Burton-upon-Trent: Protestant nonconformity

A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 9, Burton-Upon-Trent. Originally published by Victoria County History, London, 2003.

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'Burton-upon-Trent: Protestant nonconformity', in A History of the County of Stafford: Volume 9, Burton-Upon-Trent, (London, 2003) pp. 131-139. British History Online https://www.british-history.ac.uk/vch/staffs/vol9/pp131-139 [accessed 11 April 2024]

In this section

Protestant nonconformity

After 1660 Burton was as a centre for nonconformists, with five excluded clergy active or resident in the town: Thomas Bakewell, ejected from Rolleston and briefly Boylston lecturer in Burton parish church; Henry Bee, a native of Stapenhill who had been ejected from Hanbury; Thomas Ford, who had received Presbyterian ordination in Derbyshire; Daniel Shelmerdine, ejected from Barrow-on-Trent (Derb.); and Richard Swynfen, ejected from Mavesyn Ridware. (fn. 1) They were probably attracted to Burton by the protection afforded dissenters by Lord Paget, a Presbyterian sympathizer, by the possibilities of evading the secular authorities by slipping between Staffordshire and Derbyshire, and by the traditions of puritanism in the town. (fn. 2) Twenty-four persons from Burton were presented for not going to church in 1668, and in 1669 there were two conventicles in the parish, one for Presbyterians and one for Baptists, both said to be 'great'. (fn. 3) Four licences were issued under the Declaration of Indulgence of 1672, two for Baptists and two for Presbyterians, although only 65 nonconformists were recorded in the parish in 1676. (fn. 4)

Several congregations withered in the 18th century, so that by 1793 there were only three nonconformist places of worship (one each for Independents, Calvinistic Methodists, and Wesleyans). Methodist and Baptist congregations, however, grew in the early 19th century, so that by 1834 there were five chapels; in 1843 the perpetual curate of St. Modwen's complained that the lack of accommodation for the working classes in Anglican churches meant that the poor were driven either to 'heathenism, or to Dissent which is very active'. (fn. 5) On Census Sunday 1851 one-third of the recorded attendances in the town were at the six chapels for Protestant dissenters. (fn. 6)

The late 19th century saw expansion among all the mainstream denominations: 15 Methodist places of worship were opened between 1851 and 1901, when there were at least 22 chapels and meeting rooms in Burton, with a further 15 in Branston, Horninglow, Stapenhill, Stretton, and Winshill. With many of their congregations employed in the breweries, most of Burton's free churches remained at peace with beer, and the brewers responded by donating towards the costs of chapel building. (fn. 7) After the Second World War most of the major denominations declined as a consequence not only of reduced church-going but also the movement of population away from the town centre: 11 Methodist chapels were closed in Burton between 1958 and 2000, 6 in Horninglow, 2 in Stapenhill, and 1 in Winshill. While other groups were more successful, particularly Spiritualists in the early 20th century and Pentecostalists and non-denominational congregations later in the century, in 2000 there were only 9 nonconformist congregations in the town, with a further 8 in Branston, Horninglow, Stapenhill, Stretton, and Winshill.


Particular Baptists

Two signatories to a Baptist letter addressed to Oliver Cromwell in 1651 may have been representatives of a Particular Baptist church in the town. A petition from several Particular Baptist churches in 1654 was signed by two representatives of 'the church of Christ at Derby and Burton'; that church was still meeting in 1659. (fn. 8) The large Baptist congregation reported in Burton in 1669 was probably the same church, and in 1672 the house of William Tomlinson, probably one of the signatories of the 1654 petition, was licensed for a Baptist congregation. In 1672 a general licence was also granted to John Blundell of Burton, a Baptist teacher. (fn. 9) An adult Baptist was converted to Anglicanism in 1728 and another in 1743, (fn. 10) and the congregation probably ceased meeting soon after.

When Richard Thomson of Lancashire, a Particular Baptist and cotton spinner, came to Burton in 1780 on the opening of Robert Peel's cotton mill, there was no meeting in Burton. He accordingly held services in his house at Burton mills in 1789 and registered a house in New Street for Particular Baptists in 1790. By 1792 the church had 20 members, but in 1793 the first minister resigned after being criticised for paying 'too much attention to his worldly belongings'. In 1800, after asking another minister to resign, the church dissolved itself but later in the same year some of the members re-opened the meeting house, which continued to be used until 1805; it was probably closed shortly afterwards. (fn. 11) It was presumably the remainder of the congregation which opened a chapel on the south side of Cat (later Station) Street in 1803; enlarged by the addition of a Grecian portico in 1842, it was known as Salem chapel by 1848. (fn. 12) On Census Sunday 1851 the congregation numbered 102 in the morning and 129 in the evening, besides Sunday scholars. (fn. 13) The chapel was rebuilt in 1861 after a fire, and again in a contemporary style in 1957; it continued in use in 2000. (fn. 14)

In 1871 a group withdrew from Salem chapel and began worshipping in St. George's Hall, and by 1872 it had 23 members. They opened an iron chapel in Guild Street in 1874, (fn. 1a) and moved in 1887 to a new tabernacle in Derby Street, built of brick to a design by A. T. Greening of Birmingham, and with financial assistance from some of the breweries and other employers. (fn. 2a)

Figure 46:

Salem Baptist chapel, Station Street, from north

Figure 47:

New Street Baptist chapel from south-west

General Baptists

About 1823 General Baptist preachers from Cauldwell (Derb.) began conducting services in a cotton warehouse in Bond End. (fn. 3a) In 1825 a chapel was opened at the corner of Fleet Street and Green Street, where on Census Sunday 1851 there was a morning congregation of 72, besides Sunday scholars, and an evening one of 148. (fn. 4a) In 1855 the congregation moved to the newly built Zion chapel at the corner of Union Street and New Street. That chapel was replaced in 1883 by one on the same site, built in brick in a 13th-century Gothic style to a design by J. W. Chapman of London. (fn. 5a) The chapel was destroyed by fire in 1966, and the congregation moved into the adjoining Sunday schoolroom. (fn. 6a) The congregation amalgamated with that at the former Particular Baptist chapel in Derby Street in 1972, and in 1980 the New Street premises were sold to make way for commercial development. (fn. 7a)

Seceders from Zion chapel, including its former pastor Alfred Underwood, began worshipping in a schoolroom in Needwood Street in 1879. In 1880 they opened Emmanuel chapel in Parker Street, (fn. 8a) built of brick in a Gothic style to a design by C. F. Underhill of Burton, and with financial assistance from the breweries. The chapel was sold to Primitive Methodists in 1891. (fn. 9a)

In 1969 it was agreed that the three Baptist churches in Burton (Salem, Derby Street, and New Street) should amalgamate as one church, but on the eve of the inauguration of the union in 1972 Salem chapel withdrew. New Street and Derby Street continued with the plan, and in 1975 a chapel called the New Baptist church was built for both congregations in a contemporary style, on the site of the Derby Street tabernacle; it remained open in 2000. (fn. 10a)


A United Brethren chapel on the west side of Dale Street in existence by 1879 had closed by 1884. (fn. 11a) Plymouth Brethren had a meeting house on the north side of Dallow Street by 1882, and possibly as early as the mid 1870s. (fn. 12a) It was closed in 1938, when the congregation moved to Horninglow. (fn. 13a)

Christian Brethren established a meeting room on the east side of Wetmore Road before 1903, moving in 1922 to a building, known as Gospel Hall by 1952, on the west side of Wetmore Road. (fn. 14a) Growing increasingly non-denominational, they moved in 1974 to the former Congregational chapel in High Street, later renamed High Street Evangelical church; the congregation left High Street in 1994 and began meeting in Abbot Beyne school, Winshill, where it continued to meet as Burton Community Church in 2000. (fn. 1b) The High Street chapel remained unused in 2000.

The registration by Brethren in 1903 of a meeting room on the east side of Guild Street was cancelled in 1919, but Plymouth Brethren were apparently still meeting there in 1938. (fn. 2b) Brethren registered a meeting room at the east end of Horninglow Street in 1925, but had probably ceased to meet there by 1952. (fn. 3b)


Christadelphians met in the temperance hall in Union Street by 1895, and had moved to the masonic hall in the same street by 1925. (fn. 4b) In 1952 they worshipped in the Y.M.C.A. premises in High Street, moving in 1953 to a converted brick building in Blackpool Street, which remained in use in 2000. (fn. 5b)


George Fox preached near Burton in 1651 after his release from Derby gaol and made some conversions, but no Quaker meeting is known in the town before the early 1690s. (fn. 6b) A house, occupied by Samuel Jess, was converted to a meeting house in 1699 and was registered in 1723. (fn. 7b) The Burton Friends later joined the Tutbury Friends at their meeting house at Stockley Park until that was closed in 1730. Friends in the Burton area were then advised to attend a meeting in Uttoxeter. (fn. 8b) Another house in Burton was rented by Friends in an attempt to re-establish a meeting in the town in 1748, but that meeting ceased in the mid 1750s. (fn. 9b)

An 'allowed meeting' was begun in Burton in 1925 in rooms belonging to the Y.M.C.A. in High Street, and in 1929, when there were 14 Friends in Burton, it was recognized as a 'preparative meeting'. A meeting house was opened in 1930 in a converted brewery office in Abbey Street. (fn. 10b) That meeting was closed in 1973 when the few Friends remaining in Burton were advised to attend a new Uttoxeter and Burton preparative meeting in Uttoxeter; the Burton meeting house was sold in 1974 and was later demolished. (fn. 11b)


In 1807 the trustees of the former Presbyterian chapel in High Street agreed to let their chapel, house, and school to the Revd. Robert McLean, who by 1808 had formed an Independent congregation. It may have included former members of the Presbyterian church and soon claimed descent from Burton's 17th-century Presbyterian congregation. (fn. 12b) The church was known until 1838 as the Independent chapel, (fn. 13b) and thereafter as either the Independent or Congregational chapel. (fn. 14b) In 1810 the church had 20 members. (fn. 15) Problems in the first half of the 19th century included difficulties securing a permanent pastor and the temporary dissolution of the church. The chapel, however, was enlarged in 1827 (fn. 16) and rebuilt in 1842 on an adjoining site in a Gothic style with a stone façade, using materials from the racecourse grandstand; the architect was Henry Stevens of Derby. (fn. 17) On Census Sunday 1851 the morning congregation numbered about 100, besides Sunday scholars, with 84 in the evening. (fn. 18)

Problems in securing and paying for a pastor continued in the 1850s and early 1860s: in 1861 the minister, Alexander Mackennal, resigned after quarrelling with a part of the congregation over his views on the Atonement and his rejection of orthodox Calvinism, and some left to join the Presbyterian church. (fn. 19) There was a further secession of members in 1887 to form a new church in Guild Street. That rift was healed in 1903, (fn. 20) when the reunited congregation became the Burton-on-Trent Congregational church. (fn. 21) From 1967 the congregation shared a minister with Cross Street Presbyterian church and it later considered closing the High Street chapel and moving to Cross Street. (fn. 22) In 1972, however, it moved to George Street Methodist church and, on the amalgamation that year of the national Congregational and Presbyterian churches as the United Reformed Church, the Cross Street congregation also moved to George Street. High Street chapel was sold to Brethren. (fn. 1c) A small burial ground which existed to the rear of the High Street chapel by 1835, and which was also used by Baptists, was closed on the opening of the municipal cemetery in 1866. (fn. 2c)

The group which seceded from the High Street chapel in 1887 at first began worshipping in St. George's Hall and later the same year in an iron chapel in Guild Street, presumably that previously used by seceders from Salem Baptist chapel. By the end of 1887 the new church had 58 members, and in 1889 it appointed a permanent pastor. (fn. 3c) Attempts to reunite the two churches foundered on the opposition of the minister of High Street chapel, but after his resignation in 1902 amalgamation was agreed; Guild Street chapel closed later that year when the congregation returned to High Street. (fn. 4c)


The International Bible Students' Association (known as Jehovah's Witnesses from 1931) organized a meeting in the town hall in 1924, and by 1925 a local group was meeting in Horninglow Street. (fn. 5c) In 1930 it registered a meeting room in Station Street, which was replaced in 1941 by a Kingdom Hall, also in Station Street. The meeting moved to Horninglow in 1944, back to Burton in 1952 (in Horninglow Street, and then from 1969 in Station Street), and returned to Horninglow in 1976. (fn. 6c)


In 1854 Edward Dorman, a chimney sweep, registered a building in a yard off High Street in favour of LatterDay Saints. The registration was cancelled in 1866. (fn. 7c)



Horninglow Street Chapel Thomas Hanby, an associate of John Wesley, met violent opposition in 1754 when he preached in High Street, apparently in a shoemaker's house. (fn. 8c) A society, however, had been formed by 1765 when Edward Slater, a tammy weaver, registered a meeting house on the north side of Horninglow Street, opposite the later junction of that road with Guild Street, (fn. 9c) and it was presumably there that Wesley preached to an 'exceeding serious congregation' in 1766; Wesley returned in 1770 and 1772. (fn. 10c) Membership of the society varied between 87 and 146 between 1799 and 1810. (fn. 11c) In 1825, when there were morning and evening services every Sunday, there was said to be 'a very good feeling' among the Methodists even though the opening of the neighbouring Anglican Holy Trinity church the previous year had caused the congregation to decline. (fn. 12c) Probably in the late 1820s, and certainly by 1837, the chapel was rebuilt with a preacher's house and a chapel keeper's house behind, and in 1843 the chapel was enlarged. (fn. 13c) On Census Sunday 1851 there was a morning congregation of 90, besides 70 in the Sunday school, and an evening congregation of 97. The average congregation over the last eight months, however, was said to have been 170 in the morning (besides 70 Sunday scholars) and 200 in the evening, and the minister blamed a schism earlier that year for the drop in numbers. (fn. 14c) Horninglow Street chapel was closed in 1871 and sold in 1876; it was later demolished. (fn. 15a)

Station Street Chapel A new chapel on the corner of Station Street and Union Street was opened in 1871. Built of brick with a stone spire, it was designed by Edward Holmes of Birmingham in a Decorated style. (fn. 16a) It was closed in 1958 and later demolished. (fn. 17a)

Byrkley Street Chapel A Wesleyan mission to railway workers was established in Wellington Street c. 1865, (fn. 18a) and in 1874 it opened a chapel, designed by Nicholas Joyce of Stafford, on the north-east side of Byrkley Street. (fn. 19a) In 1883 the chapel was rebuilt in red brick with stone dressings in a Gothic style to a design by C. F. Underhill, with a three-bay gabled façade incorporating a large rose window. (fn. 20a) The chapel was closed in 1972 when the congregation amalgamated with that at George Street Methodist chapel; the building was demolished c. 1977. (fn. 1d)

Other Missions An iron chapel in Clarence Street, at the corner with Queen Street, was registered in 1896; it was closed in 1960 and later demolished. (fn. 2d) A schoolchapel in Ash Street was opened from the Clarence Street chapel in 1912; it had closed by 1964. (fn. 3d)

A house registered by Wesleyan Methodists in 1807 was probably in New Street, where services were certainly being held in 1825. (fn. 4d) Services there ceased between 1836 and 1849. (fn. 5d)


A place of worship recorded in 1793 for the followers of 'the late Mr. Whitfield' was presumably for Calvinistic Methodists, a sect founded by George Whitefield. It had closed by 1834. (fn. 6d)


In 1832 a meeting house, probably in Bond End, was opened for Arminian Methodists, a small group in the Derby area which had broken away from Wesleyan Methodism in 1831 over Justification. The meeting house was presumably closed on the reunion of the Arminian Methodists with the Wesleyan Methodists in 1837. (fn. 7d)


In 1819 Sampson Turner, an itinerant preacher, came to Burton and registered a former weaving shop for worship. The congregation increased and a society was formed in 1820, meeting also in the Particular Baptist chapel in Cat (later Station) Street; there were 54 members in 1827. (fn. 8d) Hugh Bourne, co-founder of the movement, preached in Burton in 1821, 1832, and 1847. (fn. 9d) A chapel was opened further west along Cat Street in 1829; (fn. 10d) attendance on Census Sunday 1851 was about 50 in the morning and 200 in the evening. (fn. 11d) The chapel was closed c. 1878 on the opening of a new chapel in Mosley Street, which continued in use until 1946 when it was transferred to the Salvation Army; the Methodist congregation then joined that at the Methodist (formerly Wesleyan Methodist) chapel in Station Street. (fn. 12d)

Jubilee chapel in Victoria Crescent was opened in 1860, but had closed by 1895; the building still stood in 2000. (fn. 13d) The congregation may have moved to the former Emmanuel Baptist chapel, Parker Street, which was purchased by Primitive Methodists in 1891; that chapel was closed in 1993. (fn. 14d)

A Sunday school building in Queen Street was built in 1871, and in 1887 a chapel was added on the street front, built in red brick in a Gothic style to a design by A. T. Greening of Birmingham. (fn. 15b) The chapel was demolished after the amalgamation of the congregations of Queen Street and Uxbridge Street Methodist chapels in 1952, and a modern chapel, known as Queensbridge, was built on the same site. That chapel closed c. 1997 and the premises were sold to a Pentecostalist group. (fn. 16b)

Reformed, later United Methodist Free Church

A meeting of Wesleyan Methodist local preachers in 1847 agreed to collect funds for three ministers (none of them local) expelled by the National Conference, but the call of the superintendent of the Burton circuit to local Wesleyans in 1849 to 'stand still' appears to have temporarily prevented any schism. (fn. 17b) In 1851, however, during the national dissensions among Wesleyan Methodists, 13 local preachers, including some of those who had protested in 1847, were omitted from the Wesleyan circuit plan. Eight of them immediately resigned and began conducting services in the British School in Guild Street: on Census Sunday the estimated congregation there was 120 in the morning and 180 in the evening. (fn. 18b)

George Street Chapel A circuit missionary was employed from 1851, (fn. 19b) and a brick chapel in a Classical style was opened in George Street in 1852; a gallery was inserted in 1854 and a schoolroom added in 1856. (fn. 1e) In 1857, when the circuit joined the United Methodist Free Church, George Street chapel had 117 members. (fn. 2e) A new chapel, built of brick in a Grecian style to a design by Thomas Simpson of Nottingham, was opened on the same site in 1860. (fn. 3e)

Figure 48:

Former United Methodist Free church of 1860, George Street, from the south-west

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries George Street was reckoned to be the most influential of all the churches in Burton: 5 of the first 17 mayors of the municipal borough were members of its congregation, and in 1913 half the aldermen attended the chapel. (fn. 4e) To match the growing influence of the congregation, a building campaign was begun in the early 1890s. In 1893 new vestries were built behind the chapel, and a malting on the south side of the chapel was converted to schoolrooms. The architects for the latter at least were Durward, Brown, and Gordon of London, who also designed the adjoining Liberal Club opened the following year. In 1894 the organ installed in 1863 was replaced by one bought from St. Paul's Anglican church; (fn. 5e) a chapel keeper's house was built on the north side of the chapel in 1895; and a central door was added to the chapel's façade in 1904. (fn. 6e) Between 1896 and 1900 the chapel employed a deaconess to undertake pastoral work. (fn. 7e)

In 1972 the congregations of Byrkley Street Methodist, Cross Street Presbyterian, and High Street Congregational chapels moved to George Street and the chapel changed its name to Trinity Free Church, which remained open in 2000 as a joint Methodist-United Reformed Church chapel. (fn. 8e)

Other Chapels By 1856 a society of six members had been formed in Victoria Crescent. Services ceased in 1858, (fn. 9e) but in 1864 the George Street congregation agreed to build a school-chapel in the neighbourhood; the school was opened in Victoria Street in 1866 and a separate congregation of 15 members was formed there in 1868. (fn. 10e) In 1879, when a new brick, Gothic-style chapel was opened next to the school, the congregation was expanding, with 110 members, and a further 72 on probation. (fn. 11e) The chapel was closed in 1966, when the congregation joined that at Byrkley Street; the building was sold and later demolished. (fn. 12e)

A temporary wooden chapel in South Uxbridge Street was opened in 1885; it was replaced in 1889 by a brick school-chapel, designed by C. F. Underhill. The intention to build an adjoining chapel was never fulfilled, (fn. 13e) and the school-chapel continued in use until its closure in 1952, when the congregation amalgamated with that at Queen Street. The building later became a Pentecostal church. (fn. 1f)

An Independent Methodist chapel in Dale Street, opened c. 1870, joined the United Methodist Free Church in 1896; it was closed in 1961. (fn. 2f)


A railway mission, begun c. 1886 in the station waiting room, opened a mission hall beside the railway bridge in Moor Street in 1903. Run by Pentecostalists in 1948 as the Full Gospel Mission, it had changed its name to Elim Foursquare Gospel Alliance by 1951, (fn. 3f) and by 1952 was known as Elim Pentecostal church. In 1984 it moved to the redundant Anglican church of Christ Church, Moor Street, which it continued to use in 2000. (fn. 4f)

A former non-denominational mission hall in Princess Street, known as the Town Mission, was registered in 1924 by Pentecostalists. By 1964 the hall was run by the Bible Pattern Church Fellowship, and it was still open in 2000 as the Town Centre Christian Centre. (fn. 5f)

The Church of God worshipped in a room in the public baths at the north end of the Hay in 1952. (fn. 6f) The Triumphant Church of God registered a room in Blackpool Street in 1967, and moved to the former Methodist chapel in South Uxbridge Street in 1970. It was joined that year by the Church of God (All Nations) Assembly, which had worshipped in the former Methodist chapel in Dale Street since 1962. The Triumphant Church of God continued to use the South Uxbridge Street chapel in 2000. (fn. 7f) Living Waters Christian Fellowship of Swadlincote (Derb.) opened the King's Way church in the former Queensbridge Methodist chapel, Queen Street, in 1999. (fn. 8f)


A conventicle reportedly of 200 to 300 people from four counties (Staffordshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire, and Warwickshire) which was meeting in Burton in 1663 was probably Presbyterian, and presumably met with the connivance of Lord Paget, who was described that year as a Presbyterian. The ejected ministers Thomas Ford and Thomas Bakewell were imprisoned for preaching at the conventicle. (fn. 9f) Both were released after 10 weeks and Bakewell continued to preach at a conventicle at his house in Burton, although he was occasionally harassed by the authorities. (fn. 10f) A Presbyterian conventicle in the town was said in 1669 to be 'great', and in 1672 two licences for Presbyterians were issued: Ford was licensed for the house of Richard Clerke and Richard Swynfen was licensed for his own house. (fn. 11f) The conventicle continued after 1673, sometimes being forced to meet in the open air in an attempt to avoid persecution. (fn. 12f)

High Street Chapel Two Presbyterian or Congregational ministers were recorded at Burton in the early 1690s, and in 1708 a Presbyterian meeting house was registered on the west side of High Street. (fn. 13f) Together with an adjoining house for the minister, it was wrecked in 1715 by a 'High Church and Jacobite' mob said to be more than 100 strong, who broke the windows and burned the pews, including those in a gallery. (fn. 14e) After the meeting house had been repaired it was again attacked, when a mob attempted to set a mad bull among the worshippers. (fn. 15c) The congregation was said in 1717 to number 400, including 41 who had the franchise in parliamentary elections. (fn. 16c) Under a succession of Arian ministers the congregation presumably dwindled, and it dissolved itself in 1803. Some of the remnant may have re-formed as Independents shortly thereafter: the chapel, house, and a schoolroom were let by trustees to an Independent minister in 1807. (fn. 17c)

Cross Street Chapel A group sought a Presbyterian pastor in 1859, and in 1861, augmented by seceders from High Street Congregational church, it opened a United Presbyterian chapel on the east side of Cross Street, near the junction with Station Street. (fn. 18c) On the union of the United Presbyterian Church and the Presbyterian Church in England in 1876, the Cross Street congregation became a part of the Presbyterian Church of England, (fn. 19c) and by 1924 it was known as Trinity Presbyterian Church. (fn. 1g) From 1967 the minister was shared with the High Street Congregational church, and in 1970 and 1971 proposals for amalgamating with that church on the Cross Street site were being considered. (fn. 2g)

In 1972, however, both Cross Street and High Street chapels closed and the congregations moved to George Street Methodist church, whereupon the former Presbyterian and Congregational churches amalgamated on the creation of the United Reformed Church. The George Street building remained open in 2000 as a joint Methodist-United Reformed Church chapel. (fn. 3g)


Salvation Army barracks were opened in 1886 in Wetmore Road. (fn. 4g) They were replaced in 1889 by a citadel on the south side of Brook Street designed by W. Dunford of Leytonstone (Essex). The citadel was burnt down in 1942, (fn. 5g) and in 1946 the Army registered a former Primitive Methodist chapel in Mosley Street, which remained in use as a citadel in 2000. (fn. 6g)


A group which objected to any designation registered a meeting in the temperance hall, Union Street, in 1884; it was probably composed of Spiritualists, and so described itself in 1920. The registration was cancelled in 1964. (fn. 7g) That group was joined in 1920 at the temperance hall by the Spiritual Evidence Society, which had met in a variety of premises since 1901. (fn. 8g)

A room near the canal in Horninglow Road was registered by the Spiritual Progressive Society in 1912. In 1940 that body, then known as Horninglow Christian Spiritualist church, moved to William Street, and in 1976 to Horninglow, where it continued to meet in 2000. (fn. 9g) There were at least six other short-lived Spiritualist groups in the town between 1925 and 1967. (fn. 10g)


In the later 18th century the Presbyterian chapel in Burton had a succession of Arian-inclined pastors but no Unitarian society was formed. A Unitarian society conducted regular services in the town hall in 1901 but they became infrequent and had moved to members' houses by 1905, when they were revived and moved to a meeting room in New Street. Nothing further is known of this group. (fn. 11g)


A non-denominational mission hall in Princess Street was apparently opened for the Town Mission Band by 1883; it was rebuilt in 1902, but had closed by 1924 when it was registered by Pentecostalists. (fn. 12g) An evening lecture in the town hall in 1910 was organized by a Labour Church but regular meetings appear not to have developed. (fn. 13g) The registration in 1923 of an oratory at the canal wharf on Horninglow Road by a group of otherwise undesignated Christians was cancelled in 1964. (fn. 14f) A Christian Scientist meeting was held in Horninglow Street by 1925. (fn. 15d) The registration of a room in Station Street by Seventh Day Adventists in 1942 was cancelled in 1964. (fn. 16d) Burton Renewal Fellowship began in 1976 as an informal prayer fellowship in private houses. By 1995 it had two regular congregations, one meeting in Friars Walk schools and the other at Stretton, but the former ceased to meet c. 1998. (fn. 17d)


  • 1. A. G. Matthews, Congregational Churches of Staffs. [1924], 89; Calamy Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews (1934), 24, 44, 206-7, 437, 473; above, established church (St. Modwen's).
  • 2. S.H.C. 4th ser. ii. 40; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1663-4, 242; above, established church (St. Modwen's).
  • 3. L.R.O., B/V/1/75/Burton; G. L. Turner, Original Records of Early Nonconformity (1911), i. 60.
  • 4. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 78, 91, 93; Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 449.
  • 5. Lambeth Palace Libr., I.C.B.S. 3186, letter of 25 Feb. 1843; Univ. Brit. Dir. ii [1793], 415; White, Dir. Staffs. (1834), 315.
  • 6. P.R.O., HO 129/375/4. The numbers include Sunday scholars and may include worshippers who attended more than one service.
  • 7. Burton Weekly News, 27 Jan. 1860, p. 4; Burton Chronicle, 25 Mar. 1880, p. 5; Staffs. Advertiser, 12 Feb. 1887, p. 7.
  • 8. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 36; Baptist Quarterly, n.s. xxvi. 15.
  • 9. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 36, 91, 93.
  • 10. S.R.O., D. 4219/1/2, baptisms of 17 Aug. 1728 and 25 Feb. 1742/3.
  • 11. S.H.C. 4th ser. iii. 130, 139; Baptist Quarterly, ix. 496-9.
  • 12. S.R.O., D. 877/48/2; Bagshaw, Derb. 228; Wesley, Burton, 83.
  • 13. P.R.O., HO 129/375/4/2/6.
  • 14. Staffs. Advertiser, 5 Jan. 1861, p. 4; 26 Oct. 1861, p. 4; Stuart, County Borough, i. 169.
  • 1a. D.R.O., D. 2660/B123/1, ff. [7-9v.]; Staffs. Advertiser, 2 May 1874, p. 7.
  • 2a. D.R.O., D. 2660/B123/2, 15 Dec. 1886; Staffs. Advertiser, 12 Feb. 1887, p. 7.
  • 3a. Molyneux, Burton, 127; Stuart, County Borough, i. 169 (giving date as 1825).
  • 4a. D.R.O., D. 2660/B128/1, reverse pages; P.R.O., HO 129/ 375/4/5/15; Plan of Burton (1837).
  • 5a. Molyneux, Burton, 127; Burton Chronicle, 20 Sept. 1883, p. 5. The 1883 chapel is illustrated in R. Lewis, Staffs. Churches and Chapels in Old Picture Postcards (Nottingham, 1996), no. 57.
  • 6a. Burton Daily Mail, 28 Mar. 1966, p. 1; 25 Mar. 1967, p. 2.
  • 7a. D.R.O., D. 2660/B136/1; D. 2660/B136/2, 9 Jan. 1980.
  • 8a. Ibid. D. 2660/B139/1, pp. 11-12; Staffs. Advertiser, 31 Aug. 1878, p. 7; Kelly's Dir. Staffs. (1880), 64.
  • 9a. Burton Chronicle, 25 Mar. 1880, p. 5; below, this section (Primitive Methodists).
  • 10a. D.R.O., D. 2660/B136/1.
  • 11a. O.S. Map 1/500, Staffs. XL. 16. 9 (1884 edn.); Plan of Burton (1879).
  • 12a. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 58406; O.S. Map 1/ 500, Staffs. XL. 12. 14 (1884 edn.); Tresises Burton Dir. (1938), 39; Stuart, County Borough, i. 175; below, Horninglow, nonconformity.
  • 13a. Below, Horninglow, nonconformity.
  • 14a. Stuart, County Borough, i. 176; Tresises Burton Dir. (1952), 293.
  • 1b. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 73712; D. Jackson, The Burton Story ([Burton], 1995), 36; Thomsons Burton and Loughborough Dir. (1995-6), 115; inf. from Sue Jolley, administrator of the church.
  • 2b. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 39479; Burton upon Trent and its Industrial Facilities (10th edn. Cheltenham and London, 1938-9), 55 and map facing p. 18.
  • 3b. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 49010 (cancelled on revision in 1964); Tresises Burton Dir. (1952), 71.
  • 4b. Burton Evening Gazette, 9 Mar. 1895, p. [2]; Tresises Burton Dir. (1925), 57.
  • 5b. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 63799; Tresises Burton Dir. (1952), 71.
  • 6b. Staffs. Studies, xi. 65; Jnl. Geo. Fox, ed. J. L. Nickalls (1952), 70.
  • 7b. S.R.O., D. 3159/1/1, f. 49v.; S.H.C. 4th ser. iii. 119.
  • 8b. S.R.O., D. 3159/1/1, f. 105.
  • 9b. Ibid. D. 3159/1/2, 27 Dec. 1748; D. Stuart, 'Early Quaker Movement in Staffs.' (Leicester Univ. Ph.D. thesis, 2001), 239.
  • 10b. S.R.O., D. 4769/4/1, ff. [2-6], and entries for 1930; O.S. Map 1/2,500, Staffs. XL. 12 (prov. edn. of 1937); Tresises Burton Dir. (1925), 57.
  • 11b. S.R.O., D. 5197/1, pp. 107-9, 147; D. 5197/2.
  • 12b. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/1, 19 Aug. 1808; D. 28/E/1, p. 2; P.R.O., RG 4/3439, flyleaf; below, this section (Presbyterians).
  • 13b. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/1; D. 28/D/1/3, certificate of 19 June 1838.
  • 14b. O.S. Map 1/500, Staffs. XLI. 9. 21 (1884 edn.); Staffs. Advertiser, 1 Oct. 1842, p. 3; Lond. Gaz. 13 Nov. 1866, p. 5992.
  • 15. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/4, 3 May 1810; P.R.O., RG 4/ 3439, flyleaf.
  • 16. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/4; D. 28/D/1/8, p. 2; White, Dir. Staffs. (1834), 315 (giving date of enlargement as 1825).
  • 17. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/8, p. 34; Staffs. Advertiser, 1 Oct. 1842, p. 3; Wesley, Burton, 82; Trans. Cong. Hist. Soc. iii. 82.
  • 18. P.R.O., HO 129/375/4/2/8.
  • 19. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 222; D. Macfadyen, Alexander Mackennal (1905), 20-2.
  • 20. Below, this subsection.
  • 21. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/7, 1 Oct. 1902.
  • 22. Ibid. D. 49/1/8, pp. 47-8, 64, 118-19, 136-7; Burton Daily Mail, 26 June 1967, p. 4.
  • 1c. Burton Libr., D. 49/2/37, p. [3]; above, this section (Brethren).
  • 2c. Burton Libr., D. 23/2/18/17, p. 52; D. 28/D/1/3; Lond. Gaz. 13 Nov. 1866, p. 5992; above, public services (municipal cemetery).
  • 3c. Burton Libr., D. 28/D/1/6, entries for 1887; Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 241-2; Guild Street Ch. Year Bk. 1889, 7; Year Bk. 1890, 7 (copies in Burton Libr., D. 28/D/2/ 2); above, this section (Particular Baptists).
  • 4c. Guild Street Ch. Year Bk. 1901, 15-18; Year Bk. 1903, 7, 15; Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 252; Burton Evening Gaz. 3 Oct. 1902.
  • 5c. Burton Daily Mail, 26 May 1924, p. 1; Tresises Burton Dir. (1925), 57.
  • 6c. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. nos. 52819, 59788, 63446, and 71774; below, Horninglow, nonconformity.
  • 7c. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 2173.
  • 8c. Staffs. Advertiser, 20 Aug. 1870, p. 2.
  • 9c. Burton Libr., D. 28/ADD/4/1; S.H.C. 4th ser. iii. 123.
  • 10c. Jnl. of John Wesley, ed. N. Curnock (1938), v. 160, 378, 449.
  • 11c. Burton Libr., D. 28/A/1/1.
  • 12c. J.R.U.L.M., MAM F1 3.8/2.
  • 13c. Burton Libr., D. 86/1/3/6; White, Dir. Staffs. (1851), 536- 7 (stating that the chapel was rebuilt in 1813).
  • 14c. P.R.O., HO 129/375/4/2/9; below, this subsection (United Methodist Free Church).
  • 15a. Burton Libr., D. 28/ADD/4/10-11; Staffs. Advertiser, 21 Oct. 1871, p. 7.
  • 16a. Staffs. Advertiser, 21 Oct. 1871, p. 7. The chapel is illustrated in Burton Libr, D. 28/A/3/1, flyleaf.
  • 17a. Burton Libr., D. 28/A/3/2, 29 Aug. 1958.
  • 18a. Staffs. Advertiser, 26 July 1873, p. 7.
  • 19a. Burton Libr., D. 86/1/3/8-9; Staffs. Advertiser, 26 July 1873, p. 7; 7 Feb. 1874, p. 7.
  • 20a. The Story of Byrkley Street Methodist Church (1966), cover and p. 8 (copy in Burton Libr., D. 28/A/4/21); Staffs. Advertiser, 15 July 1882, p. 7.
  • 1d. Burton Libr., D. 28/ADD/3, 1972-8; D. 80/1, pp. 263-4; J. Shryane, Non-Conformist Chapels in Staffordshire (Staffs. C.C. Planning and Development Office, [1986]), 35; below, this subsection (United Free Methodist Church).
  • 2d. Burton Libr., D. 84/4/1, Trinity circuit, 16 Oct. 1960-14 Jan. 1961; O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 35379; Methodist Ch. Building Return (1940), 109.
  • 3d. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 45062.
  • 4d. J.R.U.L.M., MAM F1 3.8/2; S.H.C. 4th ser. iii. 11-12.
  • 5d. J.R.U.L.M., circuit plans, Burton-upon-Trent (Wesleyan Methodist), Apr.-July 1836 and Feb.-May 1849.
  • 6d. Univ. Brit. Dir. ii [1793], 415; White, Dir. Staffs. (1834), 315.
  • 7d. W. Parkes, 'The Arminian Methodists 1832-7' (Keele Univ. M.Phil. thesis, 1994), app. A, 31-3; Plan of Burton (1837; listing the chapel in the key but not showing it on the map).
  • 8d. Burton Libr., D. 28/B/1/1, Mar. 1827; J. Petty, History of the Primitive Methodist Connexion (1864), 103, 145; S.H.C. 4th ser. iii. 49; H. B. Kendall, Origin and History of Primitive Methodist Church (1905), i. 522-3.
  • 9d. Kendall, Primitive Methodist Ch. i. 523; J. T. Wilkinson, Hugh Bourne (1952), 140, 171.
  • 10d. S.R.O., 5166/1/124; Burton Libr., D. 28/B/1/1, [June 1830]; Plan of Burton (1837).
  • 11d. P.R.O., HO 129/375/4/1/7.
  • 12d. Burton Libr., D. 28/A/2/3, 15 Dec. 1945; D. 28/B/6, Nov. 1945-Aug. 1946; Staffs. Advertiser, 31 Aug. 1878, p. 7.
  • 13d. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 13631; Underhill, Burton, 171.
  • 14d. Burton Libr., D. 65/2/1; D. 86/4/1, Trinity circuit, 4 July- 26 Sept. 1993.
  • 15b. Staffs. Advertiser, 30 Sept. 1871, p. 7; 31 Dec. 1887, p. 7.
  • 16b. Burton Libr., D. 84/3/5, pp. 217, [220]; D. 108/5/7, p. [xxvii]; local inf.
  • 17b. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/1/1; D. 28/C/1/4, handbill; J. Wilson, Elements of a Curiosity (Burton, [1849]).
  • 18b. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/1/2, 12 Feb. 1851; P.R.O., HO 129/ 375/4/2/10.
  • 19b. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/3/23, p. 22.
  • 1e. Ibid. D. 28/C/1/2, 24 May 1852; 21 Nov. 1854; 7 May 1856. The chapel is illustrated in Burton Libr., D. 28/C/3/23, p. 28.
  • 2e. Burton Libr., D. 86/2/1, 28 Sept. 1857; George Street Methodist Ch. Souvenir of Centenary Celebrations 1852-1952 (1952), p. [14] (copy in Burton Libr., D. 86/7/16).
  • 3e. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/3/23, p. 40; Staffs. Advertiser, 1 Dec. 1860, p. 4.
  • 4e. United Methodist Magazine, vi. 124.
  • 5e. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/1/2, 24 Aug. 1863; D. 28/C/3/23, pp. 67-8, 398; George St. Methodist Ch. Souvenir, p. [16]; below, social and cultural activities (social and community groups: political clubs).
  • 6e. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/3/23, p. 91; D. 86/2/9, George St. trust property particulars, 1897.
  • 7e. Ibid. D. 28/C/3/3, Apr. 1897, 13 June 1898, and 14 Sept. 1900; D. 86/7/8, 9 June 1896, and 1 Mar. 1897.
  • 8e. Ibid. D. 86/4/1, Trinity circuit, 8 Oct.-31 Dec. 1972.
  • 9e. Ibid. D. 86/2/1, 24 Mar. 1856 and 27 Sept. 1858.
  • 10e. Ibid. D. 86/2/2, 23 Dec. 1868; D. 86/7/6, 18 Jan. 1864, 9 July 1866, and 9 Sept. 1868.
  • 11e. Ibid. D. 28/C/4/5, flyleaf; D. 86/2/3, 17 Dec. 1879.
  • 12e. Ibid. D. 28/C/4/10; D. 28/ADD/2, 31 Aug. 1966; D. 80/1, pp. 200, 255; inf. from steward of Burton Methodist circuit (1998).
  • 13e. Burton Libr., D. 28/C/3/23, pp. 55, 59; Staffs. Advertiser, 22 Dec. 1888, p. 7.
  • 1f. Burton Libr., D. 84/3/5, pp. 217, [220].
  • 2f. Ibid. D. 86/4/1, Trinity circuit, 16 Apr.-15 July 1961; D. 86/7/8, 11 Nov. and 7 Dec. 1896.
  • 3f. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. nos. 62006 and 62889; Staffs. Advertiser, 26 Sept. 1903, p. 5; Stuart, County Borough, i. 177.
  • 4f. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 76660; Tresises Burton Dir. (1952), 71; above, established church (Christ Church).
  • 5f. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 49322; D. Jackson, The Burton Story ([Burton], 1995), 35
  • 6f. Tresises Burton Dir. (1952), 71.
  • 7f. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. nos. 68660, 70805, and 72262.
  • 8f. Inf. from Andy Robinson, leader of the the church's youth and children's work (2000).
  • 9f. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 61-2; Cal. S.P. Dom. 1663-4, 242; S.H.C. 4th ser. ii. 40.
  • 10f. S. Palmer, Nonconformist's Memorial (1775), ii. 392.
  • 11f. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 89, 93; Calamy Revised, ed. A. G. Matthews (1934), 473.
  • 12f. Palmer, Nonconformist's Memorial, ii. 392-3; E. Pearse, The Conformist's Fourth Plea for the Nonconformists (London, 1683), 56.
  • 13f. Freedom after Ejection, ed. A. Gordon (1917), 96; S.H.C. 4th ser. iii. 117.
  • 14e. P.R.O., ASSI 4/18, pp. 233, 248; E 178/6908, m. 3; Flying Post, 30 July-2 Aug. 1715; 2-4 Aug. 1715.
  • 15c. Flying Post, 13-15 Sept. 1715.
  • 16c. Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 129.
  • 17c. Burton Libr., D. 28/E/1, pp. 2-3; Matthews, Cong. Churches of Staffs. 110-11; above, this section (Independents).
  • 18c. O.S. Map. 1/500, Staffs. XL. 16. 4 (1884 edn.); Trinity Presbyterian Ch. First Hundred Years 1861-1961, 7 (copy in Burton Libr., D. 49/3); D. Macfadyen, Alexander Mackennal (1905), 20-1.
  • 19c. Burton Libr., D. 49/1/1, pp. 260-2, 264; O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. nos. 16908 and 23515.
  • 1g. Burton Daily Mail, 26 May 1924, p. 1.
  • 2g. Burton Libr., D. 49/1/8, pp. 47-8, 64, 118-19, 136-7; Burton Daily Mail, 26 June 1967, p. 4.
  • 3g. Burton Libr., D. 49/1/8, pp. 143-6; Trinity Presbyterian Ch. Quarterly Review, Sept. 1972, pp. [2-3] (copy in Burton Libr., D. 49/2/37).
  • 4g. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 29485; Burton Mail, 25 Jan. 1986, pp. 8-9.
  • 5g. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 31535; Staffs. Advert- iser, 22 Dec. 1888, p. 7.
  • 6g. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 61576; Burton Mail, 25 Jan. 1986, pp. 8-9.
  • 7g. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. nos. 27878 and 47951.
  • 8g. Ibid. nos. 38156, 39691, 44555, 45942, 46389, and 47951.
  • 9g. Ibid. nos. 45456 and 59301; below, Horninglow, noncon- formity.
  • 10g. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 58797, 59072, 62414, and 63587; Tresises Burton Dir. (1925), 57; (1938), 39; Kelly's Dir. Staffs. (1940), 116; Burton Daily Mail, 24 June 1967, p. 2.
  • 11g. Burton Mail, 5 Jan. 1901, p. 3; 30 Mar. 1905, p. 2; 6 May 1905, p. 3.
  • 12g. Burton Weekly News, 8 Nov. 1883, p. [5]; Staffs. Advertiser, 10 Nov. 1883, p. 7; above, this section (Pentecostalists).
  • 13g. Burton Daily Mail, 5 Dec. 1910, p. 2.
  • 14f. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 49026 (cancelled on revision of list).
  • 15d. Tresises Burton Dir. (1925), 57.
  • 16d. O.N.S. (Birkdale), Worship Reg. no. 60249.
  • 17d. St. Modwen's Parish Magazine, June 1996, p. [4]; Jackson, Burton Story, 36; inf. from Dr. Robin Trotter; below, Stretton, nonconformity.