sundry Discourses on
several Subjects," being sermons preached at '< Great Wood-
House, near Leeds in Yorkshire, August 22, 1703 " (this sermon
must have taken more than three hours in its delivery); at
Heaton, near Bradford, on June 24, 1711 ; and another at Great
Wood-House on June 10, 1719. He also published a funeral
Discourse deUvered on February 6, 1721, in memory of Mrs.
Mary Foukes ; and he issued two poems in 1723, under the
pseudonym of " Christophilus Philalethes." They were entitled,
''A DiaJogue Betwixt An Awakened Sinner and a Mercifull
Saviour. Composed A.D. 1694. To which is added A Divine
Poem : or, Christ the first Object of God's Love, constituted
Head of the Creation, the Surety and only Eedeemer of Elect
Persons amongst Mankind."
The Bev. William Grant, of Wellingborough, preached the
funeral sermon on the Bev. John Moore, who presumably was
buried at Northampton.
The death of John Moore had no sooner left the depleted
Church without a pastor than the remnant decided on ending
their Church state. The following is the next entry : —
March ye 2 1725-6
We the Church of Christ at oar Church Meeting consulted and agreed
being weak and insufficient of ourselves to hold up Church state have gene-
raly concluded a disolve of our Church state.
This action was not done with the unanimous consent of the
Church ; in fact, the trustees of the new chapel and others, par-
iicularly a sister living at Brafield who walked to the chapel on
Sundays, were opposed to it. The members mostly went to the
Galvinist Baptist Meeting House on the Green. As far as can
be judged from documentary evidence, the trustees soon re-
opened the chapel. Whatever the members did, they at least
were faithful to their trust. Services of some sort — ^we have to
presume that they were in accordance with congregational order
— were re-established, and regular Church meetings were held.
There is a serious hiatus in the Church Book after the record of
Mr. Moore's death. Nearly every scrap of information regard-
ing the history of the Church during the subsequent six or seven
years is contained in a succinct history commencing the second
Church Book in the possession of College Lane.
This is headed, ** An Account of our proceedgs, who have en-
churched together, according to the Bule of the Gospel of Christ
the King of Zion." " Whereas,*' it commences, " several of us
were entrusted with the meeting house & premises thereto be-
longing situated in CoUedge-lane in Northampton. The Church
and congregation being formerly imder the care of' Mr. John
Moore in whose time the whole premises above said was pur-
chased & the meeting house above-said Built. Now after the
purchasing when the writeings came to be made, the whole was
settled upon Trustees, in number Eleven for the use of an In-
dependent Church of Protestant Dissenters to worship God in,
& to help to carry on the cause of God among them : accord-
ing to which Settlement it was used till the Death of Mr. Moore
& some time after, but in time ye people grew weak &
thought themselves unable to go on with ye Lords work they
agreed to give up their Church state, contrary to the consent of
the major part of the Trustees." The recital goes on to state
that many of the members were since in a poor, scattered state,
and that some were dismissed away before Mr. Moore's death.
Some decided to enchurch again, though some would not again
join vnth them. A Church was formed, and the members then
endeavoured to obtain a minister to take the pastoral oversight.
'' After they had had several who did not like to stay with them,
one Mr. Bogers came whom all at his first comeing hoped would
be suitable ; but he at length appeared to be for walking in Church
fellowship only with such as were Baptized his way." The greater
part of the members agreed with Mr. Bodgers, and another Cove-
nant was made, a Covenant of Strict Communion. This Covenant
is given at large in the first Church Book. It reads : —
16 The Bev. Cha/rles Bodgers,
Thb Ghubch Govbnant.
We the Members of the Ohurch of God Assembling at the Meeting House
in Gollidge Lane, Northampton, whose Names are Inserted in this Book
following Are all Unanimously agreed to have all former Covenants and
Contracts desolyed, being Convinc'd, by Searching the Scriptures, that we
have Bevolted from the Rule our great Lord and Lawgiver has left upon
Accord in Point of gathering and Planting a Gospel Church.
We do now give up ourselves in a most Solemn manner unto the Lord and
to o^e Another, Solemnly promising and Engaging in the Hawfull presence of
the great God and of His holy Angels and in the presence of Professors and
the World, do solemnly promes to walk togather in the Strength of Christ,
promising Obedience to all the Lawes,ordinences,and Order of his House, and
to be found in the practise and discharge of all Belative duties ; Bndeavouring
to keep the Unity of the Spirit in the Bond of peace, as God shall enable xr\,
and whereas we have been Agreed time past to Receive into his house and
hold Communion with unbaptized Persons, do now renounce that Practice,
believing it to be Conterary to Gospel Bule (Matt 28 : 18. 19. 20 : Acts 2 : 41),
are now Unanimously Agred to Receive only such into Fellowship with us
which are Baptised, upon Profession of their faith, holding it both in
practise and judgment.
This Covenant was agreed to on November 16, 1732, as appears
from this entry immediately following on the same page of the
Church Book : —
This Baptiss Church of Christ at Northampton Meeting in Collidge-lane
was Planted on November ye 16 : 1782. Mr George Simpson of the Church of
Christ at Coventree, and Mr. Barmor, Pastor of the Church of Christ upon the
Green in this Towne, and Mr Deacon and Mr Daniel Hills both Ministers
Living at WalGrave these were Witnesses to this our Solemn Covenanting
togather in the presence of God and with one Another.
These two extracts from the old Chnrch Books are in the hand-
writing of Mr. Bodgers, the Anabaptist. The orthographic and
other grammatical mistakes, and the handwriting, show that he
lacked the culture and learning that characterised Mr. Moore ;
indeed, even in days when orthography was not considered of
much account, he must have been regarded as a half illiterate
man. Like many another preacher of the time, he shared with an
extensive knowledge of the contents of the Bible a curious ignor-
ance of other branches of learning. He was evidently^with the
poorer people an attractive, if not a logical preacher ; but usually
enforced every statement in his sermons, as was the custom of his
class, with more or less applicable Biblical texts. He had a number
of adherents in Northampton and in surrounding villages, how
many it is not possible to judge, except that the baptisms were
not numerous. Two men and a woman were baptised on
November 28, a fortnight after the signing of the Covenant ; but
it is not quite clear that they were baptised into the new Church,
A ''Strict'' Covenant. 17
though Mr. Bodgers administered the rite. After the Covenant
appeaa: the following entries, as if they were but two numbers of
an ordinary sequence. The first is dated February 27, 1732
 and reads:—
At our Church Meeting this day Oharles Rodgers was received as a member
into full Communion with this Church, we all being Unanimously agreed to
Bequest his Brotherly Relation Amongst us in the bonds of the Gospell (And
he as willing did give up himself to walk with us in the faith and Orders of
this Church) haveing the free consent of the Church to which he did belong
by a Letter which was satisfactory both to him and to this Church. We
the Members of this Church have this day Unanimously given Brother
Kodgers call to be the mouth of this Church in matters Respecting Church
order and discipline for the peace and unity of this Church. This day our
next Church Meeting was appointed to be on Easter Tuesday being this
day month to Come.
The next is as follows : —
March 27 1733 At our Church Meeting this day A Request was proposed
by the Trustees to this Church whether this church would be free to lend the
Meeting House for Mr. Will™ Grant of Wellinborough to come and preach
and Break Bread to his Members in this Town, once a Quarter and our
Brother C. R. to go and supply his place, to which RequiQst this Church re-
turned this Answer being Unanimously agreed that we dar not in Conscianoe
asent or Consent to grant them theire Request being satisfyed in our one
consciance that by so doing we shall be found guilty of the breach of Church
Covenant by Virtue of which Act we refused to hold comunion with unbap-
tized persons and also disaproved of the Notion of Mizt Comunion and
therefore out not to give any countenance to such a practice and therefore do
conclude that by granting such a Request wood be an atempting to build
againe that which we have distry'd and so be in danger of making our Selves
Trsknsgressors Gal 2. 18 believing it our duty as a Church of Christ, that
whereto we have already atained we out to walk by the same Rule, and to
mind the Same thing. Philip. 8 : 14 : 16. This day it was appointed that
our Next Church Meeting should be the first Tuesday in May next.
Nine of the eleven trustees of College Lane Church, we learn
from the second Church Book, were all against the new covenant
and this calling in of Mr. Bodgers, '< their Church state being
altered, and they not being such a Church as the writings men-
tion." The proposal from their side that Mr. Bodgers should
exchange once a quarter with Mr. William Grant, of Welling-
borough, so that those who adhered to open communion could
** break bread," being thus refused, the trustees lost no time in
picking up the gauntlet so unceremoniously thrown down. The
tenure of College Lane Chapel by the intruders was of short dura-
tion. Mr. Charles Bodgers, who penned both the above entries,
had scarcely wiped the superfluous ink from his goose-quill ere the
18 An Open Gommurnon OharcK
trasteeB concerted measures of restoring the old order of worship
in the chapol and coming to their own again. They were joined
by three others and agreed to begin a Charch according to the
first eonstitution. MonSay, Aogaat 20, was fixed nponostheday
of the solemn and important proceeding ; and the Ghnrches at
Bothwell, Wellingboroogh, and Boade were asked to send mes-
sengers to behold the Charch Order. The news became noised
abroad. The Strict Baptists already entrenched armed them-
selves for the fray. They hurried forward the day of Mr. Rodgers'
ordination and fixed it for Wednesday, August IS, five days
earlier than the date for the enchuFching of the new Church.
We learn from the first Church Book, which was still in the
possession of the usurpers, and still in Mr. Bodgers' handwriting,
that this day (August 15, 1733),
B^ng a day of Fasting and Pnjez Brothet Oharlea Bodgers wm Solemnly
Chosen and Ordered to the Office of a Pastor by this Choioh. Mr Woollnson
FGbstor of the Church of Bossden and MeBseugers with him Mr Deaoon
Pastor of a Ohuroh of Wallgrave and Messengera with him, and Mr. Brine
from London [Mr. Moore'B Hon in law] being Witnesaea of that Solemn Aot
besdes many others both Professors and the World.
It all avsiled nothing. The narrative in the second Church
Book proceeds : —
The MesBBiigers beii^ oome on the day appointed [August 20th, 1TS3],
John Pheasant Baohal Abbott
John WlUdua Elizabeth Williams
John Abbott - Elizabeth Smith
Cava an aooomit of the Work of Ood upon om; aoals, and out desire to be-
come a Church of Christ and our satisfitotion to walk with each other in a
Ohorch Relation, in the presence of the Messengers of the Ghurohes havaing
Arst prayed to ye Lord, haveing so done we ooneluded in prayer.
This did not take place in the chapel, for the record goes on
without a break : —
Then went to the Meeting House where we appointed Bro. Wilkins to read
the covenant which is as follows ; —
'We do in the presanoe of the Lord Jesaa, oor crowned King Bis holy
angels. His people, and all the people here present, Give up onrEeWes to the
Lord, and to one another, by the Will of God solemnly promising and en-
gaging to walk with the Lord Jesus, and with his people in the observation
of all Qospel ordinances ; and in the Diaoharge of all Relative Duties in this
Honae of his, or in any Other hooae of his, of the same faith and order, as
the Lord shall help as. And whereas there may be Difference of opinion
abont Water Baptism, that to be no bar to our Cburoh Communion, nor
fellowship, one with another in all other Gospel ordinances.
' Unto this Covenant we lifted up our hands and subscribed o
2'he Chv/rch on The Green, 19
Bachel Abbott, J. Pheasant, Tho Garyer, Eliz Williams, John Wilkins, Sam
Haworth, Eliz Smith, Jno. Abbott, John Muscott. August 20. 1733.*
Then was read the Dismission of Bro. Sam^ Haworth and Bro. Tho»
Cooper from Wellingborough Church, and they were received by us. The
Day was concluded with prayer and preaching and singing of Psalms.
Mr. Bodgers and his Church were thus turned out of College
Lane Chapel. Of the fortunes of these intruders little need be
said. Taking the Church Book with them, they went to their
proper home on the Green. August 26, the Sunday after the
founding of the new Church, was the first time of their breaking
And Brother Weston and Sister Qent withdrawed being dissatisfyed upon
our dropping Singing after the manner it is now Practiced everywhere.
The next summer, on July 7, 1734, these two members were
disowned by the Church, '' having some time agoe departed from
us on the account of omitting the Ordinance of Singing in publique
after the Common way." But before this had taken place, the
old church on the Green had united with Mr. Bodgers' Church.
The account reads : —
November 4 : 1733 being breaking bread day, the bodey of the Ohurch over
whom Mr. Boomer was pastor, he having lade down his Pastoral office
and preached to mixed Communion the Ohurch being left desolate and
being of the Same Judgment with us desired to joyne with us in full com-
munion declaring their Satis&hction with our Govensmt and participation of
our Ministry having found it Edefiing to theire Souls we declared our
willingness in the reception of them, a Ohurch Act passed and their names
Iniserted in this book with cures, and joyntly set down togather at the
In all 77 names — 36 men and 41 women — were inserted in the
book on the page following the Church Covenant. Subsequently
to this date Mr. Bodgers baptised nineteen persons, among them
Mary Allsop, of Olney, ** in the 89 year of her age." The Green
Church originated from a branch of Mr. Negus's Strict Baptist
Church at Stevington, Bedfordshire, which met in the early years
of the eighteenth century in a bam in St. James's End. The
church at Stevington authorised Nathan Brown to be the preacher
for this branch, but the St. James's End people did not like the
arrangement, and Mr. Negus and Mr. Brown quarrelling, the
members broke off irregularly. In 1708 Mr. Mawbey succeeded
Mr. Brown, and in 1716 John Collis was the pastor. In 1724
the Church used to meet at the house of Edward Gamer, in Quart
Pot Lane, Northampton. After this they had a regular meeting
house on the Green, and Mr. Boomer became their pastor. He
I I M— SZ^
20 The B&v. Samuel Haworth.
however, changed his judgment for mixed communion, leaving
them, as above mentioned, in 1733. Mr. Bodgers left Northamp-
ton about three years later, and settled at Bye in Sussex,
where he died in 1782. The Church Book entries became very
meagre after his removal. Henry Davis, or Davey, was chosen
deacon in 1743, elder in 1744, and was ordained pastor on June 2,
1748. The record, the last item in the book, which subsequently
found its proper resting place in College Lane, reads : —
Henzy Davey wag setelled pastor over this Gongregatiooal Baptist Church
of Ohzist meeteng on the Greene. M' Gill of London [the famous I>
Gill, a native of Kettering] preached [to the] pastor and Mr. Brine [John
Moore's son-in-law] of London preached [to the] Ohurch. M' Deacon
pastor of the Church [of] Christ of Wallgrave and M' Deacon pastor of
the Church of Christ at Road and mesingors from them and the Church of
Christ at Flower with other private members was witnesis of this Solom
Mr. Davis was ''a very worthy man, a plain serious
preacher," but the Church gradually dwindled, till at last it broke
up and the chapel was sold to the Wesleyan Methodists. Mr.
Davis after this preached for some time in his own house at
Harleston, till he became quite infirm with age. He died in 1780,
aged eighty, and was buried in College Lane Meeting Yard.
To return to College Lane Church. By the meagre materials
in existence we have seen that the newly established Church
immediately after the signing of the Covenant, on the same day,
received Samuel Haworth and Thomas Cooper from the Welling-
borough Church, and the day was concluded ^* with prayer and
preaching and singing of Psalms." They were not going to shut
out singing ** after the publique manner " from their services.
In a few weeks there were large accessions of members from the
Wellingborough Church. Samuel Dunkley, after an interval,
was installed Ruling Elder, and John Wilkins and Muscott,
of Bugbrook, were made Deacons. On September 1, 1736,
Samuel Haworth was called to the pastorate. He responded to
the request, and was ordained on June 9, 1737, " the mesangars
of ye church of Eowle, Welingbura, Ketering, roade being there."
Two instances of the exercise of Church Discipline during Mr.
Haworth's pastorate are given, and they are the beginning and
end of the Church records during his time. Benjamin Weston
was excommunicated on November 4, 1739, '* for keeping Mary
rodis company in order to marry hur when he had a wife and
ohildren living." Benjamin Weston deserved his fate, because
he " justified his practice in keeping Mary rodis company in order
The Bev. Samuel Shepherd. 21
to marry hur/' and would not be penitent. Mr. Haworth
resigned his pastorate and membership, and on October 17, 1740,
was dismissed, with his wife, to Eothwell. He afterwards
became an Elder in Dr. Doddridge's Church on Castle Hill, and
returned to College Lane in Mr. ToUey's time. He was a man
of much native ability, but was unlearned.
The Church, which 'had not prospered in numbers during Mr.
Haworth's ministry, struggled on without a pastor until 1743,
when they agreed with Mr. Samuel Shepherd " for one year for
troyall," and ''if the Lord ownd and blest his ministry" they
promised to engage him further, " if wee had the abiUty to main-
tain him." On March 18, 1745, at the close of a day of prayer,
Mr. Shepherd was invited to the pastorate. He declined for the
time being. The call was renewed in March, 1746, when he " was
for waiting longer "; and again on March 3, 1747. This time he
consented, and May 1 was settled for the ordination, but " the
smallpox spreading so much at that time in the town" the
messengers from neighbouring churches were afraid to visit
Northampton ; and accordingly the Church " put by the ordina-
tion till the Small-pox is better." Ultimately, "Easter Thursday,
which is the 14 Day of April next," 1748, was fixed, "if God be
willing." Again there was postponement. On Maorch 20,
The Church being together & Hearing that the Election wcbs to begin on
ye 14th day of April they thought proper to put by the ordination tiU the
Tuesday following which is ye 19. day of the same month.
The ordination did take place on the 19th. Mr, WilUam Grant,
of Wellingborough, preached to the Church, andMr. Pool, of Carlton,
gave the charge, '^ & ye day concluded with prayer and Singing
of Psalms." On June 14 following, *' Breaking Bread Day,"
Benjamin Weston ** Gave an account of how God Had made him
senseable of his Evil for which the Church had excommunicated
him. And how the Lord Had again restored him, and manefested
his pardoning Grace," and he was again received into full com-
munion, " and sate Down with us that Day." Mr. Benjamin
Weston's repentance was short lived. We have the following
entry on September 24, 1749 : —
The Church Being Together being Lords Day & Beceived the Account of
M' Benj. Weston and Mrs. Martha Ladbrook, was Entered into a marrage
Relation with Each other Since they Left us and went To London, and as
M' Weston Lawful Wife was Living at the Same Time, The Church Judge
His marringe M*^ Ladbrook unlawfull and excommunicated them From
their Communion Publickly before the Congregation after the afternoon
22 The B&v, William TolUy.
Mr. Shepherd, who was originally a carpenter of Great
Houghton, and a member of the church at Keysoe where Mr.
Cole, a PBBdobaptist was pastor, resigned in 1751. He removed
to Tunbridge Wells, where he died in 1780, On the recommen-
dation of some of the Weldon friends Samuel Lambert, a Psedo-
baptist, was called to the ministry, and was given ** full Liberty to
preach wherever the Lord in Providence might call him.*' The
Church, however, passed him over for the pastorate, and invited
William ToUey to ** com and prech." A narrative entry in the
Church Book says : —
After a considerable time of tryal of the Ministerial abilitys of Brother
ToUey the church came to a resolution to give him a call to the Pastoral
Office he taking some time to consider of it gave in his answer to the Church
that he accepted of that call ; several things occured which delayed his
ordination for a considerable time, but some time in the summer of the Year
1766 a motion was made at one of our Church meetings to renew the. call
which was done, and a solemn day of fasting and Prayer was keeped by the
Church upon that accoimt, but the season being advanced the business of
his Ordination was not put into execution untill Wednesday in the Whitsone
Week being June 9 1766. Letters of notice and invitation were wrote from
the Church before the Ordination to the Churches of Wellingborough, Ket-
tering Eoad and Lutterworth of the same Faith and order with us desiring
the presence of their Ministers and Messengers to behold our Order. The i
Ministers and Messengers of the Churches of Kettering Boad and Lutter-
worth attended. Brc Yeoman was appointed the mouth for the Church ;
and after Brother ToUey had given the Church and Congregation a satisfac-
tory confession of his Faith in the Doctrines and order of Christ, and how he
came to be acquainted with those Doctrines, together with his satisfaction in
undertaking the Pastoral charge, he was Ordained by the Church ,to be their
Pastor Elder and Overseer in the Lord. Then M' Evans of Foxton spent
some time in Prayer Mr. Deacon of Road gave the charge to the Minister
and M' Kiddman of Lutterworth preached to the People M' Walker of
Olney spent time in Prayer between the two Sermons and M' Brown of
Kettering concluded in prayer after the singing of Psalms«
Thomas Yeoman was a clever, well-educated inhabitant of
Northampton, the inventor of many ingenious and mechanical con-
trivances, and a personal friend of the Eylands, Hervey, Dr.
Stonhouse, and Dr. Doddridge. Mr. ToUey came from Eidgmount.
He resigned in 1758, preaching his farewell sermon in the
autumn, and removed with his wife and children to London,
where he became pastor at Bed Gross Street Chapel, but turned
Sandemanian, and joined the Society of that persuasion in Bull
and Mouth Street.
For the next twelve months the Church was without a stated
minister ; but it was evidently progressing. Mr. Yeomaai was one
John Byland's Ancestors, 23
of the first to bring money as well as religions fervour and literary
knowledge into the Church. Supplies occupied the pulpit on
Sundays, most frequent of whom was John GoUett Byland, a
young preacher from Warwick, who was at length invited to the
pastorate, a call to which he responded. The Bylands, father
and son, completed a successive ministry at College Lane of thirty-
four years. John Collett Byland, M.A., was the son of Joseph
Byland, of Lower Ditchford, Gloucestershire, a Warwickshire
grazier, and Freelove Collett, his wife. He was bom on
October 12, 1723, at Bourton-on-the- Water. His was an old
seated Gloucestershire family, with their home at Badbrook, in
the parish of Quinton, where there is an entry in the parish
register as far back as 1548 recording the bi^ptism of Frances,
daughter of Bobert Biland. Archdeacon Biland, whose son was
one of the Fellows of Magdalen College, Oxford, who resisted
James II., was one of the family. The son became rector of
Sutton Coldfield. One of the first Nonconformists in the. family
was Thomas Byland, of Stretton-on-Fosse, a grandson of John
Biland, of Wimpstone or Wilmerstone, baptized according to the
Baptist Order on May 13, 1694. John Byland, of Hinton-on-the-
Green, Warwickshire, a member of the Baptist Church at Alcester,
was Byland's grandfather. John Byland's decisive Noncon-
formity, however, was not descended from archdeacons and
rectors ; it was inherited rather from his mother, a most pious
woman, whose family, almost without exception, had been for
generations defenders of the rights of dissent The celebrated
Dean Colet, who founded St. Paul's School, and was the author
of the Latin Grammar that bears his name, was an ancestor of
Byland's mother. Her father was an aggressive Nonconformist.
He refused to take part in the services at the steeple-house, and
was accordingly fined again and again for not attending the
parish church. At one time he owed as much as £1,200 in fines
imposed for this delinquency. He was immensely popular with
the people generally for his brave resistance to intolerance, and
to save him from arrest they were always ready to afford him
shelter by day and night. To baffle those sent to take him, he
did not sleep in his own house, and when outdoors was invariably
mounted on a good horse, in order to outrace his pursuers. One
morning in 1689 the man with the letters from London brought
the great news of the passing of the Toleration Act. He accosted
the sturdy yeoman with the cry, ** Toleration ! Toleration ! Mr.
Collett, here's the King's broad seal. Toleration ! "
24 John Coltett Byland'i Ywth.
John Bylaad's mother died in 1728, when her son was only
five years of age. His father, who survived her for twenty ye&rs,
was always a financial harden on him, and after his death John
Byland paid further heavy sums to the creditors. His filial
piety, to the mother who died and to the father who lived, was in
each case most exemplary. Ten thousand times he had wished,
he said, that his mother had Uved, if only that he might have
waited on her. As a youth he was " proverhially gay, and spent
the first of his days in folly and sin," a statement which does not
go for much, except that it was the verdict of the period respecting
a juvenile fondness for dress and proclivity for card-playing. In
1741 there was a great awakening in the congregation of the Bev.
Benjamin Beddome, at Boorton. Forty persons were brought to
repentance at the same time, John Byland, in his seventeenth
year, among them. Mr. Beddome baptized him on October 2t
the same year, and afterwards took measures of introducing
him into Bristol Academy, then under the presidency of Bernard
Foskett. Byland entered the College with fear and trembling on
February 18, 1744. Absence from home and a conviction of sin
made him gloomy, and thongh he studied hard through it all, a
horror of great darkness fell upon him. In his diary he writes:—
" Now in the depths of darkness, uncertain about the existence of
a God and the immortality of my own sotd." To the following
extraordinary resolution, strongly characteristic, he came, before
he had resided five months at the college : —
June 2C^, eTening 10, 1T41 act. 20 yearB, 8 mouthB, 2 da;s. If there is
ever a God in heaven ot earth, I vow tioA protest, in his strength, or that
Ood permitting me, I'll find Trim out ; and I'll know whether he loves or
hates me ; or 111 die and perish, soul and body, in the pursuit and search.
Witness, John OoU'Ett Rtladd.
In 1746 he visited the church at Bourbon, and received a call
to the ministry on May 2, after delivering a sermon on
1 Cor. ix. 16. After he had preached several times at Warwick,
t\i^ nii.nwV. tk^H. i«^-|jgj him for twelve months ; and he was
a July 26, 1750. The Rev. John Brine gave
had already opened, in 1748, a successful
Varwick, and soon after his ordination he
e only daughter of Mr. Samuel Frith, of that
vacations — Midsummer and Christmas— he
ght in the neighbourhood of Northampton,
1 James Hervey, the "meditating" rector
1759 he resigned the pastorate at Warwick
John Ryland at Northampton, 25
to accept the call to Northampton. He had preached in the old
chapel in College Lane a number of times during the interregnum
from September, 1758 ; and his preaching was unusually popular.
The Northampton Church Book says : —
Oct 4 1759. John Byland with his Family and Boarding Sohool
removed from Warwick, and the next Day, Oct 5 came to Northampton
after he had been repeatedly invited by all the Members except three or four
and by great Numbers of the Auditors from the Country Villages round about,
as was evidenced by their Names being subscribed to many Papers sent to
him for that Purpose.
His letter of dismission from Warwick, where he had been
preaching thirteen years, was as frigid a document as it is possible
to conceive. The Warwick Church was a Strict one, and possibly
thought that they were handing their pastor over to a congregation
of schismatics, but did not like to say so.
Eyland was unanimously admitted to the Northampton Church
on February 17, 1760, and the church, which numbered but thirty
members, prospered thenceforward. Things got into proper order
again, the church state was improved, the religious tone of the
congregation was invigorated. John Eyland was the pastor the
church and the times needed. Northampton was illumined with
the full blaze of his ardour and activity. The church increased,
the congregation overflowed, the chapel was twice enlarged owing
to the numbers that flocked to hear one of the most attractive
preachers ever living in Northampton. John Byland was a man
of many parts, and chief of his valuable gifts was his pulpit
power. *' As a preacher he was a star of the flrst magnitude,"
says Dr. William Newman, one of his pupils : and the Eev. Eobert
Hall, the eloquent minister of the Baptist Church at Amsby,
who took his second wife from College Lane Chapel, writes, with
pardonable ecstasy : — ** As a preacher, in the powers of memory,
imagination, and expression, I have never yet seen any man to be
compared with him. I should despair of conveying to the mind
of one who never heard him an adequate idea of the majesty and
force of his elocution. Cicero, probably, had more softness and
polish, and artificial grace, but Demosthenes himself must have
yielded to him in spirit and fire, in overpowering vehemence and
grandeur. Perfectly natural, unstudied, unexpected, there were
often passages in his sermons sublime and terrible as the over-
flowing lava of a burning mountain. Everything in his aspect,
his voice, and his whole manner, was fitted to arrest and to
enchain the attention of his audience. Had he lived in the days
26 The Ordination.
of Philip of Mftcedon, ht would have been the successful rival of
the very highest of those Grecian orators,
* Whose resistless eloquenoe
Wielded at will that fierce demooratie,
Shook th' arsenal and fulmined over Greece,
To Macedon and Artaxerzes' throne.'
He was always above other men, and sometimes above himself.
When, for instance, he exhibited the face and convulsions of the
terrified Belshazzar, and traced the handwriting on the wall,
expounding at the same time its awful import, his hearers were
breathless, motionless, petrified with horror. When he described
Jacob beholding the waggons that Joseph had sent to carry him
into Egypt, every heart was melted, and many wept aloud. He
governed the spirits of men with a kind of absolute sway ; but
while he agitated most powerfully the passions of others, as a
tempest of wind the mountain grove, he had always the command
of his own.*'
The ordination of Mr. Byland took place on Thursday, Sep-
tember 18, 1760. ** The Process of the public Work was as
follows," reads the Church book. " After singing, M' Deacon
of Boad prayed. M"" Grant of Wellingborough demanded the
renewal of the Churches Call to Bro Eyland wch was given, and
Bro. Lawrence the Elder [William Lawrence of Kingsthorpe,
chosen the preceding Tuesday] gave some Account of the Steps
they had taken from Time to Time for near a year past. M^
Grant demanded an Account of Bro Eyland's Faith, and a fresh
Declaration of his acceptance of the Call of the Church. Bro
John Eyland delivered his Confession of Faith and declared his
Motives and Designs in accepting the Pastoral Office and Over-
sight of this Church. Mr. Grant declared him a duly elected
Pastor and proceeded to give the Solemn Charge from 1 Tim. iv.
16. Take heed to thyself and to thy Doctrine, continue in them :
for in doing this thou shalt save thyself and them that hear
thee. (I.) Take heed to thyself in six particulars. (II.) To thy
Doctrine. (III.) The Consequence — save thyself in several in-
stances — Twas a spiritual judicious Sermon, delivered with a
just Gravity. M' Carpenter ['* near Banbury"] went up and
prayed, then we sang. M' Hull [of Carlton, Bedfordshire]
preached to the people from 2 Cor. xiii. 11. Live in Peace and
the God of Love and Peace shall be with you. I. The Nature of
Love and Peace. II. The Motives to Love and Peace. A good
Sermon and suited to the People and the Occasion. M*^ Eid-
Baptisms in the Nene. 27
man [of Lutterworth] and M' Clayton prayed and the meeting
concluded in good Order at 3 o'Glock." This account in the
Church Book is in the handwriting of Mr. Byland, who from that
period kept up the entries himself. A large number of members
were admitted to the Church directly after his ordination, some
after Baptism, some without. Note is made several times of
candidates being refused their dismission from the Strict Baptist
Church on the Green. Atonce itwasfound necessary to increase the
chapel ; and it was considerably enlarged, for the modest sum of
£300 or £400, by pulling down the west wall and adding to the
building there. During the alterations the services were probably
held outdoors when the weather permitted, and in private houses.
The Church meetings for two months (April and May, 1761), were
held at the chapel at the Green. The accession of members con-
tinued. The following extract from the Church Book well shows
this as well as the method with which the book was kept by
Byland : —
At a Church Meeting May 5 1763 Thanksgiving. ThomM Wood (of
Pisford) late Mem' at Moulton, William Faulkner of Pisford (last
Sep' a Persecutor), but awakened by Divine Grace ye Week before
Xmas Day at Midnight, and called to Christ Jesus effectually they both
declared their Experiences and were received unanimously into our
Note. — 27 Men ^
71 in all j
44 Women \ j^^^ ^^^^^ this Church smce Feb. 17, 1760.
Or this : —
Friday's Church Meeting April 12 1765. Sarah Tarry of Weston Favell
declared her Faith in Jesus Christ and Repentance from Dead Works — ^was
approved, and on the Lord's Day April 14th received into the Church. The
same day Mary Smith of Holcot, and Dorothy Johnson (Thomas' Daughter)
were baptised in the Morning at 6 o'Clock.
The baptisms in connection with College Lane took place in
a brook flowing into the river Nene, half a mile from the chapel,
at the bottom of the declivity npon which Doddridge Chapel
(Castle Hill) stands. The Castle Hill Independents used to lend
the College Lane people their vestry for the convenience of the
officiating minister, and the catechmnen& Sometimes the concourse
of people on the old castle embankment was very large at these
ceremonies, and, as may be inferred, was not always the most
reverential or orderly. It was possibly for this reason that the
-" . "
28 EnlargiTtg the Chapel.
Sunday baptisms took place at on early houi. It is related that
on one occaBion Dr. Doddridge, a Pfedobaptist, witnesBed the
baptismal ceremony, and remarked that it was a yery Bolemn
Mr. Byland's gardener went to College Lane one day ont of
courteey to his master, and was converted. Three women
admitted on one day were a Cotton End woman who had been
" fourteen years a poor blind Pharisee"; Eleanor Bibwell, "an
ignorant, profligate Swearer & persecutor of her Husband "; and
a woman of Hardingstone, " a vain frothy singer of Songs for
several years." William Fanlkner, of Pilsford, with grief and
pity was excommunicated, resigned entirely to the world again,
the Church " praying that God in Mercy may save him from that
Bain & Destruction wch he seems to have chosen for his
miserable Soul." Another excommunicate was cut off with the
hope " that his sacred Majesty will approve of our Conduct and
confirm this Act in Heaven which we have done upon Earth."
Sarah Tarry, whose admission is recorded above, was excom-
municated on May 13, 1770. On December 9, 177i, two were
admitted, one a man whose life had been "most notoriously
Wicked for Swearing and Lying," and who made "200 Now
added in less than 15 yrs." So proceed the entries until 1775
is reached, a time of great activity in the Church. John
Byland, son of the pastor, had been preaching with more or less
frequency to the congregation. The hearts that the thundering
declamations of the father failed to reach seemed to be suscepr
tible to the tender pleadings of the son. Several of the new
members had dated their conviction and conversion to one or
another sermon delivered by young Mr. Eyland, especially youug
people, including his own brother. 'Again an enlargement of the
chapel was necessitated. There is not much recorded of the
alterations. The stonework was commenced on Tuesday,
May 2; and " the Carpenters began the Boof " on May 8, 1775.
The Church meetings, which were not numerous, were held in
Castle Hill Meeting, between the members of which place and
College Street friendly relations have always existed. The
exchange of preachers was not at all infrequent. Mr. Byland
once had the honour of preaching for Dr. Doddridge, who gave
out the hymns at the services, but could not set the tunes, for he
could never change two notes — a remark, by the way, that applied
with quite as much force to Byland. When Byland sang in public
worship, or in the school, it was generally in a low tone that <lid
John Byland, the Younger, 29
not disturb the singers ; but when he was animated to a high
degree, it was like the sea roaring. Yet he was extremely
offended by bad singing in public worship, and once told a con-
gregation, it is said, after enduring some time their hideous noise,
that he wondered some of the angels did not come down and
wring their necks off. Under date June 2, 1775, an entry in
College Lane Church Book recording the admission into Church
membership of May Gibbons Butt, aged thirteen, who "last
October declared her Experience," is followed by the ejaculation
in Mr. Byland's handwriting : —
Glory be to God we have hitherto had not an Hour's Hindrance by bad
Weather, nor one bad Accident to the Workmen.
The enlargement this time was a much greater undertaking,
as is suggested by the fact that it took six or eight months to
complete. The additions were mainly made on the south side of
the chapel, necessitating the purchase of more land at the cost of
£100. The alterations themselves inyolved an expenditure of over
£1150 ; and the expense was in part met by subscriptions
obtained by Mr. Byland in London ; and collections at various
chapels in London and the provinces, including Boade. Thomas
Swan, a member of the Church, was the builder, and that he
did his work well, the century the chapel stood almost untouched
will testify. After his death, his widow, Mrs. Elizabeth
Swan, married the Bev. Bobert Hall, the well-known pastor of
Amsby Baptist Church, Leicestershire. The enlarged chapel
was not ready for divine worship until November 12. Soon
afterwards it was necessary to increase the number of deacons,
and on April 11, 1777, two men bearing honoured names in
Northamptonshire Nonconformity were chosen, Thomas Trinder
and Joseph Dent. On January 1, 1778, there were 202 living
members of the Church. There is a note in the Church Book
under that date as follows :
The Number of Members alive since Mr. Byland came
Whereof removed by Death, Dismission, or Exclusion . . 81
Present No. 202
The membership was much the same when John Byland, the
son, was ordained co-pastor, in June, 1781. John Byland was
bom on January 29, 1753, in the rectory at Warwick, which his
father then hired for his boarding-school. He was a precocious
child, and having a good mother, became a studious, thoughtful,
religious boy. He commenced learning Hebrew before he was nve.
John Byla/nd*s First Sermons.
and when only five and a half years of age read the 23rd Psalm in
Hebrew to the Bey. James Hervey, the author of " Meditations
among the Tombs." His father removed to Northampton the fol-
lowing year, and young Byland was educated in his father's school,
at the south corner of Mary Street, in the Horsemarket. At the
age of thirteen he possessed as much school knowledge as most
young men of twenty. Being thoroughly convinced of sin about this
time — ^he writes, '' My first lasting Conviction began September
23, 1766" — he united with several of the more serious of his
father's scholars, for prayer meetings in the summer-house on the
school premises. Sometimes he, the cleverest of them all, spoke
to them from some text. Commencing on February 2, 1768, in
two years he addressed the httle coterie of young men between
thirty and forty times. On May 3, 1770, upon an invitation, he
made his first essay in the church. ^' The first time I spoke in
public was at the Table in the College Lane meeting on a Thurs-
day night. May 3, 1770," he writes in his carefully kept books
containing a complete list of all the sermons he delivered during
his lifetime. The text on this occasion was Jeremiah xxxi. 8, 9.
The Table, an illustration of which is given, was a long wooden
affair, occupying the greater part of the '* Table Pew " which was
over the baptistry. It contained inside, under the top, several
shelves, which cannot be shown in the engraving, for the re-
ception of a number of volumes, chiefly Dr. Gill's Commentaries.
They were for the especial use of the country people, who generally
partook of their dinner around the table, and occupied the rest of
the time between services by reading divinity. Each volume
contains an inscription recording its gift and purpose, and most
have the intimation " Not to be taken away from the Meeting-
house by any person whatever." All the books are now in th&
Ordination of John Byland. 31
Young Byland had already been admitted into the Church so long
ago as September 11, 1767, '' Mt 14f " ; and the fame of his ser-
mons to the boys was known throughout the congregation. In
October of the year 1770, having in the meantime preached
at Little Houghton, Abington, and Denton, he spoke on three
Thursday evenings at College Lane, and every succeeding Thurs-
day evening that year except the last, when he was in London.
On Sunday, December 30, and again on January 21, he preached
in Mr. Clark's Chapel, Unicom Yard, London, and on January
27 he writes, '* Lord's Day morning I spoke in the Table Pew in
the Meeting House, College Lane, Northampton, at the desire of
the Church my Father being ill. And the same Evening." On
March 10 the same year (1771), he was called out by the Church
at the age of eighteen.
In this year he preached no less than 138 times, all from differ-
ent texts, an extraordinary task for a youth of his age. In the fol-
lowing years he preached at a Harvest Meeting, and to the Militia
in College Lane ; at " Goody Battin's funeral ; " at College Lane
'* instead of Captain Scott" (Captain Scott gave permission to
John Wesley to preach at the Biding School) ; at '' Hackleton
in Ash's house — Bands gone mad and got into the meeting
house;" at Sheepshead ''in Mr. Oram's yard the Meeting
house being too small;" and at Stapleton, Fishponds — '*Dr.
Mason's 7 day, but about thirty people, almost all mad or asleep."
So the entries go on in his text book. In 1776 his sermons
averaged more than four a week. Throughout the fifty years
from 1772 to 1821, they averaged more than three each week.
He was married on January 12, 1780, to Elizabeth Tyler,
daughter of Mr. Bobert Tyler, of Banbury, described by those
who knew her intimately, as a most amiable and excellent woman,
<* the loveliness of whose personal appearance strikingly corres-
ponded with her mental endowments." On June 8, 1781, he was
ordained. In the Church Book is the following : —
June 8, 1781. — This day being fix'd upon by the Church for the Ordination
of J. Byland junr. as Go Pastor with his Father. A meeting of prayr was
attended by the Members from 6 till 8 in the Morning. Public Worship
began at ten o'clock in the Forenoon.
The foUows^ is a Copy of the Letter sent to John Byland jxm^. calling
him to the Pastoral office.
The Gh. of Ghrist meeting in GoUege Lane Northampton, to the Bev. John
Byland jun'. wishes Grace, Mercy, Direction and Peace.
Bev<^. & dear Sir, — When we compare this Ghurch in its present state to
what it was above twenty years ago we have reason to cry out with Admira-
32 John Byland as Pastor.
tion, " What hath God wrot ! " By the Ministrations of your honored Father
our Worthy Pastor, in conjunction likewise with your labours for more than
ten years past, in this part of our Lord's Vineyard, many sinners have been
converted many saints have been edified, strengthened and established & some
Backsliders restored ; so that we have been enoreased 7 fold, and thro' infinite
mercy are still kept in peace. But you are sensible dear Sir, that notwith-
standing our numbers have encreased, and our **Eyes still behold our
Teachers," that while we are in possession of the Ordinances of the Gospel, &
are favored with abund^^^ of relig^ privileges ; we have great reason to lament
the Abatem^ of that Vigor and Zeal in the ways of God, that glowed with
greater Force among us some years back. Among the Causes that have con-
tributed to this Spiritual Disease (as well as others amongst us) we cannot
but reckon the Want of more Watchfulness over ourselves and over one
another, and the want of more Christian Communion with our Ministers and
with one another also. Our pastor by the daily Attention to his numerous
Family which he hath in charge, is much hindered from Visiting the families
and individuals of his Flock, his Strength he has often declared, is decaying so
that he is incapable of performing the whole work himself ; & from this
cause, as well as from the providential call of his Absence from us two or
three months in the year, he stands in need of assistance in the Administra-
tion of the Sacraments, as well as in preaching and other Ordinances of the
Gospel. With a view to *^ set those Things in order that are wanting," and in
the Fear of the Lord we trust, after having sought his Direction by Prayer We
hereby solicit you, with the full consent of our present beloved Pastor, to take
upon you the joint pastorship with him, of this Church of the living God,
hoping that if the divine Spirit shall incline you to accept of this Call, it will
be for the Mutual Benefit of the whole Community.
' Signed by us, in Behalf of the whole Church, at a Church Meeting called
on purpose on the Lord's Day afternoon Dec. 3. 1780. The call having been
previously voted with great Unanimity on Lord's Day Nov. 19.' Signed by
The record ends there, and the third Ghureh Book starts on
July 6, 1781.
The two Bylands, though they had many high qualities in
common, were in other respects extremely different in tempera-
ment and character. The younger Byland assisted his father in
the school, and was the better disciplinarian of the two both in
church and academy. He was gentle where his father was
stern ; mellifluent where the other stormed ; and was equally
obeyed. He was far more methodical in all his ways, and his
invariable gentleness, inherited from his mother, and his piety,
which overflowed as it were from him, won him more admirers,
though perhaps fewer friends, than his father's transparent sin-
cerity and perfect candour. Like his father, he never shrauk
from any task, however displeasing or thankless ; and never turned
back on anything to which he set his hand. When the neces-
J B"Ti» D*'^' 'TiK? '™^ "W
' s-"* "V "^^ ■*'•' '^^•^ "^
•A. If M-b S~- , »■ - 1> -A Him- tVSl^'.^
^.LiT. — «■-?* - -v^ -^ _■*: ...
Preached June i8th, 1780,
f J-f 'I J,i i.i" ii i ^^""-
^- j™-. ' c-esr
Preached August nth, 1782.
FACSIMILES (ORIGINAL SIZE) OF NOTES OF TWO SERMONS
PREACHED IN COLLEGE LANE CHAPEL,
BY JOHN RYLAND, D.D.
Death of John Bylamd, the Elder. 33
sities of the case warranted it, he could be as firm as the rock.
lEven before his ordination, he, in his other's absence, directed
the Church meeting which decided on excommunicating with one
stroke no less than five Ghnich members. From such a critical
step most men would have shrunk. And the record of the dis-
nussion is penned in so gentle, kindly, pitiful a manner, that one
can see it pained Byland to his heart. Just before, Thomas
Abraham, a drummer, and, soon after, Dorothy Faulkner, of
Blisworth, she ** for the Sins of Idleness & excessive use of
strong Drink," were likewise excluded. Sarah Sturman was
also excluded " being generally accus'd of an inordinate love of
strong Liquors, & notoriously guilty of leaving the Town in a
clandestine & scandalous manner, without endeavouring to pay
After his ordination the junior pastor was chiefly occupied
with the cares of his spiritual office, leaving his father to devote,
his energies more and more exclusively to the duties connected
with his school. Not that John Gollett Kyland by any means
neglected the Church : much more was done than anyone could
do in the pastorate of the Church, and preaching in the neigh-
bouring villages. The father carried Nonconformist preaching
into no less than twenty-five villages around Northampton ; the
son introduced Dissenting meetings into as many more. Both
their lights shone before men. But Mr. Byland, senior, was
nearly sixty years of age, and he lost his beloved wife in the
autumn of 1779. He felt her loss most severely. On February
13, 1782, he married Mrs. Stott, the widow of Quarter-
Master Stott; and on November 11, 1785, in his sixty-third
year, left Northampton for London, to the deep regret of nearly
all the older members of the Church and congregation. In 178&
he went to Enfield, with his enlarged school, of which he took
the oversight, with the exception of the religious improvement of
the pupils leaving nearly everything in the hands of Mr. Clarke.
He died in great peace on Tuesday night, July 24, 1792, at the age
of sixty-eight. The funeral took place at Northampton on the
Sunday evening following, in the presence of an immense con-
course of sorrowing spectators. Dr. John Bippon, of Carter Lane
Church, one of his dearest friends, preached in College Lane
Chapel from the text, ''The time of my departure is at hand"
(2 Timothy iv. 6). He was buried at the end of the baptistry
which had been made at the time of the second extension. A
large slab covered the grave, simply inscribed " BYLAND/'
34 J. C. ByUmd's School.
The exact spot is noted by a small brass plate upon the wall at
the west end of the present chapel, bearing the inscription : —
Beneath this Spot
(Which was in the Centre of the Old Chapel)
Lie the Remains of
The Bey<i Johh Btland A.M.
Interred July 29^1* 1792.
The school brought to Northampton by John CoUett Byland,
where his one hmidredth pupil was immediately entered, had its
influence upon College Lane, for several of the students were
admitted members during the period it remained in the town.
He was an exemplary schoolmaster, though possessed of remark-
ably strong passions and prejudices — ^inherited probably from a
great-grandfather, who almost killed an old woman by beating
her for her witchcraft. In the diary he kept when at school he
wrote on June 16, 1744 : —
If Gk)d don't hless me with abilities for the ministry I'll get me a place to
be an outrider for a Bristol, Coventry, or London tradesman. When thQ
year is finished with Mr. Foskett I shall partly see how the matter will go ;
and if I don't engage in the work of the ministry, I'll endeavour to return
the Money paid for my Board & any more expended on my account &
what they desire for Interest, & engage in the business I served my Appren-
ticeship to learn, & if please God I am able I'll also make Mr. Foc^ett a
handsome present for bestowing his pains on such a dull Fool as I have been
& I am afraid I shaU ever be.
On April 1, 1746, he pathetically wrote : —
This day when with Mr. Foskett he chid me exceedingly <& speke some
severe Words which make a lasting impression on my soul, but if he knew
my desires & endeavours to approve myself sincere in the sight of Gk>d &
the doubts I have for a long time laboured under about some of the Funda-
mentals of aU Natural & ;Bevealed Religion, I believe he would not be so
severe in his reflections upon me.
Nearly forty years later, Mr. Byland penned the following : —
March 18, 1784. Thursday evening. Foskett should have spared no
pains to educate our Souls to Grandeur & to have enriched & impregnated
them with great & generous Ideas of God in his whole Natural and Moral
character, relations, <& actions to us & the Universe. This was fhy
business, thy duty, thy honour, O Foskett! & this thou didst totally
It was the character of the man to feel so, and to write so.
Robert Hall was taken by his father to Mr. Byland's school at
Northampton at the hottest period of the American War of
Independence. The war was felt by a very large majority of the
people of England, especially the Nonconformists, as a crusade
Fiery Eloquence. 36
by the English Government against the liberty of the subject and
the rights of man. Mr. Byland and Mr. Hall's father talked
over the war in the presence of the new scholar. Mr.
Hall was sympathetic, Mr. Eyland was heated. At length
Mr. Byland burst out, "Brother Hall, I will tell you what
I would do if I were General Washington. I would summon
all the American officers : they should form a circle around me,
and I would address them, and we would offer a libation with
our own blood, and I would order one of them to bring a
lancet and a punch bowl ; and he should bleed us all, one by
one, into this punch bowl and I would be the first to bare my
arm ; and when the punch bowl was full, and we had all been
bled, I would call upon every man to consecrate himself to the
work, by dipping his sword into the bowl, and entering into a
solemn covenant engagement, by oath, one to another, and we
would swear by Him that sits upon the throne, and liveth for
ever and ever, that we would never sheathe our swords while
there was an English soldier in arms remaining in America ; and
that is what I would do, brother Hall." Bobert Hall, relating
this in after years, said : — "Only conceive, sir, my situation; a
poor little boy, that had never been out of his mother's chimney
corner before, sir, sitting by these two old gentlemen, and hearing
this conversation about blood. Sir, I trembled at the idea of
being left with such a bloody-minded master. Why, sir, I began
to think he would no more mind bleeding me, after my father
was gone, than he would killing a fly. I quite expected to be
But this is mildness itself compared with the alarming reflec-
tions entered at large in the Church Book by Mr. Byland. They
are indexes of his most violent sermons. The following is a
specimen : —
HeU ! Hell ! Hell 1 for finale Apostates. Hell is the last and most misera-
ble State of a Wicked Man, of every unconverted Sinner. 'Tis no less than
the eternal or second Death in its utmost Extent and Terror as in all Bespeots
opposite to Eternal Life and the Life of the Grace of God in Man. Tis the
most compleat Ruin, and finished Misery of the Wicked, wherein they are
Eternally separated from the Joyful sight of God, and from the Enjoyment
of all kinds of Good. And confined in Chains of Almighty Power and Dark-
ness, under the ever fresh, ever lively and pungent Sense of the Wrath and
Justice of God justly kindled, and always flaming against them for their sins
and in exact Proportion to the Nature, Measure and Degree of Crimes. So
that they are filled with never-ceasing Horrors and Stings of Conscience and
tormented in Soul and Body with such intense flames as will for ever give
Pain, but never consume their Consciousness and Existence.
36 Notes on Prayer.
Another inBtance of the fiery declamation may be given from
the same Church Book in Byland's handwriting : —
and Motives to fervent
Prayer addressed to
I. To Fear.
A prayerless Soul is certainly a graceless Soul, and a graceless Soul is in
Danger of Hell Fire 60 Times every Minute. The Question is put every
Second whether you shall live here or in Hell Fire with the Damned.
A prayerless Soul has no Refuge in Disgrace, Poverty, Danger, Sickness,
Pain, no Guard against Sin, Lust, Drunkeness, and the Devil.
There are fifteen pages of this subject. The same trait charac-
terised the minutisB of his life. Eyland kept a roll of his scholars,
in which he entered tersely the character of each as shown in
after life. Seven boys entered his school the first year at
.Warwick. Two of these died young, the other five are thus
described:—" Drunk," ** Drunk and beastly," '* Mad," "Deist,"
** Mad, a rakish infidel." The first boy entered the next year,
drowned himself. The epithets already given are in no sense the
strongest, merely the positive degree. "Mad, double mad,
devilish," is a sample of the more emphatic language. Out of
346 boys he puts 88 only in the list of " the honest and worthy
young men Educated at Our School." . Some of these have notes
afterwards attached to their names, showing that they had no
right in the list. One was turned out of the Academy " as a
proud fool," another " turned out a Rogue," and so on.
With all his abhorrence of compliments and mincing politeness,
Mr. Eyland was charitable and generous to a fault. He im-
poverished himself by his charity, and, notwithstanding his
foibles, won the love and reverence of nearly all with whom> he
was associated. " Never can I forget the awful silence of the
night on which he died. It seemed to me," says the Bev. Robert
Hall, " that all the wheels of Nature had been suddenly stopped
by his death. All the universe stood still ! "
An Antinomian Dispute, 37
Mr. Byland made almost profligate use of the Press. He pub-
lished a large number of sermons and pamphlets on religious
subjects, a school book or two, and several pieces of rhyme, and
^vrote a volume of hymns.
On his father's removal from Northampton, John Byland the
younger became sole pastor of College Lane. Little more than
a year later, on January 23, 1787, Mrs. John Byland died,
leaving an only child, a son, a few weeks old. The] afflicted
husband put a plain deep black Hne in his text book, eloquent of
liis grief, without a single word or explanatory letter by it ; and
^rote several poetic compositions marked with genuine pathos
and exhibiting poignant sorrow. The famous John Newton, of
Olney and St. Mary Woolnoth, London, wrote a [mostjtender
letter to the afflicted husband on his bereavement. On
[February 2, Byland was preaching again, and succeeded in hiding
his sorrow in his work. On June 18, 1789, he again married,
this time to Frances Barrett, the eldest daughter of Mr. William
Barrett, of Northampton, and sister to the organist at All
Saints' Church. Though she had been living in Northampton
for the last six years she was a member of Dr. Bippon'sJChurch.
One of the greatest trials in Byland's life commenced soon after
his second marriage. The membership of his church had year by
year gradually decreased. From 206 in 1782, it fell to 181 in
1791. There was in the latter part of this period a slight divi-
sion in the Church. A Mr. Hewitt, who was a London shoe
manufacturer's agent, and his wife were excluded from the Church
for their Antinomian and rebellious spirits. Hewitt afterwards
asked, expecting the refusal he received, that the noted Anti-
nomian preacher, Huntington, should be allowed to preach in
Dr. Byland's pulpit. He invited Huntington to Northampton,
obtained a licence for his own house, and had services there on
Sundays attended, amongst others, by four members of College
Lane. Byland, though the chief actor in the discussions in the
Church caused by this rift, discreetly kept out of sight, and his
brother-in-law, Mr. Joseph Dent, the senior deacon, was his
mouthpiece. Beading the Church records, it is plainly seen that
neither side exhibited that degree of charity in the controversy
that would be considered wise at the present day. In a letter,
written by Mr. Dent, evidently on the inspiration of Byland, one
of the Antinomians is informed : —
Our Pastor has unifoxmly discovered a warm attachment to all the
fundamental Doctrines of the Gospel not only the doctrines of the trinity,
38 Cha/racter of Huntington.
& Salvation by Christ, & Justifioation by his imputed righteousn^ alone,
bat to those five points by which the Galyinists have usually been dis-
tinguished from the Arminians. (1) That Election is eternal, personal, and
unconditional. (2) That the Peculiar Blessing of Redemption purchased by
the death of Christ are limited by the Divine Intention to the Elect only.
(8) That Mankind are so universally & totally depraved that they never
can be brought back to Gk>d but by the special operations of the Holy Spirit.
(4) That the special operations of the Divine Spirit are evincibly efficacious^
& cannot be frustrated by the greatest degree of Depravity. (5) That all
v7ho are truly converted to God, shall persevere in Grace to Glory. Each of
these particulars he professes to believe nov? as much as in his early youth,
tho he now (like other Calvinists in general) supposes it is perfectly con-
sistent with these truths, to consider the call of the Gospel as addressed to
sinners indefinitely as the elect come under that character, & no man
can know them by any other, till Grace distinguishes them. In this respect
he now agrees with Calvin himself & all the principal Calvinistic Divines,
as Dr. Owen, Mr. Hallyburton, Mr. Flavel, Dr. Witsius, Mr. Bunyan, Mr. B.
& E. Erskine, Mr. Whitefield ; and those worthy men once so useful in
this neighbourhood Mr. Davis and Maurice of Bowel; Mr. Hervey of
Weston; Mr. Newton & Scott of Olney and Mr. Grant & Bradbury of
Wellingborough who were so respected in our Church.
Years after Dr. Byland wrote of Huntington : —
The sentiment (that the moral law is not a rule of conduct for believers)
began to be broached with unblushing confidence, by a man who arose from
a very low situation of life, and drew many disciples after him. His positivity,
his volubility, with abundance of low wit, and abuse of other ministers,
acquired for him a considerable degree of popularity, though chiefly among
the ignorant and illiterate ; while he had a knack of so connecting detached
sentences of Scripture, vnthout regard to their original import, as to make
them appear to prove whatever he pleased. . . . When I refused to sur-
render my pulpit, at the desire of two or three discontented persons, to this
Ishmaelite, he printed a pamphlet [published in College Lane, Northampton]
in which he charged me with shutting his Master out of the pulpit, by shut-
ting him out, and says, *Two clerical gentlemen at Bristol treated me,
without any just cause, just as Mr. Byland has done ; but it did not pass
unresented : both of them are now no more.' There is no doubt that he refers
to Mr. Hoskins and Dr. Caleb Evans in this passage. . . . Had it pleased
God to remove me from this world at any period between the year 1791, and
the death of this man, no doubt he would have added my name to the list of
those who were struck dead for not receiving him. . . . This man is now
gone, but his writings remain an awful monument of the pride, censorious*
ness, and malignity, which may be sometimes connected vnth a distorted and
mutilated gospel. Many others, inferior to him in their talents, imbibed
similar sentiments, and as far as they were able propagated them in a similar
manner. Dogmatical assertions, daring appeals to heaven, virulent abuse,
and low wit, are the weapons of their warfare.
The strife of controversy was hashed in two important events
that crowded into the next few years — ^the removal of Byland to
the Bristol Academy, and the estabUshment, in which Byland
EstabUskmeni of Foreign Muaum». 39
took a foremoBt part, of Baptisi Foreigii Mifisioiis. On May 13,
The Chnzoh bemg stopped after the Adminifltimtloii of the Lord's Supper,
a Le jter was read sent to them tram the Ghoroh at Bristol, assemhling in
Broadmead, and lately under the eare of the Ber. Dr. Caleb Evans, soliciting
the BemoTsl of the Pastor of this Ghnzoh and the oonsent of the Members
thereof to his removal, on ace' of the Connection of the Ghoroh at
Broad Mead with the Academy for the Improv* of Baptist Ministers.
Some other Letters also, sent to Mr. Byland hinmalf, were read, and it was
proposed to appoint a Day oi Prayer on this ace' to be kept on taeaday
next, and then to take the matter into further consideration. Most of the
membezs staid & disooyered moeh aSectiom for Mr. Byland ft unwillingness
to part with him, bat yet a concern for the church at Broad Mead Bristol,
A for the interest of Ghnst at large, and the meeting broke np in a traly
Christian spirit and it is hoped with a concern to know and follow the
On the Tuesday the Church " spent the greater part of the
Time in prayer from viii till near 2 o'clock," and then desired
the Deacons to prepare an answer to be read the next Sunday.
The letter was prepared and read and agreed to ; and, says the
Church record, " it is intended to insert a Copy in this Book,
after Mr. Eyland's return from the Association." The letter was
never inserted, and the entry is only mentioned on account of its
reference to Mr. Byland's absence. The Northamptonshire
Baptist Association was then meeting at Nottingham, when Carey
preached the great missionary sermon, ''Expect great things
from God ; attempt great things for Grod." The address made a
deep impression on Byland, as on the other ministers. Carey
had been baptized by him on October 5, 1783. On the
proposition of Andrew Fuller, the gifted pastor of Kettering,
it was resolved ''That against the next meeting of ministers
at Kettering, a plan should be prepared for the purpose
of forming a society for propagating the Gospel among the
heathen." On October 2 thirteen men met in Mrs. Wallis's
house at Kettering to decide on those steps. Byland had
preached that day to the ministers assembled there &om Isaiah
xliii. 13 : "I will work, and who shall let it? " He was the first
of the thirteen who subscribed the resolutions agreed to; and he
headed the subscription hst with two guineas. At the bottom of
the list, which totalled to £13 2s. 6d., was half a guinea from a
nameless contributor. The anonymous donor was, of course, not
unknown. He was a young man afterwards famous in the
Western Hemisphere as Dr. Staughton, one of the most gifted
preachers the Baptist denomination has ever owned. He was at
40 Dr, WiUiam SttmghUm.
that time a student at Bristol Academy, the presideney of which
was still vacant. Byland had been preaching at Broadmead
Church, Bristol, in the, August and September, and young
Staughton, the son of a Coventry Baptist, whose forbears lived
at Long Buckby, had occupied the pulpit of College Lane.
Every circumstance singled out Byland for the pastorship of
Broadmead and the charge of the Academy. Staughton,
eloquent from his youth up, had already entranced large
assemblies as well as the College Lane people. All this time
negotiations were going on between Byland and the Northamp-
ton and Bristol churches in regard to the Northampton pastor
being called to Bristol. Byland would consent to the transfer
only on the condition that Staughton, the eloquent student, should
take his place at Northampton. The arrangement was one in
which the College Lane Church did not readily acquiesce. They
liked the young man and his preaching, but they liked Dr.
Byland more. In the College Lane Church Book is the following
entry, under date October 16, 1792 : —
The Ohuioh met as had been agreed on Lord's Day for Prayr & Consul-
tation. The Meeting began at 8 in the Morning, & was continued w^
Prayr & alternate Beading & singing till a quarter before xn. Many Brethren
engaged, viz. Hodges, Turland, Goe, Dent, Abbott, Budd, Trinder, & others
after which some considerable time was spent in Gonyersation upon M'
Byland's Bemoval, to which several Members expressed a good deal of
Beluctance, tho they all avowed that Bic Staughton's Ministry was generally
acceptable, who has now spent several Weeks at Northampton i;e. from the
2<i Day of September, having preached here six Lords Days. (He spent the
last at Kettering, & is now retum'd to Bristol.)
He went back to Northampton directly after Christmas, supply-
ing at College Lane for three months in conjunction with Dr.
Byland. During this period he journeyed to Leicester and was
present at the gathering there on March 20, 1793, for solemnly
commending to God, Thomas and Carey, who were about embark-
ing for India. He and Byland, with Fuller, Hogg, SutclifT,
Fearce, Blundell, Morris, Sharman, Trinder, and nine others,
signed the Letter from the Missionary Society to *'Bdm Bdm
Boshoo, Parbotee, and all in India who call upon the name of Jesus
Xt our Lord, both theirs and ours." The following week at a
Church Meeting at College Lane it was agreed to invite Mr.
Staughton for three months more, expressly with a view to his
taking the pastoral office; Mr. Byland stating that '^ notwithstand-
ing his warm attachment to his present situation of friends, he
durst not refuse the invitation to Bristol if this Church could be
^ « - ^i^/^^^<:
A Disappointment. 41
well provided for/' Only a sense *' that it was for the general good
of the Denomination " led the College Lane members to agree to
this arrangement, <' many seeming to yield to it with reluctance
from affection for their present minister.*' The letter of invita-
tion was drawn up preparatory to its being signed on the following
Sunday, March 31, 1793.
On the Saturday, March 30, however, to the surprise of every-
body, Staughton absolutely declined the invitation, pleading ill
health. The College Lane Book says '' it was well known and
more privately acknowledged that his refusal was wholly owing
to an unhappy entanglement." All the arrangements fell
through, and Mr. Eyland and his wife, who had made extensive
arrangements for their departure, had to settle down once more.
Mr. Byland, the Church Book says, had even "bespoke a Waggon
the hour before Mr. St. first intimated his unwillingness to accept
the Churches Call." It was this '' entanglement " that aided Mr.
Staughton to go to America, whither he went the same year, and
became one of the foremost preachers of the day, was honoured
with the degree of Doctor of Divinity at the age of twenty-eight,
worked hard for the missionary cause, and was elected President
of the Columbian College, near Washington. He died on December
12, 1829, within three weeks of completing the sixtieth year of
his age, '' the last of the apostolic band to bid adieu to earth."
Though disappointed in Staughton it was impossible that College
Lane Church could much longer retain the services of Mr.
Byland, who was again preaching at Bristol in June and July, and
again in August, and more or less in each of the succeeding months
in that year.
The Bev. Isaiah Birt, »of Plymouth Dock, who supplied at
Northampton some of these Sundays, was consulted by the
Church as to their duty in regard to giving up Mr. Byland. '' He
was of Opinion it w^ be to our Advantage," says the Church
Book, '* to dismiss M' B. what man of honor, or delicacy, he
asked wo^come as a Candidate for the Pastoral office in our present
circumstances ? he wo* say * I wo* come as a supply, but the
church is not destitute it has a Pastor of its own, & I will not
be a Competitor with its present Pastor * it wo* be like court-
ing a married woman whose husband is yet alive. What wo*
we say to a Minister who sho* keep a Number of Churches in
suspense at the same time with a determination to accept that
which he liked the best or wo* proI;)ably be the most lucrative to
42 Death of Dr. Ryland.
him ? Sho^ we like such a man for our Pastor ? If not, how
co' we expect to he supplied with a Pastor who had any deli-
cate sense of the propriety of actions in our present condition or
situation ? Neither ought we to relinquish M' E. on the condi-
tion of an annual visit from him, for the existing Pastor ought to
have the affections of the people, and such a reservation wo^
he a direct Way to raise a jealousy hetween the late and existing
Pastor and between the latter and the people and among the
people themselves, and wo^ probably in the end distract and
divide the church." These arguments ''convinced the greatest
number of members present, and soon by communication a large
Majority of the Church." It was accordingly moved at a Church
meeting on November 17, 1793, that it was the Church's duty
'Ho release Mr. Byland from the pastoral office over this church."
Not one hand was held up against it. The release was dated
November 24, of the same year.
As soon as he left Northampton Mr. Ryland was honoured with
the degree of Doctor of Divinity. He laboured exceedingly hard
and with great success both at the Academy and at Broadmead
Church, and various philanthropic institutions in Bristol, and,
above all, the Baptist Missionary Society, occupied no small ^
share of his attention. He succeeded Andrew Puller in the
Secretaryship of the Missionary Society. After a vigorous,
laborious life, his health began to fail him in 1821. He worked
on, however, with much of his wonted fire and spirit, and died in
peace at Weston-super-Mare on Wednesday, May 25, 1824, at the
age of sixty. By his own particular desire, his remains were
interred near the Meeting-house at Broadmead. During his life
he preached no less than 8,691 sermons in 259 different towns
and villages in England, Scotland, and Wales. In the thirty- two
years, 1792 — 1823, he travelled on his preaching journeys a
distance amounting to 36,706 miles. He published an immense
mass of sermons and divinity.
After Dr. Ryland's removal, Mr. Redding, of Truro, who
supplied at College Lane for several Sundays, was invited to the
pastorate, but he declined. Considerable difficulty was then ex-
perienced by the Church in finding a pastor, and, though the
deacons, especially Mr. Joseph Dent and Mr. Thomas Wykes —
Mr. Thomas Trinder was dead — did their best to guide the
Church aright, the membership still further decreased, and the
Calvinistic dissension again arose. Towards the end of 1796 five
members applied for their dismission ^^ because they could hear
The Eev. George Keeley. 43
more profitably at Fish Lane/' a email assembly of ''byper-
Galvinists." They were asked if ever, since Dr. Byland left, there
had been in the pulpit to preach ''either an Arian, Socinian,
Arminian, or Antinomian," and they rephed that they could not
say there had been. They were asked if <* the People in Fish Lane
were formed into a church and who it consisted of. the persons
they mentioned were some of them from other Churches and
some of them [the Hewitts and Adams] had been Excluded from
our own Church for an unchristian Spirit and who had never to
our knowledge shown any marks of repentance." Mrs. Slinn,
who seemed to be the ringleader of the new revolt, was asked '* if
she beheved the Moral Law of God to be a rule for a Believers
conduct, she said she must be honest that she did not.
Brother Dent was desired to conclude in prayer, and then those
five persons went away." "Those five persons" were neither
dismissed nor excluded, their membership was dissolved.
Another difficulty next threatened the shepherdless church. At
the Church meeting on February 9, 1798, " it was mentioned of
the great difficulty we had in getting a Person to Administer the
Lords Supper which is in part owing to some Persons who are
convinced of the Ordinance of Baptism, but live in the neglect
of that Duty. It was further observed as a matter for future
consideration whether the Church shou'd alter the Church
Covenant and not to admit any more Persons into Church
without being first Baptized by Inmiersion. But to let all those
Persons remain who are in the Church and to enjoy all the
Priviledges as before. Agreed to be took into consideration." The
difficulty was shelved, and the church at last getting a pastor, it
was heard of no more
The circumstances attending the call of the Bev. George
Eeeley were somewhat peculiar. He was a London man, being
prepared for the ministry by Dr. Byland at the Bristol Academy.
He had a strong desire to become a missionary in Bengal, and,
impressing his wishes upon his tutor, Dr. Byland laid his case
before the Missionary Committee. The Committee requested
that young Eeeley should meet them at Guilsborough in Novem-
ber, 1798 ; and it was also arranged that, being in the neighbour-
hood, he should supply at College Lane for four weeks. The
Missionary Committee were not impressed with his physical
fitness for work in India. The Northampton people, on the other
hand, liked him as a preacher, and unanimously invited him to
fill their pulpit through the summer vacation of 1799. At the
44 The Bev. Thomas Bhindell,
close of this period he was asked to stay, and was ordained
pastor of the Church, Novemher 13. The Rev. J. Sutcliff, of
Olney, opened the proceedings, the Bev. A. Fuller, of Kettering,
gave the charge (from Col. iii. 16), the Bev. J. Edwards prayed,
and Dr. Byland preached to the people (from 1 Cor. iv. 1). " M'
Eeeley continued Pastor near ten years, and then resigned his
office, in a manner which shew'd his great regard to the peace of
the Church, and raised him not only in the esteem of those who
were most partial to his ministry, hut also of those who were not
fully satisfied with his preaching. His labours had been useful
to many, and his Character altogether unblemished and his
Conduct honorable to his Profession. He resigned the Pastor-
ship March 26, 1809."
Mr. Keeley was succeeded by the Bev. Thomas Blundell, eldest
son of the Bev. Thomas Blundell who was one of the thirteen
subscribing to the first missionary collection at Kettering, on
October 2, 1792. The College Lane pastor was bom at Kettering
in 1786, four years before his father, then a weaver, went to
Bristol Academy to study for the ministry. His son Thomas
giving early indication of fitness for the same high calling,
he too went to Bristol Academy, then under Dr. Byland. He
left the college at Whitsuntide, 1809, after spending five years
there with great credit to himself and his tutors. After a turn of
preaching in different parts of England, he supplied at College
Lane, and so pleased the Church that on November 10, 1809, he
was invited to continue preaching until the following March. The
next month, April 28, he accepted the invitation to , become the
settled minister. The ordination took place on June 20, as
appears by the following entries in the Church Book : —
Lord's Day May 2T^ 1810
The Ghiiroh agreed that Wednesday June 20^ should be the day for the
ordination of M>' Blundell and M" Blundell having fixed upon his Father to
give him the Charge on the oocasion, the Church agreed to invite D>^ Byland
to preach the Sermon. It was likewise agreed that a dinner should be pro-
vided at the Saracen's head Inn for the Ministers, and Mes8>^ Smith, Barnes,
and Holtham be appointed to have the care and management thereof and
also provide beds for the Ministers.
Wednesday June 20^^ 1810— The ordination of M' Blundell to the
pastoral office took place After reading and prayer by M>^ White of Cirencester
M' Blundell was receiv'd a member of the Church by a letter of dismission
from the Church at Luton in Bedfordshire iThen M*" Sutclifie of Olney
delivered the introductory discourse, asked the questions, and receiv'd the
confession of faith M' Heighton of Boad prayed the ordination prayer with
laying on of hands M' Fuller of Kettering gave the charge from the 1*'
Starting the Sunday School, 45
Epistle to Timothy, 4^ chapter, 15^>^ & 16^ venes Meditate upon these things,
give thyself wholly to them, that thy profiting may appear to all Take heed
unto thyself and to the doctrine, continue in them, for in doing this thou shalt
hoth save thyself and them that hear thee. D' Byland of Bristol preached
the sermon to the people from the 1^ Epistle to the Thessalonians 3^ chapter
8^^ verse For now we live if ye stand fast in the Lord.
Mr. Blundell had not been long pastor ere he took part in a
most important work — the formation of a Sunday School in con-
nection with his chapel. Under date August, 1810, it is
recorded : —
The Bev^ T. Blundell (Minister) and Messrs. Essex, Barnes, Hiokson,
Bogers, and Marshall, after much deliberation determin'd upon instituting a
Sunday School, on the Lancasterian Plan in the Baptist Interest (Meeting for
Worship in College Lane, Northampton,) which School should be called
College Lane Sunday School, and the above six persons formed themselves
into a Committee for the purpose of putting their intentions into execution.
There was already a Sunday School, a joint a&ir *' consisting
of abt. 15 or 20 Ghildn. instructed by two persons paid by the
joint subscribers of Castle Hill — College St. — and Kingswell
Street Congregation ; and taken alternately on a Sunday to each
place of worship." *' The inefficiency and languid state of this
School/' we learn from the minute book, '' suggested the desirable-
ness of an increased effort being made.*' The '* Lancasterian
Plan " was adopted by College Lane, " 4 persons practicing on
their own united children " at Mr. Hickson's, on the Parade, until
they felt competent to teach in Sunday School. A room was then
obtained in Bull Head Lane, and there school was opened on
Sunday, October 7, 1810. In the course of a few weeks this
room proved too small, the scholars numbering 127 (80 boys and
47 girls) ; and in the spring of the next year the school was
removed to a commodious room in Woolmonger Street belonging
to Mr. Bumpus.
Mr. Hickson was uncle (by marriage) to Dr. Underbill ; and
he learnt " the art and mystery of shoemaking " on the same
bench with William Carey. Mr. Hickson's grandsons now carry
on the large shoe manufacturing business of William Hickson &
Sons, Northampton and London.
Mr. Blundell was not blessed with vigorous health and on that
account resigned the pastorate on November 30, 1824. There
is no later reference to him in the Church Books than that upon
this date. Mr. Blundell is mentioned in Dr. Ryland's Life of
Andrew Fuller, as having accompanied Mr. Fuller on his last
Missionary journey to the North of England in 1814. He was
46 "Pr(me" Baptism.
with Faller also in his last illness. At iGollege Lane he intro-
duced the ''prone " method of baptism. In the Church Books it
is recorded : —
Ohozoh Meeting March 7 1817 Thomas Whitbread, Thomas Emngton,
William Gibbs, Sarah Sykes, Mazy Sykes, Hannah Whitbread, Mary Marshall,
and Fanny Kirby having been previously proposed at a former Church meeting
severally spoke of the Lord's dealings with them & their motives to join the
CShurch and they gave full satisfaction to the Church and Lord's day l^Iarch
S^h ^ere all baptized and after our Minister had given them a suitable
exhortation were all received in the Church. It may be remarked these
persons were all baptized by the Heads stooping down forwards instead of our
former method of being laid down backward into the Water.
In Eobert Bobinson's "History of Baptism "this method of
administering the rite is dealt with at some length. Bobinson
himself baptized in this manner, which he believed was the
original method adopted by the Apostles. '' The administrator,
whether in or out of the water, stood on the right side of the
candidate, his face looking to his shoulder. The candidate stood
erect, and the administrator, while he pronounced the baptismal
words, laid his right hand on the hind part of the head of the
candidate, and bowed him gently forward, till he was aU under
water. Hence baptism was taken for an act of divine worship,
a stooping, and paying a profound homage to God. The baptised I
person raised himself up, and walked out of the water, and another
candidate followed, the administrator standing all the time erect
in his place. This method hath more than antiquity to
In 1815 Mr. Blundell was appointed on the General Missionary
Committee, and he remained on that body until 1828. In that
year he was appointed chaplain of the Protestant Dissenters'
Grammar School at Mill Hill. Here, owing to a variety of
circumstances, most of them beyond his control, he was not a
success, and leaving, commenced a private boarding school at
Totteridge. During the years he was thus employed, he gave up
his Nonconformist opinions, and died in 1861 the incumbent of
Mere, Wiltshire. He published two or three controversial
Mr. Blundell was followed in the pastorate by the Bev. William
Gray, the son of a saddler, born at Oakham on November 2,
1776. His father was deacon of the Baptist church. His mother
dying when he was less than ten years of age, young William
grew into a wild and reckless youth. When he was nineteen he
The Bev. William Gray. 47
was impressed with a baptismal sendee, was himself baptized,
and in 1797 occasionally occupied the pulpit at Oakham, and
sometimes preached in adjacent villages. In Jnne of 1798 we find
the following entry in the Oakham church book : —
Pezoeiving our young Friend and Brother Will*" Gray possessed abilities
i^ch ^e tho^ might prove a public blessing We encouraged him to exercise
his gifts among as : first in a more private way and then occasionally in our
place of worship, and in the Villages around us. After a proper Trial of his
gifts we agreed to give him a more special call to the work of the ministry,
at a Church Meeting accompanied with solemn prayer, and commended
him to the grace of Qod, He feeling a deep sense of his own insuffi-
ciency, and professing an ardent desire after improvement, w^ the
advice of others determined to go to Bristol Academy and he accordingly
The celebrated Fuller was the person to whose kindness he
was indebted for this recommendation. In the first vacation he
was sent to supply the pulpit of the Bev. Samuel Pearce (the
''Seraphic Pearce") at Birmingham. Part of the following
vacation, that of 1800, he similarly spent at Kettering, supplying
for Mr. Fuller. In November, 1801, he went to Edinburgh
University for a few months' further study ; and in the following
year he was chosen assistant to the Bev. Abraham Booth in the
pastorate of Goodman's Fields (London) Baptist Chapel. Very
soon after being settled there he married on December 22, 1802,
Miss Elizabeth Taylor, of Bristol. Mr. Booth dying in January,
1806, Mr. Gray, rather than risk dividing the church, declined
the invitation to become sole pastor. He soon afterwards
accepted the pastorate of the church at Livery Street, Plymouth
Dock (now Devonport) ; but resigniug in 1809, he removed in
October with his family to Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. His
labours while in Devonshire appear to have been even more
abundant than in the metropolis. He usually preached three
times on the Sabbath, and records on December 31, 1807, that
he had in the course of that year preached 229 sermons. At
Chipping Norton his work was abundantly blessed, though,
owing to his miserable stipend, he had to be first boarding school
principal, and afterwards missionary coach. Among those who
received instruction from him were the Bev. J. M. Phillippo,
missionary in Jamaica, and the Bev. J. P. Mursell, of Leicester,
successor to Bobert Hall. Whilst at Chipping Norton he was
secretary of the Auxiliary Society of Oxfordshire and Vicinity in
aid of the Baptist Mission. In 1825 he accepted the call to
College Lane Church.
48 Mr. Qray's Ministry.
On Ootober the 27^ the settlement took plaoe M' 01f»rk of Goilsbro'
oommenoed by reading & prayer. M' Heighton of l^oad requested one of
the Deacons to relate the steps the CShorch had taken, which M' Bumpns
did, the Pastor also stated the reasons which led him to accept the Invitation
of the Ohurch—after which M' Heighton Implored the Divine blessing npon
Pastor & Church. M*" Ooles of Bonrton on the Water delivered a sermon
on the oface of the Christian Ministry from the 1^ of Timothy 3 Chap. &
1» verse, This is a true saying if a man desire the office of a Bishop he
desireth a good work. M*^ Simmons preached on the duty of Christian love
from John 18 — 84, A new commandment give I unto you, that ye love one
another : as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. M*^ Burkitt of
Buckingham concluded in prayer. In the evening M' Green of Thrapston
prayed, M' Hillyard preached from Bomans 16—7, Salute Andronicus &
Junia, my kinsmen, & my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the
Apostles, who also were in Christ before me. M*^ Hobson of Welford
concluded the very interesting & impressive services of the day, in prayer.
Mr. Gray's ministrations at Northampton from the first com-
majided attention to a degree that amounted to popularity. The
spacious chapel was soon filled to overflowing, and it was found
requisite to provide additional sittings. Perceiving the field
opening before him, he proportionably taxed his energies, an^
was gratified in witnessing the more solid fruits of a revived
spirit of religion among the people. One who knew him well at
this period of his life writes — ** Never, perhaps, did he reflect
more of the image of his Master. On occasions of receiving new
members into the church, his manner was specially solemn, and
ever will such seasons be remembered with peculiar interest."
Mr. Oray had the honour of conducting the first Noncon-
formist wedding under the Act, in Northampton. In an old
family Bible is the following : —
September 26, 1837, Tuesday morning, at Castle Hill meeting, married by
Bev. Wm. Gray, Bev. John Bennet, pastor of that place, to Miss Taylor;
tbe first wedding in Northampton in a dissenting place of worship.
During Mr. Gray's pastorate at Northampton new schoolrooms
were erected at a cost of £1,446, including the cost of premises
formerly stabling and coach-houses occupied by Mr. Shaw of the
Angel Hotel— one of the *' Coach Kings.'* It is recorded :—
1830, September 30. Our place of worship having been shut up for 5
Sabbaths was this day re-opened. In the morning at 11 Service began M**
Parkins of Aldwinckle read & prayed M' Morris of London preached from
Psalm 131 — 7 Whither shall I flee from thy presence? Mr Sevier of
Wellingbro* concluded in prayer. In the evening at 6 M' Morris of Olney read
& prayed Mj Sibree of Coventry preached fiom Colossians 1 27 & 28 Christ
in you the hope of glory, whom we preach warning every man, & teaching
every man in all wisdom that we may present every man perfect in Christ
Jesus Ml* Hyatt concluded in prayer.
Death oj the Bev, W. Gray. 49
Mr. Gray became a zealous worker for the Bible Society, and
for the Baptist Missionary Society, on the committee of which he
served from 1823 to his removal from Northampton in 1843 ; and
he was one of the originators of the Northamptonshire Baptist
County Mission in 1841. An attempt had been made in 1822 to
start such a County Mission, but nothing is known beyond the fact
that a meeting of ministers was called. During the eighteen years
Mr. Gray was pastor at Northampton his influence was great
throughout the county, and in this period more than 200 members
were added to College Lane Church. In 1826 he published an
impressive sermon on Slavery; and in 1828, a sermon on the
Atonement. Mr. Gray in 1843 accepted a call to Bideford^
North Devon, where the duties of the pastorate were neither so
arduous nor exacting. Three years at Bideford made it evident
that his pastorate days were over. He was nearly seventy years
of age, and his friends counselled at least partial retirement. He
accordingly went to Bristol, where he supplied in and out of the
city, for two or three years. In 1847 he made a tour in the Midland
bounties on behalf of Bristol College, and after that made two
journeys to London and other places for the Baptist Irish Mission.
Illness overtook him, and on Monday, February 14, 1848, the
day after preaching at Trowbridge, he found himself seriously
ill of typhus fever. He never recovered, and peacefully passed
away on November 7 of that year, at the age of seventy-two.
He was buried in Amo Vale Cemetery, Bristol. A mural
memorial tablet to his memory in College Street Chapel bear&
the following inscription : —
This tablet is erected by voluntary contributions to the memory of
the Rev<J William Gray,
For half a century this servant of God, had the honour of being a
good Minister of Christ, and for eighteen years was the faithful
and devoted Pastor of the Church in this place, the cross of Christ
was the absorbing theme of his ministry, and as in his life, so in his death
it was the hope, and joy of his heart
A kind and catholic spirit, joined with his sincere piety gained
him a wide esteem in life, and now that he is gone to his rest
render his memory blessed ;
he was highly honoured to the increase both of the Church, and
Congregation in this place, he died at Bristol 7^^^ Nov. 1848, aged 72.
** Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.'*
Also of Elizabeth, wife of the above,
who died at Bristol, June 23"* 1869, aged 92 years.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his saints.
Psalm oxvi. 15*^.
The 2^rt>. John Turland Brcfom.
^HE Bev. Jolui Torland Brown succeeded Mr. WiUiam
Gray, commeitciBg his regular ministrations there on
Sunday, October 22, 1843, tliree weeks after his mar-
riage on the 3rd of the same month. Mr. Brown was
previouBly the Baptist Minister at Oakham, and had been invited
to Northampton as co-Pastor with Mr. Gray, bat he declined,
and it was not nntdl the Chnich was destitute of a shepherd that
he consented permanently to occupy its pulpit.
Mr, Brown Is in every respect a Northamptonshire man. His
birth-place, his training, and his associations are all local : his
yery thoughts are reminiscent of the Northamptonshire fields he
loves. He was bom at Bugbrooke, near Northampton, on
January 19, 1819. His family was of the yeoman class with
strong Puritanical instincts. Bugbrooke was one of the first
places in the county to possess admitted and recognised Dis-
senters. In the noble band of Pilgrim Fathers who left England in
the idayfiow&r to find a home in the New England and a rehgious
freedom denied them here, was an ancestor, on bis mother's side,
of Mr. Brown. She was descended from the Wadsworth who went
to America. The poet Longfellow was descended from the
same emigrant. In 1777 Mr. Thomas Turland, through a ser-
mon preached at Greaton, was led to attend Gollega Lane
Ghapel, where the pulpit discourses of the Bev. John Collett
BylEind provided him with spiritual food. A sermon by the Bev.
Andrew Enller on Baptism made him a Baptist, and he joined the
College Lan« Church. Feeling " much concern for the people of
Bugbrook," says the Church Book of Bugbrooke Baptist Ghapel,
" with much difficulty Mr. Tuiland got a House licensed, and
ParetUage and Childhood. 51
obtained a preacher as often as poesiUe." This honsOy which k
shown in the accompanying picturesque engraying, was then in
the occupation of Mr. Atterhury, who afterwards used to allow
baptisms to take place in water in one of his fields. The Baptist
preaching in the village "excited violent persecution, and by
some, very base means were resorted to, in order, if possible, to
prevent the entrance of the Gospel of Christ."
Mr. Thomas Turland was greatly helped by Mr. William
Brown, also a member of College Lane Chapel, and the associa-
tion of these two good men led to their families being united by
marriage, for we find in the text book of Dr. Byland, referred to
in preceding pages, the following record of a sermon preached at
the wedding : —
1781. Nov. 9. Bnghrook (Turland and Brown's Wedding). Matt.zxii. 5.
And they made light of it.
It was from a brother of Mr. Turland, the founder of Bugbrooke
Chapel, that Mr. Brown obtained his second name Turland, a
name likely to be perpetuated in Northampton through now being
borne by a grand-nephew. This was Mr. John Turland, who,
though not a member, gave the first £100 towards the building of
Bugbrooke Chapel. Mr. Thomas Turland succeeded in obtaining
the service as preacher of Mr. Joseph Patrick who supplied for
one year, and was succeeded by Mr. Smith, of Guilsborough.
The Bev. John Wheeler followed in 1803: he was converted
through a sermon he heard, as a tallow chandler's apprentice, in
College Lane Chapel.
The Bev. J. T. Brown's father was Mr. Joseph Brown, son of
Mr. William Brown, a singer in the choir at College Lane, who
helped to found the Church at Bugbrooke, and who was one of its
first deacons. Joseph Brown, his father, was a farmer; his
mother was Miss Martha Johnson, a native of Long Buckby, but
brought up with her uncle, John Turland, of Bugbrooke.
His early education was not precisely that which one would be
likely to recommend for the youth time of a future minister,
though probably no small portion of Mr. Brown's individuality
and character is due to his earliest training. His father and
mother were both pious people, regular attendants at the village
Bethel, and young Brown was carefully brought up to reverence
what was right and good. Out-doors he was a brisk, cheerful
lad. With his accustomed geniality, he has again and again
told an audience that he was a Bugbrooke lad bred and bom,
52 First Sermoj«.
that often did he play " kauckle-down " with the boys of' the
village, and that many a time hae he gone up furrow after furrow
at the plongh-taiL Hia father, a farmer of good repnbe, kno^n
all along the country-aide in hia day, waa a famous judge of cattle
a deep lover of nature, an enthusiaat over flowers, and the poB-
, aeaaor of a bright sense of humour. Hia aon inherited the vein
of humour and the love of nature ; and the power to judge cattle,
in the father aeema to have been converted in the aon into the
ability to judge men, though he claims to be a good judge of
cattle and aheep aa well. Neceasarily, eil his youth was no6
spent in ploughing land and playing marblea. He was not from
the first a atudent, but was always more ready for play than
for lessons. He grew alike in powera and in stature. The Bev.
John Wheeler, the Baptist Pastor of Bugbrooke, was the eldest
brother of young Brown's teacher, and under the joint guidance
of pastor and tutor he obtained a solid foundation for future
After leaving Mr. Wheeler's school at Moulton he began to
preach in the neighbourhood. His first sermon was delivered at
Litchborough towards the end of October, 1832. After preaching
before tne Bugbrooke Church, he was allowed to take his turn
with others at Litchborough, Griraacote, and Heyford. The
Church, however, limited him to thoae three villages. At the
request of an uncle, and with the consent of his pastor, he
preached one Sunday at Everdon, the minister there beii^ ill.
Another Sunday he preached at Harleatone. He was censured
by the Bugbrooke Church for preaching without permission
at those two places ; and he rephed that he should no longer be
limited, as he took his call from no Church. When in his four-
teenth year he was baptized, vrith two others, by the Bev. John
Wheeler, in Bugbrooke Baptist Chapel, in the baptistry whicb,
we learn from the Church Book, waa first uaed on August 19,
1821. Before, and frequently since, there were public baptisms,
attended by large numbers of people. In one or other of the avail-
able brooks in the pariah. The following year, yet a mere boy, a
stripling, but an earnest, thorough boy, he preached at two Church
Meetings in the Vestry. In the Church Book is the record :
u. Nay ; but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise
The Boy " Messmger." 63
perteb." The next eatry in the Church Book, under date Decem-
ber 13 of the same year, records that
John Brown preached from a text given hiro at a former Ohnioli Meetang.
John 6th & 37. Wob geaerally approved.
It was resolved to send him to Bristol College, and he went
back to Mr. Wheeler's to be trained for this purpose. The
Bugbrooke people delighted to listen to him, and chose him
for such offices that a lad of his age could fill. He himself
said at Easter, 1693, when speaking at the last services in the old
(SutcUff) Chapel at Olney :—
It will be sizt7 years next May or June ainoe 1 Bat entered this ohapel. It
was the first time I attended an Associatioa Meeting. It was the break-up
of the old Northamptonshire Baptist Aasooiation, whloh then included Derby-
shire, LeioBstarshire, Linoolnafaire, and aevecal other oountiea. The last
meeting of the united shiies waa held in this ohapel. I waa present, and I
was (hen over 11, and a very promising youth upon the whole — at least, bo my
mother thoDght. Wlien she saw me she told me (hat at first she didn't like
my ai^aianoe at all, and, by a very signifloant geatnce which I shan't repeat,
she indicated her dissatisfaction. But she grew to feel I was better Uian the
earlieat promise. I was, as I said, a little over 11 years of age nhen I oame
(o the meeting here, and then — what do you think ? I was deputed as a
Messenger to the Assooiation, though so yoong.
A good beginning — very promising. Squire Andrews lived close by, in a
honse which wlU be recognised by the inhabitants of Olney. He was a very
fine gentleman, with gold spectacles and white hair, and he looked as vener-
able as my young friend here [pointing to the Bev. J. T. WIgner] , and, I was
going to say, as bewitotdng. But I won't make unMnd remarks. He very
kindly gave a breakfast to the Uessengers and Ministers on the Tuesday
morning, and I went, of course, to that breakfast. I had got a sailor's jacket
on, and I looked as well and as important as I could. A gentleman very
kindly came up to me and said, " Do you know this breakfast Is only for
Ministeis and MeEEengers ? " My dignity was touched, and I said at once,
" Well, but Jam a messenger." And so I had the breakfast. That was to
me a very memorable oeoadon. It was my first sight of men, some of them
were then young, and some occupying important positions, with whom I oame
Into close contoot in later life. It was my first sight of Mr. Mnrsell, of
Leioeater. He preached in this pnlpit behind me, and carried us all away by
his magic sloquenoe. It was my first sight of William Bobinson, then at
Kettering and afterwards at Cambridge. Then there was Dr. Trestrait, and
many other eminent men who were twvelling their pilgrim path. They have
finished their course, and ore now " For ever with the Lord."
As he grew older, he more and more frequently visited
aei^bonring villages to preach, including Earl's Barton, " an
origiual chapel with an original congregation." He was accepted
as a student of the College in his seventeenth year.
Mr. Brown remained at the College only a short period — a few
months. The authorities did not understand the youthful vigour
61 Tkt Liberation Society.
of their NorthamptonBbire pupil, and dismissed him. When ha
returned home, his friends at Bugbrooke instituted inquiries, and
we find the following entry in the Church Book there : —
A Bpeciftl Ohtuob Meetiitg wm held April 8, when the Chuicb was put
into poaBOESioii of the oircamatuioes relktive to the espnlaion of John Brown
from the Aoad&my »t Bristol, when it was naolTed that ftppliontion should
immediatel; be made for his M-idmission to the Aoadun;.
They felt that his treatment was unjust then, everybody aays
BO now. The only real harm that was done was that the College
denrived itself of having among its hoDOOrs that of educating
nd Brown, though his name is still honourably
the College toUb. Directly after leaving, Mr. Brown,
! influence of a life-long friend, the Bev. James P.
Leicester, was foond an UBhership in the proprietary
tiich Mr. Cyrus Edmunds was head master. Though
s not exactly to Mr. Brown's mind, it was excellent
d served him in good stead in after years. More im-
regards forming his character, was his association at
at only with Mr. Mursell and Mr. Edmunds, but with
i Miall, who confirmed him in his thorough-going,
conformity. They, vrith him, afterwards, in 1844,
^nti-State Church Association, now the powerful wide-
tical organisation known as the " Society for the
)f Religion from State Patronage and Control." He
a member of the council at its formation. These
hlishment pioneers also worked for the starting of
formist newspaper which did such excellent service
ie of religious equality. Mr. Brown is now on
ve Committee of the Liberation Society, to which
ts elected in 1875. In after years he proved as
LB consistent in politics as he had even then shown
religion. After a short stay in Leicester, he left for
jrying vrith him the inspiration of these militant
inconformists, and reminiscences, derived from Mr.
the marvellous eloquence of the gifted Robert Hall,
y, 1839," runs the sole record in the Oakham Church
Brown began to preach to us. From the time of his
; his laboors, good appears to have been done."
d here earnestly and successfully for four years,
the continual development of exceptional powers.
s were noised abroad, people flocked to hear his
and his church became popular. The chapel was
Invitation to College Street. 55
thronged Sunday after Sunday, and the fame of his preaching
spread to neighbouring counties. The noise of his fame reached
Northampton. College Lane, casting round for some one to help
their pastor, lighted upon the young and eloquent preacher in
Eutland. He was unanimously invited to come to Northampton
as early as November 26, 1841, " to supply us 4 Sab*^ with a
View to become co-Pastor" with Mr. Gray, whose health
necessitated some relaxation from the excessive labours which
fell upon him. To the surprise of the Church Mr. Brown
declined. On December 20, " A Letter was read from the Bev^
J. Brown declining the Invitation to visit us." After Mr. Gray
left Northampton another invitation was sent, this time to be
sole pastor of a church reminiscent of the eloquence of the two
Bylands. It was reported on May 26, 1843, that " M' Brown had
agreed to supply us 2 or 3 Sab^ in June " ; saiA under the date of
June 23 we read : —
Mr. Brown having supplied as 2 Sab^ it was unanimoualy agreed that it is
desirable that he be invited to become oar Pastor, it was also agreed that a
Ballott of the whole Ghorch take place, both male and female with a view to
Mr. Brown of Oakham becoming our Pastor, on Friday evening next Jmie 80.
And that a public notice be given to that effect on Sab^ day June 25, when
all the Members are to come prepared with a slip of paper on which is to be
written yes, or no, and that aU Proxies are to be allowed.
A week later we read in the Church Book (June 30, 1843) : —
A ballot of the Church was taken both Male and Female, to invite W
John Turland Brown to the Pastoral Office in College St. Chapel, when there
was 220 Votes for him to be invited 2 againsb him & 1 neuter, after this
Ballott an Invitation was sent to M' Brown to Invite him to the pastoral
office, at our C. M. July 28 a letter was read from M' Brown to signify his
acceptance of the Invitation to become the Pastor of the Church at College
Mr. Brown wrote his letter of acceptance to the Northampton
Church on July 24, and parted from the Oakham congregation
in September, 1843, with many expressions of regret, both from
pastor and people. The Oakham Church and congregation, in
recognition of their approval of his stay with them — it was very
unusual for the Oakham Church and its ministers to get on well
together — ^presented him with an address and a silver sugar-
bowl, tongs and spoon. The basin bore the inscription ; —
Presented by the Baptist Church and Congregation at Oakham to the
Rev. J. T. Brown, on resigning his Pastoral charge, as a token of their sincere
and affectionate egard. Sept. 1843.
a ■*■*■■ -i*— ."
56 Commencing the Pastorate.
Mr. Brown went direct from Oakham to Northampton, and
Bignalised his entrance into the town as a new pastor by marry-
ing to Ann, daughter of the Bev. Nathaniel Kowton, a Con-
gregational minister at Coventry. The College Lane Church
Book says : —
Mr. Brown was married Ootober 3, 1848; began his stated labours at Col-
lege Street Chapel Oct 22, 1848. Preached in the morning from 182 Psalm,
18 v., ** For the Lord has chosen Zion, He hath desired it for his habita-
tion." In the evening of the same day preached from Luke 19, 10, " For the
Son of Man is come to seek and save that which was lost."
Special prayer meetings were held on November 15, to welcome
him, '' to pray for a blessing on the union formed between pastor
and people." One was held in the morning at ten o'clock, con-
fined to members of the church and communicants, and one in
the evening for the church and congregation. Mr. Brown was
never formally ordained at College Lane, the union was simply
sanctified with prayer. Mr. Brown found three services being
held every Sunday, a system which it was felt unwise to pursue.
A minute in the Church Book, dated October 25, 1844, says : —
In consequence of the great difficulty of obtaining supplies for the after-
noon to preach and give general satisfaction, it was agreed that in the after-
noon instead of preaching that a Prayer Meeting be held every Sab^ afternoon
except on Ordinance day, and that Brethren Bumpus, Underwood and Ager
conduct the meetings, either personally or when necessary with the assist-
ance of other brethren to whom they may apply.
In 1849 it was decided that the Ordinance should be admin-
istered at the evening service, and on the first instead of the last
Sunday in the month. The communion was first made a special
service at College Lane in November, 1825, and the practice was
continued until 1896. The afternoon prayer meeting was not
sustained, being eventually dropped.
It was soon evident that College Street had once more been
eminently successful in the choice of a minister. The young
pastor showed that not only was he thoroughly in earnest, but a
teacher possessed of a literary knowledge ; a keen appreciation
of men and things, and shrewd observation, which could only be
hoped for in one of maturer years. Eloquent all knew him to
be, the eloquence of one who knew his subject and his own
powers; but few guessed his powers. As he preached, he re-
vealed the possession of those high qualities which make a
preacher great ; and withal, he was so gentle, so unassuming, so
diffident of fame, that Northampton soon learned to honour him.
VisU to JamaiML 57
His sennons weie always culkLied, literary compositioiiSi and
yet so simple that they appealed to the hearts of the meanest of
his congregations as of the most leaned and intelligent. More-
over, Mr. Brown never Tsntnred on an argamentative sermon ;
his theme was always the endming love of Christ. He preached
not theological disquisitions, bat proclaimed the Gospel as a
finished and glorious account of human need and human hope.
As time went on, Mr. Brown's pulpit style became more perfect,
and probably he had not his equal among preachers for chaste
and polished rhetoric.
In 1855 Mr. Brown, who had been doing yeoman service in
Northampton and the surrounding villages, was elected on the
Committee of the Baptist Missionary Society, an institution with
which, from its inception. College Street Chapel has always
been deeply interested. In 1859 he and Dr. Underbill, one of
the secretaries of the Society, were deputed to visit the Baptist
Churches in Jamaica, to carry them fraternal greetings from the
old country, and encourage them to greater service. Mr. Brown
and his Church both consented, and he anticipated a pleasant and
useful time in the West Indies. His parting from his congrega-
tion and friends was truly a sweet sorrow. How it was borne is
best shown in the special sermon Mr. Bro¥m preached in his
chapel on October 30, 1859, on the eve of his departure. In
the following words he concluded an eloquent discourse, which
naturally many thought might possibly be the last he would
preach to them. A journey to America, in those days, was not
the sort of picnic trip that the great Atlantic liners make it to-day.
It was a journey fraught with uncertainty and danger. Mr.
Brown preached from the words, " And we have known and
believed the love that God hath to us " (1 John iv. 16) : —
Do you wont comfort? I can only say, with my parting words, " BelioTe
in this love of Grod.'' Do yon want strength? There is no other word,
" Belieye in the love of God." Do yon want wholly to he holy, to he drawn
to Him, to hecome strong for work, and willing to labour ; it is only these
same words which I repeat, ** Believe in the love of Grod, which He hath for
you.'* My brethren, O believe, and rest in Him with more perfect confidence.
Let nothing separate you from this love of Gk)d. No, not sin; no, not
vague suspicions of your hearts; no, nor trouble, "nor things present,
nor things to come, nor life, nor death." Let nothing shake your confidence
in the great love which your Father hath towards you. Liquirers, you want
relief. You say, " for light ! O for repose I O for cheerfulness and hope I "
Your relief, your encouragement, your light, your hope, is only this:
'" Believe in the love which God hath towards you." Believe it, and it shall
be sunrise with you, and beauteous days shall burst upon you. You have
58 The New ChapeL
not to create it in Him. You have not to persuade Him. You have not to
merit it. It is there. You have only to* go/ appealing to a love which is
ahready there. And you that slight it, O criminal men t — slight that love,
putting away the love of your Father, and rebelling against Him ! Will
nothing afiect you ? Is all this graoiousness no more to you than the beauteous
sunlight ? I beseech you — I may never speak to some of you again, never to
any of you again — by the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord — the
only saJvation for living, dying, immortal men, I beseech you fly to that love,
and under its all-spreading wings may you rest for ever and for ever. My
brethren, I leave you to-day with this thought: there is the love of God
which He hath towards you, to take care of you ; and there is the love of my
Father to take care of me.
Mr. Brown started off on November 2. In Jamaica the de-
putation received everywhere a rapturous welcome. Wherever
he went Mr. Brown shed around him the sunniness of his
character. He was extremely observant, buoyant, and jovial.
All were gratified beyond measure ; for did not Mr. Brown come
from the very home of Foreign Missions, the county which ori-
ginated them ? Was he not the pastor of the Church that more
closely than all others was associated with the establishment of
the Missionary Society ? The immense audiences assembled to
hear him hung upon his words of encouragement. Unfortunately
for himself, Mr. Brown caught the West Indian fever, which laid \
him up and curtailed his journeys. When convalescent he made
the mistake of going to the United States, where the colder
climate of the continent had such an injurious effect upon his
constitution, that he was never again physically the same man
that he was before. His people gave him a cordial welcome on
his return at the Corn Exchange at a reception meeting, on June
12, 1860 ; and the Missionary Society gave him their best thanks.
The next important event was the erection of a new chapel.
To enlarge the old building was out of the question. It was too
antiquated, too inconvenient. Nothing would do but pulling it
down. Before Mr. Brown left England there was a movement
for a new chapel and class-rooms. The question of enlarging
the school accommodation had been before the Church for
several years, and adjoining property had been purchased, by
the favour of Mr. Cooper Cardwell, the owner, for the moderate
sum of £550. Weekly contributions were arranged, and the
money came in so well, that the people thought they should
get a much greater sum and erect new buildings altogether,
chapel and schools as well. The scheme was heartily taken up,
and a good sum was soon got in hand ; and, when Mr. Brown
returned from America, matters were well under way. When
Some Old Members. 59
there was something like £3,000 in hand plans were asked for,
and the usual difficulties arose. The first set of plans was sent
hack for alterations. When returned to the Committee they
were submitted to Sir Morton Peto, M.P., who strongly recom-
mended one signed " Nil Desperandum." The Committee
immediately accepted another, signed ** Corinthian." When the
estimates came in they were thousands too high. ** Corinthian"
(Mr William Hull, sen., Northampton) modified his plans
to meet the money question. The tender of Messrs. Smith
Bros., Northampton, was accepted, and they were paid in all
£6,623 9s. 6d. The last services in the old chapel took place on
Sunday, July 6, 1862 ; and the last sermon was preached by the
Rev. J. T. Brown, from the words : —
Then Samuel took a stone and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called
the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the Lord helped as
(1 Sam. vil. 12).
The sermon, which was afterwards printed, was an extremely
interesting historic discourse, reminiscent of the hundred and
one associations of the old building. The congregation was
far too big for the place. Mr. Brown's preaching had done
wonders. In hia work in the chapel the pastor was ably assisted
by the organist, Mr. AlphsBUS Andrews, editor, with the Eev.
Jonathan Whittemore, of Bushden, of the '' Standard Tune Book,"
and the choir leader, Mr. Ebenezer Millard. Mr. Millard came
to Northampton in 1848 ; and for the remaining fifteen years in
which services were conducted in the old chapel, these two
gentlemen considerably improved the music. During the build-
ing of the chapel the Sunday services were conducted in the
The new chapel and schools occupy the site of the former
chapel, schools, and graveyard in front, and some adjacent houses,
Essex's Yard, that were purchased by the trustees in 1858. The
chapel has a noble Corinthian front, and affords ample seating
accommodation for 1,100 persons. There are several vestries
and committee-rooms, and a number of class and other rooms
connected with the schools. Since 1863 the young men's rooms,
class-rooms, and a room for Miss Hearn's class have been added
at a cost, including purchase of buildings, of over £2,000. The
covered baptistry is in front of the pulpit. The opening service
was held on Thursday morning, November 26, 1863. The Eev.
J. T. Brown, the Rev. B. T. Prust, pastor of Commercial Street
Congregational Church, Northampton, and the Rev. William
60 The Public Opemng.
Knowles, pastor of Hackleton Baptist Church, took part ; «nA
a special dedicatory hymn, written by Mr, Liike W, Moore, was
suDg. The Bev. William Landels, of Begeat'e Fork, London,
preached a fine Bermoa from
Bnt Ood forbid that I ahould 'gl"?! Baye in the oroas of our Lord JesnB
ChriBt. (Galatiuia vi. 11.)
There were a pablic dinner and tea during the day, and a
second service in the evening, when the Bev. John Howard
Hinton.iM.A., of London, preached the sermon. The Bev. Thomas
Arnold, pastor of Castle Hill Coneregational Church, Northamp-
ton, and the Bev. T. T. Gkiugh,
An overflow service was held in t.
Bev. James Muraell, of Kettering
Sunday the Bev. J. P, Morsell, W
at both services. Before the ye
(£8,264 17s. 5d.) had been paid,
laailding fnnd, Mr. John Taylor
each presented, in recognition of
splendid tea and coffee service be
handsome silver trowel was pn
Sunday School teachers and scho
the foundation stone of the Chap
On January 28, 1869, the tw(
and within ten days of his flfti
presented with a purse of ll
illuminated address. Mr. Will
and Mr. John Perry, the treasi
suitable terms on behalf '■ of the <
interesting ceremony took place i
cally decorated for the occasio
proceedings a hymn was sui^, i
(" Marianne Famingham ").
From about this time Mr. Bro
though he is still the thorough-go
and even yet, as a recent writi
pronounces a brief benediction o
he was the other side of fifty no i
in Northampton without liis hav
to the addressing of discourteouE
election days. He was largely
Epps to contest the Borough
representative of the Anti-St
President of the Baptist Union. 61
mainly the means of getting Mr. Charles Gilpin accepted
as Liberal candidate for Northampton. He recognised, how-
ever, and Northamptonshire recognised, that his place was the
pulpit, not the political arena. He had endeared himself
through the twenty-five years to his silver jubilee more and
more to his congregation, to his fellow Baptists in Northamp-
tonshire and in the country, and to fellow workers in Christ's
vineyard everywhere. Year by year he grew, and has still been
growing, in the estimation of Nonconformists of all shades of
opinion, until to-day, among them there is not a more popular
man in Northamptonshire. Always ready to do his utmost,
though recently increasing years compel him to forego meetings
he would like to attend, he is ever3rwhere an acceptable speaker.
His geniality, his kindness, his inbred spirit of Nonconformity,
his simple cultured method of speech, gain for him a name and
fame wherever his presence is known ; and there is probably not
a parish in Northamptonshire and adjoining districts to the south
where he is not personally known and revered and loved.
In 1873 the organ at College Street was purchased and opened.
For the previous ten years there had been no instrumental music,
but an excellent choir led the singing under the directorship of
Mr. Millard. The chapel was closed for several weeks while the
interior of the edifice was being decorated and the organ was
erected. The services on the Sundays were again held at the
In 1877 Mr. Brown was appointed to the highest post big
Church brethren have in their gift, the Presidency of the Baptist
Union of Great Britain and Ireland. At the annual assembly, held
on April 23 in London, he delivered a masterly address, followed
by another of equal merit at the autumn assembly at Newport,
on October 10. Both these addresses were printed. At the ex-
piration of his term of office, on the motion of the Rev. Charles
Williams, seconded by Mr. S. R. Pattison, the following resolu-
tion was carried unanimously : —
That this Assembly tenders to Rev. J. T. Brown its earnest i thanks for the
faithful, wise, and loving manner in which he has discharged the duties of
the Presidency of the Union during the past year, and takes the opportunity
of assuring him, on his retirement from the post which he has so ably filled,
of the affectionate esteem in which he is universally held, and of the grati-
tude of the Baptist Denomination that he has been enabled to render such
manifold and valuable services to our Foreign Mission and to the churches of
our own oountrj'.
62 Visit to Norway.
The autamn meetings of the Baptist Union were held at
College Street on September 25 to 28, 1871, and were extremely
BUcceBsfol. The gathering was very large. The address of the
Rev. C. M. Birrell, of Liverpool, president for the year, was on
" Northampton Memories," a most interesting historical paper.
In the summer of 1884, with a view of obtaining more accurate
information regarding the work of the Baptist Missionary Society
in Norway, Mr. Brown and the Rev. J. G. Greenhough, M.A., of
Leicester, were sent on a visit to the Norwegian churches. They
presented a valuable and exhaustive report, after visiting all the
churches except Tromsoe, Frederickshald, and Ghristiansimd.
They found deep religious fervour among the members, who
were almost exclusively poor. Their poverty crippled their
energy and zeal in every direction. Their chapels were all heavily
burdened with debt, the interest on which and the incidental
expenses swallowed up all the contributions. The ministers,
therefore, were entirely dependent on the grants made by the
Missionary Society, and without exception were sadly underpaid.
Mr. Brown's services in visiting Jamaica, and in later life
Norway, were heartily and freely rendered, and it was a matter
of deep regret to him that he was imable, in 1891, to accede to
the request to visit the West Indies again. It was an important
trait of his character that he loved the missionary spirit. He
believed in the injunction to " Preach the Gospel to every
creature." He has long been a strong pillar of the Baptist
Missionary Society. But the needs of foreign peoples never
blotted out the needs of villages at home. From two years after
its inception he was the leading spirit for over fiifty years of the
Northamptonshire Baptist Home Missionary Society; and he
presided at Kislingbury, where it was originated, at the jubilee ser-
vices in November, 1891. He has invariably attended the meetings
of the Northamptonshire Baptist Association every year since his
first visit at Olney as a ''Boy-Messenger"; he wrote many of
the Circular Letters, and preached the Centenary Sermon at the
services at Rushden in 1865, ** The Memories of Our Fathers."
At the united New Year's gathering of the Free Churches of
Northampton in January, 1890, the following resolution was
unanimously adopted : —
That this meeting having heard that their honoured Chairman, the Bev.
John Turland Bro^m, has just completed the fiftieth year of his ministry,
would give thanks to God for his long and most useful ministry in the
town, in the county, and in the whole country ; would thank him for the
Pastoral Jubilee, 63
brotherliness among them, which has grown into fatherliness ; and would pray ,
Grod that some of the brightest and best of the years of his usefuhiess and
fellowship may be yet before him.
Soon after Mr. Brown's return from Norway it became patent
to all that his increasing age necessitated some arrangement by
which he could be relieved from some pf the duties of the
pastorate. Indeed, he wrote to the Church that he contemplated
resigning. An invitation, however, was sent to Mr. Frank
Ward Pollard to become co-pastor, and, assenting, Mr. Pollard
went to Northampton in November, 1886, and averted the sever-
ance of Mr. Brown and the Church. Mr. Pollard is the son of
Mr. Charles Pollard, of Kettering, and made his decision for
Christ when a boy at school at Cowper's House, Huntingdon.
He afterwards went to Gildersome, near Leeds, where, when a
pupil in the Eev. John Haslam's school, he joined the Baptist
Church of which his teacher was pastor. He gave his first
address at the Sunday School at Gildersome. After a turn at local
preaching he went to Eegent's Park College, London, in
September, 1882, and finished his course of study there in June,
1886. In November of the same year he went to College Street,
where, as assistant pastor, he ministered with much acceptance
for over five years. He then accepted a call to the Baptist Church
of Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire. Before his departure the Church
gave him, on January 17, 1892, a most gratifying address and a
purse of £55. ** We look back upon your ministry amongst us,"
said the address, signed on behalf of the Church and congrega-
tion, '' with pleasure and gratitude. For we know that, coming
when you did to the assistance of our dear pastor, that purpose
has been faithfully fulfilled, and you have been a real help and
comfort to him. We review with satisfaction the spiritual nature
of your work. From your lips we have had only * the faithful
word ' and the ' sound doctrine ; ' and in your visits to the homes
made sad by sickness and distress, heaUng words have been
spoken, and kindly sympathy shown, which will not soon be
After Mr. Pollard's departure, Mr. Brown remained sole
pastor. On October 3, 1893, he and Mrs. Brown quietly cele-
brated their golden wedding at their residence, The Elms,
Semilong, Northampton. On the 29th and 30th of the same
month, the jubilee of Mr. Brown's pastorate at College Street
was joyously celebrated by special sermons and services on the
Sunday, and meetings in the Chapel on the Monday. There was
64 Mn. Bromt.
a ■peeial gift to Hr. Brown of £1,060 Iroin the Chnrch and
Sunday Schools, and other prasentatifMiB from the Northampton
Hinisters' RnUeroal, and the Chnrch at Castle Hill to him ; and
feom the ladies of the congregation to His. Brown.
On Hay 30, 1894, Mr. Brown resigned the pastorate of the
Chnrch, but he by no means retired from active work. He was
appointed President of the Northamptonshire Honconfoimist
Council, and t* the annual meeting at Stony Stratford was
elected an honorary member of the Northamptonshire AssociatioD
of Baptist Ghorchee with the standing and privil^es of a pastor
as before. He still takes important services in the village
chnrches. The Chnrch nnmbered 645 members at his resigna-
tion; when he accepted the pastorate there were 275.
Many funeral sermons have been published delivered by Mr.
Brown on the loss of intimate friends, indnding the Bev. William
Bobinson, of Kettering ; Bev. James Morsell, of Kettering ; Rev.
T. Marriott, of Milton; Bev. Nathaniel Bowton, his father-in-
law ; and others, especially friends connected with Northampton-
shire chnrches. It was his practice, mitil 1893, at the end of
each year to preach a sermon tm the events of the past twelve
months. These sermons were always eagerly looked forward to.
During the long period of his married life Mr. Brown has found
is his beloved wife all that a minister's wife and helpmeet shonld
be. She hae helped and sided him by her wise and intelligent
counsels in the difficulties which his fifty years' pastorate had
necessarily not been withont. In their early days she was the
head of a Bible Class in Collie Street, which was very popular
among the elder girls ; and for years she conducted a Mothers'
Meeting there. After the Nelson Street Sunday School was
(lansferred to the Barrack Boad Mission Hall Mrs. Brown
took a great interest in it, and was for many years a very
efficient worker there. In 1882 she was presented by the other
workers with a Bath-chair and a finely illuminated address.
Her delicate health would not then permit her to walk to the
ball in the evenings, and the Bath-chair was given to enable
her to attend. She is a lady of much refinement and consider-
able literary ability, and has pnbUshed a number of "leaflets,"
which have been highly appreciated.
Re%'. PHILIP H. SMITH.
The Rev. Philip H. Smith.
iJl^HE Rev. Philip Henry Smith, the present pastor, succeeded the
1^ Rev, John T. Brown in 1894. Mr, Smith, who was bom at
Manchester on January 30th, 1864, was the fifth son of Mr.
Joseph Smith, of Seliy Oak, a village near Birmingham. The father
was deacon and secretary of Harborne Baptist Church, Staffordshire,
The son was educated at Bradford Villa Grammar School,near Birming-
ham. Being desirous of entering the ministry, he was anxious to go
to College direct from School,buthewas dissuaded from this course by
the counsel of his grandfather, the Rev. Thos. Davey, of Gravesend, a
well-known Congregational minister. Mr. Davey recommended that he
should first gain experience of the world by business training. This
advice was followed. He was apprenticed to a firm of merchants in Bir-
mingham, and he worked his way up to be the head of his department.
During this period he was actively engaged in religious work. He
was admitted a member of Harborne Baptist Church, where his father
was deacon, and he fulfilled with much credit the dual duties of
organist and choir leader. In addition, be conducted a lai^e class
composed of working-men, who met at half-past seven on Sunday
mornings; and he did much visiting during the week.
All this was excellent training for one destined to the ministry,
and in due time it gave place to the education of the College. He
entered Rawdon College in September, 1889. He was the senior
of his year of six students, and afterwards became senior of the
house, under Principals Rooke and Tymms. His five years at College
were, moreover, five years of unbroken work with Professor Medley.
So excellent and so studious a scholar was he, that the Rev. T. Vincent
Tymms had no difficulty in heartily recommending him, his best
66 The Rev. Philip H. Smith.
pupil, to the Northampton friends. He preached in the chapel on
several Sundays in the latter months of 1893 and the first month of
1894. On January 31st, 1894, it was decided to invite Mr. Smith to
the pastorate ; and on February 14th, this vote was confirmed at a
special meeting held in accordance with the terms of the Trust deed.
Mr. Smith attended the annual meeting of the Church and Congre-
gation on March ist, and then announced his acceptance of the call
to the Pastorate; but being desirous of completing his College
course, he was not formally welcomed until June 19th, the month
following Mr. Brown's resignation. His recognition as pastor did not
take place until September loth.
During his holiday of 1896, Mr. Smith was married at
WoUerton Congregational Chapel to Miss Katharine E. Powell,
daughter of Alderman T. P. Powell, of WoUerton. Mrs. Smith was
a zealous worker in the church life of her home. She was the Church
treasurer, a teacher in the Sunday School ; and for seven years,
single-handed, she maintained a Band of Hope of about 70 members.
She moreover inaugurated a literary institute for the young people of
the village, and it was so successful that very shortly a building was
erected at a cost of ;^2oo.
The wedding took place on September 17th, and the following
month, on the return of Mr. Smith to Northampton, he and Mrs.
Smith received the warmest of welcomes from the members of the
Church and of the congregation. At the meeting on October 15th,
Mr. Smith was, in the name of the Church, presented with a purse of
fifty guineas, two silver candlesticks, a silver salver, and a silver ink-
stand The purse was beautifully worked in silks by Miss Frances
Brice. Mr. John Taylor, through Mr. R. Cleaver, presented the pastor
with a handsomely bound volume containing the history of College
Street Church, and a collection of the works of the Rev. J. T. Brown.
Some few days later, Mr. and Mrs. Smith were presented with a
dining-room lamp by the children of the Sunday Schools.
The chief event of Mr. Smith's ministry has been the renovation
of the chapel, which has been done at a cost of about ;^2,ooo. The
opening services are fixed for December 12th, 1897, and will be
in celebration of the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the formation
of the Church on October 27th, 1697. The number of members
of the Church on October 27th, 1897 (Bicentenary Day) was 648.
Missionaries Designated from College Street Ckurck.
-W'USTACE CAREY a nephew of the great William Carey, was
XC^ bom at Paulersbury oo March zznd, 1791. His father was a
soldier. When he was quite a child, his mother removed to
Northampton, and there Eustace spent a considerable portion of his time
with two aunts at Cottesbrooke. He was a delicate child, and there is
little doubt that it was the fresh air and outdoor exercise at Cottes-
brooke that saved him from an early grave. He was baptised by Dr.
Ryland at Northampton, on July 7, i8og, and joined College Street
Church two days later. The following month he spoke by invitation
before the Church, and on September 5th he was recommended to the
Baptist Missionary Society. He was soon sent for tuirion to the
Rev. John Sutcliffe, at Olney, and there he remained for three years,
going in 1812 to the Baptist College at Bristol. On January 19th,
1814, his public designation to India took place at College Street
Chapel, in which the Rev. Andrew Fuller and the Rev. Robert Hal!
took part. He left Portsmouth for the East with his wife on
February 20th, and arrived at Serampore on August rst, where they
were received by his uncle, Dr. Carey. He remained at Serampore
about a year, and then went to Calcutta — the first resident European
missionary there. He worked arduously among the natives and the
soldiers. In 1819, he commenced devoting himself entirely to the
heathen portion of the inhabitants. On account of ill-health, he was
ultimately obliged to give up his work, and reluctantly he and Mrs,
Carey returned to England by way of America, They left India
towards the end of 1824, and reached Liverpool on August 3rd, 1825,
He was never able to go back to India, but for something like 25
years he advocated the claims of the Missionary Society, visiting
Churches for this purpose in all parts of the country. He died at
his residence in London on July i8th,'i85s, from a ruptured blood-
vessel on the brain.
68 Missionaries Designated from College Street Church,
The Rev. James Flood was born at Portsea, Hampshire, on
September 13th, 1801 ; and at the age of 16 joined the Baptist Church
at Salisbury, during the pastorate of the Rev. T. Saffery. He was
educated with a view to the ministry under the Rev. William Gray,
at Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire. Mr. Gray commencing his
pastorate at College Street almost at the same time that Mr. Flood
was adopted by the Missionary Society, it was considered a happy
arrangement that the latter should be designated from his tutor's
church. After a little preaching at Kislingbury, the designation to
the West Indies took place on March 15th, 1826, on which occasion
the charge was delivered by Eustace Carey. The same year, he sailed
to Jamaica with Mrs. Flood, and occupied Annota, preaching also at
Charlestown. Attacks of yellow fever so enfeebled him that he was
obliged to return to England in 183 1. With better health, he
laboured about two years at St. Austell, in Cornwall, and spent some
further time in travelling for the Baptist Missionary Society. In
1834 he settled at Melbourne, Cambridgeshire, and remained pastor
of the Church there until his death, on December 21st, 1857. He
was seized with unconsciousness soon after preaching on the Sunday
morning, and passed away peacefully the following day. His body
was interred in the burying ground of the New Baptist Chapel,
Melbourne. Dr. and Mrs. Prince were baptised by him, and were
members of his Church at Annota Bay.
The Rev. Henry Capern, one of the most devoted of Bahama
missionaries, was bom at Tiverton, Devonshire, on February 26th,
1802. Although brought up in the Church of England, he became
an active teacher in the Baptist Sunday School of his native place,
and occasionally preached in the villages. After a course of study
at the Baptist College, Bristol, in 1830 he went to Long Buckby, and
was pastor there until he left in 1840 for service in the West
Indies. The designation service took place at College Street Chapel
on March 1 8th of that year, when the sermon was preached by the
Rev. J. P. Mursell. In the Bahamas he succeeded the Rev. John
Burton. Against all tyranny from the first he took a decided stand,
insisting on the recognition of the legal rights of the people. Hence,
though he was hated by those formerly owning slaves, he was loved
by those whose cause his manliness and Christianity led him to
champion. He conducted the mission for seventeen years, through-
Re\. THOMAS MARTIN.
MiawmtrUs Dt^maUd from Col^e Stnti Chink. 69
out with great eflkiency. He was assisted after a time by Mr
littlewood and Mr. Rycroft ; be established day schools \ and be
trained a native ministry. On account of the ill health t^ himself
and his wife (a daughter of Mr. Upstone Goodman, of Loi^ Buckby),
he returned to Et^laod in 1857. He was cfaosai pastor of Bugbrooke
Church the same year, and remained there, preaching with much
success until 1867, when he resigned. Afterwards he retired to
Belvedere, in Kent, where he died on April 13th, 1883, after a long
and painful illness, aged 81.
R. F. LAUGHTON.
Richard F. I^ughton, a portrait of whom is appended, was
bom at Grendon on July 11,1 83S, Apprenticed at Olney, where he
joined the Baptist Church, be removed to Northampton when about
twenty, receiving his dismission to College Street Chapel on March 3,
1859, He studied at Clipstone under the Rev. T. T. Gough, and,
accepted by the Baptist Missionary Society, his public designation to
China took place on November jtb, 1862. In consequence of
Collie Street Chapel being rebuilding,
the meeting was held at Castle Hill
(Congr^alional) Chapel, at the annual
services of the Baptist County Mission.
He was married two days later to Miss
Elizabeth Longland, of Olney. They
reached China on March 25, 1863, and
settled at VenUi, in the Bay of Chefoo.
The story of Mr. Laughton's work during
the ensuing seven years is an interesting
story of arduous missionary effort His
usefulness in the spread of the Gospel can
in no way be measured, and though, after
a time, the climate seriously affected his
eyesight, he continued hard at work, recognising that, if he could
not see to read or write much, he had all the more time to
perfect his acquaintance with the spoken language In the spring of
1870 he was stricken with fever, and he breathed his last at Chefoo
on June 31, at the early age of 31. He left a widow and three small
children. He was buried in Chefoo Cemetery. There is a tablet to
his memory in College Street Chapel.
The Rev. William Bontems was the grandson of a Jamaica
7© Missionaries Designated from College Street Church,
sugar planter. He was brought up in Northampton, working for his
uncle, Mr. Richard Harris, builder, a member of College Street. He
joined the Church on February 23rd, 1838, during the ministry of
the Rev. William Gray, and in the following year we find him
preaching before the Church and commissioned to preach in the
villages. In 1841, when an agent of the Christian Instruction Society
at Brentford, he was accepted by the Missionary Society, and was
sent out with the Rev. John Williams to the station in Turks Island.
They were received at Nassau by the Rev. Henry Capem. Mr.
Bontems' health, and that of Mr. Williams completely broke down
under the West Indian climate, and both were back in England
within twelve months. Mr. Bontems was attacked most severely with
yellow fever. When back in England a sphere of work was found at
Horton College, near Bradford, for three years. For the next three
he laboured at Boston, and in August, 1848, he was dismissed from
College Street Church to Whitchurch, Shropshire, where he had been
chosen pastor. In 1857 he went to Hereford; in 1861 to Hartlepool;
and in 1863, by exchange, to Middlesborough-on-Tees. Here he was
remarkably successful, but his health failed him, and his death on
August 5th, 1868, closed a brief but eminently useful ministry in that
The Rev. Thomas Martin was born at .Maghera, county Derry.
Ireland, on March 9, 1825. He joined, when quite a youth. Dr.
Carson's Church at Tubbermore, and was subsequently entered a
student at Bristol College. At the close of his college course, at the
age of 29, he was accepted by the Missionary Society, and in
April, 1854, was designated at Bloomsbury Chapel for Indian
service. He was sent to the district of Backergunge, and, with
his head-quarters at Barisal, he laboured with consistent devotion
for ten years. His work was conducted under various condi-
tions and with varying success — hindered by the opposition of
landowners, stopped by the Indian Mutiny, harassed by outrage.
In 1865 he was appointed tutor at the Baptist College at Seram-
pore, and for another ten years he filled that useful office. Twice
he visited England; and on the eve of his second return to
India there was a valedictory service (October 21, 1874) in College
Street Chapel. The following year Mr. Martin was back in the
Backergunge district, and there until April, 1883, he was chiefly
engaged in the anxious and troublesome work of superintending the
numerous native Churches which had sprung up, and the many
Afisswnaries Desi^iaUd from College Street Chunrk. 71
native pastors of the district. At the end of 19 ycar^' ser\Hce in
India he finally left the East, " to the great regret of the Missionary
Committee ai»d of all his colleagues in India," From that time until
his death Mr. Martin was r^arded as a relief missionary, and he was
for short periods three times in the West Indies. He preached
occasionally in College Street, which Chuich he joined in January,
1895, and in other chapels in the district. He died at Northampton
on September 11, 1897. He was twice married. His first wife, who
was Miss Elizabeth Tingle, of Kettering, died in India. His second
wife was the widow of the Rev. T. M. Thorpe, at one time pastor at
Long Buckby. She survives him, as do a daughter and two sons —
the Rev. T. H. Martin, of Adelaide Place Baptist Church, Glasgow,
and Dr. J. H. Martin, of Leicester.
E. C. NICKALLS.
The Rev. E. Carey Nickalls was bom at Northampton in 1863,
and he was baptised by his father, at Clipston, on April tSth,
1878, at the early age of 14. The subsequent five years he spent
in Northampton, attending CoU^e Street Chapel, of which Church
he was a member. A speech by Mr. Baynes, delivered in the
chapel, led him to offer himself for missionary work on the Conga
He went to Bristol College in September, 1881, and at the end
of three years was advised by the Missionary Committee to prepare
for work in China. He left England in the early autumn of
1886, almost immediately after the designation service at Collie
Street Chapel, on July 24th. The Rev. J. T. Brown presided,
and Mr. A. H. Baynes, secretary of the Baptist Missionary Society,
and Dr. Culross, president of the Bristol Collie, both spoke. Mr.
Nickalls went to the province of Shanting, where there were 63
native Christian churches and a thousand Church members. He is
now connected with the Chouping mission, with which he has been
associated since it was established ; and he has been privileged to
witness the remarkable results which have followed missionary
labour in that district. Mr. Nickalls is accompanied in China by
his wife, a daughter of Mr. Kirby, of Oxendon, near Market Har-
72 Misiionaries Designated from College Street Church.
LILIAN AND FLORENCE BLACKWELL.
Mary Lilian Blackwell, daughter of Mr. John Blackwell, of
NoTthampton, was one of two sisters sent out as Zenana missionaries
in India. After a short medical training, with an especial view to
Zenana work, she started for India in October, 1888, with the highest
hopes of a most useful future. Her destination was Agra. The first
year of a missionary's life abroad is mostly taken up with learning the
language, and Miss Blackwell was not favoured with robust health.
Still, so far as possible, she commenced work in the schools and
Zenanas. She was the means of introducing Christian teaching into
the Castle and district of Erki — a small native state among the Lower
Himalayas. She was invited to Erki, with Miss Hartley, to prescribe
for the Rajah's wife, and opportunity was given them to preach the
Gospel to the whole household. Soon after this, while expecting the
arrival of her younger sister, Florence, from England, Miss Blackwell
was seized with serious illness, and in nine days, on October iSth,
1889 — just a year after leaving Northampton — she peacefully and
joyously breathed her last, at the age of 31. She was buried in the
cemetery at Agia. Lilian Blackwell was a member of College Street
Church, having joined in July, 1874.
Florence Blackwell, sister to Lilian, also a member of College
Street, followed her sister to India a year later. She had been desirous
of being a missionary from her childhood, and, like her sister, she
was given a short medical training with this end in view. She was
accepted by the Baptist Zenana Missionary Society in the summer of
1888, but, as she wished to get some experience of mission work
before starting, she went to London, working among the poor in the
East End, and amongst the sick in Tottenham Hospital. There was
a valedictory service in the Baptist Mission House, London, on
October 3, 1889, when Mr. A. H. Baynes, secretary to the Baptist
Missionary Society, gave an address. She sailed from England on
1 Bombay the following month. For rather
she worked energetically, ably, and usefully
idia, six months of the year in Agra, and the
ila. Finding, however, that her presence was
gave up the work she loved so much, and
the end of May, 1894. She is now residing
Mk. WILLIAM RICE.
Notes and Dates.
flj'HE following items in chronological order are derived chiefly
^^ from College Street Church Records ; though other sources of
information, including State Records, Church Books of other
Churches, pamphlets, and other publications have been freely laid
under contribution. They are given as supplemental to the History
of the Church contained in the precedii^ pages.
1672, May 13. License granted to Robert Massey to allow
preaching in his house and barn at Northampton (page z). It was
here, without doubt, that the tirst members of College Street met for
worship prior to going to Lady Farmer's house in the South Quarter.
The change was probably caused by the great fire of September,
1675, in which Massey's house was destroyed. It was situate near
the bottom of Abington Street, on the West side of Wood Street.
1697, Nov. 2. An entry in the Rothwell Church Book (page
2) under this date reads : " The church consented, having heard
the report of their messengers, to give the church newly constituted
at Northampton the right hand of fellowship ; but yet resolved to
speak of it further on the Lord's Day." Prior to this, members of
the Rothwell Church met for worship at Northampton. We find in
the Rothwell Church Book several entries for the year 1698 refer-
ing to differences between members of College Street Church and
Northampton members of the Rothwell Church. The matters were
duly enquired into by the Rothwell Church, as was meet that a
sister church should. One of the Rothwell members attended
Castle Hill Church, and was forbidden.
1699, Aug. 31. Solemn day of fasting and prayer. Brother
Jeremi^ Bass chosen and ordained Deacon.
1700, July 14. Stephenton Church refused to give dismission
to Maiy Edwards, " because we were not of the same order."
Nov. 4. Bro. Nath. Brown appointed to attend Messengers'
Meeting at KJmbolton, on Nov. ytb.
Dec. 19. Agreed to admit members of Mr. Ward's Church at
Weedon "to sit down occasionally with us."
74 Notes and Dates,
1700, Dec. 22. Agreed to admit similarly the members of Mr.
Terry's Church at Kettering.
1 701, Jan. 26. "A letter ordered to be drawn up to be sent
to Mr. Nesbitt, of London, to desire assistance from the Churches
there towards ye better carrying on ye interest of Christ amongst
us." Mr. Nesbitt, a zealous Protestant, was compelled to flee the
country. He was afterwards imprisoned in irons. In 1690, when only
twenty-nine, he succeeded the Rev. George Cockayne at Hare-court,
in Aldergate St., and continued there for 33 years. He died in 1727.
Feb. I. An entry in the Rothwell Church Book under
this date reads : — " A letter ordered to be sent to Northampton to
John Shelton, and another to the Church there [College Street], to
move them to a mutual and cordial reception of each other."
Mar. II. It was agreed that Mr. Ward (if he comes to town)
might preach amongst us.
June 9. Day of fasting and prayer to seek the Lord for more
of His presence.
July 15. The Church "pitched" upon Brother Walt. Twig-
den as Deacon. Ordained October 7th.
July 17. John Rowley, " being under very low Circumstances "
owing to recent losses which came to J^^do or;^7o, "it was agreed to
contribute to him ourselves ; And also to send in his behalfe to other
Churches." College Street collected ;^5 1 os. 6d.; Weedon, £,\ 11 s. 6d.;
Rothwell, ;^i 5s. ; Kilby, J[^\ ; Kettering, Wellingborough, and three
other churches smaller sums ; and " ye Church at ye Bagnio, London,"
£1 2s.; in all, ;;^i3 15s.
Nov. 9. Collected for the Church at Rothwell " towards ye
Ministers House," ^£2 2s., and " the Deacons added is."
Nov. 18. Agreed to admit to occasional communion members
of Mr. Negus* Church, Stephenton.
Dec. 25. "Commonly called Xtmas Day," a solemn day of
fasting and prayer.
1702, March 24. "A solemn day of Fasting and Prayer on ye
account of National Affairs that ye Lord would still bless & preserve
England secure, & promote His own Cause & Interest, give ye newly-
firoclaimed Oueen a Spirit of Wisdom and Government, &c."
May 24. Consented that the pastor should go to London for 5
Lord's days "at ye Request of ye people at ye Bangio, &c." The
Church at the Bagnio was a Particular Baptist congregation wor-
shipping in a place of that name in Newgate Street. The people
were gathered together by Hanserd Knollys, and were eventually
absorbed in Mr. Franklin's Church.
July 30. Decided that several members were worthy of
admonition for going to the Quakers' meeting, Kingswell Lane.
August 9. Fast day for Queen and next ensuing Parliament,
and for success to our Armies.
Notes and Dates, 75
1 702, Sep. 20. " Collected at our Meeting place on Sep. ye 20th,
1702, ye sum of 9s. 6jd. for ye poor sufferers in the Burrough of
Congleton in ye County of Chester (Endammaged by Floods, &c.,
;^i62o) by Virtue of a Briefe granted to the said Sufferers." This is
the first of a series of collections on 106 briefs, extending from this
date to December i8th, 1725.
Oct. I. Bro. John Payne and Bro. Sam. Haworth cautioned
against " exercising their gifts " in public " or before ye World."
October 22. From 10 till 2 on the first Tuesday in each
month set apart for "ye Brethren of ye Church to exercise their
Gifts in the Church by way of Prophesying, &c."
i703» Feb. 9. Fast day on account " of ye Exceeding Wetness
of ye Weather."
Feb. 25. Brother Paine admonished for public preaching at
Weedon, on Sunday, the 14th.
Nov. 25. Weedon Church asked not to admit members of
this Church preaching in public there without the approval of this
1 704, March 5. Collected ;^3 8s. o|d. on a brief for " ye Reliefe
of some Thousands of Protestants late Inhabitants of ye Principality
of Orange (who through ye Cruelty of ye French have been forced
to leave their Native Country & to part with all they had in this
May 21. Collected 6s. 6d. on a brief for the widows and
orphans of the seamen and mariners who lost their lives in the dread-
ful storm and tempest on November 26th and 27th last.
Oct. I. John Cooper deputed to be assistant occasionally to
Oct. 29. Solemn Prayer with thanksgiving on ye Account of
ye late Fires in this Town.
.^^705, Jan. 14. Thursday next was appointed "for a day
of Thanksgiving to God for preventing ye Firing of this Town, in
Frustrating ye many Attempts of wicked Agents late made."
1706, Aug. 28. An application considered from Ed. Gardner
for dismission to Mr. Nathan Brown's people [St. James's End],
formerly a branch of the Steventon Church.
Oct. 20. " Collected for Sam. Warrin of Danetree," ;^i 2s. 8d.
Nov. 20. A letter from Steventon Church says that Mr. Nathan
Brown and his Society were once, most of them, a part of Stephenton
Church, but they do not own them to be so now, but rather as
a Church distinct from them. To this Church it seemed very clear
that the Church at Stephenton had, at the time of Mr. Brown's
ordination, actually, though not intentionally, constituted the other a
distinct Church, in their giving him full power to administer
ordinances, &c. (see June loth, 17 16).
76 Notes and Dates.
110*1^ Feb. 12. Henry Thornton dismissed to the Church in
Thames Street, London, of which Mr. Ridgeley is pastor; and
Robert Cook to the Church in great East Cheap, in London, of
which Mr. Noble is pastor.
March. Collected for Mr. Joseph Hussey's Church at Cam-
bridge, towards their Meeting House, ;£'3.
Aug. 24. Collected for Mr. Millet's Church, Pulham, Norfolk,
towards their Meeting House, £^\ 19s. 2d.
Nov. 2. Collected on a brief 4s. 6d., towards repairing the
Church and Tower of Orford, Suffolk.
1708, Mar. 7. "A French Army with ye pretended Prince of
Wales attempting to invade Scotland, this Church being grieved
thereat appointed Wednesday next to be observed as a day [of]
Fasting & Prayer to ye Lord that he would please to frustrate their
designs & divert so sore a Judgment."
April 8. Mr. Rudd's ordination to be pastor of the Church at
April 13. Day of Thanksgiving for the frustration of the
May 26. (In Whitsun-Week, so called.) Samuel Haworth
chosen & ordained deacon.
Nov. 5. Kettering Church, of which Mr. Terry of late was
pastor, receiving into communion some persons under censure, being
excommunicated from some of the Churches in communion with this
Church, this Church judged it disorderly, and determined no longer
to admit George Lamley nor Elizabeth Brine to occasional com-
munion as members of the Kettering Church.
1709, Feb. 20. In view of the ordination of Mr. Thomas
Tingey as pastor of Castle Hill Church, Northampton, the Church
declared its willingness to hold communion with Castle Hill.
April 17. Collected for Fran. Cave, Brigstock, J[^2 13s.
June 19. Collected on a brief 2d. towards the rebuilding of the
Church of Llanvilling, Montgomeryshire. From November, 1707,
until this date the sums collected on briefs for restorations or repairs
of parish churches gradually diminished. On June 26th, 170$,
another brief for another church " was read publickly at our Meeting-
place, But nothing was contributed.". This was the fate of nearly
all the subsequent briefs on behalf of parish churches.
June 22. Mr. Robert Han well installed into ye pastoral office
at Newport Pagnell " after ye way and manner used by ye purest
Congregational Churches, etc. Wherewith our Church signifieth
Oct. 2. Tuesday next appointed Fast Day on account of the
distress by reason of dearness of Corn, deadness of Trade, &c.
Oct. 2. "Collected at our Meeting place, &c., Octo. ye 2d,
1709, ye sum of £^2 los. towards ye Reliefe Subsistence & Settle-
ment of ye poor distressed Palatines, late Inhabitants near the Rhine
Notes and Dates, 77
in Germany fled for Refuge (to ye number of near 8000 Men, Women
& Children) into this Nation, by reason of great Hardships &
Oppressions they sustained from ye French By Virtue of a Briefe
granted to them by ye Queen."
1709, Dec. 18. Collected for Rachael Jeoffrey, Daventry, iis.
1 710, Feb. 8. The Church judged it fruitless to prosecute the
attempts at arranging communion with Castle Hill Church, "con-
sidering what spirits they appear to be of."
Sept. 27. Thomas Howard given liberty to have occasional
communion with the Church at Stephenton.
Oct. 29. Collected for Anne Payne, Nobottle, iis. 6d.
Dec. 26. Elizabeth Shepherd proposed communion with the
Church, being dissatisfied with the Church at Potters* Pury, Mr.
Robinson, pastor (and before him Mr. Harrison), " they being wide
171 1, Feb. I. Brother Bass, deacon, informed the Church he
was three quarters of a year behind in payment of the rent of
Mar. II. Collected for John Chater, Brafield, £^\ 3s. ofd.
May 6. " Collected for ye Church at Wellingborow, to which
Mr. Betson is Pastor, towards a Burying-place & paying for their
May 13. "Only 4d." collected on a Brief for rebuilding the
parish church of St. Mary on the Wall, Colchester, " demolished in
ye late Civil War."
May 20. Thomas Howard appointed messenger at the en-
churching of " a people at & about Eatton in Bedfordshire."
May 27. Mr. Davis (Rothwell) asked to break bread at the
Church on [June] loth, in the absence in Yorkshire of the pastor and
Sep. 19. Collected for Will. Sommerley's " Coffin, &c." 7s.
1 712, Jan. 6. Reply to a letter from the Church at Marsh and
Whittlesey asking the Church's advice.
Jan. 18. Collected for one Bazeley, Wellingborough, iis.
Feb. 17. Benjamin Skinner admitted from Hail Weston
Church, and by invitation preached in the evening.
March 26. Benjamin Skinner " sent forth by & from ye
Church to preach ye Gospel publickly."
June I. Collected for Mr. Bedford, of Newport Pagnell,
June 8. Collected on a brief, 5s. sd. for the relief of the poor
sufferers at Little Brickhill, Buckinghamshire, & at Towcester,
endamaged by fire to the amount of ;4^i,27o.
Aug. 20. Elizabeth Smith dismissed to a church in Tuley
Street in Southwark (Mr. Wallin, pastor).
78 Notes and Dates,
1712, Nov. 30. Collected on a brief, is. towards rebuilding &
repairing the parish church and steeple of St. Clement, at Hasting,
'* ye said Steeple being a Sea Mark."
1 713, Jan. 14. Mark Weston, who had been pressed occa-
sionally to preach, cautioned against meddling in his preaching
with such things as he understood not, and against broaching or
maintaining any notions or opinions in doctrine that be not consonant
to " The Analogy of Faith."
Jan. 25. Collected for Mr. John Chater, of Olney, £^\ 2s. od.
And on February 22nd, 17131 " Collected for him again, he preaching
here," 7s. od.
May 3. Messengers appointed to attend at Goldington near
Bedford on the 7th, to witness ten persons " Constituting & Incor-
porating themselves into a Visible Congregational Church."
Aug. 12. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination of
Mr. Joseph Perry to the pastorate of the Church at Flowre.
Sep. 20. Collected for a family at Heathencote, sufferers by
fire, I OS. 6d.
Sep. 23. Mark Weston, whose "Judgment was for strict Com-
munion with Baptized Believers as such,'* dismissed to the Church at
Arnesby in Leicestershire.
Sep. 23. Benjamin Skinner dismissed to the newly planted
Church at Goldington.
Oct. 4. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination of Mr.
Benjamin Skinner as pastor of the Church at Goldington on the 6th.
Oct. 25. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination of
Mr. Thomas Wallis to the pastoral office at Kettering on the 29th.
1 7 14, Aug. 29. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination
of Thomas Curtis as pastor at the newly-planted Church at Ringstead
on September 2nd.
1715, Jan. 2. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination
of Mr. Matthias Maurice at Rothwell on the 6th [" in which Act ye
Elders of ye Church laid their Hands on him"].
Mar. 18. Collected for Mr. Peter Davenport, a Minister
coming from Liverpool, preaching here, 15 s. od.
April 10. Before agreeing to send messengers to attend the
ordination of Mr. Foster at Flowre on the 21st, the Church decided
to enquire about that Church's proceedings in reference to Mr. Perry's
April 19. Reported that Flowre Church acknowledged their
failing and irregular proceeding about Mr. Perry. Messengers
accordingly appointed to attend Mr. Foster's ordination.
April 24. By request, letter of advice sent to the Church at
Kimbolton in their present distress, caused by differences arising
Notes and Dates, 79
1715, Aug. 14. Collected 4s. id. for the relief of sufTerers by
fires in Staffordshire & Gloucestershire "by Virtue of a Briefe granted
to them by our rightfull Soveraign King George." On the same date
collected 13s. 6d. towards the relief of poor sufferers **by ye Mortallity
& Loss of Cattle, viz., 5418 Cows & 439 Calves by a malignant &
infectious Distemper" prevailing in several parts of Middlesex,
Surrey & Essex, the loss sustained (deducting all moneys " received
from his Majesty's Royal Bounty & otherwise") being ;^24,539 14s.
Aug. 18. Ann Cattell dismissed to Mr. Skepp's Church near
Cripple-Gate in London.
Oct. 30. Tuesday next appointed a day of Thanksgiving for
the frustration of designs against the king and constitution.
1 7 16, Jan. II. Mary Tebbutt dismissed to the Church at
Mar. 14. Ann Smith, belonging to the Church at Wallgrave,
received. Wallgrave refused her dismission " because we practised
Singing publickly and admitted Sts as Sts (without respect to Baptism)
into our Communion and held Communion with ye Church at Roth-
well, &c." It was explained further in the minute that the people
assembling at Wallgrave were not separately embodied as a distinct
particular "Church till some time after Ann Smith had joined them.
April 25. The case of Elizabeth Scott considered. She had been
for some years member of ye people assembling in St. James' End,
but was dissatisfied with John Collis as Pastor and their way in calling
and enstalling him. She desired to join this Church, and on asking
for her dismission was admonished.
• June 10. Daniel Weston, his case being the same as Elizabeth
Scott's, considered. It was found by a letter sent from the Church at
Stephenton in November, 1 706, that the St. James's End people were
formerly a branch of that Church, and several times refused (upon ye
Church's proposal) to be constituted a distinct Church. . Stephenton
Church accordingly considered that they left in a disorderly manner.
This Church now concluded that the St. James's End people had
unduly and irregularly assumed to themselves ye Name and Pre-
rogative of a Church, and therefore persons could be received from
them as persons out of the World. This conclusion was arrived at
June 17, 1 716.
July I. Seven men at Olney wrote complaining of want of
soul-food. All parties exhorted to unite together.
Aug. 29. Bro. Richard Dickens exercised his Gift before ye
Church. Letter read from Sister Sarah Cooper blaming the Church
in several things relating to her Husband's not making the Gallery,
"I [Rev. John Moore] collected from House to House
for Mary Hewitt, who lies in ye Jayl, i os. And given to her by J.
£. [Jeremiah Bass] our Deacon, 8s. lod. In all, £,0 i8s lod."
8o Notes and Dates.
1 7 17, Jan. 23. Bro. Henry Thompson dismissed to the Inde-
pendent Church in Jewen Street, London ; Mr. Neale, pastor.
Feb. 3. Collected on a brief "ye Sum of 7s. ^\d. towards
ye Reliefs of ye Reformed Episcopal Churches in Great Poland
& Polish Prussia, & of ye University & College of Enyed . . .
in Transilvania, Sufferers by ye Fury of War & by ye Tributes
& Taxes of ye many Exactions Required of them, &c.*'
March. " Collected for Jer. Bass & his Wife A. D. 17 16 & Mar.
1 71 7, Besides what several persons gave to his Wife more privately,
£1 I IS. 8d." Jeremiah Bass was deacon (page 4), and had evidently
fallen on evil times.
March 6. Bro. Bass acknowledged his evil in preaching pub-
lickly abroad (16 miles off) [? Newport Pagnell] without the
allowance of the Church.
July 10. Bro. Merival and Bro. Cooper installed Deacons.
Messengers instructed to go to Wellingborough on the ist August ;
Wellingborow Church writing that they had fallen into great Dif-
July. Collected "from House to House, &c.," for the new
meeting place at Newport Pagnell, jQ6 is. 8d.
Collected for Matthew Snelson going to London for Cure [of
the King's Evil?] £2 is. od. And in 17 19, "collected for Matthew
Snelson, about 15s. od."
Aug. 4. The Messengers who went to Wellingborough reported
that Messengers from the Major part of the Church at Flowre were
there with a letter to the effect that if the Churches that sent mes-
sengers to Flowre at the desire of their minority did not, within
three weeks, prove the lawfulness of their so doing, or acknowledge
it as their evil, they would declare non-communion with them.
Aug. 18. Letter sent to Wellingborough advising " That ye
Money Collected ought to be laid out for that very use for which it
was gathered, viz., for ye Meeting place and Burying Ground, which
they had long enjoyed and ye use of, and not put to other uses."
Oct. 2. Letter read from ye Minor part of ye people at Flowre
stating that after ye long continued differences and contentions in
their Church, ye Major part had openly (at a Church Meeting Sept.
ye 5th) by a Formal Act withdrawn from them as disorderly Walkers.
Nov. J 3. Six persons admitted members by dismission from
Flowre desired dismission back to Flowre to the people who assemble
in ye Meeting-House there, who were lately withdrawn from ye Major
number and have since that (as ye Church) renewed Covenant
Dec. 8. Two members dismissed to Mr. John Skepp*s Churchy
near Cripple-Gate, London.
Dec. 25. Unanimously agreed to convert the Garden behind
the Meeting House into a Burying-place if the Trustees consented.
Notes and Dates, 8i
1 718, Feb. 2. A Church lately gathered at Clipson desired in-
corporation with this Church until they had a pastor.
Mar. 16. Ten queries sent by the Church at Weedon, Mr.
Foster, Minister, received an answer in general.
Mar. 23. Messengers appointed to attend a meeting of
messengers at Olney on April 4th, at the request of a people there
styling themselves ye Church of Christ.
Mar. 30. A letter read from another party at Olney, also styling
themselves the Church of Christ, to whom Mr. Williamson preaches.
It appeared that the two parties, originally one Church, had divided
through differences. The Church on this information decided to
send no messengers to Olney.
April 13. Messengers appointed to go to Flowre to witness the
ordination of Mr. Jo. Perry to ye Pastoral office (afresh).
April 30. John Moore, Pastor, gave in his account as to receipts
and disbursements for and about the New Meeting-House on ye West
side of Colledge Lane, and ye Tenements thereunto belonging.
June 29. Messengers appointed to attend the settling of some
of the members of Wellingborow Church (to which Mr. Betson is
pastor) as a distinct church to themselves at Olney, on July 4th,
Sept. 3. A letter of thanks ordered to be sent to the Managers
of the Fund in London for the better Support of Countrey Ministers
of the Baptist Perswasion, for having transmitted ;^5 to Northampton.
Sept. 21. Messengers appointed to attend the settling of Mr.
George Brincklow as pastor over the Church at Clipson, on the 24th.
Oct. 26. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination, on the
28th, of Mr. Dawson as pastor over the lately-constituted Church in
Nov. 26. " The Church understanding that ye Church at Gold-
ington allowed their Pastor and Gifted Brethren to preach to a
disaffected Party at Wellingborow (some whereof are Persons Excom-
municated from ye Church to whom Mr. Betson'is Pastor, &c.) judged
it requisite (by virtue of Comunion with them) to write to disswade
them from so far countenancing ye said Party."
Brother Sharman of Wellingborow dismissed to the Church at
17 1 9, Dec. 20. "Collected at our Meeting place Decem. ye
20, 1 7 19, ye Sum of 7s. 6d. towards ye Reliefe of ye poor Sufferers
by Fire at Thrapston in ye County of Northampton Endamaged ye
Sum of ;^3,748 & upwards By Virtue of a Briefe granted to them."
1720, Jan. I. Richard Dickins, Mary Perry, and Sarah Muscott
dismissed " to ye People at Flowre."
Jan. 6. George Kirkham, Miller at Nun Mills, desired com-
munion with the Church, but first of all wished the Church to take
into consideration " as touching his grinding on the Lord's day.'' —
Flowre People still holding the Meeting House without giving satis-
faction to the other Party (now Assembling at Weedon) neighbouring
82 Notes and Dates,
Churches were appealed to. Answers were received from Mr. Hannels'
Church at Newport, Mr. Dawson's at Olney, and Mr. Davis*s at
Higham Ferrers, " wherein they all exprest themselves to be of ye
same mind with us, viz. : That Flowre people ought (not only for
peace sake but) in point of Conscience and Justice to give Satisfaction
to them at Weedon," &c.
1720, Mar. 20. Mr. Wills dismissed to the Church at Kettering
to which his Son is Pastor.
Mar. 23. Sister Mary Watts, Bedford, desiring her dismission
to Mr. Chandler's Church there, Mr. Moore was instructed to write
whether that Church still continue ye same as to its Constitution
Faith and Order as it was formerly in Mr. John Bunyan's time. — Now
judging Flowre people not only to be guilty of Evil in detaining ye
Meeting-House, &c., but to be & remain obstinate, the Church
resolved upon Non-Communion with them.
Aug. 14. Brethren were appointed to go to Sister Brierley
to exhort her to keep her place and to leave off going to ye general
Baptists Meeting, which was probably the Church meeting in the
building still standing in Court number 6, Bridge Street.
Sept. 25. Sister Brierley admonished for neglecting to keep her
place, and for frequenting ye General Baptists Meeting.
Oct. 26. Reply from Bedford, being to the effect that the
Church was on the same Foundation and was of the same Faith and
Order as in Mr. Bunyan's time, Sister Watts was dismissed to ^
the Bedford Church.
Nov. 6. Friday next appointed to be observed in Prayer on
account of the Distress of the Nation and the Degeneracy and
Divisions in the Churches.
1 72 1, April 26. By request, advice sent to the Church at
Sep. 21. Messengers appointed to attend the .ordination of Mr.
Gibbons as Pastor of the Church at Olney on the 22nd.
Oct. 7. The Church being informed "that Bro. J. White is
received into ye communion of ye people assembling at Ed. Garner's,"
appointed two brethren to make enquiries.
Oct. 15. Thursday next appointed for Fasting and Prayer on
account of the Plague, &c.
Oct. 19. Bro. Sam. Haworth invited to exercise his gift of
Oct. 25. Messengers appointed to attend the ordination of
Mr. William Hall as Pastor of the Church at Higham Ferrers on
Oct. Collected towards the new meeting place at Steventon,
£^2 63. od.
Notes and Dates, 83
1722, March 7. Bro. Jo. White blamed for "exercising pub-
Hckly & perverting some Texts of Scripture." He appeared very
obstinate and vindicated himself in what he had done, whereupon he
was invited to exercise at the next Church Meeting.
May. 27. Collected los. 6d. on a brief in respect to
damage occasioned by the inundation of the sea in Lancashire.
July 29. Collected for Wm. Vintner, of Cranfield, iis. 6d.
Oct. 7. David Selby,' London, dismissed to ye Church of
Christ in Wapping to which Mr. Dawkes is Pastor.
Nov. 4. By request Messengers sent to advise Wellingborough
Church, Mr. Betson, Pastor, in their present distressed Case.
Nov. II. The Messengers reported that the major part of the
members of the Church at Wellingborough had gone off to the
disaffected Party, some of which Party had been excommunicated.
Messengers appointed to attend the ordination at Oundle of Mr.
Walter Overston over the Church at Thorp- Water-Field and Oundle.
Nov. 25. Collected 8s. 4^d. on a brief for the inhabitants of
Brighthelmston [Brighton] " to enable them to make Fortifications
for ye Preservation of ye said Town against ye Rage of ye Sea."
1723, Feb. 17. Letter from the Church at Wellingborough
requesting Messengers to attend the ordination on the 21st of Mr.
William Graunt as Joynt Pastor with Mr. Betson. The Church
concluded not to send Messengers, as not being satisfied about
a Church having 2 Pastors at ye same time.
1724, Feb. 18. The Church was informed that the two Parties
assembling separately at Weedon and Flowre were reconciled and
Feb. 26. New trustees of the Meeting-place no^iinated.
June 21. Collected for the Church at Higham Ferrers for their
Meeting Place, ;£i 6s. od.
1725, July 25. Collected for Nathaniel Bayes, Mears Ashby,
I OS. 6d.
1727, Jan. 14. Rev. John Moore "died with Grief."
i734> Jan. 10. Seventeen members received from Mr. Grant's
Church, Wellingborough. This was directly after the Church had
been re-formed (page 18), and included several who had pre-
viously been members of College Street Church.
1748, Aug. 21. (Page 22.) Samuel Lambert of Olney received
into communion. After sermon on Feb. 3, 1751, at the request of
the friends at Weedon he was called to the ministry. " He proved a
useful Servant of Christ, and is still  Pastor of a Church at
Isleham in Cambridgeshire."
1749, Aug. 13. Mrs. Denny dismissed to the Church at Kelsoe
where Mr. Denny preaches. " He is now Paedobaptist Minister at
Long Bugby. He was a Native of Barby ; and she is yet alive, July,
1792." Mr. Denny died in 1813.
84 Notes and Dates,
1752, March 22. After a considerable trial, Brother ToUey
called to the pastoral office, but, for various reasons, the ordination
did not take place until June 9th, 1756.
1760, March 16. Samuel Brooks called to the ministry.
Dismissed to Ashford, Kent, where he became pastor. He after-
wards left the ministry.
1762, Dec. 10. Elizabeth Looker joined the Church. She
afterwards was " deluded," and, went after Walker. The Church on
the Green, Northampton (page 19), called out Brother William
Walker to preach.
1763, May 5. Thomas Whitehead, of Kingsthorpe, dismissed
to Folkestone, where he became Baptist minister.
May 15. Joseph Ayre, schoolmaster, Moulton, after being tried
as a preacher for twelve months, given a letter to preach at Tetbury,
Gloucestershire. He was afterwards dismissed to the Church there.
He subsequently went to Warwick, and "proved a wretched
1764, May ir. Mary Smith, of Helcott, admitted member.
She married the Rev. John Stanger, of Bessels Green, Kent. Mr.
Stanger was a member of a family among whom was one of the
earliest General Baptist preachers in Northamptonshire (William
Stanger, Weston-by-Weedon). John Stanger offered the ordination
prayer for Carey at Moulton in 1787.
Nov. 4. William Wykes, junior, received into the Church, bap-
tised Dec. 1 6th, at 7 in the morning. After commencing preaching
at Northampton, in 1 768, he was several years minister at Kingsbridge,
Devonshire, and afterwards at Carlton, Oundle, and Leicester. He
died at Northampton, May 5th, 1785.
1767, Sept. Ti. William Button, one of "three little boys" who
joined the Church and were baptised on this date (page 31), was
subsequently dismissed to the Church in Unicorn Yard, London
(Rev. W. Clarke). He was a boarder at Mr. Ryland's school, and was
one of the founders of a little Society, aptly described by Dr. Culross
as "College Lane Christian Endeavour." He became "pastor to
part of Dr. GilFs Church."
1768, March 13. Abraham Abbott, a young man of Kings-
thorpe, joined the Church. He was afterwards chosen deacon, and
died on the last day of 1820.
1770, March 4. John Sandys, from Ulverstone, Lancashire,
received into the Church. He was afterwards recommended for
assistance to the Particular Baptist Fund in London, and became
pastor of the Baptist Church at Shrewsbury, and at the Adelphi.
177 1, Aug. 4. Church's call to preach to John Curwen, aged
25. Dismissed to the new church at Fenny Stanton, Hunts, June
Notes and DaUs. 85
1772, July 17. Anne Hairis, daagbter of Mrs. Slinn, the wife
of Reader Slinn, admitted, j^eader Slinn, twice married, published
*' The Believer's Alphabet ; Or, Christ the Believer's Friend : set
forth in Four-and-Twenty Particulars. Being the Foundation of
Several Discourses, Preached at Middleton-Cheney, in Northampton-
shire, in January, 1776. By Reader Slinn, Drum-Major, Northamp-
ton." A second edition was issued in 1777.
[1773 ?] Seventeen members united in advising the Church at
Bedford to dismiss the Rev. Josh. Symmonds for becoming a Baptist.
1774, May 6. Bithiah Gibbons Rutt, aged 14, admitted. She
married, as his second wife, Joseph Timms, deacon of the Baptist
Church at Kettering, and one of the thirteen founders of Modern
Missions (page 39).
July 22. Ebenezer Smith, who had joined the Church in
August, 1772, dismissed to Bristol College. He became assistant
pastor to Dr. Giffard. Dr. Ryland afterwards wrote opposite his
name in the Church Book, " Gone into Elliott's Scheme since," but
the precise significance of this entry is not ^clearly known.
1776, April 30. "Paid Cox Minester's Dews, jQo 3s. 9jd."
This was to the Vicar of All Saints' ; and, in later years, the payment
was styled " the Vicar's Rate."
May 10. Three sisters named Neale admitted They were
dismissed to Luton in 1792, where they opened a school. The
youngest of the three, Henrietta Neale, published "Amusement-Hall,"
"Sacred History in Familiar Dialogues," and "Brittannus and Africus,"
and after her decease, selections from her diary under the title
" Experimental Religion Delineated," were published, with a preface
by Dr. Ryland, in 1803.
1777, April II. Joseph Dent elected deacon with Mr. Trinder.
Bom in January, 1744, he joined the Church in 1767, and com-
menced preaching services at Milton, the beginning of the present
Church. He served the office of deacon for no less than 57 years.
"As a member few excfeUed him in uprightness of conduct and stead-
fast perseverance in the Ways of God," and as a deacon " his labours,
his advice, and example will be remembered as a pattern." He
married Elizabeth Ryland, daughter of the Rev. J. C. Ryland, and
died on January 7th, 1834, within a few days of completing his
April 1 1. Thomas Trinder and Joseph Dent appointed deacons.
Mr. Trinder, a native of Cheltenham, went to Northampton at the age
of 22 to become usher in the school of the elder Ryland. After
a brief stay he went to London (dismissed to the Rev. Mr. Hitchin's
Church, in White Row, Spitalfields, 22nd April, 1764^ but,
returning to Northampton, married, in 1768, Miss Martha Smith, the
mistress of a boarding school for young ladies Mr. Trinder assisted
his wife in her school duties, and wrote several school books. In
86 Notes and Dates,
early life he was a Paedobaptist, but, going exhaustively into the
whole subject, he became a convert to believers' immersion. He was
baptised in 1793, and died on November 2nd, 1794, at the age of 54.
He left ;^ 1 50 to the poor of College Lane Chapel.
1777, June 5. L#ady Glenorchy at the Thursday evening service.
Dr. Ryland preached.
1779, July I. Stephen Smith, a Paedobaptist, received from
Castle Hill, November, 1776, and called out to preach, died.
1780, Dec. 8. Richard Hobson (aged 23) and Esther, his wife,
admitted. They afterwards removed to Paulerspury, and were
dismissed to Towcester Church. Richard Hobson died March 2nd,
1826. His brother William married Carey's sister Ann, and was one
of the founders of the Missionary Society. James Hobson, who
joined the Church on November 28th, 1779, was another brother.
His son used to speak of the earnestness of his father's religious
convictions, and how, Sunday by Sunday, he stoutly traversed for
many a year the nine long rugged miles from Walgrave to College
Lane Chapel for the benefit of the ministry of John Ryland, who had
been **made useful" to him. He was eventually dismissed to
Kettering, the Church there being nearer to Walgrave. "Mary
Hobson, a young Woman, Niece to the Revd. Mr. Ward, of Spald-
wick, awakened under her Uncle when on a visit to her Mother at a ^
village called Cotteshrooke," who declared her experience and was
received on December 9th, 1770, seems to have been aunt of the .
1781, July 22. John Barber Pewtress dismissed to Roade. He
entered on the ministry " without the call of the Church," and went
to Roade " with a view of settling there as pastor of a sister Church,
connected in Association with us." After consideration, the Church
dismissed him without calling him out
Sept. 2. Andrew Pell and William Pell, of Guilsborough, and
Edward Sharman, of Cotteshrooke, dismissed to found a Church at
Guilsborough. An unpretentious chapel was erected the same year.
The new church was subject to remarkable annoyances. Part of
a brick wall belonging to the meeting house "was outrageously
pulled down ; " and on Christmas Day, 1 792, the chapel was destroyed
by an incendiary. Mrs. Lowke, a member of College Street, also
dismissed to Guilsborough, was frightened to death by this conflagra-
tion. A reward of fifty guineas was offered by the Baptists, and
;£2oo by Government, without the offender being discovered.
Sharman was chosen pastor at Moulton, in succession to Carey, who
left in 1789, but in a few years he turned Unitarian and left, printing
a succession of pamphlets on the Trinity. Sharman's wife had been
a member of Castle Hill Church. Andrew Pell's "experience"
began with six years (1768-74) "hellish blasphemies."
Notes' and Dates, 87
1784, July 13. John Mitchell excluded for going to the Play-
1786, Dec. 8. The Rev. John Luck, for many years deacon,
dismissed to Hackleton in order to his settling there as pastor. In
November, 1774, after being deacon 14 years, he was called out to
preach, and " being generally employed in the Ministry he intermeddled
very little with the affairs of the Church." His wife, however, was
ultimately excluded on" account of not filling her place, her reason
being " chiefly on Occasion of her husband not being asked to preach
oftener in time past."
1 791, Oct. 30. John Adams, admitted member on November
loth, 1 77 1, excluded "for his virulent opposition to the Pastor and
disaffection to the Church, having sunk into deep Antinomianism and
became a great Admirer of Hunt the Antinomian Writer "
1792, Sept. 30. At the suggestion of the Trustees, a Committee
appointed to control the choosing of tunes for hymns and Psalms.
" One of the oldest members on the subject of psalmody, noticed
the impropriety of the posture generally used in singing (viz.) that of
sitting, others who were previously convicted of its impropriety
immediately concurred with him and many in consequence engaged
hereafter to stand, convinced from both reason and Scripture that
that is the properest posture for that act of worship. See i Chron.
23, 30 : Neh. 9, 5 ; 12, 31, 39, 40 : Isai. i, 2, 3 : Rev. 7, 9, 11 ; 15, 2.'
1794, April 13. The Rev. Mr. Redding, of Truro, who was
" supplying " the Church, baptised five persons admitted into Church
membership two days previously. He was invited to accept the
pastorate, but eventually declined.
1795, Nov. 23. Thomas Wykes, deacon for eleven years, died.
His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Samuel Pearce.
1797, Feb. 9. Consent given to Thomas Berridge to preach in
the villages and to supply churches occasionally. On November 7 th,
1802, he was dismissed to Moulton, of which Church he was ordained
pastor the previous April. He was a draper of Northampton, and for
sixteen years was honorary pastor of Moulton Church. During his
pastorate a gallery was built, and a vestry with the baptistry within it.
He established the Sunday School and commenced preaching services
1800, Aug. 16. Paid the Rev. Mr. Millar, vicar of All Saints',
as an acknowledgement for the ground taken into the Vestry, College
Lane, to be continued yearly, los. 6d. This ground was relinquished
at the building of the new chapel.
1805, Aug. I. Thomas Turland, William Bipwn, Alice Adams,
John Wheeler, & Jene Wheeler dismissed to form a new Church at
Bugbrooke (p. 50). The Church was formed on August sth ; and
Mr. Wheeler became the first pastor.
88 . Notes and Dates,
1807, Apr. 14. " Making 9 Gallons of Mead for Vestry, J^2 8s.
1808, April 8. Thomas Coles dismissed to Gretton, where he
became pastor the following month.
1809, Feb. 20. "To 34 lbs. of Honey for Wine, at is. id. per
lb., £1 17s. 4d "
March 26. (Page 44.) The Rev. George Keeley went to
Ridgemont, where he opened a school. " The Rev. Geo. Keeley
saird with his family for America, in the Rockingham, 10 May i8i8.
I accompanied him to Gravesend & last heard of him as a represen-
tative of one of the States." (MS. Diary of William Hickson.)
William Coles, called to the ministry in Mr. Tolley*s time (1755-8)
became Baptist minister at Maulden (Bedfordshire), and died at
Ampthill in 1809.
1 810, June 10. Richard Harris & seven other members dis-
missed to form a new Church at Kislingbury. The Church was formed
on the 15th of the same month, four months after the Sunday School
was started there.
181 1, July 14. Paul Dadford, of Northampton, admitted mem
ber. He was called to the ministry, "& on April 7, 181 5, his Church
Membership was disolved." On Dec. 5, he was ordained the first
pastor of the newly formed Church at Ecton.
181 2, Nov. 24. Francis Wheeler called to the ministry and sent
to Bristol Academy. On his return he was dismissed to Moulton,
where he was pastor 35 years, until his death on September 22ndy
1853, aged 65.
Dec. 13. William and Matilda Hickson dismissed to Eagle
Street Church. Mr. & Mrs. Hickson were both received from Mr.
Martinis Church, London, on November 8th, 1807. During the five
years he was in Northampton, Mr. Hickson assisted in founding the
1822, April 14. Joseph Hall, chosen deacon July 8th, 1801 ;
called out to preach July, 18 10; dismissed from office, and himself
withdrew from the Church, September nth, 1818; restored as mem-
ber December 7th, 1821 ; died April 14th, 1822.
Nov. 8. (Page 49.) It was agreed to have a meeting of
Ministers about Christmas with a view to forming a Society to support
a Home Mission in Northamptonshire.
1824, Feb. 6. John Smith allowed to withdraw from the Church.
He joined the Church in September, 1809. In 1823, the Church at
Ecton requested his dismission so that he could become their pastor ;
but the Church could not comply. " We all thought well of his piety,
but did not think him a proper person to be the pastor of a Church."
He consequently withdrew. One and twenty years later, on March
25th, 1845, "the Church at Ecton, where he had been pastor, having
Mk. ROBERT 13RICE.
Notes and Dates, 89
been dissolved, he stated his religious views " and was again admitted
a member. He died on May 3rd, 1849.
1825, April 9. Thomas Corby sent out to preach iq the sur-
June 10. William Gibbs dismissed "to unite with a number of
members from Roade [sixteen] to form a new Church at Milton."
The church at Milton was formed on June 1 3th, in a large measure
owing to Joseph Dent, deacon at College Street, " speaking to his
neighbours on Sunday evenings." Mr. Marriott was the first pastor.
The meetings were held in a farm house until 1827, when the chapel
1826, Oct. 22. Benjamin Stuchbery chosen deacon. He was
sent out into the ministry January 25th, 1S33, and died August 17th,
1837, at the age of 38. He was a member of the first Committee
of the Northamptonshire Sunday School Union ; and he was in turn
both teacher and Superintendent in the Sunday Schools.
Oct. 22. Samuel Harris chosen deacon. He joined the Church
on February nth, 1816. With Mr. George Shrewsbury and Mr.
Robert Bartram, himself taking the initiative, he started the Sunday
School at Duston, his native village, in 1827. He died on June
9th, 1830. His widow, also a member of the Church, died on
December nth, 1849. Mrs. Clifton, the wife of Dr. A. C. Clifton,
Northampton, was their daughter.
Dec. 29. Joshua Taylor Gray, the son of our pastor (page 47),
spoke before the Church, prior to his going to Blristol Academy.
Mr. J. T. Gray, Ph.D., became pastor at Cambridge and at Hastings,
and afterwards classical tutor at Stepney Academy, now Regent's Park
College. He died on July 13th, 1856, aged 45.
1829, March 25. Paid Mr. Parker [solicitor, Northampton] "for
our share to the Petition for the repeal of the Test & Corporation
Nov. 27. Abraham & Ann Abbott dismissed to form a
church (Independent), at the chapel opened on April 9th, 1829, in
Augustin, now Commercial, Street, Northampton.
1 83 1, June 3. Rev. Rowland Hill preached on the Friday
Oct. 2. (Sunday.) Rev. James Mursell, of Leicester, preached
three sermons, in aid of the liquidation of the debt incurred by
the Enlargement of the Chapel.
1833, Sept. 17. Agreed that John Bonham should preach in
the villages, and that the pastor write to the Missionary Committee
** recommending him as a pious, prudent man, and having a desire to
be employed in some department of missionary labour, but as having
small talents for preaching." Twelve months later (October, 1834)
Mr. Bonham withdrew.
90 Notes and Dates,
1833, Sept. 27. John Palmer authorised to preach whenever
he was called.
1834, Aug. I. Day for enfranchisement of slaves in the West
Indies celebrated by special service and meetings.
Aug. 28. Agreed to hold no communion with anyone in any
way implicated in the horrid traffic of slavery.
Nov. 28. The withdrawal of about thirty members confirmed.
The secessions were due to the Church insisting that female members
had the same rights of voting as the men. The withdrawn members
had formed a new church, and commenced services on the Upper
Mounts, on October sth, 1834. In March, 1835, they removed to a
warehouse in Church Lane (St. Sepulchre's), and in 1839 built a
chapel at the corner of Princes Street and Grey Friars Street, an
ugly building which in May, 1890, gave place to the present handsome
erection. On April 5th, 1850, College Street Church decided "that
all the female members of the Church have a silent vote equally with
the Brethren on all matters of Church business."
1836, Feb. 26. William Fox, who joined the Church September
28, 1828, was dismissed with Daniel Archer to form a Church at
Harleston, of which he became the first pastor.
1837, May 15. "Paid towards the expenses of Petition for the
removal of Church Rates, 7s. 6d."
1838, April 20. Brother Webb sent into the work of the
Nov. 23. John Gibbs, the oldest living member of the Church,
admitted. He was previously a teacher in the Sunday School, and
he was at the time Superintendent of the Girls' School, which office
he filled from his appointment in 1834 to 1856. He was, Assistant
Librarian to the Church Circulating Library from 1836 until its
discontinuance (in 1846) on account of the establishment of the
Mechanics* Institute. He was Superintendent of the Tract Distribu-
tion from 1849 to 1853, Secretary to the Church Benevolent Society
from 1858 to 1882, and Dispenser of the Trinder and Poor Funds.
He is at the present time the senior deacon (appointed in 187 1),
trustee, and the only living member of the Church who took a public
part in the recognition service of the Rev. J. T. Brown on November
1839, Feb. 22. Joseph Bunting Marriott sent into the ministry.
He was dismissed on August 28th, 1839, to become pastor at Wal-
grave. He remained there seven years. He afterwards " supplied "
at Dewsbury, and was successively pastor at Inskipp, Lancashire ;
Mundesley, Norfolk; Bottesdale, Suffolk; and Great Missenden,
Buckinghamshire. He died at Wolverton, where he preached for
the Independents, in June, 1847, aged 68.
Notes and Dates, 91
1843, March 24. Thomas Bumpus and his wife dismissed to
Sulgrave. Thomas Bumpus, a native of Daventry, was the eldest
son of a deacon and the treasurer of College Street of the same names.
He joined the Church at the age of 20, on April 30th, 1826, and was
called to the ministry on April 28th, 1837. A month later, a special
prayer meeting was held "to implore the Divine blessing on his
ministry." Six years later he was dismissed to the Northamptonshire
Baptist Home Mission Station of Sulgrave, Helmdon, and Culworth,
where he preached three times every Sunday, walking 8 or 9 miles to do
it. He held a week-day service at each of these three villages every
week, and at other places in addition. His health broke down under
the work, and in 1846 he accepted the pastorate of Oakham Baptist
Church. In 1850 he took charge of the Church at Stratford-on-Avon,
and was there about ten years, removing to Loughborough in i860.
At Loughborough he preached at a small Baptist Chapel, and after-
wards he ministered at Quorn until growing years and increasing
feebleness compelled him to relinquish the work he so dearly loved.
He died at Loughborough in 1879, aged 73,
1845, Jan. 24. The Benevolent Society "again revived, after
being dormant a long time."
June 1 8. Rev. William Knibb, Missionary to Jamaica, addressed
a public meeting on the condition of the Negro Population in
Jamaica, in the chapel, probably his last public utterance before em-
barking for the last time for the West Indies. He died the same
1848, Feb. 25. Richard Cleaver admitted member, April 30,
1848. He has from the first been a diligent worker at Far Cotton,
where he has fostered the branch almost to the present time. He
was over thirty years Superintendent of the Sunday School, services
which were recognised by an address in March, 1892. He was also
treasurer of the cause there, and in that office did much in securing
for the place its present handsome chapel. He has been deacon
since 1871. He was a member of the Northampton Town Council,
and was Mayor of the Borough in 1886-7. He is a Justice of the
Peace for the Borough, and for many years has been Chairman of
the Northampton Board of Guardians.
1849, Dec. 28. Richard Gutteridge, admitted a member in
June, 1848, dismissed to the Church in Prescote Street, London,
after the Church had testified to his Christian character to the Com-
mittee of Stepney College, he being desirous of becoming a minister.
From the College in September, 1852, he went to Middleton Cheney,
where he was pastor just three years. He left the ministry for the
medical profession at Leicester. He afterwards went to Ipswich.
In 1 89 1 he unsuccessfully contested the Strand Division at the
92 Notes and Dates.
1851, Feb. 22. Caleb Clarke died at Banbury, aged 41. A
native of Weston by Weedon, where his father, the Rev. Richard
Clarke, was Baptist Minister from 1809 to 1831, he joined the Church
at Collie Street on August ist, 1828. He married Miss Elizabeth
Brown, the younger sister of Mrs. Bartram, he being at the time
engaged in Mr. Bartram's business in the Drapery, Northampton.
On August 27th, 1830, he was commissioned to preach in the villages.
He soon afterwards went to Banbury, starting in business as a draper,
and preaching in his own house on Sundays, there being then no
Baptist preaching in the town. He seemed to have a natural
aptitude for medicine, and he spent so much of his time in " healing
the sick & on behalf of the Church " that his business suffered. In
one year, it is said, he had 1 2,060 patients. " His gifts were almost
supernatural ; his wife believed him specially endowed by God." It
was chiefly to his influence that the Baptist Chapel at Banbury was
erected in 1841. He and his wife (Mrs. Clarke joined Collie Street
from Weston by Weedon in November, 1839) were dismissed to
Banbury in October, 1842. Mr. Clarke preached for a considerable
period at Banbury, but was not appointed regular minister.
1852, Jan. 28. John William Moore admitted member when
fifteen years of age, and commenced preaching almost im-
mediately. After studying under Rev. T. T. Gough at Clipstone,
and Rev. E. L. Forster at Stony Stratford, he went to Bristol College
in 1856 for four years. He settled at Monks Kirby and Pailton,
i860, but after seven years as pastor there, he retired from the
ministry in 1867.
June 18. Thomas Underwood died, "aged 64. Early in life he
was an attendant at Moulton (Carey) Chapel. The cause then, as
now, was connected with Pitsford, and was under the pastorate of
the Rev. F. Wheeler. In 1831 the family removed to Hardingstone,
and immediately identified themselves with College Street Chapel.
A tablet in College Street Chapel records that " for upwards of forty
years, as a servant. of Christ, he kept his steadfast way, and for much
of that time filled the office of deacon well. Wise, manly, upright,
and fervently pious, he was a blessing to the neighbourhood and an
honour to his family : a good name in death follows the wide esteem
he won in life." His widow died on November 21, 1870, aged 73.
His son Frank, born at Pitsford in 1818, died at Northampton in
September, 1897. He was a generous contributor to the Building
Fund of the new chapel, and assisted with his purse the various
agencies of the cause at Hardingstone.
1853, April 23. James Essex, one of the founders of the Sun-
day School, died, after being a member of the Church over 54 years.
He was received on November 9th, 1798, from Leicester, where, at
Harvey Lane, he had been baptised by Carey, and was afterwards
appointed deacon. He was one of the founders of the Sunday Schools,
and was one of the first Monitors General (Superintendents).
Notes and Dates. 93
1856, Dec. 12. Rev. Nathaniel Hawkes died, age 37. He
joined the Church in 1837, studied for the ministry under the Rev.
£. L. Forster at Stony Stratford, and at Horton College, and in 1844
undertook the duties of pastor at Guilsborough. After nine years
(1844-53), during which about sixty members were added to the
church, he removed to Hemel Hempstead, the pastorate of which
church he resigned, owing to failing health, in 1855. He died the
1857, Thomas Bumpus, a native of Buckingham, joined the
Church in March, 1801, and was called out by the Church to preach.
Removing to Daventry in 1805, he was for some time a member and
deacon of the Church at Braunston. Afterwards returning to
Northampton, he was chosen Deacon and Treasurer of the Church.
He was also treasurer of the Sunday Schools, 1815. He remained
deacon 34 years, and treasurer 40 ; and for more than forty years he
preached in the churches. He died in 1857, aged 77.
1858, March 5. Robert Bartram chosen deacon. A draper in
the Drapery, with Mr. George Shrewsbury and Mr. Samuel Harris,
he commenced the Sunday School at Duston ; and with Mr. Booth
Gray and Mr. William Gray, the Sunday School in Compton Street.
He was an earnest worker at the central Schools — Superintendent
from 1833 to 1840. He died on January 31st, 1874, aged 73. He
and Mr. Caleb Clarke, of Banbury, and Mr. James Bumpus married
sisters, three daughters of Mr. James Brown, of Northampton.
1862, July I. Last tea meeting in the old chapel. On this
occasion the pews were covered with a temporary plank flooring, and
the interior of the building was profusely decorated. About 500 sat
down to tea. The Rev. J. T. Brown presided at the public meeting
later the same evening. The last Sunday services were five days
later (page 60).
1864, Jan. 8. Thomas Ager died, aged 78. He was one of
the earliest workers in the Sunday School : he was a teacher
when the school was held in Woolmonger Street. Old scholars
remember his attending school and teaching in top-boots and knee-
breeches, the costume of his earlier days. He resigned the superin-
tendency of the Girls' School in 1858; and in February of the
following year he was presented with a testimonial "for his long-
continued and much valued services." He was appointed deacon
in 1836, and he was trustee of the chapel.
April 27. John Field, with his wife, dismissed to the
Church at Ecton, of which he became recognised pastor the same
year. He has occupied this office ever since.
1865, Sept. 27. Miss Hearn, known by her nom de plume of
Marianne Famingham (her Christian name and village of her birth),
admitted a member from the Church at Eynsford. As a writer. Miss
Hearn is known all over the Christian world : she has published
94 Notes and Dates,
many books ; and has written numberless articles for the religious
press ; and she is the Editor of the " Sunday School Times."
Her work in connection with the Church at College Street is indicated
in the section of this work, devoted to the Sunday Schools.
1866, April 16. Jonathan Edwards Ryland died. Named
after the celebrated American divine, Jonathan Edwards, he was the
son of Dr. John Ryland and his second wife, Miss Frances Barrett,
of Northampton. He was born on May 5th, 1797, and was educated
at Bristol College (of which his father was principal), Stokes Croft,
and Edinburgh University. He was tutor for a short period both at
Mill Hill and Bradford College. He married in 1828 Frances, the
daughter of Mr. John Buxton, of Northampton, and resided first at
Salisbury and then at Bristol. In 1835 he settled at Northampton.
He was Superintendent at Princes Street Sunday Schools, and after-
wards he attached himself to College Street Church. He is known
for his literary acquirements. He was a profound Hebrew and Greek
scholar, and was an authority in religious history. He published
some of his productions, which were extremely numerous, as early as
1823. He contributed to "The Visiter," published that year at
Bristol ; he compiled two vplumes of " Pastoral Memorials " from his
father's MSS. ; he translated the " Pens^es " of Pascal, Tholuck's
" Guido and Julius," NefFs " Dialogues of Sin and Salvation," and a
number of historico-religious classics. His contributions, chiefly
translations, to standard theological literature were alike numerous
and important. He was a capital essayist ; he wrote numerous
papers for the " Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature " and the articles
on John Foster, Andrew Fuller, Dr. Kitto, Robert Robinson, Swartz,
Northampton, and Northamptonshire in the eighth edition of the
" Encyclopaedia Britannica." He also wrote a " Memoir of Dr.
Kitto," and many other works. He died at the age of 69, soon after
being appointed Curator of the Northampton Museum.
1868, Feb. 3. Presentations to John Taylor, one of the first
movers for the New School Rooms and rebuilding of the Chapel, and
Mr. Joseph Foddy, in recognition of their services as joint secretaries
of the Building Fund (page 60.)
1869, April 19. John Perry, taken seriously ill when presiding
at the silver Jubilee meeting of the Rev. J. T. Brown, died, aged 48.
He was for 12 years Superintendent of Compton Street Sunday
School As treasurer of the Chapel Building Fund, he was the very
soul of the movement which pulled down the old Meeting house and
erected the present handsome chapel (page 60.) His personal
donations to the fund amounted to more than ^^ 500, and in addition
he procured ;^230 from his own " sovereign " friends. He was a
Justice of the Peace for Northampton, and he had been both Town
Councillor and Alderman.
Notes and Dates, 95
1870, March 13. William Rice, formerly deacon, died at Weston
Favell, aged 77. He was for nearly forty years connected with the
Sunday Schools as teacher, treasurer, secretary, and leader of a Bible
Class, and he was the founder and first secretary of the Northamp-
tonshire Sunday School Union. Received from Surrey Chapel,
London, in May, 1829, he early undertook the conduct of a young
men's class, which at Christmas in 1831 gave him a Hebrew Bible
" as a small expression of gratitude for his kind instructions imparted
in College Street Sabbath School." He was an advanced thinker on
religious matters, and in consequence of a controversy on his opinions
expressed in the school he resigned all the offices he held, including
the diaconate ; and he withdrew also from membership. He con-
tinued a constant attendant at the Church services, and as long as his
strength allowed him he walked every Sunday morning to College
Street from his home at Weston Favell. He published four letters on
controversial religious subjects, and he was for a long time Chairman
of Northampton Board of Guardians.
1871, March 29. Thomas Ager, for 25 years an earnest worker
at Duston, died. He received from his co-workers and friends a
handsome gift of books as a testimonial of their appreciation of his
Sept. 25 to 28. Autumnal Session of the Baptist Union of
Great Britain and Ireland at Northampton ; meetings in the chapel.
Mr. BirrelPs address from the chair : " Northampton Memories."
1872, Nov. 28. One flagon and two cups of the old communion
service presented to the Church at Roade.
Dec. 31. Caleb M. Longhurst dismissed to the Church at
Reading, from which Church he had been received on November
27, 1861. He was afterwards pastor at Ipswich, and subsequently
at Spring Hill, Birmingham. Leaving Spring Hill, he commenced
a cause in a Board School, but that was not successful.
1873, ^^b- 26. Joseph Foddy elected member. He was for
many years joint superintendent of Far Cotton Sunday Schools ; he
was secretary to the Church, joint secretary (with Mr. John Taylor) of
the Building Fund for the new chapel, and deacon. He died April
Oct. 14. The organ (page 61) opened. Dr. W. Landels
preached. An organ recital by Mr. Henry T. Carter, Bristol. The
total cost, including erection, was ;^30o.
1878, July 31. Thomas Henry Martin dismissed to Walling-
ford, Berkshire, where he was pastor for five years. He was the son
of the Rev. Thomas Martin, Indian Missionary (page 70), and was
born at the Baptist Mission Premises, Calcutta, on July 29, 1856.
He was sent to England for his education, and was at school, in
turns, at Blackheath, Northampton, and Amersham Hall, Reading.
He was baptised at Northampton by the Rev. J. T. Brown on
9^ Notes and Dates,
January 19th, 1874, and admitted to the Church. The same year
he went to Regent's Park College to study for the ministry. His
first pastoral charge was at Wallingford. He removed to Hallfield
Chapel, Bradford, Yorkshire, in 1883. In 1888, he was called to
Adelaide Place Baptist Church, Glasgow, the pastorate of which he
still holds. He is Lecturer of Church History and Homiletics at
the Baptist Theological College of Scotland.
1879, March 21. William Gray, chosen deacon July 21st, 18501
died at Bath, aged 73. He was Church treasurer, superintendent of
the Sunday Schools, treasurer of the Northamptonshire Baptist
Association, and for 24 years corresponding secretary of the Baptist
Missionary Society. He was one of the originators of the Sunday
Schools in Nelson Street; and, with three others, he bought the
ground, in 1849, for the schools in Spring Lane.
1 88 1, Oct. 12. John Kightley, though not a member, a con-
stant attendant and valuable helper, died, aged 82. He was an
active member of the Building Committee, and was a large contributor
to the Building Fund.
Oct. 20. William Williams, a trustee, but not a member of the
Church, died, aged 84. He was a liberal supporter of all the insti-
tutions of the Church, and contributed largely towards the Fund for
erecting the Chapel and Schools. He was also a member of the
Building Fund, successively secretary and treasurer of the Sunday
Schools, and was an original member of the Northamptonshire
Sunday School Union. He was a Justice of the Peace for the
Borough, and had been both a Town Councillor and an Alderman,
and had been twice elected Mayor.
Nov. The Rev. Thomas Brooks died at Wallingford. He was
dismissed from College Street to the Church at Aldwinckle, where
he was pastor from 1843 to 1849. Thence he went as pastor to
Roade (1850 to 1853), and from Roade to Wrexham, and then to
Bourton on the Water, Gloucestershire, the pastorate of which
Baptist Church he entered in August, 1855. His next and last
pastorate was at Thames Square Church, Wallingford, which he
filled with much ability and acceptance from April, 1862, until June,
1877, when he was compelled, through failing health, to resign. He
continued to reside at Wallingford until his death. He published a
History of the Bourton Church.
1882, Jan. 23. George Shrewsbury, the oldest member of the
Church, died, aged 84. He was born at Hackleton (in 1797), where
he discovered Dr. Carey's signboard bidden in a cottage. When about
twenty he went to Northampton, became usher in Mr. Comfield's
academy in Horsemarket, and afterwards opened a school in the
old Welsh house on the Market Square. Whilst here, he and Mr.
Harris decided on starting the School at Duston. He removed to
Luton, whence he«.frequently went into villages to preach. Returning
Mh. JOHN PEKRY.
Notes and Dates, 97
to Northampton, he commenced a Bible Class for young men ; and
he and Mr. Stuchbery were asked by the Church to exercise their
preaching gifts. Going to Bedford, he again took to village preach-
ing. Again coming to Northampton, he succeeded Mr. Rice in
teaching a class of young men in the old vestry, and he conducted a
Saturday night prayer meeting. He was also Sunday School teacher,
and was superintendent from 1831 to 1840. He conducted
also a Young Men's Mutual Improvement Society, and was presented
with a timepiece by the members in March, 1857. He ably filled
the office of deacon, and was for many years assistant secretary of
the Northampton Auxiliary Bible Society. He laid the foundation
stone of the second Baptist Chapel at Hackleton, erected to take the
place of that in which Carey preached.
1885, August 23. Luke William Moore, elected deacon in
1873, ^icd. At the time of his decease, he was one of the oldest
and most zealous supporters of College Street Church, but his chief
work was with the young. He was also a worker at Hardingstone .
and Weston Favel, occasionally conducting services at both places.
He was one of the members of the Building Committee for the new
chapel, and gave the greatest attention to the many details connected
with the undertaking, especially the schools.
1886, Nov. 3. Rev. J. T. Brown informed the Church that Mr,
Pollard would commence his joint ministry on the 21st (p. 63). Mr.
Pollard is now at Sutton-in-Craven, Yorkshire.
1888, March 28. H. Wheeler Robinson, formerly a scholar
and, at times, a teacher in the Sunday School, admitted member.
He was student at Regent's Park College in 1890 and the following
year; at Edinburgh University from 1891 to 1895, in which latter
year he studied at Oxford University ; and at Marburg University in
the summer of 1897. He is at present a student of theology and
Semitic languages in Mansfield College, Oxford, where he was last
June (1897) elected President of the Students. He has written
several sketches, poems, and hymns.
Dec. Joseph Thompson died, aged 77. He had been
superintendent at the Congregational Sunday Schools at Creaton, but
left for Northampton about 40 years before his death. He was
widely known and respected as a member of the Village Preachers'
Association ; and he was an earnest worker, both at College Street
and at Abington Square Mission Hall.
1889, Dec. 2. Benjamin Wheeler, son of the Rev. Francis
Wheeler, at one time pastor at Moulton, died suddenly, aged 65. In
Nottingham he was closely identified with the Sunday School move-
ment and the Sunday School Union. Going to Northampton in
1885, he worked as a local preacher and in Sunday Schools, especially
at Barrack Road Mission Hall, of the Sunday School of which the
98 Notes and Dates,
teachers, ignorant of his decease, elected him superintendent a few
hours after his death.
1890, March 18. Farewell meeting at Compton Street School
to the Rev. William Pratt, M.A., and- Mrs. Pratt. Mr. Pratt, son of
a member, was a scholar in the Sunday School ; Mrs. Pratt (then
Elizabeth Bassford) started Spring Lane Mission in 1875. An
exhibitioner at Queen's College, Oxford, William Pratt was successively
pastor at West Haddon and of Pembroke Chapel, Liverpool ; and he
has been since 1890 pastor of East Queen Street Church, Kingston,
Jamaica. Appointed member of Managing Committee of Calabar
College, 1891. Elected member of first Board of Education for
June 27. Samuel Wesley, deacon, died, aged 43. He was
once a teacher in Spring Lane Sunday Schools, and at the time of
his death was Superintendent of Barrack Road Schools, and Treasurer
of College Street and Branch Schools. For a very short period he
was alderman of the Borough of Northampton.
Sept. 7. Unfermented wine used for the first time at the Com-
1 89 1, March 13. Frederick Blacklee, deacon, died from
injuries received in a trap accident. He was a recognised local
preacher at the age of 1 7, and was a most acceptable visitor in the
villages up to the day of his death. He was treasurer of Spring
Lane Mission, and had been two years deacon. He was secretary of
the Northampton Young Men's Christian Association for many years.
He died at the age of 37.
Nov. 8. Robert Brice, born at Stoke Goldington, Bucking-
hamshire, in 1806, died, aged 85. He started in business at Hemel
Hempstead, where he became Superintendent of the Baptist Sunday
School. Afterwards living in Bedford, he did some little village
preaching, and returning to Northampton when about forty years of
age, he was received into the Church, with Mrs. Brice, from the
Church at Gosport. A meeting for Bible Reading used to be held
on Sunday evenings in his house at Northampton. He was teacher
at Compton Street Branch Sunday School, and later became Super-
intendent of College Street Boys' School. He was an active member
of the Building Committee for the new chapel in College Street, and
his personal subscriptions to the fund amounted to ;;^2oo. He and
his sons gave ;£^5oo towards the new place of worship. He was
for many years deacon of the Church.
1 893, March 20 and 2 1 . Final Centenary Thanksgiving meetings
of the Baptist Missionary Society held in the chapel. On the first
day (Monday) a sermon was preached by the Rev. Richard Glover,
D.D., Bristol, and a public meeting in the evening was presided over
by Mr. W. R. Rickett, Treasurer of the Baptist Missionary Society.
The speakers included Dr. Swanson, Rev. R. Wardlaw Thompson,
Dr. E. E. Jenkins, Rev. J. Bailey, and the Rev. J. T. Brown.
Notes and Dates, 99
1894, July 19. Thomas Pressland died, aged 63. He was
early in life a member and active worker at the Church, and was for
years Superintendent of the Boys' Sunday School. He was one of
the chief movers for the erection of new school and class rooms and
a new chapel, and served on the Building Committee. He was Joint
Secretary 1857-1862. He afterwards joined Doddridge Church, and
was secretary of that church. He had also, at the time of his death,
just completed three years' service in the diaconate.
July r. With Mr. Smith's pastorate was initiated a change in the
Communion Service, which for forty-five years had been a special
service without sermon. At a special Church meeting on May 23rd,
it was resolved that instead of devoting the whole of the fir«t Sunday
evening in each month to the Communion Service, there should be an
ordinary service of about an hour's duration, after which the Ordinance
should be observed — the change to come into operation on the first
Sunday in July.
November. The somewhat anomalous position of the
friends at Harlestone was ended. About twelve there had been in
communion and engaged in Christian work without being actually
members of the Church. At the Church meeting on the 28th of this
month nine peisons were admitted members, and subsequently three
more. Two were appointed local leaders, and two Northampton
members were appointed visitors.
1896, Jan. 19. William Butlin, chosen deacon in 1892, died.
He conducted a Bible Class for young men for fifteen years ; and he
was an untiring worker on behalf of Barrack Road Mission Hall.
March 14. Hail Marriott Mawby, deacon, died, aged 76. For
nearly sixty years, thirty-one of which were spent at Northampton,
he was an earnest and conscientious worker in Sunday Schools. He
was superintendent for over thirty years of the Girls' Sunday School
at College Street, and for twenty-four years represented College Street
on the Northamptonshire Sunday School Union. In the month
preceding his death he was presented with an illuminated address
from the Superintendents, Teachers, and Scholars of the Sunday
School. He was from the first an active Liberationist, and always a
temperance advocate. He founded College Street Band of Hope.
In 1895 was elected a Life Deacon.
Dec. 30. Collection for distressed Armenians "amounted to
nearly ;^i 5."
The friendly relations always subsisting with Castle Hill Church
were again exemplified, in April, 1896, when a letter was read from
Castle HJU inviting the members to attend a meeting to welcome
home Miss Robinson, an Indian missionary, designated from that
Church. The invitation was cordially accepted.
1897, March 3. Collection for the Indian Famine Fund,
^30 19s. 8d.
The Sunday Schools.
jW'HE Sunday Schools of College Street Church originated from a
^£^ General Sunday School at Northampton, established without
regard to special sectarian prejudices. Like the Sunday Schools
in connection with All Saints' and St. Giles' Churches it was conducted
by paid teachers, and was chiefly secular in its instruction ; in the
main, the inculcation of religious principles being left to the portion
of the Sunday when the scholars were taken to the chapel or church
for the ordinary morning service. As far as can be gathered, in the
early years of this century there were about a hundred scholars at
both All Saints' and St. Giles' Sunday Schools, and about twenty at
the General Sunday School. These twenty scholars were instructed
by "two persons" paid for their services by members of the con-
gregations at Castle Hill (Congregational) Church, Kingswell Street
(Friends), and College Street The school opened about nine
o'clock in the morning, and, after instruction mainly in reading and
writing, the children were marched off to one or other of the three
places of worship already mentioned for the morning service. The
scholars assembled again in the afternoon for similar instruction as
in the morning. Far-seeing and pious men rect^nised that this
school, educating half-heartedly less than a score of Nonconformist
children, fell far short of what was required of Dissent.
Chief among those who felt the need of a better system was
Mr. William Hickson, the founder of the shoe manufacturing firm of
William Hickson & Sons, Northampton and London, and grand-
father of Councillor William Hickson, of Northampton, He was a
member of College Street, and having developed a talent for reading
and expounding the Scriptures, " by degrees he was led to act as an
auxiliary Saptist preacher." Mr. James Essex has left a manuscript,
Mr. WILLIAM GRAY.
The Sunday Schools, loi
still existing, explaining that Mr. Hickson had moved in this matter
of a Sunday School, and had been attracted by the efforts of that
noble Quaker, Joseph Lancaster, in founding day schools for the
poor. Mr. Hickson formed the opinion that the Lancasterian Day
School system could be introduced with advantage into the Sunday
School, and it was indeed reported that that had been done "to
good purpose " in Birmingham and several other places. As Mr.
Hickson and himself, the writer of the manuscript continues, were
in the habit of going on business to London, it was agreed that
they should visit Lancaster's New School in the Borough Road, and
see for themselves the mode in practice, "and procure a copy of
Lancaster's System of Education, Spelling and Reading Cards, and
fevery information on the subject." This being done, " on our return
we invited two or three friends to confer on the subject alternately
at* each other's house — and when the purpose became known it
received the approbation of many, by whom we were encouraged to
They did persevere, " at some sacrifice of time and labour, and
at as small expence as possible." In August, a formal resolution on
the subject was come to. Minutes of these early meetings were not
preserved, but an attempt was soon made to place on record all that
had been done. Accordingly we read that in the month of August
the Rev. Thomas Blundell (pastor of College Street) " and Messrs.
Essex, Barnes, Hickson, Rogers, and Marshall, after much delibera-
tion, determined upon instituting a Sunday School on the Lancas-
terian Plan in the Baptist Interest (Meeting for Worship in College
Lane, Northampton), which School should be called College Lane
School, and the above six persons formed themselves into a Com-
mittee for the purpose of putting their intentions into execution."
Mr. George Barnes, Mr. William Hickson, Mr. Essex, and Mr.
Rogers "practised" first of all on their own children, about a dozen
who were assembled for that purpose at Mr. Hickson's house on the
The School Book says that these gentlemen found the plan
"easy to be attained and answer their expectations." Mr. Essex
writes : that the four, after a little practice together, engaged " to take
an equal share in the attention necessary to be given to the Object,"
" alternately on the Sabbath, two each day, who were denominated
Reading and Writing superintendent Monitors, by whom Class or
Desk Monitors were appointed of those of the Children who were
best able to teach, and afterwards by those who were first in each
I02 The Sunday Schools,
Class — which was a stimulus to attention and industry, application,
& effort." Thus were the five Sundays of. September, 1810, passed
by these four pioneers in the present-day system of Voluntary Sunday
Schools. At the Church Schools, as at the General Sunday School,
the teachers were paid for their services.
Long before September was out, it was seen that a Sunday
School could be and ought to be opened on this Voluntary prin
ciple, and, accordingly, the promoters looked round for a suitable
room. They found a place in Bull Head Lane, which was hired
from Quarter Day, Saturday, September 29th, dX jQio los. a year.
As it was impossible to have the place fit for the reception of scholars
by the following morning, public school was first opened on the first
Sunday in the following month, October 7th, 18 10. Beside the
sixteen children of the four teachers, 24 others were placed on the
school roll for the opening, 40 in all ; " to which were added by
additional application in less than a fortnight 48 more, making 88 —
as many as the room would contain."
So far Mr. Essex. The School Book continues the story. In
the course of a few Sabbaths there were 127 scholars. "The Room
being very confined, and Mr. Bumpus having a commodious one to
let in Woolmonger Street, the Committee in the Spring of 181 1 took
Mr. Bumpus's Room and removed the School to thence." From
the commencement, " the Committee had availed themselves of the
assistance of Ladies to instruct the Girls (47 out of the total of 127
scholars), and shortly after they removed the School into Wool-
monger Street, they appointed a number of steady young men to
instruct the Boys." In November, 181 1, the Committee had to
lengthen the school desks to accommodate more scholars.
In June, 181 2, Mr. William Hickson, who had been secretary
of the school since its initiation, removed to London. He had,
however, induced Joseph Lancaster to visit Northampton, and,
greatly owing to his efforts, a Lancasterian School was started in
Demgate. The "General" Sunday School, the Nonconformist
Sunday School with paid teachers, found this a suitable home, and
there it flourished, with the assistance of College Street and the
other Dissenting congregations in the town. We find the Rev.
Thomas Blundell preaching a special sermon at College Street for
this school on Sunday afternoon, November 26th, 18 15, a few weeks
after the fifth annual meeting of College Street Schools. The
collection amounted to jQi2 6s., of which jQi 6s. 6d. was con
tributed by College Street teachers. At this very time College
The Sunday Schools. 103
Street Schools were jQiz 7s. 3|d. in debt, and special efforts were
being made to wipe off the deficit. In the report presented at the
annual meeting of College Street Schools, on October 5th, 18 15,
there were in the school 152 children (100 boys and 52 girls), an
increase of nine on the year. "When College Lane Sunday School
was founded," says the report, "not more than 250 Children in this
town enjoyed the benefit of Sunday School education ; but at the
present time, no less than 750 poor Children are experiencing the
transforming efficacy of moral and religious tuitioq." The following
extract from the report shows the manner of conducting the school
at this period : —
"The School opens with reading the Scriptures and prayer,
after which the business of the morning is prosecuted, consisting
principally of the rehearsal of parts of Scripture that have been
learned during the preceding week, and which the Teachers are
desirous the Children should understand. They attend public
worship in the morning, accompanied by their Teachers. The after-
noon is devoted to spelling, reading, and writing, and the occupations
of the day close with singing and prayer."
The Lancasterian method of conducting the School was more
or less rigidly adhered to up to the time of the building of the new
schools in 1830. The number of scholars was limited to 150, who
must be over 7 years of age, and might remain in the schools for not
more than four years. Till quite recent times the children who
deserved honourable dismissal were presented with a Bible, Testa-
ment, or Hymn Book on leaving.
The management was in the hands of a committee (elected
annually by the teachers), which met monthly at the houses of the
members in turn, the minister presiding, and a fixed time for closing
the meeting being observed. The system of rule by a committee
was continued up to 1852, when monthly meetings of the whole of
the teachers was substituted. To-day a quarterly meeting is held.
The classes were carefully graded by quarterly examiners accord-
ing to well considered rules, the scholars being promoted on showing
proficiency in their reading and other tasks.
From the commencement down to 1858 rewards were given to
the scholars, the morning of Christmas Day being the occasion, and
the minister giving an address.
Each Sunday 200 tickets, value one farthing each, were distributed
amongst the children according to merit, and at Christmas not
only did the scholars dismissed receive their Bibles, &c., but the
104 ^^ Sunday Schools,
others had shawls, gloves, tippets, or stockings " according to their
inclinations and desires — and the value of their tickets." These
occasions enabled many interested friends of the school to show their
sympathy by attendance ; whilst happy memories of those times still
linger in the minds of many old scholars to-day.
Mr. William Marshall as superintendent, and at the same time as
secretary, did yeoman service. For thirteen years he faithfully recorded
the names of scholars admitted — many of whom had to wait their
turn till others had left — as well as the names of those who were
leaving. Occasionally he asked for the degradation of some noisy
boys who ran down stairs, and talked on their way to meeting, show-
ing us that our grandfathers were no better in their boyhood than
their descendants are to-day. He was ably seconded by Mr. Thos.
Bumpus, then in the prime of life, who held the offices of deacon,
church and school treasurer, and local preacher.
In those early days public libraries were undreamed of, but in
1 814 the far-seeing minister, Rev. T. Blundell, proposed a scheme
for establishing a school library by the weekly subscriptions of the
teachers and monthly collections amongst the children. This was
enthusiastically carried out ; Messrs. James Essex (who was baptised
at Leicester by Wm. Carey) and Archer collecting the money, and
the committee choosing the books. Mr. R. Coales became the first
librarian ; but in May, 1815, resigned owing to ill health, and Mr. J.
Essex took his place.
The books selected were not all considered " fit for Sabbath
day reading ; " but judging by the catalogue before us, we should say
that to-day, of the 362 volumes of which the library consisted in 182 1,
not twenty would be acceptable reading to Sunday School scholars
any day in the week. But for that time the books were well chosen,
and doubtless the very best that could be obtained.
Gradually the congregation subscribed funds regularly for the
addition of the latest publications, on the recommendation of the
subscribers, and in 1829 the scholars' collections were dispensed with.
The library funds previous to this had paid ;^5 towards a new
staircase for the school and jQ$ towards the rent.
In 18J4, Mr. B. Stuchbery suggested the formation of a Teachers*
Reading Society, which was carried out and continued for a year, when
it was united with the Library.
Always anxious to promote study and thought, Mr. W. Rice, in
1842, provided 100 volumes as an addition to the Library.
Mr. H. M. MAWBY
T7u Sunday Schools, 105
Nine years later, competition had reduced the number of sub-
scribers to 15, and careless registration the number of books to 230.
An appeal for help was issued, and by the year 1868 the library had
so grown that it was thought best to divide it into two sections — boys*
and girls' — 300 volumes each.
To-day, in addition to the senior and junior sections of the
school library, containing nearly 600 volumes, there is an excellent
library for Miss Heam's Class, with 280 books, and another for the
Young Men's Society of 800 volumes.
Under Mr. W. Gray's beneficent rule, monthly literature was
freely distributed amongst the girls ; and since 1886 the Magazine
Society has supplied a large number of magazines, which have been
annually bound free for the children.
On Aug. 2, 18 1 5, at a Committee Meeting, mention was made
of an Auxiliary Sunday School Union for the County of Northampton ;
a premature thought, evidently, for it was reserved for Mr. T.
Bumpus to preside at a meeting in 1830, in Commercial Street
Chapel, when Rev. W. Gray, Mr. W. Rice, Mr. B. Stuchbery, and
others moved resolutions pledging College Street, Castle Hill,
Commercial Street, and the Wesleyans to join in forming the
Northamptonshire Sunday School Union. Mr. William Rice was
appointed the first secretary. The Easter gatherings of the Union
were for many years held in the chapel, and it was always a
pleasant duty for the teachers to provide a bun for each of the
children, a custom which probably originated in a recommendation
of the London Sunday School Union that, " as the children would feel
both hungry and thirsty before they return home, they should be
instructed to bring a piece of bread with them, and drinking water
should be provided."
In February, 1831, a few months after opening the new schools,
the girls were separated from the boys, and the writing taught from
6 a.m. to 7.30 a.m. on Tuesdays, and from 7 p.m. to 8.30 p m. on
Thursdays. Next year it was reported that there were 331 scholars,
and that 47 former scholars were then members of some Christian
In 1838, Mr. Bumpus was able to state that 60 teachers were
engaged in teaching an average attendance of 180 scholars, and
remarked that a more extensive sphere of labour was desirable ! \
In 1842, in consequence of some of the girls in College Street v
Schools being compelled by their " Central " Day Schools regulations
to attend the Established Church, and so removed from College
io6 The Sunday Schools.
Street roll, the teachers passed a resolution urging the Lancasterian
Day School managers to commence a girls' day school.
At Christmas, 1831, Mr. W. Rice, who had been a teacher
in the schools since 1829, commenced a Bible Class with twelve of
the senior lads who had been dismissed, a beginning of his faithful
and cultured work amongst the young men, which he successfully
continued till June, 185 1, when he resigned, owing to his liberal and
anti-Calvinistic views, as expressed in some published pamphlets, not
being approved by some of the teachers. He continued as treasurer
The young men's class met on Sunday mornings at 9 o'clock in
the minister's vestry, and the members were individually invited
during the week to spend an evening with their teacher at his home
in Royal Terrace.
In 1849, the male and female senior classes contained 32
Mr. Rice was succeeded by Mr. Dyer, Mr. Pressland, sen. ; and
in October, 1852, by Mr. Geo. Shrewsbury, whose quiet, telling
words went home with power to the hearts of his listeners.
After an interval of decay, Mr. Robert D. Brice revived the
class in 1855, and it then met on Sunday afternoons. In 188 1, there
were 45 members and an average attendance of 22. When Mr. Brice
became Superintendent, in 1883, Mr. E. T. Partridge and Mr. W.
Butlin in turn continued the work till, in 1896, Mr. R. D. Brice
again resumed his position.
The present Young Men's Sunday Morning Bible Class
developed out of Mr. F. Bates' morning class, commenced in 1885.
Dr. A. H. Jones conducted a week-night Biblical Society for
young men from 1878 to 1888, and it continued until 1891.
The infants' class (taught by Mr. R. Bartram), in 1848, proving
inconvenient in the schoolroom, was transferred to the Milton Hall,
Newland, Mr. G. Hall becoming the teacher ; and his successors
have included Mr. R. Cleaver, Mr. E. Starmer, Mr. F. Covington, Mr.
J. Lee, Mr. J. Williams, and Mr. Jos. Thompson, and Misses Goff
In 1853, College Street, Compton Street, Duston, and Nelson
Street Sunday Schools were united under the management of the
whole body of teachers, who met monthly, and the expenses were to
be defrayed from a common fund.
Far Cotton School was commenced as a branch in 1857. Great
Houghton School joined the others in 1865, but, dying, it was
revived in 1880,
T%e Sunday Schools, 107
The Jubilee of the schools was observed on Tuesday, Nov. i8th,
i860, when Rev. J. T. Brown addressed a united gathering of scholars.
This was not made the great occasion it might have been, because
the friends' hands were very busy with the new building scheme, but
a medal was struck and sold at half-price to the scholars. It bore on
the obverse side a representation of the old chapel, so soon to be
demolished, and the Jubilee date, Oct. 7, i860, surrounded by the
words: "In commemoration of the Jubilee of College Street Sabbath
Schools." On the reverse side was a medallion portrait of Robert
Raikes, supported by a scholar with a Bible, and around the text :
"Remember thy Creator in thy youth and thy benefactors with
The first schools, erected in 1830, at a cost of ;^746, stood on
the site of some stables purchased for ;^7oo. They accommodated
300 scholars comfortably. For ten years before the need was met
more room was wanted, the statistics for 1852 showing 440 scholars,
of whom 153 attended day schools.
In 1863, there were 482 scholars and 51 teachers. The present
Schools were opened on July 29th, 1863.
Classes for the assistance of teachers in the preparation of their
lessons have, at various periods, existed, the first being commenced
in 1853 by Mr. G. Shrewsbury, "whose unwearied and persevering
efforts amongst the teachers had been somewhat acknowledged by the
present of *The Life and Correspondence of John Foster' (2 vols.)
Naturally, singing has from the first had a place in the exercises
of the school, but it was not until July, 1891, that a choir was formed,
which, under Mr. Frank Tomalin, secured the N.S.S.U. Eisteddfod
first prize in 1893, and several other prizes in other years.
It has long been a custom to hold separate services for the
children during the hours of chapel service. Before 1863, these
were held in the evening as well as the morning, but of late years the
latter only has been continued.
The Temperance sentiment of College Street Chapel has never
been of an extreme type, and yet, by the perseverance and piatience of
Mr. H. M. Mawby and Mr. R. Oliver, one of the first Bands of Hope
in connection with a Sunday School in the town was formed on
December 2, 1872. Mr. H. M. Mawby proposed and Mr. S.
Skempton seconded its formation. For twelve months the only
available room was one rented of the Unitarians in King Street.
io8 The Sunday Schools.
The William Carey Lodge of the Good Templars, held on the
premises, was instituted by Councillor Joseph Malins, Grand Chief
Templar, on April 7 th, 1893.
The school was the first in England to carry out the abstainers'
enrolment schemes of the Sunday School Union.
The Young Men's Society, the first of its kind in connection
with any chapel in the town, was formed at a meeting called by Mr.
F. Bates on August ist, 1884. The broad basis of the Society
provides for a reading-room, study and chess rooms, to be open every
night, and federates all the classes and societies meeting in the
interests of the young men.
The first swimming and harriers' club^ in the town, the " North-
amptonshire Nonconformist " Magazine, and many other schemes
have originated at the Monthly Council Meetings of this flourishing
Society. It was here that the first mention in' the town of
"Ambulance" and "First Aid" work was made by the late Mr. R.
Copeland Brice in February, 1885.
The present Young Men's Society and Young Women's* Bible
Class rooms were opened October, 1887.
Mr. Richard Timms resigned the position of secretary in 1889,
and was the recipient of a handsome clock, "Presented by the
superintendent and teachers of College Street Sabbath Schools in
recognition of his valuable services as honorary secretary for eighteen
years, Northampton, October 29th, 1889."
When the Christian Endeavour Movement was introduced into
England a society was formed at College Street, in 1894, and has
provided an outlet for the Christian zeal and youthful energy of a
total of 80 members. District visiting amongst the sick, and the
support of a native boy on the Congo in training for a missionary, are
amongst the many works undertaken.
The unfailing regularity and punctuality of the late Mr. H, M.
Mawby made him a model superintendent, and the schools recognised
his sterling worth by presenting an illuminated address to him when
illness compelled him to retire.
Mr. S: Skempton, too, has relinquished his much loved work
after many years superintendency of the boys' school, and the teachers
and scholars recorded their appreciation of his devotion by a chaste
The New Year Tea, the Midsummer Treat, and the September
Anniversary Services are amongst the most notable events in the
i MARIANNE FAKNINGHAM HEARN.
The Sunday Schools, 109
school year. Only once (in 1862) is there any record of the parents
inviting the teachers to a tea.
Such is an imperfect record of the progress of the external and
visible work amongst Christ's little ones in this school. But the
heart-throb and the soul-devotion of the teachers, and the character-
building and life moulding of the scholars — who can tell? Our
Father only knows, and one day it shall be revealed.
THE MUTUAL IMPROVEMENT . CLASS
was originated in 1853 by a few young men of College Street Schools,
who were attending Castle Hill Mutual Improvement Class. They
invited Deacon George Shrewsbury to become President, a position
for which God had amply endowed him.
St. Crispin's day — the shoemakers* holiday — saw the public
inauguration, the pastor in the chair, a bower of greenery overhead,
and a sumptuous tea on the tables. For many years the vestry was
crowded every Wednesday after the service, Castle Hill Class
attending once a quarter, and the most momentous questions in life
being seriously discussed. Mr. Shrewsbury resigned in 1857, and
was succeeded by Mr. James Allen, Mr. James Mustill, Mr. R. F.
Compton, and many other worthy men. From the class have come
ministers, editors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, missionaries, and
MISS HEARN'S CLASS.
Miss A. Covington, the Secretary of Miss Hearn's class, writes :
About 1867, a class of sixteen girls in College Street School was
without a teacher, owing to the failing health of their late leader.
After great pressure had been brought to bear, and after earnest
thought and prayer. Miss Hearn was induced to undertake it, at any
rate for a time. That group of sixteen formed the nucleus of one of
the most successful classes among girls and young women of modern
times. It soon became so popular, that it was the one desire of the
girls in the School that Mr. William Gray, the beloved Superintendent,
would move them up into Miss Hearn's class. It has frequently
numbered 200 members at one given time. Very many successful
teachers have been sent out from among them, and to-day many of
those teaching in the branch schools have to thank Miss Hearn, with
deepest gratitude, for the helpful lessons and advice they received
while scholars in her class.
Tio 77te Sunday Schools.
When first undertaken, the class met in a comer of the gallery
in the chapel ; after that they moved to where the oigan now stands.
The last place used in the chapel was the block of pews down-stairs
immediately in front of the platform. For a long time it had been
felt that some more suitable place ought to be provided, and when it
was found possible to extend the buildings, care was taken to provide
a room suitable not only for Sunday meetings, but also for use in the
week evenings. For many years weekly meetings were held in Miss
Hearn's own home, and those who were privileged to join in them
now look back upon them as some of the very happiest hours of
their lives. " Miss Hearn's Class-room " was completed in October,
1887 ; the meetings were transferred there, and for a long time were
sustained with their old vigour and energy. The money required for
the furnishing of this room was all collected by the girls of the class.
As years passed. Miss Hearn's work and engagements pressed
so heavily, that she found herself quite unable to devote as much
time to her class as she had previously given. At this juncture (the
autumn of 1 891) Miss Ashton came into the class, and her coming
has been a real blessing in many ways. She has proved herself a
most willing helper in every endeavour of the class, and the
week evening meetings are now left to her. A special feature of
the work from its commencement is the personal and intimate interest
which is taken in the daily life of th6 members. This has been
greatly aided in the past by the many outings both the teachers have
had with the girls. Ten-day visits to the sea-side, in which as many as
70 joined one year and upwards of 40 another, have been the means
of drawing and holding the girls together in love and affection.
From February, 1888 to February, 1894 a Society known as the
Thrift Society flourished in the class. It was the means of a large
number saving their small amounts, and it started some in' the
purchase of houses of their own. This Society has ceased to exist
in that form, but a money club worked in connection with the evening
classes takes its place. There are one or two members still in
attendance who were with Miss Hearn on the first Sunday of her
Miss L. Ashton writes: In 1892, some of the members of
Miss Ream's Bible Class began a meeting on Sunday evenings for
the class of girls who attend no place of worship, going into the
streets and giving a personal invitation to those walking up and down.
The first evening 14 came : this number gradually increased, to an
average of about forty. The girls who came seemed to appreciate
IThe Sunday Schools, iii
the bright room and warm welcome they all received. The aim of
the meeting was to be bright and attractive, as well as simple and
earnest, that all who came might be won to the Saviour who loved
them. Soon followed a Sewing Meeting, which was held on Monday
night, when the girls were not only taught and helped to make their
own underclothing, but dress-making lessons were also given. Almost
from the beginning there has been a Bible Class in connection with
the Sunday night meeting. At first this was not looked upon with
favour by the girls, it being thought much too dull, but it soon became
With a view to helping the girls save their money a Bank
has been begun, which has been very well taken up by them. The
older class has allowed them the use of their library, which has
been much appreciated.
Some three years after the Young Women's Class was begun, a
meeting for the rough lads of the streets was started, being held in
the Young Men's Society's room. Very soon the room was full to over-
flowing, but great difficulty was experienced in maintaining order, and
soon it was found better on this account to have fewer in the class.
In connection with this meeting, there is a Reading Class, a Wood-
carving Class, and a Gymnasium Class. Soon after the Young Men's
was begun, a meeting for Boys was also started. In these meetings,
we are trying to obey the Master's injunction to " sow beside all
The young people's November services have roused their utmost
enthusiasm each year, and several hundred pounds raised thereby for
the class-rooms Building Fund.
SPRING LANE SUNDAY SCHOOL AND MISSION
seem to have started as an offshoot of College Street some time in
the thirties by Mr. William Gray, in conjunction with his brother, Mr.
Booth Gray. The scholars first met in a room in the house of Mr.
Benjamin Bassford, a general dealer and beer retailer, in Compton
Street j and the school soon led to the holding of public services in
the same room, for which purpose a certificate, still extant, was
obtained from the Registry of the Bishop of Peterborough in March,
1840. Mr. Robert Bartram followed Mr. William Gray in the
management of the school, which nine years later was transferred to
the present premises in Spring Lane. Here the school was
commenced in a small building erected by Mr. Bartram on a plot of
ground purchased by William Williams, Robert Brice, William Gray,
113 The Sunday Schools.
and himself for ^^23 i8s. 4d. Additions were made from time to
time, including enlargements in 1873 at an expenditure of ;^27o, and
in 1879, when an adjoining cottage was bought for ;;^i3o. Mr. John
Perry was superintendent of the schools at the time of the transfer
from Compton Street to Spring Lane. He was succeeded by Mr.
Parker Gray, who, in turn, was followed in 1872 by Mr. James
Mustill. In 1884 Mr. Frederick Kirby, the present superintendent,
took over the duties. It is gratifying to note that some of the present
teachers have been connected with the school without interruption
for over thirty years. The teachers conduct a mission on Sunday and
week-day evenings. The schools and mission have alike been
prosperous, and still further enlargements of the buildings were made
^n 1894, at a costof ;£32o.
BARRACK ROAD MISSION HALL
and Sunday School originated in a small Sunday School started in
1840 by Mr. William Gray, in a cottage in one of the squares in
Nelson Street, Kingsthorpe Road. In four or five years' time the
School was removed to another house in the same street, and again,
owing to notice to quit, to a third house, which was purchased by Mr.
William Gray, and here was carried on successfully for some years ;
but being found far too small and inconvenient, some land was
purchased at the top of the same street, and a School and Mission
Hall erected upon this site in 1861 by Mr. Parker Gray. A Bible
Woman was provided for the district in connection with the hall in
1865. In 1 88 1 the School-room in Nelson Street was sold, and the
present building, (originally a shoe factory) facing Barrack Road, was
purchased and fitted up to be used for the joint purposes of
Mission Hall and Sunday School. The list of Superintendents
commences with Mr. William Gray, who was followed in succession
by Mr. Parker Gray, Mr. Cox, Mr. Charles Grey, Mr. George
Cave, Mr. E.C. Ashford, Mr. Samuel Westley (formerly superintendent
of Compton Street Sunday School), Mr. Joseph W. West (who was
connected with the Schools for 42 years), Mr. F. A. Tebbutt, and Mr.
Arthur Kingham (the present Superintendent). The School is so
successful and the Mission Services are so well attended that enlarge-
ment is talked of.
Mr. THOMAS AGER.
iJll^HE branch at Duston was started in 1827 by George Shrews-
1^ bury, Robert Bartram, and Samuel Harris, who commenced a
Sunday School in the house of Mr. Harris' mother, in Peggy's
Lane. In a few months there were 83 scholars; and these over-
crowding the cottage, the Wesleyan room was hired for the Sunday
School. Preaching services were commenced, and, in 1837, College
Street Church decided that the village should be supplied with
" readers of the Scriptures " when their service was required. Among
the teachers who for many years journeyed from Northampton to the
School, were Mr. Thomas Ager, Jun., superintendent ; Mr. Manning
Phillips, and Mr. Ebenezer Howes ; and, at a later period, Mr. Samuel
Murdin. Mr. T. C. Thompson, J.P., is the present superintendent.
The present chapel was opened in the autumn of 1844, and was
improved and restored in the summer of 1888. The school, which is
extremely successful, is almost entirely staffed from Northampton.
Mr. George Hall, afterwards deacon at College Street, in 1856,
in building some houses in Alma Street, Far Cotton, set apart a
portion of one of them for a Sunday School. Nine children attended
the first Sunday. In the same house, preaching services were com-
menced by the Rev. N. Rowton, the father of Mrs. J. T. Brown.
Mr. Richard Cleaver was superintendent almost from the first, and in
1858 we find him reporting that the superintendency of the two
rooms was too much for him. Mr. Joseph Foddy was joint super-
intendent for many years. In i860, the needs of the neighbourhood
required that a chapel in Alma Street should be built. Here
services were conducted for 35 years, the cause being fostered from
beginning to end by Mr. Cleaver, who, in 1892, on account of failing
health, felt compelled to resign his position in the school. The
occasion was marked by the presentation of an address to him by the
teachers there. Mr. Alfred Cleaver is the present superintendent.
In 1892, the Rev. R. A. Selby, of Ringstead, was invited to become
minister at Far Cotton, an invitation h^_ accepted, commencing
his duties in the office on January ist, 1^93. On May 2 of the
same year the people were enchurched. They numbered 55
members, 51 of whom were transferred from College Street. The
old building becoming too small, a new and handsome chapel was
erected in 1894-5, the opening services being held on July 4,
1895. The Rev. J. G. Greenough, President of the Baptist Union,
114 Branch Churches.
preached the sermon. The new chapel seats 500 worshippers, and
the cost, including land, was jQz^S^^* There are about 300 scholars
in the Sunday School, and about 40 teachers.
The Baptist Chapel at Great Houghton was opened in September,
1850, built on land formerly belonging to Mr. Marriott. The cause
at first was mostly supplied from Milton and by Mr. Oakley, who
worked assiduously from the very beginning. " But it was a long
way from Milton, and on dark winter nights it frequently happened
that no supply came from there. And so it came about that it was
found advisable that Great Houghton should be taken over by
College Street." In April, 1861, a Committee, consisting of the
Deacons and Mr. Oakley, were appointed to manage the branch.
The cause has been well maintained ever since. Dr. Ryland twice,
at least, preached at Little Houghton.
Preaching services at Hardingstone in connection with the Bap-
tists seem to have been re-commenced in the last year of the
eighteenth century by Mr. R. Hall, who gathered a few friends into his
house on Sunday evenings for joint worship. Prior to that, pastors
of College Street, including Dr. Ryland, had frequently preached
there. After a few years, a barn with an earth floor was hired for the
services. At the commencement people brought their own seats.
There services were continued, with the aid of local preachers from
College Street, for about fifty years. In 1857 the barn was relin-
quished for a new building, which, opened by the Rev. J. T. Brown,
was paid for in about three years. The Sunday School was
commenced in 1858. Mr. George Hall, son of the founder of the
services, was the leader at Hardingstone until his death in January,
1896. His place is now taken by Mr. W. S. Marriott and Mr.
Thomas Adams. The chapel was renovated in 1888, and again in
WESTON FAVELL AND CHAPEL BRAMPTON.
Preaching services were held at both these villages for many
years. As early as March, 1837, we find that ten members of
College Street were appointed " to assist in the conduct of religious
service on Sabbath Evenings" at Weston Favell "by reading a sermon,
and if they feel so disposed, to make any remarks of their own."
In both villages the services were held in unfloored barns, and there
was no seating accommodation. People brought their own chairs.
Dr. Ryland preached several times at both the stations between 17 17
and 1785, generally at eight o'clock in the morning. The services
in each village were relinquished about 1848 in favour of the
Wesleyans, who in turn retired from two or three other villages in
the vicinity of Northampton.
. GEORGE HALL.
The Original Chapel Deed,
171 3, Aug. 7. By Indenture of this date made between
Thomas Barnes of the Town of Northton Taylor son and heire
of Edward Barnes late of the said Town of . Northton Taylor
deceased and Margaret Barnes Widdow and Relict of the said
Edward Barnes and mother of the said Thomas Barnes of the
one part and John Pheasant Shoemaker Robert Wilkins Wheel-
wright William Abbott Grocer George Palmer Barber Surgeon
James Weston Plaisterer Thomas Cooper Taylor Thomas Browne
Wooll Comber Nathaniel Sharpe Carpenter Thomas Marriott
Mason Jeremiah Basse Taylor all of the said Towne of Northton
and Samuel Haworth of Kislingbury in the said County
of Northton Weaver of the other part. In consideration of ;£^i6o
paid to Thomas Barnes and Margaret Barnes They granted unto
the said John Pheasant and others parties of the other part Nine
severall messuages or tenements formerly one messuage situate
altogether on the West side of a Lane in the parish of All Saints
in the said Towne of Northton called Colledge Lane then or late in
the severall tenures or occupacons of Thomas Crosse Edward
Spicer John Parker Nathaniel Browne William Hammond Alice
Phillis Benjamin Braine John Neale and Richard Darneland and
formerly in the occupacon of William Lord or his assigns A
messuage then or late in the occupacon of Samuell Percivall
adjoining to the same North and a messuage of one William
Sharpe adjoining to the same on the South and fronting a place
called the Swan back-gate Eastward a garden of Dr. King's lying
on the West thereof All which messuages or tenements were
lately purchased by the aforesaid Edward Barnes of James Hewett
of the said Towne of Northton Chapman and the said James
Hewett purchased the same of William Robinson of the said Town
of Northton Taylor. To hold unto and to the use of the said
John Pheasant and the other persons parties of the other part
their heirs and assigns for ever. Upon trust that so many of
the aforesaid messuages as should by the aforesaid Trustees or
the major part of them be judged sufficient should be made use
of for the erecting of a Meeting house or place of Religious
worship and that the same should for ever thereafter be used
for a place for religious worship and that the profits thereof and
also all the rents and profits of all the rest of the aforesaid
premises thereby granted should from thenceforth be received
and enjoyed by John Moore of the said Towne of Northton
Minister of a Congregation in the said Towne of Northton to
his own proper use during his naturall life & continuance to
ii6 l^he Original Chapel Deed,
live and inhabite in the said Town of Northton and from and
after the death of the said John Moore or from his removing
from Northton to dwell and inhabite in any other place which
should first happen Then for the benefitt advantage and proper
use of such other person and persons as should thereafter from
time to time be elected and chosen in such sort and manr^e^
as was thereinafter mentioned and agreed to be Minister or
Teacher of the people or Congregation that should assemble and
meet in the said place so intended to be built for a place of
religious worship And for that end & purpose it was declared That
immediately after the death of the said John Moore or after
his removall from living and inhabiting at Northton aforesaid
the Minister or Teacher of the aforesaid Congregation or Religious
Assembly should from time to time for ever thereafter att a
Meeting in the said place to be publicly there appointed six
days before by the Deacons of the said Communion for the
time being be elected placed and displaced by the -majority of
the Communicants of the Congregation that should usually assemble
and meet in the said place for religious worship & com^^unicate
there & that should be present at such meeting that should be
so appointed for the purpose aforesaid. Then follow trusts for the
appointment of new Trustees when the number of Trustees is reduced
to five. Any Trustee inhabiting above five miles from Northampton
should not act, but his power should determine and be void.
Then follow other provisions which need not be set out here, and
the usual covenants for title. The Deed was executed by all
the thirteen parties, sealed and delivered in the presence^ of John
Abbott, Sam. Hartshorne, and Receipt for ;£^i6o purchase money
indorsed, signed, and witnessed.