Ecclesiastical Organization

A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 1969.

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'Ecclesiastical Organization', in A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 1, Physique, Archaeology, Domesday, Ecclesiastical Organization, the Jews, Religious Houses, Education of Working Classes To 1870, Private Education From Sixteenth Century, (London, 1969) pp. 139-148. British History Online [accessed 1 March 2024]


The archdeaconry of Middlesex within the diocese of London was in existence probably in 1103 (fn. 1) and certainly in 1127. (fn. 2) It is possible that the jurisdiction of the archdeacon had originally extended to the whole of northern Essex but that the formation of the archdeaconry of Colchester (before 1103) left the Archdeacon of Middlesex with only the deaneries of Dunmow, Harlow, and Hedingham in Essex, together with the deaneries of Braughing (Herts.) and Middlesex. (fn. 3) The boundaries of the deanery of Middlesex appear in general to have been those of the county. A list of c. 1244-8 (fn. 4) gives the names of 48 churches and chapels in the deanery, including the churches of St. Clement Danes and St. Martin in the Fields. Westminster Abbey was also said to be within the deanery but was not subject to the archdeacon, and jurisdiction over the church of St. Margaret Westminster and the chapel of Paddington had been confirmed to the abbey in 1222. (fn. 5) Staines, also conditionally exempted in 1222 from the jurisdiction of the archdeacon and bishop, (fn. 6) nevertheless appears in the deanery in c. 1244-8. St. Andrew Holborn and St. Mary Islington were in the archdeaconry of London, which covered the City of London, (fn. 7) and St. Leonard Shoreditch went into the same archdeaconry at some date after 1203 (fn. 8) and perhaps after 1291. (fn. 9) Of the other Middlesex churches not included in the list of c. 1244-8, Acton, Ealing, Finchley, Fulham, Hackney, Hornsey, and Stepney were probably subject directly to the Bishop of London who held manors in those places; (fn. 10) Chiswick, Friern Barnet, Stoke Newington, St. Pancras, Twyford, West Drayton, and Willesden belonged to the Dean and Chapter (fn. 11) of St. Paul's and were probably all exempt from the jurisdiction of both the Archdeacon of Middlesex and the Bishop of London, except when the latter was making a visitation of the chapter; and the church of Harrow-on-the-Hill with the chapel of Pinner and the church of Hayes with the chapel of Norwood were part of the deanery of Croydon, a peculiar of the Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 12) The church of Ruislip, also omitted from the list, belonged to the abbey of Bec, (fn. 13) but seems to have been under the jurisdiction of the Dean and Archdeacon of Middlesex and the Bishop of London by the 14th century. (fn. 14)

In 1540 Henry VIII erected the new bishopric of Westminster. (fn. 15) The diocese comprised Westminster, henceforth to be a city and the whole county of Middlesex with the exception of Fulham. The Archdeacon of Middlesex was exempted from the jurisdiction of the Bishop of London, and became a dignitary of the new cathedral of St. Peter, which was to be the seat of the Bishop of Westminster. The archdeaconry lost its deaneries in Essex and Hertfordshire, but it may now have included most if not all of the former peculiars in the county of Middlesex. (fn. 16) Estimates of the endowment of the bishopric vary, but the bishop himself certified to the Archbishop of Canterbury that his income was £573 a year. (fn. 17) Most of the property of Westminster Abbey went to endow the new secular chapter; much of it was alienated under the first dean, and the bishop himself was reported to have impoverished the see by granting long leases of its property. (fn. 18) Thomas Thirlby, the first and only bishop, was often absent on diplomatic missions. (fn. 19)

The reasons for the suppression of the bishopric are not very clear. The diocese was small, but the bishopric was better endowed than Rochester or the Welsh bishoprics, (fn. 20) and it is improbable that it was in fact too poor to survive. It is more likely that the loss of Middlesex was resented by the see of London. (fn. 21) On 29 March 1550 Thirlby resigned and the bishopric was immediately reunited to that of London. (fn. 22) The Archdeacon of Middlesex resumed his old position and territories, but the church of St. Peter remained a cathedral until the restoration of the monastic rule in 1556. (fn. 23)

During the time of the Civil Wars and the Interregnum diocesan organization disappeared, and there was no attempt to replace it in the greater part of Middlesex by the presbyterian plan of church government that involved a few of the urban parishes of the county in the presbyterian 'Province of London'. (fn. 24) The restoration of episcopacy in 1660 brought back the old organization and boundaries. A few new parishes were created and new churches built in the late 17th century. By 1708 there were 52 churches and chapels in the county subject to the Archdeacon of Middlesex, 14 subject directly to the bishop, 8 subject to the Dean and Chapter of St. Paul's, 5 subject to the Archdeacon of London, and 4 subject to the Archbishop of Canterbury. (fn. 25) In 1711 an Act was passed for the building of 50 churches in the cities of London and Westminster and their suburbs. (fn. 26) Of the churches which were in fact built, four, all designed by Hawksmoor, were in Middlesex. (fn. 27) Twelve other churches were built in the inner London suburbs during the 18th and early 19th centuries independently of the Act. (fn. 28) Under the provisions of the Church Building Act of 1818 a further six were erected in the county. (fn. 29)

The considerable growth in the population of Middlesex in the 19th and 20th centuries demanded the rearrangement of the archdeaconries and the deaneries. In 1834 Bishop Blomfield announced that he had divided his diocese into 47 rural deaneries, each consisting of about ten parishes, but this scheme seems not to have been pursued. (fn. 30) In 1845 an Order in Council abolished all peculiar jurisdictions within the diocese, removed the Essex and Hertfordshire deaneries from the Archdeaconry of Middlesex, added certain parishes in Surrey and Southwark to it (which it lost in 1878), (fn. 31) and incorporated 20 parishes east of the City within the Archdeaconry of London. (fn. 32) Further reorganization followed the London Government Act of 1899. Bishop Creighton wanted the deaneries to correspond as far as possible to the new boroughs and urban districts, so that contact between town hall and clergy would be easy and every unit of local government would have its civic church. There was opposition to the scheme from some of the clergy, (fn. 33) but the bishop's plan was adopted substantially unchanged. In 1912 the Archdeaconry of Hampstead was carved out of the Archdeaconry of Middlesex. (fn. 34) In 1951 the parishes to the east of the City were formed into the Archdeaconry of Hackney. (fn. 35) In 1964 the diocese of London consisted of the Archdeaconries of London, Middlesex, Hampstead, and Hackney. Of the 28 deaneries and 500 parishes in the diocese all except the deanery of the City (23 parishes) and that of Westminster (20 parishes), were in Middlesex. (fn. 36)

The practice of appointing suffragan bishops, which had fallen into disuse, was revived in the 19th century. The first appointment in the diocese of London was of William Walsham How, who became Bishop of Bedford in 1879. He resided at Clapton, took charge of parishes in Bethnal Green, Hackney, Shoreditch, Stoke Newington, and Whitechapel and exercised the Bishop of London's rights of patronage in the area. (fn. 37) His successors, who from 1895 have held the title of Bishop of Stepney, have had similarly wide powers. (fn. 38) A suffragan Bishop of Islington was appointed in 1898, (fn. 39) and there have been Bishops of Kensington since 1900 (fn. 40) and of Willesden since 1911. (fn. 41)

The rapid growth of the urban population created pastoral and therefore organizational problems which were fundamentally of parochial provenance and to which the rearrangement of archdeaconry and deanery boundaries was at best a partial response. Many more churches were needed, and in many places this need was met by opening mission-chapels, often in very humble circumstances, in the more remote or more populous quarters of the parishes. The establishment of a mission was not in every case well-planned or, perhaps, properly explained to the parishioners, and the congregation of the mother church appears occasionally to have shared hardly at all in the missionary spirit of the enterprise. If there were sharp social distinctions between the areas served by the parish church and the mission-chapel, as was sometimes the case, calls to alleviate the poverty of the latter were often openly resented. (fn. 42)

To help to pay for the new churches and mission-chapels which the day demanded, Bishops Blomfield and Tait established a number of special funds financed by people of standing, (fn. 43) but local funds were raised as well. (fn. 44) In order to effect economies, chapels were opened in rented premises, (fn. 45) even in attics, while some favoured prefabricated iron chapels, which came in various shapes and sizes and could be erected by unskilled labour. (fn. 46) Gradually the rented rooms and iron chapels gave place to more permanent structures and many of the 19th-century churches in the county today are missionchapels come of age.

Not all the new parishes in Middlesex were established in response to demographic pressures. At Clerkenwell and Kilburn they were formed to accommodate parishioners who were at variance with their incumbents on matters of ritual and still more on the theological issues of which they were the expression. (fn. 47)

In the 19th and early 20th centuries clergy in the inner suburbs with their mobile populations and lack of tradition began to adopt new pastoral methods; (fn. 48) many extended their ministry through numerous forms of social service, (fn. 49) while a few even engaged in political action. (fn. 50)

Vocational chaplaincies for those for whom the parochial structure was irrelevant were founded in the 20th century. Two were in Middlesex; the Chaplaincy for Members of the University of London (1952) (fn. 51) and the Industrial Chaplaincy for North and West London (1961). (fn. 52) By 1965-6 the University Chaplaincy consisted of a central chaplaincy, two regional chaplaincies, and a specialized chaplaincy for medical students. (fn. 53)

After the break with Rome only clandestine activity was possible for those who remained attached to the Papacy. The ecclesiastical structure was destroyed. In 1623 a vicar apostolic in episcopal orders was appointed with jurisdiction over England, Wales, and Scotland. (fn. 54) In 1688 England and Wales were divided into four vicariates or districts (fn. 55) and in 1840 their number was increased to eight; (fn. 56) Middlesex remained throughout in the London district. After the restoration of the Hierarchy in 1850 it became part of the Archdiocese of Westminster which consisted of the City of London, Westminster, Hertfordshire, Middlesex, and, until 1917, Essex. (fn. 57)

In the later 16th century Roman Catholics in London and the inner suburban parishes began to use Embassy chapels (fn. 58) but throughout penal times they also had secret or at least very discreet chapels of their own. (fn. 59) A number of country houses were apparently used as centres of missionary activity (fn. 60) but the only one which appears to have become a centre of importance was the Earl of Shrewsbury's house at Isleworth where there was a permanent mass-centre from 1728 and probably earlier. (fn. 61) After the Relief Act of 1791 the use of certified public chapels was permitted and by 1801 there were 7 in London north of the Thames (including one in the City), 3 in rural Middlesex, and 7 'French chapels'. (fn. 62) After the restoration of the Hierarchy, normal diocesan organization was slowly created. Deaneries were established in 1894. (fn. 63) In 1895, when there were 11 in the diocese, 7 deaneries and part of an eighth lay in Middlesex. (fn. 64) In 1965 there were 23, of which 18 were in the county. (fn. 65)

English diocesan priests in Middlesex were assisted by English regular clergy, (fn. 66) by Irish priests from the 17th century onwards, (fn. 67) and during the Revolutionary and Napo leonic Wars by French priests who opened 7 chapels. (fn. 68) In the mid-19th century Flemish priests from the English missionary seminary at Bruges were working in the county. (fn. 69) In 1965 408 of the 508 diocesan clergy and 372 of the 427 regular clergy in the Archdiocese of Westminster were working in Middlesex. (fn. 70)

The number of Roman Catholics resident in the county at different times is difficult to determine. In a report to Rome in 1773 Bishop Challoner stated that in London (including the City, Westminster, Southwark, and the urban Middlesex parishes) there were 20,000 Roman Catholics and in rural Middlesex 400. (fn. 71) In 1814 there were said to be 49,000 Roman Catholics in London (the City, Westminster, Southwark, and the inner suburbs). Of these 12,000 were in East London and 12,000 in the Moorfields- Shoreditch area, 8,000 in Soho, and 7,000 in St. Giles. (fn. 72) In 1818 Bishop Poynter reported that there were 50,000 in London and 1,360 in rural Middlesex. (fn. 73) From the early 19th century the Roman Catholic population of the country, stimulated by the increase in the volume of immigration of Irish Roman Catholics, (fn. 74) rapidly began to rise. Impressive as the volume of Irish immigration was, and continues to be, it would be a mistake to underestimate the part played by internal immigration, conversions, and the immigration of Roman Catholics from the continent. In 1965 there were 490,701 Roman Catholics in the Archdiocese of Westminster, most of whom lived in Middlesex. (fn. 75) Of the 20,157 infant baptisms that year, about 17,500 were in the county (fn. 76) and of the 110,000 Roman Catholics of school-age in the diocese, some 90,000 were at school in Middlesex. (fn. 77)

The principal concentrations of Roman Catholics in penal times were in the urban parishes around the City. (fn. 78) In the 19th century the inner suburbs, where work was found and where the Roman Catholic communities were compact and homogeneous, (fn. 79) were the most popular areas of Irish settlement and consequently the most strongly Roman Catholic. The growth of the outer suburbs slowly dispersed these concentrations but since the end of the Second World War new concentrations have become evident in Kilburn and neighbouring areas. (fn. 80)

At the end of the 18th century several refugee communities of English and French nuns started schools in the county. (fn. 81) In the 19th and 20th centuries the demand for Roman Catholic schools and other forms of social service encouraged many religious orders to open houses in Middlesex, 42 for men and 82 for women, as well as 2 secular institutes. (fn. 82)

Westminster was one of the few dioceses which put into effect the national programme of Catholic Action promulgated in 1938. Catholic Action was formally established on a parochial and deanery basis throughout the diocese, including Middlesex, in that year. (fn. 83) The scheme was disrupted by the war and not revived after it.

There are specialized chaplaincies for Roman Catholics in the University of London and for Overseas Students. These were founded in 1934 (fn. 84) and 1952 (fn. 85) respectively. The first consisted in 1966 of a central chaplaincy and a regional chaplaincy. (fn. 86) Ever since the 19th century particular churches have been reserved for communities of foreign Roman Catholics and in 1966 there were 8 national churches of this kind and 5 national chaplaincies without reserved churches or chapels. (fn. 87) While most Roman Catholics in Middlesex are of the Latin rite, for some years there have been small communities of the Ukrainian and Byzantine-Slavonic rites in the county. (fn. 88)

The history of Protestant nonconformist organization in Middlesex begins with the period of the Civil Wars and Interregnum, for although there had been nonconformist congregations in the county since the mid-16th century they were either too small, protean, and peculiar to combine with one another, or were of their very nature opposed to combination. It was not until the Baptists, the Independents, and the Presbyterians had begun to proliferate after the destruction of the Anglican hierarchy in the early 1640s that it became necessary for the various denominations to organize themselves. There seems to be no evidence that the churches of Middlesex were combined in a classical system on the presbyterian model, although the presbyterian Westminster Assembly undoubtedly dominated London and the surrounding areas. The projected 8th, 9th, 11th, and 12th classes of London included fourteen Middlesex parishes, but only the 8th classis was put into operation. (fn. 89) The Baptists of London, however, were organized as early as 1644, (fn. 90) and the Congregational societies in and about the City of London joined with the Baptists in issuing declarations in 1647 and 1651. (fn. 91) The arrangements for the Savoy Conference of the Independents in 1658 were entrusted to the elders of the Independent churches in and about London, a body which held regular meetings. (fn. 92) The Quakers had at least eight meetings in Middlesex during the Interregnum, (fn. 93) and by 1662 the London fortnightly meeting, begun in 1656, had become an important and well-settled body. (fn. 94)

With the Restoration and the return of the Anglican hierarchy numerous ministers and congregations became persecuted nonconformists. Twenty-one Middlesex ministers were ejected from their cures in 1660-1, and in five more parishes Anglican clergymen who had been removed during the Civil Wars and Interregnum were restored. (fn. 95) After the Act of Uniformity of 1662 a further 15 ministers were ejected and another in 1663; in all 37 ministers were deprived during the period 1660-3. (fn. 96) Most of these ministers seem to have been presbyterian (fn. 97) and 27 of them held cures in what was then rural Middlesex. The Conventicle Act of 1664 discovered conventicles frequented by large numbers of nonconformists in 1664-5. (fn. 98) A list of 1669 gives the locations of 34 conventicles in the county, most of them in urban Middlesex: 7 were Independent, 4 were Baptist, 3 were Presbyterian, and the denomination of the remainder was not indicated. (fn. 99) The meetings of both the Independents and the Baptists were apparently organized to ensure that there should be a meeting each day of the week at one or other of the meeting-houses in the several areas. (fn. 100) The Quakers were undoubtedly the best organized body at this time. Of the original five monthly meetings set up by Fox in 1667, two were in Middlesex; (fn. 101) in 1671 the six weeks' meeting began, and was for a time the prime meeting for London Friends. (fn. 102)

After the Declaration of Indulgence was issued in 1672, 38 Presbyterian, 10 Independent, and 2 Baptist ministers were licensed, 28 of the total being in rural Middlesex. (fn. 103) In spite of the almost immediate cancellation of the Declaration nonconformist meetings continued to be held and in the last five years of the reign of Charles II conventiclers were discovered and indicted at thirty places in Middlesex. (fn. 104) The Toleration Act of 1689, however, brought some relief to the nonconformists, and in the same year the short-lived London Association of Baptists was formed. (fn. 105) In 1691 an attempt was made to bind the Congregational and Presbyterian ministers of London in an agreement called the 'Happy Union', the product of subscription to certain 'Heads of Agreement'; but it was not successful, and the union began to break up only two years later. (fn. 106) It had not been possible for the Presbyterians to maintain under persecution any form of that elaborate network of synods and courts which had been the basis of classical Presbyterianism, and it was theological and not disciplinary differences which led to the dissolution of the union. (fn. 107) Nevertheless, the two denominations continued to co-operate in certain matters (fn. 108) although attempts to bring them together were more successful in the country than in London. The Baptists were as well organized as the other denominations both during the period of persecution (fn. 109) and after the Toleration Act, but the Independents and Presbyterians tended to regard them as inferior in religious opinion and social status. (fn. 110) In 1704 the London Association of the Baptists was revived but again lasted only for a short time; (fn. 111) the General Baptist ministers of London met regularly at a coffee-house from 1714, and the Particular Baptists established a rival coffee-house meeting in 1724. (fn. 112) In the thirty years following the Toleration Act 158 places of worship were certified in Middlesex (including London and Westminster), and of these 57 were specified as Independent, 44 as Baptist, 20 as Presbyterian, and 10 as Quaker. (fn. 113)

A list of 1729 gives 17 Presbyterian, 10 Independent, and 9 Baptist churches in Middlesex. (fn. 114) A list of 1731, obviously incomplete, gives 9 Presbyterian, 9 Independent, and 11 Baptist churches. (fn. 115) The compiler of this list argues that the dissenting interest had lost ground since 1695, for although the actual numbers of dissenters had not decreased the population of London had grown by a sixth in that time. (fn. 116) The theological laxity of many ministers led to a confusion of denominations. (fn. 117) The Presbyterians were divided between Calvinism and Arminianism, and would generally declare their assent to a congregational order. (fn. 118) Some of the Independents inclined to antinomianism, and one church in Goodman's Fields was not acknowledged by the other Independent churches. (fn. 119) The Baptists included Arminians, Socinians, Calvinists, antinomians, ranters, and libertines; many were 'whimsical, giddy, and unstable'; their congregations were smaller, and the people of lower status, than either the Presbyterians or Independents. (fn. 120) Nevertheless, there was some co-operation between the denominations. In 1727 the first Congregational Association, the Board of Congregational Ministers in and about London, was formed, (fn. 121) and in the same year the churches of the three denominations within ten miles of London formed themselves into a General Body which could act on behalf of the Dissenting Interest throughout the Country in discussions with the government. (fn. 122) In 1732 the body known as the Protestant Dissenting Deputies was formed, including two deputies from every dissenting church within ten, later twelve, miles of London, with the object of obtaining more freedom for the nonconformists. (fn. 123) The general decline of religious enthusiasm in the earlier 18th century, however, affected the nonconformists of Middlesex, and the growth of the population of London and the surrounding districts did not lead to a corresponding growth in the provision of places of worship. A list of 1772 gives 16 Presbyterian, 15 Independent, 10 Baptist, and 4 unspecified churches in Middlesex. (fn. 124) Of the 45 congregations 10 were 'such eccentric irregular preachers and societies as are in no connection with either of the denominations'. The rest of the ministers were included on the approved list which was delivered by each denomination from time to time to the Deputies, none but these approved ministers being admitted members of the General Body. (fn. 125)

Methodism seems to have made little impression on the county before 1800, although the London Methodist Circuit was established in 1765, (fn. 126) and it was stated in 1772 that the Independent minister of Stepney meeting, who was ordained to the church in 1746, 'by closely connecting himself with the Methodism has raised that Congregation to an amazing height'. (fn. 127) The dissenting chapel at Staines was taken over by the Methodists soon after 1768. (fn. 128) However, although only nine of the Methodist places of worship that existed in the whole county in 1851 had been erected before 1801, (fn. 129) by 1811 there were at least 25 Methodist congregations in Middlesex without London and Westminster. (fn. 130) At this date the Congregationalists were by far the strongest denomination in the county; the Presbyterian interest had withered away with the conversion of many congregations to Unitarianism and Independency, (fn. 131) and the Baptists had gained little ground since 1772, although they were perhaps the best organized denomination. (fn. 132)

Table 1 shows the growth of nonconformity in Middlesex during the 19th century, a growth which was part of the great national expansion of dissent. The popularity of the sects was matched and surpassed by the major denominations, which were forced to organize themselves more rigorously on both a local and a national basis. The Particular Baptist Union was founded in 1812. (fn. 133) The present London Baptist Association was established in 1865, (fn. 134) and in 1871 the Metropolitan Association of Strict Baptist Churches was created for a number of churches which could not bring themselves to enter the London Association. (fn. 135) In 1832 the Congregational Union, consisting of the county and district associations, was formed, and in 1847 a new constitution brought individual churches into closer connexion with the Union. (fn. 136) The Finsbury Association of Congregational Churches, formed in 1846, was the first Middlesex supplement to the old-established London Association, (fn. 137) and by the end of the century all Middlesex was divided into five districts and included in the London Union. (fn. 138) The London Circuit of the Methodists remained the only circuit in Middlesex until 1807, when it was divided in two, but by 1850 there were nine Wesleyan circuits, and be tween 1857 and 1876 eighteen more circuits were created. In 1896 there were thirty Wesleyan circuits covering the county. (fn. 139) In 1850 the Unitarians of the metropolis and its neighbourhood formed the London District Unitarian Society, and in 1889 the Provincial Assembly of Non-subscribing Ministers and Congregations of London and the South-Eastern Counties was created. (fn. 140) English Presbyterianism revived, originally through the inspiration of the Scottish Secession Church, and in 1820 a presbytery was established in London; (fn. 141) the name of the Presbyterian Church in England was adopted in 1844 (fn. 142) and in 1876 the Scottish and English bodies were united as the Presbyterian Church of England. (fn. 143) A new movement, which owed much to the situation in urban Middlesex itself, was the Salvation Army, which began in 1865 in a tent in Whitechapel as the 'Christian Mission to the Heathen in our Own Country' and spread rapidly in the highly-populated industrial areas.

By 1772 nonconformist meetings in rural Middlesex accounted for less than a quarter of the total number of meetings in the county, (fn. 144) and as London spread northward and westward so the influence of the rural congregations became progressively less. The districts with the highest numbers of nonconformist worshippers in the county in 1851 were St. Pancras, Stepney, Marylebone, Hackney, Islington, St. Luke, Shoreditch, Bethnal Green, Clerkenwell, and Edmonton. (fn. 145) In six out of the 24 Middlesex districts Protestant nonconformists accounted for more than half the total number of worshippers. (fn. 146) The Daily News census of 1902-3 showed that in 13 out of the 41 Middlesex areas covered nonconformists provided more than 50 per cent. of the total number of worshippers, and in 19 of the areas nonconformists outnumbered Anglicans. (fn. 147)

The general reduction of church-going in the 20th century has greatly reduced the number of churches belonging to the main nonconformist groups in Middlesex. In 1963 there were ninety Congregational chapels in Middlesex, with a total membership of 10,215. The county was covered by ten districts, all in the London Union. (fn. 148) Nineteen of the churches had been built since 1900, all but one of them in the north and west of the county. In 1963 the Baptists had 131 churches in Middlesex. Thirty-four had been formed since 1900, and these again, with a single exception, were in the north and west of the county. Membership of the denomination was 18,267. Most of the churches were members of the Baptist Union of Great Britain through membership of the London Association, but twelve churches belonged to the Metropolitan Strict Baptist Association, which was not a member of the Baptist Union. (fn. 149) The Methodist chapels were organized into 29 circuits and 3 districts, and the total membership for the county was 20,344. (fn. 150) There were 29 Presbyterian Church of England churches, 10 of them founded since 1900; all were included in the Presbytery of London North, and had a total of 7,061 communicants. (fn. 151) There were eleven Unitarian and Free Christian churches, which were included in the London District and South-Eastern Provincial Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, formed in 1924 by the amalgamation of the London District Unitarian Society and the Provincial Assembly of Non-subscribing Ministers and Congregations of London and the South-Eastern Counties. (fn. 152)

Table I
Protestant Nonconformist Places of Worship in Middlesex, excluding London and Westminster 1
18112 18513 1902-34
Congregational 52 138 168
Presbyterian (English) 3 8 63
Presbyterian (Scottish) 1 3
Baptist (Particular) 14 99 201
Baptist (General) 3 ..
Wesleyan Methodist 23 75 125
Wesleyan Methodist Association .. 9 ..
Wesleyan Reformers .. 8 ..
Methodist New Connexion 1 3 2
Primitive Methodist .. 14 53
Bible Christian .. 1 3
Welsh Calvinistic Methodist .. 3 6
United Methodist .. .. 18
Countess of Huntingdon's Connexion 1 7 1
Unitarian 5 5 17
Quaker 2 8 17
Brethren .. 5 110
Salvation Army .. .. 81
London City Mission .. .. 52
Swedenborgian (New Church, New Jerusalem) 1 3 5
Mormon .. 16 23
Universalist 1 .. ..
Evangelistic Mission Services .. .. 12
Freethinking Christians .. 1 ..
Southcottian .. 1 ..
Peculiar People .. .. 1
Out and Out Mission .. .. 1
Railway Mission .. .. 8
Christian Community .. .. 4
Disciples of Christ .. .. 6
Calvinistic Independent .. .. 2
Sandemanian .. .. 2
Seventh Day Adventist .. .. 1
Free Episcopal .. .. 3
Christadelphian .. .. 4
Denomination not specified 3 28 ..
110 435 989
1 'Foreign Protestant' places of worship numbered 3 in 1851 and 18 in 1902-3.
2 Protestant Dissenters Almanack and Annual Register . . . 1811, reprinted in Trans. Cong. Hist. Soc. vi.
3 Religious Census, 1851.
4 R. Mudie-Smith, The Religious Life of London. (Daily News census 1902-3). This set of figures covers areas within a radius of 12 miles of Lond.


  • 1. Hist. MSS. Com. 9th Rep. 65; Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 70.
  • 2. Radulfi de Diceto Opera Hist. (Rolls Ser.), i, pp. xxii, xxxv-xxxvi, 251.
  • 3. V.C.H. Essex, ii. 81.
  • 4. St. Paul's MS. W.D. 9, ff. 83v-86; W. E. Lunt, Valuation of Norwich, 178-81, 358-60.
  • 5. St. Paul's MS. W.D. 9, f. 89; H. F. Westlake, Westm. Abbey, i. 46-47.
  • 6. Westlake, Westm. Abbey, i. 46-47; V.C.H. Mdx. iii. 28.
  • 7. St. Paul's MS. W.D. 9, f. 48v.
  • 8. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 97, 685.
  • 9. Taxatio Eccl. (Rec. Com.), 17, 19.
  • 10. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 569, 604, 607, 652, 737, 760; Lysons, Environs of Lond. ii. 452.
  • 11. Visitations of Churches in the Patronage of St. Paul's (Camd. Misc. ix), p. iv; Visitations of Churches belonging to St. Paul's (Camd. Soc. N.S. lv), p. xiii; Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 75, 588, 596, 606, 700, 705, 759, 760.
  • 12. Irene J. Churchill, Canterbury Administration, i. 63, n. 6.
  • 13. See p. 202.
  • 14. Lond. Reg. Gravesend (Cant. & York Soc.), 281; Lond. Reg. Simonis de Sudburia (Cant. & York Soc.), i. 7, 259.
  • 15. Westlake, Westm. Abbey, i. 207; V.C.H. Lond. i. 447, 451.
  • 16. G. Burnet, Hist. of the Reformation, ed. N. Pocock, iv. 501; Guildhall MS. 9531/12, ff. 248-9.
  • 17. Guildhall MS 9531/12, f. 257; cf. J. Strype, Eccl. Memorials, i (2), 407, and R. Widmore, Enquiry into the Foundation of Westm. Abbey, 130.
  • 18. J. P. Neale, Westm. Abbey, i. 106; Stow, Survey, ii. 108.
  • 19. D.N.B.
  • 20. Valor Eccl. (Rec. Com.), i. 100; iv. 345, 380, 416, 433.
  • 21. Westlake, Westm. Abbey, i. 218.
  • 22. Rymer. Foedera, vi (3), 186-8.
  • 23. Westlake, Westm. Abbey, i. 219, 223; but cf. A. P. Stanley, Westm. Abbey, 408, n. 5.
  • 24. See p. 144.
  • 25. Newcourt, Repertorium, i. 56-57, 75-76.
  • 26. Churches in Lond. and Westminster Act, 10 Anne, c. 20.
  • 27. J. Summerson, Georgian London, 74.
  • 28. Ibid. 196-216.
  • 29. Church Building Act, 58 Geo. III, c. 45; Summerson, Georgian Lond. 196-216.
  • 30. C. J. Blomfield, Charge delivered to the Clergy of the Diocese of Lond. 1834, 31-32; Lambeth MSS., Fulham Papers, and returns of Rural Deans 1834.
  • 31. Lond., Gaz. 1878, i. 2859.
  • 32. Ibid. 1845, pp. 2541, 2631, 2663; Eccl. Jurisd. Act, 11 & 12 Vic. c. 98. The Order does not seem to have come into immediate effect cf. M.R.O., Archd. Mdx. V. Bk. 5, ff. 8v, 203-13.
  • 33. Lambeth MSS. F.P. 69.
  • 34. Lond. Dioc. Book (1913), iii.
  • 35. Ibid. (1952), 3.
  • 36. Ibid. (1964).
  • 37. F. D. How, Bishop Walsham How, 134-5; The Times, 12 July 1879.
  • 38. How, Walsham How, 144.
  • 39. Lond. Dioc. Book (1889), 73.
  • 40. Ibid. (1901), 75.
  • 41. Ibid. (1912), 23.
  • 42. Guildhall MS. 9583A/6, 1/8.
  • 43. B. F. L. Clarke, Church Builders of the 19th century, 26, 217; Church Work among the Masses in connection with the London Diocesan Building Society, N.S. iii. 33-41; The Bishop of London's Fund-some account of work since Midsummer 1863, xiv.
  • 44. Clarke, Church Builders, 218; Church Work among the Masses, N.S. i. 21
  • 45. Ibid. iv. 43.
  • 46. Ibid. N.S. i (advertisements on inner covers); ibid. N.S. ii. 20, 22; Bp. of London's Fund, iii. 3.
  • 47. Lambeth MSS. F.P. 165; Royal Com. on Eccl. Discipline: Minutes of Evidence, (Ed. 3070), 337-8.
  • 48. Church Work among the Masses, N.S. ii. 22-26; N.S. viii, 120; Clarke, Church Builders, 218-20; Bp. of London's Fund, viii.
  • 49. Church Work among the Masses, v. 53; N.S. viii. 120-2.
  • 50. St. J. B. Groser, Politics and Persons, passim.
  • 51. Lond. Dioc. Book (1953), 11.
  • 52. Ibid. (1962), 11.
  • 53. Ex inf. University Chaplaincy.
  • 54. P. Hughes, Rome and the Counter Reformation, 323, 329-30.
  • 55. B. Hemphill, Early Vicars Apostolic of England, 1685- 1750, 16.
  • 56. B. Ward, Sequel to Catholic Emancipation 154-67.
  • 57. Eng. Catholics, 1850-1950, ed. G. A. Beck, 111; Acta Apostolicae Sedis, ix. 481-3.
  • 58. P. R. Harris, 'William Fleetwood, Recorder of the City, and Catholicism in Elizabethan London', Recusant Hist. vii. 3; V.C.H. Lond. i. 326; J. H. Harting, Catholic London Missions, passim.
  • 59. R. Challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests, 11, 174-5, 590, et passim.
  • 60. Ibid. 112-13 (Tresham's house at Hoxton); W. D. Bushell, 'The Bellamies of Uxendon', T.L.M.A.S. N.S. iii. 71-103; Robbins, Mdx. 108-9 (Bellamies of Uxendon); W. Robinson, Hist. and Antiq. of Hackney, i. 100 (Vaux's house in Hackney); D.N.B. vii. 881 (Moorcroft, Hillingdon; Enfield Chase).
  • 61. V.C.H. Mdx. iii. 130; J. S. Hansom and J. Gillow, 'Cath. Regs. of Isleworth, Mdx. 1746-1835', Cath. Rec. Soc. xiii. 299-334.
  • 62. Laity's Directory, 1801 (3rd section), 4-5.
  • 63. Synodus Diocesana Westmonasteriensis Trigesima Tertia, 9, 18; but cf. also Decreta quatuor Conciliorum Provincialium Westmonsteriensium, 1852-73, 12 (Decreta xiv. 2).
  • 64. Cath. Dir. (1895), 122-3.
  • 65. Westminster Year Bk. (1966), 117-19.
  • 66. Benedictines: H. N. Birt, Obit Book of the Eng. Benedictines from 1600-1912, passim: A. C. F. Beales, Educ. under Penalty, 247. Carmelites: G. R. Zimmerman, Carmel in Eng. 51, 52, 225, 302, 339, 345; Beales, Educ. under Penalty, 202, 226, 248. Dominicans: W. Gumbley, Obituary Notices of the Eng. Dominicans, 1555-1952, 6, 16, 36, 38, 42, 45, 63, 64, 80; Beales, Educ. under Penalty, 248. Franciscans: Challoner, Memoirs, 430, 565; Beales, Educ. under Penalty, 247. Jesuits: G. Oliver, Collections towards Illustrating the Biography of the Scotch, English and Irish Members of the Society of Jesus, passim; R. Trappes-Lomax 'Addresses of Jesuits in Eng., 1727-34', Cath. Rec. Soc. xiii. 160-89; Challoner, Memoirs, 380, 385, 436, 468, 526; Beales, Educ. under Penalty, 207, 248-53; D.N.B. xiii. 881.
  • 67. Zimmerman, Carmel, 345; Hemphill, Early Vicars Apostolic, 76, 99.
  • 68. Laity's Dir. 1801 (3rd section), 5.
  • 69. Ex inf. Mr. E. Derluyn.
  • 70. Westminster Year Bk. (1966), 224.
  • 71. W. M. Brady, Episcopal Succession, iii. 168-9; E. H. Burton, Life and Times of Bp. Challoner, ii. 170-2.
  • 72. Brady, Episcopal Succession, iii. 187-8.
  • 73. Ibid. 189.
  • 74. K. S. Inglis, Churches and the Working Classes in Victorian Eng. 120-1; J. A. Jackson, Irish in Britain, 137-9, 150.
  • 75. Westminster Year Bk. (1966), 224.
  • 76. Ibid. 199.
  • 77. Ex inf. Westminster Dioc. Schools Com.
  • 78. Ex inf. Mr. A. Dures.
  • 79. Jackson, 'Irish in East London', East Lond. Papers, vi. 2.
  • 80. Ex inf. Mgr. D. Norris.
  • 81. Laity's Dir. 1798, 15 (Hammersmith), 16 (Chelsea,. Pentonville).
  • 82. Westminster Year Bk. (1966).
  • 83. The Tablet, N.S. cxxxix. 233; N.S. cxl. 13, 14; Westminster Cathedral Chron. xxxii. 37-39, 197-200.
  • 84. Cath. Dir. (1935, 1947, 1948, 1951, 1961).
  • 85. Ibid. (1953), 84.
  • 86. Ex inf. Chaplaincy to Catholics in the Univ. of Lond.
  • 87. Westminster Year Bk. (1966).
  • 88. Cath. Dir. (1948), 83; (1949), 73.
  • 89. W. A. Shaw, Hist. of the Eng. Ch. ii. 31, 403.
  • 90. D. M. Himbury, British Baptists, 42, 109; before 1660 the Baptists had at least 6 churches in urban Mdx.: Trans. Bapt. Hist. Soc. ii. 245-8.
  • 91. G. F. Nuttall, Visible Saints, 120.
  • 92. R. T. Jones Congregationalism in Eng. 35
  • 93. W. C. Braithwaite, Beginnings of Quakerism (2nd. edn.) 376-80.
  • 94. Ibid. 339.
  • 95. A. G. Matthews, Calamy Revised. Some deprivations may have been the result of a defective title to the benefice.
  • 96. Ibid. In another 10 cures new appointments were made during this period: Hennessy, Novum Repertorium.
  • 97. Matthews, Cal. Rev. passim; Trans. Bapt. Hist. Soc. ii. 245-8; Trans. Cong. Hist. Soc. vi. 43 sqq.
  • 98. Mdx. Cnty. Recs. iii. 340-9.
  • 99. G. Lyon Turner, Original Records of Early Nonconformity, i. 85-92. Attendance figures should be treated with caution.
  • 100. Ibid. 90.
  • 101. W. C. Braithwaite, Second Period of Quakerism (2nd edn.), 253.
  • 102. Ibid. 275.
  • 103. F. Bate, The Declaration of Indulgence, App. xxxvii-xl.
  • 104. Mdx. Cnty. Recs. iv. passim.
  • 105. A. C. Underwood, Hist. of Eng. Baptists, 129; H. S. Skeats, Hist. of Free Churches, 157-66.
  • 106. Jones, Cong. in Eng. 112 sqq.; Skeats Hist. of Free Chs. 172 sqq.; A. H. Drysdale, Hist. of Presbyterians in Eng. 459-65; V.C.H. Lond. i. 382.
  • 107. Skeats, Hist. of Free Chs. 176 sqq.; Drysdale, Hist. Presbs. 469-76.
  • 108. Jones, Cong. in Eng. 118.
  • 109. Himbury, Brit. Bapts. 44.
  • 110. Dr. Williams's Libr. Records of Nonconformity 18, 'A View of the Dissenting Interest in London . . .', pp. 100-1.
  • 111. Underwood, Hist. Eng. Bapts. 131.
  • 112. Skeats, Hist. Free Chs. 262; W. T. Whitley, Hist, of British Baptists, 203-4.
  • 113. Returns Relating to Dissenters' Places of Worship, H.C. 156, p. 46 (1852-3), lxxviii.
  • 114. Dr. Williams's Libr. MS. 34. 4, 'John Evans List of Dissenting Congregations', ff. 74-80.
  • 115. Dr. Williams's Libr. Recs of Nonconformity 18, pp. 79-102.
  • 116. Ibid. p. 81.
  • 117. Ibid. p. 87.
  • 118. Ibid. pp. 89, 93-94.
  • 119. Ibid. pp. 91-92.
  • 120. Ibid. pp. 100-1.
  • 121. Cong. Year Bk. (1846), 92.
  • 122. Jones, Cong. in Eng. 143; B. L. Manning, Protestant Dissenting Deputies, 21-22; V.C.H. Lond. i. 387-8
  • 123. Manning, Prot. Diss. Deps. 2, 19-20; Jones, Cong. in Eng. 143; Drysdale, Hist. Presbs. 613-16.
  • 124. Dr. William's Libr. MS. 34. 5, 'A state of the Dissenting Interest in the Several Counties of England and Wales . . .' (Thompson MS.), f. 48.
  • 125. Ibid. ff. 48-49; cf. Manning, Prot. Diss. Deps. 34-35.
  • 126. J. Hall, Alphabetical List of the Circuits in Great Brit. (1897 edn.).
  • 127. Dr. William's Libr. MS. 34. 5, f. 51.
  • 128. Ibid.
  • 129. Religious Census, 1851, p. ccxliv; cf. Dissenters' Places of Worship (1852-3), p. 46. These figures include Lond. and Westminster.
  • 130. Trans. Cong. Hist. Soc. vi.
  • 131. Drysdale, Hist. Presbs. 526-32, 540-2.
  • 132. Himbury, Brit. Bapts. 81, 83, 114.
  • 133. Ibid. 114.
  • 134. Underwood, Eng. Bapts. 207.
  • 135. Ibid. 246.
  • 136. Jones, Cong. in Eng. 242-4.
  • 137. Cong. Year Bk. (1846), 106.
  • 138. Ibid. (1898).
  • 139. Hall, Circuits in Great Brit. (1897 edn.).
  • 140. Unitarian and Free Christian Churches Year Bk. (1964) 25.
  • 141. Drysdale, Hist. Presbs. 606-7.
  • 142. Ibid. 612.
  • 143. Ibid. 625.
  • 144. Dr. William's Libr. MS. 34. 5.
  • 145. Religious Census, 1851.
  • 146. Clerkenwell, Hackney, Poplar, St. Luke, Shoreditch, Stepney.
  • 147. R. Mudie-Smith, Rel. Life of Lond.
  • 148. Cong. Year Bk. (1963-4), It should be noted that none of the figures for 1963-4, which are of either church members or communicants, is strictly comparable with the attendance figures of the 1902-3 census.
  • 149. Bapt. Handbk. (1964).
  • 150. Minutes of the Meth. Conf. 1963, pp. 103 sqq.
  • 151. Official Handbk. of Presb. Ch. of Eng. (1963-4).
  • 152. Unitarian and Free Christian Chs. Year Bk. (1964).