Nonconformity in Derbyshire: A Study in Dissent, 1600-1800

Overview

Nonconformity in Derbyshire has been little researched and what has been published about it is scattered through many sources, ancient and modern. There is no standard nineteenth-century history as there is for many other counties. Yet there is an important story to be told. Derbyshire was the birthplace of John Cotton; the minutes of its Wirksworth Classis are a rare survival from the Commonwealth period; from Duffield in Derbyshire Roger Morrice, whose significant Journal has been published, was ejected. The ...

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2009 pp. 198. New book. Previously published by Paternoster, 2009.

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Overview

Nonconformity in Derbyshire has been little researched and what has been published about it is scattered through many sources, ancient and modern. There is no standard nineteenth-century history as there is for many other counties. Yet there is an important story to be told. Derbyshire was the birthplace of John Cotton; the minutes of its Wirksworth Classis are a rare survival from the Commonwealth period; from Duffield in Derbyshire Roger Morrice, whose significant Journal has been published, was ejected. The book England's Remembrancer (1663), published sermons by ejected "country ministers," as distinct from London ones, is dominated by ministers from Derbyshire or with connections there. An important Dissenting Academy was established at Findern, near Derby, and the diary of James Clegg, dissenting minister, has been published. This book provides the context for these events and tells the stories of the county families who promoted Dissent. An evaluation of Nonconformity in Derbyshire also provides a case study for a wider assessment of the impact of Dissent out of London and its eventual decline through the eighteenth century. The story concludes with the attempts of Thomas Wilson, an important founder of modern Congregationalism, to revive dissenting causes in his home county as the eighteenth century drew to a close.

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Meet the Author

Stephen Orchard is a former Principal of Westminster College, Cambridge, and President of the Cambridge Theological Federation. He has served as a local minister in the United Reformed Church, Assistant General Secretary of the British Council of Churches, General Secretary and Director of the Christian Education Movement, and Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church 2007-2008. He was born and grew up in Derbyshire, where he now lives.

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Table of Contents

Foreword Clyde Binfield ix

Acknowledgements xi

Prologue 1

Chapter 1 The Puritan Tradition in Derbyshire 4

The Puritans 4

Derbyshire 7

Repton 9

Ashbourne 11

Derby 13

Other Schools 14

Puritanism around the County 15

Chapter 2 The Civil War and Commonwealth 17

The Gell Family 17

Petitions 19

The Outbreak of Hostilities 22

The Committee of Sequestrators 24

The Wirksworth Classis 27

Chapter 3 The Ejections of 1662 34

Booth's Rising 34

The Restoration of 1660 35

The Act of Uniformity 1662 36

The Number of Ejections 37

Ejections by Parish 41

The Presbyterian Gentry 45

The Public Statements of the Ejected Ministers 48

Chapter 4 The Aftermath of Ejection 56

The Clarendon Code 56

Mute Resistance and Conformity 57

The Apostle of the Peak 64

Active Resistance 66

Lay Supporters 72

Quakers 75

The Outcome 76

Chapter 5 Toleration 77

Protestant Dissenters 77

Derby 80

Chesterfield 82

Wirksworth 83

Norton 86

Other Meeting Houses 87

Worship in the Meeting House 89

The Brentnall Family 90

Leading Dissenters 92

The Evans List 92

Findern 95

The Schism Act 97

Expansion 99

James Clegg 100

Chapter 6 The Changing Nature of Dissent 103

Ebenezer Latham 103

Samuel Brentnall 105

William Hutton 106

The Decline of Meeting Houses 108

Buxton 112

Derby 113

The Reshaping of Dissent 115

Appendix 1 Ordinations at the Wirksworth Classis and Subsequent Attendance 118

Appendix 2 Protestant Dissenters after 1689 121

Appendix 3 The Evans List for Derbyshire 129

Appendix 4 Derbyshire Nonconformity: A Gazeteer 132

Bibliography 186

General Index 189

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