BHO

Graveley: Nonconformity

Pages 330-331

A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 9, Chesterton, Northstowe, and Papworth Hundreds. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1989.

This free content was digitised by double rekeying. All rights reserved.

Citation:

NONCONFORMITY

In the 1650s two men were not going to church. (fn. 1) In 1669 three or four people frequented conventicles elsewhere (fn. 2) and in 1686 three were not receiving communion. (fn. 3) No dissenters were recorded in the 18th century (fn. 4) but by 1807 many parishioners called themselves Baptists or Methodists. The Methodists heard their preacher at a cottage, (fn. 5) perhaps that registered by a small farmer and 10 others in 1805. (fn. 6) By 1813 a class of 13 Wesleyans was taught fortnightly by visiting preachers. Probably using the houses registered for worship in 1823 and perhaps 1843 it numbered 10-15 until the 1840s. Wesleyan preaching had ceased by 1845. (fn. 7)

Soon after, Primitive Methodists from Huntingdonshire started a class, including until 1861 members from Yelling (Hunts.). Houses were registered for its use in 1845 and 1849. (fn. 8) There were 70 sittings, half free, in 1851, when the minister from St. Neots claimed an average attendance of 40. (fn. 9) In 1857 Robert Crow of Duck End farm built beside the Offord road a small new chapel, which he let cheaply to the Methodist congregation. (fn. 10) In 1873 c. 30 people attended the three Sunday services held there. (fn. 11) It remained open until the late 1890s. (fn. 12) In 1895 there were still 17 members. The chapel was sold after Crow's widow died in 1906, although Primitive Methodist camp meetings were still held in 1910. (fn. 13) The plain brick building, used in the 1920s as a parish reading room, (fn. 14) was derelict when sold in 1977. (fn. 15)

In the late 19th century, when a third of the inhabitants were reckoned dissenters, (fn. 16) fmany probably adhered to the Baptist chapel at Yelling, including most of the farmers. One prominent farmer, who was unbaptized, was the only man suitable for serving c. 1905 as sequestrator and sole churchwarden. (fn. 17)

Footnotes

  • 1. Jesus Coll. Mun., 2, ct. rolls 1653, 1655.
  • 2. Orig. Rec. of Early Nonconf. ed. Turner, i. 37.
  • 3. C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/70, f. 24v.
  • 4. e.g. ibid. B 8/1, f. 15v.; B 7/1, p. 76.
  • 5. Ibid. C 1/4.
  • 6. P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely archdeac. no. 21.
  • 7. P. W. Bushby, 200 Years of Methodism in St. Neots and District, 1775-1975, 3, 6, 15.
  • 8. Ibid. 9-11; P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. nos. 697, 706.
  • 9. P.R.O., HO 129/178, f. 2.
  • 10. Bushby, Methodism in St. Neots, 11, 26, 39; cf. Jesus Coll. Mun., EST 4/95, pp. 335-7; EST 4/96, pp. 122A- 123A; G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 7949; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1858).
  • 11. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25.
  • 12. Ibid. C 3/30; C 3/37; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1879 and later edns.).
  • 13. Bushby, Methodism in St. Neots, 39, 46; Jesus Coll. Mun., EST 4/96, pp. 205A-206A, 222B-223A; ibid. 13, letter 15 Oct. 1910; cf. G.R.O. Worship Reg. no. 7949.
  • 14. Bishop, 'Graveley', 32; C.R.O., R 54/23/1, s.a. 1920.
  • 15. Cambs. Colln., sale cat. 1977.
  • 16. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/25; C 3/37.
  • 17. Jesus Coll. Mun., 12, rector to coll. 24 Dec. 1906; 1 Mar. 1918; 9 Jan. 1924.