White Colne: Protestant nonconformity

Page 138

A History of the County of Essex: Volume 10, Lexden Hundred (Part) Including Dedham, Earls Colne and Wivenhoe. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2001.

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A Presbyterian meeting house was licensed in 1672, probably by the former curate John Bigley. (fn. 1)

Quakers were recorded in 1682, 1696, 1718, 1734, and 1744; the four families whose children were unbaptised or baptised as adults in the 1670s and 1680s and in 1761 may have been Quakers. (fn. 2) Curates reported an Anabaptist and a Quaker in 1766 and two Quakers in 1778. (fn. 3) The Quaker meeting house shown on a map of 1876 was almost certainly the former British school, which had been run by Quakers. (fn. 4)

The Baptist church at Eld Lane, Colchester, received a bequest in 1721 to support a presumably short-lived meeting in or near White Colne. (fn. 5) The Particular Baptist Refuge chapel was built in 1843, and in 1848 was served by a resident minister. In 1851 he reported congregations of 30 in the morning, 120 in the afternoon, and 120 in the evening compared with an average attendance of 107 adults and 70 Sunday School children in a building which could seat 159. (fn. 6) In 1905, on the death of the pastor who had served it for c. 40 years, the chapel became a mission station of Earls Colne Baptist church. Services ceased in 1971; the chapel was formally closed in 1983, and the building sold in 1987. (fn. 7)

An otherwise unknown White Colne Baptist chapel, allegedly built c. 1846 for 300 people, which claimed congregations of 200 adults and 30 Sunday School children at each of its three services on census Sunday 1851, (fn. 8) may have been a breakaway congregation from Earls Colne. (fn. 9)

Colne Barracks (Salvation Army) was registered for worship in 1887, but was not recorded again. (fn. 10)


  • 1. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 69 n.
  • 2. E.R.O., Microfiche of Quaker regs.; ibid. D/ACW 28 KENT; D/ACW 29 KENT; ibid. D/P-243/1/1-2.
  • 3. Ibid. D/ACW 28 KENT; D/ACW 29 KENT; Lamb. Pal. Libr., Terrick Papers 14, Lowth Papers 4.
  • 4. O.S. Map 6", Essex XVII. (1881 edn.); Short Story of White Colne (priv. print.), 2: copy in E.C.L. Colch.
  • 5. E.R.O., D/ACW 26/12A.
  • 6. White's Dir. Essex (1848), 146; P.R.O., HO 129/8/207.
  • 7. Earls Colne Baptist Ch., Ch. Meeting mins. 1895- 1919, s.a. 1905; ibid. 1966-71, s.a. 1971; ibid. Deacons' Meeting mins. 1970-, s.a. 1983; ibid. folder of papers on the sale of White Colne chapel.
  • 8. P.R.O., HO 129/8/207.
  • 9. Above, Earls Colne, Nonconf.
  • 10. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 30534.