West Drayton: Protestant nonconformity

Page 205

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 3, Shepperton, Staines, Stanwell, Sunbury, Teddington, Heston and Isleworth, Twickenham, Cowley, Cranford, West Drayton, Greenford, Hanwell, Harefield and Harlington. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1962.

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There were said to be ten nonconformists and 166 conformists in West Drayton in 1676, (fn. 1) but the sect or sects to which the nonconformists belonged is not stated. There was a Quaker meeting in the village in 1658, (fn. 2) and in January of that year William Fisher and Edward Burrough engaged in a public dispute at the 'public meeting place, West Drayton', with a number of the local clergy, including Philip Taverner, vicar of Hillingdon, Richard Goodgroom, and Robert Hall, perpetual curate of Colnbrook (Bucks.). (fn. 3) Later the same year Edward Backhouse was ordered to appear before Quarter Sessions for disturbing the West Drayton minister while he was preaching a funeral sermon. (fn. 4) The first certain indication of Protestant nonconformist activity after the 17th century does not occur until 1814, when a building was certified for public worship on behalf of the Independents. (fn. 5) It was described in 1816 as 'a small meeting-house'. (fn. 6) In 1810, however, the vicar of Harmondsworth and West Drayton reported 98 dissenters among his 662 parishioners, most of them Baptists, with some Independents. Their numbers were said recently to have decreased considerably. (fn. 7) The Independent congregation at West Drayton does not appear to have survived long, but in 1826 a Particular Baptist church was formed, and seven new members were baptized by the first minister. (fn. 8) A brick chapel with stone dressings was completed in Money Lane in 1827, and was enlarged in 1839 to seat 250, with 90 free sittings. (fn. 9) The site was given by J. E. and E. Wright, the proprietors of Thorney paper-mill at Iver (Bucks.). (fn. 10) A Sunday evening congregation of 150 was claimed in 1851. (fn. 11) Money Lane Chapel was replaced in 1925 by a new brick chapel and school in Swan Road, with accommodation for 300, (fn. 12) and in 1958 the old building was being used by a nurseryman. A church membership of 64 was claimed in 1957. (fn. 13) The Baptist church was for many years the only Protestant nonconformist body in West Drayton, as both the West Drayton Wesleyan meeting-room, opened in 1847, (fn. 14) and the local Salvation Army hall, opened in 1913, (fn. 15) were, in fact, outside the parish boundary. In 1956, however, a meeting of the Shaftesbury Society was registered for worship at Bell Farm Hall, (fn. 16) and in 1958 a meeting of the Assemblies of God had been in existence at the Pentecostal Mission Hall, Station Road, for some years.


  • 1. William Salt Libr., Stafford, Salt MS. 33, p. 40.
  • 2. E. Burrough, Something of the Truth Made Manifest (1658).
  • 3. The Quakers Rounds (1658); cf. Calamy Revised.
  • 4. Mdx. Cty. Rec. iii. 271.
  • 5. Gen. Reg. Off., Dissenters' Places of Worship, 1689- 1852, Diocese of London, cert. of 2 July 1814.
  • 6. Brewer, Beauties of Eng. and Wales, x (5), 552.
  • 7. Guildhall MS. 9558.
  • 8. Baptist Magazine, 1827.
  • 9. H.O. 129/4/133; C 54/10618/8.
  • 10. C 54/12272/1, 2.
  • 11. H.O. 129/4/133.
  • 12. Kelly's Dir. Mdx. (1937).
  • 13. Baptist Handbook (1958).
  • 14. H.O. 129/4/133.
  • 15. McVeigh. West Drayton, 71.
  • 16. Gen.reg. off., Worship reg. no. 65901.