Skip to main content

Full text of "Lancashire nonconformity, or, Sketches, historical & descriptive, of the Congregational and old Presbyterian churches in the county"

See other formats





Author of the "History of the Old Independent Chapel t 













EXACTLY four years have elapsed since the first prospectus of " Lancashire 
Nonconformity " was sent out to the public, and in Volumes V. and VI., now 
issued, the work receives its completion. Four years, however, do not by 
any means represent the amount of time consumed in its production ; for 
when that first prospectus was issued a not inconsiderable proportion of 
the work was already written, and materials were in hand for much of the 
unwritten portion, all of which had been a labour of many years. It 
is, therefore, with no light sense of relief that I look upon the finished 
thing. Amidst the claims of a busy pastorate, in a town where Noncon 
formity, in all its forms, has no little difficulty in maintaining its ground, 
together with the prospect of serious financial loss, it has required some 
courage to "endure unto the end." The work has never lost interest for 
me during its progress ; nor has the burden its weight. The possibility, 
however, of providing our churches with lessons, salutary and admonitory 
on the one hand, inspiring and encouraging on the other, and of contri 
buting towards a quickened interest in their work, prevented me from 
beating a retreat, though the temptation to do so has been often present. 
" Lancashire Nonconformity " makes no great pretentions. It is a 
modest attempt to write a very interesting story, and all that the author 
can say for himself is that neither time, labour, nor expense has been 
spared that the story might be told correctly. Of the imperfections of 
the work no one is more conscious than myself. Early ideals have been 
realised to a very limited extent, and from the beginning it became 
evident that absolute accuracy was impossible. I cannot refrain from 
repeating a regret, expressed in earlier volumes, that our demoninational 
" organs " are so often and so seriously inaccurate. Our Year Books, Calen 
dars, Magazines, &c., which in the case of many churches are the only 
available sources of information about their early history, manifest a 
supreme contempt for facts and figures ; and the obituary notices of 
brethren departed are often written by those who evidently only "know 
in part." It will considerably lighten the labours of any future historian, 
and save him hours of anxiety and irritation, if our churches will see that, 

viii. PREFA CE, 

as far as possible, only reliable information about themselves is printed, 
and especially that full and accurate records of their doings are kept. The 
character of the documents used in the production of the present work will 
in some measure explain any errors which it may be found to contain. In 
connection with this matter it may be added, that generally when a minister s 
name appears in successive volumes, and any difference in the accounts is 
detected, the latest information is the most accurate. 

The present volume covers only a part of the Manchester District of 
the Lancashire Congregational Union, yet it has considerably outrun the 
number of pages at first intended. Some churches may be disappointed 
because their histories are not more full, but if they will note the number 
whose histories had to be inserted they will see that greater fulness was 
not possible. It has been stated repeatedly, in circulars and earlier prefaces, 
that each volume is complete in itself ; but the pressure of space in the 
present one has compelled me, wherever possible, to ask the reader to 
consult other volumes for more details. 

Congregationalism appears in its strength in the part of the county 
with which this volume deals. The quick, vigorous, and courageous spirit 
which centres in the great Cottonopolis of Lancashire, has shown itself in 
continuous aggressive Congregational effort. Whereas at the commence 
ment of the century, when the Lancashire Congregational Union was 
born, there were barely half a dozen inconsiderable interests, now there 
is a large Congregational network in Manchester and neighbourhood, and 
many of the churches have both wealth, position, and numbers on their side. 
The story is not without incidents of a humiliating character, but on the 
whole it is full of encouragement, and it shows what great possibilities there 
are in Congregationalism, when it commands the loyalty of its own friends. 

The pleasing duty remains of acknowledging the kindness of innumerable 
friends. Pastors and deacons of churches, almost without exception, have 
promptly replied to my inquiries, and placed at my disposal all necessary 
church documents. The Rev. R. M. Davies has continued the loan of the 
County Union Reports, at much inconvenience to himself ; he has also given 
generous help in the collection of information about the Oldham Churches, 
and that in a year of unusual activity, and when the condition of his health 
made the lightening of his labours imperative. Drs. Hodgson and Thomson, 
of Manchester, also have supplied me with valuable information. The Rev. 
J. W. Kiddle has been most kind, and to him I am indebted for the historic 
outlines of three or four of the churches. G. H. Adshead, Esq., of Pendleton, 
who has interested himself in the work from its commencement, has sent me 
many documents from his valuable collection ; and Mrs. Macfadyen has per- 


mitted me the use of several manuscripts which the late Dr. Macfadyen, an 
enthusiast in Nonconformist history, had gathered together with pious care. 
The Rev. Thomas Green, M.A., and D. F. Howorth, Esq., F.S.A., of Ashton- 
under-Lyne, have been willing helpers ; and the Rev. Alexander Gordon, M.A., 
Principal of the Unitarian Home Missionary College, has revised the proofs 
of several of the older foundations whose congregations are now Unitarian. 
The Rev. D. John, the respected pastor of the Booth Street Welsh Congre 
gational Church, has written for me the story of Congregationalism 
amongst natives from the Principality, of whom Manchester contains not 
a few. The Rev. J. Barton Bell, of Ulverston, has again read the proofs 
of the whole volume ; and the index is mainly the work of the two lady 
friends who assisted in a like capacity in a previous volume. To all these 
friends, and many more whose names are unmentioned, my warmest thanks 
are given. 

I deem myself fortunate in being able to complete " Lancashire Noncon 
formity" in the Tercentenary year of British Congregationalism, in the 
Jubilee year of the Lancashire College, and in the Jubilee year of one of 
our most honoured ministers ; and if, in conjunction with these events, the 
production of this work shall help to a quickened interest in our Congrega 
tional history, I shall not think the labour has been in vain. 


Fishergate Hill, Preston, 
September, 1893. 




1. Monton Chapel I 10 

2. Congregationalism at Patricroft and Eccles n 16 

3. Congregationalism in Pendlebury and Neighbourhood 16 27 

4. Blackley Unitarian Chapel 2737 

5. Dob Lane Chapel, Failsworth 385 

6. Gorton Protestant Dissenters Chapel 5 62 

7. Outside the City : The Circle Completed 6280 


1. Cross Street Chapel 81107 

2. Cannon Street Congregational Church : Now Chorlton 

Road Church 107132 

3. Grosvenor Street Congregational Church 133 137 

4. Mosley Street (now Cavendish Street) Congregational 

Church I37H7 

5. Platt Chapel M7 J 58 

6. Longsight and Rusholme Congregational Churches 158165 

7. Rusholme Road, Tipping Street, and Stockport Road 

Congregational Churches 166174 

8. Hulme (now Zion Chapel, Stretford Road), and Greenheys 

Congregational Churches, with Vine Street Mission 

Church 174-180 

9 Ancoats, Oldham Road, and Ashley Lane Congregational 

Churches l8o ~ l88 

10. Harpurhey, Queen s Park, and Newton Heath Congre 
gational Churches 188192 

n. Cheetham Hill, Broughton, Broughton Park, and High- 
town Congregational Churches 192196 

12. A Chapter of Fragments 196207 




1 . New Windsor Congregational Church 208 213 

2. Chapel Street Congregational Church 213 217 

3. Hope and Richmond Chapels Branches from Chapel 

Street 217224 

4. Pendleton (Broad Street), Charlestown, Seedley, and 

Regent (Trafford Road) Congregational Churches ... 224 229 


1. Greenacres Congregational Church 230245 

2. Union Street Congregational Church 245 251 

3. Hope Congregational Church 251 257 

4. Regent Street, Townfield, and Derker Congregational 

Churches 258 261 

5. Werneth, Ashton Road, and Hollinwood Congregational 

Churches 261 264 

6. Royton, Shaw, and Heyside Congregational Churches... 264 268 

7. Waterhead, Pastures, and Springhead Congregational 

Churches 268 274 

8. Congregationalism at Middleton 275 279 


1. Early Nonconformity 280 287 

2. Dukinfield Old Chapel 287 295 

3. Albion Congregational Church 296 306 

4. Ryecroft Congregational Church 306 308 

5. Congregationalism in Dukinfield 308 313 

6. Denton and Droylsden Congregational Churches 314 318 

7 Stalybridge and Mossley Congregational Churches 318 323 

NOTES 325 327 

INDEX 329345 



ECCLES PARISH CHURCH .............................. 2 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 


(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

WORSLEY OLD HALL ........................... 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 


(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

THE REV. JOHN BRADFORD .................... 

(From an old Print.) 

(From a drawing in the possession of the Rev. John Ellis.) 


, 49 


...... 76 

MARPLE ................ 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

. 83 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 


POOL HOUSE, WITH ITS DUCKING STOOL .................. 88 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 


(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

DEAN Row CHAPEL, ERECTED ABOUT 1688 .................. 95 

(From an old Print.) 

DR. JOHN BYROM .................................... no 

(Lent by the Proprietors of the Manchester Weekly Times.) 

BYROM S HOUSE, HANGING DITCH ........................ m 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

KERSAL CELL: A SEAT OF THE BYROMS ..................... 112 

(By permision of Mr. John Heywood.) 

THE REV. TIMOTHY PRIESTLEY ........................... 118 

(From an old Print.) 

THE REV. J. A. MACFADYEN, M.A., D.D ..................... 128 

(By permission of the Deacons of Chorlton Road Congregational Church.) 


(By permission of the Deacons of Chorlton Road Congregational Church.) 

CAVENDISH STREET CHAPEL .............................. 143 

(Lent by the Rev. J. W. Holdsworth.) 

ORDSALL HALL ......... . ............................. *49 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

BIRCH CHAPEL ....................................... i5 2 

(From an old Print.) 

IVY CHAPEL, LONGSIGHT .............................. 160 

(Lent by the Rev. W. M. Westerby.) 



(Lent by the Rev. J. R. Murray, M.A.) 


(Lent by Mr. C. Goodyear, Librarian, Lancashire College.) 


(Lent by Mr. C. Goodyear, Librarian, Lancashire College.) 


(Lent by Mr. C. Goodyear, Librarian, Lancashire College.) 


(By permission of Mr. John Hey wood.) 


(From an old Print.) 



(From an old Print.) 

(From an Old Print.) 


(Lent by the Deacons of the Church.) 


(Lent by the Rev. R. M. Davies.) 


.. 265 

(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 

. 286 

(From an old Print.) 



THE OLD CHAPEL IN HARROP S YARD ............... _ 298 

(By permission of the Proprietors of the Ashton Reporter.) 


(Lent by D. F. Howorth, Esq., F.S.A.) 


(Lent by the Rev. J. M. Craven.) 


(By permission of Mr. John Heywood.) 




AMONGST the two thousand ministers who suffered ejectment by 
the Act of Uniformity, in 1662, was the Rev. Edmund Jones, 
B.A., vicar of Eccles Parish Church. His father was the Rev. 
John Jones, who was instituted to the vicarage of Eccles, January 
9th, 1610-11, and Edmund Jones was born here in 1624. He 
was admitted into St. John s College, Cambridge, October, 1645, 
and ordained as his father s successor at Eccles, January 25th, 
1649-50. After his ejection, Calamy says, he "preached in 
private, and when authority allowed it more publicly." 1 The Rev. 
John Angier, of Denton, in a diary now lost, says that Mr. Jones 
was arrested for his Nonconformity, October 8th, 1663, and the 
Rev. Henry Newcome, M.A., writes thus, under date August 
i6th, 1668 : 

I was told by a dear friend that certificates from the Bishop were granted 
against Mr. Jones and Mr. Martindale for preaching at Gorton, and that it 
was given out that a third should come out against me for preaching in my 
own house. 2 

It is clear from these statements that Mr. Jones, like most of 
the Nonconformists of that period, passed through many hard- 

1 " Nonconformist s Memorial " (1802), vol. ii., p. 362. 
s " Autobiography of Henry Newcome " (Chetham Society Series, vol. 
xxvii.), p. 171. 


ships, which continued with little abatement until the date of his 
death, May and, 1674. Calamy describes him as a man of 
" excellent abilities, and an able scholar, naturally very rhetorical." 1 

To this may be added the testimony of Henry Newcome : 

May 3 [1674], The news came to me (Lord s day, at dinner) of the death 
of my dear friend and brother in the work and patience of the Gospel, Mr. 
Edmund Jones, who died last night of a short sickness. A great breach it 


is upon us. He was a true-hearted, serious man, and a faithful minister. 
The Lord awaken us. The next day, being May 4th, Mr. Tilsley preached 
at his funeral at Eccles an excellent sermon on 2 Tim., iv., 7, 8. 2 

Probably the people to whom Mr. Jones extended his occasional 
ministrations " in private," and " more publicly" when not prevented 

1 "Nonconformist s Memorial " (1802), vol. ii., p. 362. 

2 " Autobiography of Henry Newcome" (Chetham Society Series, vol. 
xxvii.) p. 206. Much interesting information respecting the Rev. Edmund 
Jones and his father, John Jones, will be found in the Minutes of the 
Manchester Classis, recently published by the Chetham Society. 


by the civil authorities, were some of his old congregation who 
had sympathy with his views ; at any rate about this time a Non 
conformist congregation was accustomed to meet at Monks Hall, 1 
in the neighbourhood of Eccles, having as pastor the Rev. Roger 
Baldwin, who had been ejected from Penrith in 1660, and Rain- 
ford, near St. Helens, in 1662. He continued until his death, June 
igth, 1695, when he was succeeded 2 by the Rev. Thos. Crompton, 
M.A. Mr. Crompton was a native of Great Lever, near Bolton, 
being born there in 1634, and educated at Oxford University. 
He was minister at Toxteth Chapel, Liverpool, in 1657, and "after 
the Act of Uniformity took place he continued to enjoy the liberty 
of the public chapel, being some way privileged." 3 His colleague 
at Liverpool for many years was the Rev. Michael Briscoe, formerly 
of Walmsley, near Bolton, whose sturdy Independency brought 
upon him many troubles. As already stated, Mr. Crompton 
took charge of the Congregation at Monks Hall 4 on the death of 
Mr. Baldwin, but he was not permitted to hold it long. Death 
terminated his life and labours on September 2nd, 1699. Previous 
to this, however, Mr. Crompton and his people had built for 
themselves a place of worship at Monton, which even now is quite 
rural, and then must have been " an out-of-the-way and secluded " 
spot. 5 The site was purchased in 1697, and the chapel, which 
cost ^150, was probably erected in that or the following year. 
Mr. Crompton s successor was the Rev. Jeremiah Aldred, who 
was educated at the Rathmell Academy by the Rev. Richard Frank- 

1 The reader is referred to vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity" for 
a view of Monks Hall and a full account of Mr. Baldwin. 

2 Not immediately, for Oliver Heywood speaks of him as Thomas 
Crompton of Liverpool, in June, 1696 (Turner s "Yorkshire County 
Magazine" for January, 1893, p. 14). 

3 Calamy s "Nonconformist s Memorial" (1802), vol. ii., p. 378. 

4 It appears that Oliver Heywood, on what proved to be his last visit to 
Lancashire, preached at Eccles on Wednesday, June 3, 1696. In a passage 
from his diary, which Hunter gives (" Life of Oliver Heywood," p. 388), he 
says that, accompanied by Dr. Neeld, " we preached in their meeting place, 
a large barn, to a full assembly ; sat with my Lord Willoughby afterwards ; 
then we went to Eccles Church ; dined and returned to Manchester." Was 
this barn at Monks Hall ? I think so. 

5 " History of Monton Chapel." by the Rev. T. E. Poynting, p. 16. 


land, and ordained at Attercliffe, September nth, 1688. What 
charge he had previous to his coming to Monton I have not 
ascertained j 1 but he continued here until his death in 1729. His 
tombstone in the chapel yard is thus inscribed : 

Here Lyeth the Body of y e 


Minister of this place, who 

died August 26 th 17292 in the 6g th 2 

year of his age. Also the 

Body of Mary his wife who 

died Sep. 30 1729 2 in the 6g th " 

year of her age. Also y e Body 

of leremiah Aldred their son 

who died Sep. 3rd 1727 in the 

28 th year of his age. 3 

It was during Mr. Aldred s ministry, in June, 1715, 4 that Monton 
Chapel was wrecked by a Church and King mob, led by Tom 

1 In the Minutes of the United Brethren (Cheetham Society Series, 
vol. xxiv.) Mr. Aldred is mentioned as representing some place in the Bolton 
District from April, 1695, to April 1699. After that he appears as a member 
of the Manchester Classis. 

- These are singular coincidences. 

3 Miall, in his "Congregationalism in Yorkshire " (p. 375), gives the 
Rev. John Aldred as another of the Rev. Jeremiah Aldred s sons, who was 
in the ministry for some time at Wakefield, in Yorkshire. The Rev. 
Ebenezer Aldred, who died at Sheffield, October 25, 1822, aged seventy- 
seven years, was the son of the Rev. John Aldred and grandson of the Rev. 
Jeremiah Aldred. He was for many years a Dissenting minister in 

4 There is stillm existence an imperfect MS. containing the depositions 
of several persons respecting the Monton riots, amongst them being that of 
the minister of Monton Chapel. It reads as follows : 

Jeremy Aldred of Mounton in the County of Lane., clerke, aged 55 years, 
being sworn and exa i ed, saith that since his Ma tyes accession to throne and 
before the first of Augt 1715 to witt, on the 13 th and twenty first day of June 
in that year this depont was p sent and did see a number of people, being 
forty or more in number the latter time, and a hundred or two the former 
time who came in a riotous and tumultuous maner to the Chappell or meet 
ing house in Mounton, used for divine worship by protestant dissenters, and 
at those times .... the seats, pews, a great part of the walls, and the slate 


Syddall, who was subsequently hanged. The congregation says 
Mr. Poynting received by way of compensation from the Govern 
ment "^140, repaired their chapel, and placed the present oak 
pews and pulpit in it. There is a tradition that the bell was 
thrown by a member of the congregation into a neighbouring pit 
or pool, whence it was afterwards fished up." 1 Mr. Aldred was 
the intimate friend of Matthew Henry, who joined with his con- 
o-re^ation in requesting him to be his successor at Chester, but 
after " much serious deliberation and prayer the application was 
negatived." 3 The congregation at this time was one of the largest 
Nonconformist gatherings in the county, numbering 612 persons, 
of whom twenty-nine were county voters. 

Mr, Aldred was succeeded almost immediately by the Rev. 
John Chorley, connected, I imagine, with the Chorley family, of 
Preston, and so with the Rev. Josiah Chorley, M.A., for many 
years minister of the Octagon Chapel, Norwich. For some time 
he was tutor to the family of Sir Robert Dukinfield, and this led 
to his marrying Jane Dukinfield, the daughter of Sir Robert. His 
ordination took place in 173, the ceremony being performed by 
the Rev. Messrs. Knight, Jones, and Mottershead. It is supposed 
that he inclined towards Arianism, and so led the way for the 
greater theological changes which were eventually to appear in 

and roofe of the said meeting house, and most of the other parts of the walls 
which were left standing, were soe shaken that they were afterwards forced 
be taken downe. This depon saith he was not an Eye-witnesse or spectato 
whilst all the said damages were done; but is well assured that thesame was 
done by the said Rioters, for that he tnett them as they were going t 
the former time, and would have p vailed with them to returne back, but 
could not ; and this Depont actually saw them com tting part of the s 
dam ages the latter of the said times. He saith the Riotters at the former 
time took away severall arms and goods, the value whereof (besides . . a.n 
were by the best computac on worth 7" I 7 S 4 d , and that the ex . .or 
get those goods again* came to 3" i5 s 3* i the charges of guarding the , 
meeting house came to 7 i S* 4 d ; and the charges of Pf^ecuteing se 

Rioters (besides a bill of costs to Mr. John Richardson & Mr Parr) 
5 u I4 s. . and the said Mr. Richardson and Mr. Parrs bill amount to 
4" i 5 .._Signed J E R : A LD R E D.-(Cop ie d from "The Palatine Note I 
for Nov., 1882, p. 242). 

1 " History of Monton Chapel," p. 20. 

a " Manchester Socinian Controversy," p. 149- 


the congregation. He, too, lies in the graveyard of the chapel, and 
his tombstone contains the following inscription : 


Lyeth the remains of y e 

of this Place Obiit May 13 th 

1764 Aetatis Suae 61. Also JANE 

his wife Dau tr of S r Rob Duck 

enfield Bar who died May n th 

1781 Aged 91. Also JOHN CHORLEY 

Junr their son who died Jany 

4 th 1826 in the 89 th year of his age. 

Also ELLEN the wife of John Chorley 

Junr who died July io th 1809 in 

the 54 th year of her age. 

The Rev. Richard Hodgson was the next minister. He was 
the son of the Rev. John Hodgson, of Lincoln, educated at 
Daventry 1 by Dr. Caleb Ashworth, being a student there in 1753, 
and settled at Ossett, in Yorkshire, in 1759. His ordination took 
place in 1762, and in 1765 he removed to Monton. He remained 
until about 1771, when he left for Nantwich, where he continued 
nearly thirty years, keeping a school in addition to his pastoral 
duties. His next and last charge was Doncaster, from 1800 to 1815, 
where he died, on Thursday, January i8th, 1816, in the 8ist 
year of his age. The Rev. Richard Bolton is named by Mr. 
Poynting as successor to Mr. Hodgson, and he says that he began 
in June, 1771, and died in 1773. I am inclined to think that 
there is some error about these dates, and especially about the 
latter. Mr. Bolton held pastorates at Rochdale and Preston, and 
the reader is asked to consult previous volumes of this work for 
further information respecting him. 2 

In a paper which he wrote for the Royal Society during his resi 
dence at Monton Mr. Bolton gives some interesting particulars about 
his congregation, most of whom he describes as " farmers, remark- 

1 A writer in the "Monthly Repository" for 1816 (p. 243) wrongly 
places him amongst the Warrington students. 

2 Vide vol. i., p. 16, and note i ; vol. iii., p. 242. There is evidence that 
Mr. Bolton was at Preston after 1781. 


able for their diligence, sobriety, and long life." The Rev. John 
Ludd Fenner followed. He, also, was educated at Daventry, and 
settled first at Eicester, removing thence to Monton in 1774. He 
remained until 1779, when he became pastor of the Dissenting 
congregation at Devizes. Subsequently he was at Taunton and 
Kenilworth. 1 He died at Taunton in 1833, aged eighty-two years. 
The Rev. H. Smith comes next, removing in 1786 to North 
Shields, and eventually seceding to the Church of England. The 
Rev. Harry Toulmin held the pastorate from 1787 to 1788, when 
he removed to Chowbent. 2 The Rev. George Wiche followed Mr. 
Toulmin. He was a native of Taunton, and nephew 
of the Rev. John Wiche, "the correspondent and friend 
of Lardner." He was educated partly at Hoxton and partly 
at Daventry, settling at Monton in 1788. He remained until 
the close of 1795, when, having scruples about preaching 
for hire, 3 he resigned, and " went to London to seek 
employment, and, as he considered it, moral independence. After 
many difficulties and privations, now seeking employment, now 
employed in the warehouse of a silversmith, now in a cheese 
warehouse, and now in a bottle warehouse, he emigrated to New 
York as agent to a mercantile house in Manchester. Disappointed 
in this situation he hastened to join his old friend Mr. Toulmin, in 
Kentucky, but took the yellow fever in Philadelphia, and died." 
This was on August 23rd, 1799, at the age of thirty-three years. 
The Rev. Thomas Knowles was minister from 1796 to 1797, 
dying in the latter year, and being succeeded by the Rev. Robert 
Smethurst. He was born at Blackley, near Manchester, July 29th, 
1777, "a year long remembered in that village as that in which an 

1 Mr. Poynting says that he removed from Monton to Nantwich, but 
that is an error. 

2 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for additional informa 
tion respecting Mr. Toulmin. 

3 He published in 1796 : 



On resigning the office of an Hired Preacher. 


alarming earthquake occurred, on Sunday, September I4." 1 His 
ministerial training was obtained at the Manchester Academy, 
and his settlement at Monton took place in May, 1798. "In the 
same year," says his biographer, " he received the appointment of 
Stand School, an office which he filled during twenty-four years. 
The appointment compelled him to reside at Stand, which is dis 
tant six miles from Monton." 2 For nearly fifty years he laboured 
here, resigning his life and ministry together in October, i846. 3 In 
the chapel graveyard, near to the Rev. Jeremiah Aldred s grave, 
is a tombstone thus inscribed : 

This vault contains the remains of the 

Green Hill, Stand, 
Who died October i5th, 1846, 

in the yoth year of his age 
and the 5oth of his ministerial labours at this place. 

In the early part of his ministry in 1802 the chapel was 
rebuilt, and it was in his day that Unitarianism came to be 
" boldly preached." The Rev. Thomas Elford Poynting, who was 
educated at the Manchester New College, was appointed assistant 
to Mr. Smethurst a few months before his death, subsequently 
taking sole charge of the congregation. In addition to his pastoral 
duties, he held for three years the post of Theological Tutor of 
the Unitarian Home Missionary Board, Manchester. In 1875* 
the old chapel was replaced by the present handsome structure, 
which cost some ^"20,000. In the vestry is a copy of the brass 
plate laid over the cavity of the foundation stone, which reads thus : 

This Church, 

erected by the Congregation of 
Christians worshipping in the 

Ancient Chapel near this 

spot, is dedicated to the worship 

of God the Father Almighty. 

August soth, 1873. 

1 " Christian Reformer " for 1848, p. 57. 

2 Ibid. 

3 The Rev. John Smethurst, for some time minister at Knutsford, in 
Cheshire, and who died in America in 1820, was the younger brother of the 
Rev. Robert Smethurst. 

4 The memorial stone was laid in 1873. 



Building Committee: 
SILAS LEIGH, President. 
JOHN BROOK, J. P., Chairman. 
HENRY LEIGH, Treasurer. 
JOHN DENDY, B.A., Secretary. 

Mr. Poynting died shortly after the erection of the new- 
building, in 1878, being laid in the graveyard where several of 
his predecessors rest. His tombstone contains the following : 

In Memory of 

for 31 years Minister of this Place. 
Died February 28th, 1878, aged 64 years. 1 

The Rev. James Harwood, B.A., educated at Manchester New 
College and Leipzig, held the pastorate from November 3rd, 1878, 
to October 26th, 1884, when he removed to Nottingham, and is 
now at Brixton, London. He was followed on April 26th, 1885, 
by the present minister, the Rev. Philip Martineau Higginson, 
M.A. He is the grandson of the Rev. Edward Higginson, for 
ten years a minister at Stockport, and twenty at Derby ; and he 
is the nephew of Dr. James Martineau. His training was 
received at Manchester New and University Colleges, and pre 
vious to his settlement at Monton he had laboured for thirteen 
years at Styal, in Cheshire. 

On October i3th, 1888, Miss Lydia S. Leigh, daughter of Mr. 
Henry Leigh, J.P., laid the memorial stone of the present 
Monton Memorial Schools. It ought to be stated that the 
congregation is deeply indebted for many generous gifts to mem 
bers of the Leigh and Booth families. The church is beautifully 
situated, being surrounded by a number of fine tall trees. It is 
close to Monton Green station, and has accommodation for over 
500 people. 

1 It has already been indicated that Mr. Poynting wrote a " History of 
Monton Chapel," which, though not free from errors, has been found to be 
exceedingly useful. 



IN the year 1796 Mr. Joseph Rawson, 1 formerly of Keighley, then 
of Manchester, " having many persons residing in the neighbour 
hood in his employment," directed his attention " to their 
spiritual wants," 2 and in that way originated Congregationalism at 
Patricroft. The following passage informs us where the earliest 
efforts were made : 

Preaching was commenced in the first instance in a barn in Liverpool 
Road, which stood near to what is now called Bradshaw Street, but which is 
better known as Neddy Lane. In this place divine service was held as 
regularly as supplies could be obtained, the supplies having to come from 
Manchester and the surrounding districts. After worshipping for some time 
in the barn, the friends removed to a room on the west side of Patricroft 
Bridge. In this room they continued to worship for about two years, when 
they again removed to a house adjoining, occupied by Mr. John Bate. Here 
the Sunday School was formed. 

In 1800 a chapel was erected, and the following notice of the 
opening service is extracted from the Evangelical Magazine for 
September of that year : 

On Monday, April 14, 1800, a chapel was opened at Patricroft, near 
Manchester, by the Rev. Messrs. Smith and Roby, for the encouragement of 
village preaching. We remark that the congregation, for whose convenience 
this chapel was erected, has been collected principally by the successful 
labours of some worthy members of the church in Cannon-street, Man 
chester, who have in other places likewise been very useful.- 

The church was formed not, as the "Lancashire Congrega 
tional Calendar" states, in 1800, but in 1804, as the subjoined 
passage from the Patricroft Church Book shows : 

The following members of Patricroft Church were members of the Inde 
pendent Church, Cannon Street, Manchester, under the pastoral care of the 

good man died June 1st, 1824, aged seventy years, and was 
interred in the graveyard of Patricroft Chapel. His tombstone states^ that 
the "cause of Christ in this place originated in his Christian exertions." 

2 Sermon in Patricroft Chapel, by the Rev. William Place, September 
7th, 1879, on the occasion of his twelfth anniversary as pastor of the church. 
For many interesting particulars I am indebted to Mr. Place s sermon. 

3 Page 395. 


Rev. William Roby, and were by desire dismissed from that church for the 
express purpose of forming themselves into a separate Independent Church 
at Patricroft. They received a regular dismission at a church meeting held 
at Cannon Street on the 3rd of February, 1804, and immediately formed 
themselves into a Church at Patricroft. Their names were Moses Eadon, 
James Massey, George Partington, 1 John Bate, Mary Bate, James Cook, 
Mary Cook, and James Derbyshire. 

The first minister of the church was the Rev. John Adamson, a 
native of Scotland. He was born July i2th, 1774, left an orphan 
early in life, and settled in Liverpool at the beginning of this 
century, where he attended the ministry of the Rev. David Bruce, 
of Newington Chapel. Thence he went to Mr. Roby s Academy, 2 
Manchester, to be educated for the ministry, settling at Patricroft 
in 1807. His ordination took place on Tuesday, August 3oth, 
1808, when "Messrs. Sowden, Evans, Bradley, Roby, Jack, 
Coles engaged in the service ; and Mr. Fletcher preached in the 
evening." 3 Mr. Adamson, as was customary with the Congrega 
tional ministers of that time, had preaching services in several of 
the villages around, Eccles being amongst the number; and to 
help him in this work a small grant was made from the funds of 
the County Union in 1810. Shortly afterwards the chapel at 
Patricroft was enlarged, towards meeting the expense of which he 
collected in London about ^300. In November, 1821, Mr. 
Adamson removed to Charlesworth, in Derbyshire, where he 
laboured until May, 1847, when growing infirmities disabled him 
for service. 4 He died October 3151, 1848. His successor in the 
pastorate at Patricroft was the Rev. D. H. Creighton, from 
January, 1822, to January, 1828. He removed to Dublin, where 
he resided several years without pastoral charge. The Rev. 
John Bramall, a student from Highbury College, was the next 
minister. He was born at Heaton Norris, near Stockport, and 

1 Subsequently a Congregational minister in Lancashire and Derby 
shire. Vide vols. ii. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Jn the list of students educated by Mr. Roby, printed in Slate s 
"History of the Lancashire Congregational Union," Mr. Adamson s name is 
not given. 

3 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1809, p. 218. 

4 "Congregational Year Book" for 1848. 



was brought up in the Established Church, the church of his 
parents. Removing to Coventry, he came into contact with the 
Rev. John Sibree, Congregational minister there, whose church 
he eventually joined, and through whom he found his way into 
college. He settled at Patricroft in 1830, removing to Stainland, 
in Yorkshire, in March, 1841. His next charge was at Swanland, 
near Hull, where his health broke down. He resigned in Sep 
tember, 1850, and went to reside at Islington, attaching himself 
to Union Chapel, of which the late Dr. Allon was pastor. He 
died there on the igth of January, 1864, aged sixty years. The 
Rev. T. H. Smith, who had been educated at Rotherham College, 
and had laboured at Denton about four years, succeeded Mr. 
Bramall in May, 1843. He resigned in August. 1848, and 
resided some time in Manchester without charge. The Rev. 
George Shaw, a student from Rotherham College is the next on, 
the ministerial roll, beginning his labours on the 2oth of July, 
1851. This ministry is noteworthy because of the enlargement 
of the chapel and removal of a debt of ^400. He resigned on 
the 3oth of September, 1866, and removed to Woodbridge, in 
Suffolk. He is now living at Hyde, near Manchester, in retire 
ment. The Rev. William Place, who was educated at Airedale 
College, and who had previously laboured at Whitehaven, entered 
upon duty as the sixth pastor on September 8th, 1867. In 1870, 
the old chapel, which had sitting accommodation for about 300 
people, was superseded by the present one, which contains 750 
sittings. The cost, including land and fencing, was ,4,373- 
The foundation stone was laid by Mr. Robert Wilson, of Patricroft, 
on July 3ist, 1869, and the building was opened for wor 
ship on April isth, 1870. The Revs. Dr. Allon, of 
London, and Hugh Stowell Brown, of Liverpool, being 
the preachers. Failing health brought about Mr. Place s resig 
nation and retirement from active duty in 1887. He is now 
resident at Southport. The present pastor, the Rev. J. H. 
Dingle, educated in the Free Methodist Institute, and who had 
previously spent a few years at Horncastle, Lincolnshire, followed 
Mr. Place in April, 1888. New school buildings have recently 
been erected at a cost of about ^2,500, towards which the 
Lancashire and Cheshire Chapel Building Society made a grant of 


^250. Mr. George Hadfield, J.P., who had promised to perform 
the opening ceremony on January i8th, 1893, was prevented 
through sickness, but he sent a cheque for^ioo, Dr. Mackennal, of 
Bowdon, taking his place. There are one or two items of interest 
which ought not to be absent from a sketch of Congregationalism 
here. One is that the church, previous to Mr. Place s settlement, 
had been for many years the recipient of a generous grant from 
the funds of the County Union; and the otherthat several notabilities 
were once connected with it, viz., George Hadfield, Esq., M.P., 
to whom Lancashire Congregationalism owes a deep debt of 
gratitude; James H. Heron, Esq., one of the most devoted 
friends of the County Union in its infancy, and father of Sir 
Joseph Heron ; Edward Baines, Esq., author of the History of 
Lancashire ; " and the Rev. Samuel McFarlane, now Dr. 
McFarlane, resident at Bedford, long and honourably associated 
with missionary effort in New Guinea. 

Congregationalism at Eccles is, strictly speaking, only a little 
over a quarter of a century old; 1 but. fifty years earlier, attempts 
had been made to establish an interest here. It has already been 
noted 2 that the Rev. John Adamson was in the habit of preaching 
at Eccles in 1810, and for several years after this the sum of $ 
appears in the Union Reports as rent for a preaching room here. 
The Report ending April, 1823, contains the following, which 
shows that the work had not quite died out at that date : 

Eccles has not yet claimed the conditional grant of pecuniary aid 
from the funds of the County Union, the friends in that neighbourhood 
having been disappointed in the hope of renting a suitable place to preach 
in. Renewed encouragement will stimulate them to renewed efforts. 

Neither the "encouragement" nor the "efforts" seem to have 

1 In the new edition of the "History of Lancashire" (vol. iii., 
p. 264) appears the following: "The first chape for the use of the Inde 
pendents or Congregationalists was erected at Eccles in 1759, at which 
time Mr. Chorley had become an advocate of Unitarian principles, and 
taught them unreservedly from his pulpit " On what authority this rests I 
do not know. I can find no evidence either traditional or documentary of 
any such early Independent church, and it is more than doubtful that Mr. 
Chorley was a Unitarian. 

2 Vide ante p. 12. 


been " renewed " during many years, for we have no further 
indication of Congregational work at Eccles until 1857, when we 
meet with the following : 

At the close of last year [1857] a chapel, several years ago occupied by 
the Primitive Methodists in this village [Eccles], upon undergoing various 
alterations and improvements, was re-opened for Divine worship in con 
nection with the Independent denomination, when three sermons were 
preached ; those in the morning and evening by the Rev. James Bruce, of 
Manchester, and that in the afternoon by the Rev. G. Shaw, of Patricroft. 
Appended to the building there is a large room, intended for Sabbath 
schools, and also to be used as a Temperance Hall. At the opening services 
and since, on the Sabbath, the attendance of hearers has been very en 
couraging. 1 

The honour of planting Congregationalism here belongs to 
Hope Chapel, Salford, during the pastorate of the Rev. G. B. 
Bubier, as the following sentences show : 

Several members of that church having become resident at Eccles, after 
a meeting for conference with their pastor, and with a few members of other 
churches residing in the neighbourhood, brought the religious necessities of 
the locality before the attention of their brethren, and requested the counsel 
and assistance of the church. It was unanimously resolved by the church to 
appoint a committee for the commencement of religious operations in the 
village, for the immediate erection of a chapel, and for the conduct of public 
services therein, until such time as a separate church might be formed. 
Several members of neighbouring Independent churches were subsequently 
added to that committee, and it was at once determined to secure a most 
eligible plot of land, admirably situated near the railway station, at the 
junction of the main street of the village with the principal road to Man 
chester. The friends at Hope Chapel were most generous in the contribu 
tion of funds, and were so powerfully assisted by those to whom the project 
was made known that the sum of 3,500 was speedily raised. 2 

The corner stone of the new building was laid on Good Friday, 
April 22 nd, 1859, by Mr. George Wood, when Professor Newth, of 
Lancashire College, offered the dedicatory prayer, and the Rev. 
G. B. Bubier delivered an address. It was opened for public wor 
ship on Good Friday, April 6th, 1860, when the Revs. Dr. Raffles, 

1(1 Evangelical Magazine " for 1858, p. 96. 

2 " Congregational Year Book " for 1860, p. 244. 


of Liverpool ; Samuel Martin, of London ; G. B. Bubier, of Man 
chester; and Dr. Halley, of London, were the preachers. Thechurch, 
which is of the "early decorated style of Gothic architecture," is a 
most handsome structure, with a tower and spire, and has accom 
modation for 800 people. " Two features of this movement," says 
the "Year Book," "are deserving of attention. First, a Christian 
Church colonising, by the advice and with the active co-operation 
of its pastor, and all the members ; and, secondly, a church and 
schools to be built and opened free from debt." * The church was 
formally constituted on June i2th, 1860, when the Rev. G. B. 
Bubier preached, and Professor Newth, of Lancashire College, 
delivered an address. A letter was read "of great spiritual beauty 
and tenderness from the church at Hope, transferring fifteen of its 
communicants to constitute the first members of the church at 
Eccles. To this number fourteen others were added by letters of 
transfer from other churches." The first pastor of the young 
church was the Rev. G. H. Brown, a student from New College, 
London, who began his labours July 2yth, 1862, being ordained 
on September 4th of that year. In 1883 the church was enlarged 
by east and west transepts, which, with organ improvements, cost 
about ^"2,800. 

Mr. Brown concluded a long and useful ministry here in March, 
1884, removing to Christchurch, Bristol, where he still labours. 
The Rev. H. H. Carlisle, LL.B., educated at Cheshunt, and who 
had previously laboured at Southampton about twenty-six years, 
succeeded Mr. Brown on April i2th, 1885. He resigned in 
November, 1891, and is now at Scarborough. The present 
minister is the Rev. J. R. Bailey. He was educated at Lancashire 
College, and previous to his settlement at Eccles, in 1893, held im 
portant pastorates at Carlisle and Halifax. 


IN the Report of the County Union for the year ending April, 
1819, is the following interesting passage, which, besides supply 
ing us with information respecting the origin of the Pendlebury 

* " Congregational Year Book" for 1860, p. 244. 


Congregational Church, vividly describes the moral condition of 
the people at the time : 

Among the new l spheres of labour which have been entered upon in this 
district since the last anniversary, Pendlebury and its neighbourhood are de 
serving of special attention. Our brethren, ADAMSON, JACKSON, DYSON, and 
SLATE, have preached here alternately on Sabbath evenings during the past 
half-year, to congregations regularly amounting to three hundred, and 
occasionally to four hundred persons. The population is very considerable, 
and so proverbially profligate that the place is commonly called by the most 
awful and tremendous names. Several individuals begin to express a serious 
concern for their souls. It behoves the Union to follow up the advantages 
gained over the Prince of Darkness in so distinguished a part of his territories, 
by the adoption of some vigorous measures. 

The " brethren " whose names are given in the foregoing extract 
lived considerable distances away : the Rev. John Adamson was at 
Patricroft, the Rev. Thomas Jackson at Wharton, the Rev. Joseph 
Dyson at Farnworth, and the Rev. Richard Slate at Stand. Nor 
were distance and bad roads the only difficulties they had to face. 
It is especially recorded of the Rev. Joseph Dyson that he " often 
met with a warm reception in passing through Clifton by being 
pelted with stones ; " but the Congregational ministers of a century 
ago counted not their lives "dear" unto themselves in their 
enthusiasm to evangelise the country. 

The services at Pendlebury about this time were conducted in a 
house in Union Street, the upper room being occupied by the 
Congregationalists, and the lower one by a Church of England 
Sunday School. In 1821 the first chapel was erected 2 in Chapel 
Street. It was opened on the uth of June, when sermons were 
preached by the Revs. J. Dyson, of Farnworth, and J. A. Coombs, 
of Manchester, the Revs. J. Adamson and Richard Slate taking 
the devotional exercises. The congregation in the evening, it is 
recorded, was " so large as to render it necessary to conduct the 

i It should be pointed out that Pendlebury in 1818 was not an absolutely 
new " sphere of labour, for Mr. Adamson, of Patricroft, had been accustomed 
to preach there and at Folly Lane, Roe Green, and Boothstown some 
seven years previously. r , 

* The "Union Report" says "by one of the hearers for the use 
congregation and Sunday School." 



worship in an adjacent field." Towards the end of 1823, or 
beginning of 1824, the Rev. John Penkethman, formerly of Whar- 
ton, was called to the pastorate of the church, and the following 
year (1825) it is reported that "Pendlebury cannot accommodate 
a larger congregation or school without a larger place of worship," 
and that a church had been formed, which then consisted of nine 
members. 1 In 1825 the second chapel, 2 "36 feet by 45 feet," was 
built, the opening sermons being preached by the Revs. Wm. 
Roby and S. Bradley, of Manchester. It is said that the sum 
expended on the building was raised at the time, except ^90. Mr. 
Penkethman had preaching stations at Swinton, Clifton, Wardley 
Lane, and Irlams o th Height. Trouble arising, he removed about 
1828 to Ashton-in-Makerfield. 3 After he removed 4 the cause sank 
rapidly, the membership of the church became reduced to three or 
four in number, and a committee of the County Union appointed to 
investigate matters advised dissolution with a view to a new 
beginning. 5 Eventually the advice was accepted, and a com 
mittee was formed out of the congregation to carry on the 
work. On the 28th of November, 1830, the Rev. John 

1 The " Lancashire Congregational Calendar," on what authority I 
know not, says the church was formed in 1820. It is just possible, but not 

a The first chapel was subsequently converted into two cottages. This 
second building was so beautifully situated that it was called the Chapel in 
the Gardens." The gardens have all gone, and very different is the prospect 

3 Vide vols. ii. and iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for additional 
information respecting him. 

4 A Mr. Elliott is said to have succeeded Mr. Penkethman, but he 
remained only a few months. 

5 The gentlemen composing this committee were the Revs. William 
Roby, R. S. McAll, J. A. Coombs, James Deakin, Joseph Dyson, and 
Messrs. B. Joule, S. Fletcher, and Barnes. They met at the house of Mr. 
Joule, then resident at Pendlebury, but a member of Mr. Roby s church ; and 
the late Rev. S. T. Porter, who was present on the occasion, says that the 
members refused to dissolve the church. "Once or twice," he says, "they 
pleaded Divine right ; then civil law ; then the eternal sacredness of Inde 
pendency ; and at last they shut themselves solidly up in the fastness We 
cannot, and we will not ; and it was not until the committee intimated that 
they could not give public money to such a church that dissolution followed." 


Anyon, of Inglewhite, near Preston, began his labours here, 
and on the nth of September, 1832, a church was again 
formed, consisting of eight members. The Report for April, 
1834, speaks of the erection of a gallery and improvements 
in the chapel accomplished during the year, and " paid for to the 
amount of ^300;" and that for 1840 of the prosperous condition 
of the church, which enabled the " friends to declare themselves 
independent of any pecuniary aid from the Union. The debt of 
^190, which was due upon the chapel to two individuals, has been 
liberally cancelled by them." In December, 1845, Mr. Anyon 
removed to Park Chapel, Ramsbottom, where he laboured until 
his death. 1 The Rev. Mark Hardaker followed in March, 1849, 
and at this time the church again became a recipient of help from 
the Union Funds. Mr. Hardaker removed to Horwich, in 
January. 1854," and was succeeded by the Rev. Alexander Bell in 
January, 1857. He was educated at Dublin, entered the ministry 
in 1843, labouring for some time in Ireland, and subsequently at 
Mottram, in Cheshire, whence he removed to Pendlebury. He 
preached farewell sermons "amid the good wishes of inany " on 
May ist, 1864, and removed to Westerham, in Kent. He is now 
resident in London without charge. The Rev. G. Rodgers, who 
was educated for the Baptist ministry, took charge of the church 
in August, 1864. He resigned in April, 1867, and subse 
quently held a pastorate for a short time at Stalbridge, in Dorset 
shire. The Rev. H. F. Walker, trained at Nottingham Institute, 
and who had previously laboured about two years at Uppingham, 
in Rutlandshire, entered upon his duties as successor to Mr. 
Rodgers August 9th, 1868. His ordination took place on 
November 22nd, 1869. In 1873 the church again became inde 
pendent of pecuniary help, and two years later it celebrated its 
jubilee at a meeting 3 presided over by Henry Lee, Esq., J.P. In 
1882 the old chapel, "which had long been felt to be unsuited to 

1 Vide vols. i. and iii. [of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for additional 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for more details. 

3 Mr. Walker read at this meeting an interesting sketch of the church s 
history, afterwards reprinted from the Swinton and Pendlebury Times, to 
which I am indebted for several particulars. 


the growing requirements of the district, was abandoned for a more 
imposing structure in Swinton, on a site central to the two 
villages." 1 Trinity Congregational Church, 2 as the new building 
is called, was opened for worship on June i3th, 1882, when Dr. 
Macfayden preached the sermon, the Revs. H. F. Walker (pastor) 
and W. H. Fothergill, of Heywood, assisting in the service. The 
cost of the sacred edifice was about ^"3,000, and it has sitting 
accommodation for 430 people. Mr. Walker removed two years 
later to Loughborough, in Leicestershire, where he still labours. 
His successor, in July, 1885, was the Rev. R. H. Cotton, M.A., 
who entered the Congregational ministry from the Established 
Church, He resigned in iSSg, 3 and was succeeded on the first 
Sunday in April. 1891, by the Rev. John Shuker, 4 of Tottington, 
who is the present minister. The old chapel at Pendlebury is still 
in existence, and is used as a Day and Sunday School. 

The Congregational Church at Worsley Road, Swinton, origi 
nated with a few men employed in the mill of John Gibb and 
Sons, Moorside, who, with the consent and co-operation of their 
employers, in March, 1861, began to hold a Sunday School in a 
large room belonging to the mill. About this time, also, the Rev. 
G. B. Bubier, pastor of Hope Chapel, Sdford, commenced services 
there, and a considerable congregation was speedily gathered. In 
1862 a grant was obtained from the County Union Funds, and in 
that year a church was formed, consisting of sixteen members, 
the Rev. G. B. Bubier officiating on the occasion. 

It is recorded, in 1863, of the "one hundred and ten scholars 
now in the school, seventy never previously attended any Sabbath 
School." 5 

Students from Lancashire College supplied the pulpit until May, 
1865, when the Rev. Peter Webster was appointed by the County 
Union to labour here. Amidst many difficulties, but not without 
success, Mr. Webster continued his ministry until April, 1879, 

1 " Lancashire Congregational Calendar" for 1883, p. 102. 

2 It is distant from the old chapel about half a mile. 

3 Mr. Cotton is now in the Episcopalian Church, in America. 
^Vide vols. i. and iii. of "Lancashire Nonconformity" 


5 Lancashire County Union Report," for the year ending April, lE 


when he resigned, subsequently removing to Preesall, near Fleet- 
wood. 1 Previous to this, however, he had seen the erection of 
the chapel in Worsley Road, Swinton. The building, which 
accommodates some 270 people, cost about ^1,450, and was 
opened free from debt, the congregation taking possession of their 
new home in November, 1870. The next minister was the Rev. 
W. H. Chesson, a student from Lancashire College. He began his 
labours in March, 1880, and succeeded in bringing the church to 
dispense with Union help. He resigned in June, 1887, and is now 
pastor of the Congregational Church at Alnwick, in Northumber 
land. The Rev. J. C. McCappin 2 had charge of the church from 
November, 1888, to June, 1890. The present minister, the Rev. 
P. Garrotte, who was educated at Rotherham, and had previously 
held pastorates at Barton-on-Humber and Sleaford, entered 
upon duty in August, 1890. At Moorside, which is about three- 
quarters of a mile from the Worsley Road Church, the friends 
conduct Pleasant Sunday Afternoon services in their British School. 
A mission in Folly Lane has been established. 

Before quitting this neighbourhood a few sentences must be 
devoted to an older interest still, which had a promising existence 
for a few years. About 1820, when the Rev. John Penkethman was 
minister at Wharton, he preached, amongst other places, at Edge 
Fold, where the room used for the purpose was usually crowded. 
In 1824 a chapel was erected in Hilton Lane, Worsley, by which 
name the interest here was henceforth called. It was capable of seat 
ing over 500 people, and was opened on June qth of that year, the 
preachers being the Revs. G. F. Ryan, of Stockport ; Wm. Roby, 
of Manchester ; and J. A. Coombs, of Salford. The collections on 
the occasion amounted to ^32, and it is said that a "considerable 
debt had been unavoidably incurred in the erection of this chapel, 
with the school under it, in which 300 poor children were 
educated." 3 There was at this time a church with a membership of 
nineteen and a congregation of about 300. The pastor was the 
Rev. William Oram, who was educated at Hackney. He resigned 
shortly after the chapel was opened, and was for many years a Con- 

1 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 " Evangelical Magazine " for 1824, p. 405. 

1H111A&* ^ W; I 


gregational minister at Benson, in Oxfordshire. The " County Union 
Report," for the year ending April, 1826, says that the people had 
invited the Rev. William Gothard, 1 whose stay also was short. 
The chapel appears to have been closed for some time after Mr. 
Gothard s removal, but it was re-opened in May, 1837, and in 
June of the year following the Rev. R. J. Matthews, from Nassing- 
ton, in Northamptonshire, took charge of the place. On August 
6th, 1838, he was "solemnly ordained," when the ministers 
assisting in the service were : Revs. J. Bramall, of Patricroft ; 
R. Fletcher, of Manchester ; Wm. Jones, of Bolton ; J. Anyon, of 
Pendlebury ; J. Dyson, of Farnworth ; and Dr. Clunie, of Man 
chester. 2 Mr. Matthews remained some considerable time after 
this, but the church, which had for a year or two received grants 
from the Union Funds, ceased to be in association with the Union, 
and eventually became extinct. Mr. Matthews subsequently 
laboured at Shipdham, in Norfolk. He died in London, January 
23rd, 1868, aged eighty years. 

Proceeding in a north-easterly direction we come to Prestwich 
(Besses o th Barn) Congregational Church, on the other side of 
the Irwell. This church originated with the junior students of 
Lancashire College, who, assisted by one or two Manchester 
friends, began to conduct services here in 1863. 3 The present 
structure, capable of seating 800 people, was erected in 1865 at a 
cost of about ^"4,000, including that of the school, towards 
which the committee of the Bi-centenary Fund promised ^"1,000. 

1 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Evangelical Magazine" for 1839, p. 80. 

3 Mr. Jonathan Lees, of Manchester, father of the Rev. Jonathan Lees, 
ow an eminent missionary in China, pointed out the neighbourhood to a 

number of junior students as a promising field for work. Two of their 
number Mr. J. S. Waide, now of Springhead, near Oldham, and Mr. J. 
Stimpson, now of Thirsk went to view the land and consult with the Rev. 
Alexander Anderson, B.A., of Stand, who promised every assistance. 
Professor Newth, of Lancashire College, offered to be responsible for the 
expenses to the extent of 10. Two cottages were taken capable of 
accommodating about 120 people, and the first sermon was preached by a 
student, Mr. T. Cain, now pastor of the Stubbins Congregational Church, 
near Ramsbottom. On the first Sunday morning there were five scholars, in 
the afternoon sixty-seven, and in the evening 1 10 persons were present. 


The communicants were associated with Stand Independent 
Church, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Alexander Anderson, 
B.A., who from the first took a warm interest in the cause; but 
in 1866 a separate church was formed. In this year also the Rev. 
Osric Copland, a student from Cheshunt College, began his 
labours as the first pastor, and in the course of two or three 
years the church was able to dispense with assistance from the 


Union. Mr. Copland resigned in 1869, and went to Australia 
where, until recently, he was minister of the Congregational ( 
at Prahran, Melbourne, Victoria. The Rev. Llewellyn Porter, 
educated at Lancashire College, and who had previously > spe, 
few years at Heckmondwike, in Yorkshire, succeeded Mr. Copland 
in 1871. He removed to Mossley in 1877, and n< T H 
Hasting He was followed in x8 7 8 by the Re, H. H ^hard- 
son a student from Airedale College. He res,gned in 1880, a, 


in that year the Rev. Stephen Hartley accepted the pastorate of 
the church. His ministerial training was obtained at Lancashire 
College, and previous to his settlement at Prestwich he had 
laboured some years at Ripponden, in Yorkshire. Mr. Hartley 
resigned in September, 1892, and is now without charge. As yet 
no successor has been appointed. 

Not far from Prestwich is the Rooden Lane or Heaton Park 
Congregational Church, which was commenced in 1862. Through 
the energy of a lady and gentleman a night school was opened in 
the early part of that year, and before its close a mission was 
started under the auspices of the church at Cheetham 
Hill. In 1865 a chapel was built and opened, and in 1867 
it is described as "an interesting movement, commenced 
and largely sustained by the church at Cheetham Hill, 
under the pastorate of the Rev. G. W. Conder. The place is 
situated on the high road to Bury, between four and five miles 
from the Manchester Exchange. A huge line of houses contain 
about 1,500 working people. The building has been provided 
almost wholly by the liberality of Mr. Conder s people." 1 In the 
following year a branch church, consisting of nine members, was 
formed, and connected with Cheetham Hill. After Mr. Conder, 
the Rev. Thomas Hamer, who succeeded him in the pastorate of 
the Cheetham Hill Church, continued to exercise a wise and 
helpful oversight of the cause at Rooden Lane, Sunday services 
being mainly conducted by Lancashire College students. In 
1875 the Cheetham Hill Church handed the management of the 
station over to a committee of six gentlemen, mainly associated 
with Broughton Park Congregational Church. A Bible woman 
had for some time been engaged, whose services were well received 
by the people. In 1881 a new building, within a few minutes 
walk of Heaton Park Station, was erected on land which had been 
previously purchased by Henry Lee, Esq., of Sedgley Park, and 
Thomas Rymer, Esq. It was opened in November of that year by 
Dr. Dale, of Birmingham. It is in Gothic style, with a schoolroom 
on the ground floor affording space for 400 scholars, and the chapel 
itself has been arranged to accommodate the same number of 

1 "Lancashire Congregational Calendar" for 1867-8, p. 36. 


persons. The total cost was about ,4,525, which was met by 
subscriptions and a grant of ,500 from the Chapel Building 
Society. The Rev. G. D. Hughes, a Lancashire College student, 
was appointed minister, beginning his duties as such with the 
opening of the building. He remained until October, 1884, when he 
removed to Cheadle Hulme, Cheshire, where he now labours. The 
Rev. Alfred Cooke followed in 1886. He was trained for the ministry 
at Nottingham Institute, and had laboured for some years at Sedg- 
ley, in Staffordshire. He resigned in the beginning of 1888, and 
subsequently removed to Plymouth. The present minister, the Rev. 
James Bainton, assumed the pastorate in 1890, under whose 
care the church is making steady progress. It ought to be 
stated that the cause here is indebted for much generous help to 
the Broughton Park Congregational Church, which undertook its 
management in 1877, and in particular to Mr. Henry Lee, who has 
befriended it from the beginning. 

WRITING in 1854, the Rev. John Booker, B.A., says : 

The township of Blackley, wherein the chapel of which it is now proposed 
to treat was located, is distant about four miles north north-east from Man 
chester. It is situated on the river Irk, a stream so called from the liveliness 
of its current, which has entitled it to the figurative appellation of Iwrck, 
Irke, or Roebuck. 2 

Adjoining, and formerly belonging to the ancient chapelry of 
Blackley, is the township of Crumpsall, which has the double 
honour of being the reputed birthplace of Hugh Oldham, LL.B., 
Bishop of Exeter, and of Humphrey Chetham. Most reluctantly 
am I compelled by the exigencies of space to pass by these two 
Lancashire worthies, as also two others, with a very brief notice 
viz., Father Travis and John Bradford. Blackley claims both 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 " History of Blackley Chapel," p. 5. 


these men, if not as natives, as warm friends, who were staunch 
Protestants when Queen Mary set England ablaze in her zeal to 
establish Romanism. Travis suffered punishment for his Pro 
testantism, and John Bradford was burnt at Smithfield a few 
months after Latimer and Ridley. " He endured the flame," 
writes his biographer, " in a fresh gale of wind in a hot summer s 
day, without reluctancy, confirming by his death the truth of that 
doctrine which he had so diligently and powerfully preached 


during his life, which ended July the first, 1556, in the prime, 
though in what year of his age is not certainly known." 1 

The chapel referred to by Mr. Booker in the extract just given 
was, of course, the Episcopal Chapel erected for the convenience of 
those who found the mother church at Manchester too distant ; 

111 Abel Redevivus," by Fuller (1867), vol. i., p. 223. In "Writings of 
the Rev. John Bradford," by the Religious Tract Society, it is stated that 
he was born about 1510, and so at the time of his martyrdom he would be 
about forty-six years of age. 


but, as the early ministers were Nonconformist in their views, the 
history of Nonconformity in this place would be incomplete if 
some notice of them were not given. 

Oliver Carter, B.D., one of the fellows of the Collegiate Church 
in Manchester, had fixed his abode in Blackley in 1598, "dis 
charging possibly the duties of resident incumbent." " His 
contentions," says Dr. Halley, " with the most Puritan bishop on 
the bench led him, in the latter part of his life, to speak with very 
little respect of the bishops, who, as he thought, were becoming 
lords over God s heritage. " 1 Oliver Carter died in 1604-5, an d 
was interred in the Collegiate Chapel, Manchester, March 2ist. 

The Rev. Thomas Paget was appointed minister of Blackley 
Chapel about 1600. He belonged to the Pagets of Rothley, in 
Leicestershire, and in 1617 he was cited to appear before Morton, 
Bishop of Chester, for Nonconformity. In 1631 he was released, 
and in order to escape a fine and imprisonment he fled into 
Holland, accepting in November, 1639, the pastorate of the English 
church in Amsterdam, where he remained until August, 1646. 
" During his residence abroad," says Mr. Booker, " he edited the 
works of his predecessor in the charge, the Rev. John Paget, first 
minister of the English church in that capital. This was in the 
year 1641. On returning to England, in 1646, he was nominated 
to the rectory of St. Chad s, Shrewsbury, which he held until 1659. 
He died in October, 1660, rector of Stockport." The Rev. 
William P.athband was Mr. Paget s successor, being appointed to 
Blackley about 1631. He had previously preached at Cockey 
Moor 2 nearly twenty years, and was intimate with the family of 
Oliver Heywood. The length of his stay at Blackley is not clear, 
but he was gone before 1648, in which year, on June i4th, the 
Rev. James Walton " appeared before the Classis at Manchester, 
exhibiting his dismission from the congregation of Horwich and 
Bolton." 3 In 1650 he was the minister of Blackley Chapel, when 
the Parliamentary Commissioners reported thus concerning 
him : 

1 "Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. i., p. 170. 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 Ibid. 


The said Mr. James Walton hath not any certen sallery but what the 
Inhabitants of the said Chappelry are pleased voluntarily to give him in Hew 
of theire tyths, w ch formerly they payed to the warden and fellowes as 
aforesaid . . . And that the said Mr. Walton hath manyfested disafeccon 
to the p sent governem by neglectinge to observe days of thankes givinge 
and humiliacon appointed by ordinance of pliam and speakinge against the 
Engagm by reason whereof the same place thiese dayes were not supplyed. x 

Mr. Walton continued to attend the meetings of the Manchester 
Classis, as minister at Blackley, until July, 1652, when he appears 
to have removed. Subsequently he was ejected from Shaw 
Chapel, near Oldham. On the Hth of December of the same year 
the Rev. Daniel Smith " presented himselfe " to the Manchester 
Classis, "being desired by the elders at Blakeley, and was 
approved to preach as an expectant, in order to ordination." 2 His 
name is associated with the chapel until April, 1654. In September 
of the same year the Rev. Thomas Holland, M.A., from Ringley, 3 
is named as minister. He remained until 1662, when he suffered 
ejectment through the Act of Uniformity. In the Burial Register 
of the Collegiate Church, Manchester, appears the following : 

Dec. 28. Thomas Holland of Newton, deceased in Oldham 

1674-5 Feb. 10. Hannah wife of Thomas Holland, late of Newton, clerk, 
deceased at Oldham. 

With Mr. Holland the line of Nonconformist ministers at 
Blackley Chapel comes to an end, 4 but their labours had not been 
without effect upon the people. As early as 1668 a congregation ot 
Dissenters existed, " worshipping with such secrecy as the stringent 
laws enacted against Dissenters at that time rendered needful, a 
Mrs. Travis 5 receiving the ministers at her own house." To this 

1 "Commonwealth Church Survey" (Record Society Series, vol. i.), p. 10. 
3 " Manchester Classis," by Mr. Shaw, p. 186, being vol. xxii. of the 
Chetham Society publications (New Series). 

3 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

4 The Rev. Thomas Pyke was buried in Blackley Chapel, August 2ist, 
1676, and whether that may be taken as an indication that the Noncon 
formists had some sort of hold upon the building I do not know. If they had, 
it was very temporary, much more so than was the case in some other parts 
of the county. 

5 No doubt a descendant of Father Travis, previously mentioned. 


congregation the Rev. Thomas Pyke, who had been ejected from 
Radcliffe, ministered more or less until his death in 1676. 1 
Information respecting these early times is exceedingly scanty, 
and the immediate successor of Mr. Pyke, and the place of 
meeting for the Nonconformists, are uncertainties. Oliver Hey- 
wood, however, in his diary, under date June 3oth, 1682, writes 
about preaching to "a full company at Widow Travers s[Travis s]" 2 
house. So that it appears occasional Nonconformist worship, at 
least, continued to be held there after Mr. Fyke s death. The 
first chapel for Nonconformist worship was erected in i697, 3 the 
site for which was given by William Rowlinson, an inhabitant of 
Blackley. Tradition has it that the foundation was laid by Mr. 
Joshua Taylor, of Alkrington Green, when he was only sixteen 
years of age ; 4 and the first minister of the new meeting house was 

1 Vide vol. iii. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Turner s "Yorkshire Genealogist," &c., for January, 1889, p. 54. 

3 The indenture bears date July igth, 1697, and is between William 
Rowlinson, of Blackley, in the county of Lancaster, yeoman, on the one part, 
and Thomas Travis, of Blackley, aforesaid, chapman, George Travis, of the 
same place, chapman, Richard Ogden, of the same place, yeoman, and Ralph 
Wardleworth, of the same place, yeoman, on the other part. In the 
"Northowram Register" (p. 289) is the following notice of Mr. George 
Travis s untimely end : " George Travis, of Blakeley, in Manchester Parish, 
had bin at a Race at Ashton, fell of his Horse in a Small Brook near 
Newton Heath, & was taken up dead, Oct. 31 [1723]." 

4 In the chapel graveyard is a tombstone thus inscribed : 

Here resteth the body of 

of Alkrington, 

Who departed this life Sept. ijth, 1756, 
in the 75th year of his age. 

Also, MARY, his wife, 

Who departed this life March 23rd, 1781, 

in the 94th year of her age. 

Also, JACOB, his son, 

Physician and Surgeon, the Father and Friend of the needy, 
Who departed this life June 2ist, A.D., 1778, 

Aged 63 years. 

Also, JOSEPH, their son, 

Who departed this life April i7th, 1785. 

Aged 63 years. 


probably the Rev. John Brooks. He appeared at the meeting of 
the United Brethren in Manchester, August 4th, 1696, as a candi 
date for the ministry in connection with the Manchester District ; 
and was ordained at Macclesfield, June lyth, 1700, when he is 
described by Matthew Henry as "Mr. Brooks, of Blakely." 1 
Nothing is known of him beyond this. 2 The Rev. John Heywood 
became the minister in 1702. He was educated at the Rathmell 
Academy by the Rev. Richard Frankland, and ordained at War- 
rington, June i6th, 1702. Like Monton Chapel, the one at 
Blackley suffered from the Sacheverel riots on June 2oth, 1715, 
and this was during Mr. Heywood s ministry. His labours here 
were terminated by his death in January, 1731, and his remains 
were interred within the chapel where for nearly thirty years he 
had ministered. 3 In the "Northowram Register" the event is 
thus referred to : 

Mr. John Heywood, minr. at Blakley New Chapel, near Manchester, bur. 
there Jan. 28. A great loss to the congregation and his family. 4 

The Rev. Thomas Valentine, who also was educated at 
Rathmell, was ordained at Knutsford, May 5th, 1719, and, after 
labouring at Kingsley, in Cheshire, about fourteen years, removed 
to Blackley in 1731. Mr. Booker says : 

The amount subscribed by the congregation for the support of Mr. 
Valentine fell short of his moderate wants, being little more than ^25 per 
annum, and the close of his life was marked by poverty. 

His death took place on May toth, 1755, and, like his pre 
decessor, he was buried within the chapel at Blackley. 5 

1 Memoirs of the Rev. M. Henry," by J. B. Williams, F.S.A. 

" Probably the Rev. John Brook, or Brooks, who was at Yarmouth, 
Norfolk, in 1711, afterwards at Norwich, whence he removed to York, where 
he died in 1735. 

3 In Mr. Heywood s time the Blackley congregation numbered 224 
persons, of whom twelve were county voters. 

4 Page 308. I imagine Mr. Heywood was a near relative of the Rev. Oliver 
Heywood. His children, of whom there were several, were baptised at 
Northowram Chapel, where Oliver Heywood had laboured. 

5 Dr. Newth informs me that he has a MS., in which the name of the 
Rev. Thomas Valentine appears, and against it are the words " Of the 



The next minister was the Rev. John Helme, from 1755 to 
X 757- Concerning him nothing definite is known. 1 He was 
succeeded in 1757 by the Rev. James Benn, a native of Lanca 
shire, related to Cuthbert Harrison, an ejected minister, who 
laboured for many years at Els wick. Mr. Benn s first pastorate 
was at Forton, near Garstang. He removed from Blackley to 
Low Ro\v, in Swaledale, Yorkshire, in I766. 2 In April of that 
year the Rev. Philip Taylor, subsequently minister of Key Street, 
Liverpool, preached his first sermon at Blackley ; but, if he was 
ever appointed to the pastorate here, it could not have been for 
more than a few months, for in 1766 the Rev. Thomas Gwatkin, 
" a young Non-conforming clergyman, educated at Oxford, 3 com 
menced a short ministry. Afterwards he was led to conform. He 
went to America, and on his return obtained a living in Hereford 
shire." The Rev. John Pope, educated by the Rev. Micaiah 
Towgood at Exeter, followed about 1767, being appointed at the 
same time to the mastership of Stand School. In 1791 he succeeded 
the Rev. Gilbert Wakefield, as Tutor in Classics and Belles Lettres, 
at New College, Hackney, but two years afterwards returned to his 
old charge at Blackley. He laboured here until his death, in October, 
1802, and was buried in a vault within the chapel, where a marble 
tablet thus describes his character : 

In memory of the 


Who died Oct. 28, 1802, 

In the 58th year of his age. 

Chowbent family." Several members of this family became Dissenting 
ministers. Vide vols. ii. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity ; " also my 
* History of Independency in Tockholes." 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for information respecting 
one or two ministers of this name. Some writers on Blackley Nonconformity 
identify him with the Walmsley minister of that name, but without sufficient 

2 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 So says Mr. Booker; but the name of Mr. Gwatkin is given in the list 
of students educated by Mr. Towgood, at Exeter. It is said that afterwards 
he was " ordained by the Archbishop of Canterbury." (Vide " Monthly 
Repository " for 1818, p. 90.) 


He was a man of considerable learning and ingenuity, and was minister of 
this chapel during a period of 35 years. For his truly benevolent heart he 
was greatly esteemed and beloved. 

His affectionate flock, in gratitude for his services, have erected this stone 
as an humble tribute to his memory. 

He published several sermons and pamphlets, amongst them 
being one preached at Blackley, September 2ist, 1777, " occasioned 
by the shock of an earthquake the preceding Lord s day. 1 During 
the two years of Mr. Pope s absence from Blackley his former 
pupil, the Rev. Thomas Broadhurst, had charge of the congre 
gation. He was a native of Blackley, and was trained at the 
New College, Hackney, being its first student. On the com 
pletion of his college course he went to Manchester, where 
he had a good school of twenty-five pupils, 2 serving the chapel 
at Blackley at the same time. In 1793 he removed to Taunton, 
thence to Halifax, m Yorkshire, and afterwards to Bath, resigning 
after a ministry there of considerably over forty years, He died 
at Bath, October gth, 1851, aged eighty-four years. The next 
minister was the Rev. William Harrison. He was the son of the 
Rev. Ralph Harrison, of Manchester, being born May 2ist, 1779, 
and baptised " not long after in the same year " by the Rev. John 
Pope, of Blackley. He succeeded Mr. Pope in January, 1802, 
and continued there for about fifty years. He died at Higher 
Broughton, Manchester, on November 3oth, 1859. 

His tablet in the chapel is thus inscribed : 

Died December 3ist, 1859, 

Aged 80 years. 
He was the Faithful Minister of this Chapel 

for 50 years. 
This Tablet is erected by the members of his congregation 

and other friends 
As a Memorial of their Respect and Esteem. 

Some time after Mr. Harrison s retirement the pulpit was sup 
plied by the Manchester District Unitarian Association, the name 

1 Vide ante p. 8. 

3 One of his Manchester pupils was the Rev. Jabez Bunting, D.D., 
who became President of the Wesleyan Conference. 


of the Rev. J. C. Street being especially mentioned as an earnest 
worker. Brief ministries were exercised afterwards by the Revs. 
Abraham Lunn and J. Bishop, B.A., now resident in Dorsetshire 
without charge ; and Adam Rushton, now living in retirement at 
Upton, near Macclesfield. The Rev. Joseph Freeston, who had 
previously laboured at Dob Lane, entered on duty at Blackley 
the first Sunday in August, 1869, and remained until 1880, 
removing in that year to Stalybridge. He is now at Macclesfield. 
The Rev. J. Basford followed with a short ministry, being succeeded 
by the Rev. J. McLaren Cobban. The present minister, the Rev. 
John Ellis, educated at the Home Missionary College, Manchester, 
took charge in July, 1885. 

The old chapel, which stood until 1884, is thus described by 
Mr. Booker : 

It is a building of no pretension, its limits not exceeding those of an 
ordinary-sized schoolroom, which it much resembles. Its extreme length is 
44 feet 6 inches, and its width 19 feet 9 inches The interior is filled up with 
pews, seventeen in number, affording accommodation for about one hundred 
and thirty persons ; but the congregation rarely exceeds thirty, of whom the 
greater proportion is from a distance. The exterior, in itself unattractive, 
is rendered picturesque by a thick covering of ivy, which conceals its stuccoed 
walls. Attached to the south wall is a sun-dial with the following in 
scription : 

My change is sure, it may be soon, 
Each hastening minute leads me on ; 
The awful summons draweth nigh, 
And every day I live I die. 1 

The present chapel, which has accommodation for 300 people, 
stands on the site of the old structure which it has superseded. The 
memorial stone was laid, May lyth, 1884, by the late Alderman 
Philip Goldschmidt, Mayor of Manchester, and it was opened for 
public worship the following year. 

1 " History of Blackley Chapel," p. 94. To this work I am indebted for 
much of the foregoing information. 



NONCONFORMITY at Failsworth or Newton Heath 1 began in the 
same way and about the same time as it did at Blackley, distant a few 
miles. The Act of Uniformity led to the ejectment, in 1662, of the 
Rev. John Walker, M.A. 2 His father, the Rev. William Walker, was 
minister at Newton Heath in 1642, whence, about 1649, he removed 
to Brindle, near Preston. He died in 1651, and was buried at 
Manchester, June loth. John \Valker had been associated with his 
father in the ministry at Newton Heath previous to his removal to 
Brindle, after which event he took sole charge. In the Rev. 
Henry Newcome s diary there is an interesting passage under date 
January 6th, 1662, relating to a meeting at Mr. Walker s house to 
consider what should be done in view of the passage of the 
Uniformity Bill in the House of Commons : 

1 got up, and about 10, after dutys, went to Newton to Mr. Walker s, 
we I saw some of ye rnnrs and had profitable company together. It was pro 
posed that each should consider seriously both wt grounds wee had of hopes 
or fears in this gloomy day. And wt encouragemts to beare up ye heart 
welle if ye worst should come. Wee supt at Sam: Booker s y s night, & it 
was 12 before wee went to bed. 3 

After his ejection Mr. Walker is lost to sight for several years, 
but in 1682 he succeeded the Rev. Samuel Newton at Rivington, 

A The chapel stands on the Oldham Road, on the Failsworth side of the 
boundary of the Townships of Failsworth and Newton Heath. It is distant 
three miles from Manchester and three and a half from Oldham. Dob Lane 
was the name formerly given to that part of Oldham Road, from the chapel 
to Watchcote, Failsworth, and that is the name now used to describe the 

2 Curiously enough, Calamy, in his account of the ejected and silenced 
ministers, published in 1713, gives the Rev. John Walker as the ejected 
minister of Newton Heath, but in his "Continuation" he corrects this to 
William Walker. The first account is the true one. In Palmer s edition of 
the work published in 1802, the name is given as William Walker. The late 
Mr. J. E, Bailey once told me that the earlier edition of Calamy is much to 
be preferred to Palmer s, being often more reliable, a judgment which my 
own researches lead me to think is correct. Palmer s, however, is handier 
and often very useful, because of the additional information which it contains. 

3 "Newcome s Diary" (Chetham Society Series, vol. xviii.), p. 41. 


near Chorley, where he laboured until his death. 1 Oliver Hey- 
wood, in his diary under date Thursday, April 4th, 1672, tells 
about keeping "a fast at John Hulton s, Newton-heath," 2 in con 
junction with Mr. Newcome, of Manchester. It appears that Mr. 
Heywood was a not infrequent visitor to these parts, and in his 
"Northowram Register" are some entries of persons connected with 
Newton Heath, which fact witnesses to his interest therein. Here 
is one: 

Mr. Hulme, schoolmaster at Newton Heath, died suddenly September 
4, 1679, aged 70. 3 

It is not certain 4 who immediately succeeded Mr. Walker, but 
probably it was the Rev. Mr. Lawton, who preached the funeral 
sermon of the Rev. Thomas Pyke, in August, 1676, being then 
the minister of Newton Heath. Mr. Newcome refers to his death 
thus :" February 28th [1688]. Honest Mr. Lawton, minister of 
Newton Heath Chapel, died this day/ 5 From this extract it 

1 In volume iii. of this work I have stated my inability to identify the 
ministerial Walkers, of whom there appear to be several in the i7th 
century. Much earlier writers seem to have experienced the same difficulty 
as myself. Calamy and the editor of the " Manchester Socinian Contro 
versy " confuse William Walker with his son John Walker, and Dr. Halley 
does the same. Booker, in his "History of Didsbury and Chorlton 
Chapels " (Chetham Society Series, vol. xxii.), mentions the Rev. John 
Walker, M.A., who was succeeded as curate of Didsbury Chapel, in 1685, by 
the Rev. Peter Shaw ; and Mr. W. A. Shaw, in his notes on the ministers of 
the Manchester Classis (Chetham Society Publications, New Series, vol. 
xxiv., p. 448), leaves much in doubt. 

2 "Heywood s Diaries," by J. H. Turner, vol. i., p. 288. 

3 Page 74. Was this Mr. Hulme, or Holme, any relation of the Rev. 
James Holme, born in the parish of Rochdale, assistant for some time to the 
Rev. John Angier, of Denton, who died at Kendal, a Nonconformist minister, 
in November, 1688, aged fifty-eight years? 

4 1 have experienced more difficulty in collecting information about Dob 
Lane Chapel than in any other case. All documents seem to have dis 
appeared, and the sketch here presented is no doubt incomplete, and possibly 
in some particulars inaccurate. I have had most generous help in making it 
what it is from the Rev. Alexander Gordon, M.A., Principal of the Unitarian 
Home Missionary College ; and from Messrs. R. P. Wright, Dob Lane, and 
T. F. Robinson, Moston, one of the chapel trustees. 

5 " Autobiography of Henry Newcome " (Chetham Society Series, vol. 
xxvii), p. 307. 


appears that the Nonconformists had regained possession of the 
chapel from which Mr. Walker had been ejected, retaining it, 1 I 
imagine, until the erection of the building in Dob Lane, about 

1 Probably not without break. Oliver Heywood, in his diary under date 
August 5, 1683, says: "Sunday, having refused many motions of preach 
ing, and intending to go to Newton Heath and to preach at Mr. T. Leech s 
after Mr. L. sent me word that Mr. Loten [Mr. Lawton, the Noncon 
formist minister] was sent for into Staffordshire to his dying mother. Went 
hat morning, so nobody was there. I and my wife heard Mr. Hide, at Sal- 
ford, in forenoon. We went to church in the afternoon ; heard Mr. Gips, of 
Bury. He preached well. After that we rode to Mr. T. Leech s, at Newton 
Heath. There I preached to his family, and a few more. Lodged there." 
(Turner s "Yorkshire Genealogist" for July, 1890, p. 255.) This was the 
year when warrants were issued everywhere against the Nonconformist 
preachers, and it would seem that Mr. Lawton. for the time being, was 
silenced ; at any rate that the chapel at Newton Heath was not in his hands 
to offer to his friend Oliver Heywood, and he must preach in the house of 
Thomas Leech. 

" This is the date usually given, but it is only approximate. Mr. T. F. 
Robinson gives the following extracts from the trust deeds of the chapel, 
which are held by Mr. R. D. Darbishire, of Manchester, solicitor, and a 
trustee of the chapel. The first trust deed is dated 24th May, 1698, and is 
the conveyance of the land (upon which the chapel was afterwards built) from 
"James Heape, of Fails worth, blacksmith, and Sarah, widow of James, his 
father, of the first part, to Nathaniel Scholes, of Salford, clerk ; Joseph Leech, 
of Newton, chapman ; Joseph Clegge, of Newton, gentleman ; James Marlor, 
of Newton, chapman ; Henry Hardman, of Droylsden, yeoman, of the second 
part." The second trust deed is dated 3oth March, 1706, and recites : "James 
Marlor and Ralph Smith, of the first part, Joseph Heywood, of Newton, 
clerk ; Joseph Clegge, eldest son of Joseph Clegge, of Newton ; John Leech, 
of Manchester, gentleman ; Samuel Leech, of Manchester, chapman ; Adam 
Smith, of Failsworth ; James Hardman, of Droylsden ; John Clough, of Fails- 
worth ; Samuel Taylor, jr., of Moston, yeoman ; John Robinson, of Moston, 
yeoman ; and James Newton, of Woodhouses, Ashton, linen weaver." It further 
states : "The conveyance of 1 698, and that since the conveyance so made through 
the contributions and at the charge of several persons inhabiting the several 
townships or hamlets of Failsworth, Newton, Droylsden, and Moston, and 
several other persons, there hath heretofore been erected on the said land a 
certain building containing three bays, wherein several pews and seats have 
been made, and wherein several inhabitants of the townships have and do 
usually assemble and meet together for the exercise of religious worship, 
after the way of Protestant dissent. Trusts declared permit the edifice to be 
used for a place of meeting of Protestant Dissenters for the public exercise of 


Previous to this, however, in 1694, the Rev. Nehemiah Scholes, or 
Scoles, was labouring here. 1 He was the son of the Rev. Jere 
miah Scholes, and grandson of George Scholes, of Salford 
Jeremiah Scholes was baptised at Manchester Parish Church, June 
i4th, 1629, minister at Stretford, 1655-7, ejected from Norton, in 
Derbyshire, in 1662, and buried at Manchester, April 27th, 1685. 
His wife was Deborah, daughter of the Rev. Nathaniel Rathband, 
M.A. Mr. Newcome had a great affection for Mr. Scholes, senior, 
though as a preacher he was " tedious and oft unintelligible." 2 
He records his death thus: "April 27 th , Monday [1685]. 
Precious, learned, modest, pious Mr. Scoles died." 3 

Nehemiah Scholes was a student in Mr. Frankland s Academy, at 
Natland, in 1682, and settled at Newton Heath some time before 

religious worship, according to the liberty of the Toleration Act." To this 
may be added the following note, extracted by Mr. Robinson from a local 
history, written by the late Mr. Joseph Barratt, a trustee of the chapel : 
"The Rev. Mr. Walker and his hearers assembled for many years in a barn 
at Culcheth (Newton Heath). In 1698 land was obtained from James 
Heape, blacksmith, of Failsworth, on which the chapel was built. The first 
trust deed was dated 24th May, 1698. In the old register belonging to the 
chapel there are registers of baptisms as early as 1690." 

1 Mr. W. A. Shaw (" Manchester Classis," Chetham Society, New Series, 
vol. xxiv., p. 423) mentions the Rev. Wm. Coleburne as one of the Newton 
ministers, concerning whom he gives the following information : " Son of 
Henry Coleburne, Chandler, of Ratcliffe Bridge (and of Bury), Lancashire ; 
school, private, at Bury, Lancashire ; admitted Sizar, St. John s, Cambridge, 
8th May, 1652; presented himself for ordination, July, 1657, to the church 
at Denton ^assistant to Angier), but immediately after moved for Ellen- 
brook, and appears as representing it, March, 1657-8 ; conformed [i.e., 
was in possession] at the Restoration, but in Angier s Diary he appears 
as under arrest in July, 1663. Occurs as minister of Newton, 1687 ; 
and there end of 1692 ; buried there 1693." From the two following 
extracts, from the " Northowram Register," I am inclined to think 
that Mr. Shaw has made some mistake, or at any rate left matters 
respecting William Coleburne less clear than they should be: "Mr. Henry 
Coulburn, of Radclife Bridge, in Lane., bur. Mar., 1690, aged 49." " Mr. 
William Colburn, Parson, of Mottram, buryed there June 9, 97 ; aged 66." 
How were these related to their namesakes in Mr. Shaw s extract ? He 
does not state his authority for fixing William Coleburne at Newton Heath. 

2 Autobiography/ p. 306. 

3 Ibid, p. 259. 


1694. His name ceases to appear in the Minutes of the United 
Brethren after April, 1697, and about that time he removed to 
Macclesfield, 1 where he continued his ministrations until his death, 
October, 1702, aged thirty-seven years. 

Matthew Henry laments his death thus : 

Oct. 10. 1702. I hear that my worthy friend and dear brother Mr. Scoles, 
of Macclesfield, died last Friday. He was almost three years younger than 

; a very ingenious man, a plain preacher, and very serious and affectionate 
in all his performances. He met with affliction in his marriage, which 
occasioned some unevenness in his temper, but he was a man of true piety and 
integrity ; he died of a palsy, in conjunction with other distempers ; his 
affliction had broken his spirit very much. The Lord prepare me to go 
after. His father was a learned Godly minister in Manchester. 2 

The name of the Rev. Joseph Heywood appears in the deed of 
1706 as "clerk" of Newton, and probably he was the first minister 
of Dob Lane Chapel. In the Minutes of the United Brethren, 
under date August i3th, 1700, a Mr. Heywood appears amongst 
the ministers of the Manchester District. Now, as the Rev. John 
Heywood had not then settled at Blackley, 3 and as all the 
churches in the district were represented by other ministers, it is 
more than likely that this was the Dob Lane minister. The date 
of his settlement would be about 1699, or the beginning of 1700, 
and I imagine he removed to Stand about i7io. 4 

The next minister 5 concerning whom I have information is 

1 His name appears in the deed of 1698, and he is described as of Salford, 
clerk. If actually minister of Newton Heath then, his removal must have 
been immediately after. In the Minutes of the United Brethren (Manchester 
Classis, Chetham Society Series, vol. xxiv., p. 357), under date August 4, 
1696, there is the following : "The case of a minister s removal from his people 
when called to some other place was largely discussed, and the case of Mr. 
Scholes in particular was referred to Mr. Angier and Mr. Jolley, of Attercliffe, 
upon a hearing of the people of Newton." As stated in the text, his name 
ceases to appear in the minutes after the following April. 

2 " Memoirs of the Rev. M. Henry," by J. B. Williams, F.S.A., p. 260. 

3 Vide ante p. 33. 

4 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

5 Mr. Gordon, on the authority of Walter Wilson s MSS., gives the name 
of a Mr. Swinton, who, it is said, died May i, 1709. Griffith Swinton was 
minister at the Episcopal Chapel, signing a communication as such for 


the Rev. William Perkins, who, like Mr. Scholes, was educated by 
Mr. Frankland. He was a student when the Academy was at 
Rathmell in 1697. Where he settled on the completion of his 
training, and the date of the commencement of his ministry at 
Dob Lane Chapel, I have not ascertained. His labours here 
terminated with his death, November, I724. 1 It was during his 
ministry, on July 25th, 1715, that Dob Lane Chapel was sacked by 
the Sacheverel rioters. The following depositions relating to the 
matter are of interest : 

James Marlor, of Failsworth, within the parish of Manchester, chapman, 
aged 54 years, being sworn and exa i ed, saith that since his ma tyes 
[accession], to \vitt, on the 25th day of July in that yeare, about eleven of the 
clock in the night, and before the first day of August in the yeare, 1715, of 
that day, this depon being then in bed in his dwelling house adjoining to the 
yard of the Chappell or meeting house in Failsworth aforesaid used for divine 
worship by Protestant dissenters did hear .... people come with 
great shouts to the said meeting house ; and this Depon* riseing out of his 
bed was attentive to heare what they did and accordingly heard them knocking 
within the said Meeting house and shouting Down with the rump; and as 
this Depon 1 believes the said Mobb or Rabble continued in the same riotous 
man er about two hours, and then returned with a great noise and shouts. 
And saith the next morning he went into the said meeting house to view what 
dam age had been done, and accordingly found the door hinges broken down 
and the pulpit, seats, and windows broken or pulled down ; but did not take 
any particular account of the dam age. (Signed), 


Samuel Taylor, sen of Moston, in the County of Lane , yeoman, aged 
about 62 years, being sworne and exa i ed saith he hath been employed to buy 
materialls and employ workmen to repair the damages done to the meeting 
house in Failsworth by the riotts in July, 1715, and saith he hath paid and 
disburst upon that account the sum e of io u 12 : ii; and believes that 

Bishop Gastrell in 1717. In the " Northowram Register" fp. 247) is the 
following entry respecting the burial of his wife: " Mr. Swinton, minr,, at 
Newton Chapel, near Manchester, buried his wife Apr. 29 [1709]." This 
date almost exactly corresponds with the one given by Mr. Wilson, and has 
probably led him to confuse the one with the other. I do not think there was 
any minister at Dob Lane Chapel named Swinton. 

1 Vide " Northowram Register," p. 292. Mr. Gordon, on the authority 
of Dr. Evans s contemporary list, says that Mr. Perkins was minister from 
1713 to 1719, when he removed; if so, he probably returned after Mr. 
Knight, and ministered until his death in 1724. 


although the said meeting house may in some particular be made better than 
it was before the riotts, yet it is not so good in other particulars. And like 
wise expended i7 H g 8 9 d - in guarding the said meeting house and in treating 
some Riotters by way of prevention to save the pulling down thereof. 

(Signed) SAMLE TAYLOR.! 

The successor to Mr. Perkins was the Rev. Henry Knight, who 
had followed the Rev. Samuel Bourn at Crook, near Kendal, 
about 1720. Thence he removed to Newton Heath, and subse 
quently, I imagine, was at Cross Street (now Sale) in Cheshire. 2 
His successor was the Rev. Benjamin Sandford 3 from 1740 to 1744. 
He removed from Dob Lane to Ormskirk, where he laboured until 
his death, June iSth, 1765^ The Rev. Titus Cordingley, born 
October i8th, 1721, and who had previously laboured at Whit- 
worth, near Rochdale, followed in 1745. He removed to Hull 
about i756, 5 where he remained until his death. 

The Rev. R. Robinson, D.D., educated at the Plaisterers Hall, 
was immediately chosen as Mr. Cordingley s successor. He had 
previously been at Congleton and Dukinfield. Whilst at the for 
mer place he preached a sermon against " Popish Projectors," and 

1 "Palatine Note Book" for November, 1882, p. 243. 

2 Vide vol. i. of Lancashire Nonconformity." Mr. Gordon says that 
Mr Knight was at Dob Lane in 1719. I doubt if that is correct, as it was 
about that year that he entered upon duty at Crook. It is doubtful also if 
Mr. Perkins ever removed from Newton Heath until taken away by death, 
though Dr. Evans s list says he did. 

3 Vide vol. iv. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." The reader will note a 
discrepancy between this date and the one copied from the brass plate in the 
Unitarian Chapel at Ormskirk, and given in volume iv. of this work. The 
one in the text is from the Ormskirk Parish Church Register. The inscrip 
tion on the brass plate was scarcely legible, and it is possible that in copying 
an error has crept in. Since the copy was taken the chapel has been let 
for dancing, and all the tablets inside have been covered over, so that a fresh 
copy could not be taken. This had been written when the Rev. Alexander 
Gordon in a letter said : " About Sandford you are right [i.e., as to 1770 being 
the date of his death]. I have looked at a rubbing of his brass, and also at 
a collection of his sermons, which includes one of 1766." What is the 
meaning of the entry in the Register ? 

4 Miall ("Congregationalism in Yorkshire") mentions a Mr. Sandford, 
minister at Pontefract in 1715, who died in 1746. 

> Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


drew up a small Scripture Catechism, both of which were published. 
From Congleton Dr. Robinson received what he called a " cause 
less dismission," having forfeited the good opinion of the people 
because "a beggar coming to his door one day was so importunate 
as almost to refuse to depart without relief, in consequence of 
which Mr. Robinson sent for a constable and had him whipped at 
his own gate." From 1752 to 1755 he laboured at Dukinfield, 
removing thence to Dob Lane in the latter year. Here he 
preached, and afterwards printed, two sermons, " occasioned by the 
then high price of corn," and this drew upon him the " animosity 
of the interested and rich speculators in that commodity." 
Another "causeless dismission " towards the close of 1774 led to 
his publication of a tract: "The Doctrine of Absolute Submission 
Discussed, or the natural right claimed by some Dissenters to 
dismis-; their ministers at pleasure, Exposed as a practice produced 
by principles of unrestrained liberty, though contrary to the 
Dictates of Reason and Revelation." For some time previous to 
this the chapel had been closed and he retained possession of the 
key, but in that year he gave it up to the trustees, and went to 
reside at Barrack Hill House, near Stockport, where he purchased 
land and a farm house. His passion for publicity as an author 
led him to enter "into an agreement with a Manchester printer, 
of the name of Whitworth, to edit for him a copy of the Bible. 
It was to appear in numbers, and he procured a diploma of D.D., 
that his name might come before the public with more advantage 
in the title-page of the work." His biographer says : 

At his death he left directions that his body should be kept one month 
before its interment, and that his coffin should be constructed with a movable 
pane of glass over his face, which was to be carefully watched to see whether 
it was breathed upon. These requisitions were literally complied with. 
According to his express desire, he was buried in his orchard, a short dis 
tance trom his residence, and a square brick building was raised over his 
tomb, which is yet to be seen. 1 

The Rev. Pendlebury Houghton, who had for a short time 
been Tutor at Warrington Academy, became the minister in 1779, 

1 "Monthly Repository" for 1823, p. 682; also "Nonconformity in 
Cheshire" (Urwick), p. 330. 


and continued until 1781, when he removed to Shrewsbury. 1 
The Rev. William Hawkes, son of the Rev. William Hawkes, of 
Birmingham, followed in 1781, and removed to Bolton in 1785. 2 
The next minister was the Rev. Richard Aubrey, who was born at 
Swansea, June iQth, 1760, and educated for the ministry at 
Hoxton. In June, 1782, he was appointed librarian to Dr. 
Williams s Library, retaining the position until October, 1786. 
From 1786 to 1787 he laboured at Dob Lane, removing thence to 
Stand, near Manchester, and subsequently to Gloucester and 
Swansea. He died at the latter place, August i5th, 1836. In an 
obituary notice of him by his son, Richard Aubrey, Esq., of 
Swansea, no reference is made to his father s ministry at Dob 
Lane. 3 After the removal of Mr. Aubrey, Dob Lane was supplied 
for several years, partly by tutors and partly by students from the 
Manchester Academy. The first amongst these was the Rev. 
Lewis Loyd. He was born January ist, 1767, at Cwm-y-to, near 
Llandovery, and admitted a student into the Presbyterian College, 
Carmarthen, in 1785. He had been led to expect the appoint 
ment of Classical and Mathematical Tutor there in succession to 
Mr. Thomas Lloyd, but disappointed in the matter he sought 
admission to the Manchester Academy on the advice of the Rev. 
Richard Aubrey. In his second year at the Academy, in 1790, he 
became Assistant Tutor in Classics, having charge of the Dob 
Lane congregation as well. In a brief sketch of the cause here, 
by Mr. R. P. Wright, is the following passage : 

Long before the highway from Manchester to Oldham was made, Dob 
Lane was only reached by a bridle path through the fields, the chapel itself 
lying secluded among the trees, and the lane, a very narrow one between 
hedges, continued up to Watchcote, Failsworth. Along this road, through 
the fields from Manchester, was to be seen coming to chapel every Sunday, 
on a white Welsh pony, the Rev. Lewis Lcyd, he being at that time Assistant 
Classical Tutor at Manchester New College. 

In 1792 Mr. Loyd withdrew from the ministry, became a rich 

1 Vide vols iv. and vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity ; " also " Christian 
Reformer" for 1836, p. 746. 


banker, and died in his gist year, at his residence, Overstone 
Park, near Northampton, May i3th, 1858. His only son, Mr. 
Samuel Jones 1 Loyd, was elevated to the Peerage in 1850 as 
Baron Overstone. Mr. Loyd was succeeded in the tutorship of 
the Academy and ministry of Dob Lane by the Rev. William 
Stevenson. He was educated at Daventry, and held his double 
post at Manchester from 1792 to 1796. Subsequently he became 
private secretary to Lord Lauderdale. 2 The Rev. Titus Baron, 
educated at Manchester Academy, whilst a student there, supplied 
the pulpit at Dob Lane. He died at Blackpool in September, 
1799, and is described as minister of Dob Lane, but probably he 
was not more than a supply. The Rev. John Bull (afterwards 
John Bull Bristowe), another Manchester Academy student, 
supplied Dob Lane from 1799 to 1800. His subsequent pastorates 
were at Mansfield, Hinckley, Ringwood, Sidmouth, Topsham, and 
Shepton Mallet. He died at the latter place in the midst of his 
pastoral duties, on the i6th of March, 1854, at the age of eighty 
years. A third Manchester Academy student, the Rev. William 
Marshall, took charge of the congregation from 1800 to 1801. He 
was the minister of the Rochdale congregation from 1806 to 1810, 
afterwards at St. Albans, and died on December 5th, 1849, a ged 
seventy-three years. The pulpit was next supplied, from 1801 to 1803, 
by the Rev. George Walker, F.R.S., president of the Manchester 
Academy. 3 With Mr. Walker ends the list of Academy supplies, 
and settled pastorates are renewed with the Rev. David L. Jones. 
He was educated at the Manchester Academy 4 during the years 1 800 
to 1803, settling at Dob Lane on the completion of his college 

1 Mr. Lewis Loyd s wife was Miss Jones, sister to Samuel and William 
Jones, of Manchester, and granddaughter to the Rev. Joseph Mottershead. 
It was his acquaintance with this family which opened up the way to wealth, 
and to his renunciation of the ministry for a commercial life. 

2 Mr. Stevenson was the father of Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell, the 
novelist, and wife of the Rev. William Gaskell, M.A., the eminent minister 
for many years of Cross Street Chapel, Manchester. 

3 The reader is referred to vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for 
a full account of this excellent man. Vide also vol. i. 

In the Roll of Students educated at the Academy, which was 
published in 1868, Mr. Jones s name is not given. The information has been, 
supplied by Mr. Gordon. 


course. He remained until 1825, when he died, 1 being succeeded 
in 1828 by the Rev. George Buckland. He retained the pastorate 
only about a year, being followed in 1830 by the Rev. Joseph 
Ashton, who removed to Preston after a few months. 2 The Rev. 
James Taylor, from Rivington, began his labours here about 1832, 
and continued them until 1847. He was succeeded by the Rev. 
James Hibbert in that year, who remained until 1851, when he 
resigned, and Mr. Taylor resumed the charge in 1852. He with 
drew from the ministry in 1854, and died on the 6th of April, 
i862. 3 The Rev. Abraham Lunn, educated at the Belfast 
Academical Institution, and who has been previously mentioned in 
connection with Blackley, was at Dob Lane from 1854 to 1858." 
The Rev. Joseph Freeston, originally a schoolmaster, followed Mr. 
Lunn in the year of his removal, and remained until 1864. Sub 
sequently he was minister at Rochdale (Clover Street), Blackley, 5 
and Stalybridge. For three years after Mr. Freeston the pulpit 
was occupied by "supplies and lay preachers. 1 In 1867 the 
Rev. William George Cadman, who had been educated at the 
Unitarian Home Missionary College, became the minister. He 
left in 1872, and went to Oldham Road, Manchester, where he 
remained until June, 1893, when he became the minister of 
Mansford Street Mission, London. His successor, in 1873, was 
the Rev. R. H. Cotton, B.A., educated at Rawdon College. 
He remained but a short time, and was followed by the Rev. 
R. H. Gibson, B.A., as a supply for six months. In 1875 the 
Rev. Halliwell Thomas assumed the pastorate. He was educated 
at the Unitarian Home Missionary College, and had previously 
laboured at Bridport and Ballymena, Co. Antrim. He removed 
from Dob Lane to Stockton in 1885, and is now labouring at 
Doncaster. The present minister is the Rev. George Knight, whose 
place of education was Rawdon College, and previous pastorates 
were at the Baptist Chapel, Stourbridge, and the Unitarian 
Chapels at Sheffield and Gloucester. He entered upon duty 

1 His wife, Lydia Jones, died April aist, 1838, aged fifty-eight years. 

2 Vide vol. i. of Lancashire Nonconformity." 
8 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 
4 Vide vol. ii. of Lancashire Nonconformity." 

8 Vide ante p. 36, and vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 



here in August, 1885. The old chapel was a neat and picturesque 
structure with its ivy covered walls. The sacred edifice in which 
the congregation now worships was erected upon the old founda 
tions at the front to avoid disturbing the graves inside the old 
chapel, the extension being secured by absorbing the site of the 
old chapel house, and part of the school-yard at the back. The 
foundation stone was laid in May, 1878, by Mr. Harry Rawson,. 
one of the trustees, and the building was opened for worship in 
March of the following year. It stands a little to the left of the 
main road from Manchester to Oldham, and will seat about 
300 people. Amongst the objects of interest within is a beautiful 
stained glass window, at the foot of which runs the following 
inscription : 

Dedicated to the memory of the Rev. James Taylor, pastor from 1832 
to 1847, and from 1852 to 1854, by his daughters, Eleanor and Katherine 

On the left of the chapel is the new school, the memorial stone 
of which was laid by "Charles Ernest Schwann, M.P., 2nd April, 
1887," and behind is the old one 1 still standing, erected in 1846 
and enlarged in 1860. The chapel and the old school behind it 
are in Failsworth, whilst the new school is in Newton Heath, the 
boundary of Failsworth and Newton Heath running between. 
The chapel and school form two sides of a square fronting 
Oldham Road, and with the trees in the old graveyard and in 
front of the school present a very pleasing appearance. The con 
gregation has been Unitarian for many years. 


THE old Nonconformist foundation at Gorton, some three miles 
out of Manchester, on the way to Denton, originated, it is gene- 

1 The Sunday School at Dob Lane, it is said, originated with the Rev. 
Benjamin Goodier, who was born at Hollinwood, near Oldham, April 25, 
1793. He attended the ministry of Mr. Jones, at Dob Lane, and "instituted 
a meeting for the improvement of the youth of the congregation assembling 
there" ("Monthly Repository" for 1819, p. 69.) 


rally believed, with the Rev. William Leigh, the ejected minister 
of Gorton Chapel. Previous to him, however, the chapelry had 
been served by a succession of honourable men of Puritan and 
Nonconformist spirit, brief notices of whom must be given if this 
account is to have completeness. Gorton Chapel existed at least in 
1570, when its registers commence; but the first minister with whom 
we are concerned was the Rev. John VVigan, who removed from 
Gorton to Birch in 1646. He was of the Independent persuasion, 
and Adam Martindale speaks about the new opinions " tugging 
hard at Gorton to get in there during the days of Mr. Wigan, my 
predecessor, who spent his afternoone s sermons to promote it, and 
meeting with remoras too weighty to be removed, he was then 
using all his endeavours to get it up at Birch, which in time he 
effected." 1 His Presbyterian brethren had considerable difficulty 
with him on account of his views, as appears from the following, 
dated June 9th, 1647 : 

The members of y e last classis appointed to deal with Mr. Wigan returned 
answer that the said Mr. Wigan was not desirous to meet them as members 
of a class, but as fellow brethren ; promised to return his^scruples to you in 
writing ; not yet done. 

In 1650 he was the minister at Birch, and the Parliamentary 
Commissioners described him as a " painfull, Godly, preachinge 
Minister," who had had some " mainteynce out of the Sequestra- 
cons ; but all orders expireinge at Mydsomer, one thousand six 
hundred and fifty, there is noe meanes knowne for them but the 
controbucon of the people." 2 Mr. Wigan appears to have left 
Birch shortly after this, and to have entered the army, where he 
became a major. Adam Martindale has another interesting 
passage respecting him, who, when describing the events which 
succeeded the death of Charles I., says : 

Diverse of the ministers of the classis hurried about and imprisoned at 
Liverpool and Ormeskirke, till it came even to peaceable Mr. Angier. Those 
of Manchester, viz., Mr. Heyrick and Mr. Hollinworth, put to pensions (if 
they got them), the college lands being sold, and the college itself to Mr. 

1 " Life of Adam Martindale" (Chetham Society Series, vol. iv.), p. 61. 
5 " Commonwealth Church Survey " (Record Society Series, vol. i.), p. 13. 


Wigan, who now being turned antipasdobaptist, and I know not what more, 
made a barne there into a chappell, where he and many of his perswasion 
preached doctrine diametrically opposite to the ministers perswasion under 
their very nose. 1 

As already intimated, Mr. Wigan was succeeded at Gorton by 
the Rev. Adam Martindale. He was born in September, 1623, 
near Prescot, and educated first at St. Helens School, then Rainford. 
After holding the position of schoolmaster for some time he was 
led, after much hesitation, into the ministry. Most ministers can 
understand and sympathise with his condition of mind, who, when 
he was told by a friend that he must take duty on the coming 
Sabbath, with the choice of one of three places, said : 

I expostulated with him for his rashness ; but when nothing would excuse 
me, I told him St. Helens was very inconvenient for me to begin at, being 
amongst my old neighbours, where I was a school-boy not six years before ; 
Hyton not much fitter, being a place where many knew me, and supplied by 
Mr. Bell, one of the most famed preachers in the county. Middleton was 
further off, where few knew me, and the parson there was an honest, humble 
man (considering his high birth), but accounted an exceeding meane preacher, 
and his assistant (my old third master), in whose stead I was to go, much 
weaker than he. Here, if any where, I hoped my pains might find acceptance, 
and there was hope I needed to preach but once. 2 

In the month of April, 1646, Mr. Martindale accepted the 
invitation of the Gorton people to become their minister, and went 
"to live amongst them in Openshaw, a little towne in that 
chapellrie." On the 3ist of December, 1646, he married Elizabeth 
Hall, second daughter of Mr. John Hall, of the Clock House, in 
Droylsdenj whose wife subsequently married Major Jollie. 
Martindale remained but a short time at Gorton, being perplexed 
mainly by the divided character of the congregation respecting 
matters of church government, and in 1648 he removed to 
Rostherne, in Cheshire. At this place he laboured until his 
ejection in 1662, after which he was a sufferer and wanderer for 
many years like most of his Nonconformist brethren. 3 He died 

1 "Life of Adam Martindale," p. 75. 

2 Ibid, p. 58. 

3 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


at Leigh, and in the Parish Register of Rostherne Church is the 
following entry : 

"Sepulturae anno Dom. 1686. Mr. Adam Martindale, of 
Leigh, bur. Septem. 2 r." 

The Rev. David Dury, a native of Scotland, followed Mr. 
Martindale at Gorton in 1648. He was ordained here on 
June 2yth, 1649, and appears as minister until August, 1650. 
He was subsequently silenced at Honley, and after a time 
returned to Scotland. His name occurs under date February 
i6th, 1692, in the Burial Register of Greyfriars Church, 
Edinburgh. The Rev. Thomas Norman, whose father of the 
same name had been minister at Gorton from 1617 to 1622, 
had charge of the place from November, 1650, to June, 
1651. In 1655 h g was a t Newton-in-Makerfield. The Rev. 
Zachariah Taylor laboured here from December, 1651, to April, 

1653, being afterwards ejected from Rochdale, in 1662, where he 
had acted as assistant to the Rev. Robert Bath. 1 The Rev. 
Robert Seddon, M.A., is mentioned as expectant at Gorton, in 
July, 1653, and at this place he was ordained minister, June i4th, 

1654. He remained until April, 1656, was ejected from Langley, 
in Derbyshire, in 1662, and subsequently ministered at Bolton. 2 

We are now led up to the Rev. William Leigh, who was born 
about 1614, minister of Blackrod 1641-2, and of Newchurch 
(Culcheth) from 1649 to 1654. He first appears in connection 
with Gorton in November, 1656, and, as previously stated, was 
ejected from this place in 1662 by the Act of Uniformity. 3 He 
was buried at Denton Chapel on January nth, 1665-6; on 
which occasion Mr. Angier preached. Calamy says that he was " a 
serious, single-hearted man ; of good abilities, and very laborious 
in the work of the ministry. For some years he was grievously 

1 Vide vol. iii., of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Ibid. 

3 The Rev. Alexander Gordon, M.A., to whom I am indebted for many 
hints respecting these old foundations, thinks it is doubtful whether Mr. 
Leigh was ever ejected. It is clear that Calamy has partly confused him 
with the Rev. William Leigh, M.A., who died on or before August 5, 1662. 
This, however, is not sufficient to set Calamy quite aside. 


afflicted with stone, which at last cut him off." 1 The Rev. John 
Jollie appears to have taken charge of the congregation after Mr. 
Leigh, and to have preached at least occasionally in the chapel. 
He was the son of Major Jollie and brother of the Rev. Thomas 
Jollie, of Altham and Wymondhouses, near Clitheroe. He was 
educated at Trinity College, Dublin, and for a time assisted the 
Rev. John Angier at Denton. Ejected from Norbury, in Cheshire, 
by the Act of Uniformity, he appears at Gorton about 1669. The 
following passage from Mr. Booker s pen makes this clear : 

From an unpublished memorandum of the celebrated Henry Newcome we 
learn that one Mr. Ogden had, a few years previously, twice officiated at the 
adjacent chapel of Gorton, being at the time on a visit in Manchester. " On 
the Lord s Day, January 2nd, 1669 (1670)," says Newcome: "Mr. Ogden, a 
stranger that has for several weeks been in Manchester in pretence to study 
at the Library, came with John Broxup to Gorton, and said he was sent 
there by the warden to preach." For one cause or other there was an 
unwillingness on the part of the inhabitants to receive him, and a distrust in 
the authenticity of his mission. Two or three of the congregation waited 
upon the warden to ascertain whether he had sent Mr. Ogden. The warden 
in reply said that he had not sent him, but had given his consent on hearing 
that some of the people wished to have him. On the following Sunday Mr. 
Ogden s visit was repeated, being accompanied on this occasion by Anson, 
an attorney, and other persons from Manchester. Finding the pulpit already 
occupied by Mr. Jolly, who refused to give way, he retired to an alehouse 
hard by, where he stayed until the service was over. This occurrence was 
much discussed, and led to Mr. Jolly being summoned London. What 
ever was the result of the enquiry we hear of no more visits to Gorton. 2 

Mr. Jollie continued to reside at Gorton until his death, serv 
ing the congregation as opportunity permitted, preaching probably 
in the chapel and in his own house. 3 He died on the i6th of June, 
1682, and was buried at Oldham. Henry Newcome says: 

1 "Nonconformist s Memorial" (1802), vol. ii., p. 262. 

2 " History of the Ancient Chapel of Denton " (Chetham Society Series, 
vol. xxxviii.), p. 85. 

3 It ought to be said that it is open to question whether Mr. Jollie was 
ever actual minister at Gorton Chapel, though I am inclined to think he was. 
The period, however, covered by his residence ab Gorton was the period when 
dissent was under a cloud and much uncertainty hangs over it. 


June 28th. I preached a sermon on the account of the death of that 
honest, laborious, and useful man, Mr. John Jollie, at his house in Gorton, on 
Phil, ii., 20. * 

The Rev. Thomas Jollie, in his Church Book, thus refers to 
his brother s death : " 1682. Mr. Jollie died this year. He was 
an active servant of Christ. Taken ill one morning, he died the 
next." His son, the Rev. John Jollie, succeeded his uncle, 
Thomas Jollie, in the pastorate of Wymondhouses. 2 The next 
minister of whom I have information was the Rev. Thomas 
Dickenson, who was educated by the Rev. Richard Frankland, 
and ordained at Stand, May 24th, 1694, Messrs. Newcome, 
Eaton, and Angier being the principal ordainers. 3 He was at that 
time minister at Gorton, where he remained until 1702, when he 
removed to Northowram as Oliver Heywood s successor. At this 
place he laboured until his death, and in the " Northowram Register," 
which he continued after Mr. Heywood s decease, is the following 
notice of his own end : 

The Revd. Mr. Thomas Dickenson, minister at Northouram, Dyed 26th 
December, 1743, aged 73, abt one in the morning. Nature being far spent, 
a visible decay appeared abt July or August, wch increased gradually till 
the time of his death. He preached at Gorton Chappel, in Lancashire ; 
ordained, May 24th, 1694; removed to Northouram in the year 1702; about 
42 years at Northouram. He was an Eminent, usefull, faithfull Minister 01 
God s word, a meek & humble Xtian, an affectionate & tender Parent, a 
loving husband, a sincere Friend & social neighbour, a cheerful companion, 
very temperate, had an uncommon memory, lived well, and dyed looking for 
the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto Eternity. 4 

He was buried at Northowram Chapel, and his wife Hannah 
died in London, July 28th, 1765. Two sermons which he 
preached on the death of the Rev. Thomas Whitaker, A.M., of 
Leeds, were afterwards published, along with a memoir, by the 
Rev. T. Jollie, and two other sermons by the Rev. T. Bradbury. 

1 " Autobiography " (Chetham Society Series, vol. xxvii.), p. 242. 

2 The reader is referred to vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for 
a notice of the Jollie family of a somewhat extended character. 

3 Hunter s " Life of Oliver Heywood," p. 379, note. 

4 Page 335- 


It is probable that the Nonconformists retained some sort of 
hold upon the Episcopal Chapel until the days of Dickenson, but 
after his time a change took place. There is no certain informa 
tion as to the date of the erection of the chapel for Nonconformist 
worship, but 1703 is generally taken. It would therefore be 
immediately after Mr. Dickenson s removal, and possibly before a 
successor was appointed. The sitting accommodation was for 
about 200, though Dr. Evans gives the congregation as 250, of 
whom twenty-three were county voters. 

The next known minister was the Rev. Nehemiah Reyner, who 
settled at Gorton sometime before 1712, in which year the 
" Northowram Register " records his marriage : " Mr. Nehemiah 
Reyner, Minr. at Gorton, and Mrs. Jane Eaton, mar. Nov. 20, 
1712. 5)1 He removed about 1731 to Cross Street, Cheshire, for 
in May of that year " it was agreed that, upon Mr. Nehemiah 
Reyner s removal to Cross Street, the Rev. Mr. Gardiner, Mr. 
Mottershead, and Mr. Jones shall join in a letter to y e London 
ministers to procure the money formerly allowed to that place, 
which for some time has been discontinued." 2 In August, 1738, 
Mr. Reyner appears to have been excluded from the Ministerial 
Association, but at a meeting held May 6th, 1740, the censure 
was revoked, and he was owned as a brother. His successor was 
the Rev. Samuel Hanson, who entered upon duty in 1732. He 
had previously been at Ossett, in Yorkshire, for several years, 
where he married, February ist, 1727, at Wakefield, Mrs. Mary 
Jepson, the sister-in-law of the Rev. Thomas Dickenson. In 1737 
the Gorton congregation drew up a document, still in existence, 
addressed "To all our Christian Friends and Brethren." It 
was an appeal for help to lessen the burden on a certain estate 
belonging to the chapel, and one of the reasons given for the 
appeal is thus stated : 

That we are some of us under particular obligations to Mr. Hanson, our 
Pastor, who promised him at his coming to settle among us to do all we 
cou d ourselves, and use what Interest we had among our Christian Friends, 
to bring the s d Estate into a Condition for his Encouragement : That, as he 

1 Page 206. 

2 Urwick s "Nonconformity in Cheshire," p. 366. 


has been the happy Instrument of gathering us when we were Scatter d, and 
of increasing our Numbers, we are the more concern d that his stay with Us 
may be easie and comfortable to him, that so he may be encouraged to con 
tinue with Us. 

The appeal eventually obtained a total of ,220 53. Mr. 
Hanson remained until his death, and in the old graveyard is his. 
tombstone, thus inscribed : 

Here are deposited the remains of the 

Born at Wyke, in the Parish of Birstall and County of York, 

who departed this life Nov. 28th, 1763, 

in the yist year of his age, after having been 

Pastor of this Church upwards of 

Thirty-one years. 

Also, the remains of MARY, his wife, 

Daughter of Mr. Richard Foster, of Ossett, 

in the said County. She departed this 

Life Aug 1 - 24th, 1760, in the 67th year of 

her age. 

The Rev. John Atchison followed in 1765. He was born at 
Everdon, Northamptonshire, in March, 1743, and educated for 
the ministry at Daventry. His first and only charge was Gorton, 
which he held until 1778, when he resigned, owing to his 
"extraordinary diffidence," which prevented him from making 
" that public exhibition of himself which was required by the 
duties of his office as a Christian minister." 1 It was during his 
ministry in 1774 that the parsonage was built, mainly at the 
expense of members of the Grimshaw family. After his retirement 
from Gorton Mr. Atchison went to reside at Leicester, where he 
died February pth, 1813. The next in the ministerial list is the 
Rev. William Dodge Cooper, who had previously laboured at 
Stand, 2 near Manchester, for about seven years. 

The two following letters, intimating his acceptance of the 
invitation of the Gorton congregation, from Mr. Cooper, are 
interesting. They are addressed to " Mr. Robert Grimshaw, 

1 " Monthly Repository" for 1813, p. 278. 

2- Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


Gorton," and have been kindly copied by the Rev. Dendy Agate, 
from originals in his possession : 

Dear Sir, 

After what is already known by the congregation at Gorton respecting 
my intentions of coming to settle amongst them as their stated Minister, it 
should seem as though a written declaration of my acceptance of their 
Invitation were quite unnecessary. But lest such omission should be con 
strued into an inattention to order, or a want of respect, I have sent with 
this a written answer to their Invitation, which I should be much obliged to 
you to communicate to them the first opportunity. 
I am, dear Sir, 

Your much obliged friend and serv - 


July i6th, 1788. 

To the Congregation of Protestant Dissenters at Gorton. 

My Christian Brethren, 

The unanimous and hearty Invitation which you have been pleased to 
give me to officiate amongst you as your stated Minister is a mark of respect 
which calls for my sincere acknowledgments. 

I am sensible it is a desirable circumstance to be connected with a people 
so respectable and harmonious as you have long been, and therefore with 
pleasure convey to you my acceptance of your kind proposal. 

It is not in my power at present to fix with certainty when I shall take 
upon me the charge of your place ; as, in consequence of my engagement 
with the people at Walmsley, I am under obligation to supply for them till 
Christmas next, unless they can meet with a person before that time agreeable 
to their wishes. I flatter myself, however, you will be able to procure a 
regular and constant supply ; and if, during your vacancy, I can be of any 
assistance in this respect, my best endeavours shall not be wanting. 

I trust that our connection, whenever it takes place, will be mutually 
advantageous and happy ; that it will be our study and ambition to build 
one another up in the holy faith whereof we make profession ; to walk in the 
fear of the Lord and in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, that so we may be 
established in every thing good and exemplary, and numbers may be added 
to the church daily of such as shall be saved, and the God of love and peace 
be with us. With sincere prayers for your future comfort, 
I am, my Christian brethren, 

Your affectionate servant in the Gospel, 

Hyde, July i6th, 1788. WM. DODGE COOPER. 

Mr. Cooper closed his ministry here with his death, and in the 
old graveyard is a tombstone in memory of him somewhat oddly 
inscribed : 


This Tomb, 

Sacred to the memory of the 


Thirteen years Minister of the adjacent Chapel, 

Who died June the gth, 1801, 

In the forty-second year of his age, 

Is erected by a few friends, who, 

Although not allied to him in blood, 

Revere his Virtues and Regret his Death. 

The house of Prayer near which this tomb is rais d, 

Hath often witness d with what zeal he TAUGHT ! 
How meek he PRAY D ! How gratefully he PRAIS D ! 

Each word, each look, with mild instruction fraught. 
A head, so cool as his ! a heart so warm ! 

Have seldom center d in one human frame, 
And, till both TRUTH and VIRTUE cease to Charm, 
Shall many a SIGH be heav d at COOPER S name. 

The Rev. Joseph Ramsbottom, educated at Rotherham 1 and 
minister at Fulwood from 1798 to 1802, held the pastorate at 
Gorton from June, 1802, until March, 1806, when he died. From 
his tombstone in the old graveyard the following inscription is 

taken : 


to the memory of 

several years minister of this 

Congregation, who died March 

i5 th , 1806, aged 26 years. 

And of 


brother-in-law, who died June 

24 th 1804. Aged 20 years. 

In life they loved and in 

death they are now for 

ever united. 

The Rev. Joseph Jefferies, who had previously ministered al 
Topsham and Ringwood, in Hampshire, was recommended to the 
Gorton congregation by the Rev. Edward Higginson, of Stockport. 
He began his ministry on the first Sunday in April, 1807, and 

1 On the authority of the Rev. A. Gordon, M.A., not, I think, Rotherham 


died in 1829, two years after he had resigned the pulpit. 1 During 
his closing years he suffered from mental trouble. The Rev. 
Charles Danvers Hort succeeded him. He was born at Bristol in 
1807, educated at Belfast and the Manchester New College, and 
settled at Gorton in September, 1829. His personal friends bear 
the highest testimony to his character and abilities, as also to his 
modest and amiable temper. He left Gorton in 1836, and died at 
St. Patrick s Hospital, Dublin, in 1867, after being an inmate there 
for nearly twenty-seven years. The Rev. George Henry Wells, 
M.A., who was born at Warrington in 1811, educated at 
Glasgow, and who had previously laboured a few years at 
Rivington, 2 began his ministry at Gorton in February, 1837. He 
continued his labours here until June, 1881, when he withdrew 
from active work. This was the longest of all the Gorton 
ministries, and it was as fruitful as it was long. In 1863 the 
school was erected, and in 1871 the present handsome "Brookfield 
Church," the gift of the late Richard Peacock, Esq., M.P., super 
seded the old one. It stands fronting Hyde Road, has a tower 
and spire rising to the height of 150 feet, and has easy sitting 
accommodation for 450 people. Amongst the tablets within is 
one in memory of Mr. Wells, erected by his widow, thus inscribed: 

In Memory of 

For forty-four years minister of the Gospel in this place ; 
Born at Warrington, April ig th > 1811; 
Died at Bowdon, July 17" - 1888; 
" Let integrity and uprightness preserve me, 
for I wait on thee." Ps. xxv., 12. 

At the west end of the church the congregation has placed a 
marble font in memory of Mr. Wells and Mr. Peacock. 

Rev. Dendy Agate says that the Baptismal and Burial Registers, 
from November, 1827, to September, 1829, contain various entries by Ben 
jamin Naylor, who does not appear to have been the settled minister. Was 
this the Rev. Benjamin Naylor, educated at Warrington, pastor of a congre 
gation at Sheffield from 1780 to 1805, which he was obliged to relinquish 
owing to the failing health of his brother-in-law, who was engaged in business 
in Manchester, of which he came to take the oversight ? He died April i2th 
1846, at the age of eighty-four year?. 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


The present minister is the Rev. Dendy Agate, B.A., educated 
at the Manchester New College, and whose previous pastorates 
were at Hunslet (Leeds) and Scarborough. He entered upon 
duty at Gorton in January, 1882, and to him I am indebted for 
much generous help in the preparation of this sketch. The old 
chapel stood in a hollow a few yards behind the present one, and 
on the other side of the brook. It has been taken down, but its 
middle point is indicated by a tall monument in the centre of the 
old graveyard. There is an interesting memorial of the past near 
the entrance to the lodge, in the shape of an old stone, bearing 
date 1703. This was the stepping stone for gentlemen who were 
accustomed to come long distances on horseback to the chapel for 
worship. The congregation is Unitarian, and has been so for 
many years. 


IN this section it is proposed to deal briefly with the remaining 
Congregational interests in the neighbourhood of Manchester, 
starting from the point where the previous section left us, and 
completing the circle from east to west, round by the south side. 
Those interests are somewhat numerous, and are not without 
attractive features, which, did space permit, might be set out in 
considerable detail, but it does not; besides which they are, with 
one or two exceptions, quite young, and have their histories still to 
make. Beginning, then, with Openshaw, it appears that the Rev. 
William Roby, pastor of Grosvenor Street Chapel, Manchester, 
preached here some seventy years ago, and " wished to see 
regular religious services established." The effort, however, was 
abandoned, and no further attempt made until 1864, when, 
guided by the Rev. R. M. Davies, of Oldham, and Mr. Alderman 
Thompson, now of Wilmslow, a committee of Manchester gentle 
men " purchased the old chapel in Lower Openshaw, which had 
just been vacated by the Wesleyans on their removal to the new 
premises in Grey Mare Lane." 1 Beautified and repaired, it was 

1 "Bazaar Handbook," by the Rev. Robert Sutton, published in 1890. 


handed over to trustees free from debt, being opened for 
gational worship in October, 1864. Neighbouring ministers and 
students from Lancashire College supplied the pulpit from that 
time up to the following May, when the Rev. R. A. Bertram, from 
Ancoats, was appointed minister by the Lancashire County Union. 
Mr. Bertram almost immediately directed his attention to Higher 
Openshaw, for in the autumn of 1865 the Co-operative Hall was 
rented and opened as a branch school, and preaching services 
were also conducted. The cause here was strengthened consider 
ably by the accession on Easter Sunday, 1866, of a number of 
friends who had been connected with the New Connexion Chapel 
in Fairfield Road. On the 25th of November following Mr. 
Bertram closed his ministry at Openshaw ; and settled at Bacup. 
The Rev. J. Forsyth was appointed pastor of the Lower Openshaw 
Church on January 2oth, 1867, preaching for a few months in the 
morning at Higher Openshaw ; the evening supply being sent by 
the Rev. Thomas Green, M.A., of Ashton-under-Lyne. Shortly 
after this the Rev. Matthew Johnston was appointed Evangelist 
at Higher Openshaw, but he remained only a few months, being 
succeeded in the autumn of 1867 by the Rev. G. Harrison. In 
1870 both Mr. Forsyth and Mr. Harrison resigned, and the 
County Union decided to place the two stations under the care of 
the Rev. James Duthie, from Beaconsfield. He began his ministry 
in February, 1871, and immediately an effort was made in the 
direction of more convenient premises for Higher Openshaw. 
Accordingly, the memorial stone of a school chapel in Lees Street 
was laid by Hugh Mason, Esq., of Ashton-under-Lyne, on Satur 
day afternoon, April 22nd, 1871. The building, which had 
accommodation for about 400 people, and which cost, including 
land, &c., ,1,397, was opened on the 8th of October following, 
when sermons were preached by the Revs. T, Green, M A., and 
T. C. Finlayson, of Rusholme. The services were continued on 
subsequent dates, when the Revs. T. Willis, Grosvenor Street; 
Dr. Macfadyen, Chorlton Road; R. M. Davies, Oldham; and 
A. J, Bray, Cavendish Street, Manchester, were the preachers. On 
Sunday afternoon, October 22nd, 1871, a separate church was 
formed out of the communicants of the two stations, who had 
mainly up to this time been in membership with Mr. Green s 


church. In 1873 it was found needful to separate the two places, 
and Mr. Duthie continued his pastorate at Lees Street with much 
success until October, 1878, when he resigned. Subsequently he 
became pastor of the new interest at Gorton hard by. The Rev. 
Robert Sutton, a student from Lancashire College, began his 
labours as successor to Mr. Duthie on Sunday, July 2oth, 1879. 
The need of an enlarged chapel had been felt for some years, and 
a few days after Mr. Sutton s settlement a committee was formed 
to take the matter into consideration. On the 2nd of October, 
1880, Reuben Spencer, Esq., of Manchester, laid the foundation 
stone, and on Thursday evening, July i4th, 1881, "amid much 
rejoicing, the new chapel was opened by the Rev. J. Baldwin 
Brown, B.A., of London." In connection with other opening 
services the Revs. Dr. Scott, Lancashire College ; Dr. Macfadyen, 
Chorlton Road; A. Cran, M.A., Droylsden ; Dr. Mackennal, 
Bowdon ; J. Hutchison, Ashton-under-Lyne ; and W. Reid, 
Levenshulme, conducted services. The total cost of the new 
building, which seats 700 people, was ^4,066, of which the sum 
of ^2,000 remained to be raised at the opening. In 1886 all the 
remaining debt was removed, and immediately afterwards an 
enlargement of the Sunday School, &c., entailed a further outlay 
of ;i,ioo, to meet which a bazaar was held in March, 1890. In 
1892 the church declared itself able to dispense with assistance 
from the Union Funds. Mr. Sutton still pursues a ministry here, 
which from the first has been attended with most gratifying 

After the separation in 1873 Lower Openshaw, for a con 
siderable period, was worked by lay preachers, foremost amongst 
them being Mr. R. P. Ellis, who successfully officiated as lay 
pastor six years. After Mr. Ellis left, the church sank into a 
state of great feebleness, and remained so for some time. In 
January, 1887, Dr. Hodgson and a few students from Lancashire 
College interested themselves in the place, and rendered efficient 
service, which infused new life into the congregation. In 1890 
the Manchester, Salford, and District Ministers and Deacons 
Association appointed a committee, consisting of the Revs. T. 
Willis, J. W. Kiddle, and E. E. Stuttard, to confer with the 
executive of the church and congregation for the purpose of 


strengthening Congregationa^sm in the neighbourhood. The 
result was the old building in Ashton Old Road was sold, and a 
school chapel erected, at a cost of ^1,700, on a site within easy 
reach of New Ardwick, Bradford, and Lower Openshaw. The 
new building was opened in May, 1892, and since the opening 
both congregation and school have largely increased. There is 
land for a chapel in front of the present erection. 

At the suggestion of the Manchester and Salford Ministers and 
Deacons Association, in 1889, the Lees Street Church commenced 
Evangelistic work in Central Openshaw. A "suitable and con 
venient building," which had been used by the Methodist Free 
Church, was purchased for ^850, and a further outlay of ^150 
became necessary to furnish and put it in good repair. A generous 
grant has been made each year from the funds of the County 
Union, and the work, which is said to be "in a hopeful condition," 
and to be " meeting a real want," is under the supervision of the 
pastor of Lees Street Church. 

In March, 1880, the Rev. T. Willis, of Grosvenor Street Chapel, 
and other ministers, took part in the opening services of a Mission 
Hall, Gore Street, Gorton, capable of seating about 300 people. 
The Rev. James Duthie, formerly of Openshaw, was put in charge 
of the station, and in February, 1881, a church was formed, con 
sisting of forty-four members. In 1884 a new school chapel was 
erected in Church Lane, Hyde Road, at a cost of over pi,ooo, 
with sitting accommodation for 300 persons. Mr. Duthie continued 
to do a useful work here, amidst many difficulties, until 1892, when 
he resigned. He is now resident in Manchester without charge. 
The cause has obtained generous help from the Union Funds since 
its commencement, and has found warm friends in the deacons 
and pastor of Grosvenor Street Church. 

Congregationalism at Levenshulme is mainly indebted for its 
origin to a Mr. Holt, who, about 1864, was accustomed to 
hold meetings for worship in private houses. A new building, 
which served both for a Sunday School and a preaching place, 
was opened on June 2yth of that year, J. Sidebottom, Esq., 
presiding. A church was formed in 1865, and in the early part of 
1866 the Rev. J. Byles, a student from Lancashire College, 
accepted a call to the pastorate. After a ministry of about three 


years he removed to Blackburn, 1 and was succeeded in 1870 by 
the Rev. Henry Young, who had been educated at Nottingham, 
and previously laboured at Painswick, in Gloucestershire. In 
1872 he removed to Newport, Salop, being followed in December 
of that year by the Rev. R. D. Hutchison. He was educated at 
the Edinburgh Theological Hall, and previously had laboured at 
Cambuslang. After a brief pastorate at Levenshulme he resigned, 
and in 1874 served the St. Paul s Congregational Church at 
Wigan for a few weeks. 2 The present minister, the Rev. Wm. 
Reid, from Nelson, 3 who was educated at Glasgow University, 
under Professors Ramsay, Buchanan, Taylor, and Fleming, 
entered upon duty here in September, 1875. In October, 1881, 
the present commodious house of worship was opened by Dr. 
Hannay. It is capable of seating about 500 people, and cost over 
^4,000, towards which the Chapel Building Society voted ^500. 
A considerable debt was left upon the building, which seriously 
crippled the church for a few years ; but the " Lancashire Congre 
gational Calendar" for 1887 says : 

This church is now not only out of debt, but independent of the monetary 
aid of the Union, a result largely due to the labours of the pastor, the Rev. 
William Reid, who has now brought two churches, those of Nelson and 
Levenshulme, from infancy to maturity. 

Heaton Moor, five miles from Manchester and one and a half 
from Stockport, has had a Congregational interest about twenty 
years. It originated in the desire of several Congregational ists 
who had come to reside in the neighbourhood to have a church 
after their own order. A school chapel, capable of holding 200 
people, was erected, and the opening services were conducted by 
Dr. Macfadyen. In the summer of 1873 a church was formed, 
the number of members being about twenty. The first minister 
was the Rev. F. Sidney Morris. He is the son of the Rev. A. J. 
Morris, formerly Congregational minister at Warrington, was 
educated at Cheshunt College, and settled at Heaton Moor in 
January, 1876. The present iron chapel, with sitting accommo- 

1 Vide " Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. ii. 

2 Ibid, vol. iv. 

3 Ibid, vol. ii. 


dation for 500 people, was opened at this time, its cost being 
about ^1,400. Mr. Morris resigned in June, 1879, and is now 
the minister of a Unitarian congregation at York. His successor 
at Heaton Moor was the Rev. Colin Brewster. Born at Norwich, 
and brought up in the communion of the United Methodist Free 
Church, he exercised his gifts for some time in the ministry of that 
denomination. During his residence in Manchester as a circuit 
minister he attended classes at Owens College, and, seeing in 
Congregationalism greater attractions than he found in his own 
form of church government, he accepted the invitation of the 
Brownlow Hill Congregational Church, Liverpool. After labouring 
there about eight years he removed, in 1880, to Heaton Moor. 
After a long illness, during which his church showed him every 
kindness, he died at Cairo, whither he had gone to regain strength, 
on Good Friday, April 4th, 1890, aged fifty-four years. His 
remains were laid in the American cemetery there. The present 
minister is the Rev. P. K. Batchan, M.A. He was educated at 
Airedale College, had previously laboured some five years at 
Leyburn, in Yorkshire, and entered upon duty as successor to Mr. 
Brewster, November ist, 1891. The chapel is within three 
minutes walk of Heaton Chapel station, and occupies a splendid 
site fronting Heaton Moor R.oad. This year steps are being taken 
towards the erection of a more substantial and commodious 
structure. The church, "though Congregational in name and 
foundation," is described as " practically a Union Church, Presby 
terians (Scotch families) being especially represented." 

About two miles west of Heaton Moor is Burnage, a long, 
scattered village between Manchester and Stockport. It had no 
place of worship until 1859, when Mr. Samuel Watts, sen., lent a 
small house for a Sunday School, which was opened by members 
of his family, assisted by Mr. Frank Atterbury. In a short time 
the house became too small, and the back room was enlarged by 
Mr. Watts. The first address was given by Mr. Newbery a friend 
of the family, and for many years "buyer" in the firm of S. and J. 
Watts and Company. 

Week evening meetings were commenced in 1860, being con 
ducted by Mr. Newbery and other gentlemen, and in 1862 
he held the first Sunday service. From this time until his 


death, a period of nearly 30 years, he generally preached twice on 
the Sunday, superintended the school, taught a class, and conducted 
a week evening service, all for the love of the work and the benefit 
of the people. A church was formed in 1868, and in 1869 the 
chapel was built, with sitting accommodation for 200. The 
foundation stone was laid by Sir James Watts, and the funds were 
mainly provided by Mr. Samuel Watts, jun., and members of the 
family, who have continued their interest in the place to the third 
generation. Mr. Newbery suggested that a paid minister should 
be engaged, but his work was so successful, and he was so ready 
to serve, that no change was then made. He was an earnest 
preacher and a devoted minister. The congregation have placed 
a tablet to his memory in the little chapel which was so much his 
own. His loss has been deeply felt, and no one has yet been 
found to fill his place. 1 

Heaton Mersey, some half a dozen miles south of Manchester, 
and near the Cheshire border, has been the home, more or less, of 
Congregational effort for o.ver eighty years. About the year c8io, 
the Rev. William Evans, of Stockport, " first preached at Heaton 
Mersey at the request of some members of his congregation who 
resided here. These visits were only occasionally made." 2 The 
Rev. Solomon Ashton, also of Stockport, joined Mr. Evans in 
this work about 1812, and a service was held once a month in the 
village. In 1817 Heaton Mersey became an out-station of the 
Cheshire County Union, and from that time until 1826 the Rev. 
John Hart, the minister of Gatley, "assisted at times by laymen 
from Stockport, conducted the services." Two other Stockport 
ministers are also mentioned as rendering occasional help, viz., the 
Revs. G. F. Ryan and N. K. Pugsley. " During the greater part 
of this time," says Mr. Hooper, " the worshippers assembled in the 
open air, or in a small cottage." The growth of the interest led the 

1 Miss J. Watts, of Burnage, has kindly supplied me with particulars 
about this interesting cause. She is the daughter of Mr. Samuel Watts, 
senior, sister of Mr. Samuel Watts, junior, and niece of Sir James Watts. 

3 " Manual of the Heaton Mersey Congregational Church," 1892. For the 
historic account of the church which it contains, " being for the most part a 
copy of documents collected by Lady Watts, Abney Hall, Cheadle," I am 
indebted for much of the information here given. 


friends to pass the following resolution on April iyth, 1825, at a 
special meeting convened for the purpose : 

That it is expedient that a more convenient place for Divine worship be 
provided ; that the Rev. John Hart and Mr. John Shawcross respectfully 
solicit the aid of other ministers, and the opulent members of their churches 
and congregations, and also that the following persons be appointed a com 
mittee to receive contributions in the neighbourhood, from a halfpenny and 
upwards : Rev. John Hart. Messrs. John Shawcross, Nimrod Holden, George 
Smith, William Butler, Robert Ward, Seneca Wells, John Wells, Joseph 
Wilbraham, Thomas Carr, George Riley. 

Shortly after this a church was formed consisting of fifteen 
members. The effort in the direction of a larger place of worship 
resulted in the cottage of Rebecca Sykes, where services had 
previously been held, being converted into a chapel. The three rooms, 
which were on one floor, were thrown together, and in its enlarged 
form it was opened for worship in 1827, the preachers being the 
Revs. G. F. Ryan and N. K. Pugsley. Previous to this, the Rev. 
John Hart, of Gatley, who had been greatly interested in the 
movement, had resigned his charge, and the young church applied 
to Mr. Jonathan Lees, of Manchester, to come over and preach, 
and also assist in obtaining supplies. He and Mr. Day 1 " sent 
supplies from time to time at their own risk." In 1827 Heaton 
Mersey became associated with the Lancashire County Union, and 
obtained a grant of ,20 from its funds. The Union Report, 
ending April, 1828, after stating that the building was sometimes 
crowded to "excess, when probably as many as 180 might be 
present," says : 

There is no Sunday School in connection with the Independent interest 
there, in ccnsequence of a large school having been for some time established 
on the spot, in which 500 children are taught, and in which several of the 
members of the church at Heaton Mersey are teachers, and one a visitor. 

In August, 1836, the church unanimously resolved : " That it 
is desirable to erect a church for the worship of God, according to 
the manner of the Independents." The committee of management 

1 In 1833, "the acceptable services" of Mr. Mills are referred to, who, 
for a time, preached there every Sabbath and once in the course of the week. 


included two persons Mr. John Jackson and Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
James Watts, who took the matter up in earnest. Accordingly, 
the foundation stone was laid on August 28th, 1839, by Mr. J. S. 
Jackson, of West Bank, and amongst those who assisted on the 
occasion were the Revs. J. Waddington, W. McKerrow, E. H. 
Nolan, M. Grindrod, and Mr. J. Hewitt. About 1,500 people 
were present at the ceremony. The new building was opened for 
worship on Wednesday evening, August 6th, 1840, by the Rev. 
Robert Halley, D.D., of Manchester, and on the following Sunday 
the preachers were the Revs. J. Hargreaves, Richard Fletcher, and 
Wm. McKerrow. At the beginning of 1842 a Sunday School 
was opened, " the children having been collected almost exclusively 
from amongst those who were not connected with any other school, 
and this principally by the personal exertions of a devoted member 
of the church at Grosvenor Street, Manchester, who up to the 
present time [written about April, 1842] comes regularly to teach 
a class of young men." 2 It is a singular fact that during all these 
years the church had no stated minister, but on January ist, 
1845, the Rev. Stephen Hooper began his labours as such. He 
is one of very few survivors who were transferred from the Black 
burn Academy, in 1843, to the Lancashire Independent College 
at Manchester, and, like his fellow student, the Rev. R. M. Davies, 
of Oldham. two years his senior in the ministry, has refused to 
exchange his first pastorate for any other. Mr. Davies excepted, 
Mr. Hooper is by many years the oldest Lancashire minister still 
in charge, and the church at Heaton Mersey is largely his own 
making. The following sentences indicate the improvements in the 
building since its erection, which has now accommodation for about 
400 people : 

Since 1845 the chapel has been enlarged on two occasions. In 1855 the 
building was widened, the present pillars were introduced, and the north-east 
window put in. In 1864 the building was extended, and the gallery over 
the entrance erected. In 1870 the organ was presented by Sir James Watts, 
of Abney Hall, and about the same time the screen and pulpit were presented 
by Mr. Watts, of the Old Hall, Cheadle. 2 

1 "Lancashire County Union Report," ending April, 1842. 

2 " Church Manual." 


It ought to be mentioned that the name of Sir James Watts is 
closely associated not merely with Heaton Mersey, but with many 
of our Lancashire Churches, through his generous benefactions, 
and that Lady Watts and several of the family are still members 
of the Heaton Mersey Church, in whose welfare they are deeply 

The Withington Congregational Church, some four miles south 
of Manchester, though little more than a dozen years old, has 
grown to considerable strength, and abundantly demonstrated the 
wisdom of the movement. In February, 1880, a meeting was held 
at the house of Mr. Melland, to consider how the religious needs 
of the neighbourhood might be met, there being present the Revs. 
Dr. Macfadyen, Dr. Hodgson, T. Willis, and Messrs. Melland, 
Clowes, Dimelow, and Swarbrick. At a larger meeting, held on 
November 5th of that year, in the Withington Primitive Methodist 
Chapel, a building committee was formed. Services were com 
menced in the Town Hall, on October 2nd, 1881, and on Febru 
ary 1 3th, 1882, a church was formed in the Board Room of the 
Town Hall, consisting of thirty-four members, the Revs. Dr. 
Macfadyen, Dr. Finlayson, and Dr. Hodgson assisting in the 
service. On the 8th of July following Mr. W. E. Melland laid the 
foundation stone of the present handsome and commodious 
structure, which will seat upwards of 800 people, and on June 7th, 
1883, Dr. Macfadyen preached at its opening for public worship. 
\ he cost of the church was ^7,200, and the school ^2,800, to 
wards which sums the Chapel Building Society voted ^1,000. 
The Rev. James Williamson, M.A., became the first pastor of the 
new church, entering upon duty December 2nd, 1883. He was 
born in Banff, graduated in the Aberdeen University, and subse 
quently entered Lancashire College for the theological course. 
His first charge was Stalybridge, whence he removed to Gallowtree 
Gate, Leicester, and thence to Withington. During the last two 
years of his life he suffered much from a tumour, which eventually 
proved fatal on Tuesday evening, August 23rd, 1887. "At 
the age of forty-two he passed away in his easy chair, without a 
moment s warning and without a sign." 1 His successor was the 

1 "Congregational Year Book," for iSSS, p. 213. 


Rev. T. K. Higgs, M.A. He had been trained at Lancashire 
College, and for about ten years had laboured at Hanley, Stafford 
shire. Mr. Higgs resigned on the 8th of June, 1890, and is now 
pastor of the Greenacres Congregational Church, Oldham. The 
present minister is the Rev. C. H. Hickling, who was trained at 
Hackney, and whose previous spheres of labour were Hoddesdon, 
Herts, and Eastbourne. He commenced his ministry at Withing- 
ton, May 3isr, 1891. The school buildings were completed in 
1891, the opening service being conducted by the Rev. James 
McDougall, on Sunday, April 26th. 

Chorlton-cum-Hardy is another of these flourishing suburban 
churches in the south of Manchester which have grown up within 
recent years. In May, 1879, the attention of the deacons of the 
Stretford Congregational Church was called to the importance 
of holding services here, and the large room of the Masonic Hall 
was rented for ,25 a year for Sunday evening services. Dr. Mac- 
fadyen hearing of the movement asked that his church might have 
a share in the work, and a joint committee was formed, with Mr. J. 
C. Needham as treasurer, representing the Chorlton Road Church, 
and Mr. P. C. Ford as secretary, representing the Stretford Church. 
The opening services were held on September 28th, 1879, when 
Dr. Macfadyen preached in the afternoon, and the Rev. G. C. 
Empson, pastor of the Stretford Church, preached in the evening. 
Morning services were commenced in the spring of i88r, and a 
Sunday School was established about the same time. The Rev. 
G. L. Turner, M. A., one of the Lancashire College Professors, 
gave very substantial help to the church by taking the services 
himself, or exchanging with leading ministers in the district. On 
June 25th, 1881, the Stretford Church suggested to the church at 
Chorlton Road that it should assume the entire responsibility of 
the Chorlton-cum-Hardy movement, which it did, Dr. Macfadyen 
frequently presiding at the monthly meetings of the committee, and 
at the communion services. On April i4th, 1883, Mr. Needham 
laid the memorial stone of a school chapel, "of plain Gothic 
character," capable of accommodating about 350 people. It was 
opened for worship on the 2glh of September following, the 
preachers being the Revs. J. G. Rogers, B.A., of London, and 
Dr. Macfadyen. The cost of the building was about ,2,000, 


towards which the Chorlton Road Church contributed a generous 
sum from the proceeds of its bazaar, held in 1888. A church 
was formed on Monday, December 3rd, 1883, when forty-seven 
members were enrolled, and on Sunday, June i4th, 1885, tn e 
Rev. Robert Mitchell, of St. John s Wood, London, and pre 
viously of Queen s Park, Manchester, began his labours as the 
first pastor. He was educated at Glasgow, and had formerly 
exercised his ministry for many years in connection with the 
Evangelical Union of Scotland. He closed his pastorate at 
Chorlton-cum-Hardy, December 2nd, 1888, and removed to the 
Eignbrook Congregational Church, Hereford. He is now the 
minister of the E. U. Church at Greenock. The death of Dr. Mac- 
fadyen, in 1889, led to the termination of the union with Chorlton 
Road, and the church is now quite independent. The present 
minister, the Rev. David Walters, trained at Brecon, and pre 
viously stationed at Mold, succeeded Mr. Mitchell, on Sunday, 
June ;:9th, 1890. In the following October a fund was inaugur 
ated for the erection of a new place of worship to be called " The 
Macfadyen Memorial Church," the building of which will be 
shortly commenced. 

Still south of Manchester, though considerably west of the two 
places just named, is Strelford, where Congregationalism has had 
a footing for over sixty years. The following interesting account 
of the origin of the cause here is from the pen of a recent 
writer : 

More than 65 years ago, or, to write with chronological precision, in 1825, 
three good and earnest-minded men went out to Stretford from Manchester to 
engage in mission work, and to endeavour to promote religious zeal and 
activity amongst the villagers. Their names were J. Bromley, W. Howe, 
and J. Walker. They were all members of the Established Church, and 
came from the now no longer extant church of St. Clement, Lever Street, 
Manchester. They sometimes preached in the open air, and it was a curious 
but edifying spectacle to witness the crowds of bulky, uncouth rustics who, 
attracted and impressed by the enthusiasm of the sp : akers, were wont to 
gather silently and respectfully around their stands, all their uncultured 
rudeness subdued by the solemnity cf the proceedings, and all their coarser 
feelings merged into a broad sense of reverence. The missionaries, of 
course, were also favoured by the support of the better class of residents, 
some of whom were markedly diligent in their attendance, when a cottage 


was taken in Moore Street for the purposes of public worship. This cottage 
may be said to have been the first home of Congregationalism in Stretford, 
although the movement was at that time entirely undenominational, the 
services being conducted on such wide and general lines as to permit 
conscientious participation of almost all sects. The mission prospered, and 
before long the cottage was not able to contain the congregation. A Mr. 
Pearson stepped in very opportunely at this juncture, and erected a larger 
building in Chester Road, whose peculiarity of design was that upon its 
vacation as a church it could almost immediately, and with scarcely any 
expenditure of money or labour, be converted into habitable cottages. 
That building still stands in all its primitive simplicity in close proximity to 
the present church, though few are aware of the interesting historical asso 
ciations that cluster round its faded walls. Before very long the continued 
growth of the mission again began to make itself felt, but nearly seven years 
elapsed ere the acquisition of a third and still larger place of worship 
became of urgent and imperative necessity. It was now determined that 
the new centre of the mission should be of a more appropriate style of con 
struction and of more pretentious design, this commendably ambitious 
resolve being induced by the great, uninterrupted, and still increasing success 
of the movement. Accordingly, the first Congregational chapel and schools 
were erected, the site employed being that now occupied by the present 

The Rev. Edward Morris was appointed the first pastor, concern 
ing whom it is said that whilst he was "engaged in a course of private 
study in Manchester, J. Guinness Rogers, Absalom Clark. John 
Rawlinson, and other students of the Lancashire Independent 
College were endeavouring to plant Congregational churches at 
Stretford and Sale." 1 On Wednesday, September Qth, 1840, he 
was ordained to the pastorate here, the charge to the minister 
being given by the Rev. J. Gwyther. In that year the Lancashire 
County Union voted the sum of ^50 to aid the station, and the 
first report which it presented to the Annual Meeting of the 
Union, in April, 1841, stated that there was preaching three times 
every Sabbath Day, with a " best attendance " of 120 people ; that 
five persons had been added to the infant church, making the mem 
bership into twenty-one; that there was a Sunday School, with the 
names of 140 on the books; and that Mr. Morris had preaching 
stations at Urmston, Lostock, and Lostock Lane. Shortly after 

1 "Congregational Year Book" for 1890, p. 168. 


this Mr. Morris undertook to revive the cause at Sale, concerning 
which it was thus reported at the time : 

The place had been closed, the church dissolved, the chapel was filthy and 
out of repair, the deeds unsatisfactory and even insecure ; and worse than 
all, the interest had attached to it an ill odour in the neighbourhood. 1 

Generously assisted by students of Lancashire College, Mr. 
Morris continued to work the two churches until 1849, when he 
resigned his connection with Stretford, and gave his undivided 
energies to Sale. Here he laboured until 1883, when advanced 
age brought about his retirement from a church which had 
giown under his care into one of the most vigorous in the county 
of Cheshire. He died on the 4th of July, 1889. His successor in 
the pastorate at Stretford was the Rev. John Simson. He was 
educated at the Blackburn Academy, being sent thither by the 
Great George Street Church, Liverpool, then under the pastoral 
care of Dr. Raffles. His first church was at Nantwich, whence he 
removed to Stretford in 1851. In 1858 "the friends of Christ 
at this place having met together and devised liberal things for the 
support of their minister," were able both to increase his stipend 
and dispense with further aid from the funds of the Union. Three 
years after this the present building, capable of seating about 550 
people, replaced its "antiquated predecessor." The foundation 
stone was laid by John Rylands, Esq., on April 4th, 1861, "in 
the presence of a large assembly," and in addition to the pastor 
the Revs. Ur. McKerrow and David Home assisted in the service. 
The cost of the new building was about ^2,200. During Mr. 
Simson s ministry a secession took place, which resulted in the 
formation of a Union Church in Edge Lane, of which the Rev. 
Fitzherbert Bugby was the first minister. Mr. Simson resigned in 
1865, and subsequently laboured at Marple and Baguley, in 
Cheshire. He died October iQth, 1892, aged seventy-seven 
years. His wife was Jane Thompson, daughter of James Thomp 
son, a linen merchant in Nantwich, one of whose ancestors 
suffered death in the battle of Drumclog." 2 The Rev. J. 

1 " County Union Report," ending April, 1844. 
- "Congregational Year Book" for 189 , p. 243. 


McAuslane, from Cumnock, who had studied at the Glasgow 
Theological Academy under Drs. Wardlawand Thomson, followed 
in 1866. In 1871 he removed to Garlieston, Wigtownshire, where 
he laboured until his death, June nth, 1877. H was the author 
of a little volume entitled "Prayer, Pardon, Peace," a book for 
inquirers. His brother was the late Dr. Alex. McAuslane, of 
Finsbury Chapel, London The Rev. G. C. Empson, who had 
received his ministerial training at Spring Hill College, and pre 
viously laboured at Bilston, followed in 1872. It was during Mr. 
Empson s pastorate that the Stretford Church first interested itself 
in Congregational Church extension at Chorlton-cum-Hardy and 
Urmston, he being ever anxious to enlist the sympathies of his 
people in aggressive Christian work. He resigned the pastorate 
in 1883, and is now labouring in Michigan, U.S.A. The Rev. 
J. \V. Kiddle, who was also trained at Spring Hill College, and 
whose previous pastorates were at Coventry and Charlestown, 
Pendleton, succeeded Mr. Empson in 1884, and still pursues a 
useful ministry here. A brass plate in the western porch contains 
th* following inscription : 

The foundation stone 

of this Church 

was laid on Good Friday, A.D. 1861, by 

of Longford Hall. 

The Church was restored 

and this porch added by 


A.D. 1890. 

The generous benefactions of Mr. Rylands, not alone to the 
Stretford Church, but to our denominational institutions generally, 
have won for him a high place in our history, and Mrs. Rylands has 
already proved herself to be like-minded with her late husband, 
not least by her handsome gift of the Al thorp Library to the city 
of Manchester. 

It has been previously stated that the Rev. E. Morris was in the 
habit of preaching at Urmston, a few miles west of Stretford, in the 
early part of his ministry ; but the present interest is a much later 
formation. In the year 1879 a number of friends, chiefly members of 


Congregational churches in Manchester, who were living at Urmston, 
decided to meet for worship, and engaged for that purpose a small 
room called the High School, in Flixton Road. The committee 
who undertook the responsibility of working this movement was 
presided over by the Rev. G. C. Empson, the Stretford minister. 
The room being very small and inconvenient it was resolved to 
take steps towards the erection of a church, and a building com 
mittee was appointed, consisting of the following persons : 
Messrs. Robert Dobson, R. B. Taylor, C. H. Wyatt, Ellis Pugh, 
William Griffiths, C. Cutting, Richard Seel, John Thomson, 
Edwin Porter, Josiah Rigby, W. Walker, and W. G. Porter. 
On September 2oth, 1879, the foundation stone of the new 
building was laid by Mr. Henry Lee, of Manchester, and in May, 
1880, the High School was vacated, and services were held in the 
schoolroom of the new building. The church was opened on 
June loth following, when the Rev. J. A. Macfadyen, M.A., 
preached in the afternoon, and in the evening a meeting was held, 
presided over by Mr. Wm. Armitage, J.P., of Altrincham. On 
October 26th, 1880, the church was formed. The Rev. R. M. 
Davies, of Oldham, presided on the occasion, and the Rev. T. 
Willis, of Manchester, gave an address on Congregational Church 
principles. Twenty-two friends, who were transferred from other 
churches, entered into fellowship, and then received twenty-one 
others who desired to be associated with them. The Lord s Supper 
was afterwards celebrated, at which service the Rev. J. Rawlin- 
son, of Manchester, and the Rev. F. Carter, of Northwich, assisted. 
The Rev. A. O. Lochore, a student of Lancashire College, 
on April 2oth, 1881, accepted the invitation of the church to 
become its first pastor. He succeeded in reducing the heavy debt, 
which had been a serious burden to the cause from its commence 
ment, and in enabling it to dispense with the assistance of the 
Union Funds. In April, 1888, he removed to Newport, Isle of 
Wight, where he is still the minister. His successor, the Rev. 
Henry Shaw, educated at Cheshunt, and who had previously 
held charges at Hull and Gloucester, began his labours at Urmston 
on December 2nd, 1888. He is still the minister here, and 
amongst those who loyally support him in his work are Messrs. 
Robert Tonge, J. D. Williams, J. R. Groundwater, George Duke, 


and T. Hand, deacons of the church. Mr. Shaw is a frequent 
contributor of historical articles to our denominational literature. 
The church is situated in Flixton Road, Urmston, and will seat 
some 250 people. It cost about ,3.000. 

At Cadishead, still farther west, and on the right bank of the 
Mersey, is a small Congregational interest, which was originated 
in March, 1875, by the Rev. H. Fielden, of Partington. Services 
were held in a small shed, originally meant for fustian cutting, 
and which was familiarly known as the Congregational "Cathe 
dral." On Good Friday, 1883, a new school chapel, capable of 
seating 200 people, was opened, the cost of which was ^641. 
The Rev. G. Brimacombe supplied the pulpit for a short time 
after this, and then the Rev. D. Clegg, formerly of Clitheroe, 1 took 
charge of the place along with Partington, on the Cheshire side of 
the Mersey. The present minister is the Rev. J. Crewe. A grant 
is annually made from the funds of the Union in support of the 
cause, and the Rev. John Yonge, of Warrington, with several 
members of the Warrington Church, has generously bestowed 
upon it much labour and thought. The arrangement with 
Partington has been discontinued, that church being under the 
care of the Bowdon Rural Mission, and Cadishead is now super 
intended by the Warrington Committee, and aided, as stated 
above, by the Lancashire Union. 

With Cadishead the circle of Congregational interests around 
Manchester is completed. We have come again to the original 
starting point. These interests, however, do not at all exhaust the 
good work which has been done by the Lancashire Congregational 
Union in this part of the county and in counties adjoining. 
Early Reports tell of preaching stations at Lymm, Woodhouses, 
Warburton, Carrington, Partington, and Mill Bank, in Cheshire ; 
and Irlam, Flixton, Rixon, and Bury Lane, in Lancashire, all 
under the care of the Rev. Benjamin Holmes, formerly of Park 
Chapel, Ramsbottom. 2 

Cheshire has benefited considerably by the unselfishness of its 
richer neighbour, for many of the churches which skirt it on the 

1 Vide "Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. ii. 

2 Ibid, vol. iii. 


Lancashire side have been recipients of generous grants from its 
Union Funds. It extended its operations even into Derbyshire at 
one period of its history, the Congregational Church at Buxton being 
for three or four years helped out of its funds to the extent of 20 
a year. All along its history the Lancashire Congregational 
Union has illustrated the broad, liberal, and aggressive spirit of its 
founders, for of the thirty-two ministers who signified their appro 
bation of the " plan of the Union " in the vestry of Mosley Street 
Chapel, Manchester, September 23rd, 1806, six belonged to 
Cheshire, one to Derbyshire, and one to Yorkshire. 



MANCHESTER Nonconformity finds its true starting point in the 
person of the Rev. Henry Newcome, M.A. Warden Heyrick, 
Richard Hollinworth, William Bourne, and William Walker are 
interesting names, and did space permit, much might be said 
respecting them as auxiliary forces in the creation of this new 
form of religious activity in the life of the town; but the centre 
of interest lies with Henry Newcome. He was born on the 27th 
of November, 1627, at Caldecot, in Huntingdonshire, the fourth 
son of the Rev. Stephen and Rose Newcome, being connected 
through his mother with a Salford family named Williamson ; and 
while yet a youth was deprived by death of " father and mother 
within so short an interval that both were buried in one coffin." 
To the generosity of his elder brothers he was largely indebted for 
his entrance into St. John s College, Cambridge, on May loth, 
1644, "in the very heat of the wars." In September, 1647, he 
settled at Congleton as schoolmaster, where his brother Robert 
had before been, in reference to which event he afterwards writes : 
" I have oft lamented my so early coming from the University." 1 
The Candlemas after he took his degree of Bachelor of Arts, and 
about that time began to preach. Concerning his marriage on 
July 6th, 1648, to Elizabeth Mainwaring, daughter of Peter Main- 
waring, of Smallwood, Cheshire, he piously remarks : 

I was rash and inconsiderate in this change of condition, and sinned in 
that I took not that advice I should have took of my friends in it. 2 

1 " Autobiography" (Chetham Society Series, vol. xxvi.), p. 9. 

2 Ibid., p. 10. 



God, however, "very mercifully turned it into good," and the 
alliance with this important Cheshire family was of great service to 
him in after life. His ordination at Sandbach, on the 22nd of 
August following, was brought about, he tells us, " casually," 
through his asking Mr. Ley whether there was to be such a 
service. On being informed there would be, he says : 

I thought of it, and so entered upon examination. God gave favour in 
their eyes, and, though young, they passed me, and I was solemnly set apart 
that day. Old Mr. Langley preached, and Mr. Ley managed the ordination. 1 

After a brief ministry at Goosetree, he became rector of Gaws- 
worth, near Macclesfield, in April, 1650, when he took his M.A. 
degree. The death of Mr. Hollinworth left a vacancy in the 
supply of the Manchester Collegiate Church pulpit, which Mr. 
Newcome was invited to occupy. After much hesitation, the 
invitation was accepted, and the following passage from his 
" Autobiography " will show how real his attachment was to his 
people at Gawsworth, whilst it illustrates the character of the man 
who was ever castigating himself for even his most minute failures : 

On Thursday, April 16 [1657], the carts came and carried away all our 
goods towards Manchester. I was sadly affected, and broken all to pieces in 
leaving the house. I never was so broken in duty as I was in that which I 
went unto just when we were ready to go out of the house. We prayed the 
Lord that the sins of this seven years may be forgiven us, and that not one 
of them might follow us from that place ; that we might take a pardon with 
us, and leave the sins behind us ; and that God would bless us every child at 
going out. I thought I went like Jacob, my children before-me, and I follow 
ing after ; but I had no Esau to waylay me. I am afraid lest my way be per 
verse before the Lord. I am full of shame, and sorrow, and dejection. I 
could wish myself invisible till this transaction were overpast. But my 
Father knows my sorrow and my fears, and will, out of pity, speak to my 
comfort and be reconciled to me. I write this now, in April, 1666, when I 
am driven out nine years after upon the act, not only from one people to 
another, but from my people and family, and work, too, and must upon the 
matter go whither I may ; yet it is no such trouble to me as that was. There 
is a vast difference between going out on our own, and on God s account ; 
and when God supports, it is easier to be driven out than to go out when he 

1 " Autobiography" (Chetham Society Series, vol. xxvi.), p. n. 


in the least withdraws. We went with our family to Marten, to my cousin 
Davenport, who received us as if she had been my mother, and thence we 
were fetched by the horses and friends that came from Manchester. 1 

Mr. Newcome s troubles in Manchester began early. On 
the return of Charles II., in 1660, the Fellowships in the 
Collegiate Church were restored, and Newcome was "left a 
minister without a people." His popularity, however, with the 
congregation, together with the fact that the Fellows had prefer 
ments elsewhere, left him and Warden Heyrick to supply the 
church much as before until August 3131, 1662, when he preached 
his last sermon therein. Beautiful is the picture of him which the 
following passage from his diary presents when coming the follow 
ing Sunday and finding his place occupied by a surpliced preacher, 
he sat in the church as a sympathetic hearer, finding the service 
to be a " very sweet sacramV 

Sabb : Sep. 7. I got up about 7. Read Mar. 5. Prepared as well as I 
could for thepublicke. \Vn I came there I found Mr. Weston readinge in his 
surplis and hood. He preached on Lu. xii. 47. Mr. Browne consecrated in 
his surplis. I desired to apply myself to my God & I found it a very sweet 
sacram 4 . Mr. Weston preached again in ye afternoon. I catechized 
ye children & we had a very sweet time of repetition. I was much helped in 
y e duty. 2 

" When he could preach no longer," says Calamy, " he wrote 
many excellent papers upon practical subjects, and dispersed 
them among his hearers, who contributed liberally towards his 
support and showed great kindness to him and his family." 3 The 
Five Mile Act sent Mr. Newcome out of Manchester, but he found 
an asylum in the house of Thomas Topping, at Ellenbrook, 
Worsley, until 1670. In this year he returned to Manchester, and 
two years later, taking advantage of the Indulgence Act, obtained 
licenses for himself as a Presbyterian preacher in his own house, 
and for his house as a Presbyterian meeting place. His license, 
however, he says, " would attain no end for its capacity," so he took 
a license on May i3th, 1672, for a barn " faire and spacious," 

1 Page 71. 

2 " Diary" (Chetham Society Series, vol. xviii.), p. 120. 

3 " Nonconformist s Memorial " (1802), vol. ii., p. 368. 


and the Lord s Day after he preached therein. Subjoined is a list 
of the other Manchester licenses taken out at this time : 

3Oth Apr., 1672, HENRY FINCH, of Manchester, a general Presbyterian Teacher. 
A Private Oratory belonging toTHOMAS BIRCH, Esq., of Birch 

Hall, in Lancashire. Congr. & Presby. 

,, The howse of ROBERT EATON, in Manchester, Presbyt. 

,, ,, ROBERT EATON, Presbyt. 

loth June, ,, The howse of HENRY FINCH, in Manchester. Presbyt. 

The howse of WM. WILSON, in Manchester. Presbyt. 
,, WM. WILSON, Presbyt. 

i5th June, ,, The howse of SAM. BURE, at Manchester. Presbyt. 

,, ,, SAM. BURE, Presbyt. 

25th July, The howse of JOHN LEEDS, at Manchester. Presbyt. 
5th Sept. The howse of CALEB BROADHEAD, at Manchester. Presbyt. 
The howse of NICH. DEARNELLYES, in Manchester. Presbyt. 
The howse of RICH. HOLBROKE, in Manchester. Presbyt. 

30th Sept. ,, JOHN ANGIER, at his owne house at Manchester. Presbyt. 
SAMUL ANGIER, at the house of Jane Hide, of Hide nolle 

[Hyde Hall] in Manchester. Presbyt. 

i8th Nov., The howse of RICHARD HOLLAND, of Manchester. Presbyt. 
3rd Feb., 1673. The howse of Mr. BUXTON, in Manchester. Presbyt. 1 

The relief granted to the Nonconformists by this Indulgence 
Act was only very temporary, for in 1673 tne A - ct vvas revoked, and 
all the licenses became void. Mr. Newcome writes under date 
April 26th, 1673, Sunday : "The justices took cause to stop my 
preaching in my own house." It is not clear to what extent he had 
liberty to preach during the years immediately following, probably 
it was very limited, and on April iyth, 1676, he says, "We were 
now about removing the goods out of the chapel [barn] now our 
liberty there was utterly extinct." The following passage epitomises 
the next eleven years which were among " the most trying of his 
ministry " : 

His friends had determined upon his staying in Manchester whether he 
had liberty of service or not, and a stated income was raised for him. He 
was ever among his people, advising, consoling, and preaching, and his house 
was open to any who desired communion with him. He was of a sensitive 
temperament. He was troubled, he tells us, at the scorn of the poor wife of 

1 Copied from a paper by the late Mr. Bailey in " Local Gleanings," 
1879-1880, p. 448. 


the Warden ; he was troubled also at a flower that was gone from his garden; 
but he tells us also that he was humbled at himself for being troubled at so 
little a thing. He and his friends were singled out for persecution ; their 
meetings were broken up by the civil officers, and heavy fines were imposed ; 
he was belied, and lived under daily apprehension of new difficulties.- 1 

The Declaration of Indulgence in 1687 once more brought 
liberty to the suffering Nonconformists. It was issued on April 
4th, the news reached Manchester on the yth, and on the 2oth 
Mr. Newcome says : 

It being Wednesday, I began to preach in Mr. Barlow s house that is 
empty, with great satisfaction and rejoicing. I continued to preach on 
Wednesdays, and after evening sermons on the Lord s Day, a good while ; 
till the churchmen wearied the hearers by their unwearied reflections, and so 
I was forced into the public time. 2 

On the 1 2th of June he removed with his people to a larger 
building, concerning which under that date he writes : 

After much difficulty, having obtained Thomas Stockton s barn, I began 
to preach there to a great congregation, with much freedom and ease to 
myself. The enlarging of the place we had great trouble about, but came 
to some result about it July i5th, after much struggling and several sentences 
of death on the thing. A good work, we wrestle, as it were, with an unseen 
spirit to get it forward. 3 

Hitherto Mr. Newcome had preached at times so as not to 
interfere with the services in the Collegiate Church, which he him 
self continued to attend, but on July 3131, 1687, he says: "I 
began to preach in the public time." On the 7th of August 
following, the Rev. John Chorlton (of whom more subsequently) 
"came in, and began to preach in the forenoon, and performed 
well, and hath continued in the work to great satisfaction." 1 The 
more peaceful times which followed the accession of William of 
Orange made the increasing, influential, and wealthy congregation 
which had hitherto worshipped in Stockton s barn think of a larger 
and more convenient building. Mr. Newcome was not enthusiastic 

"Memorials of a Dissenting Chapel," by Sir Thomas Baker, p. u. 
8 " Autobiography," p. 264. 
3 1 bid, p. 265. 
4 Ibid. 


about the matter as he states in the following lengthy but deeply 
interesting passage : 

April 12th [1693]. About this time some were hot about a new meeting 
place. I did not well understand the likelihood of the thing, but prayed 
that God would by his good providence so order it that I may not bear the 
burden of hindering the whole work, nor yet be found to consent to what is 

I3th. The matter seemed to fall, and that upon other reasons, and not 
at all upon my dissatisfaction, which is a great mercy to me. But it revived 
again, and through many ups and downs it was at length concluded on. 
Yet just when it should have been set upon (July 6th), it was quite dashed, 
to my thinking, and yet within a day or two it strangely revived again. 
These uncertainties drive it far in the year. It was not begun till fully i8th, 
and many curses and reproaches the foundation was laid in. I did, I 
confess, not set my heart much upon it, but was rather passive a great 
while, upon thoughts (among other things) that I might not live to serve in 
it. But I confess I was more willing after, and did use my interests, while I 
had any, to promote it (wherein I had some success), (i) P or that other 
place is too little not room for the poor, who have souls ; and some of 
better rank would come if they could have seats. Some this summer over 
set with heat by the greatness of the crowd. I could wish (2) that the 
neglect at the great church, in the scandalous provision there, did not help 
the endeavour for more room. (3) The foolish scandal at the barn will 
hereby be removed. (4) It will, however, be more honourable for the worship 
of God. (5) Most places have led us the way in new decent erections of 
this kind. It hath gone on since it begun considerably, and hath prospered 
thus far, and the roof firmly laid on and covered by this time, and to the 
shame of all ill-willers and ill-wishers, no dangers of shrinking or falling. 
But that which I was greatly concerned for was the massiness of the roof, 
and unordinary danger, and I prayed earnestly that no one might receive 
bodily harm by the work ; and that the Lord hath showed us mercy herein I 
desire to acknowledge with all thankfulness. August 2yth: There was 
occasion in this business for this reflection ; great oppositions, weak dissatis 
factions, and malicious reflections against a public good work and them that 
engage in it. 1 

"The agreement," says Sir Thomas Baker, "for the purchase 
of the land on which the chapel was built bears date June soth, 
1693. The land itself is described as part of a parcel of land 
commonly called Plungen s Meadow. " 2 This district was then 

1 " Autobiography," p. 278. 

2 " Memorials of a Dissenting Chapel," p. 14. 


quite rural. Adjoining Piungeon s Meadow l was Pool Fold, with its 
ducking stool and the ancient Hall of the Radcliffe family. The 
lease and re-lease by which the land was conveyed bear date 
August i6th and igth, 1693; and the building was opened for 
worship on June 24th, 1694, when Mr. Newcome preached from 
Ex. xxviii., 36. " The erection of a gallery," says Sir Thomas Baker, 
" was a private speculation of two members of the congregation 
(John Evans and Thomas Siddall). The agreement into which 
they entered for this purpose with the trustees of the chapel is 
dated i2th February, 1694. By it they were to repay themselves 
out of the money received for the seats in the intended gallery, 
which was to be erected at the north end of the chapel, and to be 
finished by the following October. They were to have a pew 
each at a rental of twenty-four shillings per annum, and to give to 
the trustees a full account of their expenditure and receipts. 2 The 
chapel was the largest Nonconformist place of worship in the 
county, having a congregation of 1,515, of whom seventy-four 
were county voters. Amongst generous contributors to the under 
taking were Sir Edward Mosley, of Hulme Hall, with Dame Jane 
Meriel, his wife. 3 Mr. Newcome did not survive the erection of 
the new building long. He preached his last sermon in it on 
June 1 3th, 1695, a y ear within a week after its opening, and died 

1 " Plungeon " (not Plungen), or "Plunging Field, was the site of the 
tumbrel, or cuckstool, and in the iyth century the designation " gave rise to 
the vulgar name of St. Piungeon s Chapel" for the "Presbyterian meeting 
house north of Tib Lane." (Reilly s "Early History of Manchester," p. 52.) 

2 " Memorials of a Dissenting Chapel," p. 15. 

3 Mr. Newcome was on terms of close intimacy with the Mosley family, 
and his autobiography contains notices of frequent visits to Hulme Hall. Sir 
Edward Mosley at his death in 1695 left him a legacy of 20, and his wife, 
Dame Jane Meriel Mosley, gave ^50 for the poor of the Cross Street congre 
gation. Their daughter, Lady Ann, married Sir John Bland, who belonged 
to the "Church and King" party, and who broke the windows of the barn 
where Newcome was preaching. Shortly afterwards, however, Mr. Newcome 
was summoned to her residence at Ancoats to " a day of prayer " on " Lady 
Eland s account," who was lying sick. She continued for some time to attend 
the Nonconformist meeting-house, but later in life she went to St. Ann s 
Church, in St. Ann s Square, whose foundation stone she laid, and which was 
so called in honour of her and of Queen Anne, during whose reign it was 


September iyth following, aged sixty-eight years. At his own 
request he was buried within the chapel to the right of the pulpit, 
where his tombstone may yet be seen, thus inscribed : 

Here Resteth the Body of 

Minister of the Gospel in Manchester 38 years, 
Buried September 2oth, 1695, 

Aged 68 years. 


Died 25th January, 1695, in the gth (?) year of his age. 

Relict of Henry Newcome, &c., 

Died, aged 84, 
And was buried February 8th, A.D. 1700. 


(their daughter), 
Buried May 4th, 1719, in her 7oth year. 

His funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. John Chorlton, 
from Daniel xii., 3. Concerning Mr. Newcome much has been 
written, the most, and the most important, by himself. 1 He had 
a wide circle of eminent friends to whom his death came as a 
heavy blow. Mr. Chorlton, his assistant, in the sermon previously 
named, which was eventually published, says : 

If I reckon our deceased reverend brother among the chiefest of those 
modern worthies that have turned many unto righteousness, and do now 
shine as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever, 
I doubt not to have the suffrage of all who hear me and of all that new him. 2 

The learned John Howe says : 

There was in him a large stock of solid learning and knowledge always 
ready for use; for ostentation, never. Conscience, the most strict and 
steady to itself, and the remotest from censoriousness of other men. 
Eloquence, without any labour of his* own, not imitable by the greatest 
labour of another. 3 

1 His " Autobiography and Diary," forming vols. xviii., xxvi., xxvii. of 
the Chetham Society s publications, are invaluable to all writers on Noncon 
formity ; whilst they are a revelation of the man himself. From them I have 
drawn largely in the preparation of this sketch. 

2 Autobiography," p. 287. 

3 Ibid., p. 292. 


William Bagshaw, " the Apostle of the Peak," says : 

Very pleasant hast them been to me. Thy love was wonderful, passing the 
love of women. 1 

Similar high testimony to his character will be found in the 
writings of Oliver Heywood, Matthew Henry, and other equally 
noted men. To this brief outline of this good man s life, who was 
the father of Manchester Nonconformity, it only remains to be 
added that he left at death a few productions from his pen of a 
sermonic character, and that subsequent members of the Newcome 
family have risen to prominence in the ecclesiastical world. 2 

The death of Mr. Newcome left the Rev. John Chorlton in sole 
charge of the congregation. He was a native of Salford, being 
born there about 1666, and had been educated by the Rev. 
Richard Frankland, entering his academy at Rathmell, April 4th, 
1682. As previously noted, he came to assist Mr. Newcome in 
August, 1687, by whom he was regarded with the deepest affection 
from the very first. On the 8th of March, 1689, he married 
Hannah, the daughter of Joseph Leeche, who died November 3rd, 
1704. Mr. Chorlton himself died a few months after this, on 
May i6th, 1705, being buried on the igth, in the Collegiate 
Church, Manchester. The " Northowram Register " thus remarks 
upon the fact : " An unspeakable loss to that Town, & to the 
Church of God." 3 Like his predecessor, he was an intimate friend 
of Matthew Henry, who was deeply grieved by his death, and who, 
in the following passage, gives his affections full play : 

MY. Chorlton, of Manchester, my dear and worthy brother, after about a 
fortnight s illness of a diabetes, died on Wednesday, the i6th May, 1705. He 
was eminent for solid judgment, great thought, and an extraordinary quick 
ness and readiness of expression ; he was a casuist, one of a thousand ; he 
had a wonderfully clear head, and was one who did dominari in concionibus; 
he was of great sincerity and serious piety ; has been very useful in educating 
youth; he was in the 4oth year of his age; survived his wife about half a 

1 " Autobiography," p. 293. 

2 In the Lancashire Independent College, Whalley Range, Manchester, 
is an excellent painting of the Rev. Henry Newcome, from which the engrav 
ing has been made which appears in vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 Page 237. 


year ; and was my beloved friend and correspondent about sixteen years. 
Oh, Lord God, wilt thou make a full end ? His funeral sermon was 
preached and published by Mr. James Coningham, his friend and fellow- 
labourer; and he has given him his just character. Mr. Chorlton and Mr. 
Scoles 1 were born in the same town ; were bred up together from their child 
hood ; were educated together, both in language and sciences ; were very 
justly accounted two of the most considerable men for good sense and learn 
ing that the town of Manchester, or the parts adjacent, have produced. 8 

Two points in that passage need to be noticed. Mr. Chorlton, 
in addition to pastoral duties, conducted an academy in Man 
chester. This virtually took the place of the Rev. Richard Frank- 
land s Academy, which, after his death, October i, 1698, was 
broken up, and "the schollers dispersed." "Not long after," says 
Oliver Heywood, " Mr. John Chorlton set up a teaching University, 
learning in a great house in Manchester, Lane." 3 Hunter says 
that " the academy acquired what may be called a public character, 
by a resolution of the Lancashire ministers at one of their meetings, 
that they gave it their countenance, and meant to support it." 4 It 
was continued some six or seven years after Mr. Chorlton s death. 
From Matthew Henry s statement, also, it appears that the Rev. 
James Coningham, M.A., was Mr. Chorlton s assistant. 5 He was 
educated at Edinburgh University, and settled first at Penrith, 
about 1694. He removed to Manchester in 1700, to be the 
colleague of Mr. Chorlton, whose death left him in sole charge in 
1705. " He deeply felt the loss he had sustained," says Sir Thomas 
Baker, " and difficulties arose with which his sensitive nature did 
not enable him sufficiently to contend. There were divisions 
among his people, great hostility to the Dissenters, and a prosecu- 

1 The Rev. Nathaniel Scholes, of Newton Heath, vide ante p. 41. 

2 " Memoirs of the Rev. M. Henry" (Williams), p. 261. 

3 "Diaries," vol. ii., p. 16. 

4 Life of Oliver Heywood," p. 426. 

5 Sir Thomas Baker ("Memorials," p. 18), says that Mr. Chorlton had 
an assistant named Gaskeld during the years 1697 and 1698. He remained 
in Manchester only about a year, then suddenly disappeared, but was heard 
of afterwards in Hull, whence he passed over to Holland. Oliver Heywood 
(Yorkshire County Magazine for January, 1893, p. 21, by J. Horsfall Turner) 
says in his diary : " Nov. 29, 1698. Tuesday Letter from Manchester. 
Strange news of Mr. Chorlton s assistant running away." 


tion was commenced against him for keeping an academy." 1 In 
1712 he removed to Haberdashers Hall, London, when, after a 
four years ministry, "attended with great success," he was "seized 
with a mortal distemper, which carried him off on the ist of 
September, 1716." His funeral sermon was preached by Dr. 
Samuel Wright, from Rev. xiv., 13, and he was interred in Bunhill 
Fields, the following inscription being placed upon his tombstone : 

Here resteth 

The Body of the late Rev. 

Minister of the Gospel, 

Who died September i, 1716, 

In the 47th year of his age. 

And Three Children, 

Anne, died May 5, 1713, aged 15 years. 

Sophia, died Aug. 23, 1713, aged 23 days. 

Mary, died Jan. 7, 1713-4, aged 4 years. 2 

The Rev. Eliezer Birch was appointed to succeed Mr. Coning- 
ham. He was a native of Manchester, and related probably to 
the Birches of Birch Hall, 3 and was educated by Mr. Frankland, 
whose academy he entered February 9th, 1675-6. He appears as 
the minister of Dean Row, in Cheshire, on September 15111, 1687, 
when he preached at Congleton the funeral sermon of the Rev. 
George Moxon, an ejected minister; but whether that was his 
first charge is not clear. After nearly twenty years service there he 
was invited to Yarmouth, in Norfolk. 4 The following passage 

1 " Memorials," p. 19. 

2 "Dissenting Churches," by Walter Wilson, vol. iii, p. 137. 

3 In the " History of Birch Chapel " (Chetham Society Series, vol. xlvii.) 
are two or three references to a Mr. Eliezer Birch. He was one of the wit 
nesses to the will dated June 24th, 1692, of the Rev. Robert Birch, of Birch 
Chapel, ejected in 1662 ; and to him, along with others, Ralph Worsley, in 
1706, converged the Dissenting Chapel there. A "Mr. Birch, minister," 
probably the same person, appears amongst the list of contributors towards 
the erection of that chapel in 1700. 

4 Previous to his removal to Yarmouth Mr. Birch, who had only been 
ordained by his people, sought ministerial ordination, as appears from the 
following passage in Matthew Henry s Diary :" Mr. Birch, who was 
ordained by the people, and had been their pastor about twenty years, at his 


testifies to the fine spirit in which ministerial changes were made 
two centuries ago, and is a witness to the high regard in which Mr. 
Birch was held by his people at Dean Row. 

On the 24th June, 1706, they [the people of Yarmouth] sent a letter to 
him, inviting him "for the sole pastoral office if he thought good to come 
to us." Mr. Birch s church sent " a pure denial to us about their reverend 
pastor ; they, finding what we had done to be to their great sorrow, did most 
Christian like desire us to forbear any further procedure in this matter." 
This church replied to the letter " with all tenderness, love, and charity, 
endeavouring by all possible arguments to prevail with them to give up their 
reverend pastor to us here." Private information was given to the church at 
Yarmouth that Mr. Birch was willing to give them a meeting; he came and 
preached, and as the result, on September iath the church "renewed the 
call to Mr. Birch to the pastoral office." They handsomely defrayed the ex 
penses of himself and a companion who came with him, and gave them a 
present besides. After he had left the town " to our great joy he resolved 
to come ; and a house was provided for him near the chapel." They waited 
for him six months, and on the 3Oth April, 1707, they " sent from Yarmouth 
a coach and six horses for Nottingham, to meet Mr. Birch and family, who 
arrived here May 8th, in good health. Thanks be to God. 1 

About two years after this the Rev. Daniel Smith was appointed 
assistant to Mr. Birch. The two ministers did not get on together, 
and, in the end, both resigned, 2 Mr. Birch returning to Lancashire 

removal, being not satisfied with the want of ministerial ordination, 
procured three or four ministers privately to ordain him, with the imposition 
of hands. The moderate of that congregation [Dean Row] are contriving 
to gain that point from the other party." (" Memoirs of the Rev. M. Henry," 
Williams, p. 148.) Early ordination services were very different from those 
of to-day. In some churches the people were the ordainers, neighbouring 
ministers being only spectators; in others several candidates were ordained 
together by some of the eminent ministers of the county in some particular 
place. " It was only by degrees," says Mr. Williams, "that ordinations 
among Nonconformists came to be performed, as now they almost invariably 
are in the presence of the congregation for whom the oversight is taken." 
(Ibid, p. 149). 

1 "History of Congregationalism in Norfolk and Suffolk" (Browne), 
p. 242. 

2 A writer in the Christian Reformer for 1845 (p. 378), says that the 
cause of the quarrel between the two ministers was probably " a difference 
in religious opinions, which at that time began to be much agitated in 
Presbyterian congregations." There is no authority for this. It is much 


in August, 1710, and Mr. Smith in September following dying of 
"a broken heart in his homeward journey." In 1712 Mr. Birch 
became the pastor of the Cross Street congregation in succession 
to Mr. Coningham. It was in his day that Cross Street Chapel 
was wrecked by the Sacheverel mobs, every seat being pulled out, 
and the internal fittings destroyed. The captain of the Manchester 
rioters was Tom Syddall, a blacksmith (by some called a barber), 
who, along with several of his followers, was sentenced to imprison 
ment and the pillory at Lancaster, and subsequently executed for 
participation in the Rebellion of 1745. Parliament awarded 
,1,500 as compensation for the damage done to Cross Street 
Chapel. Mr. Birch survived these events only a short time, dying 
May 1 2th, 1717. He was buried under the chapel vestry. The 
" Northowram Register " contains the following : 

O o 

Mr. Eliezir Birch, minr. at Manchester New Chappel, died May 12, bur. May 
15. A man of Eminent Ministerial Abilities : The loss is very great. Cease 
Lord ! Help Lord ! " 1 

The Rev. Joseph Mottershead followed. He was born on 
August 17, 1688, in the neighbourhood of Stockport, his father 
having a small estate there, which he inherited. He was educated 
for the ministry by the Rev. Timothy Jollie, of Attercliffe, Sheffield, 
and afterwards spent a year with the Rev. Matthew Henry, of 
Chester, forming a friendship then which was only interrupted by 
death. Whilst a candidate for the ministry he preached at Kings- 
ley, in Cheshire, from 1710 to 1712. He was ordained at Knuts- 
ford on August 5th of that year, when the Rev. Gamaliel Jones, of 
Hatherlow, was the principal person engaged, " who gave y e exhor 
tation from Hebrews xiii., 20." - Mr. Mottershead was " well 

more likely that it is simply an illustration of the difficulty of the co- 
pastorate. Nor do I think the writer is correct in saying that both ministers 
were " dismissed." Mr. Birch intimated that either Mr. Smith or himself 
must go, and, though it is true that the church was " forced to deny his 
request, endeavouring to make him sensible of our danger of separation," 
yet it endeavoured " to persuade him to stay with us in love. 1 And when 
his decision to remove was made known, the church resolved that Mr. Smith 
also must go. 

1 Page 271. 

2 Urwick s " Nonconformity in Cheshire," p. 321. 



settled" at Nantwich on August loth, 1713, when Matthew Henry 
preached there on Josh, i., 5, 6. It is an interesting fact that the 
noted commentator died the following year, Tuesday, June 22nd, 
at Mr. Mottershead s house, where he had called whilst on his way 
from Chester to London. In 1718 Mr. Mottershead succeeded 
Mr. Birch at Manchester, having sole charge 1 of the congregation 
until 1739, when he received the Rev. John Seddon, M.A, as 
colleague. He was the son of the Rev. Peter Seddon, of Cockey 
Moor, 2 born at Lomax Fold, near Bolton, and educated by Dr. 
Rotheram at Kendal, subsequently taking his M.A. degree at 
Glasgow University. At the time of his appointment as Mr. 
Mottershead s colleague he was not more than twenty-three years 
of age, and his ordination was delayed until October 22nd, 1742. 
The ordaining ministers were the Revs. John Chorley, Monton ; 
John Whitaker, Platt Chapel ; Joshua Dobson, Cockey Moor ; 
Henry (?) Knight, Cross Street, in Cheshire ; and Joseph Motters 
head. Mr. Seddon married the eldest daughter of Mr. Motters 
head, and so became joined to him by family as well as ministerial 
ties. He held views far in advance of the time on the question of 
the Trinity. Dr. Joseph Priestley, when tutor of the VVarrington 
Academy, says : " The only Socinian in the neighbourhood was 
Mr. Seddon, of Manchester; and we all wondered at him." 3 These 
views "he boldly advanced and defended" in his "public services 
at a time when they were very obnoxious to his hearers." His 
biographer says : 

From this practice he was requested in vain to desist, and, at length, a 
deputation from the society desired Mr. Mottershead to remonstrate with his 
son-in-law upon his conduct. Mr. Mottershead undertook the commission, 

1 I have in this followed the histories of Sir Thomas Baker and Mr. 
Wade, but Dr. Halley mentions the Rev. Joshua Jones, who preached a 
sermon at Cross Street in 1719, on the anniversary of the defeat of the rebels 
at Preston, as sometime assistant to Mr. Mottershead. Dr. Evans, in his list 
of Presbyterian Chapels and Charities, also fixes him here in 1725. This was 
the person of that name, I imagine, who had been previously at Oswestry. 
The " Northowram Register" (p. 329) contains the following: "Mr. Joshua 
Jones, Minr. in Manchester, died at Chester, Aug. 25 [1740]." 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 " Memoirs of Dr. Priestley," by his son, Joseph Priestley, p. 48. 


and opened the business to Mr. Seddon, when the latter replied that he would 
enter with him upon the discussion of the subjects in question most 
willingly, and when convinced of his error he would be forward to acknow 
ledge it, and read his recantation. A day was fixed for the discussion, and 
they met and entered upon it in the sp ; .rit of perfect peace and cordiality 
with each other, and the whole day was consumed in debate. At the close of 
it Mr. Mottershead withdrew and reported to the society that he had not 
succeeded in convincing his son-in-law of his error, but that his son-in-law 
had almost convinced him that he was right ; an instance of great candour 
and liberality at a very advanced age. 1 

This passage is given in full to show that there is more justifica 
tion than Sir Thomas Baker seems willing to admit for the con 
tention of both Dr. Halley and the editors of " The Socinian 
Controversy" that Mr. Seddon s views led to an important 
secession from the Cross Street congregation. Sir Thomas Baker says 
that " the opinions of the congregation generally were in unison 
with those of the ministers, for Unitarianism was general in the 
society." The testimony of Dr. Toulmin, however, who wrote the 
above passage in 1808, is that Mr. Seddon s views were "very 
obnoxious to his hearers," and it is clear that these " hearers " 
were an important body. So much so that Mr. Mottershead 
undertook to remonstrate with his son-in-law at their request. Nor 
do I think there was the sympathy with Mr. Seddon s views on the 
part of Mr. Mottershead, which Sir Thomas Baker suggests. The 
statement that his son-in-law had " almost convinced him that he 
was right" is not so much a declaration of his theological position as 
an effort on the part of a quiet and peaceable man," seventy 
years old or more, to prevent dissension in his congregation. Job 
Orton, who was always lamenting the Socinian tendencies of his 
day, says : 

I wish they [the Manchester congregation] may find a successor to good 
Mr. Mottershead equal to him, and who will support his character and 
reputation, and that of the ministry so well as he hath done. He hath been 
honoured with an uncommon length of life, vigour, and usefulness. 2 

Mr. Seddon died on November 22nd, 1769, and was buried in 
the chapel near to Mr. Birch ; Mr. Mottershead followed Novem- 

1 " Memoirs of the Rev. S. Bourn," by Toulmin, p. 253. 
a Practical Works," vol. ii., p. 553. 


her 4th, 1771, "having been minister of the congregation at 
Manchester nearly fifty-four years, and was interred in the chapel 
in a spot adjoining that occupied by the ashes of Mr. Newcome." 
The inscription upon his tombstone has become undecipherable in 
one or two places. The following is a copy : 

Hie Sepultae Su . . 

quiae MARGRET Uxons 


SHEAD, V.D.M. : ob* Jan? 31 1739 

nee non ABIGAIL Uxoris 

tertiae ob* Decem r 28 1753 

Utraeq fuerunt gratiosae (?) 

The Rev d - M r - JOSEPH MOTTERS 

HEAD dy d Nov r - 4 1771 

Aged 83 

died October 27 th 1792 

Aged 81 years 

The Rev d - GABR L - NICHOLS 

died March 23 rd 1778 

Aged . . . years 

Mr. Mottershead was married three times. First to Miss Bennett, 
of Hapsford, near Chester, by whom he had several children, one 
of whom, intended for the medical profession, whilst pursuing his 
studies at Edinburgh for that purpose, changed his mind and took 
orders in the Church of England. Subsequently he was appointed 
chaplain on board a man-of-war, "which is supposed to have been 
lost, for neither the vessel nor the crew were ever heard of." One 
daughter married Mr. Seddon, and another John Jones, the 
founder of the well-known banking firm of Jones and Loyd. Mr. 
Mottershead s second wife was the widow of Nathaniel Gaskell, 1 one 
of whose daughters by a former wife became the mother of the 
celebrated Lord Give, founder of the British Empire in India. 
"The future hero," says Sir Thomas Baker, "spent his childhood 
and youth in Manchester," and his early education was received at 

1 In the " Northowram Register " (p. 215) is the following : " Mr. John 
Mottershead and Mrs. Margaret Gaskell, of Manchester, mar This is her 
3d husband and his 2d wife [about Dec. 27, 1720]." This, I imagine, was 
the Rev. Joseph Mottershead, his name being wrongly given as John. 


Stand Grammar School. In June, 1742, Mr. Mottershead married 
as his third wife the daughter of the Rev. Chewning Blackmore, 
dissenting minister at Worcester. As an instance of the respect 
in which he was held by the congregation and the Manchester 
people generally, it is recorded that at the time of the 1745 rebellion 
" a committee, which consisted of many very respectable inhabi 
tants, was formed in the town of Manchester to favour the Pre 
tender, and they resolved to levy a large sum of money for him, 
and Mr. Mottershead was selected by them as a hostage, under the 
persuasion that his congregation would pay a great price for his 
ransom." 1 Information of the plot was, however, given to Mr. 
Mottershead, who consequently managed to escape, but Mr. James 
Bayley was seized and had to pay ^2,500. Job Orton also tells 
the following story about him : 

I remember Mr. Mottershead once said to a pert young divine, who 
smiled at his putting on a band to preach a country lecture : " Any little thing 
which will set off a sermon and recommend it to the regard of the hearers, 
becomes a very important thing." 2 

Both Mr. Seddon and Mr. Mottershead left one or two volumes 
of sermons. 

The Rev. Robert Gore succeeded Mr. Seddon in 1770, and the 
Rev. Ralph Harrison took the place of Mr. Mottershead in 1771. 
Mr. Gore was a native of Liverpool, and educated at the Warring- 
ton Academy. His ordination took place on August 23rd, 1779, 
when the Revs. Dr. Wm. Enfield, Richard Godwin, and Philip 
Holland conducted the service. He survived this service only one 
month dying on September 23rd, at the early age of thirty-one 
years, and was buried in the vestibule of the Cross Street Chapel. 
His biographer relates the following incident in connection with 
him : 

Once when he ascended to the upper desk of the pulpit he was observed 
to search his coat pocket uneasily. Not finding there what he wanted, he 
gave out a long hymn, came down from the pulpit, and quietly left the 
chapel. Manchester was but small then, and his home was not far off; he 

1 " Memoirs of the Rev. S. Bourn," by Toulmin, p. 255. 
a " Practical Works," vol. ii., p. 565. 


found his sermon, and managed to gain the pulpit as the congregation was 
singing the last of the many verses. He took as a text the words : " Be 
careful for nothing." a 

His colleague, the Rev. Ralph Harrison, was the son of the 
Rev. Wm. Harrison, minister of Stand Chapel in 1730, and great 
grandson of the Rev. Cuthbert Harrison, an ejected minister, who 
was for many years at Elswick, near Kirkham. His grandmother 
was Ann Angier, daughter of the Rev. Samuel Angier, of Dukin- 
field, whose husband was the Rev. John Cooper, dissenting 
minister for some years at Hyde. Mr. Ralph Harrison has left in 
MS. some interesting particulars of his life up to the time of his 
settlement in Manchester, from which the following is extracted : 

Born Aug. 30, 1748 O.S. or Sep. 10 N.S. Went to school for a little while 
when merely an infant to Catherine Garlick, a schoolmistress, then to Mr. 
Moorwood, both of Buxton, Dec. 19, 1755. I came with my father s family 
to live at Stoddard, near Chapel-le-frith. Went to a school kept by Mr. 
Henry Marchington, in Chinley, in 1757. Afterwards was under the care of 
the Rev. Mr. Gee, at Chapel-le-frith, June 15, 1758. Went to Mr. Moore s 
dancing school, and again July 31, 1760. In 1763, Oct. 6, I went to War- 
rington Academy. I preached for the first time at Hollostock [Allostock], 
Sept. 27, 1767. I supplied the congregation at Hale soon after. I preached 
there the first time Oct. n, 1767. At Manchester the first time Feb. 12, 
1769. I had the care of Hale from the latter end of 1767 to the middle of 1769. 
I went to reside at Salop [Shrewsbury] Aug., 1769, and arrived there on 
the 22 do. Nov. 17, 1771, the Society of Dissenters, at Manchester, made 
choice of me as successor to Mr. Mottershead. I preached my conclud 
ing sermon at Salop, Dec. 22, 1771, and my first sermon on settling at Man 
chester Dec. 29, 1771. I first boarded at Mr. John Hatfield s, then at Mrs. 
Manchester s, both in Princess Strest. Began my school in 1774, which 
ended in 1787. I was married 2 March 6, 1775, by the Rev. Humphrey 
Owen, at the Old Church, Manchester. I became one of the tutors of the 
Manchester Academy in 1786, and resigned my connection with it in Sept., 

Mr. Harrison continued his ministrations at Manchester unti 
October, 1810, when failing health led to his resignation. He 

1 " History of Cross Street Chapel," by Richard Wade, p. 42. 

2 Mr. Harrison married Ann, daughter of John Touchet, by whom he 
became connected with one of the old Manchester families, which wor 
shipped with Mr. Newcome in his temporary chapels. 


died on 24th of November following, and was interred in the 
graveyard of the chapel. Upon his tombstone the following 
inscription has been placed : 

Here was interred the 

Of Manchester, 
Died Nov r - 24 1810, 

Aged 62 years; 
He was minister of this chapel 38 years. 


Wife of the Rev 1 - Ralph Harrison, 
Died Nov r - 3 rJ - 1835, 

Aged 78 years. 

RALPH COOPER HARRISON, his son, died May i8th, 1804; aged 19 
years. ANNE, his daug r -- died Dec r - 14 th - 1811; aged 7 years. RALPH 
COOPER HARRISON, son of John & Sarah Harrison & grandson of the 
Rev d - R. Harrison, died June 2j lh - 1817; aged 5 years and 3 months. Also 
SARAH ANN, their daughter, died Sep r - i2 th > 1817 ; aged 6 years & 

10 months. 

" Restrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears. They 
shall come again from the land of the enemy." 

Also of MARIA, wife of the Rev 1 - William Harrison, died January 30*" 
1830; aged 46 years. 

His son was the Rev. William Harrison, of Blackley, and 
descendants of his for several generations have exercised 
the ministry amongst the dissenters. Mr. Harrison, amongst 
other things, was a competent musician and the author of several 
popular hymn tunes one in particular named " Warrington," in 
honour of the academy where he received his ministerial training, 
being long a favourite. The following anecdote respecting it is 
told : 

" A member of a country choir walked many miles to see the 
composer of a tune he so greatly admired. Arriving at the house, 
he asked if Mr. Harrison was in. The minister came, and the 
man eagerly inquired, Are yo Mester Harrison? Receiving an 
affirmative answer, he exclaimed Hey ! I am glad to see the man 
that wrote " Warri ton ; " and then he told how far he had 
journeyed to have that delight." 1 

1 " History of Cross Street Chapel," by R. Wade, p. 43. 


Previous to his death Mr. Harrison had had asssociated with 
him in the pastorate the Rev. Thomas Barnes, D.D. He was 
born at Warrington, February i3th, 1747, and a fellow student with 
the Rev. Ralph Harrison, at the academy there. His first settle 
ment was Cockey Moor, whence he removed to Manchester in 
1780, and became, in addition, Principal and Divinity Tutor of the 
Manchester Academy in 1786. Mr. Harrison, it is said, was 
Unitarian, but Dr. Barnes was an Arian, and a secession from 
Cross Street took place in 1789 of a considerable number of 
persons who did not find his views sufficiently pronounced. 
These first erected a chapel in Mosley Street, on the spot 
now occupied by Nicoll and Company, tailors, and subsequently 
the congregation removed to Upper Brook Street. Dr. 
Barnes was one of the most popular preachers of his day, 
and in 1788 it was found necessary to enlarge the 
chapel. He died June 27th, 1810, a little over four 
months before his colleague, and was interred in the 
graveyard of the chapel. His tombstone reads thus : 

Here was interred the Body 

of the 

Who departed this life on the 27th day of June, 1810, 

In the 64th year of his age. 

He was minister of this chapel 30 years. 


his wife, 

Departed this life on the 6th day of January, 1814, 
In the 6gth year of her age. 

He published several tractates of a theological and philoso 
phical character. 1 The Rev. John Grundy, born at Hinckley, 
Leicestershire, in 1781, educated mainly by his maternal uncle, 
Dr. Estlin, of Bristol, spent one session at the Manchester 
Academy, being admitted September, 1797. He settled 
first at Bury St. Edmunds, then was at Nottingham from 1806 
to 1810, becoming the successor to Dr. Barnes on September 
i4th of the latter year. 2 A zealous Unitarian, he began a series 

1 Vide " Lancashire Nonconformity," vol iii. 

2 So says Sir Thomas Baker; but the Christian Reformer for 1851, 
(p. 532) says he removed to Manchester in the spring of 1811. 


of lectures on doctrinal subjects the year after his election, " which 
created in the town such a religious ferment as it had never before 
witnessed." Mr. Grundy removed to Liverpool in August, 1824, 
having accepted an invitation to become the pastor of Paradise 
Street Chapel (now Hope Street). His removal was made the 
occasion of a public dinner, when his congregation presented him 
with a silver tea service. Amongst the speakers was the Rev. 
George Harris, of Bolton, whose remarks gave rise to a lengthened 
discussion in a local paper, which was afterwards published in a 
volume, under the title of the " Manchester Socinian Controversy." 1 
Mr. Grundy died at Bridport, May gth, 1843. His colleague at 
Cross Street was the Rev. John Gooch Robberds, who was 
appointed in place of Mr. Harrison, December igth, 1810. He 
was born at Norwich, May i8th, 1789, and educated at the Man 
chester College when it was at York, settling at Manchester on 
the completion of his college course. 2 Shortly after settlement he 
married Mary, the eldest daughter of the Rev. Wm. Turner, of 
Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and great grand-daughter of the Rev. John 
Turner, famed in connection with the Preston fight of lyiS- 3 Mr. 
Robberds continued his Manchester pastorate until his death, 
which took place on April 2ist, 1854; and in the Cross Street 
Chapel is a marble tablet "raised by those whose homes were 
made bright by his earthly presence, and to whom his memory 
is an abiding sunshine." For many years he was also one 
of the Professors of the Manchester College. The Rev. 
John Hugh Worthington was chosen to succeed Mr. Grundy as 
co-pastor with Mr. Robberds in July, 1825. He was born at 
Leicester, November nth, 1804, related to the Rev. Hugh Worth- 

1 This book is one of the most useful I have met with for historical 
purposes. The Rev. Richard Slate, Congregational minister of Stand, and 
afterwards of Preston, was one of the editors, and Mr. G. Hadfield, M.P., 
had a large interest in its publication. 

2 In the list of students educated at Manchester College, published in 
1868, Mr. Robberds is put down as minister at Norwich from 1810 to 1811. 
This is probably due to the fact that he received an invitation to that place, 
but he chose Manchester. 

* Vide " Lancashire Nonconformity," vols. i. and iii. In vol. i., p. 12, 
correct the Rev. John Gooch Robberds as here. 


ington, minister of Dean Row in the early part of last century, and 
educated at Manchester College. " He was but a passing guest 
among his people," says SirThomas Baker, "scarce eighteen months 
had elapsed, before declining health warned him of a coming 
change." He died July 4th, 1827. He was engaged to Miss 
Harriet Martineau, the accomplished sister of Dr. James 
Martineau. The Rev. William Gaskell, M.A., born in 1805, 
another Manchester College student, was chosen to succeed him in 
1828. His wife was Elizabeth Cleghorn Stevenson, 1 the gifted 
authoress of " Mary Barton " and other works of fiction. Mr. 
GaskelPs ministry is the longest of any which the Cross Street 
congregation has had, being three years longer than that of Mr. 
Mottershead. It was closed with his death June nth, 1884. He 
was interred in the graveyard of Knutsford Chapel, where lies his 
wife also, but in the Cross Street Chapel are handsome marble 
tablets reciting the virtues of both. Like several of his pre 
decessors, he held an appointment for many years as Professor 
in Manchester College. The death of Mr. Robberds left a 
vacancy which was filled up by the election of the Rev. James 
Panton Ham, who had been educated at Cheshunt College, 
and held for a short time Congregational pastorates in Maiden 
head and Bristol. Subsequently becoming a Unitarian, he 
entered upon duty at Cross Street, October 8th, 1855, ar) d removed 
to Essex Street, London, in March, 1859. He is now resident 
without charge at Southsea. He was followed January, 1860, by 
the Rev. James Drummond, M.A., now Dr. Drummond, educated 
at Trinity College, Dublin, and Manchester New College. In 1869 
he resigned, to become Theological Professor of Manchester New 
College, of which institution he is still the honoured Principal. 
The Rev. S. A. Steinthal, educated at Manchester New College, 
and who had previously laboured at Bridgewater, Liverpool, and 
Platt, entered upon duty as successor to Mr. Drummond in 1870. 
The Rev. W. H. Drummond, B.A., whose ministerial train 
ing was received at Manchester New College and Jena, was 
appointed his colleague in 1887. Both ministers have recently 
resigned their charges, Mr. Drummond having accepted an invita- 

1 Vide ante p. 47, note 2. 


tion to Cairo Street, Warrington. " Since the restoration of the 
chapel after it was gutted in 1715, with the exception of an enlarge 
ment of the pulpit end," says Sir Thomas Baker, "it now remains 
as it was then reinstated. The original outer wall to the stone 
facings at the corner may be readily distinguished, being slightly 
in advance of the front line of the more recent part." Subsequently 
the old pews were removed from the body of the chapel and 
modern benches substituted. Much might be written about 
the changes which have taken place in the surroundings of 
the chapel during the two centuries of its existence, being once in 
the midst of "cornfields and gardens, cottages and farmhouses," 
now of shops, warehouses, and crowded thoroughfares. Much 
also might be said about the celebrities who at different periods of 
its history have been associated with it, but the exigencies of space 
forbid. The reader, however, will find much interesting informa 
tion on these matters in the histories of Sir Thomas Baker and Mr. 
Richard Wade, of which I have made large use in the foregoing 
account. The congregation is Unitarian, and has been so for 
many years. 


COLDHOUSE, in the neighbourhood of Shudehill, according to Dr. 
Halley, " has been successively the first religious home of Presby 
terians, Independents, Scotch Baptists, and some minor sects of 
Methodists." 1 Not that each sect has " successively " met for worship 
in " the small and inconvenient meeting house," there, as his state 
ment seems to implv, bat that somewhere in the district it 
found its first home. Coldhouse is not very prepossessing in 
appearance to-day, but in the middle of last century, when the 
different denominations sprang into being, it was quite rural and 
charming. Mr. R. W. Procter, in his vivid style, gives the follow 
ing interesting picture of this district before it became the heart 
of Manchester traffic : 

1 "Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. ii., p. 447. 


While quietly pursuing our way along Hyde s Cross, Withy Grove, and the 
lower end of Shudehill, we skirted the "Old Gardens," and the "Old 
Infirmary Yard "suggestive names no longer known to the directory. May 
not " Huntsman s Court," here still existing, denote that this district was once 
hunting ground ? The neighbouring signboards seem appropriate the 
Hare and Hounds, the Roebuck, and the Dog and Partridge, to wit. 
Perchance the White Horse would carry the huntsman proudly to the 
meet, while the Spread Eagle from its eyrie would watch the spirited chase 
over the Coldhouse meadows, and the Seven Stars would light the jovial 
scarlet coats to the squire s convivial board at Withingreave Hall. 1 

An additional interest for Nonconformists gathers round this 
locality, because it was here that Mr. Newcome licensed a barn in 
1672 for public worship. 2 This, then, was the " first religious home " 
of the Congregationalists, though the precise date of its becoming 
such has been lost, and the reason, too, is involved in some 
obscurity. Dr. Halley, who generally keeps clear of dates, gives 
the following account of the origin of Manchester Congrega 
tionalism : 

Modern Congregationalism in Manchester originated in the middle of the 
last century with a few good people who cared much more for Evangelical 
doctrine than for ecclesiastical polity. Some of them had seceded from Cross 
Street meeting-house on account of the new doctrine which had been intro 
duced into that venerable sanctuary of nonconformity ; 3 some had immigrated 
from Scotland ; and some had been religiously excited by the earnest preach 
ing of the Methodists or Calvinistic itinerants from Yorkshire. They met 
for worship in a small and inconvenient meeting-house in Cold House Lane. 
. . . Their first pastor, the Rev. Caleb Warhurst, a man of fervent piety, 
exemplary character, loving spirit, and incessant labour, was ordained in 1756.* 

1 Memorials of Bygone Manchester," p. 42. 

2 Some writers on Manchester Congregationalism, amongst them the late 
Dr. Macfadyen, and Dr. Mackennal, say that this was the building after 
wards used by the Congregationalists. There is no solid proof of this. Sir 
Thomas Baker states that it was in " an unfrequented part of the town called 
Cold House," and in a note adds, " supposed to have been near Garden 
Street, Shudehill." ("Memorials," page n). 

8 In the account of Cross Street Chapel (vide ante p. 99) I have stated 
that there is much to favour Dr. Halley s contention here. Further evidence 
will be found in the fact that this happened in nearly every other Lancashire 
town. Modern Congregationalism almost invariably originated in the theo 
logical changes of a century and a half ago. 

4 " Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. ii., p. 447. 


This is the earliest ascertainable date, but the congregation had 
probably been in existence a year or two already. Prominent 
amongst the originators of the movement was a Mr. Winterbottom, 
concerning whom Mr. Warhurst, in his diary, thus writes under 
date May i8th, 1759 : 

It is now three years since I made a conclusion with old Mr. Winter- 
bottom to preach at Manchester. It was for this time. It is now expired. 
He is gone, and I am spared. 1 

Mr. Warhurst, the first minister, was the son of Caleb War 
hurst, a carpenter, of Bredbury, near Stockport. He was born 
February 2Oth, 1723, and does not appear to have had any 
collegiate training. His ordination took place November loth, 
1756, of which service he gives the following account : 

This day, in the most solemn manner, was I devoted to the service of God 
by ordination. The order of the work was thus. Mr. Scott, of Heckmond- 
wike, in Yorkshire, began the service with prayer ; sung the 48th Psalm ; 
read the 3rd and 4th Chapters of i Tim.; prayed again more largely and 
more particularly for all the Church in general, and for me in particular; 
then preached from 2 Cor. 4-5, " For we preach not ourselves," &c. Then 
Mr. Walkden, of Stockport, proposed some questions to me and demanded 
my confession of Faith, which I delivered (but in great weakness). Then 
he prayed over me with laying on of hands. Then Mr. Pye, from Sheffield, 
proceeded to give me the charge from Acts, 20, 28; then he sung the 132 
Psalm, and concluded with a fervent prayer for a blessing on the whole of 
the work. We dined together this day at Jer. Royle s. My honoured 

brethren, my father, Mr. Jesse (Mr. Clegg, John Greenlees, deacons), 

and Brother Harrison, &c. 

Mr. Warhurst had his troubles like most ministers. Under date 
February 7th, 1757, he writes : 

Paid a visit this day to Mr. Winterbottom, and found there are some pre 
tended friends have been misrepresenting my behaviour, even as I expected ; 
but as I have often found it good to cast my care upon the Lord, so in this I 
see his hand, and they that digged the pit are fallen into it. I dined with 
Mr. Winterbottom, along with some friends. Preached this evening, and 
was much troubled with my cough. 

1 Fragment of a MS. diary of the Rev. Caleb Warhurst. The original 
is in the possession of the family of the late Mr. William Armitage, 
Altrincham, a transcript of which was made by the late Dr. Macfadyen, 
which, by the kindness of Mrs. Macfadyen, I have been permitted to use. 


On the 22nd of the same month he makes this entry : 

I find that I am offending some by my gestures in my work. Lord, thou 
knows my heart. If I am accounted besides myself it is to thee ; but let me 
still approve myself to my God, and mind not what man says of me. 

In 1762! the congregation found a home in a new building 
erected for the purpose in Hunter s Croft. This was the lower 
end of Cannon Street, and joined Hanging Ditch, where Dr. John 

Byrom lived. It is to this interesting man, the author of the 
popular Christmas hymn " Christians, awake, salute the happy 
morn," that we are indebted for the exact date of the opening of 
this new meeting-house. In his diary, under date Tuesday, April 
2oth, 1762, he records a visit from the Rev John Newton : 

j^_ 1 The Trust Deed bears date Nov. 25th, 1761, and the building is said to 
have been erected under the superintendence of Messrs. Arthur Clegg, John 
Spear, Henry Hope, and others. 



This afternoon Mr. Newton, from Liverpool, called upon me. ... he 
came here upon account of the opening of the new meeting at the upper end 
of this croft to-morrow, and to see some ministers and friends with whom he 
was acquainted. 1 

That the church was Congregational or Independent from the 
first is made clear by the following extract from the Rev. John 
Newton s letter to Mr. Hough ton, dated November i8th, 1762 : 

When the Doctor [John Byrom] has done with the book I would be 
obliged to him, if he pleases, to let a servant leave it for Mr. Warhurst, at 
Mr. Clegg s, in Turner Street. This gentleman is minister of the Indepen 
dent Chapel, and a truly humble, pious man. 2 

Further evidence appears in the "lengthy document" prefixed to 
their Church Book, dated 1762, from which the following 
sentences are taken : 

With respect to their Church Order and Discipline, that which is practised 
in Independent Churches was looked upon to be most agreeable to Scripture, 
and therefore attempted. But it is now acknowledged both by Pastor and 
People that they have not kept so close to this Faith and Order of the Gospel 
.as they ought to have done ; Therefore, for the better establishment, well- 
being, and prosperity of this church (now removing to a new meeting house, 
Built for that purpose in Hunter s Croft, Manchester), it is judged expedient 
that they should be more explicite 3 both with respect to their Faith and 
Order than heretofore. And, therefore, the said Confession of Faith, and 

1 "Remains of John Byrom" (Chetham Society Series, vol. xliv.), p. 

2 Ibid, p. 639. Dr. Halley, in the passage previously cited, says that the 
church originated with persons who " cared much more for Evangelical doc 
trine than for ecclesiastical polity." So surely should it be with all 
churches; but they "cared" enough for "ecclesiastical polity" to be even 
then differentiated from any other sect by a name which the church has 
handed on unchanged. Dr. Waddington, too, like Dr. Halley, unduly depre 
ciates the Congregational character of the church in its earliest years. He 
says " Congregational principles were imperfectly understood in Man 
chester, and only partially applied. The original church, from its formation, 
was enveloped in a Scotch mist. " Some of the members had a slight 
craze on the question of "ruling elders." ("Congregational History," vol. 
iv., p. 51.) In Caleb Warhurst s days the "mist" was not so thick, and Dr. 
Waddington is more accurate when he calls the "craze" after "ruling 

elders" a "slight" one. 

This does not sound like indifference towards " ecclesiastical polity." 



the Discipline, Order, and Practise of Independent Churches is here wrote 
down. In order, To be afresh assented to, and faithfully followed, by all 
those that are already in the Church, or may hereafter be Receiv d into it. 

Nor was this all. In 1764 a carefully drawn up "Confession 
of Faith, with a Form of Church Government" was issued by 
them, whose Congregational character is beyond all question. It 
begins : 

"The CHURCH OF CHRIST meeting together for Publick 
Worship, in a meeting house in Hunter s-Croft, Manchester ; 
Unto all Christians, into whose hands these lines may fall ; wisheth 
all Grace and Peace." The reason of its publication is given in 
the following passage : 

We find there are some around us who are speaking Evil of the things 
they know not ; and others who are more candid, desiring to know what our 
Faith and Order is. For the Conviction of the former and information of 
the latter, we have thought proper to make these more public, hoping they 
will be found, upon impartial examination, to be agreeable to the Faith and 
Order that was once delivered to the saints. 

Prominence is given in Dr. Mackennal s charming " Life of 
Dr. Macfadyen " to the story of " the ruling eldership in Cannon 
Street Church," previously referred to, and the document just 
named is adduced as evidence. He says : 

Presumably, the church document of 1762 was drawn up by Caleb 
Warhurst, and in it especial care is taken to identify the elder with the 
bishop, or pastor, or teacher, and to specify as the work of the deacon the 
assistance of the pastor "in the more external concerns of the church." 
In 1764, however, Mr. Warhurst published "A Form of Church Govern- 
mentj deduced from the Holy Scripture, drawn up for the use of the Church 
of Christ, worshipping in the Meeting-house, Hunter s Croft, Manchester," in 
which distinct mention is made of the " Ruling Elder, who assists the Pastor 

1 A copy of this interesting document, printed by R. Whitworth, Man 
chester, in 1764, is in my possession. Many of our churches to-day would 
be none the worse for having it circulated in their midst. Dr. Halley, 
referring to the secessionists from Cannon Street who erected the chapel in 
Mosley Street, says that they " composed the largest and most minute 
declaration of faith and order" he had ever seen. If larger than that of 
the Hunter s Croft Church then it was large, for this occupies over eighty 
printed pages, octavo size, and is quite a little compendium of theology. 


in ruling and government." Mr. Warhurst died in 1765, and the Church 
Book does not contain any record of elders during his pastorate. There 
may, however, have been elders at this time, for on October 3Oth, 1778, 
when Timothy Priestley had been two years minister of the church, one 
Andrew Patten writes a letter complaining that " a few men have taken 
upon them to overturn the government of this church, and to set up one of 
their own invention." He declares that ruling elders are essential to the 
church as Christ intended it. 1 

I am persuaded, after a careful review of the whole case, that 
whatever significance " the ruling eldership " came to have for the 
church in subsequent years, it had little for it during Caleb War- 
hurst s days, and that the document of 1764 is no serious modifi 
cation of the earlier "Confession of Faith." Respecting the 
church officers, for instance, it thus reads : 

The officers which CHRIST hath appointed ordinarily to wait upon Him 
in every church are Bishops and Deacons. A Bishop is a church overseer, a 
Presbyter a teaching or ruling Elder immediately under CHRIST, the Head 
of the Church, and constituted by Him, in an ordinary way, to preach the 
Word, administer the Sacraments, and maintain due Order and Discipline in 
his House, according to his Word. 

He describes the "teaching Elder" as either a pastor, who 
" goes before the church in the administration of the Word, Prayer, 
Seals, and the Keys, according to gospel constitution ; " or, a 
Teacher, who, " though he may dispense other ordinances, yet is 
especially to give diligence to, and wait on teaching." "A ruling 
Elder" is one who "assists the pastor in ruling and government; 
or in maintaining a diligent watch over the congregation (or, in 
case of the want of the pastor or teacher), to go before the church 
in receiving in, admonishing, or casting out ; or in other matters of 
order, as the case may require. All these over-seeing officers are 
riot absolutely necessary to the due organisation of the church ; but 
where there is a Pastor and Deacon, that church is fully organised 
for its full edification; the pastoral office containing in it all 
teaching and ruling Charge; and if the Pastor is able to discharge 
the whole, he undoubtedly may ; but if through his weakness, or 
the increase of the church, there is need of further help, it s the 

1 Page 103. 


duty of the church to call in and ordain such assisting officers" 
The one clear point in all this is that Caleb Warhurst considered a 
church to be " fully organised for its full edification " with its two 
officers, pastor and deacon ; and that the ruling elder might be 
called into being according to the convenience of the church. 
Probably, Caleb Warhurst himself found that he was " able to dis 
charge the whole," and the ruling elder was more an idea than a 
fact in his day. The statement of Brother Patten, in the days of 
Timothy Priestley, that "ruling elders are essential to a church, as 
Christ intended it," shows a considerable remove from the position 
of the church in its earliest days. Caleb Warhurst lived only a 
short time after the publication of his " Confession of Faith." 
He died of consumption, November 5th, 1765, in the 43rd year 
of his age, and according to the custom of the time was interred 
beneath the pulpit of the chapel in which he had laboured. 

Upon his tombstone, which was removed to the church at 
Chorlton Road, and which unfortunately was lost during one of 
the building enlargements, the following inscription was placed : 

Here resteth the remains 

of the 
REVD. CALEB WARHURST, a servant of Jesus 

Christ, by whose labours under God, 

this place of worship, together with the first 

Church assembling in it, had their rise, 

Who departed this life 

Novr. 5th, 1765, 
In the 43rd year of his age. 

Dr. Mackennal says that in some respects he was like Henry 
Newcome, "a grave man," his diary being "full of self upbraid 
ing and foreboding," and that "the sensitiveness of habit, which 
lent a charm to his preaching, made him a constant sufferer." 

His successor was the Rev. Timothy Priestley, younger brother 
of Dr. Joseph Priestley. He was educated by the Rev. James 
Scott, at Heckmondwike Academy, entering about 1756, and 
being the second on the roll of students. He settled first at 
Kipping, near Bradford, whence he removed to Manchester about 
1766. Dr. Halley says: 

1 " Life of Dr. Macfadyen," p. 101. 


Mr. Priestley, although a preacher of considerable ability, was not very 
successful nor very happy in Manchester. He was troubled either with a 
quarrelsome temper or with quarrelsome deacons, for the church book 
contains abundant evidence of discord in the vestry. The deacons lectured 
him about his irreverence and irregularities, while he paid very little respect 
to their lectures. He was charged with irreverently ascending the pulpit with 
his hat on his head, and with making packing cases on Sunday nights. As 
to his wearing his hat on the pulpit stairs, he seems to have treated the charge 
as an impertinence unworthy of notice ; and as to the packing cases, while 
the deacons kept him miserably poor he thought it was his duty to " provide 
things honest in the sight of all men," as well as to "remember the Sabbath 
day," when the demand for these cases was urgent, as it often was previously 
to the sailing of an American vessel from Liverpool, he and his family 
worked in the night intervening between Sunday and Monday, but he never 
acknowledged that he began before the clock struck twelve. 1 

The reader is asked to supplement this view of Mr. Priestley 
by Dr. Mackennal s, who says that he "lived in a bluff, objective 
fashion, troubled with no self-introspection and few doubts. He 
was a strong preacher, careless of personal dignity, and of abound 
ing audacity, both in his pulpit utterances and in private speech." 
The church officers remonstrated with him for engaging in "secret 
trade," and especially for being associated with the " liquor busi 
ness." Eventually, he was "formally dismissed fiom his office on 
April i4th, 1784, only two hands being held up in his favour. In 
all this unpleasant matter there is the amplest acknowledgment of 
of Mr. Priestley s eminent preaching powers, and very reluctantly 
is his eighteen years pastorate brought to an end." 2 

During his ministry the chapel was enlarged by the removal of 
two cottages which stood in front. 

From Manchester he removed to Dublin, and some two years 
afterwards became pastor of the Jewin Street Congregational 
Church, London, where he laboured until his death. He "de 
parted this life at Islington in great peace and tranquillity a few 
weeks before completing his Both year," on Saturday night, April 
23rd, i8i4- 3 He was interred in Bunhill Fields on the 2Qth, 

1 " Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. ii., p. 448. 

- " Life of Dr. Macfadyen," p. 101. 

3 " Bunhill Memorials," by J. A. Jones, p. 223. 



when the Rev. Joseph Cockin, of Halifax, delivered the funeral 
address, and on the following Sabbath the Rev. G. Burder preached 
his funeral sermon at Jewin Street, "to a very crowded congre 
gation, from John xvii., 24." 1 

The following inscription was placed upon his tombstone : 

Sacred to the Memory of the late 

who for more than half a century preached with fidelity and success 

the unsearchable riches of Christ ; 

twenty-five years of which period he was 

Pastor of the Independent Church 

in Jewin Street, London. 
Born June 19, 1734; died April 23, 1814. 

With the theological views of his brother, Dr. Joseph Priestley, 
he had no sympathy, and it is recorded that " when the dissenting 
ministers applied to Parliament for a repeal of the penal laws, Mr. 
Priestley was applied to for his signature, but refused to give it, 
from an apprehension that it would be lending his assistance in 
advancing the cause of heterodoxy." 2 In addition to a few 
sermons which he published he was the author of " The Chris 
tian s Looking-glass," "Family Exercises," a large " Family Bible," 
with notes, in two volumes, and " The Christian s Magazine or 
Gospel Repository." 3 The next minister was the Rev. David 
Bradberry, 4 a convert of the Rev. George Whitefield. He was 
educated for the ministry by the Revs. John Conder, D.D., and 
John Walker, at their academy, when it was held at Mile End 
one of the predecessors of New College. Mr. Bradberry 
preached his first sermon at Ramsgate, in Kent, on October loth, 
1767, and in the December following he was called to the 

1 " Evangelical Magazine," for 1814, p. 278. 

2 Wilson s " Dissenting Meeting Houses," vol. iii., p. 352. 

3 The first volume of this magazine, published in 1790, edited by Mr. 
Priestley, and dedicated to Lady Huntingdon, whose intimate friendship he 
enjoyed, is in my possession. It is an exceedingly interesting publication, 
issued evidently with a view to counteract the influence of Unitarian doc 
trines, which had then become common, and of which his brother was so 
earnest and able an advocate. How long it lived I do not know. 

4 This, and not " Bradbury," I believe to be the correct spelling. 


pastorate of the church there. He continued to serve them in 
the pulpit, but did not return an answer to the invitation until 
April, 1769. His ordination took place on Wednesday, October 
24th, 1770, when the "Rev. Messrs. Brewer, of Stepney; Rogers, 
of Southwark; Shepherd, of Tunbridge Wells; Jenkings, of 
Maidstone ; and Purchase, of Margate," 1 assisted in the service. 
It is interesting to note that Mr. Whitefield concluded his labours 
in England by preaching his last two sermons at Ramsgate at 
Mr. Bradberry s request. Detained by adverse winds in the 
Downs, he was prevailed upon to preach an ordination sermon 
at Deal, and thence to go to Ramsgate. In one of his letters, 
dated Deal, September i5th, 1769, he thus writes: 

Mr. Bradberry came, and put me under an arrest, and is carrying me 
away to Ramsgate. I hope to arrest some poor runaway bankrupts for the 
Captain of our Salvation. 

His journal further says : 

We reached Ramsgate about two, took some refreshment, and there I 
preached about four, not to a very large, but an attentive and affected, 
auditory. This I did also the morning following. The people s behaviour 
here was so unmistakably generous, frank, genteel, and Christian that I know 
not where I have been more pleased and delighted. 2 

Mr. Whitefield immediately afterwards crossed the Atlantic, 
and died September 3oth, 1770. Eighteen years Mr. Bradberry 
laboured with considerable success at Ramsgate, removing thence 
to Manchester, having accepted the invitation of the church, 
August i4th, 1785. Dr. Halley gives the following account of his 
Manchester ministry : 

He betook himself not to the making of packing-cases, but of epic poems. 
Mr. Bradbury s employment, although more respectable, was, I fear, less 
lucrative than that of his worthy predecessor. In addition to the perplexity 
of a limited income, he was troubled by the disputes of his people, and 
especially by the pertinacious attempts of some Scotch members to appoint 

1 "Church History of Kent," by the Rev. T. Timpson, p. 425. 

2 Ibid, p. 426. 


ruling elders, and to introduce 1 some other Presbyterian ways into the 
church. Mr. Bradbury was not the man to be ruled by either Scotchmen or 
Englishmen, elders or deacons, and therefore, after much unhappy con 
troversy, and a large secession of members, he resigned his charge and left 
the neighbourhood. 2 

The year of his removal from Manchester has not been ascer 
tained, but about 1793 he was minister at Glovers Hall, London. 
He died January i3th, 1803, and was interred at Bunhill Fields, 
on which occasion " the Rev. Mr. Humphries, of Southwark, 
spoke over his grave ; and on the following Sabbath Mr. Simpson, 
of Hoxton, preached his funeral sermon." 3 The following inscrip 
tion was placed upon his tombstone : 

Died January 13, 1833, 

Aged 67 years ; 
Having been a preacher of the Gospel for 42 years. 

The Rev. William Roby took charge of the " diminished and 
unpromising congregation, which remained in Cannon Street 
meeting-house." 4 In previous volumes of this work will be found 
lengthy notices of this good man, whose name is so deeply interwoven 
with the story of Lancashire Congregationalism during the present 
century. Born at Haigh, near Wigan, " like his father, an ortho 
dox Churchman," he was converted and led into Nonconformity 
by the preaching of the Rev. John Johnson, 5 one of Lady 

1 Dr. Mackennal, quoting from " a more accurate account," says that 
one of the things alleged against Mr. Bradberry was his " endeavour to 
remove the elders from their office, and to break up that form of govern 
ment under which they had been admitted as members." (" Life of Dr. 
Macfadyen," p. 103.) The Presbyterian usages had already been introduced, 
and Mr. Bradberry said that " he and the church had only exercised the 
power with which Christ had invested them, and which all Independent 
churches claim by His authority, of removing as well as choosing their own 

2 "Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. ii., p. 449. 

3 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1803, p. 211. 

4 Halley s "Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. ii., p. 450. 

5 Mr. Johnson followed Mr. Roby to Manchester as minister of St. 
George s Church, originally intended for Episcopalian consecration, He died 
there September 22nd, 1804, and Mr. Roby preached his funeral sermon 
from the appropriate words, " My Father, my Father." 


Huntingdon s ministers at Wigan. After a brief training at 
Trevecca he was sent to preach amongst other places at Worcester, 
Reading, and Ashby-de-la-Zouch, eventually becoming associated 
in the ministry with Mr. Johnson, at Wigan. On Mr. Johnson s 
removal to Tyldesley, in 1789, Mr. Roby was left in sole charge of 
the congregation at Wigan, and on September 2oth of that year he 
was ordained as such, having to go up to London for the purpose. 
From Wigan he removed to Manchester about 1795. At the 
commencement of his ministry here it is recorded that his congre 
gation "seldom exceeded 150 persons," but his earnest and mani 
fold labours soon began to be felt. It is a singular defect in Dr. 
Halley s interesting notices of Mr. Roby that he makes no refer 
ence to his connection with the planting of Congregationalism in 
Scotland. Two years after his settlement at Cannon Street, on 
June 27th, 1797, with the consent of his church, Mr. Roby went 
for a month s absence and hard work in Scotland. His friend, 
whom he had especially gone to assist, was the Rev. James 
Haldane, minister of a Congregational Church at Edinburgh. The 
clergy were all in arms against the new preachers, whom they 
called "vagrants." Mr. Roby s experiences during his journey 
from Edinburgh to Perth in pursuit of his mission are thus related 
by himself : 

Both the kirks and meeting-houses are shut against us by the solemn 
orders of the general Assembly and Synods of the secession, so that we are 
obliged to preach in the open air, except the weather force us to take shelter 
in a tent or barn. When the course of my itineracy for this week is com 
pleted, I shall have preached ten times in five days, riding on an average 
about twenty miles each day. 1 

Scottish Congregationalism has had a hard struggle to obtain 
its present respectable position, and it is no little honour for Lan 
cashire to have sent one of its best and most saintly men to help to 
start it on its way. Mr. Roby returned to Manchester on the 3Oth of 
July, and whilst continuing to serve his own church loyally, 2 the needs 

1 Waddington s " Congregational History," vol. iv., p. 103. 

- On the Sunday he usually preached three times in his own chapel and 
once at the New Cross, in the open air, having prayer meetings during the 
week in different parts of the town. 


of the county began to lie upon his heart with greater weight than 
ever. Mainly with him, therefore, originated the scheme for 
evangelising Lancashire, which subsequently developed into the 
present County Union. The success of his ministry made necessary 
a larger place of worship, and according to a resolution of the 
church, it was agreed in 1807 to erect a new chapel in Grosvenor 
Street, but to continue Cannon Street Chapel for a time as a branch 
station. In the account of that church, further information respect 
ing Mr. Roby must be sought. 1 The removal was not effected 
without friction. Five members, "with the connivance of the 
trustees," taking advantage of a clause in the trust deed, " which 
gives to three members power to prevent the settling of the 
property, agreed to constitute themselves into a church, and to 
continue Cannon Street Chapel as a Nonconformist place of 
worship." 2 

Mr. Roby writes respecting this : 

The members who withdrew in the course of the year took possession of 
the old chapel in Cannon Street contrary to a mutual agreement formed at 
a church meeting, held according to public notice. 

The Rev. William Marsh was called in the midsummer of 1808 to 
the pastorate of the congregation which remained in Cannon Street. 
He had previously laboured for a short time at Dukinfield, and is 
described as coming thence from London. At Dukinfield he was 
ordained May 2ist, 1807, when the Rev. Messrs. Blackburn, of 
Delph ; Hudson, of Tintwistle ; Meldrum, of Hatherlow ; White- 
head, of Charlesworth ; Mather, of New Windsor ; Ashton, of 

1 Vide p. 133. 

2 The Chorlton Road Congregational Church claims to be the Cannon 
Street Church in continuity, and so the oldest Congregational Church in 
Manchester. My opinion is not of much value, but it has always seemed to me 
that such a contention can hardly be sustained, though for the sake of con 
venience I have made the history continuous. Unless the resolution of the 
church in a matter of this kind is decisive, no resolution can be. St. George s 
Road Congregational Church, Bolton, is a similar case, and its claim to be 
the old Duke s Alley Church in continuity has been allowed. (Vide " Lan 
cashire Nonconformity," vol. iii., p. 21.) Happily, however, this has long 
ceased to be a bone of contention amongst the Manchester churches, and is 
only a point of interest. 


Stockport ; Hampshire, of Henley, conducted the service. 1 In 
September, 1812, Mr. Marsh removed from Manchester to 
Charlesworth, where he laboured until his death in 1821. His 
successor was the Rev. William Evans, from Aylesbury, who 
undertook the charge April 25th, 1813, and removed in September, 
1817. The Rev. Robert Allott, who had been educated at Rother- 
ham College, and had exercised a brief ministry at Eastwood, in 
Yorkshire, accepted the invitation of the Cannon Street Church, July 
25th, 1819, and was publicly set apart as pastor on November i2th 
following, when the Revs. J. A. Coombs, S. Bradley, W. Roby, and 
James Bennett, D.D., from Rotherham College, took part in the 
service. He resigned on August 2nd, 1822, and subsequently 
laboured at Walsall, in Staffordshire, where he died suddenly in 
1834. In September, 1824, the Rev. John Whitridge became the 
minister. He was born near Bootle, in Cumberland, on May 
23rd, 1790, his father being "lineally descended from the family 
of Anne Askew, who, under the reign of Mary, boldly endured 
martyrdom for the sake of the truth." He was educated for the 
ministry by Dr. Williams, at Rotherham College, and ordained 
on July 7th, 1814, over the church at Carlisle, when a goodly 
number of ministers assisted in the service. In June, 1819, he 
resigned to become Principal of the academy for training ministers 
at Oswestry and assist his uncle, the Rev. John Whitridge, in the 
pastorate there. From this place he removed to Manchester, 
where he exerted himself "much on behalf of the young, estab 
lishing week-night lectures and Bible classes in various parts of 
the town for their benefit." Failing health compelled him to 
resign his charge on September 23rd, 1827, and after a few 
years residence at Harrogate, where he preached at what was 
called Cross Chapel, he retired into his native county of Cumber 
land. He took occasional duty whilst health permitted, and died 
at Carlisle, July 28th, 1854. On the 7th of October, 1827, the 
Rev. Samuel Bradley entered upon duty as successor to Mr. 
Whitridge. He was educated at Rotherham College, and ordained 
as pastor of Doncaster Congregational Church, September i7th, 
1800. He left shortly afterwards for Mosley Street, Manchester, 

1 "Evangelical Magazine," for 1807, p. 532. 


relinquishing this charge for Cannon Street. Soon after his 
settlement the Cannon Street Chapel was rebuilt and enlarged, as 
the subjoined passage shows : 

Since the settlement of the Rev. Samuel Bradley at this place of worship, 
the congregation having very greatly increased, together with the unsafe 
state of part of the building, it was deemed necessary, last summer, almost 
to rebuild as well as to enlarge the chapel, which was reopened on the 3rd 
of August, 1828, when Mr. Bradley preached in the morning from Haggai ii., 
9, "The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former," &c. 
The expense incurred has amounted to upwards of ;i,6oo, towards which 
the friends have subscribed about one thousand, and the remainder they 
hope, ere long, to pay off. From the venerable church assembling in this 
place nearly all the Independent congregations in Lancashire x have arisen. 2 

Mr. Bradley resigned in April, 1844, and was followed by the Rev. 
James Dean. He was a native of Manchester, and a member of the 
church at Mosley Street, during the pastorate of Mr. Bradley, by 
whom he was introduced into the Blackburn Academy. Previous 
to his coming to Manchester he had laboured several years at 
Aldermanbury Postern, London, and Topsham, in Devonshire. 
The Evangelical Magazine for August, 1844, has the following 
respecting his acceptance of the Manchester pastorate : 

The Rev. J. Dean has accepted the unanimous invitation of the church at 
Cannon Street, Manchester, vacant by the resignation of the Rev. S. Bradley, 
the former pastor of Mr. Dean, and who for forty-three years laboured with 
untiring assiduity in the good cause. On his retirement, he had the pleasure 
of welcoming his successor, and of approving the choice of the church. 

Mr. Dean resigned owing to ill health, October ist, 1847, and 
died at Clapton, September i8th, 1857, in his 56th year. 
The next minister was the Rev. William Parkes, a student 
from Lancashire College. He began his labours July gth, 1848, 
and resigned September 23rd, 1855, removing to Monkwearmouth. 
Subsequently he was at Sunderland, and Park Road, Blackburn. 3 
The Rev. James Bruce, from Bamford, was minister from June, 

1 This is a very big thing to say, though the church has a most honour 
able record from that point of view. 

2 "Evangelical Magazine," for 1829, p. 198. 
3 Vide "Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. ii. 


1856, to September, I859- 1 In December of the latter year, the 
Rev. Professor Newth, of Lancashire College, elder brother of the 
Rev. Dr. Newth, late honoured Principal of New College, London, 
" consented to accept the office of preacher." In the Chorlton 
Road Congregational Church a tablet has been erected in memory 
of Professor Newth, upon which the following inscription has been 

placed : 

To the Memory of 


for nearly nineteen years Professor of 

Philosophy and Old Testament Criticism 

in Lancashire Independent College, 

and for the last six years 
Professor also of Ecclesiastical History. 


Members of Chorlton Road Congregational Church 

to commemorate 

their high appreciation of the wisdom with 
which, as president of the Church, he managed 

its affairs during the early years of its 

existence in this neighbourhood, and of the 

admiration inspired in all who knew him 

by the simplicity of purpose with which, 

as a man, a scholar, and a preacher, 

he devoted himself to the work 

of his Master. 

He was born Dec. 23, 1811, 
and died Oct. 23, 1875. 

The following passage tells how the removal of the church from 
Cannon Street to Chorlton Road, right away on the southern side 
of the city, was brought about : 

In consequence of the prevailing tendency of the worshippers to reside in 
the suburbs, the congregation has been growing less for some years. The 
office-bearers have made attempts to devise some plan by which to meet 
the difficulty caused by this condition of matters, and eventually it was 
resolved to seek the benefit of the Charitable Trusts Acts, the Commissioners 
under which, on the nth October, 1856, gave power to sell the property. A 
sale was effected on the 2nd March, iS6o, when the property was disposed 
of for the sum of ^2,8oo. 2 

1 Vide " Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. iii. 

- Brief history of Chorlton Road Church, deposited in cavity of founda 
tion stone of the present building, July ijth, 1860, and copied in the "Chorlton 
Road Church Manual" for 1886. 


The purchaser was Mr. J. H. Boardman, and its subsequent 
history is given in the following passage from The Manchester City 
News for August 24th, 1889 : 

We took it, in 1862, on a lease of twenty-one years. At that time there 
was no organ in the chapel, but the pews and interior fittings were much as 
they had ever been. It was converted into a yarn warehouse for us by 
Messrs. Southern, of Salford, and the pews and pulpit were sold by them 
to a broker of old material. When the pulpit was removed a gravestone 
was found underneath, upon which was the name of the first minister, who 
was and is now interred there. The stone was sold by the broker either 
to Sir James Watts, the trustee, or to someone connected with the Chorlton 
Road Independent Chapel, where, I suppose, it can be seen. The ground 
floor was never disturbed. There are three or four interments, but no stone 
to indicate where any have taken place. The area, 460 square yards, was 
flagged over, and no disturbance took place during our tenancy. The chapel 
keeper s house two storeys next Print Street, and three next Back Cannon 
Street was formerly used as a vestry and school, and a part was then open 
(without roof) for interments. Mr. Boardman converted this into a ware 
house for us in 1864, retaining the old buildings. About this time the names 
on a few old gravestones were removed, part covered with asphalt, and part 
flagged. There was, I believe, no disturbance of the graves. 

of W. and R. K. Lee. 

The removed church met at first in a handsome iron building 
sixty-five feet by thirty-two, erected in Sloane Street, which 
was opened on Sunday, December 2Oth, 1857, when ser 
mons were preached by the Revs. A. Thomson, M.A., 
Dr. McKerrow, and James Gwyther. The schools in Chorlton 
Road were completed first, being opened on November 25th, 1860, 
and here the congregation worshipped until the new church in 
course of erection was finished. With sitting accommodation 
for about 800 worshippers the sacred edifice was opened on 
September i2th, 1861, when the Rev. S. Martin, of London, was 
the preacher. On the following Sunday morning, Dr. Raffles, of 
Liverpool, preached, and in the evening Dr. Binney, of London. 
From an interesting statement read at the opening service it 
appears that : 

The builder s work, &c., had amounted to ^5,217, and the total expenses, 
with the building, were ^7,906. The receipts, including ^2,800, the pro- 


ceeds of the sale of the Cannon Street Chapel, which the present edifice 
supersedes, amounted to .6,243, leaving a deficiency of .1,600 to be cleared 
off. This sum was raised by the opening services ; and the Sanctuary is a 
free will offering to the service of Almighty God. 1 


It has already been stated that after the resignation of Mr. 
Bruce the charge of the church was entrusted to Professor 
Newth until the Rev. J. A. Macfadyen, M.A., began his 
ministry on May lyth, 1863. In the necessarily limited space 

1 " Congregational Year Book" for 1862, p. 296. 



at my disposal it is impossible to do anything like justice 
to such a ministry as this. Happily a worthy memorial of 
him from the pen of his near neighbour and friend, Dr. 
Mackennal, has recently been published, which tells at length 
the beautiful story of his life and work. Born at Greenock, on 
January 22nd, 1837, educated at Glasgow University, and after 
wards at Lancashire College, he settled in 1860 at St. Helens. 1 
The church at Chorlton Road had already made his acquaintance 
during his student days, and seen in him a possible future pastor. 
Consequently an earnest invitation was sent to him at St. Helens, 
which, after much hesitation, he accepted. The growing congre 
gations at Chorlton Road necessitated several enlargements, until 
now there is accommodation for 1,300 people. " New schools 
were built," says Dr. Mackennal, " containing a large room for 800 
children, together with sixteen class-rooms, superintendents and 
secretaries roo-xis, and a library having over 2,000 volumes. . . . 
The church membership grew from 70 in 1863, to 837 in 1889; 
the number of scholars from 350, under the care of 30 teachers, 
to 1,040 under 86 teachers." 2 Mission work engaged a large share of 
Dr. Macfadyen s attention, as also did the planting of new churches 
in the neighbourhood; and the claims of Congregationalism in 
general were felt by him as by few men. In 1884 the church, at his 
suggestion, agreed to inaugurate a fund, which in the end amounted 
to ^12,650, for some needful improvements in the buildings 
at Chorlton Road, and at the various mission stations. A 
bazaar held in the Free Trade Hall, in March, 1888, realised more 
than ^3,140, the sum still needed, and set the church free from 
pecuniary burdens. His "labours more abundant" brought to a 
close, all too soon, a valuable life on November 2ist, 1889. A deeply 
impressive memorial service, on Monday morning, November 25th, 
was conducted in the Chorlton Road Church, by Drs. Hannay 
(himself to hear the home call shortly), Falding (since deceased), 
Maclaren, and the Revs. Thomas Green, M.A., and R. M. Davies, 
" white-headed men, the muscular tension of whose faces was visible 
in the sombre light." The body was afterwards laid in the 

1 Vide " Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. iv. 

2 " Life of Dr. Macfadyen," p. no. 


Southern Cemetery, Withington, where the late Rev. T. C. 
Finlayson offered a brief prayer, and pronounced the benediction. 
A granite lona cross has since been placed over his grave, the cost of 
which has been met by a fund " quietly opened immediately" after his 
death. The amount subscribed was ^6,749 153. 6d., of which sum 
members of the Chorlton Road Church contributed nearly ^"3,000. 
The purpose of the fund was to make more adequate provision for 
his family than Dr. Macfadyen had been able to do. In 1892, 
also, the Chorlton Road Church placed in the east end of the 
building a large stained glass " Macfadyen Memorial Window." 
" The theme illustrated," says the " Congregational Year Book " for 
1893, "is the continuity of the love of God through the ages. 
This theme was suggested as being in full consonance with 
the life, teachings, and work of Dr. Macfadyen ; and the 
direction given to it was to witness from the writings of priest, 
prophet, evangelist, and apostle, and from the Saviour Himself s to 
the truth of the story. The holy men chosen to bear this testi 
mony are Moses and David, as representing the Old, and John and 
Paul, as representing the New, dispensation, united and harmonised 
in the person of our Lord, the central figure. The figures are 
placed in the order named." It ought to be stated that in Mrs 
Macfadyen the Doctor found a valuable helper in all his work, and 
that one of his sons, the Rev. D. Macfadyen, B.A., is the pastor of 
the Congregational Church at St. Ives, Hunts. For a few years Dr. 
Macfadyen had as helpers the Revs. A. N. Johnson, M.A., now the 
Home Secretary of the London Missionary Society, and A. H. 
Smith, M.A. The present pastor is the Rev. Albert Goodrich, 
D.D., who was educated at Hackney, and began his ministerial life 
at Braintree, Essex, in 1865. Thence he removed, in 1876, to 
Elgin Place, Glasgow, and commenced his duties at Chorlton Road 
on November and, 1890. Dr. Goodrich has already won a large 
place in the confidence of the Congregational Churches of this 
county, and is proving himself to be a worthy successor to Dr. 
Macfadyen. He received his degree of Doctor of Divinity from 
the University of Glasgow, in April, 1889. 

The following succinct account of the various mission stations, 
which form so important a feature in the work of the Chorlton 
Road Church, is copied from a " Bazaar Handbook," issued in 


1888. A few sentences have been added for the sake of complete 
ness : 

MELBOURNE STREET MISSION. This originated in a ragged school which 
met for many years in one of the railway arches in Hewitt Street, off Deans- 
gate, in the midst of a dense population, only a fraction of which attended 
places of worship. The increasing attendance compelled the removal of the 
ragged school in 1874 to larger premises in Pryme Street, where it continued 
to be managed with much success by an undenominational committee. 
Twelve years ago it passed under the oversight of Chorlton Road Church, 
and in due time commodious premises were erected in Melbourne Street. 
The hall was opened 13th July, 1884. At this mission a branch church has 
been established, having a membership of ninety-nine persons. 

TATTON STREET MISSION is an old-established mission which was 
originated by friends principally from Cavendish Street. In the year 1873 the 
workers there formally connected their mission with Chorlton Road Church, 
but, as the premises were merely altered cottage property, it was a necessity 
that a new building should be erected. The site originally selected for the 
new hall was in Barrack Street, but before operations were commenced an 
undenominational effort which had been successfully carried on in Lower 
Moss Lane joined its forces to those of Tatton Street, and the friends of the 
united missions resolved to erect larger premises than were at first contem 
plated. The hall of the united mission was opened 4th October, 1885. There 
is also a branch church here with sixty-one members. 

RUSSELL STREET MISSION. This mission originated in an Adult Bible 
Class, which met in a cottage at Ann Street, Hulme. The success attending 
its operations obliged the Ann Street friends, at the close of 1875, to make 
arrangements for renting a large building in Lower Moss Lane, to carry on the 
work for which the mission had been established. About this time it became 
known that the premises called " The City Road Congregational Church " 
were on sale, and they were ultimately bought for 2,100. Necessary 
repairs, and the addition of new galleries, brought up the total cost to 3,500. 
Twelve years ago the mission was formed into a branch of Chorlton Road 
Church. Number of members eighty-two. 

All these branches have their members in communion with the 
Chorlton Road Church. At the beginning of 1893 the total 
membership of the church was 1,104, f whom 242 belonged to 
the mission stations. 



THE removal of the Rev. William Roby and his congregation 
from Cannon Street to larger and more convenient premises in 
Grosvenor Street has been referred to in the previous section. 1 The 
decision of the church at a legally called meeting was taken in 
1807, and in accordance therewith "226 members with their 
pastor, the Rev. William Roby, and their deacons Hiram Holden, 
Thomas Livesey, and Jonathan Lees removed to their new 
sanctuary, taking with them the church book which had been in 
use since the year 1805, and which commences with a continued 
list of 137 members, and remained in use until the year 1821." 
From the Evangelical Magazine, for 1808, the following account 
of the opening services is extracted : 

On Thursday, December 3, 1807, a new chapel, situated in Grosvenor 
Street, looking up Gore Street into Piccadilly, Manchester, was opened for 
the accommodation of Mr. Roby and his congregation. Between 40 and 50 
ministers assembled on the occasion. Mr. Bowden, of Darwen ; Mr. Black 
burn, of Delph ; Messrs. S. Bradley, R. Bradley, and Jack, of Manchester, 
engaged in the service. Mr. Charrier, of Lancaster, preached in the 
morning from Ps. cxxxii., 13-16, and Mr. Evans, of Stockport, in the 
evening, from Isa. Ivi., j.- 

For more than twenty years Mr. Roby continued to exercise his 
ministry here with all the marks of success which had attended 
his earlier efforts. Encouraged by Mr. Robert Spear, in addition 
to his pastoral duties he conducted an academy for ministerial 
students, several of whom, animated by the missionary enthusiasm 
of their tutor, exercised most valuable ministries in different parts 
of Lancashire. His life and labours were terminated by his death, 
January nth, 1830, and his remains were laid in a vault in the 
chapel yard. His biographer says : 

Before the ceremony of interment the body was borne into the chapel by 
eight members of his congregation, and was laid on a bier in front of the 
pulpit and communion table. The chapel was crowded to excess, upwards 
of 2,000 persons being present, including the whole of his congregation. 3 

1 Vide ante p. 123. 

2 Page 140. 

3 " Evangelical Magazine," for 1830, p. 140. 


The funeral oration was delivered by Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool ; 
the sermon on the Sunday, January 24th, by Dr. McAll, of 
Mosley Street, and Dr. Jabez Bunting, President of the 
Wesleyan Methodist Conference, conducted the other part of the 
service. The following, from the Manchester Times, for January 
1 6th, will appropriately conclude the notice of this great and gifted 
man : 

Last Sunday evening he was not considered in immediate danger, nor 
were there, up to the last moment, those acute sufferings, or those altera 
tions of countenance and posture, which are the usual precursors of death. 
To one who watched by his bedside the precise moment was unknown. 
Not only is an irreparable loss sustained by his afflicted widow and now 
destitute church, but by all the religious interests of the town ; indeed, so 
extensive and salutary was the influence of this revered and excellent 
minister that his death is regarded rather as a general than as a private or 
individual loss. Endued with a singularly masculine understanding, and 
with a disposition not less mild and charitable, Mr. Roby assiduously dis 
charged the duties of his sacred office, and prosecuted, with pre-eminent 
success, a career of usefulness, limited only by the necessary conditions of 
our being. Few that occupy stations so active and public incur so little 
censure as fell to his lot ; and, perhaps, no one. of the present day, has 
furnished a more worthy example of every thing that gives energy to 
religious character, and secures respect for the ministers of Christ. Mr. 
Roby was in the 64th year of his age. His ministry, which was commenced 
in the county of Worcester, and was then, for seven years, continued at 
Wigan (his birthplace), was unusually honoured and successful. It was in 
the year 1795 that he became pastor of the congregation with which he was 
ever since connected. It is a pleasing circumstance that he was able to 
preach a sermon to the young on the evening of the first Sabbath in this 
year, being the 35th anniversary of that interesting service. 

His widow, Sarah Roby, followed him to the grave five years after 
wards, and in her will left ,50, " the interest of which was to be 
handed over to the deacons of the church for the purpose of keeping 
in repair the monument and mural tablet of her late husband." 
The Rev. Richard Fletcher, from Darwen, began his pastorate as 
successor to Mr. Roby, on June igth, 1831. J The foundation- 
stone of the Roby Schools was laid on July 6th, 1844, by Samuel 
Fletcher, Esq., and on the 25th of January following they were 

1 Vide "Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. ii. 


formally opened by a tea meeting. After a ministry of twenty-two 
years, which is still gratefully remembered by the elder people, Mr. 
Fletcher resigned on August icth, 1853, and along with the Rev. 
J. L. Poore, went to Australia in connection with the Colonial 
Missionary Society. 

The story of his unexpected death on the eve of a projected 
visit to England is thus related : 

All the necessary arrangements were made for Mr. Fletcher s departure ; 
the passage was taken, the sermon to his flock preached, when he was over 
taken by an illness which baffled the skill of his medical friends, and instead 
of taking the journey to England he "fell asleep in Jesus," and went to the 
" Father s house." The event took place on the evening of Sunday, 
December I5th, the very day which spread the shadow of death over 
England by the removal of the Prince Consort from our midst. 1 

The Congregational College at Melbourne, of which the Rev. 
A. Gosman is the honoured principal, is a memorial of him; for 
to his "untiring exertions " it mainly owes its existence. The Rev. 
Patrick Thomson, M.A., from Chatham, and who had formerly 
been a few years at Liverpool, followed Mr. Fletcher, commencing 
his labours July gih, 1854. An interesting event, the jubilee of 
the opening of Grosvenor Street Chapel, was celebrated in 
December, 1856. On Wednesday evening, December 3rd, there 
was a large meeting of ministers of the district, and members of the 
church and congregation, over which the pastor presided. Mr. 
Samuel Fletcher had generously promised ^"1,000, "on condition 
that a sufficient sum was raised to purchase the chief or ground 
rent." This was done during the course of the year. On the 
following Friday evening, December 5th, there was a tea meeting 
of old scholars and teachers, when some 450 persons were present. 
Mr. Thomson resigned June ipth, 1865, 2 and was followed in the 
ensuing February by the Rev. R. \V. Me All. He was educated at 
Lancashire College, and had previously laboured at Sunderland 
and Leicester. His Manchester charge he resigned September 
i3th, 1867, and after brief ministries at Birmingham, and HaJleigh, 
in Suffolk, he went to Paris, and originated what is known as " The 
McAll Mission in France." Dr. Me All (for such he now is) is still 

1 " Memoir of the Rev. John Legg Poore," by John Corbin, p. 304. 

2 Vide " Lancashire Nonconformity," vol. vi. 


the director and president of this work, which ranks amongst the 
most important religious movements of this century. The present 
minister, the Rev. Thomas Willis, educated at Airedale, and 
whose previous sphere of labour was Pontefract, succeeded Mr. 
McAll on January 3rd, 1869, and consequently has entered upon 
the 25th year of his pastorate here. Situated as the church is in 
the heart of the city, and hemmed in by warehouses, it has felt in a 
pre-eminent degree the driftings of the population towards the 
suburbs, though it may still be found among the first dozen 
Congregational churches of the county for the largeness of 
its contributions to the cause of Home and Foreign Missions; 
and its present state of vigour and health is valuable testimony 
to the success of Mr. Willis s ministry. Like his predecessor, 
Mr. Roby, he has also devoted himself to the larger interests 
of Congregationalism, having for many years discharged the 
duties along with the Rev. R. M. Davies, of Oldham, of 
General Secretary of the Lancashire Congregational Union. In 
1883 he filled the Presidential Chair of the Union, and his address 
as such to the delegates and ministers assembled at Southport will 
long be remembered. Worthy names and not a few are asso 
ciated with this church, concerning which a book of no mean 
size might be written. James Pridie was admitted a member in 
1811, with whom we shall meet later as minister of the New Windsor 
Congregational Church ; Thomas Steele, the first superintendent of 
the school, admitted to fellowship in September, 1807 ; Robert 
Moffat, a member in 1816, who, as Dr. Moffat, the great African 
missionary, will be remembered with grateful love so long as 
Christian missions exist; Robert Hampson, John Ince, and 
Samuel Wilson, who gave themselves to missionary work in 1816 ; 
Samuel Fletcher, chosen to the office of deacon in 1818, whose 
munificence has been referred to in the foregoing sketch ; Thomas 
Hughes, sent a student to Hoxton in 1821; Elijah Armitage, 
who, with his wife and family, went in the same year to the South 
Seas " to evangelise the natives and instruct them in certain 
branches of the cotton manufacture ; " John Cummins 1 and James 

1 Vide vols. i. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." Mr. Cummins, 
after returning from Madagascar, exercised his ministry for some time at 
Smallbridge, and Blackpool. 


Cameron, sent out in 1826, as missionary artisans to Madagascar; 
William Armitage, elected a deacon in November, 1851, the 
genial Treasurer for many years of the Lancashire Congregational 
Union, and whose death on January nth, 1893, was a severe loss 
to all our denominational institutions; Joseph Shillito, dismissed 
in 1856 as pastor of Ebenezer Chapel, Dewsbury; R. G. Hartley, 
M.A., dismissed in March, 1859, to the Greenfield Congregational 
Church, Bradford, of which he had become pastor ; Jonathan 
Lees, whose work in China is everywhere spoken of, ordained and 
designated as a missionary, September loth, 1861 ; and Thomas 
Sheldon, ordained pastor of Westhoughton Congregational Church, 
April i gth, 1867. These names are by no means exhaustive, 
but they are sufficient to show how lich the church is in this 
direction; whilst we shall see, as we come to sketch the history of 
the other Congregational Churches in Manchester and Salford, 
that it has repeatedly sent large contingents of members to help in 
their origination. 


DISAGREEMENT with their minister, the Rev. David Bradberry, led 
to a considerable secession of members from Cannon Street 
Church in 1788, and the formation of the second Congregational 
church in Manchester. The Ruling Eldership question, which, as 
previously indicated, 1 had assumed larger and more definite mean 
ings in the days of Priestley than those of Warhurst, appears to 
have been mainly responsible for this secession. Amongst other 
things, it was charged against Mr. Bradberry that his endeavour was 
to " remove the elders from their office, and break up that form of 
government under which they had been admitted as members;" 
and it was quite clear that the charge was not groundless. Mr. 
Bradberry seems to have had little sympathy with the semi- 
Presbyterianism of some members of his congregation, and did not 

1 Vide ante p. 116. 


hesitate to hint that the church had been "misguided" in the 
creation of the office of elder. After much " unhappy con 
troversy," therefore, a division took place, " accompanied by no 
small degree of acrimonious feeling." The dissentient church 
officers were : John Spear, John Hope, 1 A. Houghton, Arthur 
Clegg, John Steward, James Fisher, elders ; and Henry Hope, 
James Dinwiddie, and John Mitchell, deacons. The deacons who 
remained loyal to the minister were John Joule, John Leigh, and 
Thomas Livesey. The seceding persons held worship for a short 
time in a warehouse in St. Andrew s Lane, near Church Street, 
where they obtained the " assistance of several popular ministers." 2 
In 1788 they built the chapel in Mosley Street, "certainly a noble 
undertaking for the time, so far as respected the building itself, 
although constructed without any regard to the science of 
acoustics." "Oddly enough," says Dr. Mackennal, "the seceders, 
in founding Mosley Street Church, although they called a Scotch 
Presbyterian minister to the pastorate, left the appointment of 
ruling elders optional in the written constitution of their church, 
and, in fact, did not introduce into the church the officer for whose 
sake they had seceded." 3 The minister in question was the Rev. 
Thomas Kennedy, M.A., who had been educated at Edinburgh, 
and had served for some time as a minister of the Church of 
Scotland. He is described as " a solid and able preacher, but not 
popular in his manner." 4 Receiving a presentation to a church in 
his native country he returned thither, after having laboured in 
Manchester about six years. His successor was the Rev. 
Joseph Smith, who had received no collegiate training, but who 
came to Manchester from Coventry, where he had been engaged 
in business. His ordination over the church at Mosley Street took 
place in September, 1798, of which the following account has been 
preserved : 

1 In the Mosley Street Church Book is the following : " August 29th, 
1822, died John Hope, Deacon, aged 78, he had held that office more than 50 

- MS. account of Mosley Street Independent Chapel, kindly lent by 
Mrs. Macfadyen. 

3 "Life of Dr. Macfadyen," p. 105. 

4 MS. history of Mosley Street Independent Chapel. 


Wednesday, September 12, 1798, the Rev. Joseph Smith was ordained (by 
imposition of hands) to the pastoral charge of the Independent Church, 
Mosley-street, Manchester. Mr. Sowden, of Sowerby, gave out the hymns ; 
Mr. Roby, of Manchester, began with prayer and reading suitable scriptures ; 
the Rev. Mr. Edwards, of Wem, explained the nature of a gospel church, and 
received the confession of faith ; Mr. Medley, of Liverpool, prayed the ordi 
nation prayer ; Mr. Evans, of Coventry, gave the charge from 2 Tim. iv., i, 2 ; 
Mr. Burder, of Coventry, preached to the people from Eph. iii., 21 ; and Mr. 
Anglezark, of Stockport, concluded with prayer." 1 

Mr. Smith was exceedingly popular as a preacher, and drew 
together large congregations, but "the rupture of several blood 
vessels, which repeatedly threatened his dissolution," led to his 
resignation in January, i8oi. 2 Mention has already been made of 
the bitter feeling existing between the two churches for some time 
after the secession, which Mr. Roby, on his settlement in Man 
chester, set himself earnestly to remove ; and the affliction of Mr. 
Smith gave him the opportunity of brotherly help, of which he 
gladly availed himself. Dr. Waddington says : 

When the new minister of Mosley Street was seized with hemorrhage from 
the lungs, and was unable to go through with the service, the intelligence 
was conveyed to Cannon Street before the communicants had sat down at 
the Lord s Table. Mr. Roby took his people with him to Mosley Street 
Chapel, and administered the ordinance of the Lord s Supper at the same 
time. Both the churches, as well as the ministers, were deeply affected by 
the incident. 3 

Mr. Smith remained in Manchester for some time after his 
retirement from the ministry, and having married a lady with 
property he engaged in business as a cotton merchant with con 
siderable success. Subsequently he removed to Leamington. The 
Rev. Samuel Bradley was his successor, being recognised as such 
on November nth, 1801. The Rev. John Johnson, of Man 
chester, read the Scriptures and offered the introductory prayer 
on the occasion ; the Rev. Wm. Roby preached on " the invaluable 
worth of the gospel, concluding with an address to the newly- 
elected pastor;" the Rev. E. Parsons, of Leeds, "exhibited the 

1 Evangelical Magazine" for 1798, p. 478. 

2 Ibid for 1802, p. 38. 

3 "Congregational History," vol. iv., p. 56. 


superior excellence of the gospel dispensation;" and the Rev. 
Joseph Smith, " late pastor, concluded with a very affecting prayer, 
in which he was frequently interrupted by tears." 1 In 1819 an 
enlargement of the chapel became necessary, owing to the success 
of Mr. Bradley s ministry, which was continued until June, 
1826, when he resigned. He then went to reside for a 
short time in Paris, but afterwards returned to Manchester, 
"joined himself to a small church in Hulme," and sub 
sequently became pastor of the Cannon Street Church, in 
succession to the Rev. John Whitridge. 2 Mr. Bradley was one 
of the founders of the Lancashire County Union, which 
took definite shape at a meeting held in the vestry of his chapel, 
September 23rd, 1806. The church was fortunate in securing as 
successor to Mr. Bradley the Rev. R. S. Me All, LL.D., who was 
the son of the Rev. Robert McAll, an eminent minister in the 
Countess of Huntingdon s Connexion, and was born at Plymouth, 
August 4th, 1792. At the early age of fourteen he was placed 
under the care of the Rev. Mr. Small, "the respected tutor of the 
Academy at Axminster," and subsequently entered Hoxton 
Academy. His residence here was brief, " owing to circumstances 
not in the least degree discreditable to himself," 3 and subsequently 
he repaired to Edinburgh University, where he " devoted himself 
chiefly to the study of medicine." It was whilst he was there 
that he formed the acquaintance of the Rev. Peter Brotherton, of 
Dysart, through whom mainly he became fixed in his original 
purpose of giving himself to the Christian ministry. On the com 
pletion of his University career he settled at Macclesfield, where for 
about twelve years he laboured with marked success, and on the 
first Sunday in January, 1827, he entered upon his duties as pastor 
of the Mosley Street Church. In 1835, the school-room being 
found inconvenient, and being needed for other purposes, "serious 
thoughts were entertained as to the propriety of selling the chapel 
and building a more convenient place of worship." Meetings 
were held, and committees formed, but friction arose, and diffi- 

1 "Evangelical Magazine " for 1802, p. 38. 

- Vide ante p. 124. 

3 " Evangelical Magazine " for 1839, p. 2. 

DR. McALL. 141 

culties of all kinds were raised by opponents of the scheme. A 
period of trade depression also set in, so that there was no pros 
pect of "selling the chapel but to a great disadvantage." Some of 
the trustees, too, objected ; and " the Doctor s health, which for 
some time had been declining, now assumed a still more alarming 
aspect." His biographer says : 

His daughter appeared far gone in a state of debility. They removed to 
Southport, but no advantage was secured by this expedient. They were 
really worse, and lest Miss MrAll should die from home, they returned to 
their residence in Lime Grove, Chorlton-upon-Medlock, where she expired 
on the 6th of July [1838"]. Hoping that he might yet recover, immediately 
upon this bereavement he was taken to the house of Mr. J. K. Heron, Swin- 
ton Park, where he died on the 2yth of the same month. 1 

He was interred in the Rusholme Road Cemetery, and the 
"funeral procession, containing persons of various denominations," 
is said to have been " perhaps the largest that had ever been seen 
in the town of Manchester " The " funeral services " occasioned 
by his death, and afterwards published, consisted of an address by 
the Rev. J. Ely, of Leeds; an oration by the Rev. J. A. James, of 
Birmingham ; and a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool. 
Dr. McAll was one of those great pulpit orators of whom Man 
chester has happily had not a few, and by his " extraordinary 
eloquence " he succeeded in holding together a large congregation. 
Some volumes of his sermons have been published, but beautiful 
as they appear on paper, they give no idea of the powers of the 
man, who is still a hallowed memory to many Manchester people. 
In the Cavendish Street Chapel is a marble tablet thus inscribed : 

Sacred to the Memory of 


who for the period of twelve years sustained the Pastoral office 

in this Place, consecrating talents of the highest order, with rich 

and varied stores of Erudition to the Glory of God, and the 

Service of the Church. He lived in the affection of his people, 

and the admiration of the Public, and died in the midst of his 

Usefulness July 27, 1838, 

In the 46th year of his age. 

1 MS. history of Mosley Street Independent Chapel 


The choice of a successor was therefore no easy matter, and the 
following passage, showing how Dr. Halley s appearance upon the 
scene at the Christmas of 1838 was received, will interest the 
reader : 

Although very different in all respects from Dr. McAll as a preacher, he 
seemed to attract the particular attention of a considerable number of the 
members, especially of the deacons. Hence he was requested to repeat his 
visit, which, having done, a Church meeting was announced for the purpose, 
in accordance with the trust deed, of choosing a pastor. The meeting was 
held on the 28th day of February. Dr. Halley was proposed with no small 
quantity of panegyric. It had been understood that the number of members 
was from 400 to 500. On this occasion, however, 2 were neuter, 12 voted 
against him, and 130 for him. Besides this, it was certainly the case that 
many who voted for him had doubts upon their minds as to his keeping 
together a congregation, which Dr. McAll, by his extraordinary eloquence, 
had collected from all parts of the town and neighbourhood. 1 

Dr. Halley was born at Blackheath, August i3th, 1796, his 
father being a nurseryman in that village. He received his 
ministerial training at Homerton College, and had for his first 
pastorate St. Neots, in Huntingdonshire, where he was ordained in 
1822. In 1826, on the opening of Highbury College, he was 
chosen as resident Classical Tutor, a post which he filled with 
credit until his removal to Manchester. It was during this period 
that he first appeared as an author, and obtained his degree of 
D. D. from Princetown College, New Jersey, in recognition of his 
services in the world of literature. The call to succeed Dr. 
McAll at Mosley Street was, "after much anxious considera 
tion," accepted, and he entered upon his labours in July, 1839. 
The choice of the church so hesitatingly made proved to be a wise 
one, and Dr. Halley soon showed himself equal to sustaining the 
best traditions of the Mosley Street pulpit. The agitation for a 
more convenient house of worship was recommenced, and " the 
22nd of June, 1848, saw the new chapel opened, and the occasion 
was a memorable one in the annals of Manchester Nonconformity, 
both from the fact that the buildings were far superior to any pre 
viously erected by the Dissenting congregation of Manchester (if 

1 MS. history of Mosley Street Independent Chapel. 



not in England), and from the brilliant assemblage who took part 
in the opening services. Among the best known of these were Dr. 
Harris, Samuel Martin, of Westminster, Dr. Vaughan, Dr. Leif- 
child, Dr. Raffles, James Parsons, and the pastor, Dr. Halley." 1 
The buildings, which included school and chapel, together with a 
chapel-keeper s house, cost about ^25,000, and the sitting accom 
modation of the chapel is for 1,700 persons, being the largest 
Congregational Chapel in the county with the exception of Great 
George Street, Liverpool. The style of architecture is " Early 
English, verging into the decorated," and the tower and spire at 
the South West corner are 170 feet high. 2 

In 1855 Dr. Halley rilled the chair of the Congregational Union 
of England and Wales, and two years after that accepted an 
invitation to the Principalship of New College, London, rendered 
vacant by the death of Dr. Harris. At this post he remained 
until 1872, when he retired. He preached his last sermon from 
the pulpit of his son s church at Arundel, June 25th, 1876, and on 
Friday midnight, August i8th, he "passed away without disease 
and without pain," being then a little over eighty years of age. 
His remains were laid in the Abney Cemetery by his beloved 
friends, the Revs. Dr. Newth, J. Godwin, and Dr. Aveling. On 
Sunday, August 27th, funeral sermons were preached at Clapton 
Park Chapel, by Dr. Aveling, and at New College Chapel by the 
Rev. (now Dr.) LI. D. Be van. The preachers had been selected 
by Dr. Halley himself to represent the one, his old Highbury 
students, the other his New College students. Dr. Halley was a 
public man, and during his residence in Manchester his voice was 
often heard in support of every form of "civil and religious 
liberty." He was also a very considerable writer, his best known 
works being "The Sacraments," which forms part of the " Con 
gregational Lecture" series, and his "Lancashire Puritanism and 
Nonconformity," by far the most interesting of the county Con 
gregational histories yet published. His son, the Rev. Robert 
Halley, M.A., died at Arundel in 1886, aged fifty-eight years, and 
another son, the Rev. J. J. Halley, is the Secretary of the Congre- 

1 " Bazaar Handbook," published in 1890. 

2 " Congregational Year Book" for 1849, p. 211. 


gational Union and Mission of Victoria. An attempt was made 
to secure the Rev. R. W. Dale, M.A., as Dr. Halley s successor 
at Manchester, but he decided to remain at Birmingham, and an 
invitation was next presented to the Rev. Joseph Parker, of 
Banbury. At first the call was declined, he having " resolved to 
stay in Banbury till the church there had paid off its debt of ^650. 
At the same time there was a debt of ^234 at Cavendish Street. 
The reply received from Banbury supplied all the stimulus needed 
to rouse the Manchester men to make an effort. The effort was 
swift and vigorous, and so successful that in a week or two both 
debts had ceased to be, and in exactly one month after the issue 
of the first invitation, Rev. Joseph Parker accepted the call to the 
pulpit of Cavendish Chapel." 1 

This was in June, 1858, and after an eleven years ministry of 
unbroken success he removed to the old Poultry Chapel, London, 
since superseded by the renowned City Temple. For a quarter 
of a century and more Dr. Parker has been one of the most 
prominent figures, not merely in the Congregational, but in the 
whole religious, world, " It would require," says one, " an able 
writer and a large space to do the barest possible justice to Dr. 
Parker ; to his eloquence as a minister of the Gospel and an 
advocate of our Nonconformist principles ; to the charm of his 
manner with the timid and the young ; to his championship of all 
good causes that are in peril or need ; to his sarcastic or indignant 
declamation against every form of iniquity. His pen has been 
as busy as his tongue, and has poured forth a constant succession 
of sermons, novels, prayers, expositions, and personal reminis 
cences." 2 Sunday and week-day multitudes still crowd into the 
City Temple to hear his fresh and vivid expositions of Bible 
truth, whilst his contributions to literature have won for him hosts 
of admirers. His " People s Bible," the great literary work of his 
life, which is rapidly nearing completion, has proved an unspeak 
able boon to many preachers and Bible students in general. It 
is no small honour for Manchester that such names as McAll, 
Halley, and Parker have been so closely associated with the 
history of its religious life. 

1 " Bazaar Handbook." 

2 Ibid. 


The Rev. A. J. Bray, a student from Cheshunt College, 
began his labours at Cavendish in 1871, and in September, 
1876, he resigned, having accepted the charge of Zion Church, 
Montreal. His successor was the Rev. Edwin Paxton Hood, 
who, though having had no collegiate training, was an 
accomplished scholar. His first pastorate was in the little 
village of North Nibley, whence he removed to Offord Road, 
London, and subsequently to Brighton. After a brief ministry 
at this place he returned to his old charge at Offord Road, 
whence he was invited to Manchester in June, 1877. Friction 
arose between himself and some members of his congregation, 
which led to his resignation in 1880, but for twelve months longer 
he continued to preach in Manchester to large congregations, 
which assembled in Hulme Town Hall. His last pastorate was 
Falcon Square, London, where he died June i2th, 1885, aged 
sixty-four years. Mr. Hood was a very voluminous writer, and 
his death meant the removal of a singularly rich and beautiful life 
from the world. In July, 1881, the Rev. W. J. Woods, B.A., 
who had been educated at New College, and had laboured some 
seven years at Leamington, accepted the unanimous call of the 
church. Much to the regret of his people he resigned in 1887, 
and removed to Clapton Park, London. He is now the Secretary 
of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, being 
appointed successor to Dr. Hannay a little over twelve months 
ago. The Rev. G. S. Reaney, from Stepney, London, and 
formerly of Warrington, followed in January, 1888. He resigned 
in April, 1892, and entered the Established Church. 1 The 
present minister is the Rev. J. W. Holdsworth, a student from 
the Yorkshire United Independent College, who entered upon 
duty June 26th, 1892. Amongst the numerous institutions of the 
church is a Ragged School, founded in October, 1865, "for the 
purpose of imparting religious instruction to those children in the 
neighbourhood, who through poverty or other causes held 
themselves aloof from the afternoon school." There is an average 
attendance on Sunday evenings in the large schoolroom of about 
250. There is also the "Cavendish Mission," the first service in 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


connection with which was held October 7th, 1886, in a cottage 
in a court off Jenkinson Street. The house soon proved too small, 
and larger premises were opened on May isth, 1887, in Higher 
Ormond Street, where the work is still carried on. Mr. 
Holdsworth is worthily and courageously seeking to restore to 
Cavendish Street Chapel some of its ancient glory. The 
same influences, which led to the removal of the church from 
Mosley Street to Cavendish Street over forty years ago, are still 
operating vigorously, and all loyal friends of Manchester Congre 
gationalism will wish for the pastor and his people every success in 
their uphill work. 


THE township of Rusholme is now a densely populated ward on the 
south-east side of the great city from which it was formerly distant 
some two or three miles. Its name is significant, and gives some 
idea of the original character of the country, being derived from 
the " well-known aquatic plant the Rush, the latter syllable holme 
signifying, in the Anglo-Saxon, a flat area of damp ground by a 
river side." 1 The township formerly consisted of several hamlets, 
in two of which we have a special interest, viz., Birch and Platt. 
Birch Chapel was erected by members of the Birch family 2 

1 Booker s " History of Birch Chapel " (Chetham Society Series, vol. 
xlvii.), p. i. To this work I am indebted for much of what follows. 

2 The Birch family, resident in the hamlet of Birch from at least the 
beginning of the I4th century, figured very prominently in the Great Civil 
War of the ryth century. Its most noteworthy representative was Colonel 
Thomas Birch, a fiery Independent, and an ardent supporter of Cromwell. 
He was the leader of the Parliamentarian forces in the sieges of Preston, 
Liverpool, and Lancaster, and subsequently became the governor of Liver 
pool. A branch of this family settled at Ardwick, one of whom, Samuel Birch, 
purchased Ordsall Hall and estate on its being sold by the Radcliffe family, 
about the time of the Restoration. The Rev. Henry Newcome was an 
intimate friend of Mr. Samuel Birch, and in his diary, under date April 
3rd, 1663, he tells about paying a visit to the Hall in company with " Old 
Captain Birch," and seeing the house and library (" Newcome s Diary," 
P- 174)- 


during the reign of Elizabeth, some time before 1573; and, like 
Gorton, Newton, and Blackley, was one of the chapels-of-ease to 
the Manchester Collegiate Church. The first minister, whose name 
has been preserved, was the Rev. Richard Lingard, curate in 1622, 
and in 1623 the Rev. Thomas Norman, who had previously 
officiated at Gorton, was labouring here. 1 

Passing over one or two other names of little interest we come 
to that of the Rev. John Wigan, who also had been at Gorton, 
leaving in 1646 for Birch. He was of the Independent way of 
thinking, and in his efforts to "set up Congregationalism" at 
Birch met with considerably more success than he did in his pre 
vious sphere. He resigned soon after the visit of the Parliamentary 
Commissioners in 1650.- Of his children, Elizabeth married Mr. 
Daniel Dunbaven, of Warrington, February igth, 1656, and Lydia 
the Rev. William Morris, of Manchester, June roth, 1658. The 
Rev. Robert Birch was minister here in July, 1659. He was doubt 
less a member of the family who had built the chapel, and, refusing 
to conform, was silenced in 1662 by the Act of Uniformity, 
after which he " commenced physician and surgeon." 3 He died 
in 1693, and in his will is described as of " Grindlowe, within 
the township of Chorlton, alias Chorlton roe, in the county of 
Lancaster." He bequeathed his property to his "loving wife" 
Mary, and to his "three daughters, Margaret, Mary, and Martha." 
The years which followed the silencing of Mr. Birch constitute the 
period during which Nonconformity was assailed by all the forces 
which the law could command, and the most retired places did not 
escape the keen eye of the persecutor. Of this period but little 
is known, and so the name of the immediate successor of Mr. 
Birch is doubtful. Adam Martindale says that after his ejection 
from Rostherne, in 1662, he "preached publicly in two neigh 
bour Chapells, Gorton and Birch," 4 but with what measure of 
regularity he does not state. Hunter gives an interesting account 
of a Conventicle held at Birch Hall in 1666 : 

Colonel Birch, a Parliamentary Officer, permitted two wandering ministers 

1 Vide ante p. 53. 
2 Vide ante p. 51. 

3 Calamy s " Nonconformist s Memorial " (1802), vol. ii., p. 353. 

4 " Life of Adam Martindale " (Chetham Society Series, Vol. iv., p. 193). 


from Germany to preach at Birch-hall, on Sunday, the i8th of November, 
1666. They were engaged from nine to three, speaking very fluently, 
denouncing all manner of love to England, and exhorting people to fly and 
take refuge in Germany. They sang two German hymns with well-tuned 
voices, the purport of one of which, when sung at the house of an old 
Commonwealth officer, beginning 

" Hark, how the trumpet sounds," 

might well excite some alarm in the minds of the neighbouring Royalists. 
The magistrates took the opportunity of putting the Conventicle Act in force 
against Colonel Birch and several persons who were present at this meeting, 
amongst whom was the wife of Ralph Worsley, a gentleman of Rusholm, 
ancestor of the Worsleys of Platt, friends of the Nonconformists. 1 

In 1672, the year of the Indulgence Act, the Rev. Henry Finch 
was minister here. He was born in the parish of Standish, and, 
after acquiring " considerable exactness " in Latin and Greek at 
Wigan and Standish Schools, proceeded to the University, "where 
he made good use of his time, and by diligent study improv d his 
fine natural parts so, that he return d to his native Countrey, well 
furnished with substantial learning, for the work of the ministry. "- 
For some time he preached in the Fylde; and in July, 1654, was 
called to be vicar of Walton-on-the-Hill, near Liverpool, 3 having 
associated with him in the work the Rev. Robert Eaton. Ejected 
in 1662, he retired to Warrington, where some of his wife s relations 
lived, and "kept many private Fasts in the neighbourhood, praying 
and waiting for an opportunity to fulfil his ministry, in a more 
publick and extensive way. 5 4 Driven from Warrington by 

"Life of Oliver Heywood," p, 188. 

2 Calamy s "Account of the Ejected or Silenced Ministers" (1713 
Edition), vol. ii., p. 404. 

3 In previous volumes of this work I have gone upon the assumption 
that Mr. Finch was the minister of Walton, near Preston. Both Calamy 
and Dr. Halley leave the point undetermined, but from the Parish Register of 
Walton-on-the-Hill it appears that Mr. Finch succeeded the Rev. Neville 
Kaye as vicar there on July 3oth, 1654. (Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire 

4 Calamy s "Account," &c., vol. ii., p. 405. Roger Lowe, in his diary under 
date June i4th, 1664, tells about going to Warrington to " Mr. Finches to 
gett them come to a funerall." "I called at Winwicke," says he, "and 
bespoke bread and drinke ; and when I came to the farmost Mrs. Finch 
would not let me goe till the next morninge for it was late, so I stayd, 
and att day I arose and went to sadle horse, and so came home." ("The 
Diary of Roger Lowe, of Ashton-in-Makerfield." Chronicle Office, Leigh.) 


the Corporation Act of 1665 he was led to Manchester, where 
he " ordinarily joyn d in publick worship with the Established 
Church till the liberty in 1672, when he renew d his beloved 
work of preaching publickly at .Z?mr/;-Chapel with great diligence 
and cheerfullness. 1 He continued to serve the chapel until 1697, 
when it was taken from him by George Birch, Esq., who had suc 
ceeded to the Birch estate, and who had no sympathy with the 
Nonconformity of his fathers. In 1699 Mr. Birch nominated the 
Rev. Samuel Taylor, M.A., of Emmanuel College, Cambridge, 
"to serve at my domestick chappell of Birch," 2 and at this point 
we must leave the history of Birch Chapel, because here the history 
of its Nonconformity ends. 

The second of those hamlets which formerly made up the 
township of Rusholme, and in which we are especially interested, 
is Platt, " a word which, in the Anglo-Saxon language, denotes a 
place or station, or more precisely a sheepfold." :i Here, during 
the 1 7th century, resided the Worsley family, equal in importance 
to the Birch family, and as decidedly Nonconformist. If the one 
gave Colonel Thomas Birch to Cromwell, the other gave him 
Major-General Worsley, a man of devout religious feeling, of 
earnest prayer, and deep trust in God. His death on June 
i2th, 1656, at the early age of thirty-five, was felt by no one more 
keenly than by the Protector himself, whose " great and rising 
favourite " he was said to be. His son, Ralph Worsley, inherited 
the religious principles of his father and grandfather, and "after 
the Restoration he continued the faithful friend and protector 
of the Nonconformist interest at Rusholme through all the 
vicissitudes of fortune to which it was subjected." 4 When, there 
fore, Mr. Finch was made to retire from Birch Chapel, Ralph 
Worsley, amongst others, licensed his house for worship, and pro 
vision was made for Mr. Finch to the extent of ib per year, 
towards which fifty individuals contributed. On the 3oth of May, 
1699, a meeting of those inhabitants who wished a continuance of 

1 Vide ante p. 85, for Mr. Finch s license to preach. 
* Booker s " History of Birch Chapel," p. 151. 

3 Ibid, p. 12. 

4 Halley s " Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. ii., p. 37. 


Mr. Finch s services was convened, when the following resolutions 
were adopted : 

1. Wee, whose names are hereunto subscribed, doe declare our earnest and 
hearty desire that there may be a Building erected for the Worship of God 
ffor the benefitt and convenience of that congregation w ch now attends upon 
the ministry of Mr. ffinche. 

2. Wee doe promise and declare that wee will duely attend the worshipp 
of God in such place when erected. 

3. ffurther, wee doe promise to contribute to the maintenance of such 
Dissenting minister or ministers as shall be unanimously elected to officiate 
in the said place. 1 

Mr. Ralph Worsley, amongst others, signed the document con 
taining these resolutions, and gave for the proposed chapel " a site, 
the south-east corner of a close called the Blake Flatt, in extent 
about twenty roods." 

The following is a list of contributions to the building fund : 

s. d. 

Mr. Finch ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 20 O o 

Mr. Raphe Worsley... ... ... ... ... ... 10 o o 

Mr. Edge, of Warrington ... ... ... ... ... 600 

Richard Whittaker ... ... ... ... ... .. 500 

Mr. Thomas Butterworth ... ... ... ... ... i 10 o 

Mr. Alexander Boardman ... ... ... ... ... i 10 o 

Mr. Birche, Minister 2 ... ... ... ... ... i o o 

Adam Barlow... ... ... ... ... ... ... i o o 

Obadiah Hulme ... .. ... ... ... ... i o o 

Mr. Charles Worsley ... ... ... ... ... 100 

Mrs. Okell i o o 

Francis Wood ... ... .. ... ... ... 100 

Mr. Siddall i o o 

Mad. Gill i o o 

Mrs. Loyd ... ... ... ... ... ... ... o 10 o 

It is recorded that 39,008 bricks were used in its erection, and 
the chief items of disbursement were as follows : 

1 Booker s " History of Birch Chapel," p. 161. 

" Dr. Halley (" Lancashire Puritanism," vol. ii., p. 305) says this was Mr. 
Robert Birch, the ejected minister. But he had been dead several years 
before a new chapel was thought about. I imagine this was the Rev. Eliezer 
Birch, afterwards minister at Cross Street (vide ante p. 94). 


s. d. 

ffor Brickes ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 19 10 o 

ffor 56 Loads of Lime at i8d. per load ... ... ... 440 

Peter Ry land, Bricksetter ... ... ... ... ... 426 

Randle Thorneley, &c., ffor Slate ... ... ... ... 4 15 6 

ffor Timber ... ... ... ... ... ... ... 10 o o 

Jeremiah Kirsley for Slateinge and Morse ... ... 2 13 8 

ffor Boordes for Doores and Weatheringe and for 50 

yards of sparrs at 3d. per yard ... ... ... 282 

Three Loades of fflaggs and carriage ... ... ... i 7 6 

ffor meate, drink, ale, pipes and tobaccer att y" 

Rearinge, being y e sixth day of October ... ... o 19 o 

ffor Glass six score and foure foote at 4^d. y e foot ... 2 6 6 
The Smith for Bandes for Doores w th Barres and Bolts 

and window rods ... ... ... ... ... i 12 10 

ffor Recordinge our Chappell ... ... ... ... o i 6 

ffor the Pulpitt Quishion ... ... ... i 3 3 

John Odcroft s Bill for y e Pulpitt, Sounder, seates, 

wainscott, &c. ... ... ... ... ... ... 18 7 II 

The total amount expended was ,95, and the building was 
opened for worship towards the end of 1700, the Rev. James 
Grimshaw officiating on the occasion and receiving five shillings 
for his service. Mr. Finch did not long survive the erection of the 
chapel, for he died in 1704, aged seventy-one years, and was buried 
on the 1 6th of November in that year. 1 Calamy says : 

He was a great Blessing and Help to the Younger Ministers, who lov d 
and honour d him as a Father ; and his Behaviour to them was full of 
Condescension and Tenderness. His Preaching was clear and methodical, 
and was adapted to convince the mind and to move the Passions. He liv d 
according to his Profession, a peaceable Life, in all Godliness and Honesty. 2 

The Rev. Robert Hesketh was the next minister. He was 
educated at Rathmell Academy by the Rev. Richard Frankland, 
entering as a student there in 1692, and appeared before the Lan 
cashire ministers at Bolton as a candidate for the ministry on 
April 1 4th, 1696. His first charge was probably Bispham, near 

1 The reader is referred to vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for 
information about members of the Finch family. 

2 "Account of the Silenced and Ejected Ministers " (1713), vol. ii., pp. 


Blackpool. 1 He settled at Platt Chapel about 1704, and remained 
until 1712. The Rev. John Whitaker was his successor. 
He was ordained at Knutsford, August 3rd, 1714, and for his 
thesis advocated the affirmative of the question, " An infantes 
fidelium sint baptizandi?" He was connected, I imagine, 
with the Rev. Thomas Whitaker, M.A., of Leeds. His father, 
Richard Whitaker, was buried at Platt Chapel, October 22nd, 
1723, and his mother at the same place, March ist, 1726. Mr. 
Whitaker s labours here terminated with his death in 1752. The 
Rev. Robert Andrews followed. He belonged to the Andrews family 
of Rivington and Little Lever, being born at the latter place June 
29th, 1723. He was educated for the ministry by Dr. Rotheram, 
at Kendal, and took as his first charge Platt Chapel, shortly after 
the death of Mr. Whitaker. His stay was brief, not exceeding 
more than three years, when he removed to Bridgnorth, Salop, 
where he died about 1766. He is described as "a man of con 
siderable talents and learning." In 1757 he published " Eidyllia," 
a set of poems in blank verse, to which he prefixed a violent 
attack upon rhyme. He wrote also " Animadversions on Dr. 
Brown s Essays on the Characteristics," and a criticism on the ser 
mons of his friend, the Rev. John Holland. Just previous to his 
death he published from Baskerville s Press an English blank verse 
translation of the works of Virgil on the strange plan of confining 
the sense of every line of the original to a line of English verse. 
His writings, especially his attack on rhyme, are said to betray 
" marks of a very unsettled imagination, which afterwards increased 
so much as to render occasional confinement necessary. In this 
state it is believed he died." 2 The Rev. John Houghton followed. 
He was a native of Liverpool, was born in 1730, and entered Dr. 
Doddridge s Academy, at Northampton, in 1747. Not having 
completed his education at the time of Doddridge s death, he pro 
ceeded to Glasgow University. His first settlement was at Platt 
Chapel, but the date is uncertain. In 1755 he married Mary 

1 Booker (" History of Birch Chapel," p. 168) confuses him with his son, 
the Rev. Robert Hesketh, M.A., who was minister of a congregation at 
Carnforth, near Lancaster. Vide vols. i. and iii. of " Lancashire Noncon 
formity" for full information about the Hesketh family. 

2 "Monthly Repository " for 1810, p. 426. 


Pendlebury, the granddaughter of the Rev. Henry Pendlebury, 
M.A., whose mother was Mary, second daughter of Ralph Wors- 
ley, of Platt. Mr. Houghton removed to Hyde, in Cheshire, 
about 1758, and subsequently to Nantwich, Elland, and Wem. 
Previous to leaving Hyde it is said : 

He had much mental anxiety, owing to his unwillingness to distress the 
feelings of the good people by mentioning it to them. At last he summoned 
courage and said to one of his hearers, " Jonathan, I am sorry to tell you 
that I am leaving you." The reply was, "Well, sir, then I reckon we must 
get another." Calling afterwards on another of his hearers, he said, " If I 
thought all the congregation were as indifferent about me as Jonathan 
Butterworth, I would not preach at Hyde another Sunday." 1 

On leaving Wem he withdrew from the ministry, and went to 
reside with his son, the Rev. Pendlebury Houghton, who was 
minister of the Octagon Chapel, Norwich, where he opened a 
school. He died there in April, 1800.- 

The Rev. Richard Meanley succeeded Mr. Houghton at Platt 
Chapel in 1758. He was educated by Dr. Rotheram at Kendal, 
and first settled at Nantwich. He laboured at Platt Chapel until 
his death in 1794. His son was the Rev. Astley Meanley, some 
time minister at Prescot. 3 In the graveyard of the chapel is Mr. 
Meanley s tombstone, thus inscribed : 

Interred Here 

Of Platt, who died Sept r - 22 d > 1794, 

Aged 77 years. 

Also MARY, his Wife, who died 
March 5, 1772, aged 52 years. 
Also MARY, their Daughter, 
Who died January 28th, 1813, 

Aged 66 years. 

Also ELLEN, their Daughter, 

Who died February 3rd, 1813, 

Aged 62 years. 

1 " Christian Reformer" for 1848, p. 476, note. 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for information about 
the Pendlebury family. 

3 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


During the next three years the chapel was supplied by students, 
and in 1797 the Rev. George Checkley became the minister. He 
had already spent some thirty years in the ministry, having had 
charges at Hyde and Ormskirk. 1 He died on February 2nd, 
i8o7, 2 and was interred in the chapel graveyard. Upon his 
tombstone is the following inscription : 

Interred the Remains of the 

Minister of Piatt Chapel, 
Who died the second day of February, 1807, 

Aged 62 years. 

Also ESTHER, his wife, 

Who died May I5th, 1822, aged 75 years. 

Mr. Checkley was succeeded temporarily by the Rev. Joseph 
Lawton Siddall, who had been educated at Warrington Academy, 
and had previously been for many years at Chorley. 3 In 1810 
the Rev. William Whitelegge, from Fulvvood, near Bristol, who had 
been educated at the Manchester Academy, entered upon his 
duties as minister, and continued here until his death in 1865. 
He, too, lies in Platt Chapel graveyard, and from his tombstone 
the following has been copied : 

In Memory of 


For upwards of 50 years minister of this chapel, 

Who died February 8th, 1865, 

Aged 83 years. 

His successor was the Rev. S. A. Steinthal, who accepted the 
charge in 1864, and retained it until the end of 1870, when 
he removed to Cross Street Chapel. 4 The present minister is 
the Rev. C. T. Poynting, B.A. He is the son of the late 
Rev. T. E. Poynting, of Monton, was educated at Manchester 
New College and Heidelberg, and entered upon his ministry 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Correct by the above, the date of death in vol. iv. of " Lancashire 
Nonconformity," which is the one given by Booker. 

* Vide vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 
4 Vide ante p. 106. 


at Platt Chapel in January, 1871. The present building, which 
has sitting accommodation for about 240 persons, superseded 
the chapel built for Henry Finch in lygt, being opened for 
public worship on May nth of that year. In 1874 extensive 
alterations were effected, especially internally. The congregation 
has been Unitarian in its belief for upwards probably of a century, 
although, as no doctrinal test is applied to either minister or con 
gregation, no official record has been kept of any changes of 
belief through which it has passed. 


"!N the year 1830," writes one, "a man, named William Holt, 
a member of the church at Mosley Street, under the pastoral 
care of Dr. McAll, came to reside in the village of Longsight for 
the purpose of carrying on business, being also recommended to 
go out of the town of Manchester, as he was at that time in very 
delicate health. He was a good man, and very soon became 
distressed at the evidently low moral condition of the locality. 
At that time the village was without either school or place of 
worship of any description, and notorious for ignorance and 
immorality, the latter considerably affected by the numbers who 
each Sabbath came from the town. The first effort was made by 
Mr. Holt in his own kitchen, assisted by a few friends from 
Mosley Street, but for want of better accommodation, and 
because of annoyances whilst engaged in worship, the experiment 
had to be discontinued." 1 In 1834 another and more successful 
attempt was made. A cottage was taken and opened as a Sunday 
School and preaching room, and amongst the early workers here 
from Mosley Street was the Rev. R. M. Davies, then a young man 
in a Manchester warehouse. He tells about services being held in 
the constable s house, in which he preached one of the first sermons 
and that whilst doing so " some men threw a brick, intending 

1 "MS. History of Longsight Independent Chapel," read at the Jubilee 
in 1802. 


to smash his head, which went instead into the constable s clock 
face." Another of his stories is that, " having need of a bell with 
which to ring the congregation in, and having heard of one which 
could be had at a bargain somewhere in Salford, he forthwith 
chartered a wheelbarrow, and himself trundled the bell through the 
streets all the way to Longsight." 

In those days the anniversary services, of which much 
was made, were held in different buildings, on one occasion 
in a tent procured from Manchester, which was placed in 
a field, now covered with houses, and opposite the 
school. At a Congregational Tea Meeting held in 
December, 1838, the first steps were taken towards the 
erection of a suitable building. Out of a population in the 
village of 500 over sixty promised subscriptions, but Dr. McAll s 
death suspended proceedings until the Christmas following, when 
a building committee was appointed. Difficulty was experienced 
in obtaining a site, as the land was principally owned by Church 
men, who objected to let it for such a purpose; but, eventually, 
Lord Ducie offered to sell a small portion of his estate, provided 
a respectable building was erected thereon. The offer was 
accepted, the building commenced in 1841, and on Good Friday, 
March 25th, 1842, it was opened for public worship, Dr. Halley, 
of Mosley Street, being the preacher. The total cost, including 
conveyance of land, was about ,595. About the same time a 
church was formed by Dr. Halley and the Rev. R. Fletcher, the 
number of members being twelve, of whom only Mrs. Kelly 
remains at Longsight. Junior students from Lancashire College 
for a time supplied the pulpit, and in 1843 the Rev. Mr. Jones, a 
Congregational minister resident in Manchester without charge, 
assumed the pastorate for six months. At the end of that time 
Mr. Jones retired, and in 1844 a deputation waited upon Dr. 
Davidson, of Lancashire College, to ask his acceptance of the 
pulpit ; but the doctor, whilst expressing his warm interest in the 
cause, stated that his other duties prevented. " In May, the 
following year," says the MS. history, " Mr. J. G. Rogers, a 
student of the college, was invited to take the pastorate. On 
the wishes of the church and congregation being conveyed to 
Mr. Rogers, he at once complied with the invitation, but as 



the college curriculum was not completed, the committee and 
tutors interposed and prevented the settlement." The Rev. W. 
Stowell, B.A , a student from Lancashire College, and son of 
Dr. Stowell, became the minister in the spring of 1847, con 
tinuing to be such until 1851. His subsequent pastorates were 
at Boston Spa, Ware, Camden Town (London), and Ryton, near 
Newcastle. He died February ist, 1878, aged fifty-two. In 1851 
the sum of ^1,700 was expended in the erection of a new 
school upon the site of the old brick chapel. It was meant 


to serve for the present as both school and chapel ; and the 
congregation was indebted mainly to Messrs. G. and R. 
Holt, Pickles, Rumney, Sidebottom, and a few others for that 
sum. The Rev. Jonathan Sutcliffe, F.A.S., who had recently 
resigned his charge at Ashton-under-Lyne, in the history of 
which the story of Mr. Sutcliffe s life is fully given, accepted 
the call of the Longsight Church, and began his labours 
in January, 1852. At a church meeting, held on Wednesday 
evening, May igth of the same year, it was resolved "to erect a 


new chapel as early as possible." " Ivy Chapel," as the new 
building is called, because of the ivy which clings to its 
walls and towers, was opened for public worship on Wednesday, 
October igth, 1853. The preacher in the morning was Dr. 
Raffles, of Liverpool ; evening, the Rev. J. A. James, of Birming 
ham ; and on the following Sunday the pulpit was occupied by 
the Rev. J. B. Brown, B.A., of London. The building provides 
sitting accommodation for 800 people, and is described as 
" probably unique among Congregational Churches in the style ot 
\{$ facade" 1 being taken from the "famous West Front of Peter 
borough Cathedral." The cost, "including commodious Sunday, 
Day, Infant school-rooms, &c.," amounted to ,6,000. Towards 
this amount the Chapel Building Society granted ^1,500, which, 
with subscriptions previously raised representing ,3,650, left 
.850 to be obtained at the time of the opening. "The collections 
on the Wednesday," writes one, "were ^"385 23. 3d.; and on 
the following Lord s Day ,335 195. 6d. The further sum of 
,139 us. was raised at the tea party, making a total of ,860 
i2s. gd." Mr. Sutcliffe and his friends had, therefore, the joy of 
entering their new house unencumbered by debt, and it is 
said that the minister s face beamed like the face of an 
angel on the opening day. Failing health led to Mr. 
Sutcliffe s retirement from duty at the end of March, 1855 ; 
and four years afterwards he died. The Rev. Watson Smith 
followed. He was the son of a Lancashire manufacturer, was 
born at Colne, in November, 1817, and educated at Blackburn 
Academy. Previous to his settlement at Longsight he had held 
pastorates at Stroud, Wolverhampton (Queen Street), and St. 
John s Wood, London. He entered upon his labours at Longsight 
in October, 1856, removing at the end of 1864 to Wilmslow, in 
Cheshire. Here he continued his ministry until he was summoned 
away by death on May 6th, 1878. In July, 1865, the Rev - George 
Nicholson, B.A., who had been educated at Highbury, and had 
laboured at Northampton nearly twenty years, became the successor 
of Mr. Smith at Longsight. About two years afterwards he 

1 The "Congregational Monthly" for January, 1893. 

2 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1854, p. 38. 

5 ii 


resigned, subsequently became minister of the church at Putney, 
London, and is now living at Northampton without charge. The 
Rev. \V. Kirkus, LL.B., began his ministry at Longsight in January, 
1869. He was trained at Lancashire College, and had previously 
laboured at Hackney. Towards the end of 1870, Mr. Kirkus 
informed his deacons that he had accepted the Principalship of a 
large school in Higher Broughton, which would not interfere 
with his duties as minister. In the following July he resigned, and 
entered the Established Church. The Rev. H. C. Long, from Haver- 
fordwest, whose ministerial training was received at Western College, 
succeeded Mr. Kirkus in July, 1872, and remained until 1880. The 
Rev. J. C. McCappin, formerly of Radcliffe, and subsequently of 
Worsley Road, Swinton, 1 held the pastorate from April, 1882, to the 
end of 1884. In September, 1886, the Rev. Thomas Evans, from 
Cardiff, whose collegiate training was obtained at Brecon, succeeded 
Mr. McCappin at Longsight. He resigned in December, 1888, 
having received an invitation from the Edmonton Congregational 
Church, London. He is now labouring at Swansea. The Rev. 
W. M. Westerby, from Allerton, Bradford, and who had previously 
had charge of Salem Chapel, Burnley, 2 commenced his ministry at 
Longsight in September, 1889, which he continues amidst many 
signs of encouragement. The following passage from the Church 
Book of Mosley Street Church gives additional information as to 
the indebtedness of the cause at Longsight to that church : 

In 1837 the friends of Mosley Street took great interest in a Sunday 
School meeting in Longsight, rendering financial help, and in May, 1839, it 
was incorporated with the Mosley Street Sunday School and remained so 
until April, 1843, when the school was taken over by the newly constructed 
Congregational Church at Longsight. 

Rusholme Congregational Church is the outcome of a Sunday 
School effort, which began over fifty years ago. On Sunday 
afternoon, May 26th, 1839, a ^ ew friends met together in the 
upper room of a private house in Nelson Street, Rusholme, to seek 
for Divine guidance in the establishment of a Sunday School ; and 
on Sunday, July i4th, about forty children were gathered 

1 Vide ante p. 22 ; also vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide vol. ii. of Lancashire Nonconformity." 


together and taught in a cottage in John Street. In 1853 a small 
chapel, which had been erected by Baptists, was handed over to 
the Congregationalists by the trustees, and a committee was 
formed of friends living in the neighbourhood to carry on the 
Sunday School in the building, and establish a Sunday Evening ser 
vice. The first of these services was held February 2oth, 1853, 
the Rev. James Griffin, of Rusholme Road Congregational 
Church, being the preacher ; and a few months later a morning 
service was commenced. In the month of November, 1853, a 
church was formed, the Revs. Dr. Halley, Dr. Davidson, and 
James Gwyther taking part in the service, the pulpit at this time 
being mainly supplied by students from Lancashire College. On 
January 4th, 1854, an arrangement was made with the Rev. George 
Macdonald (now Dr. George Macdonald, the eminent novelist), 
" to supply the pulpit for four Sundays, beginning on the 8th, and 
a guinea to be paid him each Sunday." His " views " not being 
deemed satisfactory, he was not invited " to continue preaching" 
at the expiration of that period, and in May, 1854, the Rev. J. 
Hardwick Smith, B. A., became the first pastor. He had been edu 
cated at New College, London, and laboured a short time at Stokes- 
ley. in Yorkshire. He resigned in April, 1856, and subsequently held 
pastorates at Maiden Newton, in Dorset, and Kenilworth. He 
died on November 25th, 1886. His son, Mr. N. H. Smith, M.A., 
is the Secretary and Bursar of Mansfield College, Oxford. The 
Rev. D. \V. Simon, M.A., educated at Lancashire College, and 
who had previously laboured a few months at Royston, Herts, 
became the second minister of Rusholme Congregational Church 
in January, 1858. He resigned at the end of that year. Dr. 
Simon, as Principal of the Spring Hill College, and afterwards of the 
Edinburgh Theological Hall, has rendered valuable service to the 
denomination. His recent invitation to succeed the late Dr. 
Falding in the Principalship of the Yorkshire United College, Brad 
ford, and acceptance thereof, has given great satisfaction to his 
old Lancashire friends, who wish for him there an honourable 
and useful career. The resignation of Mr. Simon was followed 
by a period of great difficulty for the young church. It 
seemed impossible to win any considerable success in a 
building so unsuitable and unattractive as the one in which 


worship was then held. In the year 1862 the bicentenary 
movement for the erection of memorial chapels was inaugurated ; 
and, stimulated by the offer of ,1,000 towards the erection of a 
new chapel in Rusholme, the Congregationalists in the neighbour 
hood held a meeting, accepted the offer, and formed a committee 
to carry out the project. Here, as at Longsight, great difficulties 
were at first experienced, owing to the refusal of the chief 
landowner in the district to sanction the sale of any land 
for the building of a Nonconformist church; and the only 
available site was the somewhat restricted one on which 
the church and schools now stand. The plans submitted 
by Mr. Alfred Waterhouse were selected, and the founda 
tion stone was laid by Mr. George Hadfield, M.P., on 
Saturday afternoon, June 6th, 1863. The buildings were com 
pleted and opened on Thursday, October i3th, 1864, by Dr. 
Henry Allon, Chairman of the Congregational Union of England 
and Wales. The cost of the church and schools, including 
furnishing expenses and interest of money, amounted to ,6,010; 
the cost of the site was ,1,250, and a subsequent enlargement of 
school premises was ,1,136, making a total expenditure of 
,9,031. The buildings are entirely free from debt. The sitting 
accommodation is for 550, but provision is made for the erection of 
a south gallery when such is required. 

In September, 1865, a cordial and unanimous invitation was 
sent to the Rev. T. Campbell Finlayson, of Cambridge, which 
was accepted by him, and he entered upon his duties as pastor in 
October following. Dr. Finlayson, for such he subsequently 
became, was born February 5th, 1836, and received his ministerial 
training at Glasgow University, where he first made the acquain 
tance of the late Dr. Macfadyen, which ripened into a life 
long friendship. His first charge was at Cambridge, where 
he settled in 1859, whence he removed to Manchester in 
1865, being introduced by Dr. Macfadyen to the Rusholme 
Church, which had then only a membership of about 
thirty. Frequent breakdowns in health retarded very greatly 
the success of a minister whose praise was in all the churches ; 
but his own people, who knew him best, loved him deeply. For 
twenty- seven years Dr. Finlayson exercised in Manchester a 


ministry which, if quiet and retiring, was most rich and beautiful. 
In 1889 he was elected to the Presidency of the Lancashire Con 
gregational Union, but his natural shrinking from public positions 
prevented him from reading the address which he had prepared 
for the occasion. 1 After a long and painful illness, he died on 
February yth, 1893, in Glasgow, at the residence of his brother, 
an eminent physician in that city, and was interred in the 
Necropolis there. A memorial service was held in Rusholme 
Church at the time of the interment, when Dr. Wilkins, a 
deacon and deeply attached friend, delivered an appropriate 
address to a sorrowing congregation. Mr. J. C. Norbury, another 
deacon, in a contribution to The Congregational Monthly, says : 

His ministry was marked throughout by an unbroken spirit of harmony, 
and his attached people now look back over the interval with feelings of 
devout gratitude to God that it was their privilege to have, as their minister 
and teacher, one whose beautiful life was a joy and an inspiration to them 
and the remembrance of which will ever be fragrant as the days and years 
go by. As a true and sincere man, they honoured him ; as a wise and faithful 
teacher, they loved him ; and as a consistent and devout Christian, they 
revered him. Of him it may indeed be said, " The memory of the just is 

Dr. Finlayson was the author of numerous theological works, and 
the degree of Doctor of Divinity he received from his own alma 
mater m. June, 1891. The Rev. J. Kirk Maconachie, educated at 
Western College, and for a short time assistant to Dr. Mackennal, 
of Bowdon, assumed the pastorate of the vacant church in 1893, 
beginning his labours on September xoth. 

1 This duty was discharged by Dr. Wilkins, one of his deacons, and a distin 
guished Professor of Owens College. Dr. Wilkins was himself the President 
of the Union in 1892. 



" A NUMBER of pious individuals, solicitous for the extension of 
the Redeemer s kingdom in their own vicinity, issued a circular in 
1825 To the Inhabitants of the Townships of Chorlton Row 
and Ardwick. It was an appeal for subscriptions that a place of 
worship might be erected and church formed after the Indepen 
dent model. " The pastors of the other Congregational churches 
in the town sympathised with the movement, and the circular 
stated that land had been " purchased as the site of a chapel, 
most advantageously situated near to the new burial-ground in 
Rusholme Road, about equally distant from Oxford Street and 
Ardwick Green." 1 Accordingly the "present spacious and con 
venient edifice" was built and opened for worship on Thursday, 
August 3ist, 1826, when the morning preacher was the Rev. 
James Parsons, of York ; evening, the Rev. William Thorp, of 
Bristol ; the Revs. William Roby, James Pridie, and J. A. Coombs 
assisting. On the following Sunday Mr. Thorp preached both 
morning and evening. "The entire cost of the chapel erection," 
writes one, "amounted to ^6,014 175. 8d., of which ,2,500 was 
borrowed on mortgage, ,3,352 193. 2|d. was subscribed, and the 
balance of ;i6i 35. 2^d. was lent by Mr. George Hadfield, the 
secretary." 2 On Friday, June 22nd, 1827, "in the vestry of the 
new chapel, Chorlton Road," twenty-eight persons agreed to form 
themselves into a Congregational Church, " with a view to the 
Redeemer s glory and the extension of His kingdom, and for 
their own mutual comfort and edification." Amongst them 
appear the names of the Rev. James Kenworthy, who, two years 
previously, had resigned his charge at Horwich, being at the time 
nearly eighty years of age f the Rev. William Manning Walker, 
who had seceded with part of his congregation from the Unitarian 
Chapel in Preston, and founded the second Congregational 

1 Jubilee Manual of Rusholme Road Chapel for 1877; also "Congre 
gational Magazine" for 1827, p. 511, and for 1829, p. 623. 
8 Jubilee Manual. 
3 Vide vols. i. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


church in that town, the pastorate of which he had held about 
fourteen years ; l and Mr. George Hadfield, whose name is so 
worthily associated not alone with Manchester Congregationalism, 
but with the interests of the denomination at large. The Church 
was publicly recognised on Friday evening, August loth, of the 
same year, when the following ministers took part in 
the service : Revs. S. McAll, W. Roby, W. M. Walker, 
and Dr. McAll. The Rev. James Griffin, a student from High 
bury College, and son of the Rev. John Griffin, of Portsea, began 
his duties as the first minister of the church on Sunday, May 
loth, 1829, preaching in the morning from Psalm cxviii., 25, 
and in the evening from Isaiah xxviii., 16. Mr. Griffin was 
ordained on September i6th following, when Dr. Raffles, of 
Liverpool, "expounded the views of the nature and discipline of a 
Christian Church as commonly held by Independents;" the Rev. 
Win. Roby offered the ordination prayer ; the Rev. John Griffin 
addressed his son in a solemn charge i Be thou faithful unto 
death;" and Dr. McAll preached in the evening. It is stated 
that more than forty ministers were present at the services. 
" Eighteen years of unremitting labour," says the Church Manual, 
"told on the health of the pastor, and from June to December, 
1843, ne was obliged to spend in rest and change of scene. His 
absence brought out the self-reliance of the church and congrega 
tion, who determined to signalise his return by an arrangement to 
pay off the debt on the chapel, ,1,500, which was shortly 
accomplished." In 1852 the state of the minister s health pointed 
to the need of assistance, and an attempt was made to secure the 
services of Rev. Joseph Stuchbery, B.A., then a student of New 
College, London, but the effort failed. " To the great grief of 
the church," Mr. Griffin resigned at the end of September, 1854, 
and removed to Hastings. He retired from active work a few 
years ago, and is still resident at Hastings, being the oldest Lanca 
shire Congregational minister living, and one of the oldest in Eng 
land. His "Memories of the Past," published in 1883, gives a 
vivid and interesting picture of Manchester religious life during 
the period of his ministry here. The Rev. Alexander Thomson, 

1 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


M.A., was appointed his successor. Educated at Spring Hill 
College, he was ordained in 1842, and was Professor of Biblical 
Literature in Glasgow Theological Academy from 1846 to 1855. 
On May 2yth of the latter year he entered upon the 
pastorate of the church at Rusholme Road. " Shortly after Mr. 
Thomson s settlement," reads the Manual for 1877, " the congrega 
tion began to feel the effects of the habit, which has now become 
so general on the part of the wealthier classes of the community, 
and of others also, of removing from town to reside some miles 
away in the country, which has naturally led many families to 
sever their connection with the places of worship they once 
regularly attended. This habit has been gradually modifying the 
social elements of the congregation to a considerable extent during 
the last twenty years ; but we have much reason to be thankful 
that the zeal, the active labours, and the liberality of the church 
have not declined in consequence." During the sixteen years 
that have since elapsed, deaths and removals have wrought not 
a few changes as might be expected, but the spirit of hopeful 
ness and activity have not decayed. On Saturday, April 25th, 
1863, Mr. John Hopkinson laid the foundation stone of new 
schools, which were opened on April iQth of the following year. 
The cost was about 3,500, to which should be added 300, the 
cost of an infant school subsequently erected. That work done, 
the church immediately undertook to renovate the interior of the 
chapel at a cost of .2,493. The re-opening services were held 
on June 25th, 1865, when the Rev. James Griffin, the former 
pastor, was the preacher. Interesting services in celebration of 
the Jubilee of the church were held on Sunday, September 24th, 
1876, and Monday and Tuesday following. The Rev. W. L. 
Alexander, D.D., of Edinburgh, was the preacher on Sunday 
morning, his text being i Tim. i., 15. At the close of the sermon 
Dr. Alexander remarked : 

That he had selected his present text because he had ascertained from his 
notes that nearly forty-six years ago he had preached in that chapel from the 
same passage of Scripture. He was then a young man, at the commence 
ment of his career, and he felt very grateful to God that now, coming 
among the Rusholme Road congregation on the verge of old age, he had the 
same doctrine to preach and the same good tidings to proclaim that he 
endeavoured to preach and to proclaim half a century ago. 1 

1 " Jubilee Manual." 


The preacher in the evening was the Rev. James Parsons, of 
York, whose text was ir Peter i., 13, 14. On Monday evening a 
united communion service was held, and on Tuesday evening the 
pastor presided over a soiree and public meeting, and amongst 
the speakers were the Revs. James Cunningham (Presbyterian), 
Watson Smith, James Parsons, and Dr. McKerrow. It was a 
source of regret that Mr. Griffin, though present, owing to the 
condition of his health was unable to take any part in the services. 
Dr. Thomson for such he became a few years ago, obtaining his 
degree of D.D. from his alma mafer, the University of Aberdeen 
is still the honoured pastor of Rusholme Road Church. In 1875 
he was elected to the Chairmanship of the Congregational Union 
of England and Wales, having three years previously filled the 
same responsible position in the Lancashire Congregational Union. 
In addition to his pastorate, since 1876 he has been on the pro 
fessorial staff of the Lancashire College, holding the Chair of Hebrew 
and Old Testament Exegesis, and by his students is not less beloved 
than by his church. Dr. Thomson completed the Jubilee of his 
ministry last year, nearly forty years of which have been spent in 
his present church. He is the oldest Congregational minister in 
charge resident in Manchester, and he has seen all the churches 
around him change their pastors ; some of them many times. It 
is an interesting coincidence that the Jubilee of the College with 
which he has been so long and happily associated is nearly 
identified with the Jubilee of his own ministry ; a circumstance 
which was very pleasingly commemorated at the close of the meet 
ings held in connection with that event in the end of June, 1893, 
when a handsome testimonial and gift were presented to him from 
his old students of Glasgow Academy and Lancashire College, and 
from friends and supporters of the latter institution. The Sunday 
School in Rusholme Road, along with the branch school in Saville 
Street, has long held an honourable and influential position, and is 
remembered by many in different parts of the world with grateful 
affection and esteem. A large proportion of adults may be found 
in both schools, which include together about a thousand scholars, 
forming an admirable nursery for the church. Mr. Griffin s 
interesting book, previously mentioned, contains sketches of some 
of the superintendents, especially Mr. D. Jackson and Mr. George 
Darling, which will repay perusal. 


Tipping Street Congregational Church originated with Mr. John 
Smith, a Manchester merchant. Mr. Smith, in some autobia- 
graphical notices, says that his parents were "temporally poor," 
and that in early life he attended a Sunday School in Copperas 
Street, Shudehill, connected with Mr. Roby s church at Cannon 
Street. In 1826 he joined Mr. Roby s church, then in Grosvenor 
Street, but in 1828, removing to Nelson Street, Plymouth Grove, 
he became one of the first members of the new Congregational 
Church at Rusriolme Road. As superintendent also of the school, 
he served that church until August, 1835, when a small preaching- 
room in Lower Temple Street becoming vacant was offered to him. 
" On the thirtieth of August the same year," says he (" fully 
believing that I was scripturally warranted, enjoyned, and 
encouraged), I, in this upper room, preachingly addressed a few 
plain, poor neighbours and children." These are said to be 
amongst the " events and circumstances which led to the purchase 
of land and the building " of Tipping Street Chapel. At his own 
cost the chapel was erected by him shortly after, the church being 
formed at the same time. For some years Mr. Smith kept the building 
in his own hands, but subsequently it was put in trust ; he also occu 
pied the pulpit until 1851, when he resigned. 1 In 1853 the Rev. 
Joseph Spencer, who had been educated at Rotherham College, and 
had laboured previously about eleven years at Bakewell, in Derby 
shire, became the pastor. Considerations of health led him to return 
to the country after a three years residence in Manchester, and he 
became the minister of the Congregational Church at Chinley. 
There he laboured until his death, on Sunday morning, June loth, 
1860, at the age of forty-five years. The Rev. Samuel Lewin, 
educated at Rotherham College, and who had previously held 

1 Mr. Smith held views adverse to a paid ministry, calling it "that 
existing, insidious, professional, monopolising, ministerial, pecuniary policy." 
In the conveyance of the chapel to trustees, dated March, 1853, occurs the 
following : " Whereas the said John Smith has ever since the erection of the 
chapel been the recognized and sole minister and pastor thereof, to which 
solemn office he was more especially set apart by an ordination service in the 
month of September, 1841, and has performed all the duties pertaining to the 
office of minister and pastor, and the said church and congregation are 
desirous that the services of the said John should be continued as such 
minister and pastor, &c." 


pastorates at Hartlepool and Chorley, followed in 1856. He 
remained until about 1868, when he removed to Ilfracombe, 
where he died December 29th, 1875. * -For several months 
the Tipping Street Chapel pulpit was supplied by a Mr. 
Davis, who in 1872 was followed by the Rev. T. E, Sweeting, 
from Ilminster, in Somersetshire. In September, 1874, he 
resigned and removed to Churchtown, where, after holding 
the pastorate of that church for several years, he still resides 
without charge. It was during his time that the Tipping Street 
Church first sought and obtained assistance from the County Union 
Funds. In April, 1876, the Rev. C. T. Plank, educated at Bristol, 
and who had previously laboured at Shaftesbury, succeeded Mr. 
Sweeting. In October, iSSi, overtures were made by the church 
to the Stockport Road Congregational Church with a view to 
amalgamation, and after several meetings of representatives of the 
two churches a decision to that effect was arrived at. Ninety 
members were transferred from Tipping Street to Stockport Road, 
and Mr. Plank became the minister of the united churches. 
Tipping Street Chapel, which had accommodation for 500 people, 
was continued for some time as a mission station and Sunday 
School, and in 1889 it was sold for ^800 to the City Mission, 
the proceeds being devoted to the fund for the erection of the 
" New Octagon Church." 

The following circular, issued in January, 1868, tells about the 
first efforts towards the formation of the Stockport Road Con 
gregational Church : 

Congregational Preaching Room. It is respectfully announced to the 
heads of families and others, in this neighbourhood, that the large room 
over the Co-operative Stores, at the corner of Lister Street, has just been 
opened for the purposes of religious worship and a Sunday School. All who 
are not already connected with and attached to any other places as wor 
shippers or scholars will be cordially welcomed. 

Hours of Service 10-30 a.m., 6-30 p.m. 
School -g a.m., 2 p.m. 

A church was formed in the same year, and " first-class students " 
from Lancashire College were promised as supplies. On Satur 
day, October 1510, 1870, the foundation stone of a new school- 

1 Vide vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


chapel was laid by Mr. John Lamb, one of the originators 1 of the 
church, and Dr. Thomson gave an address on Congregational 
principles. The building was completed and opened on April 
nth, 1871, the Rev. Watson Smith, of Wilmslow, being the 
preacher. In September following, the Rev. W. H. Urewett, 
who had been trained at Didsbury Wesleyan College, and had 
previously been the minister of the Congregational Church 
at Bognor, in Sussex, entered upon his duties at Stockport Road. 
In January, 1876, the church, which had received aid from the 
funds of the County Union for five and a half years, resolved to 
dispense with further assistance. Mr. Drewett held the pastorate 
until September, 1881, when he resigned, owing to differences 
of opinion respecting the erection of a new chapel. As previously 
stated, the amalgamation with Tipping Street Church took place 
m December, i88r, and the Rev. C. T. Plank became the minister 
of Stockport Road Church under the new conditions. He remained 
until 1885, when he removed to Halesowen, in Worcestershire, 
where he is still labouring. The Rev. J. R. Murray, M.A., a 
student from Lancashire College, entered upon the pastorate on the 
first Sunday in February, 1887. The need of a new and more con 
venient building for worship had been long felt, and the offer of 
the Tipping Street Chapel trustees to hand over the money realised 
by the sale of their building to the Stockport Road Church, on 
condition that an effort was made " to raise the rest of the money 
requisite for building an appropriate church," gave definiteness to 
the movement. The New Octagon Church, the plan of which is "a 
combination of the Greek cross and the octagon a novelty in 
Manchester" is in course of erection. 2 It will have sitting capacity 

1 Mr. John Haughton is the only one of the original promoters of the 
movement still remaining in the neighbourhood. 

2 Since the above was written the New Octagon Church has been opened 
for public worship. The following are the dates, with preachers : 

Monday, June 5th, 1893 Rev. C. S. Home. M.A., London. 

Tuesday, ,, 6th, ,, Public meeting, Dr. Thomson presiding. 

Wednesday, ,, 7th, ,, . ...Rev. C. F. Aked (Baptist), Liverpool. 

Thursday, 8th, Rev. J. McDougall, Manchester. 

Friday, ,, Qth, ,, Rev. W. J. Dawson, London. 

Sunday, ., nth, Rev. Dr. Simon, Principal of Yorkshire 

United College. 

Sunday, i8th, Rev. A. N. Johnson, M.A., London. 

Sunday, ,, 25th, Rev. Prof. Bennett, M.A., Hackney and 

New Colleges, London. 



for 600 people, being 160 more than the building could accom 
modate which it is about to supersede, and the estimated cost is 
about .4,500. Mr. Murray, who is the son of the late Rev. 
Alexander Murray, for many years Congregational minister at 
Peterborough, still exercises his ministry amongst an attached 
people. Nor is he unknown in the literary world ; his " Hindu 
Pastors" (being the Sir Peregrine Maitland s prize essay, Univer 
sity of Cambridge, 1891) has met with a hearty welcome from all 
interested in missionary work in India ; and under his editorship 
The Congregational Monthly has widened its reputation and 


IN a MS. account of Congregationalism in Hulme, in the 
possession of Mr. G. H. Adshead, of Pendleton, appears the 
following : 

JACKSON S LANE CHAPEL, HULME. At the commencement of the year 
1812, an effort was made, by the establishment of a weekly cottage preaching, 
to introduce the gospel amongst the growing population of Hulme. Mr. 
Roby, Mr. Bradley, and Dr. Jack, assisted by several lay preachers, regu 
larly conducted the worship of God in a small house in Moss Lane. On the 
23rd of October, 1814, a Sunday School was commenced in the dwelling-house 
of a Mr. Hackett, in Princess Street, in which, by the diligence of the 
teachers, and by the assistance of several kind friends who came from 
Grosvenor Street to address the children, much good appears to have been 
done. This place being insufficient to accommodate the children, the 
attendance of which had greatly increased, several gentlemen connected 
with the Temperance Unions in Manchester interested themselves in order 
to an erection of a more commodious schoolroom, capable at the same time 
of being occupied as a place of worship, and admitting of enlargement. 
This place was opened on the iyth August, 1817, on which occasion Mr. 
Roby, Mr. Bradley, and the late Mr. Hampson, the missionary, preached. 
From that time divine worship was held every Sabbath evening. Mr. 
Jonathan Lees, one of the deacons of Grosvenor Street, was most frequently 
engaged on these occasions. Shortly after this Mr. Smedley took charge of 


the congregation. He continued about nine months, and then removed to 
Milnthorpe. 1 Supplies were then chiefly obtained from Blackburn Academy, 
till the trustees and other friends of the place invited Mr. George Rogers, a 
student of Rotherham, to supply as a candidate. Having been amongst the 
people from December 2, 1820, to February n, 1821, he was invited to 
become their minister, and having accepted their invitation, he continued 
his studies till midsummer, during which interval- the building was enlarged 
and a gallery erected. He commenced his stated labours on the 8th June, 
1821. Discord, however, was SOOH introduced amongst the people, and 
blasted for a time those hopes of prosperity which his friends of the interest 
had justly entertained. Under this state of things Mr. Rogers thought it 
most prudent to withdraw. He left about July, the following year, and the 
church, at the recommendation of the trustees, and in accordance with a 
resolution passed by itself, was dissolved. The congregation was now 
much decreased. 

The enlarged chapel was opened on September 2oth, 1821, 
when the preachers were the Revs. Wm. Roby and R. S. McAll, 
then of Macclesfield. The Rev. George Rogers referred to in 
the foregoing extract was, I imagine, the venerable minister of that 
name who died at South Norwood, September isth, 1891, at the 
age of ninety-three years, being at the time probably the oldest 
Congregational minister in the world. He was for a few years 
minister of Albany Road Chapel, Camberwell. In 1856 he 
resigned to become the first Principal and Theological Tutor of 
Spurgeon s College, a position which he held until 1867, when he 
retired. Between Mr. Spurgeon and himself, though of different 
denominations, the warmest friendship existed until they were 
divided by death. After the dissolution of the Church the pulpit 
was supplied for a short time by " Messrs. Penkethman, 3 Hart, 
and a few others." The Rev. John Smith, a student from Black 
burn Academy, after spending his midsummer vacation amongst 
the people in 1823, was invited to take charge of the congregation 
for two years. The invitation was accepted, and the following 

1 Vide vols. i. and iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Not quite accurate. The enlarged chapel was opened in September, 

3 Doubtless the Rev. John Penkethman, formerly of Wharton and after 
wards of Pendlebury. Vide ante p. 18 ; also vols. ii., iii., and iv. of " Lanca 
shire Nonconformity." 


Christmas he began his labours as minister. Before the end of 
the two years Mr. Smith acceded to the request of the people to 
become their stated pastor. On June loth, 1825, the church was 
re-formed, the Revs. Wm. Roby, S. Bradley, and W. M. Walker 
assisting in the service. On September 8th following Mr. Smith 
was ordained, when the Rev. J. Sutcliffe, of Ashton-under-Lyne, 
opened the services with reading and prayer ; Dr. Payne, of 
Blackburn Academy, delivered the introductory sermon; Dr. 
Fletcher, then of London, gave the charge to the minister; the 
Rev. S. Bradley presented the ordination prayer; and the Rev. 
Wm. Roby preached to the people. The MS. account proceeds : 

Although for a time Mr. Smith was encouraged in his expectations of 
raising a congregation, the attendance, notwithstanding his strenuous exer 
tions, afterwards declined. Thus disappointed, and having become a 
widower, he began to cherish the wish for missionary services. At length he 
offered himself, was accepted, and appointed by the directors of the London 
Missionary Society to labour in Madras. He resigned his charge at Hulme 
on the 24th August, 1827, but continued to preach there till he left England 
in the spring of the following year. 

Mr. Smith had been a member of the Congregational Church, 
at Ashton-under-Lyne, and his sister, Mary Smith, was afterwards 
the wife of the celebrated missionary Dr. Robert Moffat. Failing 
health led Mr. Smith to return to England, but in 1842 he had so far 
recovered that he went back to his work in Madras. The year follow 
ing, on returning to Madras by sea from a distant station where he 
had been assisting in an ordination service, a storm arose, the vessel 
was lost, and Mr. Smith was drowned. The congregation at Hulme 
had become very much reduced about the time of Mr. Smith s 
retirement, and the trustees had almost come to the conclusion to sell 
the building with the view of liquidating thedebt, amounting to ^500. 
The Rev. James Gwyther, however, another Blackburn student, 
having occasionally supplied the pulpit with great acceptance, was 
requested to preach for a month during the midsummer vacation 
of 1828. This led to his being invited to the pastorate, and on 
January 4th, 1829, he began his labours as minister of the church. 
His ordination took place on April yth following, when Dr. Payne 
gave the charge to the minister, and Dr. Raffles preached to the 
people. In 1836 the church ceased to be a recipient from the 


County Union Funds, and the Report for that year states that a 
" benevolent individual, a deacon of Mr. Gvvyther s church, has 
undertaken, at his own expense, to support a home missionary, 
whose time is to be entirely devoted to domestic visitation and 
the holding of religious meetings for the instruction of the people." 
In 1842 the congregation removed from Jackson s Lane 1 to the 
new building, called Zion Chapel," in Stretford Road. It 
was opened for worship on Thursday morning, May 5th, 
1842, when, after introductory services by the Rev. J. L. 
Poore, Dr. Raffles "delivered a powerful and deeply im 
pressive sermon from Psalm xi., 4 - The Lord is in His 
Holy Temple. " The evening preacher was Dr. Harris, 
President of Cheshunt College. On the following Sunday Dr. 
Andrew Reed, of London, conducted two services, and on Mon 
day the Rev. James Parsons. The cost of the structure was about 
^4,000, and the style of architecture is said to be Roman, and 
"of the Corinthian order, the example of Jupiter Stator being 
adopted." "The case," says the Evangelical Magazine for 1842, 
"is one of deep interest. The congregation has been raised under 
Mr. Gwyther s labours from a state of the deepest depression, 
there having been only seventeen persons present when he first 
preached in the old chapel; whilst the district in which his chapel 
stands, comprising nearly thirty thousand persons, for whom one 
church and a small Methodist Chapel are the only places of public 
worship provided, calls loudly for Christian sympathy and 
Christian help." In 1870 Mr. Gwyther resigned, and retired from 
active labour after a ministry of over forty years. For a con 
siderable portion of that time he held the position of Secretary to 
Lancashire College, and was co-secretary with Dr. Raffles to 
the Lancashire County Union. He died at Mary Church, Tor 
quay, on Sunday, March 24th, 1878, aged seventy-two years. Mr. 
Gwyther had associated with him in the pastorate of Zion Chapel, 
for a few years previous to his retirement, the Rev. S. B. Driver, a 
student from Lancashire College, and now the pastor of 
the Congregational Church at Lowestoft, Suffolk. His son 

1 The old chapel was subsequently let on " easy terms " to the Welsh 
Congregationalists (vide p. 206.) 

2 " Evangelical Magazine " for 1842, p. 397. 


is the Rev. J. H. Gwyther, B.A., of Liscard, Birkenhead. In 
the volume of Lancashire County Union Reports, from 1808 
to 1863, kindly lent me for this work by the present Secretary, 
the Rev. R. M. Davies, of Oldham, is the following note in Mr. 
Gwyther s handwriting : 

My dear and honoured friend, Dr. Raffles, with whom it was my privilege 
to work as co-secretary for ten years, collected and preserved a complete set 
of our Union Reports from the commencement of the Association to the year 
1862. Not long before his death he gave these Reports to myself, with the 
request that I should leave them at my decease to be the property of the 
Union. I have added to those collected by the dear Doctor, the one read at 
the last meeting before his death, and now present them to the Union as an 
interesting memorial of Doctor Raffles, and of his love to the Union. 

Manchester, Sept. ist, 1863. 


The Rev. Edwin Simon, a student from Spring Hill College, 
became Mr. Gwyther s successor in 1870. He remained until 1883, 
when he removed to Bath, where he still labours. He is brother 
to the late Rev. Henry Simon, of Westminster Chapel, London, 
and the Rev. Thomas Simon, of Balham. The present minister, 
the Rev. H. H. Brayshaw, a student from Airedale College, 
entered upon his labours in 1885. The chapel has sitting accom 
modation for 900 persons, and amongst the many forms of 
Christian activity associated with the church is a P.S.A. Society, 
which has won very considerable success. 

During some part of Mr. Gwyther s pastorate the " Lancashire 
Congregational Calendar" gives as mission stations of the church, 
Mulberry Street and Chestnut Street, concerning which the Rev. 
S. B. Driver says : 

Mulberry Street runs at the back of Zion Chapel. There was no separate 
building there, simply a back entrance to Zion Chapel premises, and from it 
large numbers of the scholars, &c., would come, and district visiting and 
tract distribution were carried on. A Cottage Meeting used to be held in 
Chestnut Street, Hulme, but that was during years preceding my association 
with Mr. Gwyther. There was no Mission Room such rooms were not in 
vogue in those days as they happily are now-a-days. 

The Greenheys Congregational Church is an off-shoot from the 
church at Chorlton Road. A building in Wood Street, erected for 


the services of the Church of England, was purchased by the late 
Mr. Woodward, and used for several years as a school and preach 
ing room, under the oversight of Chorlton Road Church. The 
work prospering, Mr. Woodward presented the Wood Street 
School to trustees, together with additional lanj, upon which a 
new church was built by subscription, the foundation stone being 
laid by Sir James Watts, on the 26th of February, 1870. The 
cost of the structure was ^4,000, towards which the Chapel 
Building Society promised ^1,000, and the accommodation is 
for 800 people. It was opened for public worship on December 
7th, 1870, under the pastoral care of the Rev. Wm. Scott, formerly 
of Hindley, near Wigan. 1 A separate church was formed June 
28th, 1871, when ninety-one members were dismissed from the 
Chorlton Road Church for the purpose. Mr. Scott removed to 
Tottenham, London, in 1874, and is now the minister of Pitt 
.Street Church, Sydney, New South Wales. 2 He was succeeded the 
same year by the Rev. W. J. Hall, who had been educated at the 
Pastor s College, and had laboured for several years at Stroud. He 
resigned in 1879, an ^ the year following the present minister, the 
Rev. James Clough, from Grimshaw Street Congregational Church, 
Preston, 3 assumed the pastorate. 

The Vine Street Congregational Mission, Hulme, is located in 
a densely populated neighbourhood. The work was commenced 
in 1878 in the form of cottage meetings, the outcome of a 
Young Men s Bible Class, conducted by Mr. J. S. Naphtali, in con 
nection with the Greenheys Congregational Church. A room was 
taken for a few shillings per week, and eventually the present 
premises were secured, which have since been enlarged, but still 
prove inadequate for the work, though accommodation is provided 
for about 200 persons. In its early history the mission was under 
the management of a joint committee of friends from the Green 
heys Church and the workers at Vine Street, but after a time it 
was decided that it be managed by its own workers. In 1885 a Mis 
sion Church was formed with seventeen members, and an executive 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

- Mr. Scott has recently returned to this country with the intention of 
taking up ministerial work here. 

3 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


committee was appointed, with president, treasurer, and secretary. 
The work is conducted on purely mission lines, the object being to 
win those who attend no place of worship, The membership of 
the church now stands at eighty-five; in the Sunday School there 
is an average attendance of 150 in the afternoon ; and the Sunday 
morning and evening services secure good congregations. A bazaar 
is shortly to be held to raise funds for the purchase of larger and 
more convenient premises for its many forms of Christian activity. 
Mr. J. S. Naphtali, the founder of the Mission, is still its president. 


CONGREGATIONALISM in Ancoats is very much older than the dates 
in the " Lancashire Congregational Calendar " suggest. The 
Union Report ending April, 1820, says : 

Desirous of sparing the funds as much as possible, the Manchester 
friends are endeavouring to establish two distinct interests, one in Hulme, 
the other in Ancoats, at their own private expense. 

Though not precisely in the way indicated in the preceding 
passage, an "interest" was established at Ancoats almost im 
mediately, and although not distinctly Congregational at first, it 
eventually gave birth to the Ancoats Congregational Church. In 
December, 1821, "a plain but substantial chapel" was opened, 
the purpose of which is stated in the subjoined account of the 
services on the occasion. 

On Sunday, Dec. 23rd [1821], and the following Christmas Day, public 
services were held, with crowded and deeply attentive congregations, at the 
opening for Divine worship of a new chapel in Canal Street, Ancoats Lane, 
Manchester, the erection of which in this important district (previously- 
destitute of any place of worship, although containing 20,000 souls) is owing, 
we understand, to a Christian union of their efforts and liberality in further 
ance of the gospel of our common salvation between a number of respectable 
individuals here of the Independent and Baptist persuasions, and that portion 
of the Tent Methodists, whose disinterested and evangelical labours 


(recently undertaken in Manchester, and divinely blessed) have already 
made a powerful impression upon, and it is now hoped will become per 
manently and more extensively useful to the uninstructed and perishing poor 
of our teeming population. The Sunday morning and evening sermons were 
preached by Messrs. Pocock and Pyer, from Bristol; Mr. Birt, of York 
Street Chapel, Manchester, preached in the evening. On Christmas Day 
Mr. Pyer preached in the morning, and Dr. Raffles in the evening. The 
devotional parts of the services were conducted by the ministers usually em 
ployed in Tent preaching." 1 

The cost of the building, it is said, " scarcely equalled ,1,200," 
and without a gallery there was accommodation for " upwards of 
1,200 persons, chiefly on forms conveniently and closely disposed ;" 
whilst for ^700 more a gallery might be erected to accommodate 
" in the same way 800 additional hearers." 

The Rev. John Pyer, referred to in the foregoing passage, was 
born at Bristol, December 3rd, 1790, and brought up a Methodist. 
By occupation he was a chemist, but eventually he sold his 
business, and " for nine years continued to preach, with others, in 
tents and the open air in the city. - With them originated about 
1820 the Tent Methodist movement, which reached both Man 
chester and Liverpool. 2 The chapel in Ancoats, whose opening 
services are above recorded, was called the "Tent Methodists 
Chapel," and Mr. Pyer appears to have discharged the duties of 
minister. Mr. Pyer eventually became a Congregational minister, 
"chiefly through the preaching of the late Dr. McAll, which he 
attended as often as his own multifarious labours allowed," and 
his people " rather than lose their beloved minister consented to 
remain with him, and the church was recognised by the Man 
chester Independents as belonging to the Denomination." 3 Mr. 
Pyer left Manchester about 1830, being called to London, where 
he laboured about four years as the " devoted agent of the 
Christian Instruction Society." Subsequently he held Congrega 
tional pastorates at South Molton and Devonport, dying at the 
latter place April 7th, 1859. After Mr. Pyer s removal the chapel 
*" and its promoters were consigned to the tender mercies of the 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1822, p. 114. 
" Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity. 1 
s Congregational Year Book" for 1860. p. 205. 


Court of Chancery, and ultimately it fell into the hands of some 
zealous members of the Established Church." l 

On Sunday, November 2yth, 1836, a new Congregational 
chapel was opened in Every Street, Ancoats, the preachers being: 
the Rev. S. Gibbons, of Cross Street, Cheshire, in the morning, 
and in the evening the Rev. S. S. Wilson, of London, "late 
missionary to Malta and Greece." The chapel, which was erected 
by "the members of the Christian Church formerly connected 
with Canal Street Chapel, Ancoats, kindly aided by some of their 
friends in Manchester," measured " 16 yards by 13 yards," and 
had sitting accommodation for about 400 persons. A commodious 
schoolroom, under the chapel, for 400 scholars was let as a day 
school at a rental of -ib per annum, and the Rev. John 
Wheeldon is mentioned as having "for more than three years 
laboured among them in word and doctrine " with much en 
couragement.- Mr. Wheeldcn subsequently ministered for several 

1 "Life of Dr. Bunting, p. 531. The above sentence is part of a not very 
sympathetic passage in Dr. Bunting s life in relation to the Tent Methodist 
movement and its experiences in Manchester. As so little is known about that 
movement the reader will \velcome the passage : " Certain zealous but heady 
Methodists in Bristol, laudably anxious to evangelise the dark villages in its- 
neighbourhood, adopted what is not an uncommon practice in these times, and 
taking a tent with them pitched it where they chose, preached the Gospel, 
and, doubtless, did a great deal of good. B ut there is much danger of irregular 
agencies interfering with the ordained and systematic work of Christian 
churches, and the experience of a century and a half has taught our 
Connexion that, on the whole, and in the long run, we succeed best, both in 
winning and keeping souls, when we proceed on our own old lines. The 
Bristol ministers required that the new undertaking should be identified 
with and brought under the control of the Methodist Society there. This 
was absolutely refused ; and so a new sect was founded, and two brethren 
of the names of Pocock and Pyer became its apostles. For a very few years 
it was known as " The Tent Methodists." Pyer ultimately became a Con 
gregational minister. Some malcontents at Manchester displayed their 
sympathy with the movement after a curious fashion, and built a large, 
square brick building in a neighbourhood greatly demanding Christian 
labour. After some years the place and its promoters were consigned to 
the tender mercies of the Court of Chancery, and ultimately it fell into the 
hands of some zealous members of the Established Church, and is, at last, 
doing good service to the cause t>f God. 

~ " Evangelical Magazine." for 1837, p. 31. 


years to a congregation in Bridge Street, unconnected with the 
County Union, and in 1870 entered the Established Church. 
On Tuesday evening, September 2oth, 1842, the Rev. Giles 
Hoyle, from Stalybridge, was publicly recognised as minister, 
the Revs. Dr. Clunie, James Griffin, Dr. Halley, Richard 
Fletcher, James Gwyther, Jonathan \Yood, and Joseph Hague 
taking part in the service. Mr. Hoyle removed to North- 
owram in 1849,* and the church appears to have collapsed 
shortly afterwards. In the Evangelical Magazine for 1857 is an 
account of the recognition service, on Wednesday, October 7th, 
of the Rev. Thomas Adams as pastor, from which the following 
passage is extracted : 

The commencement of this interest is a genuine effort at church extension, 
the movement having originated at a general deacons meeting in the city, 
at which a committee was appointed to make the necessary arrangements, 
who now have the satisfaction of seeing the first pastor settled among an 
increasing people, surrounded by a dense population, and with a Sunday 
school already numbering four hundred on the books, and which owes much 
to the zealous students of Lancashire College. 2 

Mr. Adams had been trained for the ministry at Newport 
Pagnel, and previous to his settlement at Manchester had held 
pastorates at Gornal and Stone, in Staffordshire. For about three 
years he ministered to the congregation at Ancoats, 3 the County 
Union giving generous assistance. He removed from Manchester 
to Newton, in Montgomeryshire, and subsequently to Daventry, 
where he died in May, 1879, aged fifty-seven years. The experi 
ment at Ancoats had been disappointing, and with the removal of 
Mr. Adams the County Union ceased its grant; but in 1861 a 
successor to the pastorate was found in the person of the Rev. 
E. K. Evans, a student from Lancashire College. He removed to 
Woolton, 4 near Liverpool, in 1863, and is now resident, without 
charge, at Chiswick. The Rev. R. A. Bertram, from Lymm, Cheshire, 
followed with a brief pastorate, removing to Openshaw in May, 

1 Vide p. 318. 
* Page 737. 

3 There was no church at the time. 

4 Vide vol. vi., of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


1865. 1 In the County Union Report, ending April, 1865, Ancoats 
re-appears, and the success which had followed the efforts put 
forth is described as "encouraging." On October 4th of that year 
"the rented chapel in Every Street" was vacated by the congrega 
tion for a new and handsome building, with accommodation for 
over 1,000 persons. At the opening services the Revs. E. Mellor, 
M.A., and Dr. Parker were the preachers, and on the following 
Sunday services were conducted by the Revs. H. Griffiths and 
H. W. Parkinson. The cost was about ;6,ooo. 2 In the following 
September the Rev. J. Christien, from Moreton-in-Marsh, Glouces 
tershire, accepted an invitation to the pastorate. Shortly afterwards 
work " in this crowded district " was " suspended " by the sale of 
the newly-opened building to the Midland Railway Company, and 
Mr. Christien removed to North Shields in 1868. In December, 
1869 the present Ancoats Congregational Chapel was opened, with 
sitting accommodation for about 600 persons. The Rev. W. B. 
Macwilliam, whose ministerial training was received at Glasgow, 
and who had previously laboured several years at Middlewich, in 
Cheshire, became the minister in 1870, and in 1872 a church was 
formed with greater prospects of success than had yet appeared. 
Failing health .led to the minister s resignation in 1872. Subse 
quently Mr. Macwilliam became the pastor of Albion Chapel, 
Nottingham, and is now resident at Hornsey without charge. The 
Rev. Richard Solomon, educated at Glasgow, and minister for a 
short time at Collyhurst Street, Manchester, succeeded to the 
pastorate at Ancoats in 1872. He continued until 1878, and 
eventually settled at Carmarthen, subsequently entering the 
Established Church. The Rev. J. Sinclair, from Bermondsey, 
had charge of the place a few months, and in 1882 the Rev. 
William Davies, a student from Lancashire College, became the 
pastor. He resigned after "a patient, laborious, and faithful 
ministry " of nearly ten vears, and is now at Burnley. Mr. Charles 
Garnett is the Evangelist now ministering unto the congregation. 
The effort to plant Congregationalism in this part of Manchester 

1 Vide ante p. 63; also vol. iii. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 An engraving of this really splendid building, forming an acute angle 
between Great Ancoats Street and Palmerston Street, and whose tower was 
85 feet high, is given in the "Congregational Year Book" for 1866. 


has lacked neither persistency nor courage, but misfortune 1 have 
been plentiful, and the success, so far, has been inconsiderable. 

The Evangelical Magazine for 1851 gives the following account 
of the origin of the Oldham Road Congregational Church : 

A Sunday School for children and adults was opened some years ago in 
the neighbourhood, and Mr. Bedell, assisted by some of his fellow students 
at the college, undertook the management of it, and conducted a public 
service on the Sunday evening. The school rapidly increased, and the large 
room was soon crowded at evening service. The number of services was 
then increased, and increased success followed. The entire management of 
the whole affair now rested with Mr, Bedell, and on leaving college he 
devoted himsely entirely to the work of nurturing and establishing the infant 
cause. After he had laboured for some time with increasing acceptance and 
success, the propriety of erecting a chapel suited to the wants of the neigh 
bourhood became evident. Oldham Road Chapel was consequently built and 
opened last October [Should be September, 1850.]. The congregation 
continuing to increase, and Mr. Bedell s ministry proving highly useful, 
it appeared to the friends and ministers, at Manchester especially, in 
terested in the undertaking to be expedient that a church should be formed, 
and that the whole "management of the interest should be confided to its 
trust. Accordingly a church was formed on the 20th March [1851], con 
sisting of from seventy to eighty members, who unanimously agreed to 
invite Mr. Bedell to become their pastor. A considerable increase to 
the number of the communicants is expected shortly. The schools are 
flourishing, and the teachers active, intelligent, and united. 1 

1 Page 281. To the above account one or two items of interest may 
be added. In the obituary of the Rev. John Jones ("Congregational Year 
Book" for 1851), formerly of Hindley and Horwich, it is recorded that he 
removed to Manchester from the latter place " determining to break up fresh 
ground," and that he opened a large room in Poland Street, out of which the 
Oldham Road Church grew. This does not appear to be strictly accurate, 
for the room in Poland Street had been vacated by Mr. Jones before the 
commencement of services therein by students, in which the Oldham Road 
Church had its proper origin. Then in the memoir of the Rev. J. L. Poore, 
of Hope Chapel, Salford (p. 265), the Oldham Road Church is named as one 
of his "pets," which he was "active in originating." Further, the Church 
Book of Grosvenor Street Chapel, under date February, 1851, says that 
" twelve members wero dismissed in order that they might, in conjunction 
with others, form a Congregational Church in the new chapel in Oldham 
Road." Until the formation of the church any friends wishing to unite in 
fellowship were temporarily admitted members of the Grosvenor Street 


The Rev. James Bedell, the first minister, in some interesting 
reminiscences supplies more accurate data respecting the church s 
origin than is contained in the foregoing extract. " In Mr. 
Abraham Ward s office in Deansgate," says Mr. Bedell, " he and 
three of us from the college met for consultation and earnest 
prayer concerning the beginning of a school and preaching room 
in Oldham Road. Then on a dark winter s morning, January 
1 8th, 1846, three students, Messrs. Day, Clapham, and myself, 
walked from the college to Poland Street, and in the upper room, 
quietly, unostentatiously, began a Sunday School." Service was 
held in the evening, and in September of the same year Sunday 
morning preaching was commenced. In the summer of 1848 Mr. 
Bedell, who had been connected with the interest from the 
beginning, with the sanction of the College Professors, undertook 
to supply the pulpit regularly for twelve months. " During the 
autumn," says the Church Book, " the little chapel became quite 
full. The congregation in the evenings numbered 200. At the 
Thursday evening prayer meeting there were 80 present. The 
scholars in attendance numbered from 360 to 400. On the 
school register there were 530 names. There were about 50 
Church members, of whom 25 had professed their faith in Christ 
since they worshipped in the place." The foundation stone of the 
present chapel, towards which the trustees of Mosley Street Chapel 
gave ;iooo, was laid in November, 1849, by James Carlton, Esq., 
and on the 4th of September in the following year it was opened 
with sermons by the Revs. Dr. Raffles and James Parsons. On 
March i5th, 1851, the church was formed, seventy persons 
entering into fellowship, and Mr. Bedell was at once invited to the 
pastorate. The invitation was accepted, and on Tuesday, March 
25th following, he was ordained, Dr. Vaughan, President of 
the college, giving him the charge. Mr. Bedell continued a 
ministry of much efficiency until September, 1876, when 
he resigned. Subsequently he became pastor of the Con 
gregational Church at Lymm, in Cheshire, where he is now 
resident without charge. The Rev. Wm. Hubbard, a Methodist 
Free Church minister, from Blackburn, was appointed Mr. Bedell s 
successor early in 1877. He laboured with much acceptance until 
1885, when he removed to Ipswich, where he is still the minister. 


The present pastor is the Rev. W. H. Towers, from Carnforth, 
who entered upon his duties here, September i2th, 1886. The 
chapel has sitting accommodation for over 1,000 persons. 

In 1824 a few members of the Grosvenor Street Congrega 
tional Church, prominent amongst them being Mr. Jonathan 
Lees, opened a Sunday School in Blakeley Street, now Charter 
Street. In the space of two years the place was quite inadequate 
to accommodate the numbers attending, and efforts were made to 
secure funds towards the erection of more suitable premises. The 
following is a copy of the appeal in support of the movement issued 
by Mr. Roby, the minister of Grosvenor Street Church : 

The teachers of the Sunday School connected with Grosvenor Street 
Chapel, Manchester, compassionating the deplorable and neglected state of the 
population between the lower part of Miller s Lane and the Town have for 
several years past conducted a Sunday School there. The encouraging 
prospect, in most inconvenient premises, has long urged the necessity of 
erecting a building for the more commodious prosecution of the design. A 
piece of ground has been purchased on which a school is intended to be built as 
soon as funds for the purpose can be collected. The estimate of expense is 
from ^500 to /6oo. The premises are already vested in trust for the purpose 
specified, and liberal contributions are recommended by 

\V. ROBY. 

On November 4th, 1827, this building, one storey high, was 
opened as a Sunday School and preaching room, on which occasion 
" 150 scholars with their superintendent, secretary, and teachers 
formed the procession from the old to the new premises." In the 
evening Mr. Roby preached from Deut. xxxi. 12, 13, and it is 
recorded that at the conclusion of the " impressive and memorable " 
service, the children in the gallery were so delighted with the 
opening of their new house that they involuntarily broke out with 

" Praise God from whom all blessings flow." 

The work continued to grow until greater accommodation again 
became necessary, and in March, 1846, the present structure was 
erected at a cost of about ^1,850. The Rev. Wm. Palmer, 
who had previously laboured at Hawes, Northallerton, and Peter 
borough, was the first pastor, commencing his duties as such in 

1 Vide vol. i. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 


1852. At the close of 1855 he removed to Woodbridge, in 
Suffolk, where he died July 8th, 1858, aged fifty-eight years- 
In September, 1856, the church, which hitherto had been a branch 
of Grosvenor Street Church, became independent, though the 
somewhat curious fact is that the school continued to retain its 
connection with the parent church until 1879. The Rev - T. Lawson, 
born at Preston and educated at Lancashire College, settled at 
Ashley Lane on the completion of his college course, beginning 
his duties on the first Sunday in January, 1858. In November, 
1859, he removed to Bacup, "where he became distinguished for 
his skill in public debates, meeting amongst others the late Mr 
Charles Bradlaugh." Mr. Lawson died suddenly, August 24th, 
1892, being at the time the respected minister of the Congre 
gational Church at West Hartlepool where he had laboured for 
more than a quarter of a century. Towards the end of 1863 the 
Rev. T. Chambers, a student from Cavendish College, Man 
chester, accepted an invitation to the pastorate. He resigned in 
April, 1866, and subsequently held a brief pastorate at Thorne, in 
Yorkshire. No successor was appointed until 1879, when the 
Rev. Thomas Wigley, formerly a Primitive Methodist minister, 
took charge of the church, and is still the pastor. The chapel 
has sitting accommodation for 350 persons. Connected with the 
church are at least two honourable names which ought to be 
mentioned the late Alderman George Booth, J.P., and his brother, 
the late Mr. Hugh Booth. For half a century both of them filled 
its leading offices, and, setting aside the charms of suburban 
residence, deliberately chose to live in the city that they might 
render more effective service to the cause at Ashley Lane. 



HARPURHEV, formerly a separate township some two miles north 
east of Manchester, but now a part of the great city, has been the 
home of Congregational effort for considerably over half a 
century. It grew out of the "pioneer work" of some of the 
friends associated with Ashley Lane Sunday School, who were 

THE REV. E. H. WEEKS. 189 

wishful to extend their usefulness. Some seventeen were told off 
for the purpose, amongst them being the late Mr. Abraham Ward, 
and a cottage in Drinkwater Street was the place where public 
worship was held, and a Sunday School was conducted. At the 
annual meeting of the Lancashire Congregational Union in April, 
1839, a grant was made towards the preaching of the gospel here, 
where a church already existed, having been formed about 1833, 
consisting of eighteen members. The Rev. James Dunkley is 
mentioned as the first minister, about whom I have no information. 1 
In 1849 tns Rev- Mr. Joseph is named as minister, 
but he remained only a short time. The Rev. Edward Henry 
Weeks, who had been educated at Cheshunt College, and who had 
previously laboured about twelve years at Dews bury, became the 
pastor in 1855. In 1864 he accepted an invitation to form a 
fourth Congregational church at Dewsbury and become its 
minister. Failing health compelled him to resign in the spring of 

1871, and he retired to Scarborough, where he died January igth, 

1872, aged fifty-six years. The Rev. J. Earnshaw was the next 
minister. He had been educated at Homerton College, and had 
held pastorates at Bowdon, Attercliffe, and Pickering. He removed 
in [863 from the latter place to Harpiirhey, "where he had 
resident pupils," and in the following year he took charge of the 
church. In 1869 he resigned, and spent the remainder of his 
life "in teaching and preaching whenever opportunity offered."" 
He died at Cheetham Hill, July jyth, 1876, aged sixty-nine years. 
The Rev. W. S. Davies followed in 1870, and resigned in 1878, 
being succeeded by the Rev. J. W. Thomason, from the Pastors 
College, in 1879, who is still the minister of the church. The 
present chapel, erected in 1854, has accommodation for 700 
persons, and there is a large Sunday School associated with it 
where 600 can be taught. The church is a " Union Church," 
and may be served either by a Baptist or Congregational minister, 
both forms of baptism being recognised. 

The Rev. Robert Mitchell, at the time associated with Dr. 

1 I regret that the account of Harpurhey is not so complete as could be 
desired, but considerable difficulty has been experienced in obtaining even the 
information here given. 

2 " Congregational Year Book" for 1877, p. 356. 


Morrison in the pastorate of the E. U. Church at Dundas Street, 
Glasgow, accepted an invitation to become the minister of the 
newly formed church at Queen s Park. The church originated in 
a secession of a number of persons from the Union Church, Har- 
purhey, who established the new cause upon the principles of the 
Evangelical Union of Scotland. Contrary to usual custom the com 
mencement of Mr. Mitchell s ministry in Manchester was made the 
occasion of a presentation to him. On August toth, 1868, at a soiree, 
held to welcome him, P. Spence, Esq., in the chair, he received " an 
address and a purse of sovereigns." The congregation, which 
worshipped in the iron building formerly in use at Patricroft, 
rapidly grew, and in 1869 commodious school premises were 
erected at a cost of about ^1,200. In 1875 a more permanent 
sanctuary became necessary, and on Saturday, November 25th of 
that year, Richard Johnson, Esq., J. P., laid the foundation stone of 
the present handsome structure. "On the previous Saturday," it 
is recorded, " the pastor, the Rev. Robert Mitchell, had met 
the children of the congregation, when each in turn took 
the trowel and laid a brick in the building, for which privilege 
they each paid half a crown to the building fund. 1 The cost 
of the church was about ^7,000. The opening services took 
place on Thursday, November 2nd, 1876, when Dr. Thomson, 
preached in the afternoon, and the Rev. William Hubbard in the 
evening. On the following Sunday, November 5th, the preacher 
was the Rev. Fergus Ferguson, D.D., of Glasgow. Soon after the 
erection of the church trade depression set in, " which was 
felt perhaps in few churches more acutely than in that at 
Queen s Park." The debt, therefore, became " a most serious 
burden," and at the close of iSSi Mr. Mitchell s health 
being " seriously impaired," he felt compelled to resign his 
charge. Subsequently he became pastor of the Chorlton-cum- 
Hardy Congregational Church, and died at the Hydropathic 
Establishment, East Kilbride, May 5th, 1893, aged sixty-six 
years." In 1882 the Rev. E. E. Stuttard, educated at Ches- 
hunt College, and who had formerly laboured twelve years at St. 
Neots, Hunts, received and accepted an invitation to become their 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1876, p. 40. 

2 Vide ante p. 73. 

NE WTON HE A TH. i g i 

minister, his recognition service being held on Friday, November 
loth, of that year. In the spring of the following year a bazaar was 
held to support Mr. James Bryson, the church secretary, who had 
courageously undertaken the liquidation of the heavy debt of 
^3,300 which still rested upon the building. The bazaar realised 
the sum of ^1.078 153. 8d., and Mr. Eryson s efforts in collecting 
subscriptions ^2,287 IDS., thus setting the friends free. The 
church has accommodation for about 1,100. and Mr. Stuttard 
pursues his ministry here with much acceptance. During the 
pastorate of Mr. Mitchell the church was associated with the 
Evangelical Union of Scotland ; but the trust deed gives power 
to a majority of the church to make the property Congregational, 
and since the commencement of Mr. Stuttard s ministry the church 
has been connected with the Congregational Union. 

At Newton Heath, just within the borough boundary, a Con 
gregational interest was begun in October, 1882, by the Ministers 
and Deacons Association of Salford. Services were held in a 
small room over the local Co-operative Stores, and for a time the 
pulpit was supplied mainly by members of the Lay Preachers 
Association, the Sunday School being superintended, first by the 
Rev. W. H. Drewett, and subsequently by Mr. G. Lowe. 
In June, 1885, the Queen s Park Church was invited by the County 
Union to take charge of the station, and, encouraged by the promise 
of pecuniary assistance, consented to do so. Success continued to 
attend the movement, and in 1893 a new school chapel was 
erected in Thorp Road, the foundation stone of which had been 
laid on October 8th of the previous year by Samuel Lamb, Esq., of 
Heaton Mersey, formerly a resident of North Manchester. The 
opening services began on Thursday evening, April 2oth, when 
the Rev. Samuel Pearson, M.A., was the preacher, the Rev. J. R. 
Murray, M.A., taking the first part of the service. The services 
were continued on the three following Sundays, the Rev?. T. 
Willis, James McDougall, D. \V. Vaughan, M.A., W. H. Towers, 
Dr. Hodgson, E. E. Stuttard, and Mr. George Lowe preaching on 
different occasions. The cost of the building, which offers 
accommodation for about 300 worshippers, including the site, is 
about ^"2,000, towards which the Lancashire and Cheshire 
Chapel Building Society promised ^"400. In addition to this the 


English Chapel Building Society has promised the sum of ^150, 
being the proceeds of the sale of the hall in Collyhurst Street, 
formerly in use for Congregational purposes. A branch church 
has been formed, and the Queen s Park Church still exercises a 
helpful supervision over the interest. 


IN 1851 the Rev. John Lockwood, B.A., whose ministerial train 
ing was received at Rotherham College, removed from Tavistock, 
where he had for several years been co-pastor with the Rev. S. 
Rooker, to Manchester, " to endeavour to raise a new church at 
Cheetham Hill." Services were held for a few years in a room in 
Tyson Street, and next in Humphrey Street, the first generous sup 
porters and workers being Mr. William Johnson and Mr. Goodwin. 
A church was formed in 1853, and in the same year the 
present commodious building was opened for public worship by 
Dr. Raffles. The cost of the building, including the land, was 
considerably over "^4,000, and the sitting capacity is for about 
660 persons. When the chapel was built, Cheetham Hill is 
described as a " pleasant and rapidly rising suburb, which hitherto 
has had no Dissenting chapel;" and the ground in front of the 
chapel, it is said, " will be planted with evergreens, and arranged 
with a carriage drive on each side." : " The health of his wife 
having failed, and his home being darkened by her removal," Mr. 
Lockwood resigned in 1856. Subsequently he held pastorates at 
Oswestry and Parkstone, near Poole. His death at Bideford took 
place September 25th, 1888, at the age of seventy-four years. 
His successor was the Rev. J. A. Picton, M.A., a student from 
Lancashire College, who settled in 1856. After a useful ministry 
of seven years he removed to Leicester. Mr. Picton retired from 
the ministry some years ago, and is now M.P. for Leicester. The 
late Sir J. A. Picton, of Liverpool, was his father, whose literary 
works are well known to students of local history and archaeology. 

1 " Congregational Year Book," for 1854, p. 278. 


The Rev. G. W. Conder was the next to accept the pastorate of 
the church. He was born at Hitchin, November 3oth, 1821, and 
studied for the ministry under Prof. Godwin, at Highbury College. 
Previous to his settlement at Manchester he held a co-pastorate at 
High Wycombe, and pastorates at Ryde and Leeds. Along with 
the Revs. Dr. Reynolds and William Guest, he compiled the Leeds 
Hymn Book, which is still in use at Cheetham Hill and in some 
other of our churches. His "multiplied labours" at Leeds proved too 
heavy a tax upon his strength, and in 1864 he accepted the charge 
of the Cheetham Hill Church. In 1869 he was called to the 
Chair of the Lancashire Congregational Union, and in November, 
1870, the condition of his health led him to accept the invitation 
of the Queen s Road Church, Forest Hill, London, where he might 
breathe " a more genial air." Here he died, November 8th, 1874. 
The Rev. Thomas Hamer, educated at Lancashire College, and 
fora short time assistant minister at Dundee, followed in 1871, 
and continued his acceptable labours until 1884, when he resigned. 
He is now the pastor of the Congregational Church at Little 
Lever, near Bolton. 1 The Rev. P. T. Forsyth, M.A., educated at 
New College, after a brief settlement at Hackney, succeeded Mr. 
Hamer in 1885. To the regret of his congregation he removed 
to Clarendon Park, Leicester, in 1888, where he still ministers. 
Mr. Forsyth s recent contributions to theological discussion have 
excited considerable interest, and marked him out for a promi 
nent position in the theological world of the future. The Rev. 
D. W. Vaughan, M.A., a student from the Yorkshire United 
College, followed Mr. Forsyth in 1889, and is still the pastor of the 
church. "During my ministry," says he, "the most important 
event has been the closing of Park Chapel, and the transfer of 
about forty members to our church at Cheetham Hill." 

The Congregational Church at Higher Broughton arose much in 
the same way and at the same time as the one at Cheetham Hill. 
In 1852 the Rev. Joseph Muncaster, who had been educated at 
Rotherham College, and had previously laboured a few years at 
Gainsborough, was invited to take charge of a small church here. 
The congregation and school first met in a room over Valentine 
Ashton s stables, in Hilton Street, Higher Broughton, Then a school 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity. 


was built on the present site of the church. In 1857 "ahandsome 
structure, in the Middle Pointed style of English architecture 
usually called Decorated Gothic," was erected for the congregation. 
The accommodation was for 900 persons, and the cost was about 
,3.000. A serious accident occurred during its erection, on 
September 24th, 1856, the spire falling and doing damage to the 
extent of ,1,000. Mr. Muncaster s ministry extended over 
twenty years, and the cause of its termination is given in the 
following passage : 

He was visiting in London. Driving out one day with his host he was 
thrown from the carriage on to his head. For fifteen days consciousness did 
not return. His life hung on a thread. On his recovery it became clear to 
himself that the vigorous and happy work of the Broughton Church could 
not be resumed by him with satisfaction to himself. 1 

He resigned therefore in the early part of 1874, and at a meeting, 
over which Dr. McKerrow, " the oldest Nonconformist minister 
of Manchester," presided, he received amongst other gifts a purse 
of gold containing .300. Subsequently the Dowager Lady 
Crossley, of Somerleyton Hall, Lowestoft, offered him, "with the 
concurrence of the congregation, the pulpit of the chapel in the 
grounds of Somerleyton Hall." He accepted the position, and 
held it until his death, which occurred on October 28th, 1888, 
aged sixty-six years. The Rev. Stuart J. Reid, a student from 
Cheshunt College, followed in 1875, and after five years removed 
to Wilmslow in Cheshire. After a brief pastorate there, he with 
drew from the ministry, and engaged in literary work. The present 
pastor is the Rev. James McDougall, who had previously exercised 
a vigorous and useful ministry at Darwen. He began his labours 
at Broughton in 1880. The character of the neighbourhood has 
changed very considerably since the erection of the chapel thirty- 
six years ago. The population, always migratory, is becoming 
increasingly Jewish, and so the difficulty to maintain the church 
in its vigour grows. Mr. McDougall s courageous efforts, however, 
have not been in vain. 2 During his pastorate the tower has 

1 " Congregational Year Book" for 1889, p. 203. 

2 Vide vol. ii of "Lancashire Nonconformity" for additional particulars 
respecting Mr. McDougall. 


been rebuilt, the whole structure renovated, and in 1889 new 
Sunday School buildings were erected, the memorial stone being 
laid on the 6th of July of that year by Mr. William Mather, M.P., 
whose brother, Mr. John Mather, is a deacon of the church. 

Broughton Park Congregational Church "is situated on a 
naturally commanding position in the Park, bounded on three 
sides by the Park drives, from each of which the building is 
approached, and on the fourth by houses and land," contiguous 
to Bury Old Road. At the west end of the south aisle 
the tower and spire rise to the height of nearly two hundred 
feet. The sitting accommodation is for 650 persons; the cost 
was over ^20,000, towards which the Chapel Building Society 
granted the sum of ^1,000. The building was opened for public 
worship in 1874. The church was formed in 1875, a considerable 
number of members being dismissed from the Richmond Congre 
gational Church for the purpose, amongst whom were some of 
that church s "wealthiest supporters." The first pastor was the 
Rev. C. S. Slater, M.A. Educated at Spring Hill College, 
minister of Addison Street Church, Nottingham, from 1868 to 
1876, in the latter year he settled at Broughton Park. In 1883 
he accepted an invitation to the Sherwell Congregational Church, 
Plymouth, where he still labours. The Rev. H. E. Radbourne, of 
Newcastle-on-Tyne, was invited to succeed Mr. Slater in 1885. 
The invitation was accepted, and he held the pastorate until 1891. 
when he became the minister of the Pendleton Congregational 
Church, where he still labours. 1 The present minister is the Rev, 
Samuel Pearson, M.A, formerly of Birmingham, then of Great 
George Street, Liverpool, and next of Highbury Quadrant, London. 
He began his duties in his present sphere in January, 1892, which 
he continues amidst many signs of encouragement. 2 In connection 
with the church there is a Sunday School, meeting in a separate 
Gothic building at the Cheetham Hill gate of the park. Rooden 
Lane is a branch church, and derives much of its support from 
Broughton Park. 3 

1 Vide p. 227. 

2 Vide vol. vi. of "Lancashire Nonconformity" for further particulars 
respecting Mr. Pearson. 

3 Vide ante p. 27. 


Hightown Congregational Church was formerly the Hewitt 
Street Mission, commenced by the Park Church, Cheetham, in 
1876, during the pastorate of the Rev. F. Carter. In 1885 the 
friends of Park Church, the " weakest " in the neighbourhood, felt 
themselves "unable to bear any longer the responsibility of carrying 
on this mission," and the Higher Broughton Church was induced 
to undertake its management. " Formerly," says the " Lancashire 
Congregational Calendar" for 1888, "two cottages were used, the 
larger for worship and a senior school, the smaller for infants. 
The arrangement was costly and inconvenient. The owner of the 
property having acceded to a proposal to rebuild the larger house, 
extending and elevating it, there is now an excellent, well-lighted, 
well-heated meeting place and schoolroom, and a lower room suitable 
for classes. On the first Sunday in January [1888] services were 
conducted in what will be known as the New Congregational Hall, 
Hightown, and there is every prospect of greatly increased 
numbers and usefulness." A church was formed in the same 
year. The pulpit is supplied mainly by lay preachers and students 
from the Lancashire College, the Rev. James McDougall acting as 
superintendent. The sitting accommodation is for 170 persons. 


BEFORE leaving the story of Manchester Congregationalism, it is 
proposed in this chapter to gather up and present unto the reader 
a number of particulars whose omission would he a serious defect. I 
regret that space will not permit more than a few sentences to 
what would make, and deserves, a goodly volume. First in order 
may be taken those Congregational interests either now extinct, or 
which have been so modified in their character as to cease to be 
called churches. 

In 1838 a room in Cable Street, which had formerly been a 
cholera hospital, was opened for public worship by the Revs. 
Dr. McAll and R. Fletcher. "The gracious scheme originated 
amongst a few Christians, who met in the counting-house of the 
late devoted servant of God, Mr. Stephen Sheldon," and the Rev. 
E. H. Nolan was appointed minister. Dr. Nolan as subsequently 


he became had been trained at Dublin, and was for some years 
Secretary of the Irish Evangelical Society, a position Avhich failing 
health compelled him to relinquish, Shortly after his settlement 
in Manchester, in 1838, a church was formed, consisting of nine 
members from Grosvenor Street and Mosley Street Congregational 
Churches, and the congregation increased so rapidly that enlarged 
premises became necessary. The handsome structure in York 
Street, called Ducie Chapel, was therefore erected at a cost of 
about ^"4,000, with accommodation for 1,000 persons, and 
"containing 300 sittings for the poor." The opening services 
took place on Wednesday, May 6th, and Sunday, May joth, 1840, 
when the preacher on the first day was the Rev. William Jay, of 
Bath ; and on the second day the preachers were Dr. Reed, of 
London, in the morning, and the Rev. J. Campbell, also of London, 
afternoon and evening. It is recorded that the " glorious voluntary 
principle" had a "signal triumph" on the occasion, for "the 
unprecedented and enormous sum of nearly ^"600" was raised 
after the sermons. At the time of its erection the chapel 
was quite suburban, green fields behind it extending to Strange- 
ways Hall, whose proprietor, the Earl of Ducie, was Mr. Jay s 
personal friend. Dr. Nolan attracted large congregations for many 
years, but a deep cloud rests upon the close of his ministry. He 
resigned in 1853, and for twelve months the chapel was closed. 
In the following year a new beginning was made, the building was 
re-opened under the name of Park Chapel, and in July, 1855, the 
Rev. John Brown, B.A., a student from Lancashire College, 
became the minister. After nine years of useful labour, Dr. 
Brown (for such he has since become) removed to Bunyan Chapel, 
Bedford, where he still lives in the affections of his people. His 
work on John Bunyan, whose pulpit he occupies, is a noble monu 
ment of patient and earnest research, and his two addresses from 
the chair of the Congregational Union of England and Wales, in 
1891, are an able defence of the Congregational position; 
whilst in all matters pertaining to Congregational history he is 
recognised as a very high authority. The Rev. J. Emmett Jones, a 
student from New College, followed in 1864. During his pastorate 
a lecture-room was built on ground adjacent to the chapel. In 
1871 he removed to Huddersfield, and subsequently to St. Paul s 


Chapel, Wigan, 1 where he died January 3ist, 1876. The Rev. F. 
Carter, from Tottington,- near Bury, and now of Northwich, held 
the pastorate from 1871 to 1880. With him originated the branch 
school in Hewitt Street, in 1876, now the Hightown Congregational 
Church. The last minister was the Rev. F. Moore, a student 
from Lancashire College, who bravely struggled amidst discouraging 
circumstances to bring back to the church its former prosperity. He 
had charge of the place from 1881 to 1886, resigning in the latter 
year on his acceptance of an invitation to Aston Park, Birmingham, 
where he still labours. Mr. Moore conducted closing services on 
Sunday, March i6th, 1890, and on the evening of the following 
day a farewell meeting of old friends and members was held. Most 
of the families associated themselves with the Congregational 
Church at Cheetham Hill, and Park Church became extinct, the 
building being subsequently sold to Messrs. Edmondson and 
Young for ^r,5oo. 3 

Knott Mill Congregational Chapel was erected in 1853, with 
accommodation for 1,000 people. The church was formed the 
following year, and the Rev. J. L. Poore, on revisiting Hope 
Chapel, Salford, in 1858, called Knott Mill one of his "pets," 
which was prospering, the school having 700 scholars in atten 
dance. The first and only pastor was the Rev. John Rawlinson. 
He was sent to the Blackburn Academy to be educated for the 
ministry from the Cannon Street Church, Preston, being trans 
ferred to the Lancashire College on the removal of the Academy 
to Manchester. His first settlement was at Stainland, in 
Yorkshire, whence he removed to Cheltenham. In 1854 he 
accepted the charge of the infant church at Knott Mill. After a 
long and faithful ministry, Mr. Rawlinson resigned in 1887, retiring 
also from active service. He is still resident in Manchester. As 
in many other cases, the character of the neighbourhood had so 
changed during the forty years of the church s existence, that it 
became evident it would be impossible to continue it on the old 
lines after Mr. Rawlinson s retirement. As the Knott Mill Hall, 

1 Vide vol. iv. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide vol. iii. of Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 The information above given is largely taken from a pamphlet by Mr. 
A. Porter, published in connection with the closing services of Park Church. 


the place is now worked by the Manchester and Salford Congre 
gational Mission Board, 

Higher Ardwick Congregational Church. Of this nothing is 
known beyond the fact that in 1813 twenty-three of its inembers 
were received into the fellowship of the Gros venor Street Church. 
The Rev. Wm. Marsh, formerly of Cannon Street, 1 had been 
minister, and on his removal to Charlesworth the church was 
scattered and broken. Probably it was only a very temporary 
secession from Cannon Street. 

Collyhurst Street Congregational Church existed from about 
1862 to 1885, and at certain points in its history presented con 
siderable promise. The pastors have been : 1862-1867, R- evr - 
John Morgan. 2 removed to Pentonville ; 1868-1870, Rev. W. 
Axford, removed to Peasley Cross; 3 1871-1872, Rev. R. Solomon, 
removed to Ancoats; 4 1872-1878, members of the Lay Preachers 
Association; 1878-1880, Mr. Whaley (Evangelist); 1880-1881. 
Rev M. Duffill, removed to Hindley. 5 Shortly afterwards, Colly- 
hurst Street Church, which had received considerable financial 
assistance from the County Union, ceased to exist, and the building 
was sold, the proceeds being afterwards given by the English 
Chapel Building Society towards the new chapel at Newton Heath. 

For a few years there was a Congregational interest at Gorton 
Brook, of which the Rev. Wm. Haigh was minister in 1856. 

The "Tabernacle," in City Road, another of these small 
interests, had as minister, in 1851, the Rev. Edwin Robinson, 
probably the person of that name formerly at Lydiate, and sub^ 
sequently at Ramsbottom. 6 He was followed by the Rev. John 
George. Students from Cavendish College had the Tabernacle as a 
preaching station in 1862, and one of them, the Rev. A. Hall, settled 
there when the college was closed, and established the church on 
a Congregational basis. " City Road Congregational Church " 
was built for Mr. Hall in 1869, the opening services taking 

1 Vide ante p. 123. 

2 The congregation was gathered by Mr. Morgan. 

3 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

4 Vide ante p. 184. 

5 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

fi Vide vols. iii. and iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


place on July i8th. Here he laboured for several years. "City 
Road Congregational Church " is now the Russell Street Mission 
Chapel, in connection with Chorlton Road Church. The Taber 
nacle is a mission station belonging to the Presbyterians. 

Manchester has produced a long and honourable roll of Con 
gregational laymen, who demand a much more lengthy notice than 
is here possible. Robert Spear, born at Hyde Cross, near Man 
chester, November 27th, 1762, whose father was a deacon of 
Cannon Street Chapel, "at a very considerable expenditure" 
educated a number of excellent Congregational ministers; John 
Hope, more than fifty years a deacon, and an early Secretary of the 
County Union (vide ante p. 138, note i) ; Samuel Fletcher, whose 
name has frequently appeared in these pages, "the well known 
excellent deacon of the Grosvenor Street Church, and an eminent 
county magistrate;" George Hadfield, M.P. for Sheffield for 
many years, who " risked a large fortune and spent a small one" in 
defending Nonconformist interests ; Sir James Watts, memorials 
of whose munificence may be seen in many of the most handsome 
of our Congregational churches; William Armitage, lately deceased, 
the worthy representative of a family prominent in the annals of 
local Congregationalism ; John Rylands, the millionaire, whose 
munificent bequests at his death testified how near to him lay, not 
Congregationalism alone, but religious and philanthropic move 
ments of all kinds ; the Haworth brothers, happily still with us, 
ever in the forefront of generous donors to our denominational 
institutions; and a great number more, equally generous and 

Manchester may claim to be the birthplace of the Lancashire 
Congregational Union, for it was in the vestry of Mosley Street 
Chapel, September 23rd, 1806, that it was formed. The story of 
this Union, which is thus rapidly approaching its centenary, would 
make one of the most thrilling productions of the time, and bring 
encouragement to many weary workers, because it would show 
how mighty a force in the religious life of our county Con 
gregationalism has been. 1 

1 In 1840 the Rev. Richard Slate, of Preston, at the request of the 
Union, published a "Brief History," which is not without value; but more 
than half a century has gone since then, and these are amongst the most 
vigorous years of the Union s existence. 



Manchester has been, and still is, the home of academical 
institutions where great numbers of men have been equipped for 
ministerial service. From 1803 to 1809 the Rev. William Roby 
presided over an academy which was pecuniarily supported by 
Mr. Robert Spear. The place of meeting was the vestry of 
Mosley Street Chapel. The Leaf Square Academy took its rise 
in 1 8 10, and remained in existence about forty years, having as 
Presidents the Revs. George Phillips, M.A., John Reynolds, Jenkin 
Lewis, and Dr. Clunie. Though not a distinctly theological 
institution, the design of the promoters was to educate "young 
men for the ministry ; " and it was " established for the benefit 
of the Independent churches in the counties of Lancashire 
Cheshire, and Derbyshire." With Dr. Clunie it became a private 
venture school. Lancashire Independent College, at Whalley 
Range, the alma mater of so many whose names appear in this 
work (the old Blackburn Academy in continuity, where it origi 
nated in 1816), was opened in I843- 1 The present is therefore its 
Jubilee year, and the event was celebrated by special meetings, 
June 21-23, when amongst old students taking part in the 
proceedings were the Revs. Dr. Bruce, Huddersfield ; Dr. 
Brown, Bedford ; Dr. Simon, Yorkshire United College ; 
J. G. Rogers, B.A., London; G. S. Barrett, B.A., Norwich; 
Professor Armitage, M.A., Yorkshire United College; and 
Professor W. H. Bennett, M.A., Hackney. Its present re 
spected Principal is Dr. Scott, whose father, the Rev. Walter 
Scott, for many years presided over the Airedale College ; and 
on the professorial staff are Drs. Thomson and Hodgson. 
Cavendish College was in existence from 1860 to 1863. The 
idea originated with Dr. Parker then minister of Cavendish 
Church, and classes were held in the splendid suite of buildings 
belonging to the chapel. The Rev. J. B. Paton, M.A., of 
Sheffield, and the Rev. J. R. Thomson, M.A , were associated with 
the doctor in the professorial arrangements. In 1863 the college 
was transferred to Nottingham, and the present Congregational 
Institute there, of which Dr. Paton has been the respected 

1 The foundation stone was laid by Mr. George Hadfield, in September, 
1840, whose interest in the college remained unabated until the time of his 



Principal since its commencement, is its representative. 1 The 
dissolution of the Warrington Academy, in 1786, left the Noncon 
formists of the North, whose drift was towards Unitarianism, with 
out any training institution for their ministers. To meet this want 
the Manchester Academy was instituted. It has moved often, and 
assumed different names, as the following will show : 

Manchester Academy, 1786-1803. 
Manchester College, York, 1803-1840. 
Manchester New College, Manchester, 1840-1853. 
Manchester New College, London, 1853-1889. 
Manchester College, Oxford, 1889, to the present time. 

This institution, along with the present " Unitarian Home 
Missionary College," in Manchester, has supplied with ministers 
many of those old churches (now Unitarian) whose histories are 
given in this work. 

The Congregational Mission Board for Manchester, Salford, 
and District was formed in the summer of 1891. Its objects are 
stated in the following paragraph : 

(a) The undertaking of mission work in such churches, halls, and mission- 
rooms, in Manchester, Salford, and district, as may be placed under the 
entire control of the Board ; and (b) the aiding of Evangelistic work in such 
other ways as may, from time to time, seem expedient to the Board. 

The Board has charge of Knott Mill, Chapel Street, Upper 
Moss Lane Mission (formerly undenominational, room seats about 
150 people), and Beaufort Street (a sort of branch to Knott Mill, 
which consists of two cottages thrown into one.) Mr. Whitehead is 
engaged as Evangelist, and the work has grown so considerably 
that a second agent is about to be appointed. Dr. Hodgson, of 
Lancashire College, has interested himself deeply in the work of 
the Board, and has discharged the duties of Secretary since its 
commencement, Mr. A. A. Haworth acting as Treasurer. 

The following account of Welsh Congregationalism in Man 
chester and Salford, with very slight alterations, has been kindly 

1 Owens College is not a denominational institution, and so does not 
come within the scope of this work, but students from Lancashire College 
have for many years obtained a large share of their literary training there. 


supplied by the Rev. D. John, the esteemed pastor of Booth Street 
East (Welsh) Congregational Church : 

Rev. John Breese, of Liverpool, preached for the first time to a few Congre- 
gationalists just arrived from Wales. On October i8th, 1818, a small 
church of six members was formed by the Rev. William Williams, of Wern, 
one of the most celebrated preachers of Wales, in a private house in Old 
Carter Lane ^now Portland Street). On this spot now stands Sir James 
Watts s warehouse. In 1822 they removed from Old Carter Lane to a 
schoolroom in connection with St. James Church, which was kindly lent by 
the clergyman of that church. About two years afterwards another move 
was made to Old Cloth Hall, Salford, opposite the Cathedral, on the other 
side of the Irwell. By this time the church had increased to such an extent 
that they felt they could maintain a pastor, so they invited the Rev. John 
Griffiths, brother to the late Rev. William Griffiths, of Holyhead. Mr. 
Griffiths commenced his ministerial duties in October, 1824, on which occasion 
the Rev. W.Williams, of Wern, officiated. In February, 1826, a site for a chapel 
was obtained in Gartside Street, in the city. The foundation stone was laid 
by the Rev. John Breese, of Liverpool, and the Rev. J. A. Coombs, of Chapel 
Street, Salford, assisted on the occasion. The chapel was opened for public 
worship Sept. iyth, 1826. Mr. Griffiths remained as pastor of the church until 
1831, when he removed to Buckley, Flintshire. In 1836 the Rev. David 
Morgan, Machynlleth (afterwards Dr. Morgan), became their pastor, and 
remained so until his removal to Llanfyllin in 1839. In November, 1842, 
the Rev. David Roberts, of Anglesey (now Dr. Roberts, Wrexham), under 
took the pastorate, and continued to work in the place until his removal in 
1845. In May, 1846, the Rev. Richard Jones, Sirhowy, followed, and 
remained until 1865, when he removed to Llanidloes. The next pastor was 
the Rev. D. Lloyd Jones, now of Patagonia. He commenced his ministry 
here in May, 1867, and in 1869 removed to Ruthin. In 1870 the present 
minister, the Rev. Richard Roberts, who was educated at Bala College (now 
called Bala-Bangor College), commenced his ministry. In 1877 the church 
felt that Gartside Street was getting unsuitable for them, and they secured 
a plot of land in Chorlton Road. The new chapel was opened on October 
2ist, 1877, the Rev. Professor Morgan, of Carmarthen, and Professor 
Thomas, Bala, being the preachers. The cost was about ^3,500, and chief 
rent ,40 per annum. The church is working hard and struggling bravely 
under a heavy debt, the old chapel being unfortunately still on their hands, 
waiting for sale. 

a few friends left the mother church at Gartside Street and met together for 
worship in a room at Bethel Place, out of Stretford Road, Hulme. The 
same year they removed from Bethel Place to Great Jackson Street, to the 
Rev. J. Gwyther s old chapel, which they secured on easy terms. Welsh 
services were commenced here on June i2th, 1842, when a Mr. E. Roberts 
(student) preached. On August jth the church was formed by the Rev 


Owen Owens, of Rhesycae, the number of members being eleven. In the 
year 1845 they invited the Rev. D. Hughes, B.A., of St. Asaph, to become 
their pastor, and he commenced his duties July igth, 1846, but he remained 
only until May, 1847. After him came the Rev. Hugh Hughes (Tegai), of 
Rhoslan, followed by the Rev. Robert Evans (Trogwy), now of America. 
During this period the church saw little success, and no doubt this was to be 
accounted for by the fact that Great Jackson Street was too near the mother 
church and not central enough for Welsh residents. In view of this it was 
thought wise to move their tent elsewhere, and the year 1859 saw their 
removal to the Temperance Hall, Chorlton-on-Medlock, which proved to be 
a very wise step. In March, 1862, they invited the Rev. T. E. Evans, of 
Rhosllanerchrugog, to become their minister. In a short time after his 
settlement his ministry was so blessed that they saw it was their 
duty to look out for a suitable site for a new chapel which would meet their 
requirements. In this they were successful, a convenient site being found in 
Booth Street East. On July iath, 1862, the foundation stone was laid by 
Sir James Watts, Manchester, and the chapel was opened in March, 1863, 
when Dr. Parker and others preached. The pastor s health broke down, 
however, and he resigned his charge in September, 1865, much to the 
regret of the church. In 1867 they invited the present minister, the 
Rev. D. John, of Llanddeusant, Anglesey, who had been educated at 
Brecon College. He took up his duties on January 3 rd, 1868. The chapel 
and schoolroom were erected at a cost of ^3,000, which has been cleared off. 
Pastor and people are working well together. 

in a schoolroom off Rochdale Road, in the year 1867, through the efforts 
of Lewis Jones, now of Pwllheli. He obtained every assistance from 
the Welsh ministers and students of Manchester. In November, 1868, 
the church was formed by the Revs. D. Lloyd Jones, D. Davies, D. John, 
assisted by Messrs. P. Mostyn Williams, Ellis Pugh, John Jones, and others. 
A few years afterwards they removed to a room in Needwood Street, off 
Rochdale Road. Finally, they secured a site in Queen s Road, and built a 
chapel, which was opened on January I3th, 1878. The Rev. Dr. Rees, of 
Liverpool, and the Rev. D. M. Jenkins, of the same town, preached on the 
occasion. The chapel cost ^,1,100. The present debt is ^400. Its mem 
bership is about fifty, and all of the working class. 

first Sunday in January, 1876, a mission in connection with Chorlton Road 
Welsh Church was started in an upper room in West Craven Street, Salford. 
On April 24th, 1887, the mission was formed into a church, on which occasion 
the Revs. Richard Roberts and David John took part in the proceedings, 
sixteen persons entering into fellowship. Owing to the activity of this small 
band of workers, the upper room soon became inadequate, and they resolved 
to build a chapel. Their ambition has just been realised in the opening, a 
few weeks ago (1893), of a small chapel in Lord Duncan Street. Their members 
now total forty-two. On January 4th, 1891, the Rev. Richard Roberts, of 
the Chorlton Road Church, undertook extra duties by becoming their pastor. 



IT was near the end of last century that Congregationalism 
appeared at New Windsor, then a populous village near Man 
chester, now a part of the sister borough of Salford. Its origin 
is attributed to Mr. John Joule, resident in the village, " a man 
distinguished by ardent piety and active benevolence," who, " feeling 
compassion for his neighbours," erected at his own expense a 
small place of worship in 1797. J The opening service took place 
on August 23rd, when the Rev. Charles Ely, of Bury, began 
" with prayer and reading the scriptures ; " the Rev. Noah Black 
burn, of Delph, " preached the first sermon " from-Ps. xciii., 5 ; the 
Rev. J. Cockin, of Halifax, preached the " second sermon from 
Ps. xxvii., 4, and again in the evening from i Pet. i., 3, 4, 5 ;" 
and the Rev. Wm. Roby gave out the hymns. It is recorded 
that " the place was quite crowded both morning and evening ; 
and a peculiar unction rested on both preachers and hearers." " 
The account of these opening services further states : 

With peculiar pleasure we remark that several chmrches, without any 
knowledge of each other s design, have been influenced by one spirit, and 
almost at the same time, to adopt one of the most likely means for accom 
plishing this benevolent purpose ; we mean that of encouraging some of their 
most steady and promising members to go out on the Lord s Day, and 
endeavour to instruct the poor and ignorant, wherever they have an oppor 
tunity, either by reading sermons or by preaching to them. The meeting 
house alluded to above will be supplied, generally, on the Sabbath by per 
sons of this description ; by some of the members of Cannon Street Chapel, 

1 This Mr. John Joule was, I imagine, the deacon who remained loyal to 
the minister of Cannon Street Church when the secession took place which 
led to the formation of Mosley Street Church (vide ante, p. 138.) 

2 " Evangelical Magazine" for 1797, p. 475. 


Manchester, who have been requested by the Church to exercise their 
abilities on the Lord s Day in preaching to their fellow sinners; and by 
whose means three or four of the neighbouring villages have been regularly 
supplied, for nearly a year past, with no small acceptance and success. 1 

No minister was appointed until about 1802, when the Rev. T. 
Theodosius, who, in the baptismal register, adds the letters V.D.M. 
to his name, assumed that position. His ordination took place on 
July i3th, 1803, when his tutor, the Rev. Jenkin Lewis, 2 of 
Wrexham, gave the charge to the pastor from i Tim., iv., 16. 
" The church and congregation were exhorted to prayer for their 
minister" by the Rev. William Roby. In the evening the Rev. 
Joseph Sowden, of Bolton, preached ; and other parts of the 
service were taken by the Revs. E. White, of Chester ; S. Bradley, 
of Manchester; and John Ralph, of Liverpool. 

Mr. Theodosius did not remain beyond 1804, and he appears as 
minister at Gornal, in Staffordshire, in 1810. His successor was 
the Rev. James Mather. Born at Leigh, in 1773, early in life 
"put to the loom and trained to the occupation of a muslin 
weaver," removing to Warrington at the age of sixteen, he is 
described as the life of his companions and the " ring leader and 
champion in all games of pleasure, sources of amusement, and 
feats of emulation in the neighbourhood." His conversion was 
brought about through a sermon which he heard at Duke s Alley, 
Bolton, from the Rev. Leonard Redmayne. He was educated for 
the ministry by the Rev. Wm. Roby, and settled at New Windsor 
in the early part of 1805. After three years he removed to 
Howard Street, Sheffield ; subsequently to Birmingham ; and next 
to Upper Clapton, London, where he laboured for many years. 
He died in London on the 2gth of May, 1840, and was interred 
in Abney Park Cemetery, the funeral services being conducted by 
the Revs. J. Blackburn and Dr. Leifchild. The Rev. George 
Phillips, M.A., was the next minister. He was born at Haverford- 
west, November i5th, 1784, and was descended from the Rev. 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1797, p. 475. 

2 It is interesting to note that Mr. Lewis subsequently became the tutor of 
the Leaf Square Academy in Manchester (vide ante p. 202), and about 1814 
was invited to take charge of the New Windsor Church, but the invitation 
was declined. 



Peregrine Phillips, an eminent Nonconformist divine who suffered 
ejection in 1662. In 1801 he entered the Wymondley Academy, 
and subsequently graduated at Glasgow University. On the com 
pletion of his college course he supplied for a time at Liverpool, 
Haverfordwest, Kidderminster, and Southampton, and in June, 1810, 
was invited to the position of Classical Tutor in the "Lancashire 
Independent Academy," recently established at Leaf Square, 
Manchester. The invitation was accepted, and Mr. Phillips took 
up his residence at the academy, whilst the celebrated Mr. J. 
Dalton superintended the Mathematical and Philosophical depart 
ment. Shortly afterwards the New Windsor Church presented a 
unanimous call to Mr. Phillips to undertake the pastorate, and this 
additional responsibility he assumed towards the close of 1810. 
" Before he had preached six months," says his biographer, " the 
seats were all taken ; several respectable families residing there, who 
had been in the habit of attending places of worship in Manchester, 
chose to sit under his ministry ; others, who had not regularly 
attended anywhere, became constant hearers ; and the congrega 
tion was so much increased as to render an enlargement of the 
building necessary." 1 His ordination took place on May 2gth, 
1811, when the Revs. Joseph Fletcher, M.A., of Blackburn; W. 
Evans, of Stockport ; W. Roby, of Manchester ; and S. Bradley, 
of Manchester, conducted the service. A few weeks after his 
health appeared " to undergo a serious alteration. The united 
labours of the academy and the pastoral office were more than his 
constitution was able to support; and he rapidly sank into such a 
state of debility as to require an entire suspension of his usual 
employments." On the i;th of October, 1811, in company with 
Mrs. Phillips, he left Manchester, intending to travel by easy 
stages to Sidmouth. He died at Glastonbury on the 24th of that 
month, " the same year in which he was ordained, leaving a widow, 
to whom he had been united about four months, in a situation not 
easy to be conceived or described." His funeralj sermon was 
preached at New Windsor Chapel, November icth, 1811, by his 
intimate friend, Mr. Fletcher, of Blackburn, from i Cor. xv., 26, 
and was afterwards published under the title of "The]Xast Enemy 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1819, p. 180. 

DR. CLUNIE. 211 

Destroyed." The next minister was the Rev. John Reynolds, who 
was born at Hampstead, June nth, 1782, and was the third son 
of Dr. Henry Revell Reynolds, " a distinguished physician in the 
court of George III., and who for many years filled the office of 
physician in ordinary to his Majesty." On completing his educa 
tion at Oxford he accepted a Government appointment, and for 
some years was occupied both in the War Office and in the office 
of Secretary of State for the Home Department, and as Private 
Secretary to the Duke of Portland. His conversion was brought 
about through the preaching of Dr. Mason, of New York, where 
Mr. Reynolds resided for some time, and he resolved to devote 
himself to the Christian ministry, attending for a considerable 
period Dr. Mason s theological lectures. On his return to England 
in 1811 he put aside " temptations of the strongest kind" to enter 
the Established Church, and elected to serve amongst the 
Congregationalists. In the early part of 1812 he accepted the 
position of Principal to the Leaf Square Academy in succession to 
Mr. Phillips, and on July 2gth of the same year was ordained 
pastor over the New Windsor Church, His success as a preacher 
led to his removal to Chester in October, 1813. Subsequently he 
held pastorates at Romsey, in Hampshire, and Halstead, in Essex. 
He died February i5th, 1862, at the house of his second son, 
Dr. Reynolds, of Grosvenor Street, London. His second wife 
was the only sister of Dr. Fletcher, of Stepney, and formerly of 
Blackburn. She was the "sharer of his every thought and sorrow, 
his help-meet in the church, the mother of all his children, and 
the object to the last of his tenderest affection." 1 In 1843 Mr. 
Reynolds was elected to the Presidency of the Congregational 
Union of England and Wales. His biographer says : 

He was at home in the English Court and familiar with the American 
Camp Meeting ; he once assisted to quell a riot in London streets at the 
head of a brigade of volunteers ; but put forth all the strength of his best 
years as the village evangelist and dissenting pastor. 

The Rev. John Clunie, M.A., LL.D., conducted the Leaf Square 
and Seedley Grove Academies for nearly a quarter of a century. 
He followed the Rev. Jenkin Lewis (vide ante p. 202), and for a 

1 "Congregational Year Book" for 1863, p. 258. 


short time, like his predecessors, appears to have discharged the 
duties of minister to the New Windsor Congregation. As Dr. 
Clunie was a prominent figure in Manchester Congregational life 
for nearly half a century, a few further notes about him will be 
acceptable. He was born in London, April gth, 1784, educated 
at Hoxton Academy, graduated in Glasgow University, ordained 
at Guildford in September, 1809, and for about two years was 
private tutor to a gentleman s family at Kensington. Thence he 
removed to Manchester, and in 1837, having acquired a compe 
tency, "relinquished the scholastic profession." A bank failure 
in 1842 involved him with many others in serious difficulty, but 
his friends rallied round him and placed him in circumstances of 
comfort. Removing to Ardwick, he associates himself with Gros- 
venor Street Chapel, serving the churches and the denomination 
as opportunity offered until his death on June 23rd, 1858. 
He was the author of " A Scripture Diary," " The Path of 
Life," " The Storm Improved," and various other sermons. The 
next in the ministerial roll is the Rev. James Pridie, a native 
of Oxford, and brought up in the principles of the Established 
Church, but, removing to Manchester, he came under the influence 
of the Rev. William Roby, and eventually joined his church. 
Encouraged by his pastor to seek the Christian ministry, to pre 
pare himself in some measure for its duties, he accepted the 
position of junior master in the Leaf Square Academy. After 
spending three years there he placed himself under Mr. Roby for 
his theological course, and in 1814 settled at Malpas, in Cheshire, 
preaching also at Boughton. In 1816 he removed to New 
Windsor, where he was ordained on September 25th, when Mr. 
Roby gave him the charge from Titus ii., 15. In June, 1829, Mr. 
Pridie became the minister of Sion Chapel, Halifax, where he 
laboured many years. He died at Halifax, January 25th, 1873,. 
aged eighty-seven years. The Rev. George Taylor was Mr. 
Pridie s successor. He was born in Birmingham, February ioth,. 
1804, educated at Highbury College, and began his labours at 
New Windsor on the second Sunday in December, 1829. His 
ordination took place on March 3ist, 1830, when his pastor, the 
Rev. Timothy East, of Birmingham, gave him the charge, the Rev. 
J. Ely, of Rochdale, preaching in the evening to the people. His- 


pastorate, which had been attended with many difficulties, was 
brought to a conclusion in 1837, and eventually he settled at 
Wellingborough. He died at Birmingham in 1846. In June, 
1839, the Rev. Alfred John Morris, from Warrington, undertook 
the pastoral charge in succession to Mr. Taylor. He remained 
until 1842, and afterwards laboured at Holloway and Bowdon. 1 
His successor was the Rev. T. G. Lee, who had been a Wesleyan 
minister, but who, during his residence in Manchester as such, 
" became favourably impressed with the Congregational system of 
church government, and shortly afterwards established a church on 
that basis in Chorlton-upon-Medlock Town Hall." 2 Thence he 
removed to New Windsor, being recognised as pastor on Wednes 
day evening, January i8th, 1843. Here he continued until 1877, 
when he resigned, dying on the 25th of September, 1881, aged 
eighty years. The Rev. P. R. Berry, from Fleetwood, 3 held the 
pastorate from 1877 to J U V 1884, and was followed in 1886 by 
the Rev. Wm. Briddon, a student from Lancashire College. He 
left in March, 1890, and is now resident in Salford without charge. 
The present minister is the Rev. T. C. London, of the Liverpool 
College and a pupil of the late Dr. George Butler, Canon of 
Winchester. He has been in charge of the church since April, 


IN the Evangelical Magazine for 1817 appears the following 
account of the origin of the second Congregational Church in 
Salford : 

May 30, 1817. A large and commodious room (formerly the Cloth Hall) 
in Greengate, Salford, was opened for divine worship by three sermons, by 
Messrs. Roby, Smith, and Bradley. Seats to accommodate 230 persons are 
provided almost gratuitously, for the convenience of a poor neighbourhood. 
On the following Sabbath a Sunday School was opened in connection with 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 "Congregational Year Book" for 1882, p. 313. 

3 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


the above place ; and we have the pleasure to hear that from 350 to 400 
children statedly attend, on which account the committee have been obliged 
to engage another room for them. We understand also that the Public wor 
ship continues to be well attended, Mr. Coombs, from Hoxton Academy, 
being at present the supply. 1 

The Cloth Hall in which worship was held was just across the 
Irwell, near the Old Bridge, now Victoria Bridge. On the 22nd 
of September, 1818, the Rev. J. A. Coombs, mentioned in the 
preceding passage as a supply, but who was now pastor of the 
church, laid the foundation stone of Chapel Street Chapel. The 
building was opened for public worship on the 28th of July follow 
ing, when the preachers were the Revs. Dr. Harris, of Hoxton, 
and Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, their texts being Ps. Ixxxiv., i, and 
i Cor., xiii., 9, respectively. Mr. Coombs was ordained January 
26th, 1820, when the Rev. Joseph Fletcher, M. A.., of Blackburn, 
"in a luminous and convincing discourse, stated and defended the 
reasons of dissent and the principles of Independency." Dr. 
Winter, of London, "delivered an affectionate and impressive 
charge founded on Luke xix., 13;" the Rev. William Roby 
"offered solemn and fervent prayer for a blessing on the 
relation " and Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, " eloquently addressed 
the church and congregation from i Thess. v., 12 and 13."" 
Mr. Coombs remained " the zealous, the indefatigable, and 
beloved pastor of the increasing church" until August, 1838, 
when he resigned under " circumstances of a very painful nature." 
He retired to Ambleside, where he founded a Congregational 
church unto which he ministered several years. 1 

In the early part of 1839 the Rev. James Hill became his 
successor. He was born at Stafford, May ijth, 1795, educated 
at Gosport, and on the completion of his college course proceeded 
to India as a Missionary. Compelled, on account of ill health, to 
return to England in 1834, he settled at Oxford, whence he 
removed to Salford. After a ministry of two years he re 
moved to Clapham, and subsequently to Brighton. He died 
January i2th, 1870. In 1860 he officiated as Chairman of the 

1 Page 324. 

2 " Evangelical Magazine for 1820, p. 162. 

:t Vide vol. i. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 


Congregational Union of England and Wales. The Rev. J. W. 
Massie, D.D., LL.D., was Mr. Hill s successor. Born in Glasgow, 
November nth, 1798, and educated for the ministry at the Theo 
logical Academy, presided over by the Revs. Greville Ewing and Dr. 
Wardlaw, he proceeded thence, after three years study to Gosport 
Academy, to prepare for Missionary service. In July, 1822, he 
sailed for Calcutta, and during five years "traversed Hindostan, 
planting missions at the most eligible points." His health, how 
ever, failing, "his wife and child dying, and other circumstances 
arising, he returned home, and prepared and published his work on 
British and Continental India." 1 Shortly afterwards Dr. Massie 
settled at Dunfermline, then at Dublin, and next at Perth, whence 
in 1841 he removed to Salford. Being an ardent politician, he 
threw himself energetically into the Anti-Corn Law movement, 
which was then moving the heart of England. Friction arose 
between himself and his people, and in 1848 he left Salford for 
London, having been appointed Secretary of the Home Missionary 
Society. He died May 8th, 1869. His brother was the Rev. 
Robert Massie, of Newton-le- Willows, and his nephew is Professor 
Massie, of Mansfield College. The Rev. John Raven, 2 educated 
at Highbury, and who had previously laboured at Hadleigh, 
Birmingham, and Dudley, followed Dr. Massie in 1848. He 
removed to Ipswich at the end of 1853, and afterwards to 
Felstead, in Essex. His death took place on Sunday, 
March yth, 1875, aged seventy years. The next minister 
was the Rev. S. Clarkson, 3 subsequently of Lytham. He had 
charge of the church from 1854 to 1861, being succeeded the 
following year by the Rev. S. Chisholm, who had been educated 
at Edinburgh, and previously laboured at Huddersfield. Mr. Chis 
holm resignedin 1867, and subsequently laboured at Ongar, in Essex. 
He is now resident at South Woodford, in the same county, with 
out charge. The Rev. W. B. Camm, a student from Lancashire 
College, followed in 1868, remaining until 1871. Subsequently 
he became a Unitarian minister. The Rev. T. Stimpson, educated 
at Lancashire College, and who had previously laboured a short 

1 " Congregational Year Book," for 1870, p. 310. 

2 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 Vide vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


time at Middleton, was minister from 1872 to 1875. He is now 
at Thirsk, in Yorkshire. His successor was the Rev. W. McLellan 
from 1875 to 1879. He removed in the latter year to Stirling, 
being followed in 1879 by the Rev. Wm. Knox, who held 
the pastorate until his death, November iQth, I883. 1 The 
pulpit remained vacant until 1888, when the Rev. George 
Street, formerly of St. Helens, 2 accepted the charge. He 
resigned in 1891, and has since become a Unitarian minister. 

Chapel Street Chapel has suffered, like many other places, from 
the driftings of the population, and after Mr. Street s removal it 
was found desirable to hand over the premises to the Manchester 
and Salford Congregational Mission Board for mission purposes. 
The building, which has accommodation for over 1,000 people, 
is now called the Congregational Hall. 3 


IN the early part of 1837 the Congregational Association of Man 
chester and Salford addressed a letter "to the members of churches 
and congregations of the Independent denomination in Manchester 
and its vicinity," urging united effort in the direction of Congre 
gational extension. The following passage will serve to illustrate 
the spirit of the promoters : 

If, by combined efforts of our churches, chapels be erected in well-chosen 
situations, and measures judiciously adopted to give them sanction and 
support, we believe it will not be found difficult to gather members under 
the sound of the Gospel. But we must be allowed to remind you that, 
having taken this first step, which only necessity requires, additional obliga 
tions will be thereby involved, obligations which, in regard for consistency, 
and in order to the success of the attempt, must not be overlooked. 
When chapels are reared and opened, those Christians, now connected with 
our churches, on whom, by reason of proximity of residence, or otherwise, the 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide vol. iv. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 Vide ante p. 204. 


duty may be deemed especially to devolve, will, we trust, consent to sacri 
fice their present associations and attachments, and be willing, by personal 
attendance and persevering effort, to encourage and aid the new interests. 
The Congregations should comprise, from the onset, some persons of well- 
tried piety, and established Christian reputation ; they should be assisted 
to procure the services of holy and devoted ministers, adapted, in character 
and talent, to the duties of such stations ; and they should, in every practic 
able way, be countenanced and sustained by the older churches. 1 

This letter was signed by the Revs. R. S. McAll, Mosley Street ; John 
A. Coombs, Chapel Street, Salford ; Richard Fletcher, Grosvenor 
Street; James Gwyther, Hulme; James Griffin, Rusholme Road ; 
George Taylor, New Windsor, Salford. 

The Association so far succeeded in its efforts that it was pro 
posed to erect six new chapels in Manchester and Salford, and the 
first of these was Hope Chapel. The corner stone of the building 
was laid on Friday, September 29th, 1837, by the Rev. J. A. 
Coombs, in presence of " a very numerous assemblage of friends." 
Its site is described as " on the north side of a street or intended 
street called Liverpool Street, which is a spacious avenue of great 
width, and about a thousand yards in length, extending in a line 
from Oldfield Road to Cross Lane." Mr. J. H. Hulme read the 
following from the inscription plate : 

The foundation stone of this building, situate in Liverpool Street, Oldfield 
Road, Salford, in the county of Lancaster, intended for the worship of 
Almighty God, was laid on Friday, the 2gth day of September, in the first 
year of the reign of Victoria, Queen of England, and in the year of our Lord 
and Saviour Jesus Christ, 1837, by the Rev. J. Addison Coombs, minister of 
the church and congregation assembling in the Independent Chapel, Chapel 
Street, Salford. The first of six new chapels intended to be built by the 
Manchester and Salford Congregational Association. 

" Behold I lay in Zion for a foundation, a stone, a tried stone, a precious 
corner stone, a sure foundation." Isaiah xxviii., 16. 

Architects : Hayley and Brown, Manchester. Builders : W. and H. 
Southern, Salford. 

Mr. Coombs gave a " short history of the circumstances which 
led to the commencement of a building in that place," from which 
the following passage is extracted : 

1 " Congregational Magazine" for 1837, p. 815. 


Some time ago a number of his congregation, who distributed tracts in 
that district, were induced by the condition and population of the neighbour 
hood to establish the Hope Street Sunday School, where, in addition to 
reading, Divine service had been conducted on Sunday evenings l and one 
other evening in the week, and the schoolroom had been so much crowded 
both by adults at the religious services and by about 300 scholars for 
instruction that repeated calls had been made for the erection of a place of 
worship, and it was determined to erect one previously to the formation of 
the Congregational Association in March last. Subsequently it was agreed 
to unite with that association, and this was the first of six chapels which it 
was in the contemplation of the Association to erect in different parts of 
Manchester and Salford, and their immediate neighbourhood. 2 

The chapel was completed and opened for public worship on 
Wednesday, December 5th, 1838, when Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, 
preached in the morning from 2 Cor., iv., 5 ; and in the evening 
the Rev. James Parsons, of York, from Psalm Ixxxvii., 3. The 

1 The Rev. John Anyon, of Pendlebury, assisted by Messrs. Robert 
Dracup, William Dracup, Thomas Harrison, and Joseph Gill conducted these 

* This account, taken from the Congregational Magazine for 1837, ends 
by saying : We understand that land has already been purchased for 
another chapel to be erected by the Congregational Association in Quay 
Street, Manchester, and another plot at the top of Northumberland Street, 
Higher Broughton, near the Zoological Gardens. The other sites at present 
proposed or contemplated are the neighbourhood of Swan Street, Ancoats, 
or St. George s Road, the vicinity of Red Bank, or at Miles Platting." It is 
interesting to note that in connection with this effort a memorial was sent to 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer asking for the remission of the " duties on 
the excisable articles to be used in their erection, as brick, timber, and glass, 
&c.," which would probably amount to .2,000, and " which duties are 
remitted on the building materials employed in the erection of new 
"Episcopal 1 churches." The reply of the Chancellor, through his son, Mr. 
Rice, was that, as he was not " prepared to recommend to Parliament a 
measure for the building of Dissenting places of worship at the public 
expense, he could not consent to a vote accomplishing that object through 
the means of *;he remission of rates " This led the memorialists to write : 
" The distinction between remitting a tax and voting a grant must be obvious 
to a child ; but as Mr. Rice will not see it, we hope that some of his able 
Dissenting supporters at Cambridge will, on his n^xt visit to his constituents, 
take him to the elegant new chapel they have recently built, and there make 
the Right Hon. Gentleman understand that they do not see the equity of a 
Liberal Government affording a bounty on church building while they impose 
a drawback upon the erection of Dissenting chapels." 


collections amounted to ^122 153. ; and in the afternoon, when 
" about eighty gentlemen, ministers, and influential members from 
neighbouring churches sat down to an excellent dinner in the 
schoolroom under the chapel," the sum of ,95 was subscribed. The 
cost of the building, including an enlargement in 1843, was ^3,610. 
Almost immediately 1 after " upwards of forty members, including 
two of the deacons " belonging to the Chapel Street Church, " in 
the best spirit," retired "from their present fellowship " to form 
the new church at Hope Chapel. On the first Sunday in July, 
1839, the Rev. John Legg Poore, a student from Highbury 
College, who had been introduced to the notice of the church 
by Mr. Thomas Wilson, began his labours as the first minister of 
Hope Chapel. His ordination took place on the 3oth of October 
following, when Dr. Halley gave the charge to the minister. A 
rich ministry, in which Mr. Poore served the wider interests of his 
denomination not less faithfully than his own church, was brought 
to a termination in August, 1853, by his decision, in conjunction 
with the Rev. Richard Fletcher, of Grosvenor Street, to go to 
Australia in connection with the Colonial Missionary Society. 
Every part of the wide field over which that Society s operations 
extend was visited by Mr. Poore with beneficial results, and fly 
ing visits were paid to the old country to keep alive and deepen 
the Missionary spirit in the churches. He died at Mornington, 
Victoria, March 27th, 1867, aged fifty-one years. The Rev. George 
Burder Bubier was appointed Mr. Poore s successor at Hope 
Chapel. He was the son of the Rev. William Bubier, was born at 
Reading, February 2nd, 1823, and educated for the ministry at 
Homerton College. Previous to his settlement at Hope Chapel 
he held pastorates at Ossett, Essex, Brixton, and Cambridge, re 
moving from the latter place to Salford in March, 1853. His ministry 
here of over ten years is described as the period when 
" his most characteristic and permanent work was done." In 
1864 he accepted the position of Professor of Theology 
and Philosophy in Spring Hill College, in conjunction with 
the pastorate of Acock s Green Congregational Church. In 
the midst of these labours he died on Friday, March igth, 1869, 

1 The church was formed on January 8th, 1839, when thirty-six 
members were transferred from Chapel Street Church for that purpose. 


and was interred the following Wednesday in Salford Cemetery 
by the side of "his beloved boy." The Rev. .R. W. Selbie, B.A., 
educated at Lancashire College, and ordained at Chesterfield, 
March i6th, 1853, removed from this place to become Mr. 
Bubier s successor at Hope Chapel, in July, 1866. In 1867 the 
new school buildings were opened, the cost of which was ^7,000. 
Mr. Selbie concluded a useful ministry in 1883, and is now resident 
without charge in Salford. 1 His son is the Rev. W. B. Selbie, 
M.A., pastor of the Highgate Congregational Church, London. 
The Rev. R. G. Leigh, from Mossley, formerly of Farnworth and 
Egerton," and at one time a scholar in Hope Chapel Sunday 
School, 5 became Mr. Selbie s successor in November, 1885, and 
still continues a ministry full of promise. Hope Chapel has sitting 
accommodation for about 1,100 people, and the share which the 
church took in establishing the Congregational Churches at 
Eccles and Swinton has already been noticed. It deserves to be 
recorded that the church has been fruitful in supplying men for 
the ministry. The following persons have been associated with 
it: Revs. G. S. Barrett, B.A., Norwich, Chairman of the Con 
gregational Union of England and Wales for 1894; F. Carter, 
Northwich; J. A. Meeson, M.A., LL.B., Harrogate; A. C. Smith, 
Welford ; and R. G. Leigh, the present minister. 

Richmond Congregational Church is a second off-shoot from 
Chapel Street, but it originated in a less happy way than the one 
whose history precedes. Dr. Massie s strained relations with his 
people, which eventually resulted in the secession of ninety-seven 
members from his church, have been already named. Theseceders 
"entered into an agreement to take an old disused Unitarian 
Chapel in Dawson s Croft, Greengate," a building " almost hidden 
in a narrow passage," 4 and here worship was commenced in March, 
1843. The church was formally recognised on the 25th of May 
following by the other Congregational Churches of the neighbour 
hood, and in October of the same year the Rev. David Everard 

1 Mr. Selbie died on August ist of this year, in his 6pth year. 
s Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 His father, Mr. Charles Leigh, was one of the first Secretaries of the 
Sunday School. 

4 The Congregational Monthly " for 1892, p. 324. 


Ford was invited to become pastor. Mr. Ford was the son of the 
Rev. David Ford, of Long Melford, in Suffolk, where he was bora 
September 1 3th, 1797. He was educated at Wymondley College, 
having as a fellow-student " his life-long friend," Dr. Binney ; and 
during his student days he " took charge of the neglected village 
of Wood End, some nine miles distant from the college, where he 
not only gathered a congregation, but was the means of building a 
chapel." On the completion of his college course lie settled at 
Lymmgton, in Hampshire, where he remained until the end of 
1853, when he accepted the invitation of the new church at 
Salford, then worshipping in the temporary building in Greengate. 
He did so on the understanding that a new chapel should be 
erected at once, and it was decided to secure a site in Brotighton, 
near Broughton Bridge, which was owned by the Rev. John 
Clowes. Mr. Clowes was inclined to sell, but "the proposal to 
erect a Nonconformist chapel in the select district of Broughton 
was scouted by the Church of .England party as an outrage, and 
Mr. Clowes was entreated to withhold his sanction to the proposal 
to desecrate this Episcopalian preserve." Mr. Clowes yielded to 
the pressure of his friends, and the Congregationalists " chose the 
most eligible site they could obtain in Salford, the garden of Mr. 
Thomas Agnew, called Richmond Hill, which was purchased in 
December, 1844, on chief rent at the price of one shilling per 
yard." The foundation stone of the new building was laid in 
May, 1845, by Mr. James Carlton, and the opening services were 
held on the 22nd and 23rd of April of the following year, the 
preachers being the Revs. Dr. Raffles, Dr. George Smith, of London ; 
Dr. Halley, Dr. Dobbin (Wesleyan), J. A. James, of Birmingham; 
and \V. L. Thornton, of Didsbury College. The collections 
reached the handsome sum of ^88 1, and the total expense of the 
undertaking was .5,136. Mr. Ford laboured with great success 
until May, 1858, when he resigned. He continued, however, for 
some time to reside in Manchester, and served the churches by 
preaching the gospel, which was " still the joy of his life." He 
died at Bedford, October 23rd, 1875, his remains being 
laid in the Harpurhey Cemetery, Manchester. He was 
the author of "Decapolis," "Chorazin," "Damascus," "Lao- 
dicea," "Pastoral Addresses," and "Alarm in Zion," works 

THE REV. D. J. HAMER. 223 

"widely known and influential;" and as a musician and 
composer of hymn tunes he was not unknown. His two sons 
Mr. G. N. Ford and Mr. P. N. Ford, resident in Manchester, 
are prominent figures in the Congregational world, and worthily 
uphold an honoured name. The Rev. David Home, B.A., whose 
ministerial training was obtained at Airedale College, and who 
had previously laboured at Sunderland, held the pastorate from 
February, 1861, to 1862, when he resigned. In 1865 he became 
the minister of Hope Chapel, Hanley, and is now resident at 
Ahrincham without charge. His nephew is the cultured and 
eloquent young minister of Kensington, the Rev. C. Sylvester 
Home, M.A. The vacancy at Richmond Chapel was occupied 
from 1863 to 1867 by the Rev. J. Dickerson Davies, M.A., 
educated at New College, and previously of Guernsey. An 
affliction of the throat and failing health compelled him to 
relinquish the pastorate, but the church " generously continued his 
salary for a year." Mr. Davies is now at Burgess Hill. The Rev. 
D. Jones Hamer, a student from Lancashire College, was appointed 
in May, 1867, and three years afterwards school buildings 
were erected at a cost of ,3,500. In 1875 a considerable 
number of the wealthiest supporters of the church left to 
form the new church at Broughton Park, previous to which the 
carriages waiting on a Sunday for the conclusion of the service at 
Richmond Chapel caused it to be called " the carriage way to 
heaven." Two years later, the sum of ,2,200 was raised, the 
interest of which was to meet the " chief rent " charge, and in the 
same year Mr. Hamer resigned "amid unanimous testimonies 
of the high level and fine influence of his ministrations." From 
Salford he removed to Wolverhampton, and subsequently to Mel 
bourne, where he died suddenly, March 7th, 1886, aged forty years. 
The Rev. Robert Craig, M.A., educated at Glasgow University, 
ordained in 1866, minister of the E. U. Church, Blackfriars Street, 
Glasgow, and subsequently Professor in the Evangelical Union 
Theological Hall, succeeded Mr. Hamer in September, 1878. He 
successfully held the pastorate until August, 1885, when he removed 
to Brighton Street E. U. Church, Edinburgh, where he still labours. 
In the January following the Rev. B. J. Snell, M.A., B.Sc., 
educated at New Co^ege, and who had previously ministered at 


Newcastle-on-Tyne, received an invitation to the pastorate, which 
he accepted. It was during his ministry that new and more com 
modious premises were erected in 1890 for the Adelphi Ragged 
School, 1 costing over ^1,900. In 1891, to the regret of his 
congregation, Mr. Snell removed to Brixton, having accepted an 
invitation to succeed the late Dr. Stevenson in the pulpit so long 
associated with the fervid eloquence of ^the Rev. J. Baldwin 
Brown, BA. The Rev. H. H. Snell, B.A., succeeded his brother, 
March i3th, 1892. He also was educated at New College, settled first 
at Wednesbury, Staffs., then at Wickliffe Congregational Church, 
Leicester, becoming afterwards the minister of the Octagon Chapel 
(Unitarian), Norwich. Finding himself, however, out of sym 
pathy with Unitarianism he publicly announced his inability 
to continue his ministry in that denomination, and after a 
brief period was called to the pastorate of Richmond Chapel, 
where he still labours amidst encouraging signs of success. 
Connected with the church is an important branch of the 
P. S. A. Society ; and it may be interesting to note that the 
amount of money raised by the church since its commencement 
to the end of last year is ^54,876 195. 5d. 


THE Congregational Church at Pendleton owes its origin to the 
New Windsor Congregational Church. One of its deacons 
" most laudably exerted himself, not only to raise a good Sunday 
School here, but to gather a congregation of devout worshippers." 
This deacon was Mr. John Hewitt, who found valuable helpers in 
Messrs. Isaac Cleasby and P. Dickens. Mr. Hewitt commenced 
work at Charlestown, then in a sadly neglected condition, on 
September 27th, 1829. About 100 children were present when 
the school was opened, and Sunday evening services were soon 

1 The Ragged School was carried on for many years in a private house, 
but in May, 1888, a Building Committee for the present new school was 


started. A large schoolroom was built and opened for public 
worship, June 27th, 1830, when the Rev. George Taylor, of New 
Windsor, was the preacher. For five years after the opening of 
the school the scholars, who were known as Mr. Hewitt s "ragged 
regiment," were regularly marched to New Windsor Chapel. 
Finding, however, the distance to be inconvenient, " the 
establishment of a branch church was, after much deliberation and 
many prayers, determined." 1 Accordingly, on New Year s Day, 
1836, the Rev. George Taylor, "with much feeling and many 
fears," dismissed from his church at New Windsor nine 
members. Mr. Hewitt being one of the number, to become 
the nucleus of the church whose place of meeting was then 
at Charlestown. Until the time of his retirement from the 
New Windsor Church Mr. Taylor presided at all the meetings of 
the young church, and "administered Christ s ordinances either 
personally or by means of his friend, Dr. Clunie." In February, 
1838, the Rev. John Anyon was asked to work the church along 
with his own at Pendlebury, which he did until July 3ist, 
1843, when he resigned the charge of Charlestown, and 
the connection between the two places ended. In the 
following August a call was presented to the Rev. A. E. Pearce, 
which he accepted. Born at Barrington, Cambridgeshire, 
March i4th, 1811, and designed for the medical profession, 
he was placed under a doctor at Cambridge to pursue 
his studies. Advised, however, by the Rev. J. A. James 
and others to enter the ministry, he went to Birmingham 
and attended lectures at Spring Hill College, preaching at the 
same time at Lozells Chapel. From this place he removed to 
Charlestown, and the congregation growing under his preaching a 
new chapel became necessary. In a description of the structure 
written at the time of its erection, in 1847, it is said to be "most 
eligibly situated in the centre of the populous township of 
Pendleton," to be " a handsome stone building of Gothic outline, 
after the example of Whitby Abbey," having accommodation for 
about 600 persons. Spacious and convenient schoolrooms were 
constructed under the chapel, the cost of the whole being about 
^4,500, towards which Sir E. Armitage and Mr. Hewittgave ^"1,000 

1 " Evangelical Magazine " for 1846, p. 563. 


each. A " beautiful and effective organ," which cost originally 
400 guineas, was presented to the church by Mr. Samuel Fletcher. 
The opening service took place on July i4th, 1847, when the 
Revs. Dr. Raffles and James Parsons were the preachers. In the 
two schools there were said to be 800 scholars. In the new 
home the church assumed the new name of the Pendleton 
Congregational Church. The condition of Mr. Pearce s health 
led to his resignation and removal to St. Heliers, Jersey, in 
November, 1857, where he laboured till his death, January 
i6th, 1867. He published a course of lectures on "Inspiration " 
and a little volume entitled " A Voice in Rama Hushed," 
which is described as "a gem of its kind," "written in a 
chaste and elegant style." 1 In May, 1858, the Rev. S. St. Neots 
Dobson, B.A., educated at Airedale College, and formerly of York, 
then co-pastor at Yarmouth, succeeded Mr. Pearce at Pendleton. 
He resigned in January, 1867, and subsequently laboured at Dover 
and Bungay, in Suffolk. It was during Mr. Dobson s ministry 
that a new school was erected at a cost of ^2,400, the 
foundation stone of which was laid on October 8th, 1864,. 
by James Sidebottom, Esq. The opening service took place on 
July 1 2th, 1867, and it deserves to be noted that the building 
contains a seven-light stained glass window, the gift of Mr, 
Lightbown, one of the deacons. In July of the same year the Rev. 
Edwin Walker assumed the pastorate. He also was educated 
at Airedale College, and previous to his coming to Pendleton 
was co-pastor to the Rev. J. E. Millson, of Southport, 
for about two years. Mr. Walker s career in Pendleton was " one 
of peaceful, quiet, steady prosperity." His sudden death on 
February i7th, 1891, came as a shock to his brethren in the 
district, by whom he was greatly beloved. The Rev. J. W. Kiddle r 
" one of his oldest friends/ conducted a short service in his house 
previous to removing the body for interment in Salford Cemetery,, 
on February 2oth. In the church in which he preached so long 
is a memorial tablet thus inscribed : 

In loving memory of the Rev. Edwin Walker, who died February lyth, 
1891, in the forty-nineth year of his age, and who was for twenty-three years- 
the faithful and devoted pastor of this church. " Blessed are the peace 
makers, for they shall be called the children of God." 

1 " Evangelical Magazine" for 1848, p. 583. 


The Rev. H. E. Radbourne, educated at Nottingham and 
Cheshunt, and whose previous pastorates have been at Newcastle- 
on-Tyne and Broughton Park, Manchester, 1 began his ministry at 
Pendleton, July, 1891, which he successfully continues. 

In 1855 many of those who went from Charlestown to Pend^ton 
resolved to return and form another church. This was done on 
February 25th, in that year, the Rev. G. Palmer, of Ashley Lane, 
presiding on the occasion. The Rev. John Spencer Hill, educated 
at Bedford, and formerly of Cheltenham, became the minister, 
November i6th, 1856. He remained until 1860, when he resigned, 
and was subsequently for a short time minister at Middleton. 2 
The Rev. . G. Barnes, a student from Cavendish College, Man 
chester, followed in 1863. It was during his ministry that the 
present chapel was erected, the foundation stone of which was laid 
on October ist, 1864. It was opened by Dr. Allon the following 
year, and its cost, including extras, is given as .3,768. The sitting 
accommodation provided is for 550 persons. Amongst the liberal 
friends of the movement were Sir Elkanah Armitage and Sons. 
Indeed it is recorded that the erection was the result of their 
"promise of generous assistance, personal and pecuniary." Mr. 
Barnes remained until 1867, when he resigned and entered the 
ministry of the Established Church. His successor was the Rev. 
D. N. Jordan, B.A., a student from Spring Hill College, who 
accepted the church s invitation October 6th, 1867. He did a 
useful work until February, 1875, when he removed to Cheadle 
Hulme. It was during his ministry that new schools were erected 
at the cost of Sir E. Armitage. In May, 1875, the Rev. J. W. 
Kiddle, from Coventry, became the pastor, removing in October, 
1884, to Stretford, where he still labours. 3 The Rev. D. W. 
Jordan, B. A, returned to his old charge in 1885, and remained 
until his death, March 28th, 1888. The present pastor is the Rev. 
J. M. Carrack, B.A, a student from Airedale College, who suc 
ceeded Mr. Jordan in the year of his decease. 

Seedley Congregational Church is the outcome of a secession 
from the New Windsor Church in 1868. Meetings were first held 

1 Vide ante p. 195. 

2 Vide p. 277. 

* Vide ante p. 77. 


in a Ragged School, Ellor Street, where a church was formed con 
sisting of twenty-nine persons, the Rev. H. W. Walker, Chaplain of 
Salford Cemetery, presiding on the occasion. Shortly afterwards 
services were transferred to Blair s Cottage, Cross Lane, then to 
Wilton House, where the congregation remained about six years. 
Mr. Wyatt became the lay pastor during this period, and remained 
such about sixteen months, the Rev. H. W. Walker also giving 
valuable assistance. On September i3th, 1873, the foundation 
stone of the present School Chapel, in West Liverpool Street, was 
laid by Henry Lee, Esq. The new erection was opened in 1874, 
by the Rev. D. Jones Hamer, of Richmond Chapel. It cost 
; 1,156, and the sitting accommodation provided for 350 persons. 
In 1874 the Rev. William Knox, formerly of Farnworth and 
Kirkham, 1 became the minister. He resigned in 1877, and sub 
sequently became pastor of the Chapel Street Church, Salford. - 
After his removal the church was without a minister for several 
years, during which period the Rev. J. W. Kiddle met the deacons 
at stated intervals, and presided over church and other meetings. 
In March, 1882, Mr. R. P. Ellis was chosen lay pastor. He 
resigned through ill health in 1886, and in June of the following 
year, Mr. B. Wyld accepted the lay pastorate. The schools were 
enlarged during his ministry. He left in 1890, and in January, 
1892, the present lay pastor, Mr. Bescoby, took charge of the con 
gregation. The premises are free from debt, and there is land for 
a chapel when required. 

Regent Congregational Church originated in 1870 with a 
number of persons, who seceded from Hope Chapel. The first 
place of meeting was a small room in Regent Street, Salford, 
which, becoming too small for the congregation, a removal was 
effected in 1877, to Shaftesbury Hall, Robert Hall Street, and 
thence, after a short time, to the Liberal Club in Trafford Road. 
Valuable assistance was rendered the church at this time by the 
Revs. D. J. Hamer and J. W. Kiddle. The district was felt to be 
so important, that the Chapel Building Society purchased a large 
plot of land at a cost of nearly ^2,000, for the prospected new 
chapel. The next remove was to the Conservative Club, but 

1 Vide vols. i. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide ante p. 217. 


these premises also soon ceased to be equal to the requirements 
of the work. About three years ago, the church was on the eve of 
disbanding, when the Revs. B. J. Snell, M.A., and J. W. Kiddle, as 
the representatives of the Ministers and Deacons Association, met 
the members, and advised them to keep together. This they did, 
and since then the state of things has greatly improved. In 1891, 
Regent Church, after an absence of a few years, re-appeared on 
the list of County Union stations, and in September, 1892, a new 
iron chapel was opened in Elizabeth Street, Trafford Road. The 
cost was about ,500, and the sitting accommodation is for 400 
persons. There is no minister : students from the college give 
valuable assistance. 



THE Uniformity Act of 1662 found a victim in Oldham as it did 
in so many other Lancashire towns. The Rev. Robert Constan- 
tine was in that year ejected from its Parish Church, and thus 
became the father of Oldham Nonconformity. He was the 
third son of the Rev. Thomas Constantine, the rector of Taxall, 
in Cheshire, was baptised March i4th, 1618-9, educated under Mr. 
Greenby at Glossop, where his widowed mother lived, and matricu 
lated in the third class at Glasgow, in May, 1638. He was pre 
sented by the people of Oldham to a meeting of the Manchester 
Classis, on November 3rd, 1647, "f r allowance to be their 
minister," having previously been for a few years at Fairfield and 
Buxton, in Derbyshire. In 1650 the Parliamentary Commissioners 
reported thus concerning him and his charge : 

Wee alsoe psent that in the pishe of Ouldam there is one pish Church, 
and that Mr. Robte Constantine supplyes the Cure, And that hee is an Ortho 
dox Minister, and well qualliffyed in lyffe and conversacon, And put to 
officiate at Ouldam by Order from the Comittie of plundered Ministers, 
as wee belive, and that he should have for his sallery one hundred pounds p. 
ann out of the tyths in the same pish, but it is not all payed him as yett ; 
.And wee psent the tyths of the said pish to bee worth one hundred and forty 
pounds p. ann. 1 

Up to October, 1650, Mr. Constantine s name appears as 
Minister of Oldham, when, refusing the Engagement, "Justice 
Ashton, of Chatterton, vigorously prosecuted him so as to force 
him to remove." 2 Invited to Birstall, in Yorkshire, he remained 

1 " Commonwealth Church Survey " (Record Society Series, vol. i.), 
. 22. 

2 Calamy s Nonconformist s Memorial " (1802), vol. ii., p. 371. 

DR. JOHN LAKE. 2 3 1 

there until March, 1654-5, when he was reinstated in his former 
charge at Oldham. During the intervening period the pulpit was 
occupied by the Rev. John Lake, who first got in as a " supplyer." 
The Constantine party, however, never allowed matters to rest 
until they had brought about the restoration of their old minister. 
The following were the articles which they exhibited against Mr. 
Lake : 

Imp. That the said Mr. John Lake hath been a grand cavaleire in former 
tymes, and is yett a frequent companion of malignant and disafected people. 

2. That in all congregacons where the said Mr. John Lake hath officiated as 
minister [he] hath by the godly been reputed to be an enemy to reformacon 
and the power of godlyness. 

3. That whereas one, Mr. Robert Constantyne, a Godly minister, who was 
settled at Ouldham by order from the hon r ble parlamt was, by reason of the 
informacon of some disafected p sons, detained and kept from the congrega- 
con, and the said Mr. John Lake, in his absence, in a subtle way gott in as a 
supplyer of the congregacon ; upon his admittance made sollome promises 
and protestacons not to settle himselfe as minister ther. 

4. That the said Mr. John Lake, shortly after hee was gott in, gave notice 
hee would administer the sacramt to the congregacon, who then did, and still 
doth, administer the same in a general and promiscuous way, contrarie to the 
rule injoyned by the hon r ))e parlam*-, or practised by any reformed congre 
gacon, admitting thereunto many cavaliers of remote parte ; and invaies in 
his sermons against the Godly, because they doe not, nor in conscience can 
they, come in and joyne with such to abuse the ordinance of Christ. 

5. That the said Mr. John Lake, not regarding his promise nor protestacon, 
with the ade and assistance of some whom he had honoured with his 
promiscuous administracon of the sacram 1 , gott hands to a writting or peti 
tion, many of which said hands were persons of another parish, which was 
sent, as wee alsoe are given to understand, to the honr ble Committee of 
Plundered Ministers, and thereupon an order granted for his settlement, in 
which order is expressed that the s d Mr. Constantyne was sequestered from 
his place, whereas hee was never proceeded against in poynt of sequestracon, 
nor called to any tryal. 

6. That the said Mr. John Lake, since hee obtained the said order, doth 
much countenance loose persons, indevoringe with all his power to settle such 
in offices to serve his and their one designes for the discorishment of such as 
desire reformation. 

7. That the said Mr. John Lake doth baptyse basthardes, not onely of his 
own congrecon but of other parishps, the parents not giveing satisfaccon to 
congrecon, w e >> thinges doth very much discorish the harts of the godly. 1 

1 " Manchester Classis " (Chetham Society, New Series, vol. xxiv.), 
P. 386. 


Dr. John Lake (for such he afterwards became) was subse 
quently rector of Prestwich, and Bishop of Chichester, being one 
of the " Seven Bishops " committed to the Tower by James II. in 
1688. Mr. Constantine remained at Oldham until 1662, when 
he was ejected. In 1671 he was living at Salford, but the Indul 
gence Act of the following year saw him with a license for preach 
ing in a thatched house at Greenacres. The liberty which the 
Nonconformists had enjoyed under this Act was withdrawn after a 
few months, and if Mr. Constantine and his friends had worship 
at all during the years of persecution which immediately followed 
it would be in secret, and at irregular times. Previous to 1695, 
though how long is not clear, he was living in a house at Green- 
acres, which did duty also as a place of worship. Writing in 
1854 the Rev. G. G. Waddington thus describes this building: 

It has no pretensions to architectural beauty. It simply consists of two 
cottage-dwellings ; one now in the occupation of Robert Lees, and another 
recently occupied by John Kinder ; a farmhouse occupied by Mr. James 
Mills and a barn and cowhouse also in the tenancy of Mr. Mills. The 
cottages, farmhouse, barn, and shippon constitute one long and rather 
irregular building, having a somewhat antiquated appearance, and suggest 
ing the idea that it was formerly a residence of considerable respectability, 
fitted for the occupation of a thoroughly wealthy farmer, or yeoman. 1 

The death of his wife, on March 29th, 1695, and Mr. Constan- 
tine s own infirmities, led to his retirement from ministerial duty 
and to his removal to Manchester, where he died some four years 
after. In the " Northowram Register " appears the following : 

Mr. Robt. Constantine, formerly parson of Oldham, lived and dyed in 
Manchester, bur. at Oldham, Dec. 16, 99, aged 8o. a 

Upon his tombstone, in the Oldham Parish Church graveyard, 
is the following inscription : 

Here lyeth the bodye of 

Who was buried December I4th, 1699 ; 

and FRANCIS, his Wife, 

who was buried March the 29th, 1695 ; 

and SARAH, his Daughter, wife of Ellis Rainshaw, 

of Manchester, Apothecary, 
Who was buried May 22nd, 1695. 

1 " History of Greenacres Chapel," p. 7. 

2 Page 99. The reader will note a discrepancy in the date here given 
with the one on Mr. Constantine s tombstone. 


Calamy says that in the "prime of life he was a man of a clear 
head, fruitful abilities, solid learning, and a pleasant conversation. 
He was also a well-accomplished preacher, having a good method, 
an audible voice, and an agreeable delivery. But, living to be 
very old, his faculties decayed, and he was superannuated with 
respect to his work. He died, however, as he had lived, in good 
credit both with ministers and private Christians. 1 1 His only son, 
Samuel, baptised at Oldham, November 25th, 1660, died of con 
sumption, and was buried there on the 6th of August, 1683. The 
immediate successors of Mr. Constantine are not known ; but a 
Mr. Lawton, afterwards of Liverpool, 2 and the Rev. James Hardy, 
of Stockport, are named in this connection, though whether they 
were more than occasional supplies has not been ascertained. 
Nor is it known when the Rev. Benjamin Denton, M. A., the 
next minister, took charge of the congregation. He came from 
Halifax, and appears to have been intimate with Oliver Heywood, 
being several times mentioned in his diaries. His place of residence 
was at Birrowshaw Hill, and, in addition to his pastoral duties, he 
taught a school. The building in which he preached was the 
third which the Nonconformists of Oldham had licensed for 
worship, and the first chapel proper. Mr. Waddington describes 
it thus in 1854 : 

A stranger, looking at the building from the South East point of view, 
would not readily suppose that it had been formerly used as a place of 
worship. The lapse of seventy years since it was last used for that purpose 
may easily be supposed to have altered its outward appearance, as well as its 
internal arrangement. From its rectangular shape, however, and the position 
in which it stands, it is not difficult to imagine that in its best days it was a 
tolerably neat and commodious place of worship. . . The building was 
not erected, nor originally intended, for divine worship, and appears to have 
been selected as the most suitable in the neighbourhood for that purpose, and 
capable of being easily altered and adapted tor the convenient accommoda 
tion of a congregation. Prior to the year 1699, the building consisted of a 
barn and a low house attached to it. From this circumstance it was called 
the " Greenacres Barn " for many years after it was converted into a chapel. 
The land in front of this building was originally used as a farm yard in con- 

1 "Nonconformist s Memorial" (1802), vol. ii., p. 371. 

2 Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity," for information about 
the family, who appear to have had an estate at Counthill. 


nection with the shippon. It afterwards served the purpose of a chapel-yard. 
The building is now converted into cottages, and the ground connected with 
it is added to the grave yard, or used for the accommodation of the cottage 
dwellings now occupied by William Hanson and Cyrus Rhodes. 1 

It was this building which the Sacheverel rioters partially de 
stroyed on June 2ist, 1715. Unless Mr. Denton had as assistant 
the Rev. James Burgess, who follows him in the ministerial roll, 
his ministry terminated some years before his death, 2 but he 
continued to reside in his house at Barrowshaw Hill. In the 
Oldham Parish Church Registers is the following, under date 
1743: "January iSth, Mr. Benjamin Denton (late Dissenting 
teacher at Greenacres) Buried from Counthill." His successor 
was the Rev. James Burgess, already named. He had previously 
laboured at Darwen, and came to Oldham about 1733, residing at 
Hey. In 1745 he purchased some houses at Barrowshaw Hill 
from Lydia Denton, sister to the Rev. Benjamin Denton. About 
1746 Mr. Burgess left his church at Greenacres to take charge of 
the new interest at Delph, across the Yorkshire border, which had 
originated with the church at Greenacres. He died at Hey some 
time before 1775. The Rev. Edward Harrison, a farmer and 
village preacher, of Swindon in Craven, was the next minister. He 
was introduced to the Greenacres congregation by Mr. John 
Winterbottom, of Green Lane, a woollen manufacturer, who 
frequently went to Craven on business matters. Invited to preach a 
few sabbaths, Mr. Harrison did so, and with such acceptance that the 
church presented to him an invitation to the pastorate, to which he 
acceded. The journey on horseback from Swindon to Greenacres 
was attended with a serious accident, which eventually resulted in 
Mrs. Harrison s death. 4 Thus the new minister entered upon his 
duties amidst the gloom of family affliction, the discouragements of 
"a weak and declining" church, and with the prospect of an 

1 " History of Greenacres Chapel," pp. 33, 34. 

2 Mr. Waddington says "it appears highly probable that Mr. Denton 
closed his life and ministry together in January, A.D. 1743." ("History of 
Greenacres Chapel," p. 51). For ten years, however, his successor had been 
labouring here at that time. 

3 Videvo!s. ii. and iii of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for full informa 
tion about the Revs. James Burgess, father and son ; also p. 293 of this volume. 
4 Vide vol iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


income " small and insufficient for the support of a minister in any 
tolerable degree of respectability and comfort." Amongst those of 
his people who showed great kindness is named Jeremiah Fielding, 
of Hartshead, whose sister attended Mrs. Harrison until her death, 
and afterwards married the bereaved husband. Mr. Harrison lived 
in a house situated in a field called the Hare Hill, at the top of 
Strines Fold, and after remaining about three years at Greenacres 
he returned to Swindon. His son, the Rev. Joseph Harrison, was 
for some years minister of Bethel Chapel, Bury. 1 The Rev. Mr. 
Gladstone is mentioned as the next minister, but concerning him 
all information is wanting. 2 His successor was the Rev. Robert 
Harrop, who was admitted a student in Daventry Academy in 1761. 
In 1765 he became minister of Millbrow, in Derbyshire, and 
Greenacres, continuing this double pastorate until 1769, when he 
removed to Hale, in Cheshire. Here he remained until 1816, 
having charge for about six years of the congregation at Cross Street 
(Cheshire), afterwards of the Altrincham congregation for about 
two years, in addition to his pastorate at Hale. In 1816 he retired 
from ministerial duty, being <hen seventy years old, but he lived 
some twenty-one years longer, having attained to the patriarchal 
age of ninety-one at the time of his death. The Rev. William 
James followed. He is described as rustic in appearance, of plain 
and simple manners, hyper-Calvinistic in doctrine, lively and 
earnest in his preaching, and fond of anecdotes, which he often 
repeated in his sermons. He lodged with one William Wrigley, at 
the top of the meadows, in the neighbourhood of Strines, whose 
wife, Mary Wrigley, used to lead the little black pony upon which 
the minister rode to chapel when the infirmities of age rendered 
his walking thither impossible. "On these occasions," says Mr. 
Waddington, "it was not unusual for Mary Wrigley to allow the 
pony to stand grazing by the road side with the old minister on its 
back, whilst she stayed to converse with any acquaintance or friend 
who happened to meet them. The old gentleman does not appear 
to have considered this treatment as in any way disrespectful, but 
waited patiently until the pony and its conductor were ready to 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide p. 293. 


pursue their journey." 1 Increased accommodation became 
necessary a few years before Mr. James died, and how the erection 
of a chapel to supersede the modest structure which had done 
duty probably since the days of Robert Constantine was brought 
about, Mr. Waddington tells us in the following passage : 

One Sabbath day, about the year 1783, Mr. James was preaching with 
somewhat more than his accustomed energy of manner In the delivery of 
the sermon he happened to strike the pulpit rather heavily. The pulpit not 
being in a condition to bear such treatment, a portion of it was broken off, 
and fell on one of the hearers who was sitting near it. Mr. James then 
remarked that it was high time to build another chapel, for if they did not, 
some of the congregation might sustain serious injury. As the pulpit was 
in such a dilapidated and infirm condition, it may be inferred that the con 
dition of the pews was not very greatly superior. However this may have 
been, I am credibly informed that on the following week some of the leading 
members of the church and congregation met together, and consulted about 
the propriety of erecting a larger and better chapel. The result of their 
deliberations was a determination to erect a sanctuary at Greenacres suited 
to the requirements of the congregation and the surrounding neighbour 
hood. 2 

The building was commenced in 1784, and on May 4th, 1785, 
it was completed and opened for worship, the ministers assisting in 
the service being the Revs. David Bruce, of Liverpool ; R. Simpson, 
of Bolton ; and Noah Blackburn, of Tockholes ; the pastor, Mr. 
James, continuing the opening services on the following Sabbath. 
Shortly after this the infirmities of the minister made it necessary 
that he should have assistance in his duties, and John Handforth, 
probably a native of Oldham, was invited to the position. The 
appointment appears to have been of an " indefinite and irregular " 
character, and "led to serious misunderstandings and painful pro 
ceedings." Mr. James died May i2th, 1788, and shortly afterwards 
" those persons who thought that John Handforth was imposing 
himself on the people without having received a proper invitation, 
and that he was not eligible to be a minister, proceeded to give an 
invitation to the Rev. William Howell, of Knaresborough. "" 

1 "History of Greenacres Chapel," p. 61. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Ibid, p. 68. 


Much bitterness arose, litigation ensued ; but the matter was 
settled on October 3151, 1789, both Mr. Handforth and 
Mr. Howell withdrawing from the field. 1 The Rev. Thomas 
Hale was chosen to the pastorate a few months after the settle 
ment of the dispute. He was born in July, 1762, at Ross, 
in Herefordshire, and educated at Oswestry by the Rev. 
Edward Williams, subsequently Dr Williams, of Rotherham 
College. His first charge was Holywell, in Flintshire, whence, 
in 1790, he removed to Greenacres. His ministry of four years 
is said " to have improved the spirit of the church," against 
which the unhappy dispute previously mentioned had brought 
"a degree of odium" which "greatly injured its prosperity." 
His removal to the Old Chapel, Heckmondwike, in August, 1794, 
was occasioned by the " intense suffering and impoverishment of 
the people " at Greenacres, which made it impossible for them 
adequately to support him. At Heckmondwike, in addition to 
his pastorate, Mr. Hale kept a boarding school, and in this 
double sphere he continued to labour until death came to his 

1 Mr. Handforth afterwards settled at Congleton, in Cheshire, and 
subsequently at Gatley, where he was ordained July I5th, 1801. In Miall s 
" Congregationalism in Yorkshire " (p. 362) is the following, which may refer 
to the same person : " 1794 Rev. Handforth from Lancashire. He had been 
originally a soldier in the Spanish wars. He was not a man of education, 
but of great earnestness, and he left Skipton, 1797, much regretted." Mr. 
Howell had been educated by the Rev. Robert Gentleman, at Shrewsbury, 
and was ordained over the little church at Knaresborough in 1782. From 
the pen of his son, Mr. William Howell, the following appears in Miall s 
" Congregationalism in Yorkshire " (p. 299) : " My father was chosen by the 
London Missionary Society as the Superintendent of the Mission to the 
South Seas in the second voyage of the Duff. They sailed at the close of 
1799. The Duff was captured by a French privateer, and all the mission 
aries were carried to Monte Video. After a delay of some months they 
bought a brig, and set sail for England. They were next captured by a 
Portuguese flat, and taken to Lisbon. From thence they sailed for England, 
and arrived at Falmouth about the end of the year. My father at once 
resumed his charge of the church at Windsor Lane, after an absence of nearly 
a year. He continued to hold the pastorate till 1833, when he publicly 
resigned his charge, but preached once every Sunday until 1835, when he 
resigned entirely." He died on Monday, June 2Oth, 1842, in his 8gth year. 
(Evangelical Magazine, 1842, p. 573.) 


relief in 1821. In the graveyard of the chapel at Heckmondwike 
is a tombstone thus inscribed : 

Beneath this tombstone are deposited the remains of the 

who departed this life on the i7th day of May, 1821, 

in the 5Qth year of his age, 
and the 2yth of his ministry at this place. 

MARGARET, his wife, 
died at Dewsbury, February aand, 1835, 

in the yand year of her age. 

MARY HALE, only daughter of the above, 

died May 4th, 1836, aged 46 years. 

During the whole of Mr. Hale s ministry at Heckmondwike the 
pressure of the times was exceedingly great, and the congregation 
suffered seriously. He took their misfortunes and trade losses so 
grievously to heart that he became prematurely old. "During the 
last two years of his life," says his biographer, " he suffered so 
much from weakness that he was unable to stand through a service, 
and was obliged to preach sitting upon a high stool." 1 Brief as 
Mr. Hale s ministry at Greenacres was, and hard as were the times, 
he succeeded in getting the "Old Parsonage" erected in 1791, 
"a neat and respectable country house." The Rev. Wm. Coles 
was appointed his successor, August 27th, 1794. 

The following interesting account of his ordination is worth 
preserving because of the information it gives of the man as well as 
of the service itself : 

On Wednesday, the 2and of April [1795], was ordained at Greenacres, 
nine miles east of Manchester, the Rev. Mr. Coles. This gentleman was 
nourished up in the words of truth and sound doctrine, under the pastoral 
care of the Rev. Mr. Moody, of Warwick. Being devoted to the Christian 
ministry, he was sent for education to a minister who kept a small academy 
at Newcastle-under-Lyme. His first labours were at Uttoxeter, in Stafford 
shire ; but the heat of opposition was so great in that place that the people 
were deterred from attending his ministry, and he thought it his duty to 
remove. He then put himself under the direction of Mr. [Captain Jonathan] 
Scott, and was employed at Market Drayton, in Shropshire, and several 
other adjacent places. Greenacres being destitute of a stated pastor by the 
removal of Mr. Hale to Heckmondwike, a place celebrated in Yorkshire as 
a fountain which has enriched the garden of the Lord, Mr. Coles received a 

1 Peel s "Nonconformity in Spen Valley," p. 179. 


unanimous invitation, and thought it his duty there to settle. The ordina- 
nation was attended with great solemnity. The spirit of religion was kept 
up to the end, though the service was long ; as this service must be in the 
nature of things, as it obtains among the Dissenters. The introductory 
duties of the day were performed by the Rev. Mr. Blackburn, of Saddle- 
worth, Delph, who received a confession of faith from the minister strictly 
orthodox and well expressed. Mr. Handlezark, of Stockport, in Cheshire, 
prayed the ordination prayer with great fervency of mind. Paul s ministry, 
as related by himself to the elders of Ephesus, was urged by the Rev. Mr. 
Cockin as a pattern to the succeeding servants of God. And the Rev. Mr. 
Hale enforced the great duties of a congregation in a pathetic address from 
Phil, ii., 16. We were honoured at dinner with the company of two very 
sensible and serious Moravian ministers, and the conversation very agree 
ably turned upon the best methods of promoting religion in our own con 
gregations and in the distant parts of the wcrld. 1 

Mr. Coles is described as 

An intelligent man, of good abilities, active habits, and very respectable 
qualifications as a preacher. As to his personal appearance, rather little, 
slender, and dark complexioned. 2 

In the early part of 1801 he removed to Stand Chapel, and 
subsequently to Bakewell, in Derbyshire. 3 The Rev. Robert 
Jenkinson was the next minister. He had previously laboured a 
few years at Haslingden, where he was ordained, October 3oth, 
1797. He became successor to Mr. Coles, August i6th, 1801 ; 
but his death, on May 23rd, 1803, in his 2pth year, terminated a 
ministry which was full of promise. 4 The Rev. Joseph Galland 
followed. His father was the Rev. Robert Galland, minister of 
the Independent Church at Ilkeston, in Derbyshire, and subse 
quently at Holmfirth. Joseph Galland was born at Ilkeston, June 
29th, 1778, and was sent to a school at Tintwistle, kept by the 
Rev. Mr. Hudson, Congregational minister. Amongst his school 
fellows were Wm. Moorhouse and John Cockin, afterwards 
eminent Congregational ministers in Yorkshire. Sent to Batley to 
learn the woollen business, he attended the ministry of Mr. Hale, 
at Heckmondwike, formerly of Greenacres, and joined his church 
January ist, 1801. In September of that year, he was admitted 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1795, p. 290. 
" History of Greenacres Chapel," p. 82. 

3 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity," 

4 Vide vol. ii, of " Lancashire Nonconformity," for a copy of the inscrip 
tion on his tablet in the Greenacres Chapel. 


a student in Rotherham College, then under the presidency of Dr. 
Williams. On the completion of his college course he settled at 
Greenacres, commencing his duties as minister on the second 
Sunday in December, 1805. His ordination took place the 
succeeding year, an account of which is here subjoined : 

August 2oth. Mr. Galland, late student at the Rotherham Academy, was 
ordained pastor of the Independent Church at Green-Acres, Lancashire. 
Mr. Coles, of Stand, introduced the service by reading the Scriptures and by 
prayer ; Mr. Meldrum, of Hatherlow, discoursed on the nature of a Gospel 
Church ; Mr. Blackburn, of Delph, engaged in the ordination prayer ; Mr. 
Cockin, of Halifax, gave the charge from Acts xxvii., 23, 24 ; Mr. Roby, of 
Manchester, exhorted the church and congregation to be zealous ; and Mr. 
Evans, of Stockport, concluded with prayer. 1 

A ministry as honourable as it was lengthy was brought to a 
sudden termination by Mr. Galland s death, on September 24th, 
1843. In the chapel is a handsome marble monument thus 
inscribed : 

Sacred to the memory 

of the 


for the period of Thirty Eight Years, 
sustained the Pastoral Office in this House. 

Faithful and devoted 

he lived in the affections of his people, 

and the esteem of the public, 

and died, deeply lamented, 

Sept. 24th, 1843, 
in the 66th year of his age. 

The other Congregational interests in Oldham and neighbour 
hood are in great measure memorials of the earnest, self-denying 
labours of Mr. Galland, and it was in his time in 1822 that 
Greenacres Chapel was enlarged and considerably improved. On 
the 1 8th of February, 1844, the Rev. Benjamin Longley entered 
upon his labours as Mr. Galland s successor. He was a native of 
Sheffield, and was educated at Rotherham College. His first 
pastorate was at Southwold, in Suffolk, where he was ordained 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1806, p. 525. 


October 27th, 1824. Subsequently he laboured at Middles- 
borough, in Yorkshire, and Armitage, in Staffordshire, his next 
and last charge being Greenacres. He died January 6th, 1851, 
in the 54th year of his age. Some time previous to this he had 
retired from the ministry, being incapacitated by the " mental 
disorder" which had several times made its appearance in the 
course of his life. The Rev. G. G. Waddington, a student from 
Airedale College, followed in August, 1850, being ordained on 
the ist and 2nd of October following. The advent of the new 
minister was followed by two undertakings of considerable magni 
tude. First, new Sunday Schools, opened in January, 1851, 
superseded the two small schoolrooms which had been erected in 
1812; and on March 4th, 1854, Mr. John Lees laid the corner 
stone of the present commodious chapel, which took the place 
of the one erected in 1784. This building, capable of accom 
modating 800 people, was opened for public worship on 
Wednesday, August r6th, 1854, when Dr. Raffles, of Liver 
pool, preached in the morning from Matt, v., 47, and Dr. W. 
Lindsay Alexander, of Edinburgh, in the evening, from Luke 
xvii., 20; i Cor. iv., 20. The opening services were continued 
on the following Sunday, when the preacher was the Rev. 
John Waddington, afterwards Dr. Waddington, the historian of 
Congregationalism, and brother of the pastor. The total cost 
was ,2,323 i6s. 5d., towards which the Chapel Building 
Society granted the sum of ^500. This work was barely 
finished when Mr. Waddington undertook the erection of 
" Greenacres Grammar School," which has played an important 
part in the history of educational effort in Oldham. The founda 
tion stone was laid on December 2nd, 1854, by Mr. John Booth, 
of Lees, and the school was opened by a public soiree on 
November 29th, 1855, at which John Platt, Esq., of Werneth 
Park, presided. Mr. Waddington concluded a ministry of much 
usefulness on August i2th, 1865, and accepted no other pastorate. 
He is now clerk to the Dewsbury School Board, a position which 
he has held for over twenty years. His "History of Greenacres 
Chapel," first published in 1854 and reprinted in 1886, is an 
excellent work of its kind, and has been found exceedingly helpful 
in writing this sketch. The Rev. J. J. Williams, from Nayland, in. 


Suffolk, commenced his ministry in succession to Mr. Waddington, 
February 3rd, 1867. He resigned November i7th, 1878, having 
accepted an invitation to the Lowther Street Congregational 
Church, Carlisle. He was subsequently at Horwich, and is now 
at Garstang, near Preston. 1 

The Rev. Christopher Thompson, educated at Rotherham 
College, and who had previously had charge for a few years of the 
Congregational Church at Honley, near Huddersfield, entered 
upon his labours at Greenacres, July 6th, 1879. He resigned 
November 2oth, 1890, and was followed on April i3th, 1891, by 
the present minister, the Rev. T. K. Higgs, M. A., from Withington, 
Manchester.- It was during the pastorate of Mr. Thompson that 
a new parsonage was erected; and also, in 1890, new Sunday 
Schools, to accommodate 600 scholars, were put up, at a cost of 

Greenacres Congregational Church is one of the few Noncon 
formist churches in Lancashire which was proof against the 
Arianism of last century, which eventually landed so many of 
these old Nonconformist foundations in Unitarianism. It is 
supposed that Mr. Harrop s teachings ran in that direction, but 
he did not remain sufficiently long to leave any impression, and 
the church has the satisfaction of being able to look back upon an 
unbroken record of loyalty to evangelical truth. 


UNTIL the beginning of the present century the Congregational 
church at Greenacres was left alone to grapple with the ignorance 
and irreligion of Oldham and neighbourhood. In the early part of 
1807, however, the committee of the newly-formed County Union 
fixed upon Oldham as one of those places in Lancashire where 
Evangelistic work should be commenced, and the Rev. J. Galland, 
of Greenacres, was authorised " to take a room " for the preaching 
of the gospel. The Rev. George Partington, who had been edu- 

1 Vide vol. iii of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 
4 Vide ante p. 72. 


cated by Mr. Roby, and who subsequently became a minister of 
some eminence both in Lancashire and Derbyshire, was engaged 
as agent, but after a short time he was removed to Burnley. 1 There 
is no record of any further effort here until 1815, w he n the Union 
committee "applied to the trustees of a chapel then to be disposed 
of in that town, but the conditions of the sale not corresponding 
with the terms by which they were limited, they declined the pur 
chase." Disappointed there, a room was rented in Yorkshire 
Street, over a public house known as the " Sportsman s Arms." 
" Moss Garret " the place was called, access to which was gained 
by an outside ladder or uncovered staircase. As an illustration of 
the rude character of the times, and the perils to which our Con 
gregational forefathers were often exposed in the pursuit of their 
mission, the following incident is related : 

Whilst one of the preachers who had come from Manchester, and who 
rode a horse which his brother had ridden at Waterloo, was returning home 
after Sunday evening service, his horse took fright and galloped off at a high 
speed. At the end of two miles he saw -a man crouching in the road, 
evidently prepared to grasp the reins and rob the rider, whilst two other 
men stood at a distance ready to give help, to whom the first one was 
heard to say: "I can t; he gallops like the devil ! " Shortly afterwards the 
horse broke into a trot, and the rider arrived at home in safety. 

The good work grew, and in 1816 a church was formed 
consisting of eighteen members, and about 1820 the old theatre 
in Eagle Street was taken as " a more commodious place of 
worship." At this time the Rev. N. Scholefield had charge of 
Oldham and district, but "the toils of travelling to exchange with 
ministers in the district on every alternate Sabbath " led to his 
retirement after a few months- from a congregation which had 

1 Vide vols. ii. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 From Urwick s "Nonconformity in Cheshire" (p. 181) the following 
respecting Mr. Scholefield is extracted -. " In 1819, however, the Rev. Nathanael 
Scholefield, who had been pastor of the church at Henley-on-Thames for up 
wards of twenty-five years, became their [churches at Over and MinshullJ stated 
minister and pastor. He had been induced to come into Lancashire by Mr. 
Roby, of Manchester, principally because of the extensive field of labour 
offered him there, and he was for a short time engaged with much acceptance 
and success in Oldham, but his zeal and devotion becoming known to the 


"acquired a greater degree of consistency and stability." From 
the theatre the people removed to a large room in Queen Street, 
but the "access was bad, the room was uncomfortable, and so they 
were fain to resort again to the old theatre." Stated ministers 
and students from the Blackburn Academy supplied the pulpit 
until 1821, when it is said that a Mr. Harris 1 laboured acceptably 
during the greater part of the year, preaching "in four surrounding 
populous villages to attentive congregations." Hopes of a new 
chapel often raised since the commencement of the cause were 
as often disappointed until 1823, when the foundation stone was 
laid. A strong wind, however, blew down the east gable 
before the building was completed, and at the same time " the 
cause was deserted by several from whom the greatest pecuniary 
aid was expected." On the loth of October, 1823, however, the 
chapel was opened for public worship, of which event we have the 
following record : 

Oct. 10 [1823]. A new Independent Chapel was opened at Oldham, in 
Lancashire. Dr. Raffles and Mr. Roby preached in the afternoon and 
evening ; the other parts of the services were conducted by Messrs. Ramsey, 
Sutcliffe, Senior, Galland, and Fielding; the collections amounted to ^33. " l 

The chapel had sitting accommodation for about 470 people, and 
cost ;i,2oo. The gallery was pewed, " but not the area. That 
with the exception of four pews for grandees, should they take 

people of Over, they induced him to supply their pulpit for a season, and a 
mutual respect arising out of his visit, they invited him to become their 
pastor. The settlement of Mr. Scholefield was the beginning of good days 
for the church here. His zeal and earnestness soon drew together a large 
congregation, and the most lively satisfaction was experienced. But a year 
had barely run its round when it pleased God to transfer this faithful servant 
to the ranks of the church triumphant, after a short but severe illness. He 
had ccnducted three deeply interesting services on the Sabbath, and on the 
ensuing Wednesday, after having followed his pastoral duties, although 
ailing, he held a service in his own house, which was crowded to excess; but 
in the night he was taken suddenly ill, and in a few days on the loth July, 
1820 he entered upon his reward." 

1 Who was this? The Rev. George Harris subsequently settled here 
Was this the same person ? 

"Evangelical Magazine" for 1824, p. 2.4. 


courage and return under brighter circumstances was left open 
for Sabbath School instruction." 1 

Early in 1824 the Rev. George Harris, from Bury, accepted an 
invitation for twelve months. He was a man of "considerable 
learning, kind and gentle in his deportment, and very assiduous in 
his ministerial engagements ;" but at the end of the time for which 
he engaged with the Committee he left. 2 The Rev. Henry Birch 
followed in 1827. He was born at Sheffield, educated at Black 
burn Academy, and, previous to his coming to Oldham, had 
laboured a few years at Keighley, in Yorkshire. Like Mr. Harris, 
he remained only about twelve months, the difficulties which 
"pressed around the infant cause" preventing " suitable provision" 
being made for retaining his "acceptable services." "The attend 
ance at the chapel was now diminished to 100," writes the Rev. 
John Hodgson; "the Sunday School was given up, and everything 
looked gloomy and hopeless." Mr. Birch subsequently held 
pastorates at Malpas, Fordingbridge, Paisley, and Ledbury, and 
died at Sheffield, in 1874, aged seventy-four. He published, amongst 
other works, a volume entitled " Positive Theology." At the 
earnest request of Mr. Roby, the Rev. H. H. Leigh, of Manchester, 
became the minister in the spring of 1829. Mr. Hodgson writes : 

There was nothing inviting, certainly, in his new sphere of labour. 3 The 
congregation numbered nine persons ; and the following Sunday, a new family 
of six having settled in the town, the congregation amounted to fifteen. 

These unfavourable circumstances delayed Mr. Leigh s ordina 
tion until Thursday, May 26th, 1836, on which occasion the Revs. 

1 Historic account by the Rev. John Hodgson, in the "Queen Street 
Manual " for 1866. For much of the information in this article I am indebted 
to Mr. Hodgson s painstaking efforts. 

* Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 The first Sunday on which Mr. Leigh preached at Oldham it is said his 
chapel was greatly encumbered with debt, the people were few in number 
and very poor, there was much prejudice against them, partly because they 
had not been able to meet their liabilities in the erection of the chapel, and 
partly because of their discountenancing the impartation of secular instruction 
on the Lord s Day. Mr. Hodgson adds to this the following note: "For 
in 1833 school rooms were built at the cost of ^640, and a Sunday School 
opened for the religious instruction of the young." 


Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, gave the charge to the minister from 
2 Tim. iv., 5; Joseph Galland offered the ordination prayer; 
John Ely, of Leeds, "delivered the introductory discourse and 
received the confession of faith " ; John Holroyd, of Delph, " intro 
duced the services ; " and J. Sutcliffe, of Ashton-under-Lyne, 
preached to the people in the evening from Rev. ii., 29. Other 
ministers assisting were the Revs. G. Hoyle, Stalybridge ; R. 
Calvert, Upper Mill ; G. Partington, Glossop ; R. Ivy, Dukin- 


field ; and R. Jessop, Hope Chapel, Oldham. Previous to this 
the church had been dissolved and reorganised on " Scriptural 
principles;" and in 1836 "through the slow progress of the coach 
bearing the deputation to the County Union Meeting, and 
their consequent non-appearance when the case of Oldham came 
up, the church lost the usual grant." " This deprivation," says Mr. 
Hodgson, "roused them, invigorated their willinghood, called 
forth their prayers, and liberality, and effort, and was emphatically 


to them a crowning blessing. For, to their honour be it known, 
their pastor suffered no loss; they promptly, and with much self- 
denial, met the deficiency from their own resources." On the 2ist 
of April, 1841, Mr. Leigh died in the midst of his useful labours. 
At the commencement of 1843 the Rev. Thomas Brierley, a student 
from Rotherham College, was appointed to the pastorate. He 
resigned in October, 1844, and, after labouring a little over twelve 
months at Warrington, went into the Established Church. 1 From 
1844 to 1848 " the church was without pastor, the pulpit being 
supplied by students, and for a year by the Rev. James Munroe, 
one of the unattached in Manchester, an arrangement which 
proved very disastrous to the church, only increasing the dissension 
which had so long obtained." A new period of prosperity came 
to the church when the Rev. John Hodgson a student from 
Lancashire College became the minister in July, 1848. On 
Wednesday, January 3rd, 1849, he was ordained, the charge to 
the minister being given by Dr. Davidson, of Lancashire College; 
Dr. Halley, of Manchester, discoursing on the constitution of a 
Christian church ; and the Rev. James Pridie, of Halifax, Mr. 
Hodgson s former pastor, offering the "designation prayer." In 
the evening the Rev. James Parsons, of York, delivered to the 
people " an eloquent and powerful discourse." 2 On Good Friday, 
April 6th, 1855, Sir James Watts laid the foundation stone 
of the present place of worship, which was completed and 
opened on October iyth of the same year, the preachers being the 
Revs. James Sherman, of London, and Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool. 
It provides accommodation for 850 persons, and cost, with 
organ, &c., ^2,810, towards which the Chapel Building Society 
gave ,700. On the 2oth of October, 1877, Sir James Watts laid 
the foundation stone of the admirable new school buildings, which 
were opened on October i3th, 1878, when the Rev. Professor 
Scott, LL.B., of Lancashire College, preached morning and 
evening, the pastor conducting a children s service in the after 
noon. The cost was about ^6,000, and at the time of opening 
about half the amount had to be raised. On the 2ist of 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity. 1 
4 " Evangelical Magazine" for 1849. p. 257. 


November, 1883, Mr. Hodgson resigned his charge, and on the 
i6th of January following the deacons handed to him the sum of 
;8o in addition to his salary, as a mark of esteem " previous to his 
leaving Oldham." During the long period of thirty-five years 
Mr. Hodgson laboured in Oldham with a patient courage and 
unvarying fidelity rarely equalled, leaving as memorials of a rich 
ministry a strong and healthy church, handsome and commodious 
schools and chapel, and numerous Congregational interests in and 
out of the town, which he either originated or to which he had 
given substantial help. He has sought no other charge, and is 
now living in retirement at Fenay Bridge, near Huddersrield. The 
Rev. Wm. Evans, a student from Lancashire College, was called to 
succeed Mr. Hodgson in 1 885. To the great regret of his people, Mr. 
Evans in 1892 accepted an invitation from the Victoria Street 
Church, Blackpool, as successor to the Rev. James Wayman, who 
had removed to London. The Union Street pulpit is still vacant. 

"!N 1823, at the east end of the town, then called Green- 
acres Moor, there was a growing population without the 
means of grace. A Congregationalist in the neighbourhood Mr. 
Samuel Lees, of Soho Ironworks seeing the people pass along 
unpaved and undrained roads in order to reach Greenacres Chapel, 
resolved that this kind of thing should no longer continue. t; Thus," 
says the Rev. R. M. Davies, " Hope Chapel originated." It was 
built in 1823, Mr. Lees undertaking the entire responsibility, and 
was opened on June 24th of the next year, the preachers being 
the Revs. James Pridie, then of Manchester, and William Vint, of 
Idle. The sitting accommodation was for about 600. The first 
minister was the Rev. John Fox, a teacher in Siockport, who 
remained but a short time. On his retirement a number of his 
admirers seceded, and erected for him Providence Chapel, Regent 
Street, in 1829. The Rev. Joseph Glendenning, a student from 
Idle Academy, was called to the vacant church in the midsummer of 
1828. He is described as a refined, thoughtful, and sensitive man, 
during whose ministry a church was formed, the Revs. John Ely, then 
at Rochdale, and John Holroyd, of Delph, giving the necessary 
assistance. After about six years Mr. Glendenning removed to 


Knaresborough, where he was ordained August zyth, 1835, and 
where he died in 1839. The Rev. Richard Jessop, from Pock- 
lington, followed in 1836. " For a few years," says Mr. Davies, 
"his ministry drew considerable congregations, when he came into 
collision with some of his principal supporters, which induced him 
to accept an invitation to a church at Rothwell (or Rowell), in 1842." 
Subsequently he laboured for several years at Warrington, and 
died March ist, I869- 1 In June, 1843, the Rev. R. M. Davies 
began his labours in succession to Mr. Jessop. As the history of 
Hope Chapel from this period is mainly the story of Mr. Davies s life, 
and as he occupies a unique position in the Congregational ministry 
of Lancashire, the reader will doubtless welcome whatever informa 
tion can be given about him. When a young man he held a situation 
full of promise in a commercial house in Manchester, and was 
a member of Dr. McAlFs church, Mosley Street. It was a letter 
written by the Doctor from his sick room, one of the last he ever 
penned, urging him to enter the ministry, which led Mr. Davies 
to renounce a commercial life, and seek admission into the Black 
burn Academy, in June, 1839. On the completion of his college 
course he refused the tempting offers of several churches, and, as 
already intimated, settled at Oldham in 1843. He found the 
people depressed, the congregations seldom exceeding fifty or sixty 
persons, school nearly empty, and a church with thirteen members. 
Earnest work, however, speedily told in every direction, and the 
chapel, which was proved to be unsafe, owing to dry rot, was 
repaired and considerably enlarged, at a cost of ^900, the year 
after his settlement. On Monday, September 2nd, 1844, Mr. 
Davies was ordained, when the Rev. John Birt (Baptist), Oldham, 
took the introductory services ; the Rev. Richard Fletcher, Man 
chester, delivered the introductory discourse; the Rev. Dr. Nolan, 
Manchester, asked the usual questions; the Rev. J. Sutcliffe, 
Ashton-under-Lyne, offered the ordination prayer ; and " a solemn 
and impressive charge to the minister " was given by the Rev. Dr. 
Raffles/ of Liverpool. In the evening the sermon to the people 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 It is related that Mr. Davies was at that time a delicate looking young 
man, and so fragile in appearance that Dr. Raffles said to the people, " You 
have got a very nice promising young man, but I fear you ll not keep him 
long." A prophesy which all Lancashire Congregationalists will rejoice to 
know has not been fulfilled. 




was preached by the Rev. D. E. Ford, of Salford, other ministers 
assisting being the Revs. T. Brierley, Oldham ; R. Wolstenholme, 
Springhead ; J. Harrison, Heywood ; J. Hughes, Huddersfield ; 
and R. Stephens, Todmorden. In 1852 new schoolrooms 
were built, and on July 22nd, 1865, the foundation stone of 
the present Hope Chapel was laid. At the opening services, 
held in July, r866, the preachers were the Revs. E. Mellor, 
M.A., J. G. Rogers, B.A., Dr. McKerrow, of Manchester, and 
the pastor. The cost was about ^5,000, and the number of 
sittings provided was 1,100, nearly all of which were taken up within 
twelve months after the opening services. In June of this year 
Mr. Davies will complete his fifty years pastorate at Oldham, 1 and 
it is intended to celebrate the Jubilee by important alterations and 
improvements in both chapel and school, at a cost of ^4,000, 
that his successor may find everything in the best possible con 
dition. Hope Chapel, like many other town and city places of 
worship, has changed its surroundings very considerably since its 
erection nearly thirty years ago. The removal of dwellings for 
the erection of offices and warehouses has scattered the people, yet 
many of them come from afar, influenced not less by their attach 
ment to the minister than the place. During his long and 
honourable career his people have given to him many substantial 
tokens of their affection. After a ministry of fourteen years they pre 
sented him with ;ioo ; at the end of twenty-one years with a mag 
nificent solid silver tea and coffee service, thus inscribed : 

Presented to 

The Revd. R. M. DAVIES, 
by the Ladies of his Congregation, 

at the close of the 

Twenty-first Year of his 

happy and successful ministry 

in Hope Chapel, Oldham, 

2yth June, 1864. 

1 Since the above was written the church has celebrated the Jubilee of its 
pastor. The Rev. J. G. Rogers, B.A., of London, an old personal friend, 
preached on Sunday, June 25th ; and on the Monday evening following 
testimony was borne to the value of Mr. Davies s work by the chairman 
(Alderman Noton, Mayor of Oldham), the Revs. T. K. Higgs, M.A., Wm. 
Evans (Blackpool), T. Green, M.A. (Ashton-under-Lyne), James McDougall 
(Manchester^, J. G. Rogers, B.A., Wm. Hewgill, M.A. (Farnworth), and T. 
Willis (Manchester). 


At the end of thirty years he received an address with a purse 
containing 400 ; and at the end of forty years another gift of 
,400. During his residence in Oldham he has been to the fore 
in all the public life of the town, filling many positions of 
trust and responsibility. The Cotton Famine, which brought 
such distress to Lancashire, was nowhere more severely felt than 
in Oldham, and a special Congregational Relief Fund was estab 
lished to meet the needs of Congregationalists throughout the cotton 
district. The amount of labour which this brought to Mr. Davies, 
who acted as Secretary, will be evident from the fact that there passed 
through his hands more than ^30,000 in money, and in one day 
garments and materials for garments exceeding half a ton in 
weight. Mr. Davies also got up a special fund at the same time, 
which exceeded .3,000, to help Congregational ministers in 
country districts, whose incomes had suffered serious diminution 
owing to the pressure of the times. When the Education Act 
was passed in 1870, Oldham was one of the first towns to apply its 
provisions. Mr. Davies was elected a member of the Board, a 
position which he retained for twenty-one years, during eighteen of 
which he occupied, with credit 10 himself and advantage to the 
institution, the office of chairman. At the last election, prompted 
by the felt infirmities incident to advanced years, he reluctantly 
declined to continue his connection with the work, a determination 
which called forth many expressions of grateful appreciation and 
sincere regret. Twenty-five years ago Oldham had no Infirmary ; 
the establishment of one was projected, but the project was met 
by formidable opposition, and amongst those who sought to 
allay adverse feeling Mr. Davies was prominent. Suitable buildings 
were eventually erected and work was begun ; and from the first 
Mr. Davies has been, and still is, one of its most interested and 
self-denying governors. In other local movements for the pro 
motion of educational and benevolent objects he has ever been 
ready to take his full share of toil and responsibility. In addition 
to all this, from the commencement of his ministerial life he has 
taken a deep and living interest in all denominational movements. 
The County Union showed its appreciation of his long and faithful 
services by calling him to the President s chair 1 in 1880, and again 

i It is a matter of regret to many of his friends that Mr. Davies has 
twice refused to be put in nomination for the chair of the Congregational Union 
of England and Wales, an honour to which no one is more justly entitled. 


more signally on March 6th, 1889, when he was presented with a 
handsomely bound album address, together with ^550. A 
sentence or two from this address deserve insertion : 

Your membership began as far back as eighteen hundred and forty-four, 
and two years afterwards you were chosen to serve on the Executive Com 
mittee. During the forty-five years which have elapsed you have, through 
the grace of God, revealed sterling qualities of heart and mind ; exhibited a 
most exemplary character, and pursued a remarkably useful life, thus 
endearing yourself to those with whom you have been associated, and 
gaining for yourself an honoured place in the Church of Christ. . . . 
Your deep interest in Congregational ministers and churches has also been 
made clearly manifest by your disinterested and generous action as Secretary 
of the Chapel Building Society and the Woodward Trusts. By the latter 
the heart and home of many a minister have been cheered, and by the former 
means have been provided whereby many new churches and schools have 
been erected, thus giving a stimulus to the further extension of the kingdom 
of Christ. 

It has already been stated that Mr. Davies occupies a unique 
position in the Lancashire Congregational ministry past and 
present. A fifty-years pastorate is not common ; indeed, I do not 
remember to have met with any other in my researches. It was 
the deep desire of Dr. Raffles to complete his jubilee year at 
Liverpool, but failing health compelled him to resign as he entered 
upon it. Mr. Davies, however, has been permitted to complete 
half a century of service in his first and only church, and he has 
the satisfaction of knowing that when he shall withdraw, and enter 
upon the rest he has so well earned, he will leave a large 
and vigorous church to his successor. Not himself only, but the 
church and county, are to be congratulated upon the rich lessons 
which such a life and ministry offer. 




IN 1829 the Rev. John Fox, between whom and some of his 
people friction had arisen, seceded from Hope Chapel, and 
a small place of worship was built for him in Regent Street. Provi 
dence Chapel, as it was called, was opened March i4th, 1830, 
with sitting accommodation for over 500 persons. In 1847 Mr. 
Fox removed to Eccleshill, near Bradford, but after three years 
he returned to Oldham, and retained his pastorate with success 
until his death. In 1864 the Rev. J. T. Carrodus became 
the minister, and continued to be such until 1870. His 
successor in 1873 was the Rev. W. H. Mclvenny, who remained 
until 1878, when he resigned and entered the Free Church of 
England. For some time the pulpit was supplied by Messrs. South 
ward, Risque, and Thompson, of Manchester, and in 1885 the Rev. 
B. P. Senior, a student from Airedale College, became the minister. 
In 1888 he accepted the invitation from the Congregational 
Church at Howdon, Northumberland, and is now at Heyside, 
near Oldham. The present minister is the Rev. H. T. Mark, 
B.A., a student from Lancashire College, who began his labours 
here in 1889. 

In 1850 James Platt, Esq., laid the foundation stone of a new 
school at Townfield, which was opened on December ist of that 
year, when the Rev. R. M. Davies was the afternoon preacher, 
and the Rev. John Birt, Baptist minister, preached in the evening. 
The building was erected as a school of all denominations, and 
was part of a Sunday School movement which appeared in Oldham 
as early as 1783, three years after the first Sunday School was 
established by Robert Raikes in Gloucester. The new building 
had become necessary because its predecessor at Ferney Bank 
was inconvenient and unhealthy, being simply a rude garret, access 
to which was by means of a rickety pair of stairs. Towards this 
new effort each teacher promised a guinea, to be paid by instal 
ments, and it deserves to be recorded that one of the most ardent 
supporters of the movement was Mr. Archibald Booth, father of 
the late Mr. Archibald Booth, who raised a considerable sum of 
money by subscriptions. The building at this time was only one 


storey high, and the workers were associated with different places of 
worship in the town. The desire for service, however, in their 
own school appeared and deepened with the years, and 
eventually short Sunday afternoon addresses and " Exhortations " 
every alternate Sunday evening were adopted. In July, 1863, 
the school was let at the rate of 4 per annum to 
the Methodist New Connexion, Union Street, for Sunday 
evening services, which resulted in several of the workers 
joining the church there. A church of the Methodist New Con 
nexion order was formed in May, 1866, when sixty-five persons 
entered into fellowship, and on the i;th of May in the following 
year the church severed itself from that body, and assumed the 
name of " Townfield Christian Society." The pulpit at this time 
was supplied by lay preachers, one of whom, Mr. T. Hannam, is 
especially held in loving memory by the people. In 1868 the 
need of better accommodation for public worship was felt, and it 
was resolved to add a second storey to the building which should 
serve the purpose of a chapel. The work was taken in hand, and 
completed in that year, being opened on October 4th, the preachers 
being the Revs. J. J. Williams, of Greenacres, and Wm. Stokes, of 
Manchester. The cost was ^1,400, and accommodation was 
provided for over 400 persons. On March i2th, 1872, the follow 
ing advertisement appeared in several public papers : 

WANTED, a Minister, in connection with a Methodist Church, salary 
about So per annum ; all applications, with testimonials, references, 
&c., to be sent in on or before Monday, April 8th, 1872, to Archibald Booth, 
Stationer, &c., 24, Huddersfield Road, Oldham. The appointment will be 
made on Monday, May isth, 1872. 

Out of the many applicants the Rev. Thomas Colclough, from 
Newcastle-under-Lyme, who had previously held no pastorate, 
was unanimously chosen, and on the first Sabbath of the 
following June he entered upon his labours as pastor. The isolated 
position of both church and minister, being outside all religious 
denominations, led them shortly afterwards to look in the direction 
of Congregationalism. Accordingly, on Sunday, September i3th, 
1874, the members of the " Townfield Christian Society" were 
formed into a Congregational church, on which occasion the Rev. 


R. M. Davies presided, and addresses were given by the Revs. J. 
Hodgson and E. Armitage, M.A. After the administration of the 
Lord s Supper the newly-formed church called Mr. Colclough to 
the pastorate, and he was ordained on Easter Monday in the year 
following. Shortly afterwards both minister and church were 
welcomed into the Lancashire Congregational Union. Mr. 
Colclough resigned in October, 1878, having accepted an invitation 
from the church at Hollinwood. The Rev. B. Nightingale, a 
student from Lancashire College, and author of this work, entered 
upon the pastorate of the church on the second Sunday of July, 
1879. He was ordained on Monday, October 27th, following, on 
which occasion the Revs. J. Hodgson presided ; Dr. Thomson, of 
Manchester, expounded Congregational principles ; Professor Scott, 
B.A., LL.B., Principal of Lancashire College, delivered the charge 
to the minister ; J. Robinson, Ramsbottom, put the usual ques 
tions ; R. M. Davies offered the ordination prayer ; and E. 
Armitage, M.A., concluded the service with prayer. On the 
Wednesday following the Rev. J. McDougall, of Darwen (Mr. 
Nightingale s former pastor), preached the sermon to the people. In 
April, 1883, Mr. Nightingale removed to Farnworth, and subse 
quently to Preston, where he still labours. 1 In the following year 
the Rev. T. Colclough returned to his old charge at Townfield, 
which he held until May, 1893, when he resigned. The church is 
now without a pastor. 

Derker Congregational Church is the result of a secession from 
Townfield, which took place in 1883. The secession was caused 
by differences of opinion respecting a site for a new chapel, which 
for some time had been felt needful, and partly through the action 
of the trustees, who claimed the right to complete financial control. 
The secessionists met for worship in the Co-operative Hall, 
Greenacres, the first services there being held on August 5th, 
1883. The formal opening of the Hall for public worship in 
connection with the movement took place on Sunday, Sep 
tember 1 6th following, when the preachers were the Revs. 
B. Nightingale and E. Armitage, M.A. The first church meeting 
was held on August igth, 1883, and on Saturday, July 25th, 
1885, the foundation stone of the present Derker Sunday School 

1 Vide vols. i. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


was laid by Joshua W. Radcliffe, Esq., Mayor of the town. The 
building was completed and opened for worship on Tuesday 
evening, April 6th, 1886, by Dr. Macfadyen, and on the two 
following Sundays the preachers were the Revs. Dr. Hodgson, C. 
Thompson, S. Firth, and W. Thomas. It is a handsome structure, 
and contains accommodation for 450 persons. The cost was 
about ^2,000. No pastor was appointed until 1890, when the 
Rev. T. O Williams, a student from Lancashire College, began his 
ministry. He resigned in May, 1893, and the pulpit is still vacant. 
Mr. Williams has recently accepted an invitation to the pastorate 
of the Brookfield Congregational Church, Glossop. 


WERNETH Congregational Church owes its existence to the Union 
Street Congregational Church, during the pastorate of the Rev. 
John Hodgson. The need of another chapel in that part of Oldham 
had long been felt, and eventually the Lecture Hall of the 
Mechanics Institution was rented, and a committee of management 
appointed by the Union Street Church. The room was opened 
for worship in August, 1868, and in the following November a 
Sunday School was begun. In 1870 a separate church was 
formed, and the Union Street Church ceased to exercise any 
supervision over the cause. The Rev. William Duthie, a student 
from New College, London, and who had spent two years at 
Nottingham Institute, was elected the first pastor, beginning his 
duties as such on May 21 st, 1871. Three years afterwards the present 
school chapel, with sitting accommodation for 400 persons, was 
erected. Its cost was about ^2,600, and towards this sum the 
Chapel Building Society promised ,300. Mr. Duthie died July 
27th, 1875, a g e d twenty-seven years. His successor was the Rev. 
D. Inglis, B.A., who had been educated at Nottingham Institute 
and Lancashire College, and who began his duties as second 
minister of the church in 1876. In 1879 he removed to Douglas, 
Isle of Man, where he is still the pastor. The present minister is 


the Rev. J. R. Phillips, who removed from Littleborough in 

1879 to succeed Mr. Inglis here. 1 

The interest at Ashton Road was commenced in 1878, the place of 
meeting being the upper room of a cottage in Boston Street, and 
after a short time the Rev. John Hodgson undertook the superinten 
dence of the work, preaching on the third Sunday in every month 
and conducting the week night service on the previous Wednesday. 
A grant was made from the funds of the County Union, and help 
was rendered by the Congregational ministers of the town. In 

1880 the present school chapel, giving accommodation for 300 
worshippers, was erected on a site which had been secured by the 
Rev. R. M. Davies, and was opened in October of that year. 
The cost was about ^1,100, towards which the Chapel Building 
Society granted the sum of ^200. In October, i88r, a branch 
church was formed, consisting of twenty-five members, and in 
1888 the present minister the Rev. Wilson Murray, a student 
from Nottingham Institute began his labours. The church is 
still in association with Union Street, and has been so from the 
beginning, with the exception of a short period after the removal 
of Mr. Hodgson, when the Rev. J. R. Phillips, of Werneth, 
undertook its superintendence. The church is a recipient 
from the Union Funds. Ground has been enclosed, upon which 
it is proposed to erect a new chapel, when the present building will 
be used for school purposes. 

About 1850 the Rev. R. M. Davies took an upper room at 
Hollinwood, then a "much neglected village," and began to hold 
services there, the County Union supporting the effort by a 
generous grant. Some two years after " a good room, suitable for 
preaching and Sunday School teaching," was erected, with accom 
modation for 200 persons, and a " resident supply " was engaged 
to "occupy the pulpit, and labour among the large surrounding 
population." This "supply" was the Rev. George Dunn, from 
Ellenthorp and Boroughbridge, who discharged the duties of 
minister from 1851 to 1855, removing in the latter year to 
Edgworth. 2 The County Union Report, ending April, 1855, tells 
of a "deplorable" state of things, of a "fearful decline," and the 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Ibid. 


arrival of a " crisis "; and states that the station had been placed 
under the superintendence of the Rev. John Hodgson. By the 
"kind efforts and liberality" of Mr. Jon. Lees, of Manchester, an 
embarrassing debt was removed in 1856, and in the following year 
the Rev. Richard Williams became the minister. He was a native 
of Oldham. brought up as a Primitive Methodist, labouring with 
much acceptance in that communion as a local preacher for several 
years, but becoming dissatisfied with its polity and doctrine, joined 
Mr. Hodgson s church at Union Street. At his request and that 
of Mr. Davies he undertook to labour at Hollinwood, and, feeling 
his need of training, in 1861 obtained admission into Lancashire 
College for a "limited course of study." Here he continued 
for three years, carrying on his work at the same time at 
Hollinwood. His ministry was followed with so much success 
that a larger building became necessary, and on Good Friday, 
1866, the present chapel was opened for public worship. It is 
described as occupying " one of the best situations on the high 
way between Manchester and Oldham," having a tower at the west 
angle " 66 feet high," sitting accommodation for about 800 persons, 
its cost being ^"1,800, towards which the Chapel Building Society 
voted ^500. In 1871 Hollinwood " no longer asks a grant 
from the Union " runs the Report, and shortly after the devoted 
pastor s labours were terminated by death. At the age of forty- 
one years Mr. Williams passed away to his reward, May yth, 1872. 
In the same year the Rev. H. Hustwick, from Market Drayton, 
followed, and remained until 1877, when he removed to Ash- 
bourne, in Derbyshire, where he still resides without charge. His 
successor, in 1879, was the Rev. T. Colclough, from Townfield. 
The church had now become mucli reduced, necessitating a 
renewal of assistance from the Union Funds. Mr. Colclough 
returned to Townfield in 1884, being succeeded in the following 
year by the Rev. A. Hall, who is still the minister. 1 During the 
ministry of Mr. Williams the church had two out stations. At 
Lane Ends, about a mile and a half from the chapel, he opened a 
place in 1866, preaching every Sunday afternoon and on alternate 
Thursday evenings. A Sunday School was established, which 

1 Vide vol i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity ; " also ante p. 199. 


flourished considerably. Two years afterwards he commenced to 
labour at Macedonia, Failsworth, where a school chapel was 
opened in 1868. The cost was about ^700, towards which the 
Chapel Building Society voted ^200; and provision was made for 
seating 350 persons. Lane Ends has disappeared from the list of 
Congregational preaching places, but Macedonia is still worked 
with considerable vigour, though no longer in association with 


ROYTON, with which for many generations were connected the 
ancient families of Radcliffe and Byron, lies a mile to the north of 
Oldham. The County Union Report, ending April, 1847, says 
that in accordance with a resolution passed at the last annual 
meeting, a beginning had been made both at Royton and Shaw. 
A preacher was sent for a month on trial " to officiate in a 
schoolroom already erected there;" but, differences arising, the 
work had to be suspended. On Sunday, February i8th, 1855, 
work was recommenced, services being held in the Temperance 
Seminary. The promoters were the Rev. John Harrison, of Hey- 
wood, representing the County Union, and Robert Barker, over 
looker, Royton, by "whose efforts for the first twelve months the 
interest was sustained." At Shaw, which was joined with Royton, 
a small chapel was purchased from the VVesleyans, and on the first 
Sunday in August, 1856, the Rev. Mark Dixon, a student from 
Rotherham College, entered upon his duties as pastor of the two 
places. A church was formed of friends from Royton and Shaw in 
March, 1857, when the Revs. John Hodgson, of Oldham, and Wm. 
Spencer, of Rochdale, officiated. In the following August Mr. 
Dixon accepted an appointment in connection with the Colonial 
Missionary Society, and went out to South Adelaide. For the next 
nine or ten months the Rev. R. M. Davies provided pulpit sup 
plies, and gave the church the benefit of his counsel, and in June, 
1858, the Rev. William Anderson became the minister. He was 
educated at Glasgow, and had previously laboured a few years at 



Chesterfield. He resigned his double charge at Royton and 
Shaw in March, 1861, and removed to Tooting, Surrey, where he 
became a Presbyterian. Readers of recent religious literature will 
be familiar with the name of Dr. Anderson, his attempt to 
carry Defoe s Memorial Chapel over to the Presbyterian body, 
and the injunction of Mr. Justice Kekewich, by which he ceased 
to be the minister there, but they may not know that he was 
formerly the pastor of Royton Congregational Church. After his 
removal Shaw and Royton ceased to be connected, and the Royton 
Church placed itself under the care of the Rev. John Hodgson. 

On the 3rd of December, 1864, Mr. Henry Lee laid the corner 
stone of the new church in Pickford Street (now Middleton Road), 

i . ~r :,- , --__ -_ ~ 



which was opened in May, 1866, when the Revs. J. A. Macfadyen, 
M.A., and Prof. Scott were the preachers. The cost was about 
^"1,800, towards which the Bicentenary Committee promised ,500, 
and the accommodation is for 600 persons. The Rev. Joshua 
Sidebottom, educated at Rotherham, and for a few years minister 
at Bucklow Hill, commenced his labours at Royton on December 
1 4th, 1866, and at the same time the Union Street Church ceased 
its superintendence of the church. In 1872 the school buildings 
were erected, and in October of the same year, Mr. Sidebottom 
removed to Stockton-on-Tees. Subsequently, he entered the 
Presbyterian denomination, but is now pastor of the Congrega- 


tional Church at Brightside, near Sheffield. The Rev. S. R. 
Noble, a student from Lancashire College, followed in January, 
1873. In 1876 the church ceased to be a recipient from the 
funds of the County Union, and in the same year, failing health 
compelled the pastor to seek a warmer climate. He accepted the 
invitation of the Howe Memorial Church, Torrington, Devon, and 
died suddenly on August i6th, 1877, at the age of thirty- five years. 
The Rev. Philip Barnes, educated at Nottingham, and for a few 
years at Ashton-on-Mersey, in Cheshire, succeeded Mr. Noble 
in May, 1877. He remained until Christmas, 1888, when he 
removed to Plashet Park, London, where he still labours The 
present minister, the Rev. A. J. Bamford, B.A., assumed the 
pastorate here in October, 1889. He was educated at New 
College, and had previously laboured in Calcutta, India, and 
Shanghai, China. Mr. Bamford is the author of " Turbans and 
Tails," and during his residence in India, was one of the defen 
dants in the " Calcutta Preaching Case," which for sometime 
occupied a foremost place in all the Indian papers, and was not 
unnoticed at home. 

After the separation from Royton, the Rev. Reuben Seddon 
was appointed minister at Shaw in 1861. He remained only 
about twelve months, removing to Smallbridge. 1 In 1866 Shaw 
and Milnrow were placed under the supervision of the Rev. 
G. Snashall, B.A., of Rochdale, and shortly afterwards Shaw 
disappears from the list of Union stations. In 1885, on the 
recommendation of the Executive Committee of the County 
Union and the Oldham Ministers and Deacons Association, a 
second attempt was made to plant Congregationalism at Shaw. 
Opening services were held in the Co-operative Hall on July iQth, 
by the Revs. C. Thompson, of Greenacres, and Wm. Thomas, of 
Waterhead. On the following Sunday a Sunday School was 
opened, Miss Hall generously providing books and other necessary 
things, and the Greenacres Church undertook the supervision of 
the cause for twelve months. The Rev. Wm. Woodburn was 
appointed resident Evangelist, and in 1886, an iron chapel, capable 
of accommodating about 200 persons, was erected at a cost of 
^290. Mr. Woodburn removed in 1889, and was followed by 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


the Rev. J. S. Miller, educated at the Edinburgh Theological 
Hall, and formerly of Coleraine. He held the pastorate until 
1892, when he resigned; and the present minister, the Rev. 
James Bridie, a student from Nottingham Institute, entered upon 
his duties on the first Sunday in July, I893- 1 A new chapel is 
shortly to be erected, and it deserves to be mentioned that Miss 
Hall is a generous friend to the cause. The church is a recipient 
from the Union Funds. 

Heyside Congregational Church is largely the result of the long 
and self-denying labours of Mr. John Dunkerley. In 1842 a 
person named Wild, who owned property in the village, which was 
then "notorious for wickedness of the vilest description," and 
who was a Wesleyan local preacher, seceded from that body and 
commenced preaching in a room of which he was owner. Neigh 
bouring ministers were invited to give their help, and amongst 
those who did so was the Rev. Joseph Galland, of Greenacres. 
Subsequently Mr. Wild became a sort of infidel lecturer, and the 
preaching room was closed. Before his death, however, he per 
mitted it to be reopened, and several denominations attempted to 
gain a footing in the village, but failed. In the latter part of 1842 
Mr. John Dunkerley was visiting one Sunday afternoon at the 
house of a family named Bradbury, formerly connected with the 
Waterhead Sunday School, and in the evening he was requested 
to conduct services. This led to fortnightly visits for religious 
worship, and the house becoming too small application was made 
for the use of a room which had formerly been occupied as a Day 
and Sunday School, but for some time had been closed. The 
application, at first refused, was afterwards granted, and a congre 
gation was formed and a school organised. In 1851 new school 
rooms were erected, and the Rev. R. M. Davies, who had been 
interested in the movement almost from the commencement, took 
part in the opening services. In 1865 a branch church was 
formed in connection with Hope Chapel, the Rev. R. M. Davies 
agreeing to administer the Lord s Supper once a month. Corner 
stones of the present chapel were laid on May ist, 1880, by Mrs. 

1 Mr. Bridie s labours have been cut short by death since the above was 
written. The sad event took place on Thursday, August 3rd, when he was 
in his 36th year. 


Abraham Buckley, who gave ^50 in addition to a legacy of ,50 
by her late husband ; and by Mr. Alderman William Bodden, who 
gave ,25. Mr. Davies and his son, Mr. C. S. Davies, held 
themselves responsible for ^100. Mr. Davies undertook to obtain 
^150 from the Chapel Building Society, and Mrs. Buckley gave 
an additional ^25, the last required, so that the chapel was 
opened free from debt. The services in connection with that 
event took place on the i4th of November, 1880, when two 
sermons were preached by the Rev. R. M. Davies. The accom 
modation provided is for 450 persons. Mr. Dunkerley continued 
to serve the church until 1889, when he resigned. For thirty-four 
years his services were " purely gratuitous," during the greater part 
of which he worked at the Iron Foundry of Mr. Eli Lees, and in 
all the future years of this church Mr. Dunkerley s name will be 
gratefully remembered because of his long and useful labours. 
The present minister is the Rev. B. P. Senior, formerly of Regent 
Street, Oldham. He entered upon his duties as such in 1891, 
since which time the church has received a grant from the Union 


IN 1837 Mr. James Dunkerley, senior, hired two small upper 
rooms of two cottages belonging to Mr. James Winter- 
bottom, as a Sunday School and preaching station in connection 
with the Greenacres Church. Here the Rev. Joseph Galland 
conducted service on Sunday evenings until his death. The 
following are the names of members of the Greenacres Church 
and congregation who came to teach in the school and interest 
themselves in the new undertaking : Charles Beswick, James 
Taylor, Samuel Kershaw, Daniel Taylor, John Beaumont, George 
Beaumont, Timothy Buckley, Sarah Beaumont, Ann Beaumont, 
Mary Buckley, Rachael Wilde, and Eliza Beswick. To this list 
of workers must be added the name of Mr. John Dunkerley, 
whose labours at Heyside have been previously referred to. Mr. 
Galland died in 1843, an d during the ministry of his successor 


the Waterhead School ceased its connection with Greenacres, the 
teachers and others who were in fellowship there being transferred 
to Hope Chapel, under the pastoral care of the Rev. R. M. 
Davies. In 1844 an unused School Chapel in Hey wood Street, 
built by the New Connexion Methodists, was secured as a meeting 
place, and held for about three years. At the end of that period, 
the chapel having been purchased by the Primitive Methodists, 
the little congregation was served with notice to quit. This led 
to the erection of a school in Providence Street, at a cost of ^250, 
with accommodation for 300 persons. The opening services were 
held on August 8th, 1847, when Dr. Nolan, of Manchester, 
preached in the morning, and the Rev. R. M. Davies in the 
evening. The Sunday evening services at this time were con 
ducted principally by laymen, prominent amongst these being 
Mr. Kershaw, Mr. Daniel Taylor, and Mr. John Dunkerley. 
In May, 1864, a branch church was formed in connection with the 
Union Street Church, Mr. Hodgson taking the pastoral oversight, 
and in the same year a grant of ^15 was made from the funds of 
the County Union. On Saturday, July iyth, 1869, James Newton, 
Esq., laid the foundation stone of a new chapel, and it deserves to 
be recorded in connection with this that the "great expense of 
levelling was saved by the voluntary labour of the young men of 
the school. They worked with untiring vigour with pick and spade 
and barrow after their work in the mills was over, and even after 
daylight was gone." 1 The building was opened in June, 1870, 
when Dr. Halley preached in the afternoon, and Dr. Mellor at 
night. Its cost was about ^2,500, towards which the Chapel 
Building Society gave ,400, and the sitting accommodation is for 
about 600 persons. In the following year the church ceased to be 
a recipient from the Union Funds. The Rev. E. Armitage, M.A., 
a student from Lancashire College, accepted the invitation of the 
church to become its first pastor in May, 1872, and at the same 
time a letter was received from the Union Street Church declaring 
the Waterhead Church to be "completely independent, and com 
mitting them, with their new pastor, to the grace of God." On 
May 8th, 1875, the foundation stone of new school buildings, to 
hold 400 scholars and cost about ,1,600, was laid by Wm. 

1 Waddington s "Historical and Biographical Notices," p. 418. 


Armitage, Esq., the pastor s father ; and in November, 1880, Mr 
Armitage entered the minister s house, which had cost ^r,ioo. 
In February, 1883, he removed to Rotherham, having accepted 
the pastorate of the Congregational Church there, and is now one 
of the Professors of the Yorkshire United College, Bradford. It 
ought to be stated that Professor Armitage and his gifted wife are 
largely responsible for the new spirit of Missionary enthusiasm which 
has visited many of our churches, and led to the " Forward Move 
ment" of the London Missionary Society. The Rev. Wm. 
Thomas, a student from Lancashire College, succeeded Mr. 
Armitage in June, 1884. His useful ministry was concluded in 
1892, having offered himself to the London Missionary Society for 
service in Central Africa. Mr. Thomas sailed for Lake Tanganyika 
in May, 1893, carrying with him the prayers and sympathies 
of many friends to the difficult post of duty which he has 
courageously chosen. The present minister is the Rev. L. 
Hartley. He was educated at Airedale, had previously laboured 
at Malton, in Yorkshire, and assumed the present pastorate in 
February, 1893. 

The Congregational Church at Pastures, a little farther north 
than Waterhead, originated some forty years ago. It grew out of 
a secession from Doctor Lane School ; which, originally a school 
of all denominations, some who attended endeavoured to make 
sectarian. Those who disapproved of this step eventually left, 
and began to hold meetings in the reeling room of Pastures Mill, 
about 150 yards from the place where the present chapel stands. 
This was in 1854, and in 1856 a chapel was erected, with sitting 
accommodation for 350 persons. At first it was used only as a 
Sunday School, the friends going for worship to Springhead 
Congregational Church ; but eventually it was thought desirable 
to separate from Springhead, and have preaching services in their 
own building. This led to a little friction between the two 
places, which happily with the march of years has passed com 
pletely away. The church was formed about 1856, some twelve 
persons entering into fellowship, and the pulpit was supplied by 
"various," until July, 1890, when the Rev. A. H. Whiteley, 
a student from Nottingham Institute, became the first minister. 
The Waterhead Congregational Church promised to exercise some 


supervision over the cause, and a grant was obtained from the 
funds of the County Union. Mr. Whiteley left in September, 1892, 
having accepted an invitation from the Congregational Church at 
Westley Place, Great Horton, Bradford, where he still labours. 
The present minister, the Rev. John Walker, also a student from 
Nottingham Institute, succeeded in January, 1893. It may be 
added that Doctor Lane School eventually became a Church 
School. It has since been rebuilt, and the inscription which 
declared its unsectarian character, and which formerly stood in 
the front of the building, has been put behind. 

Springhead Congregational Church, on the Yorkshire border, 
took its rise, though not in its present form, at the beginning of 
the century. It originated in a house called Stopes"; afterwards a 
chapel, three windows long and two storeys high, was built and 
opened for worship in 1807. Two good men, 1 John Buckley and 
Joseph Winterbottom, who had left the New Connexion Methodists 
" in consequence of having adopted the views of the Independents 
with regard to the doctrine of imputed righteousness," were the 
first preachers. They conducted services alternatively at Spring 
head and Upper Mill, which is a few miles in the sister county of 
York. "Morning service," writes Mr. J. E. Thornton, "did 
not commence till about a quarter to eleven o clock, and was 
protracted sometimes till a quarter to one, and brought to an 
abrupt termination by the singing of the Doxology. Then, in the 
vernacular of an old man, were n use t to ceawer reawnd stove till 
abeaut two o clock, an then begin agen. " In 1818 the old 
Springhead Sunday School was erected, previous to which time 
the scholars had been taught in the upper room of a house. 
Depression in trade in Saddleworth and district added considerably 
to the difficulties of the little band of workers, and led to the 
issuing of the following appeal for help : 

1 These two men, locally called " John and Joseph," differed greatly in 
their gifts. John s sermons were interspersed with rough but vigorous 
sentences, of which the following is a sample : " God can strike a straight 
blow with a croot stick." 

2 MS account of Springhead Congregational Church, to which I am 
indebted for several particulars. 


December 2Oth, 1827. 

To all who love our Lord Jesus Christ and wish well to His cause, the 
poor members of the "Independent Evangelical Methodists Church" at 
Uppermill, in Saddleworth, send greeting. As a Christian society we have 
experienced a long season of adversity. The debt of ^270, which, notwith 
standing the utmost exertion of our own ability to clear it, we were obliged 
to leave upon our meeting house, has latterly pressed heavily upon us. Our 
difficulties have been greatly increased by the disastrous events of the last 
two years, by which our pecuniary resources have in a great measure been 
dried up, and poverty has apparently settled on our parish. Our two ministers, 
who alternately supply us and our sister church at Spring Head, are obliged 
to serve us gratuitously ; though, as they are poor and deserving men, we 
are sorry that they should have to labour without hire. But, alas ! all the 
money that we can raise among ourselves is insufficient to pay the interest 
of the debt ; consequently, while we have that heavy burden upon us, and 
the present unhappy state of things in our parish remains, we are hopeless of 
being able to do justice to our ministers, whom we are bound to love and 
reverence as being our spiritual fathers, by whose instrumentality we were 
called " out of darkness into light." In our distress we naturally look for 
relief to our more fortunate brethren in Christ. By the liberality of those of 
you whom God has prospered we wish, if possible, to pay off a third or a half 
of our debts, and thereby we trust being delivered from our present gloomy 
apprehensions. And may the Giver of all good reward a hundred-fold every 
brother, sister, or friend whose heart should pity us, and whose hands shall 
administer to our relief. 

Signed on behalf of us all, 


Whatever was the result of this appeal, it was not such as to per 
manently put off the evil day. Upper Mill Chapel was sold to 
the Congregationalists of Delph, and reopened as a Congregational 
place of worship; and about 1835 a similar change took place 
at Springhead. On Sunday, July i9th, 1835, tne chapel was 
re-opened as a Congregational place of worship. The preachers on 
the occasion were : morning and afternoon, the Rev. John Cockin, 
of Holmfirth ; evening, the Rev. J. Sutcliffe, of Ashton-under-Lyne ; 
and on Monday evening, the Rev. John Thorp, of Huddersfield. 
The collections amounted to 41 6s. In the following November 
a church was formed by the Rev. Reuben Calvert, of Upper Mill, 
when twenty-nine persons agreed to enter into fellowship. The 
Rev. John Morris, a student from Blackburn Academy, became 
the first minister, entering upon duty as such in the midsummer of 
1837. A few months previous to this Springhead had sought and 


received assistance from the County Union Funds. During the 
first year of Mr. Morris s pastorate seventeen persons were added 
to the fellowship of the church, bringing the number of members 
up to fifty-two. The congregation is given as about 300 ; Lees, 
Waterhead Mill, and Austerlands were preaching stations at which 
services were held fortnightly ; and in the Sunday School were 
320 children and forty teachers. Stonebreaks, Den Lane, and Scout- 
head were subsequently added to the list of preaching places, and 
the County Union Report, ending April, 1840, states that at Lees 
a large schoolroom had been taken, capable of holding 250 people, 
where Mr. Morris purposed preaching on Sabbath day evenings. 
After about five years of useful service Mr. Morris removed to 
Morley, in Yorkshire, and has since become Dr. Morris, Principal 
of Brecon College, a position which he still worthily holds, though 
over eighty years of age. The Rev. R. Wolstenholme accepted 
the church s invitation in December, 1842. He was born at 
Nuttall Lane, near Bury, November i6th, 1813, educated at 
Blackburn Academy, being a fellow student with Dr. Morris, and 
settled at Carlisle in 1837, whence he removed to Springhead. 
The Report ending April, 1844, states that in addition to his work 
at Springhead, he preached at Mossley Bottoms, Scouthead, and 
Woodbrook, and that there was a " flourishing branch at Lees," 
having a Sunday School and preaching on Wednesday evenings. 
It was during his ministry in 1846 that the church dispensed with 
further assistance from the County Union. In the same year Mr. 
Wolstenholme removed to Belper, where he died September 6th, 
1852. The Rev. J. R. Wolstenholme, M.A., who recently left 
Bolton 1 for Brisbane, is the son of the Springhead minister, being 
born there. No successor was appointed until May, 1850, when 
the Rev. Wm. Dixon, a student from Airedale College, became the 
pastor. During the interregnum the church had considerably 
declined, and the congregation was small when Mr. Dixon s 
ministry began. Prosperity, however, returned with him, and in 
1855 the present chapel superseded the old building, which had 
done duty for half a century. The opening services took place on 
Good Friday, April 6th, 1855, when the Revs. Dr. Raffles and 

1 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


H. Allon were the preachers. On the following Sunday sermons 
were preached by the Revs. J. Sutcliffe, J. G. Rogers, B.A., and J. 
Morris, a former pastor. The collections amounted to 1 70. The 
cost of the undertaking was ,2,050, and towards this sum the people 
raised ^700 among themselves, the Chapel Building Society 
granted another ^700, and the "Christian public generously contri 
buted, inclusive of the opening collections, ^590," leaving only ^,60 
as deficiency. The accommodation provided is for 750 persons. 
Impaired health led to Mr. Dixon s resignation in November, 1857, 
and he accepted the charge of the church at Boston Spa, removing 
ihence to Gawthorpe, near Dewsbury. He died April 6th, 1867, 
aged fifty-one years. The Rev. J. G. Short was recognised as 
pastor, April 6th, 1860. He was a native of Ireland, was educated 
at the Dublin Institute under the Revs. Dr. Wm. Urwick and W. 
H. Cooper, and previous to his settlement at Springhead held 
pastorates at New Ross (Wexford), Plunket Street (Dublin), and 
Wrexham. It was during his ministry that the present school 
buildings were erected at a cost of ,1,300, the foundation stone 
being laid May 24th, 1861, by Mr. A. Haworth, of Manchester. 
In 1862 Mr. Short returned to his native country, having accepted a 
charge at Belfast. He died July 27th, 1866, aged forty-two years. 
His successor at Springhead was the Rev. F. Smith, a student 
from New College, who began his labours in the year of Mr. 
Short s removal. He remained until 1868, when he removed to 
Liverpool, and is now resident, without charge, at Birkdale. 1 The 
Rev. A. Phillips, a student from Airedale College, followed in 1868, 
and removed to Wicker Chapel, Sheffield, in 1878. He is now 
the minister of the Hillhouse Congregational Church, Hudders- 
field. The present pastor is the Rev. J. S. Waide, educated at 
Lancashire College, and who had previously laboured at Bollington, 
near Macclesfield. Mr. Waide began his Springhead ministry in 
1878; he has therefore faithfully served the church for fifteen 
years, being a considerably longer pastorate than that of any 

1 Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 



THE town of Middleton, some five miles north of Manchester, 
three south of Heyvvood, and three west of Oldham, is rich in 
objects of historic interest. Middleton Hall, demolished in 
1845, was for many generations the residence of the Assheton 
family, which has played an important part in English history, 
Sir Richard Assheton being one of the heroes of Flodden Field, 
and Colonel Assheton being the Commander-in-Chief of the Lanca 
shire forces under the Commonwealth, whose " Middleton club 
men" took part in the defence of Manchester, and fought the 
Royalist army at Bolton in 1643. I ts Parish Church is very 
ancient and picturesque. The windows have been enriched 
with some fine stained glass from Middleton Hall, one of which 
represents "a chaplain and seventeen warriors with bows and 
quivers of arrows." 1 In the cemetery there is a statue of 
Samuel Bamford, the Radical, one of the heroes of Peterloo, 
and the leader of a vigorous local band of aggressive 
reformers. Middleton Church did not add to the list of 
ministers who went out for conscience sake in 1662. It 
has, therefore, no Nonconformist foundation reaching back 
to those times, and Congregationalism here is not a century 
old. Middleton is first mentioned in the County Union Reports 
in 1823, when it is said that principally preachers from Manchester 
supplied ; that the Sunday morning congregation was about 
100, afternoon 150 ; on week-day evenings, when stated 
ministers preached, the assembly was equally numerous ; there 
were 120 children in the Sunday School; and that on 
" Monday and Saturday evenings the elder scholars were taught 
writing and accounts, and the girls were taught to sew." In 1823 
a church was formed, and the following year Middleton and Hey- 
wood were united under the pastoral care of the Rev. John 
Crossley. In 1825 Mr. Crossley removed to Horwich, 2 and a 
separation between the two stations took place, the population 
being such as to require " two preachers." In the summer of 

1 Rimmer s ; Summer Rambles Around Manchester," p. 64. 
a Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


1828 the congregation removed from the room in which they had 
previously worshipped to a chapel formerly occupied by the 
Countess of Huntingdon s Connexion; but for a time little 
progress was made indeed, both church and congregation 
seemed to be "on the decline." The Rev. John Hart 
became the minister towards the end of 1832, but he 
remained only about twelve months. A chapel was erected in 
1836, and in July, 1839, the Rev. William Atherton became the 
minister. He removed to Bingley at the Christmas of the follow 
ing year, and subsequently to Idle, where he laboured until his 
death, which occurred July i6th, 1850, at the age of thirty-four 
years. The Rev. Edward Leighton, educated at Nottingham, and 
previously settled at Loughborough, succeeded Mr. Atherton in 
1843, and the report concerning the church about this time reads 
thus : 

Though the progress of the cause here in past years has not been equal 
to the hopes of sanguine friends, yet its importance, placed in the midst of a 
dense population, has been apparent to all. The hope is now confidently 
indulged that the crisis of weakness and deficiency is in great measure 
passed, and that a more cheering prospect of prosperity and usefulness is 
opening up to view; such at least is the feeling of the members of the 
church there. 1 

In the midsummer of 1845 ^ r - Leighton removed to Moor Green, 
Nottinghamshire. He died November 23rd, 1874, aged seventy- 
three years, and was succeeded at Middleton by the Rev. Thomas 
Hamer in 1848. He was educated at Rotherham College, and 
had previously laboured a few years at Barnard Castle. Mr. 
Hamer left Middleton in 1851 for Auckland, New Zealand, where 
he laboured for many years, and where he still resides without 
charge. The Report for the year ending April, 1851, says that a 
great effort had been made to " enlarge the school accommodation 
and to improve the chapel, and ^460 had been expended for that 
purpose ;" that " a day school had been, opened in the course of 
the year in the new schoolroom, to which Mr. Peto, M.P., had 
sent a handsome contribution." The Rev. W. Winlaw, educated 
at Blackburn Academy, and previously at Wellington, in 
Somerset, became Mr. Hamer s successor in 1852. He resigned 

1 County Union Report for year ending April, 1844. 


after about twelve months ministry, and entered the Estab 
lished Church. In 1853 the Rev. A. Bateson, from Egerton, 
became the pastor, and with his advent the church ceased 
to be dependent upon the County Union Funds. Mr. Bateson s 
ministry was terminated by his death, September 30th, I854. 1 His 
successor was the Rev. Samuel Shaw. Born on January 3151, 1821, 
"in a small village in the parish of Saddleworth," he attended the 
Springhead Congregational Church during the pastorate of the Rev. 
John Morris, by whom he was advised to enter the ministry. " After 
pursuing certain preparatory studies under the direction of Mr. 
Morris," he went to Blackburn Academy, and was transferred to 
Lancashire College on its removal to Manchester. His first settle 
ment was Ovenden, near Halifax, whence he removed in August, 
1855, to Middleton. In April, 1859, James Sidebottom, Esq. 
laid the foundation stone of the present chapel, which contains 
sitting accommodation for 900 persons. The total cost of the 
undertaking was about ,2,530, towards which the Chapel Build 
ing Society granted ^250. The building was opened for public 
worship on June 13111, 1860, and the Congregational Year Book 
for 1 86 1 says : 

The Old Chapel has been altered and appropriated to the uses of the 
Sunday Schools, week evening services, and lectures, and the former school 
rooms, which are under the same roof, divided into various classrooms for 
infants and elder scholars. 2 

In the month of November, 1866, Mr. Shaw removed to 
Clevedon, in Somerset. He died at Penzance, February 28th, 
1874. The Rev. T. Stimpson held the pastorate from 1868 to 
1871, becoming subsequently the minister of Chapel Street Chapel, 
Salford. 3 The next minister was the Rev. J. S. Hill, from Exeter. 
He had charge of the church from 1872 to 1877, when he entered 
the Established Church. The Rev. J. Colclough, educated at 
Nottingham Institute, and whose previous charge was Moy, in 
Ireland, succeeded Mr. Hill in 1879. He remained until 1886, 
when he resigned and went to Canada, where he still labours. 

1 Vide vol. iii.of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

5 Page 268. 

3 Vide ante p. 216. 


During Mr. Colclough s pastorate in 1880, new schools were 
erected, costing ^2,500. The present respected pastor is the 
Rev. \V. H. Fothergill, formerly of Barrow-in-Furness, and 
Heywood. 1 He succeeded Mr. Colclough in 1887. The church 
moves steadily ahead ; the Sunday School contains over 400 
scholars, and the Day School, which was re-opened two years ago, 
has about 200 pupils under tuition and Government inspection. 

Salem Church originated in a dispute amongst the people of 
Providence Chapel, respecting their minister, the Rev. Samuel 
Shaw. Some forty or fifty of his friends, thinking he had not been 
justly treated, without any concerted action, resolved to withdraw. 
For several Sundays they worshipped at the various Nonconformist 
places of worship in the town. Some of them having been 
teachers at a branch school in Tonge Lane, and this school in 
its entirety having resolved upon severing its connection with 
Providence Chapel, fearing that the majority of the children might 
be lost to all Christian influences, they determined, if possible, to 
keep them together. They, therefore, rented Salem Chapel, which 
had been built by a number ot secessionists from the Countess of 
Huntingdon s Connexion, and which was then unoccupied. The 
chapel was opened first as a Sunday School, some sixty or seventy 
children assembling the first Sunday, and shortly after preaching 
services were commenced. Its formal opening in this connection 
took place on October 2ist, 1866, when the Rev. Samuel Shaw 
conducted the services. A church, consisting of forty-four 
members, was formed on January 6th, 1867, the Rev John 
Hodgson, of Oldham, being present for the purpose. The pulpit 
was supplied largely by students and laymen until the beginning 
of 1869, when the Rev. S. Firth was invited to assume the 
pastorate. The invitation was not then accepted, but it was so on 
its being renewed in 1870, and Mr. Firth began his labours as the first 
minister on the first Sunday in February of that year. He 
completed a useful ministry in September, 1886, his resignation 
being necessitated by failing health, and is now pastor of the 
Congregational Church at Churchtown, near Southport. 2 His 

1 Vide vols. i. and iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


successor wa> the Rev. John Fielden from Plymouth, who held the 
pastorate from May, 1888, to September, 1890. It was during 
his ministry that Salem Congregational Schools were erected with 
accommodation for 560 scholars, and costing about ^1,200. The 
memorial stones were laid on Saturday, June 8th, 1889, by Mr. R. 
Hankinson, J.P., and others, and the building was completed and 
opened in October of the same year, when amongst the preachers 
were the Revs. T. Green, M.A., of Ashton-under-Lyne, and Dr. 
Macfadyen. Mr. Fielden, after leaving Middleton, settled at 
Tyldesley, where he still labours. No successor has yet been 
appointed, students from Lancashire College supplying the pulpi . 
There are about 260 scholars in regular attendance, and 122 
names on the roll of church members. 




NONCONFORMITY in this neighbourhood first appears in Dukinfield, 
then a mere village, now a considerable town. As a matter of 
geography its history belongs rather to Cheshire than Lancashire, 
because Dukinfield is on the Cheshire side of the river Tame, 
which a little above Stockport becomes the Mersey. Noncon 
formity here, however, is so closely associated with that of Ashton- 
under-Lyne immediately across the river, whilst its two Congrega 
tional churches have so long been connected with the Lancashire 
Congregational Union, that geographical limitations must be set 
aside. 1 It is claimed, and not without some reason, that Dukin 
field became the home of one of the earliest Congregational 
churches in England. Edwards, who was the opponent of Con 
gregationalism, says : 

Considering this church of Dukinfield is the first Independent Church 
visible and framed that was set up in England, being before the Apologists 
came from Holland, and so before their setting up churches here in London. 8 

1 Dr. Aikin (" Forty Miles Round Manchester," p. 451), writing in 1795, 
says : " The village is pleasantly situated upon an eminence commanding an 
extensive prospect over a populous, varied, and picturesque country. Its 
name in the Anglo-Saxon dialect was Dokenveldt. The river Tame 
separates it from the parish of Ashton-under-Lyne, in Lancashire, on the 
north and west sides. This river, in the time of the heptarchy, was 
the boundary of two kingdoms, which will account for the strong out 
works of the castle or old hall of Ashton, opposed by equally strong fortifi 
cations on this side. These were situated somewhere on the grounds now 
occupied by the lodge ; and the mansion, formerly the seat of the Duken- 
field family, thus defended, stood on a place called the Hall-green. No trace 
of it remains but the name. The hall now bearing the family name was 
erected in its stead." 

2 Urwick s Nonconformity in Cheshire," p. 341. 


If, however, such a high antiquity cannot be upheld, it is certain 
that a Congregational church existed here during the early years 
of the Commonwealth. The place of meeting was " a small 
Gothic chapel, originally the private oratory and domestic chapel 
of the Dukinfield family," adjoining the Old Hall ; and the first 
known preacher was the Rev. Samuel Eaton. Dr. Halley has the 
following interesting passage : 

Amidst the ruined walls of the old family chapel is the tomb of a Ducken- 
field who gained his honours in the wars of the crusaders. That dilapidated 
tomb of the crusader, and the ivy-covered walls of the venerable chapel 
are the oldest architectural memorials which can be identified of English 
Congregationalism. In that chapel, encouraged by Colonel Robert Ducken- 
field, * a distinguished officer of Cromwell s army, the Rev. Samuel Eaton 
gathered the first Congregational Church in the north of England, and often 
preached standing, as the traditions of the place say, on the crusader s tomb. 2 

The Rev. Samuel P^aton mentioned in the foregoing extract 
was the son of the Rev. Richard Eaton, Vicar of Great Bud worth. :! 
He was born in 1597, educated at Oxford, and beneficedfor a time as 
rector of West Kirby, in Cheshire, where, about 1634, he was 

1 The Dukinfield family, to whom Nonconformity in this district owes 
so much, deserve a much more lengthy notice than is possible here. Colonel 
Robert Dukinfield is described as " a Congregationalist and a zealous 
republican." He was born August 18, 1619, and was "nominated one of the 
high court for the trial of King Charles, but, being that year Sheriff of 
Cheshire, he did not occupy the place assigned to him, and so escaped the 
peril of the regicides." (Halley s " Lancashire Puritanism and Noncon 
formity," vol. i., p. 294.) In May, 1644, in conjunction with Colonel Main- 
waring, he kept, with a few forces, Stockport Bridge against Prince Rupert. 
On the restoration of the Stuarts, he Buffered imprisonment, but he " lived to 
rejoice in the accession of King William, died the year after the Revolution, 
and was buried, where many good Puritans of the old times lie around him, 
in the chapel of Denton." (Halley s " Lancashire Puritanism and Noncon 
formity" Ibid.) His death took place September i8th, 1689. 

2 "Lancashire Puritanism and Nonconformity," vol. i., p. 294. 

3 So says Calamy (" Nonconformist s Memorial," vol. ii., p. 361); but the 
Rev. R. T. Herford, B.A. ("Memorials of Stand Chapel," p. 20), who has 
obtained his information from a representative of the family, says that Samuel 
Eaton was the son of George Eaton " the friend and correspondent of John 
Bradford, the martyr," and grandson of Richard Eaton, of Great Budworth. 
Mr. Herford does not say whether Richard Eaton was Vicar of Great Bud- 


fined " in sums mounting to from ^"50 to ,500 " for his 
"contumacy," and eventually suspended by the Bishop of 
Chester. Like his brother, therefore, Theophilus Eaton, who 
became the eminent governor of New Haven, he sought an asylum 
in New England from the storms of persecution which were 
gathering round the Nonconformists in the Mother Country. 
After a few years, however, he returned, and in 1645 he is men 
tioned as colleague with the Rev. Timothy Taylor in the pastorate 
o the Dukinfield Congregaiional Church. 1 In addition to his 
duties at Dukinfield he held the post of chaplain to the forces 
at Chester, which necessitated his residence in that city. Mr. 
Eaton s frequent absences from his church led to divisions fostered 
by " gifted persons," and he " removed to Stock port, where he 
preached in the free school." It is not clear whether after 
wards he returned to Dukinfield. Calamy says : 

After he was ejected in 1662 he attended on the ministry of Mr. Angier 
at Denton, as did many of his old hearers, who, by afflictions and sufferings, 
were wrought into a better temper. Mr. Eaton died January gth, 1664, aged 
68. He left no children, but left a good name among persons of all persua 
sions. 2 

Henry Newcome tells us that he was buried at Denton Chapel. 
Writing under date January nth, 1666 (Thursday), he says : 

We buried poor Mr. Leigh, of Gorton, at Denton Chapel, by the day of 
the week the same day twelve months that we had before buried Mr. 
Eaton, in the same place. 3 

1 The Rev. Timothy Taylor, B.A., was the son of the Rev. Thomas 
Taylor, Vicar of Hemel Hemstrad, Hertfordshire. He was baptised in 1613, 
entered Queen s College, Oxford, in 1626, took holy orders in 1634, an( ^ 
became vicar of Almesley, in Herefordshire. Seeing the evils of Episcopacy 
and ceremonies imposed," he repented, and publicly preached against them. 
After serving the Congregationalists of Dukinfield for several years he 
removed to Ireland in 1650, becoming minister of Carrickfergus, " then 
resorted to by Presbyterians and Independents." In 1688 he was living at 
Dublin, where he became the colleague of the Rev. Samuel Mather, remain 
ing there until his death. (Vide Urwick s " Nonconformity in Cheshire," 
p. 343 ; also his " Nonconformity in Herts," p. 428.) 

2 "Nonconformist s Memorial" (1802), vol. ii., p. 361. 

3 " Autobiography," p. 155 (Chetham Society Series, vol. xxvii.). Mr. 
W. A. Shaw, however, in his " Manchester Classis " (Chetham Society, New 
Series, vol. xxiv., p. 426), gives the following from the Stockport 
Registers : " 1664, January I2th, Saml. Eaton, of Bredburie, minister, buried." 


Mr. Eaton was called the " great apostle, " for promoting Inde 
pendency in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and Cheshire, and was the 
author of several important pamphlets in its support. His book, 
the " Quakers Confuted," is described as " Christian and tem 
perate," whilst that of his opponents abounds in abuse and coarse 
ness. 1 

With the Restoration, in 1660, the fortunes of the Dukinfield 
family changed. Colonel Dukinfield was summoned before the 
House of Commons because of the part he had taken in the Civil 
War ; the chapel at the Hall was confiscated, and the Episcopa 
lians appropriated to their own use " both it and an adjoining 
Nonconformist seminary."- 

The township of Denton, in whose chapel Calamy says Samuel 
Eaton and his friends worshipped after the ejection, enjoying the 
ministry of the Rev. John Angier, is a few miles south-west of Dukin 
field. He was born at Dedham, in Essex, October 8th, 1605, and con 
nected by marriage with Dr. John Cotton, of Boston, in Lincolnshire, 
subsequently of New England fame, in 1629 John Angier, like many 
of the Puritans of that time, began to think of going to America, and 
actually journeyed into Lancashire, to the home of his wife s rela 
tions, with that in view. This led to his settlement at Ringley, 
near Bolton, whence, owing to his Nonconformity, he was obliged 
to remove, in 1632, when he became the minister of Denton 
Chapel. Supported by the Holland and Hyde families he was 
able to continue his ministrations at Denton during all those years 
of persecution which brought to so many Nonconformists 
ejectment, imprisonment, and exile. " In Mr. Angier s days," says 
Booker, " Denton was the favourite resort of the Nonconforming 
and ejected ministers," their " little Goshen in life," with whose 
" peaceful associations " many of them sought a continuance in 

1 The following is a specimen : " O Eaton, thou lyar ! O thou lyar ! 
Doth Satan transform himself into ministers of righteousness? Here I 
charge thee, in the presence of Christ, to be a lyar. O, thou dark sot." It 
is much to be regretted that the history of George Fox and his early 
followers is marked by such bitter and un-Christian abuse of all who were not 
of their way of thinking. 

2 " Half a Century of Independency in Ashton-under-Lyne" (published 
in 1867), p. 3. 


the "slumbers of the tomb." 1 Until his death, September ist, 
1677, Mr. Angier served the congregation at Denton, "refusing 
all offers of more substantial preferment." " He died," says his 
biographer, " amongst his own people, over whom he had been 
pastor forty-five years, with whom he had been travailing, weeping, 
fasting, praying ; amongst whom he has left remarkable seals of 
his ministry." He was interred in the chapel facing the pulpit, 
near the body of his second wife, the daughter of Oswald Mosley, 
Esq., of Ancoats. He was the ancestor of an eminent race of 
Dissenting ministers.- An effort was made to secure as his suc 
cessor his nephew, the Rev. Samuel Angier, who had assisted him 
in the pastorate several years before his death, but though he was 
able to command " a powerful interest " the effort did not succeed, 
and Mr. Samuel Angier retired to the " adjacent village of Dukin- 
field." 3 The Conformist minister, the Rev. John Ogden, B.A., 
was appointed, and Denton Chapel has ever since been served by 
Episcopalians. " The building," says Baines, " is still the same as 
when first built three centuries ago, being the only one of the more 
ancient chapels in the parish [of Manchester], retaining those 
original architectural fixtures which probably all once had in 
common." 4 

The accompanying view of Denton Chapel is as it appeared at 
the close of last century. In the foreground is the old Yew Tree, 
in a very decayed condition, respecting which the Rev. VV. P. 
Greswell, Incumbent of the chapel from 1791 to 1853, composed 
the following stanzas : 

While silent ages glide away, 
And turrets tremble with decay, 
Let not the pensive Muse disdain 
The tribute of one humble strain 
To mourn in plaints of pity due 
The fate of yonder blasted yew. 

1 " History of the Ancient Chapel of Denton," p. 114 (Chetham Society 
Series, vol. xxxvii.). 

2 Vide vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity " for a full account of the 
Angier family. 

3 Vide p. 287. 

4 " History of Lancashire " (Croston s Edition), vol. ii., p. 24:. 


Long blotted from the rolls of time 
The day that mark d thy early prime, 
No hoary sage remains to say, 
Who kindly rear d thy tender spray ; 
Who taught its slow maturing form 
From age to age to brave the storm. 

Beneath thy widely branching shade 
Perchance his weary limbs were laid ; 
Content, without a stone, to share 
The umbrage of thy grateful care ; 
His utmost wish for thee to shed 
Oblivion s dews around thy head. 

And long thy darkling foliage gave 
A hallowed stillness to his grave ; 
For there, if legends rightly tell, 
No vagrant reptile dared to dwell : 
E en sprites, by moonlight wont to stray, 
Scar d at thy presence, fled away. 

As thus, in contemplative mood, 
The venerable trunk I view d, 
Forth issuing from the sapless rind 
A hoarse voice trembled on the wind. 
Amaz d I stood, and wing d with fear, 
These accents caught my wondering ear 

" Me, to the precincts of the place 
That antique hallowed Pile to grace, 
From native woods, in days of yore, 
The fathers of the hamlet bore. 
Foster d by Superstition s hand, 
A late memorial now I stand. 

" My spreading shade, extending wide, 
The village wonder and its pride 
I mark d, as years revolved, the blow 
That laid each hardiest grandsire low 
Now worn with all consuming age, 
I yield to Time s relentless rage. 

Nor fondly blame, with strain severe, 
The simple zeal that placed me here. 
Nor dare thy fathers to despise, 
And deem thy upstart sons more wise. 
Let self conviction check thy pride, 
To error both too near allied. 


Of Zeal s unletter d warmth possest, 
Yet still Religion fir d their breast ; 
Frequent the hallowed court to tread 
Where Mercy hears Repentance plead, 
Constant the grateful hymn to raise ; 
Our Zion echoed with their praise. 

Their sons superior knowledge boast ; 
Knowledge how vain ! since Zeal is lost. 
Now, gradual as my branches pine, 
I see Devotion s flame decline. 
And while, like me, Religion wanes, 
Alas ! her vestige scarce remains." 1 


1 In the Denton Chapel Parish Register, under date February i, 1714-15, 
Tuesday, is the following : " Abt noon there happened a violent and terrible 
storm of wind, w ch shatter d and blew down y e highest and greatest part of 
y e Yew Tree in y e Chap 11 yard, w ch before was suppos d to be one of y e noblest 
and largest in y e Kingdom, being a very great ornament as well as shelter to 
y e Chappell." Booker ("History of Denton Chapel," p. 119, note, being 
vol. xxxvii. of the Chetham Society s Old Series) says : * The yew tree at 
Denton occupied a position at the south side of the chapel. It never 
recovered from the effects of this memorable storm, and was eventually cut 
down in the year 1800, and superseded in the following year by a small tree 
of the same species." 


The story of early Nonconformity in this district may be com 
pleted by a few sentences respecting the Rev. John Harrison, "an 
orthodox, painfull, able minister," ejected from the Parish Church 
of Ashton-under-Lyne, in 1662. He had held the cure from 
1643, had previously been the minister of Walmsley Chapel, near 
Bolton, and was an intimate friend of the family of Oliver Hey- 
wood. After his ejection he removed to Salford, " where he was 
soon afterwards deprived of the use of his limbs, which was 
thought to be the consequence of his indefatigable labours, fast 
ings, and night studies." 1 He died at Ashton "on the last day of 
December [1670], about foure clocke afternoon," and was buried 
in the chancel of the church, his successor, the Rev. Thomas 
Ellison, preaching his funeral sermon, and giving him a great 
character, but not beyond his desert."- No Nonconformist 
interest in Ashton-under-Lyne is traceable to the labours of Mr. 
Harrison, at Denton, or to those of Mr. Angier, doubtless 
because the one at Dukinfield, only a few miles away, was found 
to be sufficient for the needs of the whole neighbourhood. 


IN the previous section it is stated that the Rev. Samuel Angier, 
on being prevented from succeeding his uncle in the pastorate of 
Denton Chapel, retired to the "adjacent village of Dukinfield." 
The times were heavy against Nonconformists, and Mr. Angier s 
opportunities for serving those of his former charge who were of 
his way of thinking would be limited. The following picture is 
worth preservation : 

Tradition can yet point out the place in a neighbouring wood, where on 
days set apart, under the watch of sentinels, and at nightfall, when they 
were less likely to be observed, the proscribed ministers were met by their 
faithful adherents, when the pious service of prayer, praise, and exhortation 
had no other walls to surround it but the naked thicket, and no other roof 
for its protection but the canopy of heaven. 3 

1 Calamy s " Nonconformist s Memorial " (1802), vol. ii., p. 352. 

2 Ibid; vide also vol. iii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 
3 " Monthly Repository " for 1823, p. 682. 


At Stockport, in 1680, it is said he was excommunicated, 
after which time he preached as opportunity permitted in 
a barn in Henshaw Lane, between Newton and Dukinfield. 
The Toleration Act of 1689 brought relief, and Mr. Angier lost no 
time in licensing " his out-housing, 1 and there he resumed his long- 
interrupted ministerial functions." The hayloft was fitted up as a 
temporary gallery, and the family of the " Hall were not ashamed, 
surrounded by their tenantry, to attend upon his ministry." 2 Here 
worship was held until 1708, when by the munificence of Sir 
Robert Dukinfield and " other and humbler well wishers to the 
cause a commodious chapel was erected." 3 The following passage 
from an address by the Rev. R. Brook Aspland, M.A., at the 
stone laying of the new chapel in June, 1839, is interesting : 

The chapel was completed in the summer of 1708, and was first used for 
public worship on a thanksgiving day for the victory of Oudenarde. The 
Dissenters of that day would naturally feel that the continuance of their 
religious privileges somewhat depended on the continued success of the 
British arms, the war having broken out between this country and France in 
consequence of the latter having recognised the title of the Stuart family to 
the throne of England. The "Old Chapel" was not, however, opened for 
regular public worship until the aoth of August. 4 

Over the southern entrance of the chapel, which stood upon " a 
most beautiful and commanding eminence," was the date iTo-j/ 

Close by and about the same time a school was erected, which 
was taken down over a century ago " to give the former building 
all the advantage of its peculiarly fine situation." A writer of 

1 He lived on a small estate in Dukinfield, till lately known as " Angier s 

2 " Monthly Repository" for 1823, p. 682. 

3 " Christian Reformer" for 1839, p. 668. 

4 Ibid. p. 669. 

5 Dr. Aikin, writing in 1795, says: "On the summit above Dukinfield- 
lodge stands a very ancient dissenters chapel, built of stone, and surrounded 
with a burying ground planted with firs. It has a large congregation, noted 
for fine singers, and was long under the care of the Rev. Mr. Buckley. 
Here lie buried some of the Dukinfield family. The chapel itself is a fine 
station for an extensive prospect, and is itself a striking object from the 
vicinity." (" Forty Miles around Manchester," p. 453). 


seventy years ago gives the following information respecting 
this institution : 

This school is said to have flourished very much, particularly under the 
mastership of Domini Gee, specimens of whose superior penmanship in 
the Italian court hand of that period are yet in preservation. It is not 
unworthy of remark that the widow of Domini Gee s son is yet a resident in 
the village, and possesses comparatively strong mental and corporeal energy, 
now in her loist year. Not long ago, she was invited to the house of one of 
her descendants, when a meeting took place at a tea party of five generations 
in the same family. One of her grandsons is now the stone-cutter and 
officiating sexton belonging to the chapel yard. Previous to this school, a 
seminary for the education of young gentlemen had been conducted with 
great reputation in this place by a Mr. Barlow, whose classic attainments 
were held in very great esteem. Indeed, such was his widely extended 
reputation, that several London merchants, as well as the neighbouring 
gentlemen, sent their sons to be educated by him. Amongst his pupils 
from London, a son of the celebrated critic, John Dennis, was of the 
number. This boy is reported to have been a great oddity, whose 
peculiarities contributed in no small degree to the mirth of his associates. 1 

Mr. Angier continued to serve the congregation until his death, 
November 8th, 1713, and, as he holds so prominent a place 
in the history of Nonconformity here, the reader will welcome 
a few more particulars about him. He was the son of 
Bezaleel Angier, of Dedham, in Essex, where he was born August 
28th, 1639. His early education he received at Westminster 
School, under the celebrated Dr. Busby, whence he removed to 
Christ Church, Oxford. The Uniformity Act of 1662 led to 
his ejection from the University, after which he lived for several 
years with Dr. Owen, " for whom he always retain d a most pro 
found Respect." His ordination took place on October 29th, 1672, 
at the house of the Rev. Robert Eaton, in Deansgate, Manchester, 2 
he being at the time his uncle s assistant at Denton. Like his uncle, 

1 "Monthly Repository" for 1823, p. 681. 

2 Hunter says this was the "first Presbyterian ordination among the 
Nonconformists in the north of England, and perhaps tha first in any part of 
the kingdom." (" Life of Oliver Heywood," p. 244). In addition to Mr. Angier, 
Mr. Joseph Dawson, a neighbour and friend of Oliver Heywood, and Mr. 
John Jollie, brother of the Rev. Thomas Jollie, of Altham, were candidates, 
the ordainers being the Revs. Oliver Heywood, John Angier, Henry Newcome, 
Henry Finch, and Robert Eaton. 



he married into the Mosley family, his wife being Ann, daughter 
of Oswald Mosley, Esq. She died in 1690, and was interred in 
the graveyard of the Collegiate Church, Manchester. In the 
" Northowram Register" is the following reference to the event : 

" Mr. Saml. Angier s wife, of Dukinfield, died of a Tympany, 
buried at Manchester, July 26. Mr. ffr. Mosley, her uncle, 
preacht ffuneral." 1 

For many years previous to his death Mr. Angier was almost 
blind, but he "frequently entertained himself with repeating the 
greatest part of David s Psalms and Paul s Epistles." His re 
mains were laid in the graveyard of the chapel which was built for 
him, and upon his tombstone the following Latin inscription was 
placed : 

Hie requiescit in Domino 
Jesu Christ! Minister, 

Vir primaevae Pietatis et omni virtute praeclarus, 
Dedhamiae in Comitatu Essexiae 
Piis et honestis Parentibus, 
Natus Octobris 28, 1639. 
Westmonasteriensis Scholae deinde ^dis Christi Oxon, 

Alumnus Regius, 

Concionator Egregius et Assiduus, 

Continuis Evangelii Laboribus et Morbis, 

Fere Obrutus, 

Lumine etiam, ingravescente ^Ltate, orbatus 
Tandem Animam placide, 

Deo reddaidit, 

8vo Novembris Anno Salutis 
Ai.ta.tis Lxxv. 

In perpetuam Pietatis Memoriam, 

Bezaleel et Johannis Filii Sui, 

H. M. P. C. 

Calamy says that all his days he was " a close studenr, a great 
valuer of Bible knowledge, an exact preacher, and one that liv d as 
he spoke, and spoke as he liv d." An interesting little diary kept 

* Page 78. 

a " Account of the Ejected and Silenced Ministers," vol. iii., p. in 
(Edition 1727). 


by him is still in existence, from which the following local and 
family items have been extracted : 

My Bror. John Angier came to his father s house from Verginia, Tuesday, 
July 26th, 1664. 

Janet, d. of Tho : Hooly, of Due "kinfield], baptis d Aprill 22, 1603. Mary 
baptised Jan. 6, 1606. 

Martha, June 29th, 1609. The sisters were all born at the house in 
Duckenfield wherin I dwell. 

January 24th, 1682, my wife and self fall dangerously of a horse by Law : 
Wright s, but wh. little damage, " blessed be the Lord." 

February 4th, 1682. Dyed landlord, Benjamin Walker, bur. yth, sad all 
over. His widow dyed June lyth following. 

yth. I went to Mr. Hirst s, being sent for w th Sr Robt. [Duckinfield]. 

i3th. Bro. Nat s 2d Son was born : ye 13 named Matthew. 

i5th. It s this day 15 yeares since I came to Denton. 

i yth. This day it s fifteen yeares since I first preached y re. 

2ist. My dear and precious mother departed this life ye 2ist about ten 
before noon. 12 Febr. last year dyed Bror. Matthew Angier: this is the 
third dt:ath since October 29, 1678 my dear father, bro r, and mother, 

March 2, 1682. Son Bezaleel went to Manchester. 

June 4th. At night, about 12, Bro r Bezaleel taken ill w h a palsye on one 
side, and became very weak. 

I5th. Bro r Bezaleel departed this life. 

i6th. Frydaie night, about 12 o clock, Mr. Jo. Jolly departed this life, to 
ye great losse of the Church of God. [This was the Rev. John Jollie, who 
was ejected from Norbury, in Cheshire, in 1662, and was brother to the 
Rev. Thomas Jollie, of Wymond-houses, near Clitheroe, who says that he 
died in one night s sickness.] 

i yth. Dyed my Landlady, Walker, of Asheton ; bur. 2oth. 

25th. Dyed Cousin Anne Langton, of Preston, at Kersall, buried at 
Manchester, tuesday, 2y. 

1682. Cousin John Angier was w h us about 14 days, and 3 weeks in May 
and June. 

Sept. 2. Sister Mary Barker delivered of a daughter. 

24th. Cousin John Angier came to my house. 

October I2th. Sam. Eaton married. [Minister of the Nonconformist 
Chapel at Stand. Oliver Heywood, in his diary, says that Mr. Eaton was 
married Sept. 22, and so there is a discrepancy.] 

i6th. I went to Manch. w h my wife and stayed 3 nights at Mr. . 

21. Cousin Sam. Angier came to my house. 

26 of Nov. Cousin Sam. went from my house. 

Nov. yth. I went to Manch. and stayed 2 nights at O. Butterworth s. 

25th. Dyed Martha, Bro. Matth s wid. 

2gth of Nov., i6yo. Mr. Charles Duckinfield was baptised, soe that he is 
now twelve yeares old. 


Like many other Nonconformist ministers of the time, Mr. Angier 
appears to have been a small farmer as well as a pastor, and his 
diary contains entries to the effect that his field was " plowed and 
harrowed in a good time ; " that his " old horse dyed ; " and that 
he brewed his own beer about every month, when " 2 hoopes were 
used." 1 

The Rev. Wm. Buckley succeeded Mr. Angier in 1714, in which 
year he was ordained at Knutsford. His biographer says : 

He happened to possess a patrimonial estate in the township, and when 
young became enamoured of a daughter of the Baronet whose demesne land 
lay contiguous to his own. The parties were prevented ratifying that union 
so much coveted by both, and the lady died soon after (in lover s language) 
of a broken heart. He afterwards married a half-sister of the Baronet s, a 
daughter of Colonel Dukinfield in his old age, by a third wife, whose 
maiden name was Bottomley. 2 

Mr. Buckley s ministrations at Dukinfield terminated only with 
his death in 1752. In a paper written by him he gives the 
following particulars respecting his congregation, which show how 
large and influential it was : 

Baronet i 

Esquire i 

Gentlemen 12 

Tradesmen 16 

Yeomen 76 

Late comers, labourers, servants, &c 687 

Votes for knights of the county 96 

As illustrative of his influence over the people in the village it 
is said that "if he shook his stick at the Hall Green (the place of 

1 This interesting little volume, formerly in the possession of the Rev. 
Richard Slate, at Preston, is now the property of Mr. John Hargreaves, of 
Rock Ferry. It was given to Mr. Slate by the late Mr. Edward Harrison, 
of Preston, a descendant of Mr. Angier. (Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire 

2 " Monthly Repository " for 1823, p. 682. 


his residence) the boys trembled as far as the town lane end 
(distant half a mile)." During the few years immediately 
succeeding Mr. Buckley s death " a lamentable series of con 
gregational divisions occur, and a manifest want of suitability in 
the ministers that were chosen to succeed him." The following five 
names of persons who held the pastorate for a few months each 
are mentioned, concerning whom little is known : Revs. J. 
Burgess, 1 S. Stopford, 2 R. Robinson, Gladstone, 4 and J. Helme. 6 

" Conformably to the wishes of the congregation," it is said that 
the last named person was induced to resign in favour of the Rev. 
William Buckley, the only son of their former so much esteemed 
pastor. Mr. Buckley quitted trade and " at a mature age devoted 
himself to an academical education for the purpose of healing the 
divisions of the congregation as their minister." Such is the record ; 
but another writer states that the troubles which came upon the 
church in years subsequent to the ministry of Mr. Buckley, 
senior, came through the son, " who, although he bore 
the father s name, did not inherit his father s intellect and 
connections." 6 Educated by Dr. Caleb Ashworth in the Daventry 
Academy, of which he became a student in 1756, he appears to 
have settled for a short time at Atherstone, in Warwickshire, 7 
whence he removed to Dukinfield in 1762. It is recorded that 
he came to Dukinfield "not only an Arian, but also a clerical 
dandy," and that an attempt was made to eject him from the 

1 Probably the Rev. James Burgess, of Greenacres Chapel, Oldham. 
Vide ante p. 236; also vol. ii. of "Lancashire Nonconformity." 

2 The congregation is said to have been divided between Mr. Burgess 
and Mr. Stopford. 

3 Subsequently at Dob Lane, in the history of which a full account of this 
singular man is given (vide ante p. 44). 

4 A Scotchman whose immoral conduct " soon drove him away " from 
Dukinfield. Possibly the person of that name mentioned in the history of 
Greenacres Chapel (vide ante p. 238). 

5 It is recorded that he came to Dukinfield from St. Helens. I have not 
met with his name in the Nonconformity of that district. The Rev. J. 
Helme appears at Blackley, Walmsley, etc. (vide ante p. 34 ; also vol. iii. of 
"Lancashire Nonconformity.") 

6 " Half a Century of Independency in Ashton-under-Lyne," p. 7. 

7 " Monthly Repository" for 1822, p. 164. 


pulpit, which failed. " A conspicuous opponent of his view?, 
says one, "was an Ashtonian of the name of Walker," who, "on 
one occasion, when the clerical coxcomb was about to ascend the 
pulpit in the full flown ecclesiastical millinery of the period, con 
fronted him in the passage, and, pointing with his walking stick 
to the minister s dress, exclaimed aloud, Where silk gowns and 
powdered wigs come, there cometh no gospel. " A secession 
of those who were dissatisfied with Mr. Buckley s ministry 
eventually took place, with which is associated the origin of Con 
gregationalism in Dukinfield and Ashton-under-Lyne. Infirmities 
led to his resignation in 1791, in which year he was succeeded by 
the Rev. David Davies, a student from Carmarthen. " Unfortu 
nately," says his biographer, " habits of inebriety, early imbibed, 
blasted the promise of much utility. He became unfitted for his 
situation, and, quitting the country, it is said he died abroad." 
Mr. Davies resigned in 1794, and is called the first "Unitarian" 
minister of the chapel. The Rev. Thomas Smith followed from 
1794 to 1796, and his other pastorates were at Stand, 
Risley, and Park Lane. 1 A brief ministry, extending only over 
a few months, by the Rev. William Tate, subsequently of 
Chorley, 2 was succeeded by that of the Rev. James Hawkes. Born 
at Buckingham in September, 1771, educated at the Northampton 
Academy under the Rev. John Horsey, and minister at Congleton 
in 1797, he removed to Dukinfield in 1800. He established a 
Sunday School, "the first institution of the kind in the village. 
In 1813 he removed to Lincoln, and subsequently to Nantwich, 
where he died May i9th, 1846. The Rev. Joseph Ash ton, for 
some time minister at Dob Lane and then Preston," was here from 
1814 to 1817. In 1819 the Rev. John Gaskell, M.A., became 
the minister. He belonged to the family of that name at 
Warrington, was educated at Glasgow University, and settled first 
for a short time at Thome, in Yorkshire, whence he removed to 
Dukinfield. Death carried him away in the midst of his labours 
at the early age of forty-one years, on May i5th, 1836. His 

1 Vide vols. iii. and iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." Mr. Smith was 
the author of an Essay on " Avarice," and two volumes of poetry. 

2 Vide vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

3 Vide ante p. 48 ; and vol. i. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


successor was the Rev. R. B. Aspland, M.A. He was educated at 
Glasgow University, and Manchester New College, York ; was 
minister at Chester from 1826 to 1832; one of the ministers at 
Le win s Mead, Bristol, from 1833 to 1837 ; removing in the latter 
year to Dukinfield. It was during his ministry that the old chapel, 
which had become quite dilapidated 1 and unequal to the wants of 
the congregation, was superseded by the present handsome 
structure, which contains about 1,000 sittings, and cost ^"5,000. 
The foundation stone was laid by Samuel Ashton, Esq., on 
June 26th, 1839, on which occasion Mr. Aspland delivered an 
interesting address upon early Nonconformity in the district. On 
Wednesday, August 26th, of the following year, the opening 
sermon, from Mark xi., 17, was preached by the Rev. Robert 
Aspland, of Hackney ; the other ministers assisting being the 
Revs. J. E. Robberds, of Manchester, and James Hawkes. a 
former pastor. Mr. Aspland continued his labours until 1858, 
when he removed to Hackney. He died in 1869. He was for 
several years the editor of the Christian Reformer, and the 
author of a brief history of " Old Nonconformity at Dukinfield." 
The Rev. John Gordon, who had previously laboured at Coseley, 
Coventry, and Edinburgh, succeeded Mr. Aspland at Dukinfield 
in 1858, and resigned in 1862. He was followed in 1863 by the 
Rev. J. P. Hopps, educated at the Baptist College, Leicester, and 
previously of Sheffield. He remained until 1869, and is now at 
Leicester. The Rev. P. H. Wicksteed, M. A., educated at Man 
chester New College, London, and minister at Taunton for a few 
years, held the pastorate from 1870 to 1874. In the latter year 
he removed to London, where he still labours, From 1875 to 
1884 the Rev. G. H. Vance, B.D., whose education was received 
at Harvard, U.S.A., was minister. He is now at Dublin. The 
present minister is the Rev. Hugon S. Tayler, M.A., who was 
educated at London and Cambridge. He begin his labours here 
in 1885. 

The terrible storm of January yth, 1839, destroyed the windows, and 
damaged its roof, so that except for the purpose of funerals and marriages 
it was not again used by the congregation. 



ABOUT the year 1780 a Mr. Walker, who lived near the Ashton 
Churchyard, dissatisfied with the teaching of the Rev. William 
Buckley, of Dukinfield, left the old chapel, taking with him a 
number of friends, and began to hold services in his own house. 
" This, as far as can be gleaned," writes one, " was the first society 
of Independents in the borough." 1 The history of this effort is 
given in the following passage : 

For about ten years this little company held together, meeting on Sunday 
mornings for fellowship and mutual exhortation, and at the evening services 
enjoyed the preaching of ministers from Manchester, Delph, Greenacres, and 
other places. But, as the neighbouring pastors were unable to continue this 
help, and at the same time do justice to their own places, the failure of 
regular preaching had an injurious effect upon the church, and about 1790 
it ceased to exist. The few who had stood firm to the last did not abandon 
their principles, but walked distances of five or six miles in order to benefit 
by the communion and instruction of Independent Churches in the district. 2 

About three years afterwards a second attempt was made, and 
we have the following interesting account of the opening of a large 
room for worship/ The room was in connection with Mr. 
Oldham s mill, Peaceable Street (now Fleet Street), and had 
accommodation for about 400 persons : 

The town of Ashton, in Lancashire, had long been destitute of gospel light, 
eminently the seat of prejudice and enmity; it pleased the All-wise and 
gracious Head of the Church to dispose the minds of some neighbouring 
ministers to seek a place where they might preach alternately for a time, by 
way of proving the spirits of the people and the designs of Providence. 
After several fruitless attempts, a commodious room was provided ; and on 
the ist of August, 1793, the Rev. N. Blackburn, of Delph, and the Rev. T. 
Kennedy, M.A., of Manchester, preached to a numerous and attentive 
congregation from the words of Christ, Take heed WHAT ye hear, and Take 
heed HOW ye hear. Since this period the place has been attended beyond 
expectation, a proper meeting is established, and it is hoped that some are 

1 "Half a Century of Independency in Ashton-under-Lyne," p. 8. 

2 Ibid. 

3 Urwick, and other writers on Congregationalism in this district, 
wrongly give 1795 as the date of the commencement of this second effort. 
The building was opened in 1793. 


already asking their way to Zion. We trust that the gentlemen engaged in 
this good work will persevere through every discouragement, that the blessing 
of many perishing souls will come upon them, and that their generous example 
will be zealously imitated. 1 

Failure of supply, "combined with strife within their own 
borders," shattered this second effort in the direction of church 
formation, and after " a precarious existence of five or six years it 
came to an untimely end." 2 The erection of Providence Chapel, 
Dukinfield, for the Rev. Wm. Marsh, of which an account will be 
given subsequently, resulted in "most of the Independents, who 
still continued to meet in private houses in Ashton," joining this 
" young and flourishing church on the other side of the river." 
A few, however, are said to have held together, and to 
have kept up regular preaching with "great credit to them 
selves," the principal share of this work "falling to the late Mr. 
James Lord, long a devoted and valued friend of Independency 
in Ashton." During the ministry of the Rev. T. Bennett, who 
succeeded Mr. Marsh at Uukinfield, a difference between him and 
his people arose upon a question of church discipline, and fourteen 
members left, "crossed the river, and united themselves to the 
small band of resolute Independents in Ashton," amongst them 
being Mr. Nathaniel Buckley. This "increase of numbers and 
accession of strength " soon made itself felt, and the true history 
of Congregationalism in Ashton may be said to begin at this point. 
In 1815 the Rev. Richard Slate says: 

" A few persons of piety and influence, attached to the doctrines 
and principles of evangelical Congregationalism, fitted up a room 
for public worship, which for some time was supplied by lay 
preachers from Manchester and the neighbourhood. The attend 
ance for the first six months was small, frequently not amounting 
to twenty persons in the morning." 3 Respecting this early home 
of the Albion Church which was all that could be obtained at 

1 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1794, p. 118. 

2 Half a Century of Independency in Ashton-under-Lyne," p. 10. The 
author, however, adds that it is not clear that the church thus formed was 
" ever entirely disbanded." One who was well informed, says the friends 
never ceased to assemble, meeting occasionally in Ashton and Dukinfield. 

3 " History of the Lancashire Congregational Union," p. 39. 


the time we have the following interesting passage, written in 

The Earl of Stamford and Warrington, and lord of the manor of Ashton, 
on being applied to for land, declared that no Dissenting Chapel should ever 
be erected on his estates, and, it is said, caused a clause to be inserted in all 
his leases to that effect. Baffled in their endeavours to obtain an eligible 
situation for their religious home, the church had recourse to an obscure and 
unsightly building, turning out to the left off Crickets Lane. There the 
old building stands to this hour, with its quaint inscription : " Can there any 
good thing come out of Nazareth ? Come and see." Infinite good has come 
to the world from Nazareth, and it is not too much to say that much light 
and blessing has come to many souls from that dull and dingy room in 
Crickets Lane. 1 Within it, what is called the Albion Independent Church 
held in 1816 its first communion in memory of Him of Nazareth, and of 
Calvary, too. Twenty-seven joined in that sacred celebration. All of them, 
except one, have passed away from the waiting and wrestling Church below 
to the triumphant Church above. She who remains is Mary Smith, then 
living in Dukinfield nursery, but since that, long and honourably known as 
the wife of the Rev. Robert Moffat, the intrepid and devoted Missionary to 
Southern Africa. 2 

In the early part of 1816, Ashton, with Oldham, is mentioned 
as " a very promising sphere of itinerant labours ; " and a " neat 
and commodious " building, called " Refuge Chapel," capable of 
"seating 500 persons, was opened April gth, 1817, by Messrs. 
Bradley and Ely. 1 - The chapel stood in an alley (now Albion 
Street) off Crickets Lane; its cost is given as about ^1,000, and 
the "principal instrument" in its erection is said to be Mr. 
Nathaniel Buckley. 3 On the first Sunday in January, 1818, the 
Rev. Jonathan Sutcliffe, a student from Idle Academy, became 
the minister. His ordination took place on the J4th of May 
following, when his pastor, the Rev. James Scott, of Cleckheaton, 
gave him the charge from Prov. xi. 30 ; the Rev. William Vint, 
Tutor of Idle Academy, "delivered the introductory discourse and 

1 The old chapel in " Harrop s Yard," off Crickets Lane, was built a little 
before the end of last century by the New Connexion Methodists, who had 
just seceded from the old Wesleyan body. It was abandoned by them for 
larger premises in Stamford Street. After the Congregationalists left it, the 
Roman Catholics worshipped in it for a time. 

2 " Half a Century of Independency in Ashton-under-Lyne," pp. 12, 13. 

3 " Evangelical Magazine" for 1818, p. 355. 


received the confession ; " and amongst others who assisted was 
the Rev. Mr. La Trobe (Moravian minister). The growing congre 
gations who waited on Mr. Sutcliffe s ministry rendered an enlarge 
ment necessary, which eventually was made, giving sitting accom 
modation in all to about 620 persons. 1 " At a church meeting held 
in July, 1833," writes the Rev. Richard Slate, "it was concluded, 
as the chapel was insufficient to accommodate the increasing con 
gregation, to erect a new place of worship on a large scale 
on an adjoining plot of ground, then occupied by cottages. The 
foundation stone was laid 2 amidst a large concourse of people, on 
the 23rd of May, 1834., and the present elegant and spacious 
chapel, capable of seating twelve hundred persons, was opened for 
divine worship on the xoth of May, 1835. " 3 The preachers on 
the occasion were morning and evening Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, 
and afternoon the Rev. J. Sutcliffe, pastor. On the following 
Wednesday, May i3th, Dr. McAll, of Manchester, preached, and 
the collections of the united services amounted to ^367 43. gd. 
The cost of the chapel, including the "purchase of premises," is 
given as ^3,427 is. 3d. 4 On Tuesday evening, January 8th, 
1850, Mr. Sutcliffe received from his people " a purse of gold 
containing ^1,000, and a fine copy of the Oxford demy folio 
Bible, value thirty guineas, bound in the most handsome style." 5 
More than thirty years of unremitting toils had left their mark 
upon the pastor, and he began to " feel the necessity of abridging 
bis labours" ; but " some alterations he suggested for this end not 
meeting with perfect concurrence, he resigned his charge in May, 
1 85 1." 6 In January of the following year he became pastor of the 

1 The re-opening services took place on August aoth, 1827. Theenlarge- 
ment was made by adding the original schoolroom to the chapel. 

2 By Mr. Nathaniel Buckley, the senior deacon of the church. 

3 " History of the Lancashire Congregational Union," p. 40. 

4 " Evangelical Magazine " for 1835, p. 291. These were the formal re 
opening services, but the church took leave of Refuge Chapel on March 
29th, when Mr. Sutcliffe preached to his people on " Arise, let us go hence," 
entering into possession of the new structure, which was by no means 
finished, on the following Sunday, April 5th, when Mr. Sutcliffe was again 
the preacher, his texls being morning, Haggai ii., 9 ; afternoon, i Cor. ii., 
2; evening, 2 Tim. i., 8. 

5 " Christian Witness " for 1850, p. 90. 

6 " Congregational Year Book" for 1860, p. 208. 

THE REV. J. G. ROGERS, B.A. 301 

Congregational Church at Longsight, where he was instrumental in 
building "Ivy Chapel," in 1853; but softening of the brain led 
to his retirement in 1856. 1 He died at Ashton, April 2oth, 1859, 
aged sixty-four years, and was interred in the Harpurhey Cemetery. 
Mr. Sutcliffe was antiquarian in his tastes, and in 1841 
was elected a Fellow of the Antiquarian Society. He was the 
author of a " Memoir of Emily Rowland," the copyright of which 
he presented to the Religious Tract Society. Near the pulpit of 
Albion Chapel is a handsome memorial tablet, thus inscribed : 

Sacred to the Memory of the 

For more than thirty-nine years the faithful and beloved pastor of the 

Church assembling in this place of worship. 

His fervour in the closet, his earnestness in the pulpit, his greatness of 
attachment to Christian principle, his holy life, and unwearied labours were 

crowned by the Divine blessing with extensive usefulness. 
His flock have erected this tablet in gratitude for his services, and in affec 
tion for his memory. 
He was born on the 3Oth December, 1794, ordained 25th May, 1818, and 

died 20th April, 1859. 
" He was a good man, and full of faith and of the Holy Ghost." 

The Rev. J. G. Rogers, B.A., educated at Lancashire College, 
and ordained pastor of St. James s Chapel, Newcastle-on-Tyne, 
April 1 5th, 1846, succeeded Mr. Sutcliffe in 1851. An energetic 
and useful ministry was brought to a conclusion in 1865, when 
Mr. Rogers removed to Clapham, London, where he still 
labours. In that year he occupied the chair of the Lancashire 
Congregational Union, and in 1874 that of the Congregational 
Union of England and Wales. There are few ministers 
so well known and deservedly respected as Mr. Rogers, and 
none who have more vigorously defended the interests of 
Congregationalism both on the platform and in the press. The 
son of a Lancashire Congregational minister, the Rev. Thomas 
Rogers, of Prescot and Warrington, J he is connected with the 
county by the most sacred ties, and has always recognised the 
fact by placing at its disposal the most generous service. The 

1 Vide ante p. 161. 

2 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity. 


Rev. J. Hutchison followed Mr. Rogers in 1865. He was 
educated at the Glasgow Theological Hall, and ordained to the 
pastorate of the Congregational Church at Elie, Fifeshire, on 
Wednesday, August 26th, 1852, whence he removed to Dun- 
fermline, and thence to Ashton-under-Lyne. For nearly thirty 
years Mr. Hutchison has upheld the best traditions of the 
Albion Church, and his ministry has been exceedingly fruitful. 
More than once have important churches invited him to transfer 
his services elsewhere, but he has remained loyal to his people at 
Ashton. Respected and beloved by his brethren in the ministry 
he was invited by them to occupy the position of President of the 
Lancashire Congregational Union in 1882 ; and on the completion of 
21 years of ministerial service at Albion, his people recognised the 
event in a very substantial way. The crown of a long and honourable 
ministry will be the New Albion Church, now in course of building. 
This large and magnificent structure is being erected on the Stam 
ford Terrace plot, formerly occupied by the late Mr. William 
Sunderland s Academy. It is intended to accommodate 1,100 
persons, and its cost, including ^2,000 for the site, will be about 
^40,000. There are not many churches in the county or out of 
it that could face half that amount with any degree of equanimity ; 
but Albion Church, from the days of Mr. Nathaniel Buckley, the 
"principal instrument" in the erection of the old "Refuge 
Chapel" in 1817, to the present time, has been favoured with a 
considerable number of wealthy and generous supporters. The 
subscription list, too lengthy to be inserted here, is a fine testimony 
to the power of voluntaryism. The following are a few of the 
larger amounts in the first list, many of which have since been 
doubled. After the pastor and people have raised some ^11,000, 
the remainder has been generously promised by Mr. Abel Buckley, 
whatever it may be, that the church may be opened free from debt : 

Mr. Rupert Mason ;i,5oo 

Mr. Nathaniel Buckley .1,000 

Mr. S. Mason .500 

Mr. Herbert Knott .500 

Mr. G. H. Kenworthy ^250 

Mrs. John Knott ^250 

Messrs. Abel and Jesse Haworth .250 

Mr. C. T. Bradbury ^250 

Mrs. Hugh Mason .250 

Miss Mason 2 5 



The foundation stone of the New Albion Church was laid on 
Saturday, September i3th, 1890, by Mr. Abel Buckley, J.P., grand 
son of Mr. Nathaniel Buckley, previously named, and the generous 
donor of the tower and spire; and the mallet and trowel were 
presented to him by Miss Muriel Mason, daughter of Mr. Rupert 
Mason, and the fifth in descent from Mr. Nathaniel Buckley. 
Amongst the ministers who took part in the ceremony, in addition 
to the pastor, were the Revs. J. G. Rogers, B.A., "the grand old 
man of English Congregational Nonconformity " ; Dr. Alexander 
Thomson, Mr. Hutchison s personal friend for many years ; and 
the Rev. Thomas Green, M.A., Chairman for the year of the Con 
gregational Union of England and Wales. Mr. N. B. Sutcliffe, also, 
son of the Rev. Jonathan Sutcliffe, representing the "connecting 
link between the old church and congregation, and the movement 
which they that day inaugurated," delivered an interesting 
address. The building is nearing completion, and it is expected 
that the congregation will be able to take possession of their new 
home in 1894. 

Three important Mission stations are sustained by the 
church, to which a few sentences must be devoted. The 
work at Charlestown was commenced in 1862, meetings being 
first held in a room made out of two cottages, " so dark," writes 
one, "we were obliged to keep the gas burning in an afternoon, 
no ventilation at all, a very damp flag floor, a miserable and 
unhealthy place." An old mill was next taken in Wellington Road, 
but the increase in the scholars made still larger premises impera 
tive. It was felt that a new building was the only way in which 
the necessities of the case could be met, but the committee 
appointed to consider the matter experienced difficulty in obtaining 
a site. Mr. Hugh Mason, however, purchased a group of cottages, 
and generously handed them over to the Committee for the use of 
the Mission. The cottages were accordingly taken down, and in 
August, 1866, Mr. Hugh Mason laid the foundation stone of Charles- 
town Chapel and Schools. The new premises cost about ^1,500, 
towards which the Bi-centenary Committee gave ^200. The 
accommodation provided was for about 300 persons, and the 
opening services took place in March, 1867. In 1885, an 
important enlargement took place in the shape of new classrooms 


at a cost of over ,850. The Mission is very vigorous, and the 
work done by it most praiseworthy. The Hurst Nook Mission 
was commenced on August 2oth, 18.71, in an old room, formerly 
a pigeon cote, where sixteen children assembled. On Good 
Friday, March 26th, 1875, the present building was opened by a 
public tea meeting, over which the Rev. John Hutchison, pastor 
of the parent church, presided. This place also was enlarged at 
a cost of about ^200 in 1886. At Taunton, a little village a 
short distance north-west of Ashton, is a third Mission station, 
where services have been conducted for many years. For several 
years, Mr. William Wood was employed as Town Missionary by the 
Albion Church, and much of his time was given to these Mission 
stations. In this connection it may be mentioned that the 
vigorous churches, now self-supporting, at Ryecroft, Hyde, Staly- 
bridge, Denton, Mossley, Droylsden, and Dukinfield, owe their 
existence largely to the self-sacrificing efforts of the Albion 

Amongst the manifold forms of Christian activity, to which the 
church has given itself, is the large Albion Sunday School, through 
which hundreds of young people have passed into useful positions 
in society. The foundation stone of this building was laid by Mr. 
Hugh Mason, on Friday, 1861, and on Good Friday of the 
following year, it was opened by a sermon from the Rev. A. 
McLaren, B.A., of Manchester, delivered to an audience of about 
2,000 people. The cost of the building was about ^"14,000. 
Albion Day School also has obtained a wide celebrity, of which 
A. Park, Esq., J.P., has been Head Master since 1867. The 
church has a strong P.S.A. Society, of which Mr. Park is 

Much might be written, and appropriately written, about many 
worthy men whose names are so deeply interwoven into the 
church s history, but space forbids. A brief passage must suffice, 
and it is from the lips of the Rev. J. G. Rogers, B.A. (than whom 
no one can speak more competently upon the subject) on the 
occasion of the stone laying of the New Albion Church : 

Who can ever forget some of those men ? I cannot. Who can ever 
forget that truly saintly man, Samuel B. Tomlins ? With a remarkable 
unworldliness, he nevertheless was most free and generous and admirable 


in his judgment of others. I cannot refer to many to-day. I could mention 
Mr. Haughton, Mr. Sunderland, and a number of others, but I want simply 
to mention one or two typical men. Who does not remember, especially 
amongst the working men of this congregation, that singularly fine specimen 
of the British workman in his highest development Joseph Garlick, a man 
who in brain and experience was considerably above his position, and a man 
on whom I used to look with undoubting confidence. Yes, but in these 
schools, with the recollection of the great ceremonial which we had at the 
laying of their foundation and at their opening; with the recollection of all 
that he did to make Ashton what it is, who in this assembly can ever forget 
the name of my beloved friend and tried and trusted comrade, Hugh Mason? 
Don t you think it must be a joy to me, who knew him when we were young 
men together, when we struggled and fought together yes, for we had many 
a hard fight in those times do you think it can be anything but a joy to 
me to see his children and his children s children here to-day, adding grace 
and interest and earnestness to these spirited proceedings? 

Albion Church is one of those which does honour to Lanca 
shire Congregationalism. Its history from the beginning is an 
inspiration. It has only had three pastors in the course of 
seventy five years, a fact as much to the credit of the church as to 
the three worthy brethren who have laboured there. It has 
founded many other churches, but been happily spared dissensions ; 
and though rapidly nearing its centenary, it has all the vigour of 
youth. 1 1 only remains to be said that a year ago, the Rev. N. 
de G Davies, M.A., B.D., a student from New College, accepted an 
invitation to become Mr. Hutchison s assistant in his important 

THE origin of the second Congregational church in Ashton-under- 
Lyne was from the old Independent Church at Albion Street, in the 
east end of the town. The object was to disseminate the principles 
of Independency at the west end of the town, and at the same time 
to set free greater accommodation at the parent place for many 
who had long been waiting. Accordingly, on the 7th of May, 
1848, an amicable separation took place, and eighty-six church 
members, with many others of the congregation, entered upon the 
work of beginning the new interest. On the evening of that day 


the Rev. Jonathan Sutcliffe, the pastor of the parent church, con 
ducted service in the upper room of the Ryecroft British School, 
and regular Sunday services then began. The school had been 
built by the Albion Church in 1847. It was designed for a 
religious and Congregational preaching place from the first, while 
the trust deed required that ic should be used also as a Day School. 
The Rev. R. W. Hamilton, D.D., of Leeds, had preached at its 
opening, April 28th, 1847. The church was formed on January 
i4th, 1849, under the guidance of the Rev. J. Sutcliffe, and it 
consisted of the number of members already named. For a time 
students from Rotherham or from Manchester, with the occasional 
assistance of neighbouring ministers, supplied the pulpit, till on 
Good Friday, April i8ih, 1851, the Rev. Wm. Thomas, a student 
from Rotherham College, was ordained to the pastorate. " For 
more commodious accommodation," the services were con 
ducted in Albion Street Chapel, which was " kindly lent for 
the occasion by the minister and deacons." The Rev. David 
Jones, of Booth, near Halifax Mr. Thomas s late pastor gave 
the introductory discourse, and Dr. Stowell, the President of Ches- 
hunt College, but formerly at Rotherham, gave the charge to the 
minister. " Two hundred ministers and friends " dined together 
between the morning and evening services in the Ryecroft 
preaching room. In 1853 the present chapel, with accom 
modation for 900 persons, was erected at a cost of about ^4,000, 
both the church and the Sunday School having largely increased. 
Towards the end of 1855 Mr. Thomas removed to College Chapel, 
Bradford, and subsequently to Leeds. A few years ago he retired 
from the ministry, and is now resident in Leeds. The Rev. 
Thomas Green, M.A., a student from Spring Hill College, became 
the new pastor in succession to Mr. Thomas in 1856, being ordained 
as such on Good Friday of that year. Mr. Green has remained 
with his first and only charge in spite of tempting offers to other 
spheres. In 1876 he was Chairman of the Lancashire Congre 
gational Union ; in 1890 of the Congregational Union of 
England and Wales ; and he has been both Chairman and Secre 
tary of the Lancashire Independent College. His loyalty to Con 
gregationalism, and his able and persistent defence thereof, have 
won for him an honourable place in the denomination, whilst 


his quiet and sparkling humour has brought sunshine to many a 
dull and un-interesting debate in its assemblies. Mr. Green 
is the author, amongst other works, of " Porches of the Temple ; " 
and "John Woolman, a Study for Young Men." 

The energy and the zeal of the continually growing church took 
the form of establishing, after a great deal of consideration, an out 
post about a mile from the chapel. The neighbourhood chosen 
was Audenshaw, and the district round the Guide Bridge Station, 
on the Manchester and Sheffield Railway. In November, 1874, 
the project was determined on. In the following year a room was 
rented, and was occupied as a Sunday School in circumstances of 
great encouragement. It soon became necessary to erect a 
building, and a very suitable site having been secured, the foundation 
stone was laid on June 24th, 1876, by Miss Fanny Buckley, of 
Ryecroft Hall. The building was opened in April, 1877, and not 
only has all debt been cleared off, but the land has been purchased, 
so that there is no encumbrance of any kind. The school is 
known as the Hooley Hill School ; and as a Day School, a Sunday- 
School, a preaching station for regular Sunday evening services, 
and a centre of many forms of Christian enterprise, it has so far 
been signally blessed. 


REFERENCE has already been made to the secession from the old 
Nonconformist interest in Dukinfield during the pastorate of the 
Rev. Wm. Buckley, the secessionists holding their meetings 
mainly in Ashton. " Towards the close of 1805," says the Rev. 
Wm. Urwick, M.A., "Mr. William Marsh, from London, came to 
reside at Dukinfield and consented to preach every Sabbath even 
ing in a dwelling-house. An out-building was afterwards obtained, 
and fitted up sufficient to accommodate one hundred persons. 
Here a Congregational Church was formed." 1 On January ist, 
1807, "a neat and commodious chapel (42 feet by 36 feet)" was 

1 " Nonconformity in Cheshire," p. 349 ; vide also " Congregational 
Magazine" for 1820, p. 455. 


opened, when the Rev. Wm. Evans, of Stockport, preached from 
Hag. ii., 9 ; the Rev. Wm. Roby from Psalm xcv. 6 ; and the Rev. 
N. Blackburn from Psalm cxviii. 25. 1 In the following May Mr. 
Marsh was ordained,- and, after a brief but successful ministry 
" among the congregation which he had been the instrument of 
collecting and establishing," he removed to Cannon Street, Man 
chester, in the midsummer of i8o8. 3 In the same year the Rev. 
T. Bennett, of Congleton, followed. It was during his ministry 
that an important secession took place which led to the immediate 
formation of the Albion Church in Ashton. 4 In 1818 Mr. Bennett 
removed to Hatherlow where he continued to minister until his 
death, which took place suddenly on Sunday evening, October 
i6th, 1842. He had been "a faithful minister of Christ for half 
a century. 5 In 1819 a Mr. Dunkerley, an occasional preacher 
from Manchester, followed, and to him succeeded a Mr. Ramsey. 6 
The Rev. Robert Ivy followed in September 1827. He was educated 
at Hackney and ordained pastor of the church at Brampton, in 
Cumberland, on September 2nd, 1819. His ministry at Dukinfield 
continued until 1841, and was so successful that the chapel had to 
be enlarged, and a schoolroom and parsonage were erected. Mr. 
Ivy was killed whilst going to Southport on his annual holidays. 
The following account of the tragic event is from the Crescent 
Road Bazaar Handbook : 

1 The foundation stone of this building, which had accommodation for 
about 400 persons, was laid on July 3ist, 1806, by F. D. Astley, Esq. 

2 Mr. Marsh presented the first Communion Service to the young church, 
upon which is the following not very accurate inscription : " The gift of the 
Rev. Wm. Marsh to the church of Christ, meeting at Dukinfield, by whom 
they were united in church fellowship, and ordained their pastor, May 2ist, 

3 Vide ante page 123. Since the account of Cannon Street Church was 
written it has been ascertained that Mr. Marsh did not immediately go 
thence to Charlesworth, as there stated, but ministered for a short time to a 
congregation at Ardwick (vide ante page 199.) 

4 Vide ante page 297. 

5 "Evangelical Magazine" for 1843, p. 133. 

8 Ramsden is the name given in the Crescent Road Congregational 
Church Bazaar Handbook (1892). It is there said that he was a Scotchman ) 
who came ostensibly as an independent, but who was really a Presbyterian. 
He "soon made his doctrines known, and unpleasantness arising he resigned 
and left the district." 


They proceeded on the yth September, 1841, from Manchester by coach 
(Mrs. Ivy having an objection to travelling on the railway), and at Euxton 
near Preston, owing to rain, Mr. Ivy took an outside seat next to the driver 
to allow a lady to go inside ; his fellow passenger outside was a Mr. Kershaw, 
who was afterwards a member of Parliament for Stockport. At Euxton 
there was a level crossing on the then newly made North Union Railway, and 
in going over it a train of empty waggons ran into and killed two of the 
horses and overturned the coach. Mr. Ivy was thrown from the coach 
underneath the train and instantly killed. He was the only passenger who 
lost his life, and his death caused a profound sensation in Dukinfield, anjd 
universal regret. He was interred at the chapel, but we are unable to state 
who preached the funeral sermon. A tablet was erected to his memory and 
is at the present time placed at the foot of the pulpit stairs in the Crescent 
Road Chapel. The following is a copy of the inscription : 

"To the memory of the Rev. ROBERT IVY, who, after being pastor of the 
church assembling in this place fourteen years, was suddenly removed from 
his family and his labours whilst on a journey to Southport, in consequence 
of a collision between the coach on which he was riding and a waggon train 
on the North Union Railway, near the Euxton Station, on the yth September, 
1841, in the 55th year of his age. His was the blessedness of the servant 
of Christ, whom his Lord, having come at an hour he looked not for, was 
found of Him in peace. " 

In 1843 the Rev. Charles Farnsworth, a blind gentleman, who had 
formerly laboured at Sutton, near Chester, and Hanover Chapel, 
Liverpool, 1 was chosen pastor, and he remained such until 1861, 
when he resigned. He died December gth, 1865, aged sixty-four 
years, and was interred in the graveyard of Providence Chapel, 
Dukinfield. Mr. Farnsworth may be considered the last minister, 
for about the time of his departure the church had declined con 
siderably. Shortly afterwards the chapel was closed, many of the 
members joining the new interest at Furnace Hill, of which an 
account must now be given. 

Furnace Hill, now Dukinfield Crescent Congregational Church, is 
the outcome of a branch school commenced about 1825 by the 
Albion Church, Ashton. The district was greatly in need of such an 
agency, and from the first Furnace Hill School met with considerable 
success. On Sunday, February i2th, 1860, preaching services 
were commenced, and on the 2ist of March following a church 
was formed, sixty-two members being transferred from Albion 
Church for the purpose. On August 2ist, 1861, the Rev. 
1 Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


J. T. Barker, B.A, a student from Lancashire College, was 
ordained as the first minister. A larger place of worship 
soon became necessary, and "in the meantime Provi 
dence Chapel, which stood not far from Furnace Hill 
School, was offered for sale. It was bought by Mr. John Knott 
and Mr. N. B. Sutcliffe, and handsomely offered to the church in 
Dukinfield." The offer was accepted ; but, as the chapel had 
stood from the beginning of the century, it had fallen greatly into 
decay. Encouraged, therefore, by liberal proposals from the 
Bicentenary Committee and from "generous friends in Ashton and 
other places," it was resolved to erect a new building upon the 
spot where Providence Chapel had so long stood. Accordingly, 
the foundation stone of the present structure, with sitting accom 
modation for 900 persons, was laid on July ist, 1865, by Mr. 
Thomas Collier, a deacon of the church. It was opened on Sept. 
2oth, 1866, and cost about ^6,000, towards which the Bicentenary 
Committee voted ^1,000. Mr. Barker remained the minister 
until August, 1878, when he resigned, and subsequently took charge of 
the church at Whaley Bridge for a short time. He is now resident 
at Leeds without a pastorate. His successor was the Rev. 
William Glover, a student from Lancashire College, who began his 
labours in July, 1879. He resigned in May, 1884, and for a short 
time devoted himself to journalism, being editor of the Northern 
Advance during the brief period of its existence. Subsequently 
he became the pastor of the Brookfield Congregational Church, 
near Glossop, and is now at Heaton Road, Newcastle-on-Tyne. 
The present minister, the Rev. D. R. James, a student from 
Nottingham Institute, succeeded Mr. Glover in May, 1885. The 
church has been in receipt of help from the funds of the Lanca 
shire County Union since 1879. 

In 1857 schoolrooms were erected at Dukinfield Hall at a cost 
f ^7> where, in addition to Sunday School work, services were 
conducted on Sunday evenings by lay preachers from Albion 
Church. Towards the close of 1867 the Rev. J. B. Walton, B.A., 
LL.B., a student from Lancashire College, accepted an invitation 
to become the first minister, and the County Union voted the 
sum of ^"50 towards the support of the cause. A church was 
formed on Sunday, March 24th, 1872, seventy-two members being 


dismissed from Albion Church, Ashton, for the purpose, on which 
occasion the Revs. J. Hutchison and T. Green, M.A., conducted 
the service. In 1873 the present chapel, with sitting accommo 
dation for 550 persons, became its home. Around this building 
the original of which is thus described, "nave, 32 feet by 24 
feet; chancel, 18 feet by five feet," gather the most hallowed 
memories, and very appropriately is it now employed for Congre 
gational purposes, for it is the original chapel, enlarged and 
restored, of the old Dukinfield Hall, where Samuel Eaton formerly 
ministered. It was purchased by Mr. Hugh Mason and Mr. 
Nathaniel Buckley, and generously offered to the congregation for 
its use. The sum of ^4,000 was expended in adapting it to its 
new purpose, towards which the Chapel Building Society provided 
^700. The foundation stone was laid on Whit-Friday, May 24th, 
1872, by Mr. Nathaniel Buckley. The opening services took 
place on Sunday, July i3th, 1873, an d the day is "rendered 
memorable" as one of the last occasions on which the Rev. 
Thomas Binney, D.D., preached. In 1873 Mr. Walton re 
moved to Wem, in Shropshire, where he still ministers, and in 
the following year the Rev. J. Peill, from Kendal, succeeded him. 
In 1 88 1 the pastor was able to write : 

During the past seven years the friends here have paid off over ^1,400 of 
debt, and reduced their need of the generous aid given by H. Mason, 
Esq., M.P., and N. Buckley, Esq., to the extent of jo per annum, and now 
they claim their freedom from the aid rendered by the Union. 

The pressure of the times compelled the church to again seek 
the help of the Union in 1887, and in the following year Mr. Peill 
removed to Huddersfield, where he still labours. In 1889 the 
present minister, the Rev. J. M. Craven, succeeded Mr. Peill. 
The church is still in receipt of help from the funds of the Union. 
Connected with the Dukinfieid Old Hall Church is a branch at 
Newton Wood, where a school was commenced in 1876. In 1884 
the church purchased the Victoria School from the Newton Moor 
Spinning Company for the sum of ^560. There is accommo- 
300 persons, and Sunday and week-day services are conducted 
there, towards which the County Union gives substantial 




IN the spring of 1836 a committee of friends, connected with the 
Albion Church at Ashton-under-Lyne, was formed " to consider 
the propriety of commencing an interest at Denton ; " and a deci 
sion was arrived at "to commence preaching immediately on 
Sabbath evenings, and to proceed with the erection of a chapel 
during the summer, provided the consent of the Lancashire County 
Union could be obtained." 1 The Rev. J. Sutcliffe, minister of 
Aliion Church, secured the "sanction" of the County Union 
together with a grant of $o; and preaching was commenced in 
a cottage, nearly opposite the old Post Office, on the second Sunday 
in May, 1836. On the 2nd of July following Mr. S. B. Tomlins, 
banker, of Ashton-under-Lyne, laid the foundation stone of a small 
chapel, which had accommodation for about 200 persons. This 
was opened for public worship on Wednesday, November i6th of 
the same year, when Dr. McAll, of Manchester, preached, the 
services being continued on the Sunday following by the Revs. R. 
Fletcher, of Manchester, and J. Sutcliffe. The liberality of the 
Ashton friends in connection with this event is especially em 
phasised in contemporary records, and it is stated that the " first 
instalment towards the building of a chapel was a bequest of ^"50, 
left by the late Nathaniel Buckley, Esq., of Carr Hill, whose 
descendants have been good friends to the interest at Denton, and 
have contributed liberally to its support."- The services were 
conducted, at this time, mainly by young men from Hyde and 
Ashton, amongst whom may be named Messrs. James Lord, 
J.P. ; S. B. Tomlins; Samuel Bostock, of Hyde; Abel Buckley, 
W. Tweedale ; Wm. Sunderland, and the Rev. \Vm. Ashton, now 
a missionary in Africa, then "one of the Albion young men 
who preached his first sermon" in Denton Chapel." 

1 Manual for 1887 of the Hope Congregational Church, Denton. 

3 "Church Manual." 

3 It deserves to be mentioned that amongst " the first and most interested 
attendants at the services were Messrs. Samuel Taylor and John Rockliffe, 
of Haughton. These had been connected with the Greenacres Congregational 
Church, Oldham, but, "having removed to Denton and commenced business 
there as cotton spinners, they interested themselves in the establishment of 
the Independent Chapel at Denton." From this circumstance the Rev. G. 
G. Waddington ("Historical and Biographical Notices," p. 409) improperly 
claims Denton Chapel as an offshoot from Greenacres. 


The Rev. Thomas Horatio Smith, a student from Rotherham 
College, became the first minister, entering upon his labours as 
such on August 2oth, 1837. On the 2oth of November following 
a church was formed, seven members entering into fellowship. 1 
The ministers who assisted in the service were the Revs. E. 
Edwards, of Hyde ; G. Hoyle, of Stalybridge ; J. Sutcliffe, and the 
pastor. An immediate enlargement of the chapel "six yards, for 
the accommodation of the people," having become necessary and 
having obtained " the concurrence of the Ashton friends," the 
undertaking was proceeded with; and on the i5th of July, 1838, 
reopening services were held, when sermons were preached by the 
pastor and the Revs. Dr. Clunie, of Manchester, and N. K. 
Pugsley, of Stockport. Three days afterwards Mr. Smith was 
ordained, the Rev. Richard Fletcher, of Manchester, giving the 
pastoral charge from i Tim. iv., 1 1, and the Rev. Joseph Galland, of 
Greenacres, exhorting the congregation from T Cor. xvi., 10. In 
addition to his labours at Denton Mr. Smith conducted services 
occasionally at Mossley and Droylsden, and with his name there 
fore the origin of those two churches must be associated. At 
the end of April, 1843, ne resigned and removed to Patricroft ; 
but he " ultimately left the ministry and died in comparative 
poverty."" The Rev. John Fogg from Cawick, in Yorkshire, 
began his ministry in succession to Mr. Smith on the third Sunday 
in July, 1843. In March, 1848, he resigned, and subsequently held 
pastorates at Easington Lane, Durham, and Winslow, Bucks. The 
Rev. John Holroyd was the next minister. He was born at 
Mirfield, in January, 1795, educated at Airedale College, preached 
for a short time at Woolton, near Liverpool, was ordained pastor 
over the Congregational Church at Delph, August nth, 1824, 
whence he removed to Denton in July, 1848. He died November 
8th, 1849, and was succeeded in the pastorate in the early 
part of 1851 by the Rev. John Waddington, who, also, had 
been educated at Airedale College, and was ordained October gtii, 
1839, "to the work of a missionary in Berbice," where he laboured 

1 The names of the "seven" were John Rockliffe, Gabriel Lupton, 
Samuel Bromley, James Potter, John Whitehead, Robert Tatton, and 
Margaret Fidler, all of whom have long since died. 

2 " Church Manual." 


for several years. Mr. Waddington s ministry saw several improve 
ments in the old chapel, and eventually the erection of a new one. 
The foundation stone of this the present handsome building, called 
" Hope Chapel," was laid on April i4th, 1876, by Miss Bradbury, 
whose father, the late Mr. Bradbury, imparted a " great impetus " 
to the movement by his gift of ^500. In September, 1877, the 
building was opened for worship. The cost, including alteration 
of the old chapel and other expenses, amounted to about ^"6,000, 
and the sitting accommodation is for some 700 persons. It was 
during Mr. Waddington s ministry in 1865 that the church ceased 
to be a recipient from the Union Funds. He resigned in 1885, and 
is now resident without charge at Higher Broughton. The Rev. J. A. 
Meeson, M.A, LL.B., a student from Lancashire College, assumed 
the pastorate in 1886, being ordained on the 22nd of November, 
when Dr. Scott, Principal of Lancashire College, gave the charge 
to the minister from 2 Cor. iv. 3. Mr. Meeson resigned in 1889, 
and is now pastor of the Congregational Church at Harrogate. 
The Rev. W. D. Dale, from the Yorkshire United College, was 
minister from 1889 to 1892. He is now resident at Macclesfield 
without charge, and the pulpit of Hope Chapel remains still 

The honour of introducing Congregationalism into Droylsden 
belongs to the Rev. J. Sutcliffe, of Albion Church, who, shortly 
after his settlement at Ashton, " was accustomed to preach in a 
cottage house at Lumb, in the confines of Droylsden, and subse 
quently in other houses in Droylsden." 1 About the close of 1837 
Lee Meaden, John Hartley, George Shaw, and a few other earnest 
Christians commenced a Sunday School in what was afterwards 
known as the Temperance Room, in Market Street. Four teachers 
and twenty scholars met the first Sunday, and a few months after 
wards a Sunday evening service was begun. In 1838 Mr. Sutcliffe 
preached the sermon in connection with the opening of the British 
School in Queen Street, kindly granted to the friends meeting in 
the Temperance Room by the late Mr. Christy, by whom it had 
been erected. 

The County Union Report, ending April, 1839, states that the 
Rev. T. H. Smith, of Denton, was in the habit of conducting 

1 Independency in Droylsden," p. n, by the Rev. C. Bingley. 


services at Droylsden ; and the Report for the following year 
says that a grant had been made at the last annual meeting "in 
aid of the preaching of the gospel at this place," which had been 
"continued on Sabbath evenings, and occasionally on week-day 
evenings throughout the year," supplies coming chiefly from 
Ashton. In February, 1845, the little flock was scattered in con 
sequence of the managers of the Queen Street room transferring 
" its use to the recently appointed incumbent of the Established 
Church in Droylsden ; " but after the lapse of a few Sundays, the 
old room in Market Street was again rented. On February 2oth, 
1848, the new schoolroom in King Street was opened for public 
worship by the Revs. Dr. Massie, of Salford, J. Sutcliffe, and W. 
W. Essex (Moravian), the cost being about ,250, towards which 
Mr. Abel Buckley, was the largest contributor. Eor a short time the 
pulpit was supplied mainly by students from Lancashire College, but 
in 1852 the Rev. David Wilson, of Winlaton, in Durham, was 
invited to fill the office of pastor for twelve months. At the end 
of that term he removed to Ryton, and subsequently to Birstall, 
near Leeds, where he died, May 23rd, 1864, aged forty-six years. 
On October i6th, 1853, the Rev. Thomas Sturgess, 1 from Prescot, 
began his labours in succession to Mr. Wilson, and continued 
until January, 1857, when he removed to Upper Mill, in Yorkshire. 
The Rev. Charles Bingley, educated at Airedale, and who had 
held pastorates at Middlesborough, Crewe, and Tockholes, 2 near 
Blackburn ; followed, beginning his labours here on August gth, 
1857. On the 2ist of October following, a church was duly formed, 
thirty-nine members being dismissed from the Albion Church, 
Ashton, for the purpose. The foundation stone of a new chapel, 
which had long been greatly needed, was laid on Easter Monday, 
April 25th, 1859, by Mr. Abel Buckley, and on the 23rd of 
November following the opening services were commenced, when 
the Revs. Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, and J. G. Rogers, B.A., were 
the preachers. On the following Sunday the Rev. R. M. Davies, of 
Oldham, conducted service in the morning; the Rev. H. W. Parkin 
son, of Rochdale, in the afternoon; and the Rev. A. Thomson, M.A., 
of Manchester, in the evening. On the succeeding Tuesday, the Rev. 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 
a Vide vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


J. Parker (then of Manchester, now Dr. Parker, of London) preached 
the "concluding sermon." The cost of the building was about 
^2,000. It contained accommodation for about 500 people, and 
the schoolroom underneath for about 400 children. Mr Bingley 
did not live long to enjoy the fruits of his labours ; he died some 
what suddenly on May 3oth, 1862, aged forty-nine years, and was 
interred in the grave-yard of Hope Cnapel, Denton. The Rev. A. 
Cran, M.A., a student from Lancashire College, became his suc 
cessor in October of 1863. In 1867 the church was able to 
dispense with financial help from the County Union ; and 
in 1884, important enlargements in both school and chapel 
were effected, at a cost of ^1,750, towards clearing away the 
debt arising from which, and other objects, a bazaar, held in 1889, 
realised the handsome sum of ^800. The chapel now has 
sitting accommodation for 700 persons ; the church membership 
stands at 168 ; the number of scholars and teachers is 452 ; and 
Mr. Cran is still the respected pastor. 


" As far back as 1818," says the Rev. Richard Slate, "when the 
ministers of the Manchester District itinerated in the vicinity of Ash- 
ton, there was occasional preaching in a cottage at this place." 1 It 
is, however, to the missionary labours of the Rev. Jonathan Sutcliffe, 
of Ashton-under-Lyne, that Congregationalism in Stalybridge, as in 
many other places, is indebted for its origin. In 1827 he began to 
hold week-night services in private houses, which were continued 
until 1830, when a chapel was erected in King Street, the pulpit 
being chiefly supplied by students from Airedale College. The Rev. 
Giles Hoyle, who had formerly been associated a short time with the 
Rev. George Greatbatch in his work at Southport, and subse 
quently had laboured a few years at Milnthorpe, at the request of 
the Ashton friends took charge of the interest at Stalybridge, in 

1 " History of the Lancashire Congregational Union," p. 70. 

HJ! tti.t .^.r. <i 

H lr M : J j 
; ff^ ./. :- s 


1831. In October of that year, shortly after Mr. Hoyle s settle 
ment, a church was formed, eleven members being transferred 
from Mr. Sutcliffe s church for the purpose. On Sunday, the 24th 
of May, 1835, the new chapel in Melbourne Street was 
opened " with a public prayer meeting at seven o clock in 
the morning." The Rev. Richard Fletcher preached in 
the forenoon from i Cor. i., 23 ; in the afternoon the 
Rev. J. Sutcliffe from Zech. iv., 6 ; and in the evening the Rev. 
W. McKerrow, M.A., of Manchester, from Heb. x., 25. On the 
following Monday evening Dr. McAll, of Manchester, was the 
preacher, his text being Rev. xxii., 17. Collections at all the ser 
vices resulted in the sum of ^122. The chapel is described 
as "neat and commodious," "measuring 45 feet by 50," "built 
in the Gothic style of architecture." Its cost was about ^"1,500, 
"including the enclosing of a large plot of burial ground with 
the school, which is underneath the chapel, and capable of accom 
modating 600 children." 1 Mr. Hoyle did not confine himself 
to the needs of his own church, but found opportunity to conduct 
periodical services at Blackrock, Pump Street, and Adshead 
Buildings, Staly, and Mossley. At all these places it is reported 
that the attendances were usually encouraging, considering 
the late hour up to which the people had to work, it being 
nine o clock in the evening, for instance, before he could com 
mence the service in some of them. In 1842 Mr. Hoyle resigned, 
having accepted the charge of the Congregational Church at 
Ancoats, Manchester. 2 The Rev. F. C. Douthwaite, a student 
from Airedale College, was Mr. Hoyle s successor, beginning 
his labours about the end of 1844. His ordination took place on 
Wednesday, February 5th, 1845, when the Rev. Walter Scott, 
President of Airedale College, gave the charge to the minister, and 
Dr. Raffles, of Liverpool, preached to the church and congrega 
tion. Other ministers assisting were the Revs. R. Calvert, Hyde ; 
J. Sutcliffe, Ashton-under-Lyne ; and John Holgate, Orrell. 
Shortly after his advent the church was able to dispense with 
pecuniary assistance from the County Union, and the Report 
ending April, 1845, which records the fact, also says: 

1 " Evangelical Magazine" for 1835, p. 376. 

- Vide ante page 183 ; also vols. i. and vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 


We have made an effort to remove the debt from the chapel, which was 
upwards of ^1,000, and which we are happy to say, by the blessing of God, 
and the kind aid of the Rev. J. Sutcliffe and his people, and other Christian 
friends, we have been able to accomplish. 

Mr. Douthwaite remained in Stalybridge about three years, and 
subsequently became the minister of the Congregational Church 
at Ashton-in-Makerfield. 1 His successor was the Rev. Robert 
Roberts, who had been educated at Blackburn Academy, and had 
held pastorates at Bootle, in Cumberland, and Parkgate, Cheshire. 
He was minister at Stalybridge from 1847 to *%53, and removed 
to Chipping, near Blackburn, subsequently to East Bergholt, in 
Suffolk, where he died, February 4th, iSyy. 2 The Rev. J. 
C. McMichael, educated at Rotherham College, and who had 
previously been co-pastor to the Rev. Joseph Dyson, of Farn- 
worth, for a few years, began his labours at Stalybridge in October, 
1853. He continued until 1855, when he removed to Windsor, 
and subsequently left England for South Australia, where he is 
now resident without charge. The next minister was the Rev. 
J. H. Gwyther, B.A., a student from Lancashire College, who 
began his labours in 1857. It was during his pastorate that 
the church took down the old chapel, and erected in its place 
" the present chaste and much admired building, which contains 
1,000 sittings." The cost was ^5,000, and it was opened for 
public worship in 1861 Mr. Gwyther remained until 1869, when 
he removed to Liscard, in Cheshire, where he still labours. 3 In 
1870 the Rev. James Williamson, M.A., another Lancashire 
College student, accepted the call of the church, and remained 
until 1879. He was subsequently at Withington, where he died in 
1887." The Rev. H. W. Holder, M.A., a third Lancashire College 
student, held the pastorate from 1880 to 1884. He is now the 
Registrar of the Victoria University, Owens College, Manchester. 
The present minister is the Rev. G. E. Cheeseman, educated at 
Lancashire College, and for seven years pastor of the Congrega- 

1 Vide vol. iv. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 

1 Vide vol. ii. of " Lancashire Nonconformity," where 1887 is misprinted 
for 1877. 

3 Vide vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity." 
* Vide ante page 71. 



tional Church at Hatherlow, Cheshire. He entered upon his 
duties here in 1885, and still ministers to an attached people. It 
deserves to be noted that one of the founders of the church was 
Mr. John Cheetham, for some time M.P. for Salford, and also for 
one of the divisions of Lancashire. His son, Mr. J. F. Cheetham, 
was M.P. for one of the divisions of Derbyshire for several years. 
Connected with the church also was the late Mr. William Summers, 
for some time M.P. for Stalybridge, and subsequently for Hudders- 
field, whose early death terminated a life of great promise. 

The Congregational Church at Mossley is another monument 
of the aggressive work of the church at Ashton-under-Lyne, but 
with its origin must also be associated the names of the Revs. 
Giles Hoyle, of Stalybridge, and T. H. Smith, of Denton, who 
were accustomed to hold religious services at Mossley in 1838. 
" From the origin of the church at Ashton," writes one, "several 
members of the church came regularly from Mossley, and through 
their efforts and those of their pastor, the Rev. J. G. Rogers, 
evangelistic work and Sunday School teaching had not been 
neglected in that village." 1 For about two years worship was 
conducted "in a commodious mill room, kindly lent for the pur 
pose by John Mayall, Esq," and in the spring of 1854 Mr. John 
Cheetham, M.P., laid the foundation stone of Abney Chapel. 
The schoolroom in the rear of the chapel, capable of accommo 
dating 900 children, was first ready, and the congregation removed 
to it in April, 1855. On the nth of July following the opening 
services of the chapel were held, when Dr. Raffles was the 
morning preacher, and Dr. Allon, of London, the evening. On 
the following Sunday, July i5th, the Rev. J. Sutcliffe conducted 
the services, and on the 2pth a new organ was opened, the 
preachers being the Revs. J. Thornton, of Stockport, and J. G. 
Rogers, B.A. The chapel is seated for about 800 persons, and 
the total expenditure incurred was upwards of ^5,000. The first 
minister was the Rev. Edward Minton. He was born at Ludlow, 
in.Shropshire, in 1818 ; privately educated; had a charge at Chelten 
ham, then at Moreton-in-the-Marsh, whence he removed to Mossley 
in December, 1854. For twenty-three years he laboured success 
fully here, resigning in 1877 owing to impaired health. He died 

1 " Half a Century of Independency in Ashton-under-Lyne," p. 60. 


on Wednesday, January 23rd, 1887. His successor was the Rev. 
Llewellyn Porter, from Prestwich. He was minister from 
December, 1877, to June, iSSi, 1 The Rev. R. G. Leigh, from 
Farnworth, followed in May, 1882. He removed in October, 1885, 
to Hope Chapel, Salford, where he still labours. 2 In April of the 
following year the Rev. W. W. Jubb was appointed to fill the 
vacancy. He was educated at Cavendish College, Manchester ; 
had held pastorates at Oldbury, in Staffordshire, and Bristol ; 
and, previous to his settlement at Mossley, was for some 
years Secretary of the Irish Evangelical Society. In February, 
1891, Mr. Jubb resigned and went to the United States, 
where he is the pastor of a Congregational church. The 
present minister is the Rev. J. Campbell, who was educated at 
Nottingham Institute, and who, previous to his removal to Mossley 
in November, 1891, had worthily served the church at Delph as 
minister for seven years. The manse belonging to the church was 
erected in 1859 at a cost of ;8oo ; in 1872, at a cost of ^1,326, 
the school buildings were altered and enlarged, and in the same 
year the sum of ^500 was paid Lord Stamford for the freehold 
right of land ; and in 1885 Mr. George Andrew, J.P., Mayor, 
opened the Abney New Lecture Room and Infant School, which 
cost about ;6oo. Connected with the church is a branch school 
at Micklehurst, which was built in 1875 at a cost of ^1,326, 
and which has accommodation for 200 persons. 

1 Vide ante page 25. 

2 Vide ante page 221 ; also vol. iii. of Lancashire Nonconformity." 


PAGE 6. " Richard Bolton came from Rochdale to Monton. Removed to Walton and 
Preston in 1773. "--(Raffles MSS.) 

PAGE 12. In 1823 the Rev. John Adamson issued a little pamphlet against the use of 
instrumental music in Dissenting places of worship. It will interest lovers of music to know, 
that any Congregational minister within this century should have seriously undertaken to 
prove the impropriety and harmfulness of its use, and especially should have assigned the 
following reasons : 

1. Instruments of music were never used even among the Jews, in the ordinary worship 
of the Sabbath Day. 

2. When instruments were used by the Jews, in the worship of God, they were accom 
panied with sacrifice and dancing. Hence "advocates for it in the New Testament 
Churches," to be consistent, " ought to dance as well as play." 

3. Instrumental music was neither admitted into the Apostolic Churches, nor into 
those that succeeded them, for more than seven hundred years. 

4. Instrumental music in the worship of God is a custom derived from the idolatrous 
Church of Rome. 

5. The Churches which made the greatest progress in reformation, laid instruments 
of music entirely aside. 

6. Instruments of music should never be admitted into a place of worship, because 
wherever they are admitted they produce a train of the most lamentable evils. 

PAGE 14 : NOTE i. Last line but one, read " More than doubtful if Mr. Chorley was 
a Unitarian." 

PAGE 36. The Rev. John Ellis has recently left Blackley, for Upperthorpe, Sheffield. 

PAGE 40 : NOTE i. In vol. vi. of this work some account of the Lawton family is given. 
James Lawton was a Dissenting Minister in Liverpool, and Joseph Lawton at Gateacre, near 
Liverpool. The will of the latter gentleman refers to a sister living near Leek, in Stafford 
shire, from which circumstance I conclude that Mr. Lawton, of Newton Heath, belonged to 
the same family. (Vide also page 234 of this volume.) 

PAGE 41. " Nehemiah Scholes " should read " Nathaniel Scholes." 

PAGE 59. Dr. Raffles says, that the Rev. Joseph Ramsbottom was educated at 
Northampton under the Rev. John Horsey. 

PAGE 66. The Rev. F. S. Morris died at York, on Friday, August 4th, 1893, aged 
forty-seven years. 

PAGE 100. In the Manchtster Magazine for February i8th-25th, 1755, appears the 
following which refers, I imagine, to the Rev. Gabriel Nichols. Dr. Raffles says he was 
at Manchester in 1747, and was an assistant minister at Cross Street Chapel. I have no 
information about him beyond this : 

" Manchester, February 26th. Last Thursday night about a quarter after eleven o clock, 
the Rev. Mr. Nichols, a Dissenting minister, was stopped in the Gate of St. Ann s Churchyard, 
leading to King Street, by a person who presented a pistol to his breast, and robbed him of 
five shillings and sixpence. He seemed to be dissatisfied with so small a sum, but Mr. Nichols 
assuring him that he had no more about him, went off without offering any further violence." 


PAGE 6. " Richard Bolton came from Rochdale to Monton. Removed to Walton and 
Preston in 1773."-- (Raffles MSS.) 

PAGE 12. In 1823 the Rev. John Adamson issued a little pamphlet against the use of 
instrumental music in Dissenting places of worship. It will interest lovers of music to know, 
that any Congregational minister within this century should have seriously undertaken to 
prove the impropriety and harmfulness of its use, and especially should have assigned the 
following reasons : 

1. Instruments of music were never used even among the Jews, in the ordinary worship 
of the Sabbath Day. 

2. When instruments were used by the Jews, in the worship of God, they were, accom 
panied with sacrifice and dancing. Hence "advocates for it in the New Testament 
Churches," to be consistent, "ought to dance as well as play." 

3. Instrumental music was neither admitted into the Apostolic Churches, nor into 
those that succeeded them, for more than seven hundred years. 

4. Instrumental music in the worship of God is a custom derived from the idolatrous 
Church of Rome. 

5. The Churches which made the greatest progress in reformation, laid instruments 
of music entirely aside. 

6. Instruments of music should never be admitted into a place of worship, because 
wherever they are admitted they produce a train of the most lamentable evils. 

PAGE 14 : NOTE i. Last line but one, read" More than doubtful zy~Mr. Chorley was 
a Unitarian." 

PAGE 36. The Rev. John Ellis has recently left Blackley, for Upperthorpe, Sheffield. 

PAGE 40 : NOTE i. In vol. vi. of this work some account of the Lawton family is given. 
James Lawton was a Dissenting Minister in Liverpool, and Joseph Lawton at Gateacre, near 
Liverpool. The will of the latter gentleman refers to a sister living near Leek, in Stafford 
shire, from which circumstance I conclude that Mr. Lawton, of Newton Heath, belonged to 
the same family. (Vide ulso page 234 of this volume.) 

PAGE 41. " Nehemiah Scholes " should read " Nathaniel Scholes." 

PAGE 59. Dr. Raffles says, that the Rev. Joseph Ramsbottom was educated at 
Northampton under the Rev. John Horsey. 

PAGE 66. The Rev. F. S. Morris died at York, on Friday, August 4th, 1893, aged 
forty-seven years. 

PAGE 100. In the Manchester Magazine for February i8th-2sth, 1755, appears the 
following which refers, I imagine, to the Rev. Gabriel Nichols. Dr. Raffles says he was 
at Manchester in 1747, and was an assistant minister at Cross Street Chapel. I have no 
information about him beyond this : 

" Manchester, February 26th. Last Thursday night about a quarter after eleven o clock, 
the Rev. Mr. Nichols, a Dissenting minister, was stopped in the Gate of St. Ann s Churchyard, 
leading to King Street, by a person who presented a pistol to his breast, and robbed him of 
five shillings and sixpence. He seemed to be dissatisfied with so small a sum, but Mr. Nichols 
assuring him that he had no more about him, went off without offering any further violence." 


PAGE 109. The following is extracted from a letter of the Rev. John Pye, of Sheffield, to 
the Rev. Caleb Warhurst, respecting the latter s Ordination Service : 

Sheffield, 1756. 

I think I told you in my last that I had wrote to Mr. Scott, desiring a determinate 
answer respecting your Ordination. He was upon a journey when my letter reached his 
house, and after his return was more than usually hurried with an important affair which he 
is just entering upon, and that is the teaching grammar learning to a few young men thPt are 
designed for the ministry. But at length he wrote me, that upon my recommendation he was 
very willing to assist in your ordination, and should choose for old Mr. w alkden to give the 
charge, and me to preach, and in case we undertook these parts he would open the work, 
ask the questions, and pray over you. But if Mr. W. rather choose it, he wouid preach. I 
might give the charge, and Mr. W. pray over you. Now, as Mr. W is very far advanced in 
years I apprehend this last scheme would be best, and most acceptable to the people. 

PAGE 109: NOTE i. It was my intention to print copious extracts from Caleb Warhurst s 
diary, but the exigencies of space have prevented. Though of less value for historic purposes 
than the diaries of Nonconformist ministers belonging to the last century generally are, it 
deserves publicity. 

PAGE 125. The Rev. William Parkes subsequently served the church at Newington 
Chapel, Liverpool, for a brief period. (Vide vol. vi., of " Lancashire Nonconformity"). 

PAGE 139. The Rev. Samuel Bradley was greatly interested in instrumental music, and 
in 1823 an organ was introduced into Mosley Street Chapel which gave great offence to 
several of his people. He published an address to the Church and Congregation upon the 
subject, and it was this which led to the strictures of the Rev. John Adamson above 
referred to. 

PAGE 135. Dr. McAH died unexpectedly after a brief illness on Thursday evening, May 
nth, 1893. He was born at Macclesfield, December I7th, 1821. and was, therefore, in his 
72nd year. His wife was the daughter of the Rev. D. B. Hayward, one of the early pro 
fessors of the old Blackburn Academy. 

PAGE 183. The Rev. E. K. Evans died at Chiswick, June 23rd, 1893, aged sixty-two 

PAGE 193. The Rev. Thomas Hamer became assistant minister in September 1869, to 
the Rev. Robert Spence, M.A., of Dundee, formerly of Newington Chapel, Liverpool. (Vide 
vol. vi. of " Lancashire Nonconformity "). Mr. Spence died in June of the following year, and 
the sole responsibility of the church fell upon Mr. Hamer s shoulders. There was on the 
part of a majority of the church a strong feeling that he should be the permanent pastor, but 
a friendly minority thought a church of over 400 members, and a congregation of 1000 too 
heavy a burden for so young a man. Mr. Hamer agreed with the opinion of the minority 
and refused to allow his name to come before the church, settling subsequently at Cheetham 

PAGE 202. The Rev. J. R. Thomson, M.A., is "starred" in the Congregational Year 
Book as a minister resident in London without charge. This led to his being so described in 
Vol. III. of this work, whereas he is, and has been for many years, one of the respected 
tutors of New College, London. Surely some other description of him, and such as he, 
ought to be given in the Year Book. 

PAGE 223. For " P. N Ford," read " P. C. Ford." 

PAGE 227. For "Rev. D. W. Jordan, B.A.," read "Rev. D. N. Jordan, B.A." 

PAGE 236. Dr. Raffles gives the following information respecting the Rev. James 
Burgess, of Oldham : 

" He was a very evangelical and faithful preacher, and from his knowledge of medicine 
was very useful in every way in the neighbourhood. He continued at Delph about 13 years 
and died at a place called Medge Grove." 

NOTES. 327 

PAGE 236. The Rev. James Burgess, son of the Rev. James Burgess, of Oldham, was 
minister for many years at Whitworth, ntar Rochdale. Extracts from several of his letters 
are to be found i the MS. collection of the late Dr. Raffles, one of which is here given. 
Unfortunately the exact date does not appear upon it, but it was written shortly before his 
death, which took place in May, 1804. It gets additional interest from the fact that it was 
sent to Mr. Arthur Clegs:, whose name is prominent in the early history of Manchester 
Congregationalism. (Vide ante page, no, note i, 138). 

" Dear Sir, Ever since you gave your friendly and beneficial assistance in the sale of 
my timber at Millhouses, I have retained, a grateful sense of the greatness of the favour, and 
the cheerful manner in which you confer d it ; have also waited for an opportunity of making 
something more than a mere verbal acknowledgment of it. Consequently I herewith send 
you, gratuitously, some small fruit of my ministerial labours since declining nature and a 
thorn in the flesh disabled me for stated pulpit work. As my life has been prolonged, and my 
faculties continued in some degree far beyond what I or any of my acquaintances expected, 
and finding that the spiritual life within has not, in this last period of my life, decay d with the 
decays of my outward man, but rather the contrary, I have been as diligent in my good 
Master s work (according to my lesser abilities), as I was when I had a whole flock of Christ s 
sheep to tend and feed. When my lips and lungs failed me, both head, heart, and hand 
have been for the most part employed in the delightful work of the ministry. And tho after 
I retired into private life I have often been solicited to strike into trade, I could never 
reconcile my unwilling mind to it, much less to resemble my successor at Hatherloe, who I 
find has made shift to join the sacred calling of a minister, with the worldly calling of a cotton 
tradesman, tho he has no child. But indeed religion, I am informed, was very low at 
Hatherloe. During my ministry there we had a very full congregation of hearers, besides 
four prayer meetings of men, and one of women. But the introduction of instrumental 
music, which had neither the New Testament precept nor precedent to recommend it, threw 
the congregation into confusion, and drove away their minister, and, I believe, a general 
deadness and diminution succeeded, &c. The Exposition and Silent Meditations which y_ou 
were so good as to subscribe for, have all, excepting three or four, soon passed off. _The like 
quick sale my next piece had. What will be the fate of this, my last publication, which I now 
make a present of to you, time will discover, but not during my own lifetime. For, excepting 
a few sent to the printer of the Er>angtlical Afagazinf, at London, and to two shops in your 
town, the chief part are to be reserved to the time of my interment, when a smallish number are 
to be given by way of Dole to the pious poor of those congregations where I oftenest offici 
ated during my ministry. I shall only add that, this my last piece has now an addition which 
is not in any of those few already sent to booksellers, indeed it was not added before last week. 
It bears this title : " A prospect of near approaching death prompts the author to gird on his 
Christian armour. That part I lately transcribed from my Diary of Experiences, which I 
have kept above 50 years." As now I find both head and hand fail me in writing (which I 
need not wonder at, because in my 8oth year), I must abruptly conclude, <fec. 

February 19. J- BURGESS. 


Academies: Axminster, 140; 
Blackburn, 70, 75, 125, 161, 
175, 176, 198, 202, 247, 248, 
252, 272, 273, 276, 277, 321 ; 
Daventry, 6, 7, 47, 57, 238, 
293 ; Gosport, 214, 216; 
Heckmondwike, 116 ; Hoxton, 
140, 212, 214; Idle, 251, 299; 
Leaf Square, 202, 209, note 2 ; 
212; Mile End, 119; Man 
chester, 8, 46, 47, 102, 104, 157, 
204; Natland, 41; North 
ampton, 155, 294 ; Notting 
ham, 202 ; Oswestry, 124, 240; 
Roby s, 12, 202 ; Rathmell, 3 
33; 9 2 i J 54 ; Seedley Grove, 
211; Wymondley, 210; 
Warrington, 45, 98, 101, 102, 
104, 157, 204. 

Act of Uniformity, The, i, 3, 38, 
53, 54, 149, 230, 289. 

Adams, Thomas, 183. 

Adamson, John, 12, 14, 17. 

Adelphi Ragged School, 224, and 
note i. 

Adshead, G. H., 174. 

Agate, Dendy, B.A., 58, 60, note 
i ; 61. 

Agnew, Thomas, 222. 

Aked, C. F., 172, note 2. 

Albion Congregational Church, 

Aldred, Ebenezer, 4, note 3. 

Aldred, Jeremiah, 3, 4, notes 3 and 


Aldred, John, 4, note 3. 
Alexander, Dr. W. Lindsay, 168, 


Allon, Dr. H., 164, 227, 274, 
Allott, Robert, 124. 
Althorp Library, The, 77. 
Ancoats Congregational Church, 

1 80. 

Anderson, A., B.A., 24, note 3 ; 25. 
Anderson, Dr. William, 264. 
Andrew, George, J.P., 323. 
Andrews, Robert, 155. 
Angier, Ann, 102. 
Angier, Bezaleel, 289. 
Angier, John, i, 39, note 3 ; 42, 

note i ; 51, 53, 54, 85, 282. 
Angier, John, 291, 
Angier, Matthew, 291. 
Angier, Samuel, 85, 102, 284, 291. 
Angier, Samuel, 292. 
Anglezark, Mr., 139, 242. 
Anyon, John, 20, 219, note i ; 225. 
Armitage, Elijah, 136. 
Armitage, Sir Elkanah, 225, 227. 
Armitage, Professor, M.A., 202, 

260, 269. 
Armitage, William, J.P., 78, 109, 

note i ; 137, 200, 269. 
Ashley Lane Congregational 

Church, 187. 
Ashton, Joseph, 48, 294. 
Ashton Road Congregational 

Church, 262. 
Ashton, Samuel, 295. 
Ashton, Solomon, 68, 123. 
Ashton, William, 314. 
Ashworth, Dr. Caleb, 6, 293. 
Askew, Anne, 124. 
Aspland, R. Brook, M.A., 288, 295. 
Aspland, Robert, 295. 
Assheton, Sir Richard, 275. 



Astley, F. D., 309. 
Atchison, John, 57. 
Atherton, William, 276. 
Atterbury, Frank, 67. 
Aubrey, Richard, 46. 
Austerlands, preaching at, 273. 
Aveling, Dr., 144. 
Axford, W., 199. 

Bagshaw, William, 92. 

Bayley, James, 101. 

Bailey, J. E., 38, note 2. 

Bailey, J. R., 16. 

Baines, Edward, 14 ; His " History 

of Lancashire," 14, note i; 284. 
Bainton, James, 27. 
Baker s "Memorials of a Dissenting 

Chapel," 86-107, 108, note 2. 
Baldwin, Roger, 3, and note i. 
Bamford, A. J., B.A., 266. 
Bamfbrd, Samuel, 275, 
Barker, J. T., B.A., 311. 
Barker, Robert, 264. 
Barnes, E. G., 227. 
Barnes, Elizabeth, 104. 
Barnes, Philip, 266. 
Barnes, Thomas Dr., 104. 
Baron, Titus, 47. 
Barratt, Joseph, 40, note 2. 
Barrett, G. S., B.A., 202, 221. 
Basford, J., 36. 
Batchan, P. K., M.A., 67. 
Bateson, A., 277. 
Bath, Robert, 53. 
Bedell, James, 185. 
Bell, Alexander, 20. 
Bell, Mr., 52. 
Benn, James, 34. 
Bennett, James, D.D., 124. 
Bennett, Professor W. H., M.A., 

172, note 2 ; 202. 
Bennett, T., 297, 309. 
Berry, P. R., 213. 
Bertram, R. A., 63, 183. 
Bescoby, Mr., 228. 

Bevan, Dr., 144. 

Bingley, C., 317. 

Binney, Dr., 127, 313. 

Birch Chapel, 147, 151. 

Birch, Eliezer, 94-99, 153, and 

note 2. 

Birch, George, 151. 
Birch Hall, Conventicle at, 149. 
Birch, Henry, 248. 
Birch, Robert, 94 ; note 3, 149, 153. 
Birch, Samuel, 147, note 2, 
Birch, Thomas, 85. 
Birch, Colonel Thomas, 147, note 2; 

149, 151- 

Birt, John, 181, 252, 258. 
Bishop, J., B.A., 36. 
Blackburn, J., 209. 
Blackburn, Noah, 123, 133, 208, 

239, 242, 243, 296, 309. 
Blackley Chapel, 27. 
Blackmore, Chewning, 101. 
Bland, Lady, 89. 
Bland, Sir John, 89. 
Boardman, J. H., 127. 
Bolton, Richard, 6 and note 2 ; 


Booker, John, 27-39, 54. 

Booth, Archibald, 258. 

Booth, George, J.P., 188. 

Booth, Hugh, 1 88. 

Booth, John, 244. 

Booth Street East Welsh Congre 
gational Church, 206. 

Bostock, Samuel, 314. 

Bourn, Samuel, 44. 

Bourne, William, 81. 

Bowden, Mr., 133. 

Bradberry, David, 119-121, 137. 

Bradbury, C. T., 302. 

Bradbury, Miss, 316 

Bradbury, T., 55. 

Bradford, John, 27, 28, and note i; 
281, note 3. 

Bradlaugh, Charles, 188. 

Bradley, R., 133. 


Bradley, Samuel, 12, 18, 124, 125, 
133, 139, 140, 174, i? 6 , 209, 

2IO, 213, 299, 326. 

Bramall, John, 12, 24. 

Bray, A. J., 63, 146. 

Brayshaw, H. H., 178. 

Breese, John, 206. 

Brewster, Colin, 67. 

Briddon, William, 213. 

Bridie, James, 267 and note I. 

Brierley, Thomas, 250, 254. 

Brimacombe, G., 79. 

Briscoe, Michael, 3. 

Broadhead, Caleb, 85. 

Broadhurst, Thomas, 35. 

Brooks, John, 33, and note 2. 

Brotherton, Peter, 140. 

Brown. Dr. John, 197, 202. 

Brown, G. H., 16. 

Brown, J. Baldwin, B. A. ,64,161, 224. 

Broughton Congregational Church, 

Broughton Park Congregational 

Church, 195. 
Bruce, David, 12, 239. 
Bruce, Dr., 202. 
Bruce, James, 15, 125, 128. 
Bryson, James, 191. 
Bubier, G. B., 15, 16, 21, 220, 221. 
Bubier, William, 220. 
Buckland, George, 48. 
Buckley, Abel, 302, 304, 314, 317. 
Buckley, Mrs. Abraham, 268. 
Buckley, Fanny, 308. 
Buckley, John, 271. 
Buckley, Nathaniel, 297, 299, 300, 

note 2 ; 304, 314. 
Buckley, Nathaniel, 302, 313. 
Buckley, William, 288, note 5; 293, 


Buckley, William, 292, 296. 
Bugby, Fitzherbert, 75. 
Bull, John Bristowe, 47. 
Bunting, Dr., 35, note 2 ; 134, 182, 

note i. 

Bunyan, John, 197. 

Burder, G., 119, 139. 

Bure, Samuel, 85. 

Burgess, James, 236 and note 3 ; 

293 and note i ; 326, 327. 
Burgess, James, 327. 
Burnage, Congregationalism at, 67. 
Bushby, Dr., 289. 
Butler, Dr., 213. 
Buxton, Mr., 85. 
Byles, J., 65. 
Byrom, Dr. John, 110-113. 

Cadishead Congregational Church, 


Cadman, W. G., 48. 
Cain, T., 24 note 3. 
Calamy s " Nonconformist s Me 
morial," i, 3, note 3; 38, note 2; 
53, note 3; 84, 149, 150, 230, 
234, 281, note 3 ; 282, 287, 290. 
Calvert, R., 249, 272, 320. 
Cameron, James, 137. 
Camm, W. B., 216. 
Campbell, ].. 197. 
Campbell, J., 323. 
Cannon Street Congregational 

Church, 107. 
Carlton, James, 186. 
Carlisle, H. H., LL.B., 16. 
Carrodus, J. T., 258. 
Carrack, J. M., B.A., 227. 
Garrotte, P., 22. 
Carter, F., 78, 196, 198, 221. 
Carter, Oliver, B.D., 29, 
Cavendish Street Congregational 

Church, 137. 
Cavendish Mission, 146. 
Chapel Street Congregational 

Church, Salford, 213. 
Chambers, T., 188. 
Charlestown Congregational 

Church, 224. 

Charlestown Mission, Ashton- 
under-Lyme, 304. 

33 2 


Charrier, Mr., 133. 

Checkley, George, 157. 

Cheeseman, G. E., 321. 

Cheetham Hill Congregational 
Church, 192. 

Cheetham, J. F., 322. 

Cheetham, John, 322. 

Chesson, W. H., 22. 

Chetham, Humphrey, 27. 

Chetham Society Series, 2, note 2; 
4, note i; 30, 38, 39, note I; 
41, note I; 42, note i; 51, 54, 
55, 81, 84, 91, note i; 94, note 
3; 113, 284. 

Chisholm, S., 216. 

Chorley, Jane, 6. 

Chorley, John, 5, 14, note i ; 98, 325. 

Chorley, Josiah, M.A., 5. 

Chorlton-cum-Hardy Congrega 
tional Church, 72. 

Chorlton, John, 86, 91, 93. 

Chorlton Road Congregational 
Church, 107. 

Chorlton Road Welsh Congrega 
tional Church, 206. 

Christien, J., 184. 

City Road Congregational Church, 
132, 199. 

Clapham, Mr., 186. 

Clark, Absalom, 74. 

Clarkson, S., 216. 

Clegg, A., 109, no, note i; 113, 

138, 327- 

Clegg, David, 79. 
Clive, Lord, 100. 
Clough, James, 179. 
Clowes, John, 222. 
Clunie, Dr., 24, 183, 202, 211, 212, 

225, 315. 

Cobban, J. Me Claren, 36. 
Cockin, John, 242, 272. 
Cockin, Joseph, 119, 208, 243. 
Colcough, J., 277. 
Colcough, Thomas, 259, 263. 
Coldhouse, 107. 

Coles, William, 12, 241, 243. 

Colleges: Airedale, 13, 25, 67, 136, 
178, 202, 223, 226, 227, 244, 
258, 270, 273, 274, 315, 317, 
318, 320; Baptist, Leicester, 
295 ; Bala, 206 ; Brecon, 162, 
207, 273 ; Carmarthen Presby. 
terian, 46 ; Cavendish, 188, 
199, 202, 227, 323 ; Cheshunt, 
16, 25, 66, 78, 106, 146, 177, 
189, 190, 194, 227, 307; 
Didsbury, 172, 222; Highbury, 
12, 142, 144, 161, 167, 193, 
212, 216, 220; Home Mission 
ary (Unitarian), 36, 39, note 4, 
48, 204; Homerton, 142, 189, 
220; Lancashire, 15, i<S, 22, 
24, and note 3 ; 25, 26, 27, 63, 

64, 6 5, 7, 7 1 , 7 2 , 75, 78, 92, 
note 2; 125, 126, 130, 135, 
159, 162, 163, 169, 172, 177, 
183, 184, 188, 192, 193, 196, 
197, 198, 202, 204, and note 
i ; 213, 216, 221, 223, 250, 
251, 258, 260, 261, 263, 266, 
269, 270, 274, 277, 301, 309, 
311,316,318, 321; Liverpool, 
213; Mansfield, 163, 216; 
Hackney, 22, 35, 72, 131, 309; 
Hackney (Socmian), 34, 35 ; 
New (London), 16, 119, 126, 
144, 146, 163, 167, 172, note 2; 
J 93> I 97. 22 3. 224, 261, 266, 
274, 306 ; New (Manchester), 
8, 10, 60, 62, 105, 106, 157, 
204, 295 ; Owen s, 67, 165, 
note i ; 204, note i ; 321 ; 
Pastors , 179, 189; Rawdon, 
48; Rotherham, 13, 59, note 1; 
124, 170, 175, 192, 193, 240, 
243, 245, 250, 264, 265, 276, 
307, 315, 321 I Spring Hill, 77, 
163, 1 68, 178, 195, 220, 225, 
227,307; Western, 162, 165; 
YorkshireUnited Independent, 



146, 163, 172, note 2; 193, 

2O2, 270, 316, 
Collier, Thomas, 311. 
Collyhurst Street Congregational 

Church, 199. 
Conder, Dr. John, 119. 
Conder, G. W., 26, 193. 
Coningham, James, M.A., 93, 97. 
Constantine, Robert, 230-234, 239. 
Constantine, Samuel, 234. 
Constantine, Thomas, 230. 
Conventicle Act, The," 150. 
Cooke, Alfred, 27. 
Coombs, J. A., 17, 18, note 5; 22, 

124, 166, 206, 214, 218. 
Cooper, John, 102. 
Cooper, W. Dodge, 57-59. 
Cooper, W. H., 274. 
Copland, Osric, 25. 
Cordingley, Titus, 44. 
"Corporation Act, The," 151. 
Cotton, Dr. John, 283. 
Cotton, R. H., M.A., 21, 48. 
Coulburn, Henry, 41, note i. 
Coulburn, William, 41, note i. 
Craig, Professor Robert, M.A., 


Cran, A., M.A., 64, 318. 
Craven, J. M., 313. 
Creighton, D. H., 12. 
Crewe, J., 79. 

Crompton, Thomas, M.A., 3. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 147, note 2; 151. 
Crossley, John, 275. 
Crossley, Lady, 194. 
Cross Street Chapel, 81. 
Cummins, John, 136. 
Cunningham, James, 169. 

Dale, Dr., 26, 145. 
Dale, W. D., 316. 
Dalton, J., 210. 
Darbishire, R. D., 40, note 2. 
Davidson, Dr., 159, 163, 250. 
Davies, David, 294. 

Davies, C. S., 268. 

Davies, J. Dickerson, M.A., 223. 

Davies, N. de G., M.A., B.D., 306, 

Davies, R. M., 62, 63, 70, 78, 130, 
136, 158, 178, 251-257, 258, 
260, 262, 263, 264, 267, 268, 
269, 317. 

Davies, William, 184. 

Davies, W. S., 189. 

Davies, Mr., 171. 

Dawson, Joseph, 298, note 2. 

Dawson, W. J., 172, note 2. 

Day, Mr., 186. 

Deakin, James, 18, note 5. 

Dean, James, 125. 

Dean Row Chapel, 94, 96. 

Dearnellyes, Nicholas, 85. 

Denton, Benjamin, M.A., 234, 236. 

Denton Congregational Church, 


Denton Old Chapel, 283-287. 
Denton, Lydia, 236. 
Derker Congregational Church, 


Dickenson, Thomas, 55, 56 
Dingle, J. H, 13. 
Dixon, Mark, 264. 
Dixon, William, 273. 
Dob Lane Chapel, 38. 
Dobson, Joshua, 98. 
Dobson, S., St. Neots, B.A., 226. 
Doddridge, Dr., 155. 
Douthwaite, F. C., 320. 
Drevvett, W. H., 172, 191. 
Driver, S. B., 177, 178. 
Droylsden Congregational Church, 


Drummond, Dr., 106. 
Drummond, W. H., B.A., 106. 
Ducie Chapel, 197. 
Ducie, Lord, 159, 197. 
Duffill, M., 199. 
Duke s Alley Congregational 

Church (Bolton). 123, note 2. 
Dukinfield, Charles, 291. 



Dukinfield, Colonel Robert, 281, 

283, 291, 292. 

Dukinfield, Sir Robert, 5, 6. 
Dukinfield Congregational Church, 

280, 282, 313. 
Dukinfield CrescentCongregational 

Church, 310. 

Dukinfield Old Chapel, 287. 
Dukinfield Old Hall Chapel, 311. 
Dukinfield, Jane, 5. 
Dunkerley, James, 268. 
Dunkerley, John, 267-269. 
Dunkerley, Mr., 309. 
Dunkley, James, 189. 
Dunn, George, 262. 
Dury, David, 53. 
Duthie, James, 63-65. 
Dyson, Joseph, 17, 18, note 5 ; 24, 


Earnshaw, J., 189. 

East, Timothy, 212. 

Eaton, George, 281, note 3. 

Eaton, Jane, 56. 

Eaton, Richard, 287, note 3. 

Eaton, Robert, 55, 85, 150, 289. 

Eaton, Samuel, 281-283, 313. 

Eaton, Samuel, 291. 

Eaton, Theophilus, 282. 

Edwards, Mr., 139. 

Edwards, E., 315. 

Elliott, Mr., 1 8, note 4. 

Ellis, John, 36, 325. 

Ellis, R. P., 64, 228. 

Ellison, Thomas, 287. 

Ely, Charles, 208. 

Ely, John, 212, 249, 251. 

Empson, G. C., 72, 77, 78. 

Enfield, Dr. William, 101. 

Essex, W. W., 317. 

Estlin, Dr., 104. 

Evans s, Dr., List of Presby 
terian Chapels and Charities, 
43, note i ; 44, note 2; 56, 98, 
note i. 

Evans, E. K., : i83, 326. 

Evans, Mr., 139. 

Evans, Robert, 207. 

Evans, Thomas, 162. 

Evans, T. E., 207. 

Evans, W., 12, 68, 133, 210, 243, 


Evans, William, 251, 254, note i. 
Evans, Williams, 124. 
Ewing, Greville, 216. 

Failsworth, Nonconformity at, 38. 
Falding, Dr., 130, 163. 
Farnsworth, Charles, 310, 

enner, John Ludd 7. 
Ferguson, Dr. Fergus, 190. 
Fielden, H., 79. 
Fielden, John, 279. 
Finch, Henry, 85, 150, 151, 153, 

I 54. J58, 289, note 2. 
Finlayson, Dr. T. C., 63, 71, 131, 


Firth, S., 261, 278. 
" Five Mile Act, The," 84. 
Fletcher, Joseph, Dr., 12, 176, 210, 

Fletcher, R., 24, 70, 134, 135, 159, 

183, 196, 218. 
Fletcher, S., 18, notes; J 34, 135, 

136, 200, 226. 

F gg. J onn , 3I5- 

Ford, David, 222. 

Ford, David Everard, 221, 254. 

Ford, G. N., 223. 

Ford, P. C., 72, 223, 326. 

Foster, Richard, 57. 

Forsyth, J., 63. 

Forsyth, P. T., M.A., 193. 

Fothergill, W. H., 21, 278. 

Fox, George, 283, note i. 

Fox, John, 251, 258. 

Frankland, Richard, 3, 33, 55, 92, 

93, 94, 154- 
Freeston, Joseph, 36, 48. 



Galland, Joseph, 242-245, 247, 249, 

267, 268, 315. 
Galland, Robert, 242. 
Gardiner, Mr., 56. 
Garlick, Joseph, 306. 
Garnett, Charles, 184. 
Gaskell, John, M.A., 294. 
Gaskell, Margaret, 100. 
Gaskell, Mrs., 106. 
Gaskell, Nathaniel, 100. 
Gaskell, William, M.A., 47, note 2 ; 

1 06. 

Gastrell, Bishop, 42, note 5. 
Gee, Domini, 289. 
Gee, Mr., 102. 

Gentleman, Robert, 240, note i. 
George, John, 199. 
Gibbons, S., 182. 
Gibson, R. H , B.A., 48. 
Gips, Mr., 40, note i. 
Gladstone, Mr., 238, 293, and 

note 4. 

Glendenning, Joseph, 251. 
Glover, William, 311. 
Godwin, J., 144, 193. 
Godwin, Richard, 101. 
Goldschmidt, Philip, 36. 
Goodier, Benjamin, 50, note i. 
Goodrich, Dr. Albert, 131. 
Goodwin, Mr., 192. 
Gordon, Alexander, M.A., 39, note 

4 ; 42, note 5 ; 43, note i ; 44, 

note 2 ; 47, note 4 ; 53, note 3 ; 

59, note i. 
Gordon, John, 295. 
Gore, Robert, 101. 
Gorton Brook, Congregationalism 

at, 199. 
Gorton Protestant Dissenters 

Chapel, 50. 
Gosman, A., 135. 
Gothard, William, 24. 
Greatbatch, George, 318. 
Green, Thomas, M.A., 63, 130, 254, 

note i ; 279, 304, 307, 308, 313, 

Greenacres Congregational Church, 

Greenheys Congregational Church, 


Greswell, W. P., 284. 
Griffin, James, 163, 167 168, 169, 

183, 218. 

Griffin, John, 167. 
Griffiths, H., 184. 
Griffiths, John, 206. 
Griffiths, William. 206. 
Grimshaw, James, 154. 
Grimshaw, Robert, 57. 
Grindrod, M., 70. 
Grosvenor Street Congregational 

Church, 123, 133. 
Grundy, John, 104. 
Guest, William, 193. 
Gwatkin, Thomas, 34, and note 3. 
Gwyther, James, 74, 127, 163, 176, 

177, 183, 206. 218. 
Gwyther, J. H., B.A., 178, 321. 

Hadfield, George, M.P., 14, 105, 
note i ; 164, 166, 167, 200, 202, 
note i. 

Hague, Joseph, 183. 

Haigh, William, 199. 

Haldane, James, 122. 

Hale, Thomas, 240-242. 

Hall, A., 199, 263. 

Hall, John, 52. 

Hall, Miss, 266. 

Hall, W. J., 179. 

Halley, Dr., and his " Lancashire 
Puritanism and Nonconform 
ity," 16, 29, 39, note i ; 70, 98, 
note i ; 99, 107, 108, 113, note 
2 ; 114, note I ; 116, I2O, 122, 
142, 144, 145, 150, note 3 ; 153, 
note 2 ; 159, 163, 183, 220, 222, 
250, 269, 281, and note i. 

Halley, J. J., 144. 

Halley, Robert, M.A., 144. 

Ham, James Panton, 106. 

33 6 


Hamer, D. Jones, 223, 228. 
Hamer, Thomas, 26, 193, 326. 
Hamilton, R. W., D.D., 307. 
Hampshire, Mr., 124. 
Hampson, Robert, 136, 174. 
Handforth, John, 239, 240, and 

note i. 

Hannam, T., 259. 
Hannay, Dr., 66, 130, 146. 
Hanson, Samuel, 56. 
Hardaker, Mark, 20. 
Hardy, James, 234. 
Hargreaves, J., 70. 
Hargreaves, John, 292, note i. 
Harpurhey Union Church, 188. 
Harris, Dr., 144, 214. 
Harris, George. 105. 
Harris, George, 247, note i ; 


Harrison, Cuthbert, 34, 102. 
Harrison, Edward, 292. 

Harrison, Edward, 236. 
Harrison, G., 63. 

Harrison, fohn, 103. 
Harrison, John, 254, 264. 

Harrison, John, 287. 

Harrison, Joseph, 238. 

Harrison, Mrs., 236. 

Harrison, Ralph, 35, 101-104. 

Harrison, Ralph Cooper, 103. 

Harrison, William, 102. 

Harrison, William, 35, 103. 

Harrop, Robert, 238, 245. 

Hart, John, 68, 69, 175, 276. 

Hartley, L., 270. 

Hartley, R. G., M.A., 137. 

Hartley, Stephen, 26. 

Harwood, James, B.A., 10. 

Haughton, John, 172, note i. 

Hawkes, James, 294, 295. 

Hawkes, William, 46. 

Hawkes, William, 66. 

Haworth, A. A. 204. 

Hay ward, D. B., 326. 

Haworth Bros., 200, 274, 203. 

Heaton Mersey Congregational 

Church, 68. 
Heaton Moor Congregational 

Church, 66. 

Helme, John, 34, 293, and note 5. 
Henry, Matthew, 5, 33, 42, 92, 93, 

94, note 4 ; 97, 98. 
Herford, R. T., B.A., 281, note 3. 
Heron, James H., 14, 141. 
Heron, Sir Joseph, 14. 
Hesketh, Robert, 154. 
Hesketh, Robert, M.A., 155, note i 
Hewgill, W. f M.A., 254, note i. 
Hewitt, John, 224, 225. 
Heyrick, Warden, 51, 81, 84. 
Heyside Congregational Church, 

Heywood, John, 33, and notes 3 

and 4 ; 42. 

Heywood, Joseph, 40, note 2 ; 42. 
Heywood, Oliver, 3, notes 2 and 3 ; 

29, 32, 33, note 4 ; 39, 40, 

note i; 55, 92, 93, 234, 287, 

289, note 2 ; 291. 
Hibbert, James, 48. 
Hickling, C. H., 72. 
Hide, Jane, 85. 
Hide, Mr., 40, note i. 
Higgs, T. K., M.A., 72, 245, 254, 

note i. 

Higginson, Edward, 10, 59. 
Higginson, Philip Martineau, M.A., 

Higher Ardwick Congregational 

Church, 199. 
Hightown Congregational Church, 


Hill, John Spencer, 227, 277. 
Hill, James, 214. 
Hodgson, Dr., 64, 71, 191, 202, 

204, 261. 
Hodgson, John, 248, note i; 

249, 250, 260-269, 278. 
Hodgson, John, 6. 
Hodgson, Richard, 6. 



Holbroke, Richard, 85. 
Holder, H. W., M.A., 321. 
Holdsworth, J. W., 146. 
Holgate, John, 320. 
Holland, John, 155. 
Holland, Philip, 101. 
Holland, Richard, 85. 
Holland, Thomas, M.A., 30. 
Hollinwood Congregational 

Church, 262. 

Hollinworth, Richard, 51, 81, 82. 
Holme, James, 39, note 3. 
Holmes, Benjamin, 79. 
Holroyd. John, 249, 251, 315. 
Holt, Mr., 65. 
Holt, William, 158. 
Hood, E. Paxton, 146. 
Hooley Hill Mission, 308. 
Hooper, Stephen, 68, 70. 
Hope, John, 138 and note i ; 20O. 
Hope Congregational Church 

(Salford), 217. 
Hope Congregational Church 

(Oldham), 251. 
Hopkinson, John, 168. 

Hopps, J. P., 295. 

Home, C. S., M.A., 172, note 2 ; 

Home, David, B.A., 223. 

Horsey, John, 294, 325. 

Hort, Charles Danvers, 60. 

Houghton, John, 155. 

Houghton, Pendlebury, 45, 156. 

Howe, John, 91. 

Hoyle, Giles, 183, 249, 315, 318, 
320, 322. 

Howell, William, 239. 

Hubbard, William, 186, 190. 

Hudson, Mr.. 123, 242. 

Hughes, D.. B.A., 207. 

Hughes, G. D., 27. 

Hughes, Hugh, 207. 

Hughes, J., 254. 

Hughes, Thomas, 136. 

HulmeCongregational Church, 174. 

5 22 

Hulme Hall, 89, note 3. 

Hunter s Croft Congregational 

Church, 110-114. 
Huntingdon, Lady, 119, note 3; 

121, 140, 276, 278. 
Hurst Nook Mission, 305. 
Hustwick, H., 263. 
Hutchison, J., 64, 302-306, 313. 
Hutchison, R. D., 66. 

Ince, John, 136. 

" Independency at Tockholes," 33, 

note 5. 
" Indulgence Act, The," 84, 85, 86, 


Inglis, D., B.A., 261. 
Ivy, Robert, 249, 300. 

Jack, Dr., 12, 133, 174. 

Jackson, J. T., 70. 

Jackson, Thomas, 17. 

James, D. R., 311. 

James, J. A., 141, 161, 222, 225. 

James, William, 238. 

Jay, William, 197. 

Jefferies, Joseph, 59. 

Jenkins, D. M., 207. 

Jenkinson, Robert, 242. 

Jessop, R., 249, 252. 

John, David, 206, 207. 

Johnson, A. N., M.A., 131, 172, 

note 2. 
Johnson, John, 121, and note 5; 


Johnson, Richard, J.P., 190. 
Johnson, William, 192. 
Johnston, Matthew, 63. 
Jollie, John, 54, and note 3; 55, 

note 2 ; 289, 291. 
Jollie, John, 55. 
Jollie, Major, 52, 54. 
Jollie, Thomas, 54, 55, 289, 291. 
Jollie, Timothy, 42, note i ,-.97. 
Jones, David, 307, and note 4. 
Jones, David L., 47, and note 4; 

50, and note i. 



Jones, D. Lloyd, 206, 207. 

Jones, Edmund, B.A,, i, 2, and 

note 2. 

Jones, Gamaliel, 97. 
Jones, John, i, 2, and note 2. 
Jones, John, 85. 
Jones, J. Emmett, 197. 
Jones, Joshua, 51, 56, 98, note i. 
Jones, Lewis, 207. 
Jones, Miss, 47, note i. 
Jones, Mr., 159. 
Jones, Richard, 206. 
Jones, Samuel, 47, note i. 
Jones, William, 24. 
Jordan, D. N., B.A., 227, 326. 
Joseph, Mr., 189. 
Joule, John, 138, 208, and note i. 

Kaye, Neville, 150, note 3. 

Kelly, Mrs., 159. 

Kennedy, Thomas, M.A., 138, 296. 

Kenworthy, G. H., 302. 

Kenworthy, James, 166. 

Kiddle, J. W., 64, 77, 226-229. 

Kirkus, W., LL.B., 162. 

Knight, George, 48. 

Knight, Henry, 5, 43, note i, 44, 


Knott, Herbert, 302. 
Knott, John, 311. 
Knott, Mrs., 302. 
Knott Mill Congregational Church, 


Knowles, Thomas, 7. 
Knox, William, 217, 228. 

Lake, John, Dr., 231. 

Lamb, John, 172. 

Lamb, Samuel, 191. 

Langley, Mr., 82. 

La Trobe, Mr., 300. 

Lawson, T., 188. 

Lawton, Mr., 39, 40, note i ; 325. 

Lawton, Mr., 234 and note 2 ; 325. 

Lee, Henry, 20, 26, 27, 228. 265, 

Lee, T. G., 213. 

Leeds, John, 85. 

Lees, Preaching at, 273. 

Lees, John, 244. 

Lees, Jonathan, 24, note 3 ; 69, 133, 
174, 187, 263. 

Lees, Jonathan, 24, note 3; 137. 

Lees, Samuel, 251. 

Leifchild, Dr., 144, 209. 

Leigh, Charles, 221, note 3. 

Leigh, H. H., 248. 

Leigh, R. G., 221, 323. 

Leigh, William, 51, 53, 282. 

Leigh, William, M.A., 53, note 3. 

Leighton, Edward, 276. 

Lewin, Samuel, 170. 

Lewis, Jenkin, 202, 211. 

Ley, Mr., 82. 

Lightbown, Mr., 226. 

Lingard, Richard, 149. 

Lloyd, Thomas, 46. 

Lochore, A. O., 78. 

Lockwood, John, B.A., 192. 

London, T. C., 213. 

Long, H. C., 162. 

Longley, Benjamin, 243. 

Longsight Congregational Church, 

Lord, James, 297, 314. 

Lord Duncan Street Welsh Congre 
gational Church, 207. 

Lowe, Roger, 150, note 4. 

Loyd, Lewis, 46, 47, note i. 

Loyd, Sam Jones, 47. 

Lunn, Abraham, 36, 48. 

Macdonald, Dr. George, 163. 
Macedonia Congregational Sunday 

School (Failsworth), 264. 
Macfadyen, D., B.A., 131. 
Macfadyen, Dr., 21, 63, 64, 66, 71, 

7 2 , 73, 78, 108, note 2 ; 109, 

note I ; 114, 116-121, note I ; 

128, 130, 164, 261, 265, 279. 
Macfadyen, Mrs., 109, note i ; 131, 

138, note 2. 



"Macfadyen Memorial Church," 73 
Mackennal, Dr., 14, 64, 108, note 
2; 114, 116, 117, 121, note I ; 
130, 138, 165. 
Maclaren, Dr., 130, 305. 

Maconachie, J. Kirk, 165. 

Manchester and District Congre 
gational Mission Board, 198, 
204, 217. 

Macwilliam, W. B., 184. 

McAll, Robert, 140. 

McAll, Dr., 18, note 5 ; 134, 
140, 145, 158, 159, 167, 175, 
181, 196, 218, 252, 300,314, 320. 

McAll, Dr., 135, 326. 

McAll, S. 167. 

McAuslane, Dr. A., 77. 

McAuslane, John, 75. 

McCappin, J. C., 22, 162. 

McDougall, James, 72, 172, note 2 ; 
191, 194, 196, 254. note i ; 260. 

McFarlane, Dr.. 14. 

McKenny, W. H. 258. 

McKerrow, Dr. William, 70, 75, 
127, 169, 194, 254, 320. 

McLellan, W., 217. 

McMichael, J. C., 321. 

Mainwaring, Col., 281, note i. 

Mainwaring, Peter, 81. 

"Manchester Socinian Contro 
versy," 39, note i ; 99, 105. 

Mark, H. T., B.A., 258. 

Marsh, William, 123, 124, 199, 297, 
308, 309, and note 2. 

Marshall, William, 47. 

Martin, Samuel, 16, 127, 144, 

Martindale, Adam, i, 51-53, 149. 

Martineau, Harriet, 106. 

Martineau, Dr. James, 10, 106. 

Mary, Queen, persecutions of, 28, 

Mason, Dr., 211. 

Mason, Hugh, 63, 304, 305, 306, 

Mason, Miss, 302. 

Mason, Mrs., 302. 

Mason, Muriel, 304. 

Mason, Rupert, 302, 304, 

Mason, S , 302. 

Massie, Dr. J. W., 216, 221, 317. 

Massie, Professor, 216. 

Massie, Robert, 216. 

Mather, James, 123, 209. 

Mather, John, 195. 

Mather, Samuel, 282, note i. 

Mather, William, M.P., 195. 

Mathews, R. J., 24. 

Mayall, John, 322. 

Meanley, Astley, 156. 

Meanley, Richard, 156. 

Medley, Mr., 139. 

Meeson, J.A., M.A., LL.B., 221, 

Melbourne Street Mission, 132. 

Meldrum, Mr., 123, 243. 

Mellor, Dr. E., 184, 254, 269. 

Middleton Hall, 275. 

Middleton Congregational Church, 

Miller, J. S., 267. 

Millson, J. E., 226. 

Minton, Edward, 322. 

Mitchell, Robert, 73, 189, 191. 

Moffat, Dr., 136, 299. 

Moffat, Mary, 299. 

Monks Hall, 3, and note i. 

Monton Chapel, i. 

Moody, Mr., 241. 

Moore, F., 198. 

Moorhouse, William, 242. 

Morgan, Dr. David, 206. 

Morgan, John, 199. 

Morris, A. J., 66, 213. 

Morris, Dr. John, 273, 277. 

Morris, Edward, 74-77. 

Morris, F. Sidney, 66, 325. 

Morris, William, 149. 

Morrison, Dr., 190. 

Morton, Bishop, 29. 

Mosley, Ann, 290. 



Mosley, Dame Jane Meriel, 89, and 

note 3. 

Mosley, Sir Edward, 89. 
Mosley Street Congregational 

Church, 137. 

Mosley, Oswald, 284, 290. 
Mossley Bottoms, 273. 
Mossley Congregational Church, 

Mottershead, Joseph, 5, 47, note i ; 

56, 97-101, 102, 106. 
Moxon, George, 94. 
Muncaster, Joseph, 193. 
Munroe, James, 250. 
Murray, Alexander, 174. 
Murray, J. R., M.A., 172-174, 191. 
Murray, Wilson, 262. 

Naphtali, J. S., 180. 
Naylor, B., 60, note i. 
Needham, J. C., 72. 
Neeld, Dr., 3, note 4. 
Newcome, Elizabeth, 91. 
Newcome, Henry, M.A., i, 2, 38, 

39, 41, 54, 81-92, 100, 102, 

note 2; 108, 116, 147, note 2 ; 

282, 289, note 2. 
Newcome, Stephen, 81. 
Newcome, Robert, 81. 
Newcome, Rose, 81, 91. 
Newbery, Mr. 67. 
Newth, Dr., 33, note 5 ; 126, 144. 
Newth, Professor, 15, 16, 24, note 

3 ; 126, 128. 
Newton Heath Congregational 

Church, 191. 
Newton, James, 269. 
Newton, John, 110-113. 
Newton, Samuel, 38. 
New Windsor Congregational 

Church, 208. 

Nichols, Gabriel, 100., 325. 
Nicholson, George, B.A., 161. 
Nightingale, B., 260. 
Noble, S. R., 266. 

Norbury, J. C., 165. 
Norman, Thomas, 53, 149. 
Northowram Register," 32, note 

3; 33, 39. 4 1 , note J ; 42, note 5 ; 

43, note i; 55, 56, 92, 97, 98, 

note i; 100, note I ; 232, 290. 
Nolan, Dr. E. H., 70, 196, 197, 

252, 269. 

Ogden, John, B.A., 284. 
Ogden, Mr., 54. 
Oldham, Hugh, LL.B., 27. 
Oldham Road Congregational 

Church, 185. 

Openshaw Congregationalism, 61. 
Oram, W., 22. 
Orton, Job, 99, 101. 
Overstone, Baron, 47. 
Owen, Dr., 289. 
Owen, Humphrey, 102. 
Owens, Owen, 207. 

Paget, John, 29. 

Paget, Thomas, 29. 

Palmer, William, 187, 227. 

Park, A., J.P., 305. 

Parker, Dr. Joseph, 145, 184, 202, 

207, 318. 

Parkes, William, 125, 326. 
Parkinson, H. W., 184, 317. 
Parsons, E., 139. 
Parsons, James, 144, 166, 169, 177, 

186, 219, 226, 250. 
Partington, George, 12, and note 

i ; 245, 249. 
Pastures Congregational Church, 


Paton, Dr., 202. 
Patricroft Congregational Church 


Patten, Andrew, 115, 116. 
Payne, Dr., 176. 
Peacock, Richard, M.P., 60. 
Pearce, A. E., 225. 
Pearson, Samuel, M.A., 191, 195. 


Peill, J., 313- 

Pendlebury Congregational 

Church, 1 6. 

Pendlebury, Henry, M.A., 156. 
Pendlebury, Mary, 156. 
Penkethman, John, 18, 22, 175, and 

note 3. 
Perkins, William, 43, and note i > 

44, and note 2. 
Phillips, A., 274. 
Phillips, George, M.A., 202, 209. 


Phillips, J. R., 262. 
Phillips, Peregrine, 210. 
Picton, J. A., M.A., 192. 
Picton, Sir J. A., 192. 
Place, William, n, note 2; 13, 14. 
Plank, C. T., 172. 
Platt, James, 258. 
Platt, John, 244. 
Plungeon s Meadow, 87-89. 
Pocock, Mr., 181, 182, note i. 
Pool House, 89. 
Poore, J. L., 135, 177, 198, 220. 
Pope, John, 34. 
Porter, A., 198, note 3. 
Porter, Llewellyn, 25, 323. 
Porter, S. T., 18, note 5. 
Poynting, C. T., B.A., 157. 
Poynting, T. E., 3-10, 157. 
Pridie, James, 136, 166, 212, 250, 

Priestley, Dr. Joseph, 98, note 3 ; 

116, 119. 

Priestley, Timothy, 115-119, 137. 
Procter, R. W., 107. 
Pugsley, N. K, 68, 69, 315. 
Pye, John, 109, 326. 
Pyer, John, 181, 182, and note i. 
Pyke, Thomas, 30, note 4 ; 32, 39. 

Queen s Park Congregational 
Church, 189. 

Queen s Road Welsh Congrega 
tional Church, 207. 

Radbourne, H. E., 195, 227. 

Radcliffe, Joshua W., 261. 

Raikes, Robert, 258. 

Raffles, Dr., 75, 127, 134, 141, 144, 
161, 167, 176, 177, 178, 181, 
186, 192, 214, 219, 222, 226, 
244, 2 47, 249, 250, 252, and 
note 2; 257, 273, 300, 317, 
320, 322, 326, 327. 

Ralph, John, 209. 

Ramsbottom, Joseph, 59, 326. 

Ramsey, Mr., 309, and note 6. 

Rathband, Nathaniel, 41. 

Rathband, William, 29. 

Raven, John, 216. 

Rawlinson, John, 74, 78, 198. 

Rawson, Joseph, n. 

Rawson, Harry, 50. 

Reaney, G. S., 146. 

Redmayne, Leonard, 209. 

Reed, Dr. Andrew, 177, 197. 

Rees, Dr., 207. 

Reid, Stuart J., 194. 

Reid, William, 64, 66. 

Regent Congregational Church, 

Regent Street Congregational 
Church (Oldham), 258. 

Reyner, Nehemiah, 56. 

Reynolds, Dr. 193. 

Reynolds, John, 202, 211. 

Reynolds, Dr. Henry Revell, 211. 

Richardson, H. H., 25. 

Risque, Mr., 258. 

Robberds, J. E., .95. 

Robberds, John Gooch, 105. 

Roberts, Dr. David, 206. 

Robarts, Richard, 206, 207. 

Roberts, Robert, 321. 

Robinson, Edwin, 199. 

Robinson, J., 260. 

Robinson, T. F., 39, note 4 ; 40, 
note 2. 

Robinson, Dr. R., 44, 45, 293, and 
note 3. 


Roby, Sarah, 134. 

Roby, William, n, 12, 18, note 5 ; 
22, 62, 121-123, 133, 134, 136, 
139, 166, 167, 170, 174, 175, 

176, 187, 2O2, 2O8, 2O9, 2IO, 
212, 213, 214, 243, 246, 247, 
248, 309, 

Rodgers, G., 20. 

Rogers, George, 175. 

Rogers, J. G., B.A., 72, 74, 159, 

254, 274, 301, 302, 304, 305, 

317. 322. 
Rogers, T., 301. 
Rooden Lane Congregational 

Church, 26. 
Rooker, S., 192. 
Rotheram, D., 98, 155, 156. 
Royton Congregational Church, 

" Ruling Eldership, The," H4,-n6, 


Rusholme Congregational Church, 

Rusholme Road Congregational 

Church, 166. 
Rushton, Adam, 36. 
Russell Street Mission, 132, 200. 
Ryan, G. F., 22, 68, 69. 
Ryecroft Congregational Church, 


Rylands, John, 75, 77, 200. 
Rylands, Mrs., 77. 
Rymer, Thomas, 26. 

Sandfoid, Benjamin, 44 and note 3. 
Scholefield, Nathanael, 246 and 

note 3. 

Scholes, George, 41. 
Scholes, Jeremiah, 41. 
Scholes, Nathaniel, 40, note 2 ; 41, 

42, 93, note i ; 325. 
Schwann, C. E., M.P., 50. 
Scott, Captain Jonathan, 241. 
Scott, Dr., 64, 202, 250, 260, 265, 


Scott, James, 299. 

Scott, James, 109, 116, 326. 

Scott, Walter, 202, 320. 

Scott, William, 179, and note 2. 

Scouthead, Preaching at, 273. 

Seddon, John, M.A., 98, 99, 100, 


Seddon, Peter, 98. 
Seddon, Reuben, 266. 
Seddon, Robert, M.A., 53. 
Seedley Congregational Church, 


Senior, B. P., 258, 268. 
Selbie, R. W., B.A., 221. 
Selbie, W. B., M.A., 221. 
Shaw Congregational Church, 266. 
Shaw, George, 13, 15. 
Shaw, Henry, 78. 
Shaw, Peter, 39, note i. 
Shaw, Samuel, 277, 278. 
Shaw, W. A., 30, note 2 ; 39, note i ; 

41, note i ; 282, note 3. 
Sheldon, Stephen, 196. 
Sheldon, Thomas, 137. 
Sherman, James, 250. 
Shillito, Joseph, 137. 
Short, J. G., 274. 
Shuker, John, 21. 
Sibree, John, 13. . 
Sidebottom, J., 65, 160, 226, 277. 
Sidebottom, Joshua, 265. 
Simon, Dr., 163, 172, note 2 ; 202. 
Simon, Edwin, 178. 
Simon, Henry, 178. 
Simon, Thomas, 178. 
Simpson, R., 121, 239. 
Simson, John, 75. 
Sinclair, J., 184. 
Slate, Richard, 17, 105, note i ; 200, 

note i ; 292, note I ; 297, 300, 


Slater, C. S., M.A., 195. 
Small, Mr., 140. 
Smedley, Mr., 174. 
Smethurst, John, 8, note 3. 



Smethurst, Robert, 7, 8, and note 3. 

Smith, A. C., 221. 

Smith, A. H., M.A., 131. 

Smith, Daniel, 30. 

Smith, Daniel, 96, 97. 

Smith, F., 274. 

Smith, Dr. George, 222. 

Smith, H., 7. 

Smith, J. Hardwick, B.A., 163. 

Smith, John, 170, and note I. 

Smith, John, 175, 176. 

Smith, Joseph, u, 138, 140, 213. 

Smith, Mary, 176, 299. 

Smith, N. H..M.A., 163. 

Smith, Thomas, 294, and note i. 

Smith, T. H., 13, 315, 316, 322. 

Smith, Watson, 161, 169, 172. 

Snashall, G., B.A , 266. 

Snell, B. J., M.A., B.Sc., 223, 229. 

Snell, H. H., B.A., 224. 

Solomon, Richard, 184, 199. 

Southward, Mr., 258. 

Sowden, Joseph, 12, 139, 209. 

Spear, Robert, 133, 200, 202. 

Spence, P., 190. 

Spence, Robert, M.A., 326. 

Spencer, Joseph, 170. 

Spencer, Reuben, 64. 

Spencer, William, 264. 

Springhead Congregational Church, 


Spurgeon, C., 175. 


Stamford, Earl, 299, 323. 
Steele, Thomas, 136. 
Steinthal, S. A., 106, 157. 
Stephens, R., 25.4. 
Stevenson, Dr., 224. 
Stevenson, William, 47, and note 2. 
Stimpson, T., 24, note 3 ; 216, 277. 
Stockport Road Congregational 

Church, 171. 
Stockton, Thomas, 86. 
Stokes, William, 259. 

Stonebreaks, Preaching at, 273. 

Stopford, S., 293, and note 2. 

Stowell, Dr., 160, 307. 

Stowell, William, B.A., 160. 

Street, George, 217. 

Street, J. C., 36. 

Stretford Congregational Church. 


Stuckbery, Joseph, B.A., 167. 

Sturgess, Thomas, 317. 

Stuttard, E. E., 190, 191. 

Sunderland, William, 302, 306, 314, 

Sutcliffe, Jonathan, F.S.A., 160, 
161, 176, 247, 249, 252, 272, 
274, 299, 300, 301, 304, 307, 
314, 315, 316, 317, 318, 320, 
321, 322. 

Sutcliffe, N. B., 304, 311. 

Sutton, Robert, 64. 

Sweeting, T. E., 171. 

Swinton, Griffith, 42, note 5. 

Tabernacle, City Road, 199. 
Tate, William, 294. 
Tatton Street Mission, 132. 
Taunton Mission, 305. 
Tayler, Hugon S., M.A., 295. 
Taylor, George. 212, 213, 218, 225. 
Taylor, James, 48, 50. 
Taylor, Joshua, 32, and note 4. 
Taylor, Philip, 34. 
Taylor, Samuel, M.A., 151. 
Taylor, Thomas, 282, note i. 
Taylor, Timothy, B.A., 282 and 

note i. 

Taylor, Zachariah, 53. 
"Tent Methodists, The," 181, 182, 

and note I. 
Theodosius, T., 209. 
Thomas, Haliwell, 48. 
Thomas, William, 261, 266, 270. 
Thomas, William, 307. 
Thomason, J. W., 189. 
Thompson, Christopher, 245, 261, 




Thompson, James, 75. 
Thomson, Dr., 77, 127, 167, 168, 
169, 172, note 2 ; 190,202, 260, 

304, 3i7- 

Thomson, J. R., M.A., 202, 326. 
Thomson, Patrick, M.A., 135. 
Thornton, J., 322. 
Thornton, J. E., 271. 
Thornton, W. L., 222. 
Thorp, John, 272. 
Thorp, William, 166. 
Tilsley, Mr., 2. 
Tipping Street Congregational 

Church, 170. 

Toleration Act, the, 40, note 2; 288. 
Tomlins, Samuel B., 305, 314. 
Topping, Thomas, 84. 
Touchet, John, 102, note 2. 
Toulmin, Dr., 99, 101. 
Toulmin, H., 7. 
Towers, W. H., 187, 191. 
Towgood, Micaiah, 34, and note 3. 
Townfield Congregational Church, 


Travis, Father, 27, 28, 30, note 5. 
Travis, George, 32, note 3. 
Travis, Mrs.. 32. 
Turner, John, 105. 
Turner, G. L., M.A., 72. 
Turner, Mary, 105. 
Turner, William, 105. 

Union Street Congregational 
Church, 245. 

UrmstonCongregationalChurch, 77. 

Urwick s " Nonconformity in 
Cheshire," 45, 56, 97, 246, note 
2 ; 280, 282, note i ; 380. 

Urwick, Dr. William, 274. 

Vance, G. H., B.D., 295. 
Valentine, Thomas, 33, and note 5. 
Vaughan, Dr., 144, 186. 
Vaughan, D.W., M.A., 191, 193. 
Vine Street Mission Church, 179. 
Vint, William, 251, 299. 

Waddington s " Congregational 
History," 113, note 2; 122, note 

1 : 139, 244- 

Waddington, G. G., 232-245, 314. 
Waddington, J., 315, 316. 
Wade, Richard, 98, note i ; 102, 

103, 107. 

Waide, J. S., 24, note 3; 274. 
Wakefield, Gilbert, 34. 
Walkden, Mr., 109, 326. 
Walker, Edwin, 226. 
Walker, George, F.R.S., 47. 
Walker, H. W., 228. 
Walker, H. F., 20, 21. 
Walker, John, M.A., 38, 40. 
Walker, John, 119, 271. 
Walker, John, 271. 
Walker, Mr., 296. 
Walker, William, 38, 39, note i; 

Walker, William Manning, 166, 


Walters, David, 73. 
Walton, J. B., B.A., LL.B., 311, 


Walton, James, 29, 30. 
Ward, Abraham, 186, 189. 
Wardlaw, Dr., 77, 216. 
Warhurst, Caleb, 108-116, 137,326. 
Waterhead CongregationalChurch, 


Waterhouse, Alfred, 164. 
Watts, Miss J., 68, note i. 
Watts, Lady, 68, note 2571. 
Watts, Samuel, 67, 68, and note i. 
Watts, Sir James, 68, 70, 71, 127, 

179, 200, 206, 207, 250. 
Wayman, James, 251. 
Webster, Peter, 21. 
Weeks, E. H , 189. 
Wells, George Henry, M.A , 60. 
Werneth Congregational Church. 


Westerby, W. M., 162. 
Whaley, Mr., 199. 



Whecldon, John, 182. 
Whitaker, John, 98, 155. 
Whitaker, Richard, 155. 
Whitaker, Thomas, M.A., 155. 
White, E , 209. 
Whitefield, George, 119, 120. 
Whitehead, Mr., 123. 
Whitehead, Mr., 204. 
Whitelegge, William, 157. 
Whiteley, A. H., 270. 
Whitndge, John, 124, 140. 
Whitridge, John, 124. 
Wiche, George, 7. 
Wiche, John, 7. 
Wicksteed, P. H., M.A., 295. 
Wigan, John, 51, 52, 149. 
Wigley, Thomas, 188. 
Wilkins, Dr., 165, and note i. 
Williams, Dr., E., 124, 240, 243. 
Williams, J. J., 244. 
Williams, Richard, 263. 
Williams, T. O., 261. 
Williams, William, 206. 
Williamson, James, M.A., 71, 321. 
Willis, T., 63, 64, 65, 71, 78, 136, 

191, 254, note 2. 
Willoughby, Lord, 3, note 4. 
Wilson, David, 317. 
Wilson, Samuel, 136. 
Wilson, S. S., 182. 
Wilson, Thomas, 220. 

Wilson, Walter, 42, note 5 ; 94. 
Wilson, William, 85. 
Winlaw, W., 276. 
Winter, Dr., 214. 
Winterbottom, John, 236. 
Winterbottom, Joseph, 271. 
Winterbottom, Mr., 109. 
Withington Congregational 

Church, 71. 

Wolstenholme, J. R., M.A., 273. 
Wolstenholme, R., 254, 273. 
Wood, George, 15. 
Wood, Jonathan, 183. 
Wood, William, 305. 
Woodburn, William, 266. 
Woods, W. J., B.A., 146. 
Woodward, Mr., 179. 
Worsley, Major-General, 151. 
Worsley, Ralph, 94, note 3 ; 150, 

!5i, 153, 156. 
Worthington, Hugh, 105. 
Worthington, John Hugh, 105. 
Wright, Dr. Samuel, 94. 
Wrigley, Mary, 238. 
Wrigley, William, 238. 
Wyld, B., 228. 

Yonge, John, 79. 
Young, Henry, 66. 

Zion Congregational Church, 177. 



VOL. I. Containing an account of the Congregational and Old Presby 
terian (now Unitarian) Churches in Preston, North Lancashire, and 
Westmorland, with twenty-eight Illustrations. Price 6s., post free. 

VOL. II. Dealing with the Churches of Blackburn, Darwen, and North 
East Lancashire, with thirty-two Illustrations. Price 6s., post free. 

VOL. III. The Churches of Bolton, Bury, Rochdale, &c., with thirty- 
two illustrations. Price 6s., post free. 

VOL. IV. The Churches of Wigan, Warrington, St. Helens, Ormskirk, 
&c., with twenty-five illustrations. Price 6s., post free. 

The Large Paper Edition (two volumes in one), with additional Illustra 
tions, 253. Subscribers for the Complete Work, in Six Volumes (ordinary 
edition), 305. ; Postage extra. 

To be had from the Author, 14, Fishergate Hill, Preston. 


" Two remarkable volumes, which must have cost the author immense labour. No one can 
read them without eagerly looking forward to the appearing of the remaining four. Leeds 

" Both volumes are well illustrated, and Mr. Nightingale has done his work very well." 
Literary World. 

" The work throughout is a fine specimen of letterpress ; and the publisher, as well as the 
author, is to be congratulated upon the excellency of the work." Darwen News. 

" Reflects the greatest credit on his industry and capacity for intelligent grouping of 
interesting facts." Preston Guardian. 

" A new historical work of great value. . . Mr. Nightingale s books are the result of 
long continued and diligent personal investigation." Blackburn Times. 

"The volumes cannot fail to be of use to many besides those who pride themselves upon 
being Nonconformists." Liverpool Mercury. 

" His books ought to be in every Congregational library in Lancashire, and on the shelves 
of every Nonconformist in the county who can afford to buy them." The Independent. 

" Mr. Nightingale has done his work well, and thereby has rendered good service to the 
cause he has so much at heart. . . This work will prove to be interesting to all real lovers 
of Nonconformity." Cliristian World. 

" Mr. Nightingale has given us a work of great interest and of solid value from a historical 
point of view, and it will be a misfortune if he should be unable to carry it to completion." 
MancJiester Guardian. 

"Conscientious care marks every chapter ; we might even say every sentence ; and it is no 
exaggeration to affirm that a more reliable compendium of information on Lancashire 
Nonconformity, as represented by the Congregational and old Presbyterian Churches, does 
not exist." The Congregational Mont lily. 

"The volumes are well illustrated and exceedingly interesting from beginning to end." 
The Yorkshire County Magazine. 

" Mr. Nightingale s industry and careful research are manifest on every page. The book 
deserves and will have a place amongst those historical memorials of Congregationalism which 
have a permanent value." Rev. Caleb Scott, B.A., LL.B., D.D., Principal of the 
Lancashire College. 

" I consider your work admirable and valuable. I most sincerely hope you will be able to 
complete it." Rev. Thomas Green, M.A., AsJiton-under-Lyne. 

" It will be a pity and a shame if so much labour shall come to nought." Rev. John Yonge, 

Warrington, Secretary to the Liverpool District of the Lancashire Congregational Union. 

" I think the careful research and wide inquiry, along with impartial fidelity of statement, 

displayed in your work worthy of all commendation."^?^. Alex. Thomson, M.A., D.D., 


" Mr. Nightingale has laid the churches of the county under lasting obligations. I heartily 
commend his work, and hope it may be widely circulated." Rev. R. M. Davies, Oldham, 
Secretary to the Lancashire Congregational Union. 

"The two volumes that are already to hand have been issued in a very satisfactory form ; 
they are brimful of information, and while they cannot fail to be instructive to Noncon 
formists generally, to Congregationalists in particular they ought to be replete with interest." 
Rev. T. Willis, Manchester, Secretary to the Lancashire Congregational Union. 

" I very heartily congratulate you on the high degree of accuracy you have been able to 
maintain, which gives an especial value to your volumes." Rev. Samuel Newth, M.A., 
D.D., Acton. 

"These volumes are deserving of a wide circulation. They are illustrated by many 
engravings, are very readable, full and yet concise, and cannot fail to be interesting and 
instructive." Rev. A. Foster, M.A., Secretary to the Blackburn District. 


"The careful reader will pass through the pages of these two volumes with increasing 
amazement at the mass of information, often out of the way, but always interesting and 
and useful, which Mr. Nightingale s patient plodding research has succeeding in bringing 
to light." Leeds Mercury. 

" He is elaborate and painstaking to a degree, and has evidently spared no effort to secure 
both accuracy and completeness, while at the same time there is enough of the incidental and 
the picturesque to relieve the narrative." Manchester Guardian. 

"Ably written, profusely illustrated, excellently printed, and carefully indexed, it must 
take rank among Lancashire standard works of reference. It is no exaggeration to say 
that the researches necessary for the production of these four volumes have involved greater 
labour than any previous work dealing with Lancashire Nonconformity." Bury Times. 

" Such records as these are invaluable from an historical point of view, and ought to be on 
the bookshelves not only of prosperous Dissenters, but of all Lancashire men interested in the 
traditions of their country, and of ecclesiastical writers generally, who will find the author 
liberal in his views as well as accurate in his facts." The Indepeniient and Nonconformist. 

"An enormous amount of minute and patient investigation must have been expended in 
the preparation of these complete and interesting details of Lancashire dissenting history." 
The Christan World. 

" Mr. Nightingale has here furnished proof that he possesses the qualifications indispensable 
to the trustworthy historian the faculty for research and patient investigation, extending to the 
minutest details, and an almost infinite capacity for taking pains. . . . The workmanship of 
these two volumes is thoroughly good throughout. . . . It is, of course, as books of reference 
that Mr. Nightingale s volumes are and will be permanently valuable, and as such they 
ought to find a place in the library of every man who has an interest in Lancashire Noncon 
formity. But any one who will apply himself to the task of reading the volumes through, 
chapter by chapter, will have his reward. He will have as many hearty laughs as he would 
have over the perusal of any modern novel." Literary World. 

"Mr. Nightingale s work will provide real interest and pleasure for the reader on account 
of the eminently readable information it imparts ; while as a series of handy, and yet 
thoroughly reliable, volumes on the history of Lancashire Congregationalism it is worthy to 
have a permanent place in religious literature." The Boltou Journal. 

" The volumes are exceedingly handsome. The wcrk throughout is a fine specimen of 
letterpress, and both author and publisher are to be congratulated upon their excellency." 
The Leigh Chronicle. 

"In many a chapter he supplies some of the truest romance of history none the less 
appetising to noble minds because it is religious and Christian. In every page we find the 
same laborious and unflagging patience in searching for, testing, and restating details. This 
is one of the features of these volumes, which will induce historians in future days to refer to 
and quote them with confidence." The Congregational Monthly. 




A few copies yet remain unsold. To be had from the Author, post free, 33. 


"The book, of 230 pages, indicates both great ability and painstaking research." 
Nonconformist and Independent. 

" This important and suggestive history has been compiled with extreme care, and the story 
is told in choicest English. 1 Oldliain Chronicle. 

" The volume teems with all sorts of valuable and interesting information, put in a most 
entertaining and eloquent form." Batley Kcius. 

" An excellent example of what might be done for many of the old Nonconformist meeting 
houses and chapels throughout the North of England." Rev. /< . /. Folding M.A., D.D. 

"The book is well written every way, and does you credit." Rev. A. Thomson, M. A., 
D.D., Manchester. 

" It contains a mass of most valuable genealogical information." Dr. Howard (Harleian 

" I read your book last night at a sitting with the greatest pleasure." Rev. J. A 
Macfadyen, M.A., D.D. 

" I am thankful that you have undertaken this work, and completed it so satisfactorily." 
Rez>. S. Pearson, M.A., Manchester.