Wormingford: Nonconformity

Page 306

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.

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



One Roman Catholic was reported in 1715. (fn. 1)

Giles Barnardiston, an elder in the Lexden Classis in the 1640s, left Wormingford c. 1669 and became a Quaker missionary. (fn. 2) In 1676 there was one protestant nonconconformist. (fn. 3) In 1766 the vicar reported one Quaker in the parish. (fn. 4) By 1826 nonconformists may have attended chapels in nearby parishes. (fn. 5) In 1829 a cottage was licensed for services held once a week for c. 20 people by the minister of the Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion chapel in Fordham, (fn. 6) and another cottage was licensed for Baptist services held by a labourer from a neighbouring parish for c. 30 people. (fn. 7) The c. 30 nonconformists, described by the vicar in 1841 as most like antinomians, were presumably the Baptist congregation, but there was still no chapel. (fn. 8) On census Sunday 1851 Independent Baptists, meeting in a licensed cottage, reported attendances of 23 in the morning and 39 in the afternoon, compared with average attendances of 5 or 6 and 40. (fn. 9)

Primitive Methodists met from the 1880s in the Forge Barn at the Queen's Head. In 1898 a corrugated-iron chapel was built on land given by Mr. Nightingale of Colchester, probably the lay preacher Samuel Nightingale, (fn. 10) on the north- east side of Bullocks Corner. Attendances declined after the Second World War. By 1970 only three Methodists remained in the village, and the chapel closed in 1970. (fn. 11)


  • 1. E. E. Estcourt and J. O. Payne, Eng. Catholic Non- jurors of 1715, 62.
  • 2. Davids, Nonconf. in Essex, 293; E.R. xliv. 179.
  • 3. Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 51.
  • 4. Lamb. Pal. Libr., Terrick Papers 14.
  • 5. Nat. Soc. file.
  • 6. E.R.O., Q/CR 3/2/46.
  • 7. Ibid. Q/CR 3/1/314; Q/CR 3/2/132.
  • 8. Ibid. D/ACM 12.
  • 9. P.R.O., HO 129/8/205.
  • 10. Beaumont, Wormingford, a Short Hist. 27; V.C.H. Essex, ix. 348.
  • 11. E.R.O., Acc. C728 (uncat.); Beaumont and Taylor, Wormingford, an Eng. Village, 61; E.C.S. 6 Feb. 1970.