Langham: Protestant nonconformity

Page 258

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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The Particular Baptists who met with Independents at Langham in 1689 were probably members of the Eld Lane Baptist church, Colchester. Samuel Blyth of Langham (d. 1753) was later a leading figure in that church, (fn. 1) and it was only after his death that a separate Meeting was formed at Langham in 1754. The Blyth family, important landowners and farmers in Langham, were major benefactors of the chapel which drew members from many neighbouring parishes in- cluding Boxted, Dedham, and Great Horkesley. A meeting house on Dedham Road was bought in 1756, (fn. 2) probably the licensed nonconformist meeting house recorded in 1790. (fn. 3) One of the two dissenting ministers recorded in 1800 was prob- ably a Baptist. (fn. 4) In 1829 the minister claimed to have an average congregation of 450, (fn. 5) and the meeting house was registered for marriages in 1838. (fn. 6) On census Sunday 1851 the minister reported attendances of 70 and 35 at two morn- ing services and 120 in the afternoon, some of the congregation coming from neighbouring parishes. (fn. 7) The chapel, presumably erected c. 1756, fell down after the church closed in 1940. The former manse was converted into a private house. (fn. 8)

In 1769 there were seven Wesleyan Methodists (fn. 9) and the second dissenting minister recorded in 1800 was probably a Methodist. (fn. 10)

A Primitive Methodist chapel, erected in 1838 on what later became Chapel Lane, was said to have a congregation of 150 in 1841. (fn. 11) On census Sunday 1851 the minister reported attendances of 152 at the morning, 221 in the afternoon, and 65 in the evening in a building designed for 160. (fn. 12) The chapel closed in 1969 and was con- verted into a private house. The 19th-century rendered brick and slate building had a floor and metal windows inserted in the 20th century. (fn. 13)


  • 1. H. Spyvee, Colch. Baptist Ch. - The First 300 Years, 17.
  • 2. Ibid. 27-8; Brown, Prosperity and Poverty, 115, 117-18, 121; E.R.O., D/NB 5/1, pp. 20-1, 25-6; ibid. Q/CR 3/1/159; ibid. T/Z 8, no. 20; White's Dir. Essex (1848), 126.
  • 3. Lamb. Pal. Libr., Porteus papers 28.
  • 4. E.R.O., Acc. C210 (uncat.), J. B. Harvey Colln. vi. 61.
  • 5. Ibid. Q/CR 3/2/65.
  • 6. Ibid. D/NB 5/2, p. 10; Lond. Gaz. 17 July 1838, p. 1613.
  • 7. P.R.O., HO 129/8/205.
  • 8. Kelly's Dir. Essex (1937); Spyvee, Colch. Baptist Ch. 119.
  • 9. E.R.O., Acc. C590 (uncat.).
  • 10. Ibid. Acc. C210 (uncat.), J. B. Harvey Colln. vi. 61.
  • 11. Ibid. D/ACM 12.
  • 12. P.R.O., HO 129/8/205.
  • 13. Inf. from Langham Local Hist. Group and Miss J. V. Dansie; E.R.O., sale cat. D187.