Protestant Dissent: Chapels and meeting-houses

Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead. Originally published by Mackenzie and Dent, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827.

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Eneas Mackenzie, 'Protestant Dissent: Chapels and meeting-houses', in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827) pp. 370-414. British History Online [accessed 25 May 2024].

Eneas Mackenzie. "Protestant Dissent: Chapels and meeting-houses", in Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827) 370-414. British History Online, accessed May 25, 2024,

Mackenzie, Eneas. "Protestant Dissent: Chapels and meeting-houses", Historical Account of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Including the Borough of Gateshead, (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, 1827). 370-414. British History Online. Web. 25 May 2024,

In this section


The society assembling in this chapel was, when the Act of Toleration passed at the Revolution, regularly constituted under the protection of the law. Their meeting-house was without the Close Gate, and they placed themselves under the pastoral care of Dr. Gilpin. (fn. 2) This is testified by the cups still used in the communionservice, which are marked, "Church Plate, Dr. Richard Gilpin Pastor 1693." He appears to have been assisted by Mr. Manlove, as well as by Mr. Pringle, and Mr. Pell, before mentioned. (fn. 3)

Mr. Benjamin Bennett succeeded Dr. Gilpin, the time of whose death is not recorded. He also seems to have had occcasional, if not constant assistants. From a MS. book of notes of sermons, it is certain that he preached alternately with a Mr. Nathaniel Fancourt, (fn. 4) from the year 1713 to 1716; after which, Mr. William Wilson was in Newcastle. This gentleman was very learned, and kept a private academy, where many of the neighbouring gentry received their education. (fn. 5) His two sermons published are highly creditable to his abilities and truly catholic spirit. Some scruples about baptism are the cause assigned why he declined accepting the pastoral office. About the year 1720, it was thought necessary to procure a more eligible place of worship; and a large field being procured, which had formerly belonged to the convent of the White Friars, the present chapel was built upon part of it by voluntary subscription. It had to be opened in 1726; but, on the very day before the time appointed, Mr. Bennett took suddenly ill, and died on the Thursday following. (fn. 6)

The new chapel in Hanover Square was not opened till March 26, 1727, when Mr. Bennett's successor, Dr. Samuel Lawrence, from Newcastle under Line, preached. (fn. 7) He continued but six years pastor of this congregation. He was succeeded by the Rev. Richard Rogerson, then a minister at Alcester in Warwickshire, (fn. 8) under whom, assisted by Mr. Wilson, the congregation continued in great harmony, till the death of the latter in 1751. (fn. 9) Mr. Wilson's situation of assistant was filled by the Rev. Samuel Lowthian, then of Penrith. This minister, who was educated at the academy of Dr. Caleb Rotheram, of Kendal, was remarkable for his fervent eloquence and fearless deductions. But his people freely allowed their minister the right of individual judgment, which they claimed for themselves. This liberal conduct he strongly recommends to other societies, in a sermon he preached (August 26, 1756) at the ordination of the Rev. Caleb Rotheram, his tutor's son and successor, at Kendal.

On Mr. Rogerson's death in 1760, Mr. Lowthian became the sole minister, and continued so till his death in 1780, after having been twenty-eight years connected with this congregation. (fn. 10) Dr. Hood, of Brampton, was invited as his successor; but he brought with him the seeds of a consumptive complaint, which, in the course of less than two years, carried him off. (fn. 11) He was succeeded by the present minister, William Turner, who, on the recommendation of his tutor and friend, the Rev. Dr. Enfield, came to preach as a candidate, August 26, 1782, and was chosen the 6th of December following. On the 25th of the same month, he was ordained at Pudsey, near Leeds, by the Associated Ministers in the West Riding of Yorkshire; and, at the request of the congregation, the whole service was published. (fn. 12)

In 1797, a small society of Unitarian Baptists, with their minister, the Rev. Edward Prowitt, united with this congregation. (fn. 13) "A Selection of Psalms, by various Authors," was introduced by unanimous consent in 1806; and, in 1810, the chapel was enlarged, in order to the introduction of an organ, which was purchased by subscription. The chapel is calculated to accommodate 600 persons. The chapel-yard was designed for a place of sepulture: but none have been interred here, except a child, and Mr. W. Robson and his wife.

It deserves remark, that the securities and papers belonging to Hanover Square chapel, though in the hands of the treasurer, are all copied into a book which lies in the closet in the vestry, and is always open to the inspection of every member. A yearly report is also made of the income and expenditure of the congregation. This regular and open manner of conducting affairs is not unworthy of imitation. Few of the Dissenting congregations in this town keep any regular books: and, in consequence of this neglect, combined with the death or secession of trustees and others, property and rights have sometimes been lost: nor. in most cases, are any documents preserved, from which a satisfactory history of our Dissenting societies can be derived.


It appears that a Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, has existed in Newcastle since the time of the Commonwealth. George Fox, in his Journal, under date of 1657, says, "The Newcastle priests wrote many books against us; and one Ledger, an alderman of the town, was very envious against truth and friends." He continues, "As we could not have a public meeting among them, we got a little meeting among friends and friendly people at the Gate-side."

George Whitehead, in his Journal, under the same date, 1657–8, writes thus:— "Great endeavours were used for us to have had some meetings in Newcastle upon Tine, while I was in those parts: but the mayor of the town (influenced by the priests) would not suffer us to keep any meeting within the liberty of the town; though in Gateside (being out of the mayor's liberty) our friends had settled a meeting at our beloved friend Richard Ubank's house (as I remember his name was). The first meeting we then endeavoured to have within the town of Newcastle was in a large room, taken on purpose by some friends. The meeting was not fully gathered when the mayor of the town and his officers came, and by force turned us out of the meeting, and not only so but out of the town also; for the mayor and his company commanded us, and went along with us so far as the bridge, over the river Tine, that parts Newcastle and Gateside; upon which bridge there is a Blew Stone, to which the mayor's liberty only extends, when we came to that stone, the mayor gave his charge to each of us in these words, viz. 'I charge and command you, in the name of His Highness the Lord Protector, that you come no more into Newcastle, to have any more meetings there, at your peril."

The Friends, however, met again on a Sabbath day, near the river side, and within the liberties of Newcastle; and though in the open air, were again forcibly sent over to Gateshead, where, it seems, they could have their meetings without molestation. As they could not have a meeting within the liberties of the town, they had, however, agreed, for a certain sum of money, with the man who kept the Shire House (which, though in the town, was not in its liberties), for the use of it, to hold a public meeting in; but in this they were also, by the interference of a priest of the town, prevented. They, however, held their meeting out of doors, on the side of the hill near the Shire House, where they could not be disturbed by the mayor.

In 1674, the Friends seem to have met in a meeting-house of their own, and continued to do so up to 1698. This house, from its being registered as follows at Durham, appears to have been near the tollbooth (fn. 15) in Gateshead :—"Durham to wit. These are to certify whom it may concern, that at the general quarter sessions of the peace, held for the county of Durham, the fifteenth day of January, in the first year of our sovereign lord and lady, king William and queen Mary, it is registered, according to an act of parliament made in the first year of their majesties' reign, intitled, 'An Act for exempting their Majesties' Protestant Subjects dissenting from the Church of England from the Penalties of certain Laws,' That there is a meeting-house for the people of God, called Quakers, in Gateshead, nigh the tolbooth, in this county." (fn. 16)

After being disappointed of premises in Denton Chare, they, in 1698, purchased some in Pilgrim Street, to which they removed from Gateshead, though they retained their meeting-house there until 1699. In 1805, the old meeting-house was pulled down, and the present one built. In 1812, it was considerably enlarged, and is now calculated to seat about 500 persons. The burial-ground is behind; and, as Friends do not erect funeral monuments, the burying-place of each family is marked and numbered in a plan of the cemetery, which is carefully kept. In front, adjoining the street, is a dwelling-house, occupied by the keeper of the premises. A library belongs to the society. This sect, in Newcastle, at present consists of about 40 families. But several persons wear the garb of the society, who are not enjoying the privileges of its communion.

WALL KNOLL MEETING-HOUSE (Scotch Presbyterians) (fn. 17)

The suburb of Sandgate has long been the favourite resort of poor and industrious adventurers from Scotland, on their first arrival. This people, being deeply embued with the spirit of religion, seem to have opened several places of worship in this neighbourhood early in the last century. (fn. 18) A Presbyterian congregation met in a place in Sandgate still called "the Meeting-house Entry." Their first minister, as far as can be ascertained, was the Rev. George Bruce, who afterwards removed to Dunbar in Scotland. He published a Sermon on Personal Religion, to which was prefixed a well-written preface by the Rev. Thomas Walker, mentioned in the account of Hanover Square chapel. He was succeeded by the Rev. James Richardson, who resigned on being promoted to the governorship of Watson's Hospital at Edinburgh. During his ministry, the congregation built the present meeting-house on the Wall Knoll. It was finished in 1765, and is calculated to accommodate 500 persons. Mr. Richardson was succeeded by the Rev. Alexander Gibson, who was ordained by the Newcastle Presbytery on May 28, 1780. His ministry was short, but successful. (fn. 19) He died in April, 1786; and his successor, the Rev. Hugh Coulter, was ordained on the 6th of September, in the same year. Mr. Coulter died in November, 1800; after which, the present minister, the Rev. Andrew Robson, received a call, was ordained at Dunse, and admitted into the Newcastle Class on April 22, 1801.

ST. JAMES' CHAPEL. (fn. 20) (Scotch Presbyterians)

The members of this meeting-house recently removed from a building in Silver Street, of which the trustees have deeds of conveyance from the time of Edward VI. It was formerly occupied as a malting, but was converted into a place of worship in 1744. The first minister was the Rev. George Ogilvie. He occurs in August, 1763, as protesting against the assumption of the ministers who had met at Alnwick in the preceding June, and, in the name of the Presbytery, addressed his majesty on the peace. On February 18, 1765, the Rev. James Shields, from Adderstone in Northumberland, received a call, signed by upwards of 300 persons, as assistant and successor to Mr. Ogilvie, who died April 21, 1765. Mr. Shields died in 1785, (fn. 21) and was, in the same year, succeeded by the Rev. Adam Laidlaw, who continued in the pastoral charge of this congregation until the year 1818, when he was presented to the parish-church of Kirton in Roxburghshire. He was, while in Newcastle, a successful teacher of Latin, and of so frank and conciliating a disposition, that he kept together a very numerous and respectable congregation during the whole period of his ministry. His successor is the Rev. William Beattie Smith, A. M. who was ordained by the Presbytery of Selkirk, of which he is a licentiate. Mr. Smith received his preparatory education at Cleusburn academy, Dumfriesshire, after which he studied at the university of Edinburgh, from which he received his degree of A. M. In 1817, he was appointed professor of Latin and Greek in the college of Belfast, which he resigned at the close of the first session after his appointment.

In the year 1825, the trustees of Silver Street meeting-house resolved to build a new chapel, and purchased from the corporation the scite which terminates the south side of Blackett Street on the east, for £168, and the payment of a ground-rent of 10s. per annum. The chapel is a stone building, after the plan of Mr. John Dobson, architect. The east end is decorated with a grand portico of four massive pillars, which support a simple pediment, corresponding with the design of the edifice. The whole has an impressive effect, and affords a fine termination to this street. The interior forms a semicircle, and has a gallery supported by elegant metal pillars. It is lighted by windows on the north side, against which the pulpit stands. The whole has an air of great comfort and snugness; and the seats will accommodate nearly 600 persons. A vestry and other convenient apartments are formed in the angles of the building, which cost about £2150. It was opened on Thursday, August 31, 1826, when the Rev. Thomas Brown, of St. John's church, Glasgow, preached. It deserves notice and commendation, that the registers of baptisms belonging to this congregation, commencing in June, 1746, has been kept with great exactness up to the present time.


This meeting-house is approached by a long, narrow entry, from the Groat Market; but another and more commodious entrance is by a gateway, opening into the Pudding Chare. It is a good, substantial, brick building, with a spacious gallery, and affords accommodation for above 700 persons. The Rev. William Arthur occurs as minister about the year 1715, when the chapel seems to have been built, as the books mention he was then absent collecting money. His successor, the Rev. Andrew Ogilvie, from Langholm, was ordained November 14, 1759. He removed to Linton in Scotland in 1781, and was succeeded by the Rev. David Grant, who was ordained on November 14, in the same year. He was considered to be a man of considerable abilities, and his congregation was numerous and respectable. In 1782, he published "A Sermon on the Necessity and Advantages of religious Consideration;" and, in 1785, sixteen "Sermons, Doctrinal and Practical, on several Subjects." He accepted the presentation to a church at Ettrick, in Roxburghshire; when the Rev. John Anderson received a call, and was ordained by the Newcastle Presbytery on September 12, 1786. He also removed into Scotland, having obtained a church at Dundee, and was succeeded by the Rev. David M'Indoe, who was ordained September 29, 1790. He was educated at the university of Glasgow, and was licensed a probationer of the Church of Scotland in 1786, after which he preached for some time at Borrowstoness. At the commencement of his ministry here, he frequently expressed from the pulpit his political opinions in strong terms; but his fervour on such subjects gradually declined. He published "A Fast-day Sermon," a Missionary Sermon, and, in 1823, a volume of "Sermons on important Subjects," which were published for the benefit of the fund for superannuated ministers and their widows. His temper being irritable, and his pronunciation defective, his congregation yearly diminished. Latterly, he was obliged to engage assistants, with one of whom, the Rev. W. Newlands, A. M. he had a violent quarrel. Both parties appealed to the public through the press. Mr. M'Indoe was an active member of the committees of the Bible Society and the Royal Jubilee School. He died April 17, 1826. The present minister, the Rev. Robert Kirk, from the university of Glasgow, was chosen his successor, and ordained at Chirnside, in Berwickshire, on August 18, 1826. (fn. 22)

HIGH BRIDGE MEETING-HOUSE (Soctch Presbyterians)

This meeting-house was built in 1765–6, for the Rev. James Murray, by a number of his enthusiastic admirers. He was not ordained to the pastoral charge by any presbytery, as he held that every congregation was at liberty to adopt such modes of government as seemed most conducive to their religious improvement. (fn. 23) On Mr. Murray's death. Mr. M.Kechnie was minister for a very short time, and was succeeded by the Rev. Allan Cornforth. who left Newcastle early in 1785; when the congregation, on their solicitation, was admitted into the class of Scotch Presbyterians. (fn. 24) The Rev. George Logan, their pastor, after this produced his credentials, signed by the Presbytery of Paisley and of Perth, and was admitted a member of the Newcastle Presbytery on August 22, 1785. He was succeeded by the Rev. John Hutton, who was ordained April 16, 1794. His congregation was numerous, (fn. 25) for he was a specious man, and preached apparently with uncommon earnestness; but it being discovered that he drank to excess in private, he was obliged to return to Scotland, where he shortly after died. His successor was the Rev. John Lockerby, who first preached here on August 7, 1808; but having obtained the chapel of Cryston in Scotland, he resigned the charge of this congregation, and was succeeded by the present minister, the Rev. Robert Fergus, of Glasgow university, who was ordained November 12. 1811.


A number of persons having formed themselves into a Presbyterian congregation, gave a call to the Rev. John Smellie, of the university of Glasgow, who was ordained by the Presbytery of Hamilton early in 1821. He first preached in the Butchers' Hall; but on October 17th in that year, the foundation of the present chapel was laid at the western extremity of Northumberland Court, and fronting into Blackett Street. It was opened on May 17, 1822, on which occasion the Rev. Dr. Hodgson, minister of the parish of Blantyre, Scotland, conducted the service. It is a snug brick structure, capable of containing above 650 persons, was built under the direction of Mr. Green, architect, and cost £1350. The windows are of a Gothic form, and the front gable of the roof is embrasured: but. as it does not stand in a line with the other buildings in this street, the corporation has offered £100, to enable the congregation to build a new front. For this purpose. Mr. Green has drawn a design, according to which it will be rebuilt with hewn stone, with Gothic windows, and flank walls, in each of which will be a Gothic doorway. The whole has a handsome appearance, though, perhaps, embrasures are not the most appropriate ornament for the sloping roof of a small place of worship. A school-room is attached to the north end of this meeting-house. Mr. Smellie, being of a delicate constitution, found the duties imposed upon him too severe: he declined gradually, and died at Edinburgh in December, 1825. He has been succeeded by the Rev. John Lockhart, A. M. who was ordained to the pastoral charge of this church by the Presbytery of Glasgow (by which he was licensed in 1822). on February 16, 1826, and inducted by the Presbytery of Newcastle on the 2d of March following. Mr. Lockhart took his degree of A. M. in the university of Glasgow. He was appointed assistant in the parish-church of Irvine in 1823, and in Kelbride, Arran, in 1825.

CASTLE GARTH MEETING-HOUSE (Scotch Relief) (fn. 26)

This congregation is supposed to have been originally formed by the famous Thomas Bradbury, who seems to have been an assistant to Dr. Gilpin. There still exists a manuscript, entitled, "A Speech delivered at Madam Partis' in the Year 1706," in which Bradbury complains bitterly at not being admitted a co-pastor. He appears, in consequence, to have separated from the Close (now Hanover Square) meeting-house, and to have established a new congregation at the Scotch Arms, by whom this meeting-house near the Castle was erected. The situation was well chosen for the convenience of the Scotch chapmen that inhabited the Castle Garth, and through whose influence the congregation was probably induced to join the Scotch Presbytery in Newcastle.

The lease of the ground belonging to this congregation was bought, probably, of the corporation, in 1705. No copy of this document can be discovered; though it must have given every possible security to the purchasers, as above £2000 must have been expended in building the meeting-house and minister's house, with the extensive premises adjoining. Another circumstance shews the confidence which the trustees had in their title: In the centre of the chapel is a tomb-stone, with the following inscription:— "Underneath this stone lies the body of Margaret Hall, daughter of Sir James Hall, of Dunglass, Baronet, who died the 31st day of March, 1721, in the seventh year of her age." Now, it is not usual to bury in places held by an uncertain tenure.

The register of baptisms commences in 1708, when the Rev. Mr. Dawson was minister, which office he appears to have filled upwards of 25 years. He was succeeded by the Rev. Edward Aitkin, who occurs, in 1736, as holding this chapel, in conjunction with William Robertson, linen-draper, of Dr. James Ellis, by the yearly payment of £4. In 1758, this minister and some members obtained a new lease, for 21 years, of the chapel and adjoining premises, from the executors of George Liddell, Esq. at the yearly rent of £7, 5s. The Rev. James Burn, in 1759, became assistant to Mr. Aitkin; but he returned to Scotland in 1761, and, on November 10, 1762, the Rev. William Davidson was appointed assistant and successor to Mr. Aitkin. In 1779, Mr. Davidson, in conjunction with Mr. Ralph Murton, a trustee, renewed the lease of the chapel and other premises for 21 years, at the annual rent of £10, 10s.; but, ten years before this lease expired, as was supposed, Mr. John Barber, attorney and agent for Sir J. C. Turner, obtained a new lease of the chapel. Accordingly, in 1800, he became landlord, and immediately deprived the congregation of their school-house, a range of houses on the east side of Queen Street, a house and smith's shop north of the chapel, and a house upon the Mount. He then raised the rent of the chapel and "parsonage-house" to £30 a year.

In 1801, Mr. Davidson was presented to the living of Mordington in Scotland, and was succeeded, in April the same year, by the Rev. David Gellatley. (fn. 27) In 1802, Messrs. John Petre, Robert Colhoun, and John Morton, paid £130 to Mr. Barber, as "consideration money," to get a lease of the chapel, for which, after the first year, £15 per annum was agreed to be paid. A long altercation followed between Mr. Barber and John Turner, Esq. on the subject of right: when, in March, 1807, the latter agreed to indemnify the trustees from the claims of Mr. Barber, and to let the chapel and minister's house for £25 per annum. Two years afterwards, Mr. Turner offered to sell the fee-simple of the premises for 1000 guineas. A negotiation took place on this subject, which was, in 1811, interrupted by a dispute between Mr. Gellatley and his congregation. The former, being ejected from the chapel, forcibly recovered possession, but was finally obliged to abandon his claims. After this, the congregation removed to Westgate Street chapel, formerly occupied by the Weslevan Methodists, where, for a short time, they were under the ministry of the Rev. James Chambers. When he and the congregation separated, the Rev. James Arthur was chosen to succeed him. He entered upon the ministry here in June, 1814. being ordained by the Relief Presbytery of Kelso. Mr. Arthur and his congregation have completed the purchase of the Castle Garth chapel for £600. Each end of it has been converted into dwelling-rooms; and the middle part, which is reserved for public worship, will still hold about 450 persons. Before this alteration, there were seats for 800 persons. On forming Castle Street, the "parsonage-house" was pulled down.

CLOSE MEETING-HOUSE (United Secession) (fn. 28)

This congregation of Anti-burghers was organized in the year 1751: for, in July that year, they sent a call to the Rev. Alexander Nimmo. The old meeting-house seems to have been in so crazy a state as to afford just grounds for apprehension. At one time, an alarm was raised that it was falling, when the people began to rush out; but mischief was prevented by the calmness and presence of mind of the minister. Shortly after, it did actually fall, just after the congregation had dispersed. The present commodious and substantial building was erected in 1764. It contains seats for 800 persons. Mr. Nimmo died February 5, 1770, and was, the same year, succeeded by the Rev. William Graham, who for thirty years discharged, with fidelity and honour, the duties of the pastoral office over this congregation. (fn. 29) On September 14, 1791, the Rev. William Syme, of the university of Edinburgh, was ordained assistant and successor to Mr. Graham, since whose death, in 1801, he has continued sole pastor of this congregation.


The Rev. James Robertson formed a congregation of Burghers about the year 1760: and having obtained a piece of vacant ground near the Sally-port Gate from the corporation, at the annual rent of 10s. they built a meeting-house upon it, capable of containing above 500 persons. Mr. Robertson died September 23, 1767, and was succeeded by the Rev. John Baillie: (fn. 30) but, after remaining minister of this congregation about sixteen years, a separation took place. His successor was the Rev. John Smith, of Stirling, who received a call August 31, 1784, and was soon after ordainedOn September 4, 1822, the Rev. Adam Dawson Gillon, from Linlithgow, was appointed his assistant and successor. The congregation, after this, resolved to procure a more commodious place of worship; and on May 22, 1823, the foundation-stone of a new church was laid by Mr. Gillon, on the north side of Carliol Street. It was opened for divine worship on December 25, in the same year, when the Revds. R. Hunter and J. Harper assisted. The front, which is of polished stone, is very neat and plain; and the interior arranged to contain about 800 people. The building cost £1430, and, if a little higher, would have been a very complete structure.


In 1801, about one hundred persons separated from the Secession church in the Close; and, on application to the General Associate Synod in Edinburgh, were, on May 3, 1802, recognized as a new congregation. During eighteen months, they assembled in the Carpenters' Tower, near Sally-port; after which, they removed to the old meeting-house in the Postern. A variety of preachers were sent to them; and, at last, the Rev. James Pringle came on January 22, 1804, having been licensed by the presbytery of Kelso on the 10th of the same month. In March, they gave him an unanimous call, which, after long deliberation, he accepted, and was ordained on October 10, in the same year.

In 1808, the congregation began to form a fund for erecting a new church; and, in five years, £500 was subscribed. After much enquiry for an eligible situation, the house of William Cuthbert, Esq. in Clavering Place was purchased for £1100; and the requisite alterations being completed, it was opened for divine worship March 21, 1813. In November this year, a house, which was also the property of the congregation, and attached to the west wall of the church, being at that time full of materials, took fire, and was burnt down. The fire also injured the roof of the church. The loss of property was estimated at £400, of which only £200 was recovered from the office where the premises had been insured. Not discouraged by this loss, the congregation, in the following year, erected a comfortable house for their minister, and another, comprising a dwelling-house, a vestry, and two school-rooms. The whole sum expended on these buildings, including the church, and the original purchase of the ground, was about £3300. The debt thus incurred was, by vigorous exertions, in a few years reduced to £1300. In May, 1817, Mr. Pringle was appointed to preach for a few weeks at Kirkwall in Orkney, when the congregation at that place invited him to become their minister: but the synod, in May, 1818, decided he should remain in Newcastle. Two years afterwards, the church, it was found, wanted many considerable repairs; when it was determined to erect a new building, on a larger scale than the old one. The erection of the present building was soon after commenced, under the direction of Mr. Green, architect; and the congregation obtained the use of the Orphan House, in Northumberland Street, until it was ready to be opened for divine worship. This took place December 25, 1822, when, during the absence of Mr. Pringle on a mission to Gibraltar, the services were performed by the Rev. Dr. Mitchell of Glasgow, and the Rev. — M'Gilchrist of Dunse. The new building, exclusive of the old materials, cost £1020, of which sum £600 was raised by subscriptions and collections; and the whole debt, at the close of 1825, was reduced to £1536. This congregation, which consists of about 300 persons, recently presented to their minister a handsome piece of plate, bearing an inscription expressive of their continued and growing regard for him, after a period of 21 years, during which he had laboured amongst them.

POSTERN CHAPEL (Independents) (fn. 31)

This congregation was first formed by a number of persons who separated from the church of Silver Street, when under the ministry of the Rev. James Shields. They first assembled in the Old Custom-house Entry, from whence they removed to the Carpenters' Tower. They afterwards took an old malting-house in the Postern, which they fitted up for a place of worship. Their first minister was the Rev. John Knipes, who was ejected for marrying his former wife's sister. He was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Barfield, who was followed by the Rev. Henry Atley. The Rev. John Cureton, who died December 1, 1793, was the next pastor of this congregation, and was succeeded by the Rev. Mr. Tissiers. The Rev. J. H. Browning succeeded next, when the congregation having considerably increased, it was found necessary to obtain a more commodious place of worship. Accordingly, the present convenient chapel was erected, and opened for divine worship on January 1, 1797. In it 800 persons may be comfortably seated. The late Mr. Robert Hood gave the ground on which it is built, and, besides many liberal donations, bequeathed £100 to assist in liquidating the remaining debt, which has lately been accomplished.

Mr. Browning was succeeded by the Rev. Richard Turnbull, and he by the Rev. George Lee, a native of Newcastle, who was ordained in this chapel in 1801. The Rev. Richard Spry succeeded him in 1805. Two years afterwards, the Rev. William Arbone became minister, who was succeeded, in 1809, by the Rev. James Shepherd. The Rev. Ralph Davison, the present minister, was chosen in 1810. A proposal was once made to purchase an organ for this chapel; but it miscarried.


The congregation assembling in this chapel was first constituted by a few persons who separated from the New Postern chapel in the year 1820. These individuals rented for a short time the Cordwainers' Hall, when they were supplied by a student from Rotherham college. Afterwards the Rev. Richard Gibbs preached to them for two months, when he received an invitation to become their pastor. Having accepted this offer, the present chapel was engaged on a lease for ten years, from the trustees appointed on behalf of the Wesleyan Methodists, who caused it to be put into its present form, affording accommodation for 500 persons. The present congregation took possession on Sunday, February 4, 1821; and on the 15th of September, in the same year, Mr. Gibbs was ordained to the pastoral office, in the usual forms of the Congregational churches.

TUTHILL STAIRS CHAPEL (Particular Baptists) (fn. 32)

As early as the year 1651, a Baptist minister preached in the neighbourhood of Newcastle, and very probably in the town; but no record of the affairs of this people has been preserved previous to the year 1725, when they purchased the property they now possess in the Tuthill Stairs. This property extends 68 yards on the east side of the stairs, and is 43 yards in breadth. On it was a very large and highly ornamented room, which, from some figures on the wainscotting, seems to have been built in the year 1585. (fn. 33) Above this room was a dwelling-house, and a vestry adjoining to it. Here the Baptists assembled for public worship for 73 years, during which period the Rev. David Fernie, the Rev. John Allen, the Rev. William Pendered, the Rev. John Foster, and the Rev. Thomas Skinner, were in succession the ministers. Mr. Allen was an ingenious, lively, and voluminous writer. "The Spiritual Magazine," and his other works, are very popular, especially with persons of high Calvinistic sentiments. Mr. Pendered was an upright, sincere, and independent man. He was turned off for preaching against usury, two leading members of the congregation being pawnbrokers. The valuable writings of Mr. Foster have imparted a just cele brity to his name. His "Essay on the Evils of Popular Ignorance," has been highly appreciated by the severest critics. Mr. Skinner died in 1795, very much esteemed.

In 1797, the congregation resolved to erect a new chapel on the vacant ground above the old one. The foundation-stone was laid on the 17th of July that year; and the chapel was opened for public worship on February 19, 1798. It measures 55 feet in length, and 44 feet in breadth, and cost in building £1300. Half of this sum was contributed by one generous member of the body, Richard Fishwick, Esq. by whom the lead-works at Low Elswick were originally established and conducted. He also paid £200, to rescue the property belonging to the congregation from the hands into which it had fallen by the death of the former trustees.

The Rev. Thomas Hassel was ordained pastor on the day after the new chapel was opened. On his removal to Ireland, the Rev. M. Cracherode became minister, and was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Berry, an amiable man, who died in 1804. The next minister, the Rev. W. Hartley, was succeeded by the present one, the Rev. Richard Pengilly, from the Bristol academy, who was ordained in August, 1807. A number of members, in 1816, seceded from this chapel, and formed another Baptist church; yet, notwithstanding, the congregation continued to increase so rapidly, that in 1820 a commodious gallery was erected at the west end of the chapel. Before the pulpit is a convenient baptistry, covered, except at times of initiation; and, at the west end of the chapel, two spacious vestries. The late Rev. Charles Whitfield, of Hamsterly, and the Rev. Joseph Kinghorn, of Norwich, were originally members of this church.


In 1816, a number of persons belonging to the old Baptist church, in the Tuthill Stairs, seceded, and formed a new congregation. They assembled for public worship in the House Carpenters' Hall, where their devotions were conducted by some of the members, until the Rev. George Sample was called to the ministry. He was ordained their pastor by the Rev. William Steadman, D. D. on October 21, 1818. The present chapel in New Court was opened for divine worship on September 22, 1819. It is a plain, neat building, capable of seating upwards of 600 persons. Commodious vestries, opening into the chapel, have been subsequently added, by the purchase of an adjoining house, formerly occupied as the Lock Hospital. The chapel has undergone a complete repair during the present year, 1826. (fn. 34)


The meeting-house of the Glassites stands on the north side of Forster Street, which forms a communication between the Wall Knoll and Sandgate New Road. It is a small, convenient place of worship, with suitable apartments adjoining. The Glassites, having dissented from the Church of Scotland, are mostly descended from Scottish parents. This small community has existed in this town for nearly 70 years. Amongst its most zealous members were the late Mr. Leighton, surgeon, and subsequently Mr. Jeremiah Spence, (fn. 36) slop-seller, a man of the most distinguished worth. He and a few others, who had belonged to the Rev. James Murray's congregation, joined the Glassites. as being the most exempted from, what they conceived to be, the unscriptural aristocracy of religion. Since his death, the influence of this sect in Newcastle seems to have been in a declining state.

BRUNSWICK PLACE CHAPEL (Wesleyan Methodists) (fn. 37)

The Rev. John Wesley, by his calm and dispassionate simplicity, gained a number of admirers in Newcastle shortly after the commencement of his apostolic labour; for the first stone of the Orphan House in Northumberland Street was laid on December 20, 1742, and was the second Methodist chapel built in England. It is a strong, commodious building, and held about one thousand persons; having also rooms for the families of preachers, and for the meetings of classes, &c. Latterly, this structure was found too small to accommodate the stated hearers, and it was resolved to erect a new place of worship. The trustees having purchased a large plot of ground between Northumberland Court and Elswick Court, the first stone of the present elegant chapel was laid May 5, 1820, when the Rev. Edmund Grindrod delivered a brief and appropriate address. It is built after the plan of Waltham Street chapel at Hull, constructed by Mr. Sherwood, architect, who liberally sent all the necessary drawings and specifications. It is, in the interior, one of the most handsome and commodious chapels in the north of England, and will, when crowded, contain about 2300 persons. The building of this large structure was conducted with the greatest economy, and, with the adjoining rooms and vestries, cost about £6726, of which sum £1323 was subscribed before the building had commenced. It was first opened for divine worship on Friday, February 23, 1821, when sermons by the Rev. Messrs. Newton, Atherton, and Wood, were preached to crowded audiences. (fn. 38) In the following year, a fine-toned organ, built by Mr. Dobson of London, was purchased, and set up in the music-gallery. Very neat dwelling-houses have been built on each side of the avenue leading from Northumberland Street to the chapel, which stands in a secluded situation, though the front faces the street.

NEW ROAD CHAPEL (Wesleyan Methodists)

The increase of the Methodists in Newcastle requiring proportionate accommodations, the trustees, after the death of the Rev. W. Warrilow in 1808, purchased the lease of the premises which he had occupied at the foot of Westgate Street, and very considerably enlarged the chapel, before used for Catholic worship. In a short time, the inconvenience of this situation was apparent, and it was resolved to purchase a scite for a new chapel at the east end of the town. The situation selected is on Sandgate New Road, nearly opposite to the Royal Jubilee School. Nearly £1000 was expended in forming a secure foundation. It is a very substantial building, with a handsome stone front, and was erected after a plan furnished by Mr. Dobson, architect. The building altogether cost about £4700, and will hold 1600 persons, threefourths of whom may be comfortably seated. It was opened for divine worship on October 10, 1813. On New Brunswick chapel being built, a number of pew-holders in this chapel removed to it, which induced the trustees to divide this building into two parts by a floor; the under part being let for a bond warehouse, and the upper part being appropriated for religious services. This arrangement proved very displeasing; and, in less than two years, the trustees restored the chapel to its original state; resolved to raise £30 yearly, the rent paid for the former warehouse, by subscription; and to make the chapel wholly free, without demanding any pew-rents. This has been found a great accommodation to the religious poor in the populous suburb of Sandgate.

BETHEL CHAPEL (Methodists of the New Connexion) (fn. 39)

The dispute which after Mr. Wesley's death ended in a schism of the Methodist body, seems to have been commenced in Newcastle; for, on January 8, 1792, Mr. Cownley, a preacher, gave the Sacrament at Byker, and was zealously and ably defended in several pamphlets by Mr. Alexander Kilham, another preacher, and who, in his Memorial, says, "When I went to Newcastle, I found almost the whole of the society had risen up in my favour, and not more than two or three opposed." When the New Connexion was first formed into a religious community in 1797, its members in Newcastle worshipped in private rooms; but, in 1798, the foundation was laid of Bethel chapel, in the Manor Chare. It is a light, convenient chapel, cost upwards of £1200 in building, and will accommodate about 500 persons. In March, 1799, it was opened for divine worship by the late Mr. John Grundell. (fn. 40)

EBENEZER (Independent Methodists) (fn. 41)

This division of Methodists first arose in Newcastle in 1819, and was then joined by some local preachers from the old connexion, who refused to be controlled in their political sentiments or conduct. Ebenezer chapel, wherein they assemble, was built by the Rev. John Knipes, after his separation from the Postern chapel, and is now rented of Mr. Smith, who holds a lease of the premises of the Keenlyside family. It is calculated to hold above 500 persons.

SILVER STREET CHAPEL (Primitive Methodists) (fn. 42)

As soon as this sect assumed the appearance of a distinct religious community, some persons seceded from the Methodistic body in this town, assembled together for public worship, and corresponded with their brethren in other parts The Butchers' Hall, in the Friars, was one of their first places of meeting; and in 1823, they rented the Sally-port Meeting-house of the lessor, Mr. Wood. They have recently removed from the latter place to the meeting-house in Silver Street, which they have purchased from the trustees of St. James' chapel for £305. The premises are subject to a fee-farm rent of 2s. 10d. a year, a moiety of which is paid by the purchasers. Three preachers belonging to this body are stationed in Newcastle.

NEW JERUSALEM TEMPLE (Swedenborgians) (fn. 43)

The doctrines of this sect being communicated by some soldiers of a militia regiment to a bustling, insane Methodist shoemaker, of Shields, named William Ellis, he promulgated Swedenborg's system at Walker, Bill Quay, Scotswood, and finally at Newcastle, where his converts were visited in 1808 by the Rev. James Hodson, minister of Dudley chapel, Denmark Street, Soho, London, who, in the Cordwainers' Hall, initiated by baptism 73 individuals into the New Jerusalem Church. Some time after this, they met in a school-room at the Nungate, when Mr. William Roberts becoming their minister, they removed, in December, 1816, to the Turk's Head Long Room, and, in October the following year, to the Smiths' Hall. Mr. Roberts died February 2, 1818; and in November following, the Rev. James Bradley arrived from Manchester, and was shortly after chosen minister of this society. In 1820, they removed to more convenient premises, fitted up for them in Low Friar Street by Mr. John Smith, builder. On May 7, 1822, the first stone of the present Temple in Percy Street was laid by the minister; and it was opened on February 16, 1823, by the Rev. Samuel Noble, of London. It is a handsome stone building, 48 feet long and 42 feet broad, and was planned by Mr. William Barkas, house-carpenter, of the firm of Pallister and Barkas. On the pediment in front of the building is the following inscription:—"New Jerusalem Temple, for the Worship of Jesus Christ, the only God. Anno Domini 1822—65." (fn. 44) Its interior is plain, but convenient, and will accommodate above 300 persons; though the building, when crowded, holds about 500. The pulpit is peculiarly neat. Nearly over the entrance into the vestry, a tablet is hung, with this inscription:—"Mrs. Elizabeth Birch, formerly Norman, of Stepnay near Hull, Foundress of this Temple by a liberal Donation of £422, 4s." (fn. 45) The building cost £1221, of which £600 was raised by loan and mortgage. The property is now vested in a local trust of twelve trustees. It was obtained chiefly by the indefatigable exertions of Mr. Bradley, who has also disinterestedly laboured in the ministry for three years without salary, and has been rewarded only with injurious suspicions and unjust reproaches. He has, probably in consequence of this and the cares of business, resigned the ministry. He delivered a course of lectures, elucidating the curious doctrines of this church, which has been printed. The delivery of these discourses was attended by a numerous audience, who were equally surprised at their novelty, and the calm, dispassionate mode in which they were defended. (fn. 46)


This cemetery is situated a short distance east of the Ouseburn, and, as the name indicates, is covered with ballast. Some have inferred, from the silence of Bourne on the subject, that this place was not used for sepulture in his time; but, considering the peculiar cast of mind in this historian, such reasoning is certainly not conclusive. The probability is, that these hills, or wastes, were used by the earliest Scottish emigrants as a place for burying their dead; for the old, stern, unbending Presbyterians, considered the very entrance into an episcopal church as an overt act of idolatry, and would by no means suffer the funeral service to be read over their dead. This burialplace was formerly much larger; for houses have been built, and glass-house cinders poured over the graves of many who had been interred without the present enclosed ground. It does not appear that any enclosure was made until the year 1785, when the following order was made by the common council:—

"At a common council held the fourth day of April, 1785, the inhabitants of the East Ballast Hills petitioned, setting forth, that numbers of swine were daily observed working and grubbing among the graves there, near the petitioners' dwellinghouses, to the great annoyance of the petitioners, and of many others who pass and repass that way. That there were many persons Dissenting from the Church of England, who, of choice, make use of that ground for burying in; and who, if the common council would give them leave, would, by a contribution among them, enclose the said burial-ground with a wall or paling, and would keep such wall or paling in repair, in order to prevent the aforesaid disagreeable nuisance; but, nevertheless, would wish to have it as free for the burial of all manner of persons, without any advance of burial-fees, and as much under the power and direction of the common council, as the same hitherto hath been, and now is. They therefore prayed the common council to permit the said burial-ground to be inclosed for the purpose aforesaid.

"The said petition, being read, was referred to a committee; and thereupon Edward Mosley, Charles Atkinson, and Hugh Hornby, Esqrs, and aldermen, Mr. William Cramlington, and Mr. John Wallis, have reported, that they had considered the contents of the petition, and viewed the said burial-ground; and had received from Mr. Joshua Henzell, one of the owners or lessees of the glass-houses adjacent, the fullest assurances that a compliance with the request of the petitioners will not, in any degree, interfere with the liberties or privileges heretofore demised by this corporation to the owners of any of the said glass-houses, or their trustees. The said committee, therefore, recommended that permission be granted to Messrs. John Kidd, William Davidson, and John Day, to inclose, at their own expense, the said burialground (in the line and extent staked out and shewn to the said committee on their view), and to build, on some proper and convenient part of the said burial-ground, a small dwelling-house for the grave-digger; such inclosure and house to be made under the direction of the town-surveyor. Provided, that after such inclosure is made, all persons be permitted to bury there as heretofore, on payment of the usual fees, and that such fees be not raised or enhanced; and that the appointment of the grave-digger, and the direction and management of the said burial-ground, do continue in this corporation, as it hitherto hath been. All which the committee humbly submitted to the common council.

"The said report, being read, is approved of, agreed to, and confirmed. It is therefore ordered, that the said John Kidd, William Davidson, and John Day, be permitted to inclose the said burial-ground accordingly, and to build thereon such house, under such direction, and subject to such conditions and restrictions as aforesaid.—James Rudman, Mayor."

After the above grant was obtained, a committee of the Dissenting body in this town went from house to house, soliciting subscriptions for making a proper enclosure around this burial-ground, and erecting a house for the sexton. This work was executed in 1786; and the late Michael Callender planted a few trees around the wall for ornament, of which no vestige now remains. A stone was built into the south-east end of the sexton's house, recording the grant just made by the corporation; but the town-surveyor ordered it to be pulled down, and it now lies near the entrance of the gate. Considering the extreme jealousy with which the corporation have always guarded their rights, it is not probable that any grave-stones would be suffered to stand here without their special permission. This perhaps was granted before, or soon after, the Revolution. The oldest stone remaining records an interment near the commencement of the last century:—"The Buriall Place of Patrick Sandalls of ............. Baker And Margratt his wife she De Part ed ys life ye 16e of Decembr 1708." On an upright stone is the following inscription:—"The Burial-place of John and Margaret Brunton, with six children who died in infancy, and Joseph in the prime of life. In 1796, this stone was erected, in grateful remembrance of his parents, by Benjamin Brunton, their only surviving son, in place of one set up by his father, which, after standing 70 years, fell into decay. It is said the first one in this ground." The old stone still lies at the foot of B. Brunton's grave. Sandall's grave-stone shews that Mr. Brunton's information was incorrect.

There is not much literary taste or poetic excellence displayed in the epitaphs that cover this repository of the dead. But this defect is observable in most places of interment. The following, Brand observes, may truly be said to have been wrote by "th' unletter'd muse:"—

"When I enjoyed this mortal life,
This stone I ordered from Scotland's Fife,
To ornament the burial-place
Of me, and all my human race.

Here lies James, of tender affection,
Here lies Isabel, of suett complexion,
Here lies Katherine, a pleasant child,
Here lies Mary, of all most mild,
Here lies Alexander, a babe most sweet,
Here lies Jannet, as the Lord saw meet."

"J. Steel, 1757.

Here lies, avarice (averse) to strife,
A loving and a faithful wife."

On a table monument,—

"In memory of the Rev. Mr. Alexander Nimmo, late minister in the Close. Obiit Februar' 5th, 1770, in the 18th year of his ministry, aged 44.

"How vain the attempt to celebrate on stone
His character: his hearers hearts alone
Are monuments which longer shall proclaim
His praise, than marble rock or short-liv'd fame.

"Here also are deposited the remains of four of his children, viz. Christian, ob. Oct. 1, 1759, ætatis 3. Alexander, ob. Dec. 14, 1778, ætatis 16.

"Lo, here mix in one grave the dust
Of father, son, and sire:
Their kindred souls, adorn'd with crowns,
To heav'nly songs conspire.

"Jane Lesslie, daughter of Mr. Alexander Nimmo, departed this life January the 4th, 1788, in the 24th year of her age. And of her son James, September 21, 1785, in infancy. Done by the order of Mrs. Jane Nimmo, proprietor of this stone. Jane, relict of the Rev. Alexander Nimmo, died May 31,1808, aged 75."

On an upright stone,—

"Here lies the body of the Rev. Mr. James Robertson, late minister of the gospel in Sallyport meeting-house, Newcastle, who departed this life 23d September, 1767, aged 39 years.

"Modest, yet resolute in virtue's cause,
Ambitious not of man's, but God's applause;
Swift was his race, with health and vigour blest,
Soft was his passage to the land of rest;
His work concluded e'er the day was done,
Sudden the Saviour stoop'd, and caught him to his throne.
"Also George his son, who died August 18th, 1767, aged sixteen weeks.
"Erected by the congregation, as a testimony of their esteem for his memory."

On an upright stone,—

"The congregation of Dissenters in the Postern meeting, Newcastle, erected this stone in memorial of the worth and their esteem of the Rev. John Cureton, their late and much revered pastor, departed this life December 1, 1793, aged 32.

"After his short, but zealous and useful labours in various parts of this kingdom, Jesus Christ, whose ambassador he was, and whom he faithfully preached, received him into his presence for ever.

"Stop, reader, whosoe'er thou art,
And let my early doom
Impress with sacred dread thy heart,
And teach thee from the tomb."

"Here sleeps in Jesus the body of Thomas Skinner, late minister of the Gospel, of the Baptist persuasion, in Newcastle, who died the 11th of February, 1795, aged 42 years. The very high esteem which his congregation bore him caused them to erect this stone to his venerated memory.

"The soul has left its tenement of clay,
And soar'd to realms of infinite delight;
Angels convey'd him all th' ethereal way,
T' enjoy the wondrous, beatific sight.

"Now rob'd in purest white, he joyful stands
Amidst th' adoring, blood-bought throng above;
With tuneful voice, and high uplifted hands,
He sings the new, the heav'n-taught song of love.

"'To him who lov'd, and wash'd us in his blood,
'Be honour, glory, pow'r, dominion given;
'To him who made us kings and priests to God,
'Loud hallelujahs fill th' expanse of heaven.'"

"The Burial-place of Thomas Bulcraig and family, late innkeeper on the Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne. Three of his children died in infancy. Elizabeth his daughter, died March 28, 1800, aged 15 years. Also the above Thomas Bulcraig, departed this life Jan. 17, 1802, aged 56 years.

"He's gone who living could most justly claim
The lasting honours of an honest faim
By which we hope he gain'd undoubted right
To endless glory in the realms of light."

"Here sleeps in Jesus the body of Elizabeth, wife of Peter Wilkinson, clerk for the Tyne Ironworks. She died at Blaydon the 30th of Jan. 1802, aged 26 years.

"In faith she liv'd, in dust she lies;
But faith foresees that dust shall rise."

The following is according to the old Scotch custom, whereby the wife retains her maiden name:—"The mortal remains of Jean Adair M'Cracken, wife of the Rev. David Wilson, Kilmarnock, are deposited here. She departed this life, aged 43, on the 10th day of February, 1826."—"The family burial-place of the Rev. James Pringle. William, eldest son of the above James Pringle, and Ann Oliver, his wife, died April 11, 1822, aged 14 years. Margaret Ann, their daughter, died Oct. 5, 1822, aged 5½ years."

"The burial-place of Robert Elliott, whitesmith, of Newcastle. Mary, his wife, died Nov. 22. 1756, aged 36 years. Robert Elliott died Oct. 10, 1784, aged 86 years. Walter Elliott died March 1. 1807, aged 60 years. Jane Elliott died Oct. 12, 1810, aged 30 years. Isabella Elliott died Jan. 22, 1824, aged 83 years. Walter Elliott died July 20, 1824, aged 42 years."—"In memory of Thomas Paget, glassman, who died Sept. 20, 1814, aged 38 years. This stone is erected as a mark of esteem by his brother workmen."—"In memory of William Runchiman, schoolmaster, ob. May 12, 1776."—"The burial-place of James and Margaret Longmoor. Good Saxon, invade not this little spot with strangers. See all that is to be traced on earth is but a putrid mass."—"The burial-place of Henry Strachan, keelman, and family, where, with his two wives, children, and children's children, too numerous to mention."

"George Grieve, M. D. died 30th Sept. 1800."—"James Hainch, schoolmaster, died October 21, 1800, aged 81 years."—"Gilbert Grey, bookbinder, æt. 84, died Wednesday, 12th February, 1794."—"Alexander Murray, schoolmaster, who died April 1, 1785, aged 58 years."—"The burial-place of Alexander Cameron, schoolmaster. Here lies the body of Allan Cameron. late surgeon in Newcastle, who departed this life the 29th July. 1779, aged 32 years."

The burial-places of Alexander and Lilly Doeg; Thomas Fife and Margaret his wife: Nicholas Jackson and Grizel his wife; Alexander and Isabella Reid; William and Ann Loggie: John Beckington: Miles Ismay, master mariner; Andrew Murray, innkeeper: James Bishop, master mariner; Andrew Bell. tallow-chandler; John Common, tailor: Cuthbert Johnson, tobacconist; Edward Aitkine Davidson. grocer; John Reed, shipwright; Captain John M'Kenzie, of Perth: George Wilson, bricklayer: William Cathey, tallow-chandler; Walter Shields, warehouseman: Mansfield Gibson, of Elswick; N. F. Bowmaker, tailor; John Barry, a native of Pigri in Italy; Alex. Petree: Janet Jack; William and Allison Halbert: Kenneth M'Kenzie; Andrew Sessford, schoolmaster; James Fairweather, mariner; Alexander Russell, fruiterer; Robert Sinclair, master mariner, of Kirkwall; James Leslie, baker; Matthew Hall. smith; Thomas Atkinson, tailor; John Craig, cabinet-maker; James Wakenshaw, tailor; John Summerville, grocer; Alexander Wilson, tobacconist; Thomas Angus, printer; William Chapell, cutler; George Hodge, brewer; Robert Nichol, baker; Lewis Chapman, innkeeper; Benjamin Spoor, bottle-maker; James Moreland, linen-draper; Robert Millan, innkeeper; Aaron Scott, master mariner; Thomas Gray, tobacconist; John Murdock, rope-maker; George Wight, baker; John Read, master mariner; John M'Leod, brewer; John Hogg, mercer; John Harvey, tobacconist; James Anderson, malt-maker; Alexander M'Kenzie, tin-plate worker; Thomas Davison, merchant; James Morrison, heel-maker; George Kidd, miller; William Robson, tin-plate worker; Dougal Robertson; George Scotland; Robert Rowley; John Hood; James Faddy; Robert Colhoun.

It does not accord with the plan of this work to notice all the melancholy memorials of the dead which are crowded into this large burial-ground. In May, 1817, it contained 621 grave-stones; but the number at present probably exceeds 700. The average number of interments, from 1820 to 1825 inclusive, was 599 annually. The expense of interment is very moderate; for no funeral service is read, the ground not being attached to any church. Sometimes, however, an exhortation is delivered, or a prayer is pronounced, by the minister of the deceased. This ground is peculiarly well adapted for the purposes of sepulture: it is light and dry, while the calcareous nature of the ballast accelerates the decomposition of the dead. (fn. 47)

More bodies are interred in this burying-ground than in all the church-yards in the town; and, in consequence, it has recently been found inadequate to accommodate the numerous occupants, without prematurely disturbing the remains of those who had gone before, and thus distressing the feelings of the living. The Dissenting ministers, and some leading members of their congregations, held several conferences on this important subject; and at length it was resolved to hold a public meeting in the Orphan House, on the 14th June, 1825, to take into consideration the propriety of obtaining a new place of burial. At this meeting, James Losh, Esq. presided; and, on the motion of Mr. John Fenwick, it was unanimously resolved that three acres of freehold ground on the west or north-west side of Newcastle be purchased; that the sum of £2000 be raised in 200 shares, at £10 each; and that one-fourth of the ground be sold for family burial-places, the rest to be used as a place of general sepulture. (fn. 48) On the motion of the Rev. James Pringle, the committee then appointed were also instructed to adopt measures for obtaining the enlargement and improvement of the Ballast Hills burying-ground.

Accordingly, on the 6th July, 1825, the committee presented a petition to the common council, praying that the waste ground between the north wall of the present burying-ground and the Shields turnpike be granted, for the purpose of enlarging this public cemetery, agreeably to a plan made by Mr. John Bell, and accompanying the petition. On September 29, the petition was referred by the common council to a committee, chosen by themselves, called the Ballast Hills Burying-ground Committee. At this time, an application was made for leave to form a waggon-way across the waste ground prayed for; in consequence of which, the consideration of the petition was deferred. The committee petitioned a second time, and for a smaller portion of ground; and in September, 1826, the corporation decided to grant 23 yards northwards from the present burying-ground, provided that the whole be inclosed by a wall 4½ feet high, and surmounted by an iron railing also 4½ feet in height; that two lodges and a gateway be built on the north side; and that the present sexton's house be pulled down, and two slips of the present ground be added to the adjoining public roads. The waste ground granted by this order measures 1674 square yards, and the old ground measures 2 acres, 3 roods, 19 poles; so that, after the small angles mentioned above are taken off, this burial-place will contain above three acres of ground. The corporation have still the appointment of the sexton, and are paid sixpence for each body interred. (fn. 49)


  • 1. This congregation refuses to acknowledge any of the appellations used to distinguish other sects of Christians, professing to be a "voluntary association," not united by a similarity of opinion respecting doctrines or church discipline, but "by a desire to worship the Supreme Lord of all as the disciples of one common Master," and to defend the "right of individual judgment in matters of religion." A great diversity of opinion certainly exists amongst the members; yet, as they are understood to agree in denying a Trinity in Unity, or what is termed the Divinity of Christ, they are generally, and not improperly, called Unitarians. The society consists of Pedo-Baptists and a few Baptists; while some, like Emlyn and Wakefield, think the rite of baptism should be confined to converts to Christianity: but all acknowledge the expediency of a religious family service at the birth of a child. The Lord's Supper is celebrated on the first Sunday of every month.
  • 2. Dr. Gilpin, at the restoration, was offered the bishopric of Carlisle; but not being satisfied as to the authority of episcopal government, he, with great integrity and contempt of the world, declined this high preferment; and, on the Act of Uniformity, being ejected from his living, he settled in Newcastle, where he practised physic with such reputation and success, that his biographer says, "all necessary means were scarcely thought to have been used, if he had not been consulted." By his practice as a physician, he realized considerable property. During the operation of the panal laws against Nonconformists, it was proposed to banish the Doctor from Newcastle; but Barnes, by persuading the magistrates of his usefulness as a physician, procured him quietness to the end of the reign of Charles II. His degree of M. D. was taken at Leyden. He appears also to have been acquainted with philosophy and chemistry. He was an excellent preacher, and eminently cheerful, affable, and prudent. His conciliatory conduct was exemplified "in keeping together a numerous congregation, of very different opinions and tempers." His principal work is a large quarto volume on Satan's Temptations. He claimed to be of Bernard Gilpin's line, and had his scutcheon pinned on his coffin.—Barnes' Life, p. 53.
  • 3. Mr. Manlove was a very promising young minister. He died August 3, 1699, aged 37 years. He wrote a Treatise on the Immortality of the Soul, which excited some attention. (See Blackburn's Hist. Surv. vol. iii. page 125.) There is a portrait of him (probably in his Funeral Sermon by Gilpin) which occasioned his introduction into Noble's Cont. of Grainger, vol. i. page 116. He was probably minister at Durham in 1693 (see Life of Dean Comber, page 33); and afterwards at Mill-Hill, Leeds. Mr. Pringle took the degree of M. D. at Leyden. He died about the year 1692 or 3. Mr. Pell, about this time, removed from Boston to Newcastle, and died in December, 1698. (Calamy, 289.) Thomas Bradbury, who was afterwards a celebrated preacher in London, seems also to have assisted Dr. Gilpin. He will be noticed hereafter. Thomas Sanderson, gent. of Hedley-hope, co. Durham, by codicil, dated September 14, 1704 leaves £10 to the poor of that church, which did late belong to the pious Dr. Gilpin; and to Mr. Gill, Mr. Bennett, and Mr. Bradbury, £1, 1s. each (will proved 1706).—Surtees' Hist. Durh. vol. ii. page 343.
  • 4. Mr. Nathaniel Fancourt settled as minister at Salisbury, on the death of Mr. Sloane, in 1719. He did not long continue here, dying in 1720. He was succeeded by Mr. Samuel Fancourt, probably his brother or son, who is mentioned in several biographical works as the institutor of the first circulating library.
  • 5. Dr. Mark Akenside, the eminent poet and physician, was for some time under Mr. Wilson's tuition. The Akenside family belonged to Eachwick in Northumberland; but his father was a reputable butcher in Newcastle, and a member of Hanover Square chapel. He was born November 9, 1721, and received the rudiments of his education at the Grammar-school here, before he was entered into Wilson's academy. At the age of 18, he went to Edinburgh, to qualify himself for the office of a Dissenting minister; but relinquishing his original intention, he resolved to study physic, when he honourably repaid the assistance he had received from the Dissenters' fund. His uncle at Eachwick paid all the expenses of his education. In 1741, he went to Leyden, where he completed his medical studies, and, on May 16, 1744, took his doctor's degree. On this occasion, he published "A Dissertation on the Origin and Growth of the Human Fœtus," in which, it is said, he displayed much sagacity and judgment. In the same year appeared "The Pleasures of the Imagination," a most extraordinary performance from a young man who had not reached his 23d year. A note in the third book offended Warburton, who attacked him with severity; but he was as warmly defended in "An Epistle to the Rev. Mr. Warburton," by his friend, Jeremiah Dyson. As a physician, he commenced practice at Northampton, and, after a short time, removed to Hampstead, where he resided more than two years, and then settled in London. Having read the Glustonian Lectures, he began the Cronian Lecture, in which he intended to give a history of the revival of learning, but soon desisted. He was admitted to a doctor's degree at Cambridge, after having taken it at Edinburgh; was elected a fellow of the College of Physicians, and one of the physicians at St. Thomas' Hospital; and, upon the establishment of the queen's household, appointed one of the physicians to her majesty. His "Dissertatio de Dysenteria," published in 1764, which has been twice translated, was admired for its pure and elegant Latinity. He wrote, in the Philosophical Transactions, "Observations on the Origin and Use of the Lymphatic Vessels." Some inaccuracies in this paper were noticed by Dr. Alexander Monro, the second of that name at Edinburgh. Dr. Akenside published, in 1756, a small pamphlet in his own vindication. He also published "An Account of a Blow on the Heart, and its Effects," 1763; "Oratio Harveiana," 4to. 1760; and three papers in the first volume of the Medical Transactions. He would probably have attained much greater eminence in his profession if his life had been longer. He died of a putrid fever, June 23, 1770, in the 59th year of his age, and is buried in the parish church of St. James, Westminster. Dr. Akenside's genius as a poet has been variously estimated. His "Curio," published in 1745, was an admirable satire upon Pulteney, Earl of Bath: but, perhaps, Dr. Johnson is right in saying that he murdered Curio, by putting him in lyrics. In his great and famous work, "The Pleasures of the Imagination," he has displayed and embellished Lord Shaftesbury's philosophical system with all the force of poetic colouring. Mrs. Barbauld published an elegant criticism on this poem, which has been undeservedly depreciated by Dr. Johnson, who also represents his Lyrics as insufferably dull. But where, it has been asked, are there Lyrics superior to the Odes to the Bishop of Winchester, to the Earl of Huntington, to Mr. Hall, to Dr. Hardinge, and the celebrated Charles Townsend? The Ode to the Country Gentlemen is unequal, but has noble and glorious passages in it. In some of these, his principles are elevated into the heroism of public virtue and spirit—they unite eloquence and poetic effect. When Mr. Eiliott, father of Lord Minto, was complimented for an admirable speech he made in support of the Scotch Militia, he answered, "If I was above myself, I can account for it; for I had been animated by the sublime Ode of Dr. Akenside." Dr. Akenside lived incomparably well, though his principal source of income was from the munificence of his generous friend, Mr. Dyson, chief clerk of the House of Commons; and who, after his death, possessed his effects, consisting of books, and a rich collection of capital prints, from the most eminent painters of Italy and Holland, which he illustrated with admirable taste. Besides Mr. Dyson, his friends were, chiefly, Dr. Heberden, Dr. Hardinge, Mr. Cracherode, Mr. Thomas Townsend, the first Lord Sydney's father, Mr. Tyrwhitt, the archbishop of York, and Mr. Wray. He possessed one amiable singularity; "he was a most unprejudiced and candid estimator of contemporary poets." Mr. D'Israeli says, "Dr. Akenside's mind and manners were of a fine romantic cast, drawn from the moulds of classical antiquity." The Hon. George Hardinge informs us that his "father admired him as a gifted poet, as a man of genius, of learning, and of taste;" and then proceeds to give the following spirited sketch of the poet:—"He had, in general society, a pomp and stiffness of manner, not of expression, in which last he was no less chaste than flowing and correct. But the misfortune of this manner was in some degree connected with his figure and appearance. He looked as if he never could be undressed; and the hitch in his gait, whatever gave rise to it," [occassioned by the fall of a cleaver from his father's stall] "compared with a solemn cast in his features, was, at the best, of a kind that was not companionable, and rather kept strangers at a distance from him. Though his features were good, manly, and expressive, a pale complexion of rather a sickly hue, and the laboured primness of a powdered wig in stiff curl, made his appearance altogether unpromising, if not grotesque. But, where he was intimate, was admired, and was pleased with his party, he conversed most eloquently and gracefully. He had the misfortune, however, to have little or no taste for humour; and he took a jest very ill. Except in his political morality, which I could not admire, Dr. Akenside was a man of perfect honour, friendly, and liberal. His religious opinions were, I believe, a little whimsical and peculiar; but in general he kept them very much to himself. He and Mr Dyson had both originally been Dissenters. He was irritable, had little restraint upon his temper among strangers, and was either peevish or too oracular and sententious. He wanted gaiety of heart in society, and had no wit in his muse or in his eloquence. I don't believe he had much depth of medical science, or much acuteness of medical sagacity; he certainly had no business or fame in that line. His great powers, besides the talent of poetry, were those of eloquent reasoning, historical knowledge, and philosophical taste, enlivened by the happiest and most brilliant allusions. He had an astonishing memory, and a must luminous application of it." Speaking of the friendship that existed between Mr. Dyson and Dr. Akenside, this writer says, " The misfortune of their politics was, that, upon the accession of this reign (George III.), they entirely and radically changed them; for they became bigoted adherents to Lord Bute and the Tories, having at every earlier period been, as it were, the high priests of the opposite creed. Mr. Dyson was preferred, and was ultimately pensioned. His friend, whom he always bore in mind, was made physician to the queen—Ex illo fluere—from that period both of them were converts, and zealots of course for the New Religion. My uncle, Dr. Hardinge, whose wit and penetrating judgment had no delicacy in their blow, often told them both when they were young men (and with an oath which I must not repeat) 'that, like a couple of ideots, they did not leave themselves a loop-hole—they could not sidle away into the opposite creed.'" Dr. Akenside wrote English prose with purity, with ease, and with spirit. Besides the works before mentioned, he wrote, in Dodsley's Museum, vol. i. on "Correctness,"—"Table of Modern Fame;" and in vol. ii. " A Letter from a Swiss Gentleman." His splendid talents are still viewed with pride by the inhabitants of his native town. On November 21 (corresponding with November 9, O. S.), 1821, the centenary of his birth was celebrated by a number of literary gentlemen in Newcastle. Having assembled at the house in the Butcher Bank in which the poet first drew breath, and recited some effusions written for the occasion, they adjourned to the George Inn, and, after the fashion of Englishmen, sat down to an elegant entertain. ment.—Biog. Brit. Mason's Life of Gray. Blair's Lectures. Gent. Mag. vols. lxiii. &. lxiv. Johnson's. Poets, D'Israeli Calam. of Authors, vol. ii. page 2. Nichol's Lit. Anec. vol. viii. page 522.
  • 6. Mr. Bennett, it appears, was a native of Willsborough, near Bosworth, in Leicestershire. He was first designed for trade; but his ardour for intellectual acquirements led him to renounce all other pursuits. Before his removal to Newcastle, on Dr. Gilpin's death, he exercised his ministerial abilities at Temple Hall, in his native county. His polished manners, and popular talents as a preacher, aided by uncommon diligence and prudence, contributed greatly to the permanence and prosperity of his congregation, over whom he presided for more than twenty years. He was also a learned, judicious, and pious writer. He published, in 1714, "Discourses on Popery;" and in 1720, "A brief History of the Reformation," and of British Nonconformity to the year 1719, which was dedicated, in a handsome, but manly address, to Lord Barrington, father of the late bishop of Durham, then one of the representatives of Berwick, and a leading member of the House of Commons in the Dissenting interest. In 1723, he printed "The Defence of the Memorial of the Reformation;" and in 1722, a piece entitled, "Irenicum, or a Review of some late Controversies about the Trinity, Private Judgment, Church Authority, &c." But his principal work is " Christian Oratory," consisting of devout meditations, prayers, &c. an abridgement of which was published in 1812 by the Rev. Samuel Palmer. Mr. Bennett, being seized by a violent fever, died on September 1, 1726, in the 52d year of his age. He left a daughter, married to Dr. Lathom, of Sunderland; and a son, who afterwards settled as a physician at Norwich. His funeral sermon was preached by Mr. Worthington of Durham. " A second Volume of the Christian Oratory;" and Sermons on the Truth, Inspiration, and Usefulness of the Holy Scriptures, were published after his death; and Isaac Cookson, Sen. Esq. has presented to the vestry library of this chapel six quarto volumes of MS. notes of his sermons, written out by his father, John Cookson, when apprentice to Mr. Joseph Airey. Dr. Toulmin, in his Memoir of Mr. Bennett (Mon. Rep. vol. ii. p. 458), says, "His person was of a large size, but agreeable and graceful; his aspect comely, and his countenance commanding; his mental endowments were of the superior class, combining a quick apprehension, a ready wit, a solid judgment, and a happy memory."
  • 7. Dr. Lawrence also practised medicine. He removed, in 1733, to the chapel in Monkwell Street, London, of which he continued the minister till within a few months of his death in 1760. His funeral sermon was preached by his colleague and successor, the celebrated Dr. James Fordyce.
  • 8. His brother, the Rev. Josiah Rogerson, was a minister of great abilities and character at Derby. Both the Rogersons were probably educated by Mr. Jollie, at Attercliffe, near Sheffield, about the year 1709. Soon after 1715, Richard settled at Duffield, near Derby: from this place he removed to Coventry, and, in 1723, became minister at Alcester. During his residence at Newcastle, he married a Miss Halliday, and thus became connected with one of the principal families which at that time were members of the congregation, the Carrs of Dunstan Hill. The Rev. Thomas Walker, M. A. in early life a member of this congregation. married Miss Halliday's sister. He was a very eminent minister, first at Cockermouth, afterwards at Darham, and lastly at Mill-Hill chapel in Leeds, where he died in 1764, deeply lamented. He published nothing but a sermon, preached at the opening of the new chapel at Wakefield; and an animated preface to a sermon preached by Mr. George Bruce, formerly minister at the Garth Heads in this town. The Rev. George Walker, F. R. S. nephew of the above, was also a native of Newcastle, and a member of the Hanover Square congregation. He was born about 1734, and received his early education in this towns and at Durham; after which, he was sent to the university of Edinburgh. There he was a pupil of the distinguished mathematician, Dr. Matt. Stewart, from whom he imbibed a taste for pure and elegant demonstration. He next studied theology and moral philosophy at Glasgow, and, having completed his education, was chosen successor to his uncle at Durham in 1756. A few years afterwards, he accepted an invitation to Yarmouth, where he married, and then, in 1772, removed to Warrington, having been appointed mathematical tutor in the respectable academy of that place. He there published, in 1775, his "Doctrine of the Sphere," 4to. which is considered an useful example of the purest method of geometrical demonstration. In that year, he removed to Nottingham, where he was chosen one of the ministers of the High Pavement chapel. Here he remained twenty-four years, when he was induced to become theological tutor and superintendent of a Dissenting academy at Manchester. His advanced years rendered this a too onerous task for him, and he retired to the neighbourhood of Liverpool. In 1807, he went to London, for the purpose of publishing two volumes of Philosophical Essays, and two volumes of Sermons; when he was seized by a disorder, which carried him off in the 73d year of his age. Mr. Walker, being enthusiastically attached to the principles of civil liberty, was a distinguished speaker at political meetings. Of one of his political works, Mr. Burke declared that he had rather be the author than of all his own productions; and Mr. Fox greatly admired his "Appeal to the People of England," upon the Test laws. His published sermons are distinguished by a manly and original train of thought, and a singularly lively and fervid manner of expression. He likewise published the first part of a "Treatise of Conic Sections," worthy of his mathematical reputation. "Take him for all in all," says the learned Gilbert Wakefield, "he possesses the greatest variety of knowledge, with the most masculine understanding, of any man I ever knew. He is, in particular, a mathematician of singular accomplishment;" and "his sermons are pregnant with the celestial fire of genius."— "But these qualifications, great and inestimable as they are, constitute but a mean portion of his praise. Art thou looking, reader! like Æsop in the fable, for a Man ? Dost thou want an intrepid spirit in the cause of truth, liberty, and virtue—an undeviating rectitude of action—a boundless hospitality—a mind superior to every sensation of malice and resentment—a breast susceptible of the truest friendship, and overflowing with the milk of human kindness—an ardour, an enthusiasm, in laudable pursuits, characteristic of magnanimity—an unwearied assiduity, even to his own hindrance, in public services ? My experience can assure thee, that thy pursuit may cease, thy doubts be banished, and thy hope be realised: for this is the man. Who now will stay to compute the deduction, which must be made from this sum of excellence, for sallies of passion, devoid of all malignity, and often excited by a keen indignation against vice; and for vehemence and pertinacity of disputation ? His excellencies are capital virtues; his defects petty failings."
  • 9. In the year 1749, Mr. Wilson published a funeral sermon on the death of his friend, Mr. Joseph Airey, who departed this life in February that year, He gives a very high, and it appears a very just, character of the deceased, who was the eldest brother of Mr. Thomas Airey. He left no family; but his widow, Mrs. Ruth Airey, survived him many years, and, at her death in 1767, bequeathed £200, the yearly interest of which was to be applied, one half towards the minister's salary, and the other to the support of the charity-school. Mr. Joseph Airey (the first banker in connexion with the late Mr. Carr, of Dunstan Hill) and Mr. George Headlam, were the gentlemen mainly concerned in projecting the Infirmary. (See Brand, vol. i. page 412.) They belonged to a club, of which also Mr. Lambert the surgeon was a member; from which club is supposed to have issued the paper published in the Courant, signed B. K. which suggested the first idea. To preserve the memory of this paper, one of the principal wards in the Infirmary is still called B. K. While mentioning the former distinguished members of this chapel, John Cookson, Esq. the father of the present Isaac Cookson, Esq. ought not to be omitted; for he very eminently contributed to the extension of the coal and iron trade, and the general commerce of the port; as did also Messrs. Carr and Widdrington.
  • 10. He was author of three other sermons, besides the one mentioned above:—1. A Funeral Sermon on the Death of the Rev. Joseph Wilkinson, of North Shields. 2. On the Day of Thanksgiving for the Peace of 1763. 3. A Sermon preached before the Protestant Dissenting Ministers who met at Alnwick, June 14, 1764, to institute a Scheme for the Relief of their Widows and Orphans.
  • 11. Dr. Hood published "A Discourse on the Nature of Christ's Kingdom," in which he earnestly recommended a more liberal treatment of our Catholic fellow subjects. A volume of his sermons was published after his death, for the benefit of his family.
  • 12. Mr. Turner being living, it would be indelicate to pronounce any eulogium, however just, upon his character. This task must devolve on his surviving friends, whose hearts may be inspired with a sincere affection and gratitude for a beloved minister and an able scholar. Yet the writer cannot, with propriety, omit recording a few of the most distinguished acts in his public life. Mr. Turner is a native of Wakefield in Yorkshire, where his father was a minister, "a gentleman of great learning and exemplary piety, and peculiarly distinguished as a scripture critic." He had scarcely been two years in Newcastle, when he resumed the custom of catechising, to facilitate which he reprinted an Abridgement of Matthew Henry's Catechism; and, at the same time, he procured the introduction of a small collection of Sacramental Hymns. Towards the close of 1784, he successfully established two Sunday-schools; one for boys, and the other for girls, which were among the very first established in England, in imitation of those founded by Mr. Raikes of Gloucester. For the use of these children, he printed an Abstract of the History of the Bible. Pursuing his plan for promoting the improvement of youth, he proposed, in 1787, the establishment of a vestry library, which now contains several hundred volumes on natural and revealed religion. In 1791, he published a sermon on the "Sufficiency of Revelation;" and, in the following year, he circulated "A pastoral Address on Public and Family Worship, Attendance on the Lord's Supper, the Religious Education of Children, &c." In 1796, he revised the "Rules and Orders of the Charity-school;" and, in 1800, printed his first annual sermon for the support of the new college at Manchester (now at York) for the education of Dissenting ministers. On the death of his friend, the Rev. E. Prowitt, in 1802, he printed "a short Tribute to his Memory." In 1813, he assisted in establishing a "Tract Society," and continues his active superintendance over "the Funds for the Benefit of the Poor," the Sunday-schools, charity-school, the chapel library, and the other useful establishments supported by his congregation. In 1822, he received a flattering and pressing invitation to accept the ministry of the High Pavement chapel at Nottingham; but his existence is so completely identified with the most useful institutions in this town, and his enjoyments so involved with the happiness of so many old and worthy friends, that his rejection of this apparently profitable offer might be easily predicted. Mr. Turner's excellence is not confined to an able and conscientious discharge of his ministerial functions: he has also been indefatigable in his exertions to promote every design tending to ameliorate the condition of mankind. His efforts, in conjunction with others, to procure the complete abolition of the slave trade, and of slavery, and also the removal of the civil disabilities under which Protestant Dissenters still remain, have been unceasing. He was one of the first projectors, and has continued a most zealous supporter, of the Literary and Philosophical Society, having, from the commencement, discharged the arduous duties of senior secretary. In 1802, he was appointed Lecturer of Natural and Experimental Philosophy to the New Institution; and, since that period, has annually delivered a course of lectures on some important branch of science or the arts. He is also a vice-president, and a warm patron of the Literary, Scientific, and Mechanical Institution, recently established; to the members of which he gratuitously delivered, in 1825, a complete course of lectures on chemistry. The education of the poor has always been one of his leading objects; and he had the honour of suggesting the first idea of the Royal Jubilee School. The Society for the Benefit of the Widows and Orphans of Protestant Dissenting Ministers is much indebted to his exertions; and he is president, and nearly the oldest member of the Schoolmasters' Association. His unwearied exertions to introduce into this town the practice of inoculation must be remembered by many; but, indeed, his time, his talents, his purse, and his labours, have always been cheerfully devoted in promoting the most important interests of his fellow creatures. Besides the religious publications before mentioned, Mr. Turner has written a great number of Reports of, and Addresses to, various societies, and has been a valuable contributor to many of our most distinguished periodical works. His portrait (a two-third length) was engraved by Ranson from a painting by Nicholson, and sold privately amongst his friends at £1, 1s. each. It is a fine specimen of line engraving, but is now very scarce. Since that time, another portrait has been engraved by Collard, from an excellent painting by Morton. Mr. Turner has been twice married: first, to Miss Mary Holland; second, to Miss Willetts. His children living are, Mary, married to the Rev. J. G. Robberds, minister at Manchester, whose congregation entertain so high a sense of his merit, as to have lately agreed unanimously to increase his salary, and to present him with £1000;—William, a minister, and mathematical tutor in the Manchester college of York, a gentleman of various and deep acquirements;—Ann, unmarried. The Rev. Henry Turner, another son of the above, was born in this town, May 4, 1792. During the first twelve years, he received the principal part of his education under his father's roof; but afterwards at the Free Grammar-school of his native town, under the able tuition of the Rev. Edward Moises. In his 16th year, he entered the university of Glasgow, where he had the benefit of the friendship, as well as the instructions, of Professors Jardine, Young, Mylne, and Millar; and also of residing in the house, and under the superintendence of Mr. John Kenrick, then a student of high distinction in the university; and of having for his fellow-pupils and intimate friends, Mr. Joseph Hutton (A. B. of Trinity College, Dublin), now of Leeds, Mr. George Kenrick, now of Maidstone, and the late amiable Mr. Thomas B. Broadbent. In September, 1810, he, with the two former of these, followed Mr. Kenrick, then become classical tutor in Manchester College, York, and spent three years with them in that seminary. In 1813, he settled at Bradford, and was welcomed into his charge by a number of his relations and other friends in the ministry, on the 22d of September, in that year. During his residence at Bradford, he engaged, in conjunction with his friend, the late Dr. Thomson, to give evening lectures. He also acted as secretary to the Tract Society in the West Riding of Yorkshire. In 1817, he accepted the pastoral charge of the congregation in the High Pavement, Nottingham; and, two years afterwards, married Catherine, only daughter of the late Mr. J. C. Rankin, of Newcastle. Having contracted a severe cold, he, after about three weeks illness, died on January 31, 1822, in the prime of life. He was buried at Lenton church, on the 5th of February. A handsome table monument has since been erected over his grave, bearing the following inscription, from the pen of the Rev. John Kenrick, A. M. York:—"H. S. E. Henricus Turner, V. D. M. Ecclesiæ Nottinghamensis Unum Deum Patrum Mediatore Christo colentium Per prope quinquennium alter e pastoribus; Quo, morte ipsi non immatura, abrepto, Filium, Conjugem, Amicum, Pietate, Sanctitate, Ingenio, præstantem Consuetudine et Sermonibus jocundissimum, Sui desiderant. Ecclesia vero se vitæ duce et magistro, Ad omnem virtutem Non magis præceptis quam exemplo excitante, Orbatam esse testatur. Obiit Jan. 31, 1822, Ann. Æt. 30." This worthy young minister was a constant superintending visitor of the schools for both sexes which his congregation maintains; and he may be said to have re-created the Sunday-schools in the same place. He instituted, among the young men, a weekly meeting, for the discussion of moral and religious subjects; and he met the young persons under his pastoral care every Sunday evening, for religious exercises. "The solicitude of his afflicted flock during the progress of his disease, their deep sorrow for his death, the unusual marks of respect with which they accompanied him to the grave, and their unfeigned sympathy with his mourning family, testified the sincerity of their esteem and affection." A volume of Sermons, selected from his papers, was published by subscription, at the request of the younger members of his church, and printed at Newcastle, in 8vo. 1822, price 12s. boards. About fifty years ago, a part of the congregation of Baptists on the Tuthill Stairs were separated from the rest, on account of having embraced Unitarian principles. Mr. Caleb Alder (who afterwards removed to Alnwick), and his son-in-law, Mr. W. Robson, conducted their worship in a room on the North Shore, till about 1788; when they built, by subscription and the contributions of friends, a small chapel in the Pandon Bank, where the late Rev. Edward Prowitt, and, for a short time, the unfortunate Thomas Fyshe Palmer, of Queen's College, Cambridge, officiated. Here they continued till 1797, when several severe losses by death having been sustained by the little flock, the remnant, as related above, joined the congregation in Hanover Square. The premises were let for a sail-cloth manufactory, and the rents applied to the liquidation of the debt. About 1811, Mr. Campbell, a preacher from Scotland, in the Haldanite connexion, became an Unitarian; and a considerable part of his hearers embracing the same opinions, he continued to worship with them in the Surgeon's Hall, the rent of which was defrayed out of the Pandon Bank property. On his removal to Kendal, the bulk of the congregation continued to assemble, and were joined by Mr. W. Robson, from Hanover Square. He was their chief speaker; though several others, both before and since his death (in 1823), took a part in conducting the service. They have now a room in the Pudding Chare, in which they hold weekly meetings on the Lord's Day. Mr. Campbell went from Kendal to Pittsburgh in North America, where he died in 1824. Edward Prowitt was a native of Leicester, and educated at the Baptists' college at Bristol. Having there completed his education, under the late eminent Dr. Caleb Evans, he was ordained minister of the Baptist church at Oxford. Here he was led, by conscientious and serious inquiry, to change the system of his religious creed, on which trying occasion he displayed a rare combination of integrity and fortitude. The separation from his congregation was made with mutual regret, and a mutual esteem and affection was preserved. He then settled, for a short time, with a society of General Baptists, at Fleet, in Lincolnshire; after which, he removed, with his family, to Newcastle, where he opened an academy. During many years, he successfully discharged the arduous duties of a teacher of youth; while his amusements, during the hours of relaxation, consisted in relieving distress, or promoting the innocent enjoyments of his friends. His well-known zeal in behalf of suffering humanity recommended him as the patron of the poor, and frequently he received both public and private acknowledgments for his distinguished exertions in their behalf. While proceeding to Leicester, with the intention of bringing back his aged mother, to spend the remainder of her days under his roof, he became so violently indisposed, that he was obliged to be left at Catterick Bridge, where he expired, July 3, 1802, in the 42d year of his age. He was buried the next day, in the church-yard of that parish which Mr. Lindsay so long ago relinquished, from similar motives to those which had removed Mr. Prowitt from his connexions at Oxford. William Robson, whose name occurs above, ought to be held in remembrance as a philanthropist, whose business and religion was to do good. He was a ship and keel builder on the North Shore. In early life, he had the management of the keels belonging to the collieries of Messrs. Bell and Brown; when he had the courage to introduce, with happy success, a system of moral discipline highly advantageous to the keelmen employed, and which procured him the esteem of his employers, and the gratitude of their men. Having acquired a competency by the death of a relation, he retired from business some years before his death. His modes of doing acts of charity and mercy among the poor and unfortunate were numerous and varied; but his peculiar delight consisted in impressing his views of Christianity upon the minds of serious and ingenuous young men, many of whom owe their success in life to his active and unwearied benevolence. He greatly contributed to the establishment of the Royal Jubilee Schools; and the success of these institutions was, in a considerable degree, owing to his indefatigable exertions. In his religious profession, he was an Unitarian Baptist; but, when young, he belonged to the Calvinistic Baptists, in the support of whose tenets, and in opposition to priestly domination, he wrote two small pamphlets. He died February 16, 1824, aged 80 years. Mr. Robson had four daughters: 1. Priscilla, married to Mr. S. Clegg, engineer, Manchester, who had the honour of fitting up the first apparatus in England for making gas. 2. Ann, married Mr. John Clennell. 3. Elizabeth, married Mr. Thomas Holland, teacher, at Manchester, and brother-in-law to the Rev. William Turner. Though blind, he excels in his profession, and has published, in conjunction with his brother, Mr. John Holland, of Bolton, "Exercises for the Memory and Understanding," compiled on the interrogative system of education. 4. Mary, married Mr. Hughes, of Dundee, cabinet-maker, now in America. She is the writer of several popular school-books. Aunt Mary's Tales, a series for boys and another for girls— An Abridgment of William Penn's Life—Ornaments Discovered—Metamorphoses, or the Effects of Education, a Tale—Pleasing and Instructive Stories for Children—Lessons for Children—The Alchemist, &c. have all proceeded from her pen. John Clennell, the husband of Ann, was a native of Newcastle. His father was a hat-manufacturer in premises now the property of Mr. John Young, at the Foot of the Side. He was educated for the church; but his love of literary ease prevailed over every other consideration. At length, he undertook to conduct the hat-manufactory, which was then carried on by his widowed mother. Shortly after, he erected suitable premises for pin-making, in which speculation he was joined by the late Mr. John Taylor, mustard-manufacturer. But his habits were so unbusiness-like, that loss and disappointment attended all his movements. He therefore abandoned pursuits so uncongenial to his taste, and, removing to the neighbourhood of London, opened an academy for the instruction of youth. In this business he was ably supported by his accomplished wife. He died at Homerton on December 23, 1822, aged 50 years. His thirst for knowledge was very great, nor less his desire of its diffusion for the general good. In 1807, he published "Thoughts on the Expediency of disclosing the Processes of Manufactories, being the Substance of two Papers lately read to the Literary and Philosophical Society of Newcastle upon Tyne." For some time he conducted the Tradesman's Magazine, wherein he constantly advocated his favourite object of making the secrets of arts and manufactures public property. He was also a contributor to several of the Cyclopædias. For his knowledge of Persian literature, he was chosen F. S. A. of Edinburgh and of Perth. He was one of the most active founders of the Literary and Philosophical Society of Hackney. Some of his poetic productions are very ingenious; but his natural diffidence prevented him from making the most advantage of his respectable powers of mind. Another ornament to this religious community was Mrs. Jane Watts, youngest daughter of the late George Waldie, Esq. of the Forth House, Newcastle, and of Henderside on the banks of the Tweed. She died in the prime of life, July 6, 1826, near Durham, about three years after her marriage with Captain Watts, of the Royal Navy. To an ardent affection for classical and polite literature, she united a fine genius, a richly poetical imagination, and capabilities of mind altogether of an elevated order, and which were heightened and expanded by foreign travel. Her maiden effort was some very sensible "Letters on Holland." Her next popular work is entitled "Rome in the Nineteenth Century;" and a few weeks before her death was published an attractive novel, in three volumes, called "Continental Adventures." In this production, the plot and characters alone are fictitious; but the main incidents seem to have originated in fact. It displays powers of the highest order, and renders the early death of so gifted a writer a matter of general regret.
  • 13. Pandon Bank Chapel.
  • 14. George Fox, the founder of this sect, commenced his public life about the year 1643, being then only 19 years of age. He underwent many severe punishments; yet his followers gradually increased, and, from the warmth with which they denounced the corruptions of the church, were scoffingly called Quakers, or Tremblers; but they themselves assumed the appellation of Friends. Their tenets are exhibited and defended in "An Apology for the True Christian Divinity," dedicated to Charles II. by Robert Barclay, a learned Friend, who died in Scotland in 1690. The Friends reprobate war, refuse to take oaths, and, in consequence, their affirmation is allowed in all civil cases, They object to make reverence, or to give flattering titles to men; refuse to pay tithes, or other ecclesiastical demands; and have no hired ministry of their own; yet they acknowledge certain persons as ministers, though none are prohibited from addressing their assemblies. They reject the usual celebration of the sacraments, also vocal singing, and wait in silence in their meetings for the influence of the Spirit. Their dress is very uniform; but their opinions on doctrinal points are understood to be various. They marry and bury their own members, under the sanction of law. They have monthly meetings for considering the general welfare of the society, which are subordinate to their quarterly meetings: their annual meeting is held in London, and corresponds with different yearly meetings held in America. They maintain their own poor; and all children, born of parents members of the society at the time of their birth, are considered members by birth-right, and have a claim on the society for maintenance and education. It is this political regulation that imparts stability to the society. They have a school at Ackworth in Yorkshire, calculated for 180 boys and 120 girls, and which was instituted through the exertions of Dr. Fothergill, and is partly supported by legacies and annual donations. The Friends are mostly engaged in commercial pursuits; and several opulent families in this town formerly belonged to the society, which is usually left by wealthy merchants about the third generation, when they usually imbibe a taste for the pomps and vanities of the world, incompatible with the principles and habits of this sect.
  • 15. Brand says (vol. i. page 340), "The first place of meeting which this sect had in the vicinity of Newcastle upon Tyne, was in the street called Pipewell-gate, in Gateshead, in a house not many years ago the property of a Mr. Swift, who kept a tavern in it, with the sign of the Fountain. "I found the following inscription on a stone in a garden belonging to Captain Lambton, near the middle glass-house: 'Abigail Tizacke, daughter of John and Sarah Tyzacke, departed this life the 7th day of the 12th month, and in the 7th weack of her age, anno 1679.' The '12th month' is an expression for December, which clearly marks the sect to which J. and S. Tizacke belonged."
  • 16. Mr. Robert Foster, a respectable Friend and inhabitant of this town, was early in life impressed into his majesty's service by sea. His parents, being Friends, made many unavailing efforts to obtain his discharge. Finding his escape impossible, the young captive resolved to devote himself to the discharge of his new duties, and, if possible, to raise himself to a rank which might entitle him to his freedom. He accordingly was soon distinguished for activity, boldness, and intelligence, which procured him the approbation and favour of his captain, Henry Reynolds, of the Jupiter of 50 guns. While in the West Indies, this ship fell in with two French vessels; the Triton of 64 guns, and the Media of 36 guns. A severe engagement ensued, in which the master of the Jupiter being killed, Mr. Foster supplied his place with great ability during the remainder of the action. For this service he was promoted to a lieutenancy on board the Pelican; and the prospect of glory and honour was opened to his view. But his early feelings of good-will towards all men resumed their original power in his breast, he returned to England, threw off his naval uniform, and with great pleasure rejoined his peaceful and inoffensive brethren.
  • 17. Presbyterians are members of the Kirk of Scotland, and adhere to the doctrines of Calvin, which include predestination, original sin, particular redemption, irresistible grace, and the perseverance of the saints. Their ecclesiastical government was brought thither from Geneva by John Knox, and consists of presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies. The title presbyter signifies senior or elder. In the Kirk of Scotland there are 15 synods and 69 presbyteries. Dreadful scenes took place in Scotland previous to the final establishment of Presbyterianism, and its confirmation in 1706 by the Act of Union. In these troubled times, the Presbyterians subscribed the famous Solemn League and Covenant, whereby they were bound to effect the extirpation of episcopacy. The members of the Scotch Presbyterian meeting-houses in Newcastle are mostly natives of Scotland, or their offspring. They are numerous; though, in this age of refinement, their tenets are not supported with the enthusiasm of former times. Each meeting-house is governed by a certain number of elders, over whom the minister presides. A number of ministers from a Presbytery, or Class. On January 13, 1781, the Newcastle Presbytery agreed that an elder be chosen from each meeting-house, to attend the stated meetings of the Class; and on April 5, 1783, thirteen ministers of the Class signed a Formula, professing their faith in the doctrines summed up in the Westminster Confession of Faith, and 18 rules for the government of the Class. On Wednesday, September 8, 1826, the Presbytery of Newcastle, and the Presbytery of the north-west of England, met, according to previous appointment, in St. James' chapel, in this town, for the purpose of forming a Synod of the Presbyteries in England, holding the faith, and adhering to the mode of worship and discipline of the National and Established Church of Scotland. After the Rev. William Rintone, A. M. of Maryport, had preached, the Presbyteries formed themselves into a Synod, and the brethren gave to each other the right hand of fellowship, in token of the Synodical Union. The Rev. Charles Thomson, of North Shields, was chosen Moderator; the Rev. Walter Fairlie, of Whitehaven, and the Rev. John Pears, A. M. of Sunderland, were chosen clerks; and Mr. William Clarke, elder of St. James' chapel, was appointed treasurer to the Synod. At the Diet for Prayer, the Rev. John Lockhart, A. M. and the Rev. Robert Fergus, offered up prayer to God for his countenance and blessing. The spiritual laws of Scotland sometimes partake of the ambiguity of the temporal laws of England; and it remains disputable whether the validity of an ordination by a Presbytery in England would be admitted by the General Assembly. To avoid the danger of a mistake on this subject, many of the Presbyterian ministers, after receiving a call from a congregation in England, return to Scotland for ordination. The appellation Presbyterian is in England frequently, but improperly, given to a large and respectable denomination of Dissenters, whose church government is strictly independent, and who separated from the Church of England in consequence of the Act of Uniformity. This body of English Dissenters had several meeting-houses in Newcastle and the neighbourhood, to one of which Dr. Harle was minister. Jonathan Harle, M. D. was a native of Newcastle upon Tyne. When seven years old, he was placed under the care of Mr. Pell at Hull, where the proficiency he acquired in the languages excited general surprise; and a copy of Latin verses which he made was hung up in the school-room, as alike honourable to the master and scholar. When about 17 years of age, he returned to Newcastle to pursue his studies, and where he first began to preach. Here he was much esteemed and encouraged by Dr. Gilpin. He next preached for some time at Brigg in Lincolnshire, and afterwards settled at Morpeth in Northumberland. He was ordained at Newcastle, February 21, 1692–3, and shortly after received a call to Alnwick; bat, for some time before his final removal, he preached at Morpeth and Alnwick on each alternate Sunday. He married Mrs. Mary Ledgard, daughter of Mr. Ledgard of Newcastle. Having resolved to join the study of phyaie with that of divinity, he took his doctor's degree at Edinburgh in December, 1710; on which occassion he was very highly applauded by the college of physicians before whom he was examined. He practised as a physician with great applause nearly 40 years, but could never be persuaded to accept a fee, being determined to render his knowledge of medicine subservient to his ministerial duties of inculcating religiona knowledge. He was master of the Latin, Greek, and Hebrew languages; and was also intimately acquainted with the French, Italian, and Spanish. Indeed, his great learning and knowledge were admitted and admired by persons of all denominations. From his infancy, he never tasted any kind of fermented or spirituous liquors; but, notwithstanding his great temperance, his sedentary habits brought upon him both the gout and the gravel, which he justly called the rack and torture of life. After much severe suffering, he died December 24, 1729. He published "a Discourse on Infant Baptism," approved of by Dr. Gilpin; and "a Treatise of Scripture Diseases." Two Discourses, one "on the Frailty of Man," and the other "on Conformity to Christ," were published after his death by the Rev. John Horsley, the famous antiquary, with an account of his life, and his funeral sermon, which also was preached by his learned friend, Mr. Horsley. This place of worship stood behind Sandgate, on the top of the hill, and adjoining to the New Road. It was first opened in the year 1722, at which time the Rev. Robert Stoddart was chosen minister. He died September 9, 1725, and was succeeded by the Rev. Robert Marr, who was ordained at Bavington, on June 22, 1726, to the pastoral charge of this congregation. He was succeeded by the Rev. Thomas Sommervail, who appears to have been established here in 1733. He was father to the Rev. John Sommervail, afterwards a minister in Sunderland. The Rev. Robert Cowan was chosen to succeed Mr. Sommervail in 1770, and continned in this situation until his death in 1803. He was an excellent linguist, and particularly excelled in a knowledge of the Hebrew, Greek, and Latin languages. It was his invariable practice to read daily a certain portion of the Scriptures in the original. He was a man who knew little, and cared less, about the affairs of this world; but the singular simplicity of his manners, and the edifying purity of his life, could not compensate for the want of popular talents. His congregation gradually decreased; and, for many years, he received no emolument whatever for his services, but was obliged to repair the meeting-house at his own expense. A few years before his death, by the advice and assistance of his friends, he converted that part of the building facing the Garth Heads into a dwelling-house; and he was invested with a legal right to the whole premises, which are now in the possession of his sons, Mr. D. Cowan, joiner, and Mr. William Cowan, linen-draper. His brother, James Cowan, a student of divinity at Edinburgh, was licensed to preach by the Newcastle Presbytery on June 24, 1770, accompanied by the highest encomiums on his abilities. Attached to a volume of posthumous sermons is a sketch of his life, written by his brother Robert.
  • 18. Garth Heads Presbyterian Meeting-house.
  • 19. Mr. Gibson was born in 1742, at Blackford in Perthshire. After receiving an excellent preparatory education, he was sent to the college of St. Andrew's, and was licensed to preach in 1771. He then opened a grammar-school at Pittenweem in Fifeshire, where he continued till his removal to Newcastle. His affecting earnestness in the pulpit, and his gentle and conciliatory conduct amongst his flock, soon increased the number of his hearers; when the elders offered to augment his stipend: but, with his characteristic disinterestedness, he declined the offer, and advised the surplus money to be applied to the building of galleries, and purchasing a service of communion-plate; for the meeting-house, by the exertions of his predecessor, was unencumbered with debt. He procured the establishment of fellowship, or prayer meetings, amongst his congregation, from which Mr. Lee, Mr. M'Cane, and other young men, were sent to qualify for the ministry. In furtherunce of a benevolent scheme, he once volunteered to preach in Hanover Square chapel; but his people warmly remonstrated against his appearance in an Unitarian pulpit, and he yielded to their entreaties. He suffered severely from the gravel, one of the most terrible disorders that affect human nature, and of which he died in April, 1786. He was interred in the Dissenters' burying-ground in Percy Street, leaving one son, James, now a linen-draper in Newcastle, and with whom his mother resides.—New. Mag. vol. i. page 318.
  • 20. The name given to this meeting-house is an anomaly in Presbyterianism, particularly as viewed in the unadulterated form it has retained in the north of England; and would, at one period, have excited much animadversion.
  • 21. Mr. George Fife, a member of this congregation, gave £10, the interest of which to be paid for ever to the minister for the time being. In 1779, Mr. Fife, having left this chapel, offered to present the £10 to Mr. Shields, who very properly refused it, on the ground that it would be an act of dishonesty, both to the congregation and to their succeeding ministers. No account of this gift can now be obtained.
  • 22. The Rev. Thomas Meek, who kept a school in the Burnt House Entry, sometimes delivered evening lectures in this chapel. He wrote the "Life of Mahomet," and, in 1793, published at Newcastle "Sophistry Detected, a Refutation of T. Paine's Age of Reason," and, in 1800, "The Trial, Conviction, and Condemnation of Nehushton, a Deist."
  • 23. The Rev. James Murray was descended from a respectable and religious family at Fans, near Earlstoun, in Roxburghshire, where, it is believed, he was born about the year 1732. His family had suffered severely during the persecutions carried on against the old devout Covenanters, and consequently his mind was early embued with feelings of indignation against their inhuman oppressors. Thus arose his disgust to episcopacy, and his opinion that all ecclesiastical dignitaries were cruel and knavish hypocrites. He studied at the university of Edinburgh; and his certificate from Dr. Hamilton, the professor of divinity, bears date April 28, 1760. Immediately after, he was invited into Northumberland as a tutor, and, in a short time, became assistant to the Rev. John Sayers, minister of the Bondgate meeting-house at Alnwick, who, having lost his eye-sight, was incapable of discharging the duties of his office. Mr. Murray being dismissed by his aged employer, a large proportion of the congregation resolved to support their young minister, who they conceived had been very ill-treated, and whom they loved and admired. They therefore formed themselves into a separate congregation, built the meeting-house in Bailiffgate Square, and ordained him their pastor. In 1765, Mr. Murray removed to Newcastle, where he had numerous friends, many of whom belonged to the Silver Street meeting-house. Having become their pastor, the High Bridge chapel was immediately built for their reception. Here he laboured with unparalleled zeal, and displayed, both in the pulpit, and from the press, the purity of his motives, the independence of his mind, and the frankness of his character. He died January 28, 1782. in the 50th year of his age. Little is known respecting the early life of this singular and able man. It appears that he was presented with the freedom of Kelso for some services he had rendered to that town. One of his first productions was "Rudiments of the English Tongue," which was pirated and disfigured by one Metcalfe. After this appeared Select Discourses on several important Subjects, " 2d ed. Newcastle, 1768. His "Sermons to Asses" was first printed at London in 1768, with an ingenious and witty preface. This was followed by "New Sermons to Asses;" also, "Sermons to Doctors in Divinity," and "Sermons to Ministers of State." In 1771, he printed at Newcastle, "A History of the Churches in England and Scotland, from the Reformation to the present Time, by a Clergyman," in 3 vols. 8vo. Believing that the Roman Catholic religion was a dangerous instrument of deception and tyranny, he was extremely active in his study, in the pulpit, and at public meetings, in opposing Sir George Saville's bill for the removal of certain Catholic disabilities. He published "News from the Pope to the Devil," and "Popery not Christianity, an Evening Lecture." In the fervour of his zeal, he preached a sermon from the test, "He that hath not a sword, let him sell his garment and buy one," at which some of the town's serjeants attended, for the magistrates seemed seriously alarmed. About this period, he went to London, being, as some imagine, apprehensive of danger; when, it is said, he waited on Lord Mansfield. On his first asking for his lordship, he was informed he was not at home. "Tell him," said Mr. Murray, "that a Scotch parson of the name of Murray, from Newcastle, wants to see him." It is evident the conversation that passed had been one of mutual satisfaction; and it is equally plain, from a concluding remark of the learned judge, that Mr. Murray had been afraid of some prosecution, and had consulted him. The remark was, as Mr. Murray was leaving the house, "You have just come away with your skin between your teeth." It was on occasion of this journey, in 1773, that he wrote the "Travels of the Imagination," a small but most entertaining volume. He also attacked the Roman Catholics in several papers, which appeared in the "Protestant Packet," and which are distinguished by his usual lively style and poignant wit. During the contested election for Newcastle in 1780, he proposed a test, or pledge, which Sir Matthew White Ridley refused to give. The notorious Andrew Robinson Bowes said at once, "He'd be damned if he gave any thing of the sort;" but Sir Thomas Delaval, the unsuccessful candidate, gave the pledge required. In 1774, Mr. Murray published "Lectures to Lords Spiritual, or an Advice to the Bishops." His "Lectures on Genius," in 2 vols. 8vo. appeared in 1777; and, in the following year, "Lectures on the Revelations," also in 2 vols. 8vo. Being strongly opposed to the American War, he delivered many political lectures condemnatory of the administration of Lord North; for he thought that "the Gospel was the best charter of rights and liberties, and its vigilant defence against all encroachment from treachery or power one of the first duties of a Christian." The popularity of this doctrine, and the eloquence, wit, and boldness he displayed in maintaining it, always drew very crowded houses. His "History of the American War," in 3 vols. 8vo. was very favourably received. He also published "An Alarm without Cause, an Evening Lecture;"— "The Fast, a Poem," 4to.;— "An Essay on Redemption;"—" Sermons to Men. Women, and Children." His indignation having been roused on reading a pamphlet published by the Rev. John Wesley, to prove taxation no tyranny, he immediately wrote "The finishing Stroke to Mr. Wesley's Calm Address." "The Magazine of the Ants," also proceeded from his ready pen; and he superintended the publication of "The Freeman's Magazine," printed at Newcastle in 1774. When Mr. Beetham (the inventor of a mangle that bears his, name) was lecturing in Newcastle, Mr. Murray wrote for his use two Lectures on Heads. Mr. Murray was of a most cheerful disposition, and, on most topics, extremely facetious and playful; but, in defending civil or religious liberty, stern and decided. His conduct was independent and generous, and exemplified the principles which he conscientiously believed and zealously taught. The following two anecdotes, illustrative of his disposition, have been before published:—"As he was coming from Alnwick to Newcastle on a rainy day, he overtook a poor man who had no coat. Happening to have two on at the time, Mr. Murray took one off, and put it upon the poor man's back, with the observation that it was a pity he should have two coats and the man none, indeed it was not fair.—A Scotch drover came one Sunday into his chapel rather late, and leaning on the edge of a pew, stood contented and listening to the sermon. Mr. Murray caused a pew to be opened to him, exclaiming at the same time, 'If that man had had a powdered head, and a fine coat on his back, you would have thrown open twenty pews to receive him!'" Mr. Murray married Miss Sarah Weddle, of Mousin near Belford (who died in 1798), by whom he had John Murray, a surgeon in Newcastle; William Murray, a silk manufacturer at Manchester; Jane, who married the late Mr. Charles Hay, maltster in Newcastle; and Isabella, unmarried. The family, it has long been suspected, withhold many curious MSS. of their father's from the world; but this is not the case. Mr. Murray did certainly prepare for the press "A Course of Lectures on the Philosophy of the Human Mind, delivered in the High Bridge Meeting-house;" and, at his death, had nearly completed "Lectures on the Book of Job:" but both these works, and many other valuable papers, among which were notes intended for a new edition of "Lectures on Genesis," got into the hands of Mr. Alexander Murray, a schoolmaster in Newcastle (who published a work on the Trinity, a grammar, and a spelling-book), and every effort to recover them proved ineffectual. Mr. Murray also wrote "A Journey through Cumberland and the Lakes," which was lent to a gentleman to read; but he never returned it. There was likewise a manuscript Journey to Glasgow, but it too was lent and lost; and nothing remains except a few notes and memorandums of no importance. Mr. Murray's portrait, prefixed to the History of the American War, was painted by Van Cook, and engraved by Mr. Pollard of London: it is not a very good likeness, but it is better than the one given by Hone, in his edition of Sermons to Asses, published in 1817.
  • 24. "At a meeting of the Presbyterian Class at South Shields, 15th February, 1785, present the Rev. David Grant, Moderator, Messrs. Rae, Sommerville, Davidson, Hope, Gibson, Mackie, Mitchell, Platt, before whom appeared Messrs. John Kidd, James Atkinson, and Robert Turnbull, managers and trustees of the High Bridge Meeting, for advice and supply. As this congregation did not belong to the Class, the trustees produced an agreement to give up the said congregation, signed by their late pastor, Mr. Allan Cornforth, with a stamped receipt, acknowledging the receiving £20, as a condition of separation. After some enquiries and debates, the High Bridge Meeting was admitted into the Class on April 11, 1785."—Memorandums of the Presbytery.
  • 25. The celebrated Chinese linguist and missionary, Dr. Robert Morrison, was a member of this congregation, amongst whom he received his religious education. See a memoir of this extraordinary man in the History of Northumberland, vol. ii. p. 185.
  • 26. The law of patronage in the Kirk of Scotland was established byact of parliament in 1712, by which the right of chusing ministers was taken from the people, and given to the crown the universities, the magistrates of towns, and the principal heritors, or proprietors of parishes. This involved the church in a conti nual storm. In 1752, the Rev. Thomas Gillespie, minister of Carnock, was deposed by the General Assembly, for refusing to assist at the admission of Mr. Andrew Richardson in the parish of Inverkeithing, whom the parishioners refused to accept. This gave rise to that species of Dissent called the Relief, whose only difference from the Scotch Established Church is maintaining the right of choosing their own pastors. The Castle Garth, congregation continued in connexion with the Newcastle Presbytery, in communion with the Church of Scotland, until the termination of Mr. Davidson's ministry.
  • 27. Mr. Gellatley was ordained minister of a Relief congregation at Haddington in 1792, in which year he was rebuked by the synod for equivocation; and, in October, 1793, he was deposed from the office of the ministry by the Relief Presbytery of Edinburgh, for "violent attempts on the chastity of young women,"— "cursing,"—"fraud, "—lying,"—"slander," and "perfidy." (Clerical Gallantry, printed at Edinburgh, 1794.) After this, he continued for some time in Haddington, where he preached to a few of his adherents. He was chosen pastor of the Castle Garth chapel, as stated above, in 1801; but his stipend being small, he opened a school for youth of both sexes. He was a tolerably good preacher, and possessed considerable knowledge of the world. Finding, however, the ordinary means of acquiring popularity fail, he attempted a new mode of attracting the notice of the religious public, by issuing handbills, announcing that, on October 30, 1808, he would "attempt and deliver a poetic sermon!" for the benefit of a benevolent establishment which— "In seventeen hundred and thirty-three, Was instituted in London cit-tee." Next year (1809), he delivered "a new Lecture, in original Poetry," and a poetic sermon, called "The Lilies of the Field." These strange effusions were playfully criticised in the Tyne Mercury, to the great displeasure of the doggrel rhymster. Mr. Gellatley published a sermon, entitled "Wars and Rumours of Wars," dedicated to the officers of the Ayrshire Militia, to which corps, while quartered in Newcastle, he acted as chaplain. When compelled to leave this town, he retired to the neighbourhood of Aberdeen.
  • 28. In 1732, four ministers were deposed by the General Assembly, for declaiming against the relaxation of discipline in the established church. These ministers formed themselves into an ecclesiastical court, under the designation of the "Associate Presbytery," and were soon joined by other Seceders. In 1745, a dispute arose amongst them respecting the lawfulness of taking the Burgess oath, proposed to candidates for the freedom of certain royal burghs, and which admitted that the national church held the true religion. Those who thought the oath was lawful were called Burghers, and the others Anti-burghers. Among the former were, Messrs. Fisher, Ralph and Ebenezer Erskine; and in the latter, Messrs. Moncrieff, Gib, and John Erskine. The Burghers lately consisted of one synod, eleven presbyteries, and one hundred and fifty-eight congregations; and the Anti-burghers of one general synod, three provincial synods, eleven presbyteries, and one hundred and forty-five congregations. The re-union of these two sects was consummated in September, 1820, when the basis of union was settled by a United Associate Synod in Edinburgh. The ministers of the Secession church are regularly educated, and adhere to the doctrine, worship, discipline, and government of the Church of Scotland. "There never has been found a common pauper among the members of the Secession church, although the connexion has existed for nearly 90 years, and embraces a population of upwards of 300,000 souls."—Letters on Burgher and Anti-burgher Seceders, printed in 1819, p. 39.
  • 29. The Rev. William Graham was born on March 16, 1737, in the parish of Carriden, in the shire of Fife, of respectable and pious parents. His father, who was steward to the Earl of Hopetoun, sent him at an early age to the grammar-school at Borrowstoness. When removed from school, he was placed with a Writer to the Signet at Edinburgh, where he remained three years; but, disliking the profession of the law, he commenced the study of divinity. His progress under that able professor, Alexander Moncrief, was so rapid, that, at the early age of eighteen, he was made professor of philosophy. In 1758, he was licensed to preach, and, in the following year, was settled the first Seceding minister at Whitehaven. The same year, he married Mary Johnstone, third daughter of George Johnstone, Esq. of Whiteknow in Dumfriesshire. After being twelve years at Whitehaven, he removed to Newcastle upon Tyne. In October, 1800, he had a paralytic stroke; after which he lingered in a state of debility until the 19th of January following, when he finished his earthly course. Mr. Graham was an excellent scholar, and intimately acquainted with the learned languages. In 1792, he published "A Review of the Ecclesiastical Establishments of Europe," which discovers great reading and research. On April 24, 1796, he preached a sermon in the Groat Market chapel, before the Corresponding Missionary Society, which was published, and has been much admired by evangelical Christians. In the same year, he printed "An Essay tending to remove certain Scruples respecting the Constitution and Direction of Missionary Societies." He also wrote Explanations and Recollections for a Quarto Bible, published by M.Angus of Newcastle in 1798. His style is strong and rich, and well adapted for the subjects on which he treated. The Mathematics, for some years, occupied a considerable share of his attention; and he entertained hopes of discovering an exact method for finding the longitude at sea. The machinery was made, under his direction, by Mr. Coventry, an ingenious watch-maker in Newcastle; but, on failing in this attempt, after the expenditure of much labour and time, he always afterwards avoided conversing on the subject. His sentiments were exceedingly liberal, and his temper so cool and conciliating, that he succeeded in preserving the union of a body of persons rather prone to anger and jealousy. Yet in no case would he compromise his opinions, which he always defended with becoming independence.
  • 30. Mr. Baillie was a clever man, and well versed in ancient and modern history; but his convivial habits led him into irregularities peculiarly inconsistent with his profession. After his separation from the Sallyport meeting, he joined the late Mr. William Tinwell, author of an Arithmetic, in conducting an academy. The latter taught the Mathematics, and the former the Classics. This partnership being dissolved, Mr. Baillie lectured in a school-room in St. Nicholas' church-yard, where he was well attended. In 1797, his friends fitted up the old Postern chapel for his use, where he preached for some time, and assisted his daughter, who kept a school at the foot of Pilgrim Street. After her death, he suffered many pecuniary difficulties, until his own death, in Gateshead, on December 12, 1806, in the 66th year of his age. In 1780, Mr. Baillie preached, before the committee of the Protestant Association in Newcastle, a sermon on "the Nature and fatal Influence of Popery on civil Society," which was published. His "Vindication of the Divinity of Jesus Christ," was a sermon preached in the Groat Market meeting in 1789. He often declaimed against the Scarlet Whore of Babylon; and in 1798 (Rome having been then subdued by Bonaparte), he delivered and published a "Funeral Discourse upon the Death of the Papacy."—"What subject of interest can you chuse now, Mr. Baillie," enquired a friend, "as the Mother of Harlots is dead?"—"Oh!" replied he, "there is an auld chiel down below that will keep me speaking while I live." He also published, in 1805, "A Thanksgiving Discourse on account of the late universally abundant Harvests;" and "A Sermon on the Time, Manner, and Means of the Restoration of the Jews, the glorious Millenium, &c." Besides these detached sermons, he published "Lectures on the Revelations," and the "History of the French War, from 1791 to 1802," in 8vo. He likewise compiled "An impartial History of Newcastle upon Tyne, 1801," in 8vo.; assisted in writing a "History of Egypt," 12mo.; and was seldom unemployed by the publishers of his time. He printed the funeral sermon of his daughter Frances, before mentioned, which he preached in Silver Street chapel. His eldest daughter, Catherine, married the Rev. Mr. Sangster, of Perth, where she died. Five of his sons survived him, viz. John, a millwright, now in London; Benjamin, a painter, also in London; Robert, a mariner in Newcastle; Joseph, a sail-maker; and Ramsay, a millwright, both in London.
  • 31. The Independents, or Congregationalists, hold that every congregation has in itself what is necessary for its own government, and is not subject to other churches or their deputies. This opinion was first defended in England by a Mr. Robinson; but the first Independent church was established by Mr. Jacob in 1616. The tolerance and generosity displayed by this sect, while possessed of power during the protectorate of Cromwell, did them much honour. Their doctrine is Calvinistic, and is detailed in 200 articles of faith, published by an association of their churches that assembled in the Savoy, October 12, 1658.
  • 32. The Baptists, sometimes reproachingly and unjustly called Anabaptists, contend that baptism should be administered by immersion only, and on the profession of our own faith—not on that of another's faith. Particular Baptists are Calvinists, and General Baptists are Arminians. Some of both classes allow mixed communion, but not in this town. The different classes of Baptists form a numerous body, and have produced some very able men.
  • 33. This room must have been used as a place of worship previous to the Revolution, when the corporation occasionally attended meeting-houses; for affixed to the old pews were two hands, for holding the mace and the sword. The present stairs seem to have been made for the convenience of the Mansion House, and have been taken off the property afterwards purchased by the Baptists. The old Tuthill Stairs was probably the steep ascent upon the town-wall, from Close Gate to the White Friar Tower. The scite on which the house belonging to Dr. Stephenson stands, is held by a lease for 150 years, and pays a ground-rent to the Baptists, The trustees that first purchased this property were, John West, Joseph Wheelwright, Isaac Haddan, Joseph Hodgskin, and William and John Hardcastle.
  • 34. Mr. John Briggs, for some years lately, preached in the old Postern chapel, now pulled down, to a party of Antinomian Baptists, who affirm that men are saved by grace alone, and that good works neither promote nor hinder their salvation. He has now gone into Yorkshire; but his people still assemble in a school-room in Forth Street. The Rev. J. M'Pherson preaches to a congregation of Baptists in the House Carpenters'. Hall. They are Sublapsarians, believing that God only permitted Adam to fall into transgression, without absolutely predestinating his fall. About ten years ago, a Mr. George Jamieson opened a place of worship in the Bigg Market, for a party of Scotch Baptists, whose ministers are laymen, who refrain from eating blood, observe the kiss of charity, and, like the Glassites, avow a complete equality among the brethren. Mr. Jamieson published two pamphlets, in 1817, against Antinomianism, which were answered by Mr. Briggs, in a pamphlet entitled "More Work for George Jamieson." An anonymous writer printed "Plain Strictures" on this controversy, which were severely criticised by Mr. W. A. Hailes, in a pamphlet called "The Scorner Reproved," and which was immediately answered by the writer attacked, under the designation of "The last Words of Timothy Searchtruth." The Scotch Baptists at present assemble for public worship in the Weavers' Tower.
  • 35. Mr. John Glas, a Presbyterian minister, was, in 1728, expelled by the synod from the Church of Scotland, for maintaining that "the kingdom of Christ is not of this world," which saps the foundations of all national religious establishments. In 1755, Mr. Robert Sandeman, an elder in one of the churches founded by Glas, contended, in a series of Letters, that faith was a mere simple assent to the testimony of Christ. Hence this sect is sometimes denominated Sandemanians. The most complete republican equality exists in their communities. They administer the Lord's Supper weekly, dine together every Sabbath day, use the kiss of charity, wash each other's feet, abstain from blood and things strangled, and hold the community of goods, so far that every one is to consider all that he has in his possession liable to the calls of the poor of the church. Their ministers are mostly tradesmen; and they have a plurality of elders, pastors, or bishops, in each church. They avoid games of chance, but admit of harmless amusements.
  • 36. Mr. Thomas Spence, the founder of the famous Spencean Scheme, was an elder brother of Jeremiah Spence. Their father came to Newcastle from Aberdeen about the year 1739, and, after following his business as a net-maker for a few years, opened a booth upon the Sandhill, for the sale of hardware goods. He was twice married, and had nineteen children. His second wife, Margaret Flet, a native of the Orkneys, was an industrious woman, and also kept a booth for the sale of stockings. She was the mother of Thomas, who was born on the Quayside, June 21, 1750. Mr. Spence was, very early in life, taught to exercise his reasoning powers. " My father," said he, "used to make my brothers and me read the Bible to him while working at his business, and, at the end of every chapter, encouraged us to give our opinions on what we had just read. By these means I acquired an early habit of reflecting on every occurrence that passed before me, as well as on what I read." He learned his father's trade, but did not long pursue it. While a youth, he became clerk to Mr. Hedley, a respectable smith on the North Shore. After this, he opened a school in Peacock's Entry, on the Quayside. He was also a teacher in St. Ann's school, at the east end of Sandgate, and, for a short time, had an engagement at Haydon Bridge school. The "continual difficulties and embarrassments" which he and his father's family experienced, notwithstanding all their "economy and industry," led him to suspect that there was something rotten in the state, and to devise a new and "generous system, that should suit all the nations of the earth," and realise the hopes of the religious in a "Millenium," the philosophers in an " Age of Reason," and the poets in a "Golden Age." He proposed to divide the nation into parishes, to which the land should be inalienably attached: the rents to be paid quarterly to the parish officers; and, after subtracting the necessary expenses of the county and the state, the remainder to be equally divided amongst the parishioners. The expense of schools and libraries to be also paid out of the parish fund. Every man to be enrolled in a militia, in order to resist foreign aggression. A representative for the national assembly to be chosen every year by each parish. Every fifth day to be a sabbath, or day of rest. "I never," says he, "conceived royalty to be entitled to my notice in this business. For if the land be held by the people, in the manner I propose, it is impossible for the executive administrators, under whatever denomination, to make any inroads into the prerogatives of the public. Wherefore the title of king, consul, president, &c. are quite indifferent to me. We know that kings existed in Sparta for many centuries, in company with iron money and small divisions of land. Therefore let not royalty despair." Such is a brief outline of Mr. Spence's theory, which he promulgated with singular zeal and industry. It was first exhibited in a paper, entitled "The real Rights of Man," which he read, in 1775, to a "Philosophical Society," that seems to have met in Westgate Street; for which, he observes, "the society did the author the honour to expel him:" but it has been alleged, that "the expulsion was not for printing it only, but for printing it in the manner of a halfpenny ballad, and having it hawked about the streets," to the manifest dishonour of the society. He afterwards detailed his principles more at length, in a pamphlet, entitled "The Constitution of Spensonia, a Country in Fairy-land, situated between Utopia and Oceana, brought from thence by Captain Swallow." His system resembles, in many parts, Mr. Owen's plan, of the practicability and utility of which experiments are now making, by co-operative societies, both in England and America. During this year (1775), Mr. Spence published a new alphabet, as well as a new constitution. It consists of forty characters, each of which represents a different sound of the voice; in illustration of which, he published "The grand Repository of the English Language," in which all the words are spelled as he conceived they ought to be pronounced. The following is a specimen of his mode of spelling:—"It ma hile perpleks a karlis redir ov nu kariktirz, too disifir thi troo sens tharov; tho it shud be eze inuf too no it bi a litil aplikashin and praktis.—Ensiklopedea Britanika." When soliciting subscriptions to this curious work, he called upon the Rev. H. Moises, master of the Grammar-school, and morning lecturer of All Saints' church, for the purpose of requesting him to become a subscriber to the work. As Mr. Spence had a strong northern accent, Mr. Moises enquired what opportunities he had had of acquiring a correct knowledge of the pronunciation of the English language. "Pardon me," said Spence, "I attend All Saints' church every Sunday morning!" At this time, he was also publishing, "at his school on the Keyside," in penny numbers, "The Repository of Common Sense and innocent Amusement," in which he attempted to introduce his new method of spelling. When at Haydon Bridge, he married a Miss Elliott, of Hexham, by whom he had one son. He records a "sylvan joke" which took place in this neighbourhood about the year 1778, and which strongly exemplifies his turn of mind:—"While I was in the wood alone by myself a gathering of nuts, the forrester popped through the bushes upon me, and asking what I did there, I answered, 'Gathering nuts.'—'Gathering nuts!' said he, 'and dare you say so ?'— 'Yes,' said I, 'why not? Would you question a monkey, or a squirrel, about such a business? And am I to be treated as inferior to one of those creatures? Or have I a less right? But who are you,' continued I, 'that thus take upon you to interrupt me?'— 'I'll let you know that,' said he, 'when I lay you fast for trespassing here.'—'Indeed!' answered I. 'But how can I trespass here, where no man ever planted or cultivated, for these nuts are the spontaneous gifts of nature, ordained alike for the sustenance of man and beast that chuse to gather them, and therefore they are common.'—'I tell you' said he, 'this wood is not common. It belongs to the Duke of Portland.'—'Oh! my service to the Duke of Portland,' said I; 'nature knows no more of him than of me. Therefore, as in nature's store-house the rule is, 'First come first served,' so the Duke of Portland must look sharp if he wants any nuts.'" He concluded by saying, that if he were called upon to defend a country in which he durst not pluck a nut, he would throw down his musket, saying, "Let such as the Duke of Portland, who claim the country, fight for it." Mr. Spence, it seems, was not very happy in his selection of a wife, which, combined with a desire of propagating his system more extensively, induced him to leave Newcastle, and to settle in London. He was not covetous of wealth, and pursued his occupations merely for the sake of a livelihood. In Holburn he kept a stall, at one end of which he sold saloup, and at the other had a board, stating that he retailed books in numbers. After this, many of his publications are dated from "The Hive of Liberty, No. 8, Little Turnstile, High Holburn." He sold a great number of a book, called "Pigs' Meat; or Lessons for the People, Alias (according to Burke) the Swinish Multitude. Published in Penny Numbers Weekly, collected by the Poor Man's Advocate (an old persecuted Veteran in the Cause of Freedom) in the Course of his Reading for more than Twenty Years," &c. &c. Attempts were made to prosecute him for this publication; for, in a letter bearing date January 3, 1795, that appeared in the Morning Chronicle, he states, that he has been confined more than seven months, that he has been a sufferer in the cause of liberty, for he has been four times dragged from his business by runners and messengers, thrice indicted before grand juries, and twice had true bills found against him, thrice lodged in prison for different periods, and once been put to the bar, but never once convicted. "Neither," he says, "did my son escape a prison, for selling in the streets, The Rights of Man, in verse, (price only one halfpenny,) the poems which he had were confiscated, and I paid a fine, and thus the mighty affair ended." At length, after having publicly maintained his principles for 26 years, Sir Edward Law, knight, the king's attorney general, in 1801 filed an information against him for composing and publishing a seditious libel, entitled, "The Restorer of Society to its Natural State." He was tried in the Court of King's Bench, before Lord Kenyon and a special jury; and, being found guilty, was fined £50, and imprisoned twelve months. He conducted his own defence with great ingenuity, temper, and firmness, and published a report of the trial, which contains the alleged libel, Mr. Spence often boasted of his incarceration and fine, as imparting immortality to his doctrines. One of the singular plans he adopted of attracting public attention to his plan, was the striking of a variety of copper coins, some of which were extremely curious. On one of them was the figure of a cat, which he used to designate his coat of arms, because he said he resembled it in this, that "he could be stroked down, but he would not suffer himself to be rubbed against the grain." Another of these coins had on one side an inscription in favour of liberty, and on the other a rising sun. Another bears the sun, is dated "Nov. 1775," and is inscribed, "Spence's glorious plan is parochial partnership in land, without private landlordism;" and on the reverse, "This just plan will produce everlasting peace and happiness, or in fact the Millenium." In the centre are scales, the horn of plenty, &c. These coins he frequently distributed, by jerking them from his window amongst the passengers. In 1805, he published, from 20, Oxford Street, "The World turned Upside Down," dedicated to Earl Stanhope. In this map of the hemispheres, the poles are reversed from the usual way. In the article of female beauty Mr. Spence was a connoisseur. One morning, in passing along one of the streets of London, with a parcel of numbers, he perceived a very pretty girl cleaning the steps of a gentleman's house. He stopped, looked at her, and then enquired if she felt disposed to marry. On the maid answering in the affirmative, he offered himself, was accepted, and married the same day. But neither was this marriage a happy one. The girl, who had married him merely to be revenged on her sweetheart, with whom she had quarrelled, soon repented, and lavished her attentions upon her first lover. She afterwards went to the West Indies with a sea-captain; yet, on her return, Spence pardoned her transgressions, and restored her to favour. But the safety of his health and property compelled him, at length, to dismiss her from his house; though he allowed her 8s. per week during his life. His first wife, who kept a shop in King Street, died in the north, previous to his second marriage. After a series of the most unceasing efforts to inculcate his principles, Mr. Spence died in London on September 8, 1814, in the 57th year of his age. His remains were followed by a numerous throng of political admirers. Appropriate medallions were distributed, and a pair of scales preceded his body, indicative of the justice of his views. One of his friends made an oration over his grave, illustrative of his public and private virtues. His upright intentions have never been disputed; and he was always more anxious for the extension of what he considered useful truths, than for the establishment of his influence at the head of a party. He had an open and expressive countenance, great liveliness of temper, and manners peculiarly affable and pleasing. In conversation he displayed much mildness and humour, and was remarkably exempt from the sourness of political dogmatism. Mr. Spence's theory was urged as one of the alarming causes which rendered necessary the suspension of the Habeas Corpus Act in 1817; but his disciples do not appear ever to have been numerous. His only son died early in life. The writer has just seen, in one of Mr. Spence's numerous publications, eighteen questions, proposed to the Philosophical Society in Newcastle, on December 26, 1775, by the Rev. James Murray, who strongly condemned the conduct of that body, in expelling a member for exercising the right of free discussion. One of Spence's sisters, now the wife of Mr. Joseph Glendinning, tailor, of this town, had, by her first husband, a son, named John Gibson, who died at Liverpool on January 20, 1810, aged 22 years, and who was a very ingenious and promising young man. He composed some songs of considerable merit, and which appeared in "The Northern Minstrel," published by Mr. John Marshall; and in "Northern Rhymes," by Mr. John Bell.
  • 37. The first germ of this numerous sect arose in the university of Oxford after 1729. The Rev. John Wesley, and Bohler, a Moravian, collected a small society in Fetter Lane in 1738, which was the origin of Methodists in London. In 1740, Wesley separated from the Moravians, and in the following year from Whitfield. After a life of unceasing labour, he died in London in 1791, aged 88 years. Dr. Coke succeeded him in the care of the churches, but died in 1812, on his passage to India. His mantle has fallen on the learned Dr. Adam Clarke. The Methodists profess a strict attachment to the Church of England, and hold the doctrines of original sin, general redemption, justification by faith, the witness of the Spirit, and Christian perfection. A number of societies united form a Circuit, over which two, three, or four preachers are appointed, removable every year, or at least in two years. Five to ten Circuits form a District, the preachers in which meet annually: but the supreme court is the Conference, from which there is no appeal. Every society is subdivided into Classes and Bands. The Love Feast is held quarterly, and Watch Nights are meetings of peculiar solemnity.
  • 38. William Anthony Hailes, who occasionally preaches in this religious community, deserves notice in the history of his native town. He was born May 24, 1766. His father and the late Dr. Hutton were schoolfellows, and inmates of the same house at Jesmond, near Newcastle: he was a shipwright, a man of good sense, and of plain and simple manners; and his mother was a very clever woman. Mr. Hailes does not recollect the time when he could not read; and his memory, even in early youth, was uncommonly tenacious. He never had, it seems, an elementary book, but learnt his alphabet from an old Church Prayer Book. When about four years of age, the bone of his right elbow was so injured by a fall, that he was rendered unfit to attend school until his eleventh year, so that the whole time he spent at school was little more than three years; but his father had previously instructed him in writing, and the first parts of Arithmetic. At school he learned the remaining rules of Arithmetic, and also practical Geometry, Trigonometry, Navigation, and the elementary parts of Algebra. He was distinguished in all athletic sports, and, though the ringleader in boyish mischief, was never reproved for neglecting his tasks. He never had either Spelling-book or Dictionary until he arrived at manhood; when, on determining to learn Latin, he procured a second-hand copy of Cole's Latin Dictionary, and, soon after, Schrevelius' Greek and Buxtorff's Hebrew Lexicons. At the same time, he read Simpson's, Kell's, Bonnycastle's, and Barrow's versions of Euclid, and other mathematical works. Without one friendly hand stretched out to his assistance, he contrived, under very adverse circumstances, to acquire some knowledge of Hebrew and the cognate oriental languages. He has carried on controversies in the Classical Journal with some of the most learned contributors to that work; on which he was complimented, both by the contemporary correspondents, and by Mr. Valpy. The writers whose opinions he controverted were, Dr. Adam Clarke, Mr. Bellamy, Dr. G. S. Clarke, Sir William Drummond, Mr. Collet, &c. He has also occasionally written in the Monthly and Gentleman's Magazines, besides some other periodical publications. A person who has passed 16 years in the business of a shipwright, must have spent little time idly, to have acquired sufficient knowledge of criticism to enter the lists with the persons named above. In 1806, Mr. Hailes published " Nugæ Poeticæ," a few fugitive pieces of poetry; and, in the same year, "An Enquiry concerning the Invention of the Life Boat," in which he clearly proved the late Mr. William Wouldhave, of South Shields, to be the inventor. In 1807, he wrote a small pamphlet, entitled "A Voice from the Ocean." In 1809, the Society for the Propagation of Christianity among the Jews published the tract, No. 6, written by him; and in 1813, at the request of his religious acquaintances, he published two pamphlets on the Socinian controversy, "The Pre-existence and Deity of the Messiah defended," and "Socinianism Unscriptural." In 1817, he published a small pamphlet, entitled "The Scorner reproved;" in 1818, "A Letter to the Rev. William Turner;" in 1819, "A second Letter to the Rev. William Turner, or the Claim of Christianity to the Respect of Mankind, on Unitarian Principles, investigated;" and, in the beginning of 1825, an 8vo. volume of 400 pages, entitled "Remarks on Volney's Ruins," which has received the marked approbation of several learned men. When Mr. Hailes left the shipwright business, he became a schoolmaster, and now teaches in the room in Westgate Street formerly occupied by Dr. Hutton. But there is certainly a stiff air of independence in his manners, which disqualifies him for courting public favour, and permits less able, but more obsequious persons, to overtop him in his profession.
  • 39. The Methodists, in their gratitude to their spiritual father, almost universally made over their chapels, either directly to him, or in trust for his use. But Mr. Wesley, previous to his death, constituted the Conference a legal body, and constructed a poll-deed for their charter, whereby the preachers were invested with power over the chapels and the public money. This caused much dissatisfaction; and a great number of trustees and delegates from different societies that assembled at Leeds, in August, 1797, demanded that the Conference should be composed of an equal number of preachers and representatives of the people, and that the Lord's Supper should be administered in their chapels. This being peremptorily refused by the Conference, a separation immediately ensued, and the New Connexion was formed into a distinct religious community. But the opposition ranks were now so wonderfully thinned by desertion, that only seven preachers and about 5000 members remained firm. In 1822, this body had 26 circuits, 133 chapels, 45 circuit and 328 local preachers, and 10,856 members. They are sometimes called Kilhamites, from Mr. Alexander Kilham, who was expelled by the Conference, for accusing it of tyranny, and of secresy and prodigality in managing the public money.
  • 40. Mr. Grundell, for some time a popular preacher in this town and the neighbourhood, was a native of Sunderland. When about four years of age, he lost his eye-sight by the small-pox; and, when only in his eleventh year, he was left a blind, destitute orphan. A gentleman, usually called Captain George, of the Sunderland custom-house, sent him to school: at the age of 18, he joined the Methodists, and, a year afterwards, preached his first sermon in the market-place at South Shields. Being chosen a travelling preacher, he married, in 1793, Miss Mary Scales, of Barnsley in Yorkshire. He afterwards received a liberal offer from the late Mr. Johnson, of Byker, to officiate in his chapel at Byker, which he accepted. At this place Mr. Grundell opened a school, and often preached charity-sermons in the neighbourhood; but, in 1797, he, with great disinterestedness, resigned this comfortable situation, and offered his services to the New Connexion. After this, he preached at Nottingham, Hanley, Manchester, Liverpool, Halifax, Stockport, Alnwick, and Shields, where he died, December 1, 1815, in the 55th year of his age, and was interred under the pulpit of Zion chapel at Sunderland. Though blind, he was remarkably lively and vivacious, and, in his youth excelled in feats of agility. His voice was commanding; and, in preaching, he was correct, earnest, and impressive,
  • 41. The Independent Methodists have existed as a religious body about 20 years. They assumed this designation because their preachers receive no pay; though their missionaries are paid travelling expenses. This body received a great accession of strength in 1819, in consequence of the Wesleyan Methodist preachers interfering in the political discussions of that period, in such a way as to excite the disgust and provoke the opposition of such of their people as were Radical Reformers. They hold a yearly conference, which is composed of both preachers and laymen.
  • 42. The Primitive Methodist Connexion was formed by a number of persons, who thought that the Wesleyan Methodists had departed from their original zeal and simplicity of character. They are usually called Ranters, from the noise, confusion, and enthusiasm that characterize their devotional assemblies. Their first general meeting was held at Nottingham, in August, 1819, since which time annual meetings have been regularly convened. The connexion is divided into five districts, supplied, in June, 1824, by 232 travelling preachers. In that year, they had 427 members in Newcastle, 1255 in Sunderland, and 1217 in North and South Shields. Their travelling preachers are prohibited from smoking tobacco, wearing pantaloons, fashionable trowsers, or white hats, or from belonging to secret orders, such as Free Masons, Orangemen, Odd Fellows, &c. Married preachers not to remove to new districts without their wives, &c. and allowed £36 a year, with 1s. or 6d. per week for each child. This is exclusive of house-rent and taxes. Female preachers are paid 8 guineas a year, with board and lodging. Part of the expense of the connexion is discharged from the profits of books sold in their circuits, such as Hymns, Magazines, Journals, &c.
  • 43. The founder of this sect was Emanuel Swedenborg, a Swedish nobleman, who died in London, 1772. The Lord, in 1743, manifested himself to him in a personal appearance, opened his spiritual eyes, enabled him to see and converse with spirits and angels, and to acquire wonderful knowledge of heaven and hell. He revived the science of correspondences, which had been lost since the days of Job, and which he used as a key to the celestial, spiritual, and natural senses of the Scriptures. He denied the doctrines of vicarious sacrifice, predestination, justification by faith alone, the resurrection of the material body, and a Trinity of Persons in the Godhead, but contended for a divine Trinity in the single person of Jesus Christ. The Last Judgment, being, he said, the destruction of the present Christian church, took place in the spiritual world in the year 1757, which era was the commencement of the New Jerusalem Church. The baron's followers are numerous: they use a liturgy, and instrumental as well as vocal music in their assemblies.
  • 44. The Second Advent of the Lord, or the commencement of the New Jerusalem Church, according to Emanuel Swedenborg, happened 65 years previous to the above date of the Christian era 1822.
  • 45. This lady, early in life, was a forlorn outcast, who subsisted on casual charity. She afterwards became a petty hawker; and having joined her stock with one Norman, a pedlar, they could boast of possessing above £20. With this capital they travelled and traded for some years, and finally settled in Hull, where Mr. Norman died, leaving his wife about £20,000. She is distinguished for generosity and charity, and yet lives with the strictest frugality, or it might be called penury. She married a second time, but is now again a widow. Her contributions to this chapel amount to about £450. She interests herself much in the education of youth, knowing well the want of it; for she herself can neither read nor write.
  • 46. Brand says, "A fanatic of the name of Mackdonald erected a building called The Tabernacle, down an entry almost opposite to the Orphan House; but meeting with little or no encouragement, he left the town, and went to Manchester." The lane here referred to is Lisle Street, where the Tabernacle still stands, having been converted into dwelling-houses. The Tabernacle was open on July 15, 1770; for on that day, the Rev. Mr. Allen, a Baptist minister, preached in it a funeral sermon on the death of the wife of the Rev. Mr. Tuffs, M. A. and formerly minister of the New Chapel in Well Street, Well Close Square, London. On August 19, in the same year, Mr. Tuffs opened the Old Custom House, on the Quayside, as a place of worship. The Non-jurors, a species of Episcopalians, who refused to take the oath of allegiance to the Brunswick family, had a chapel in the Groat Market; but, on the decease of Prince Charles in 1788, they complied with the requisition of government, and now the distinction is abolished. There are in Newcastle a few Jews, Universalists, and Free-thinking Christians; but they do not assemble as distinct bodies.
  • 47. In the register, under the date August 27, 1795, the sexton remarks, "Thursday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday—seven days, no funerals!" Such a circumstance does not seem to have occurred here since that time.
  • 48. See the Speech of Mr. John Fenwick on this occasion, printed by Joseph Clark, Newgate Street, Newcastle; also, "Outline of a Plan for a new Burial-ground in Newcastle upon Tyne." A field near Oystershell Hall, and the Quarry Field above the Westgate, now sold for building cottages, were offered to the provisional committee, as suitable scites. If the measure should ultimately succeed, "it is intended to have the ground well fenced, by a wall of sufficient strength and height, surmounted by a revolving chevaux-defrize; and that a police officer shall constantly reside on the spot:" thus rendering it "a place of rest and security for the dead." Though little progress has been made in this undertaking, yet it is not abandoned.
  • 49. "The register of burials at this place has been miserably attended to. The registrar appears to have been any thing but a literate person. His business seems to have been little more than to mark the number of interments, in order that the corporation might count the tallies, and charge him with their fees. After the register books have been filled, instead of the corporation placing them in their archives, where the public might have access to them, they have been left to their fate. The book of registers, of the years between 1790 and 1800, is now in the possession of Mr. John Bell, land-surveyor, a genuine collector of every thing local."—See note to Mr. Fenwick's Speech, page 33. Percy Street Burying-ground. This burial-ground seems to have been used by the richer class of Protestant Non-conformists. It is mentioned so early as the year 1708, in St. Andrew's register, as "the Quigs buring-place, near the Swirll in Sidgatt." It is generally understood to have been the private property of the Hudsons of Whitley. On a table monument in this burying-ground:—"Enoch Hudson de Brunton generosus obiit Sept. 12, 1715, ætatis 56." On another table monument of blue stone,—arms a cross croslet in the field—crest a griffin with expanded wings passant,—"Mors Christi est vita mea. Johannes Durant, M. D. obiit2° anno 1683, ætatis 35. Vixi dum volui, volui dum, Christe, volebas, Christe mihi spes es vita corona salus." On an upright stone,—"Here lie the remains of William Leighton, bootmaker, who departed this life August 1st, 1770, aged 66 years. Also the remains of Margaret his wife, and Alexander and Ralph, two of their children." On another upright stone, "Here lieth the body of the Rev. Mr. Robert Marr, late pastor of the Garth Heads Meeting-house." On another upright stone, "Here lyes the Revd. Mr. Geo. Ogilvie, leat mint. in Silver Street, who departed this life ye 21 April, 1765, aged 57." The Rev. Alexander Gibson, of the Wall Knoll meeting-house, the wife of Dr. Hutton, and many others, were buried here. In the Newcastle Courant for January 14, 1786, occurs the following:—"The Dissenters' burial-ground in Sid-Gate having lately been purchased, levelled, and inclosed with a good wall: notice is hereby given, that the proprietors are ready to treat for the disposal of buryal-places, &c." When the late Mrs. Hudson sold this ground, she reserved the part where some members of the Hudson family had been interred, at the further end of the premises. It now forms the Campus Martius of the young gentlemen belonging to Mr. Bruce's academy. The grave-stones are preserved in the surrounding walls.
  • 50. Akenside, as appears from old returns of Unfraville's lands in the western wilds of Northumberland, is a tenement or farmhold, and from it the family name of Akenside was probably derived. Their ancient horn, by which they held their lands in cornage, is now in the family. For above two centuries, two branches of the family held lands; the one at Harwell, and the other at Eachwick, The coheiresses of Thomas Akenside sold the latter estate to Edward Collingwood, Esq. in 1787. The Akenside family was therefore of the rank of yeomen, or lairds, and not so very low as Brand wishes to insinuate.---.R. Spearman's MS.
  • 51. Mr. Taylor served an apprenticeship to a hair-dresser at the foot of Dean Street. He was afterwards traveller for a commercial house in this town. In his youth he evinced some taste for poetry; and his skill in the mathematics may be seen by referring to the Ladies' Diary of that period.