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TO THE
CONGREGATIONAL

MAGAZINE,
FOR THE YEAR 1827.

HISTORICAL AND EXPLANATORY REMARKS,

INTRODUCTORY TO THE LIST OF THE . CONGREGATIONAL CHURCHES OF THE UNITED KINGDOM.

FROM the passing of the Act of ing congregations in each county Uniformity in 1662, to the death of England and Wales, distinof Queen Anne in 1714, the guishing the Baptist from the affairs of Nonconformists were Pædobaptist congregations, but often in a perilous and always in without noticing the relative numan unsettled state. Their num- ber of the Presbyterian and Indebers, wealth, and iufluence were pendent denominations. concealed from public observa Messrs. Bogue and Bennett, in tion, and they erected their meet- their History of Dissenters, obing-houses on sites peculiarly fa- serve on this omission, “ that from vourable to seclusion. It is true, other sources it appears that both indeed, after the happy revolution, the number and size of the Pres. an attempt was made in 1690, to byterian congregations at that promote a general correspondence time were nearly double to that of amongst them; but it is not known the Independents. And though that any returns were at that the congregations of the Baptists time made of the numbers and were nearly equal to the Indepencircumstances of the dissenting dents in onmber, they were inferior churches. Indeed the fond hopes to them in size." * of perfect religious freedom, which As we are anxious to present the revolution had inspired, were to our readers all the information soon dissipated by the violence we possess, illustrative of the of high church partizans, who numbers and progressive increase by their French alliances, and of the Dissenting community in Stuart friendships, rendered them- the United Kingdom, we shall selves formidable both to the go- transcribe into our pages, Mr. vernment of William and Anne, Neal's list, which, as we have so that the Dissenters could not already intimated, bears the date feel themselves secure, or a of 1716. studied concealment unnecessary,

No. of Churches. Baptists.

Bedfordshire till the last sovereign of the house

. ..

22

Berkshire . of Stuart had resigned her sceptre,

...

Buckinghamshire. . and the illustrious family of Hano

Cambridgeshire . . ver succeeded to the throne. Cheshire ..... 21 . 4 The Rev. Daniel Neal, the ce- Cornwall .... 12

Cumberland .. . 19 . 2 lebrated author of the History of the Puritans, obtained in 1716, Bogue and Bennett's History of Disa list of the number of the dissent. senters, vol. ii. p. 96.

N. S. SUPP. 1827.

Connties.

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Connties. No. of Churches. Baptisis. possessed considerable influence Devonshire . . . 61

with the Dissenters of the metroDorsetshire . . . . 35

polis. Durham . . Derbyshire ..

“ When," says Dr. Toulmin,* Essex . . . .

“some Dissenting ministers in Gloucester ..

London set on foot, in the year Hampshire

1772, an application to Parliament Herefordshire ... Hertfordshire ...

for relief, in the matter of subscripHuntingdonshire

tion, and wished to be joined by Kent . . . . .

their brethren in the country, in Lancashire ...

the prosecution of that object, they Leicestershire Lincolnshire :

soon found that the Protestant Middlesex ...

Dissenters knew little of one anoMonmouthsbire

ther, and that those of one part of Norfolk . . . . . Northamptonshire .

the kingdom, and even in the meNorthumberland ..

tropolis, were very little acquainted Nottinghamshire ..

with the number or state of the Oxfordshire . . .

societies in other parts. Rutland .....

"It suggested itself, therefore, to Shropshire ...

the Rev. J. Thompson, to open a Somersetshire. Suffolk . . ...

correspondence with some of the Surry . . . .

brethren in different counties; to Sussex . . . .

obtain as accurate an account as Staffordshire . . . Warwickshire ...

could be procured of the congreWiltshire :

gations and ministers in their re. Worcestershire . .. 18

spective neighbourhoods. As the Westmoreland. ..

ground work of his inquiries, and Yorkshire .. . . 48

of the information he solicited, he Total 1107

sent lists of the congregations in

all the counties of England, taken NORTH WALES,

by Mr. Neal, in the year 1715 or Anglesey . . .

1716." Carnarvonshire Denbigh. ....

To secure accurate returns, Mr. Merioneth....

Thompson bestowed upon this Montgomery ...

pursuit some years of industrious Flint. . . . . .

application, and maintained an extensive correspondence. When

he had obtained materials for the Brecknock.

purpose, he drew out a complete Cardigan . . ..

view of the number of congreCarmarthen . . . Glamorgan . . .

gations in every county, He had Peinbroke ...

these lists transcribed in an alpha. Radnorshire

betical order, and sent copies of Total 43

them, bound in ruled books, with

red forrels, to several friends who The next document of this class had assisted him in its compilato which we refer, is the interesting tion. MS. of the Rev. Josiah Thomp- Amongst his correspondents the son, the original copy of which Rev. Robert Robinson, of Camis deposited, we believe, in the bridge, was distinguished for his library of Dr. Williams, at Red diligence, and he received a MS. Cross Street. That gentleman copy, from which Mr. Dyer, in was a respectable minister of the the Appendix of his Life of RoBaptist denomination, and by his property and general character • Monthly Magazine, vol. iii. p. 25).

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binson, has given the public the byterian body from the truth, and following totals, which afford a the consequent introduction of view of the numerical strength of worldly opinions and religious the dissenting body, sixty years apathy amongst its supporters, after Mr. Neal obtained the first and which, we conceive, will go returns.

far to explain this anomaly in Counties. No. of Charches. Baptists. dissenting history Bedfordshire . .. 19 . . 17

On the death of Mr. Robinson, Berkshire . .. ,

of Cambridge, his library was Buckinghamshire Cambridgeshire ...

sold, and the MS. copy of Mr. Cheshire i . ..

Thompson's list came into the Coruwall . . . .

possession of Mr. Lunn, bookCumberland . . .

seller, in that town. The Rev. Derbyshire .... Devonshire ...

B. Cracknell, then of Wareham, Dorsetshire . .

became its purchaser; and, after Durham . . .

the lapse of twenty years, be found, Essex . . . . .

of course, many errors to be correct Gloucestershire . . Hampshire, ...

ed, and many omissions to be supHerefordshire ...

plied, to render it complete. He Hertfordshire ...

attempted this revision, and, in the Huntingdonshire ..

Monthly Magazine for November Kent . . . . . .

1796, he published the lists of Lancashire . . . . Leicestershire ...

dissenting places of worship in Lincolnshire .. .

Bedford and Berks, and which Middlesex ,

were followed by the lists of other Monmouthshire..

counties, in alphabetical order, to Norfolk . . . . . Northamptonshire .

Hereford, when it appears their Northumberland ..

publication was discontinued. It Nottinghamshire ..

is not necessary to insert in this Oxfordshire . ... Rutlandshire ...

place the numbers of each county Shropsbire . . . .

given in the Monthly Magazine, Somer.. tshire.

. . 15 as in general the additions are Staffordshire

inconsiderable. The counties of Suffolk . .

Cambridge, Herts, and Cornwall, Surrey . . . .

however, must be excepted, as in Sussex . Warwickshire . . .

Cambridgeshire the increase is 16, Westmoreland . ..

and in Herts 9, being in each a Wiltshire . . . .

growth of one-third, and CornWorcestershire . .. 16 . . 7 Yorkshire

70 . . 20

wall 7, which is an addition of

one-half. It should be remem1118 391 bered, too, that Mr. Thompson's Assuming that these returns ap- list of these counties would be proach to accuracy, it appears that, peculiarly correct, as his most during sixty years, thatis, from 1716 zealous correspondents, Mr. Roto 1776, the dissenting cause in ge- binson, of Cambridge, and Dr. neral was almost stationary, having Toulmin, of Taunton, must, from only increased eleven places during their localities, have well known that long period. If our readers the circumstances of dissent in compare the returns for distinct those counties. counties, they will find in some No other public attempt to obinstances a fearful decrease. It tain an accurate return of the was doubtless during this period number of dissenting churches in that noncouformity in England en- each county of the kingdom apdured its most severe trial, in the pears to have been made, till melancholy defection of the Pres. Messrs. Bogue and Bennett, in

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1812, composed their History of m Counties.

t. Total. Flintshires. . Pres. Ind. Bapt. Total.

Flintshire . . 0 8 1 Dissenters, when, by " the assist- Merionethshire. 0 16 3 19 ance of friends in different parts Montgomeryshire

15 9 24 of the kingdom," they were able

18 225 176 419 to present their readers with the

England . . 252 799 532 1583 following account, “which," they add, “ will be found to possess Total : 270 1024 708 2002 sufficient accuracy to enable the reader to form a view of the num

In the islands of Guernsey

and Jersey, 6 French, i 7 ber of the dissenting congrega

English. tions, on which he may depend."

It now becomes our duty to adPres. Ind. Bapt. Total.

vert to the task we undertook at Bedfordshire Berkshire ,

the close of the last year, to pre. 1 2 8 21 Buckinghamshire

sent our readers with a List, not Cambridgeshire. 0

44 of the number of Independent Cheshire . .

Churches in each county, but Cornwall . Cumberland

with the names of the places where Derbyshire .

41 they exist, and of the pastors who Devonshire

preside over them. This was not, Dorsetshire

indeed, a novel idea. Early in the Durham

history of the Evangelical MagaEssex Gloucestershire .

zine, an excellent minister, still in Hampshire.

the vigour of his days, prepared Herefordshire

9

a list of two or three couoties, and Hertfordshire

24

opened a correspondence with seveHuntingdonshire . Kent.

ral intelligent persons, with a view Lancashire. .

117 to complete the list of others; but Leicestershire

we believe the scheme was abanLincolnshire

46

doned, on account of the many Middlesex

106 . Norfolk

3 10 20

difficulties it involved. These dif

33 Northamptonshire

0 18 16 34 ficulties we have encountered, Northumberland".

49

and we may be permitted to add, Nottinghamshire .

17

have well nigh overcome. Though Oxfordshire Rutlandshire

4 some members of the CongregaShropsbire .

ni 34 tional body were so deficient in Somersetshire

15 50 public spirit as not to devote Staffordshire

32

one leisure hour to assist us in Suffolk

36 this confessedly useful attempt, Surrey Sussex

25 yet they freely indulged in cynical Warwickshire

29 remarks on the occasional inacWestmoreland

curacies of our last Supplement. Wiltshire : Worcestershire

We owe them no thaoks; but we Yorkshire

95 42 157 rejoice to say, that more than fifty

gentlemen, residing in all parts of 532 1583

the kingdom, contributed to the SOUTH WALES, Brecknock shire. 0 14 13 27 corupilation of that list, for whose Cardiganshire . 9 16 11 36 kind assistance we desire to record Carmartbenshire .

36 84 our best thanks. We also availed Glamorgansbire.

ourselves of the lists of congregaPembrokeshire .

tional subscriptions and collections Radnorshire Moomouthshire

appended to reports of various so

cieties in connexion with our NORTH WALES. Anglesey

O ..

body; and these, together with

10 11 Carnarvon .

0 13 13 26 our personal information, enabled Denbighshire . 0 13 12 25 us to present a statement, which,

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