Bottisham
Nonconformity

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Victoria County History

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A F Wareham, A P M Wright

Year published

2002

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220-221

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'Bottisham: Nonconformity', A History of the County of Cambridge and the Isle of Ely: Volume 10: Cheveley, Flendish, Staine and Staploe Hundreds (north-eastern Cambridgeshire) (2002), pp. 220-221. URL: http://british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=18852 Date accessed: 21 September 2014.


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NONCONFORMITY.

Although 66 people, including 43 men and 23 women largely from their families, were presented in 1675 for not receiving the sacrament, (fn. 46) no dissenters were reported in 1676. (fn. 47) Four households were regularly failing to attend church in 1686. (fn. 48) In 1697 a Cambridge Independent minister was preaching at Bottisham. (fn. 49) By 1728 a quarter of the villagers were reckoned dissenters, a few being Quakers, most Baptists. A shoemaker preached monthly at a small meeting house. (fn. 50) A house was registered for Particular Baptists in 1743, (fn. 51) another for Independents in 1726 at Lode, (fn. 52) where a Methodist ex-shepherd was preaching in a barn in 1761. (fn. 53) In 1807 a small meeting house of uncertain denomination, probably that registered in 1798 for 'a gospel preacher', was not regularly used. Its adherents sometimes came to church and had their children baptized there. (fn. 54) Other houses at Bottisham were registered for dissenters in 1812, 1818, 1832, and 1835, (fn. 55) and at Lode in 1835 and 1842. (fn. 56)

The main Independent congregation in Bottisham village initially used a chapel registered in 1819 by Richard Cook, its minister until 1850. Thomas Dennis of Bottisham Place had built for a congregation previously meeting at his house the timber-framed structure off the south-east end of the street, (fn. 57) which survived in 1991, remodelled as a farm building. Although there was a continuous succession of ministers into the 1880s, (fn. 58) one of whom claimed in 1851, when there were 40 sittings, an attendance of almost 80, (fn. 59) those ministers usually had no home in the village, but sometimes, as in 1881, lodged with the Pauls. (fn. 60) In 1868 a new greybrick fivebayed chapel, seating 230, was built on Paul property south-west of the street. (fn. 61) In 1873, when two services were held weekly at that chapel, the dissenters in Bottisham ecclesiastical parish numbered 200-250, (fn. 62) while in 1885 and 1897 a third of its inhabitants went to chapel. (fn. 63) After 1900, when the chapel was served by a supply minister, membership declined from 48 in 1905 to 12 by 1935 and 4 by 1965. (fn. 64) The chapel had closed well before 1971, when the village scout troop took over its building, which they purchased c. 1978. It was still their local base in 1991. (fn. 65)

In 1852 Primitive Methodists registered a cottage at Bottisham. (fn. 66)

From the early 19th century the Baptists were strongest at Lode, where they had registered a private house in 1803. A chapel built for Particular Baptists in 1810, (fn. 67) though only regis tered c. 1840, (fn. 68) was rebuilt in 1832 in two bays of grey brick, on a site slightly west of Lode high street. Annexes were added at its west c. 1855. (fn. 69) There were resident ministers from the 1840s until at least the 1880s. (fn. 70) In 1851, when it had 350 sittings, 140 free, the minister, who held three services each Sunday, claimed an average attendance rising from 140 to up to 300 in the afternoons. (fn. 71) In 1873 the Baptists, who had accounted for half Lode's population c. 1870, were said to oppose violently the Church of England's doctrine and ritual. (fn. 72) Their late 19thcentury membership was c. 50, a quarter of the potential congregation. (fn. 73) That chapel remained open in the 20th century, (fn. 74) and services were still regularly held in 1991. (fn. 75)

Footnotes

46 C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/63A, ff. 4v.-6v.
47 Compton Census, ed. Whiteman, 164.
48 C.U.L., E.D.R., B 2/70, f. 7; cf. ibid. B 2/72, f. 38.
49 Diary of a Cambs. Minister, ed. A.G. Matthews, 6.
50 C.U.L., E.D.R., B 8/1, p. 3.
51 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. no. 87.
52 Ibid. no. 21.
53 East Anglian, N.S. iii. 127; cf. Palmer, Wm. Cole, 17.
54 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 1/4; cf. P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. no. 158.
55 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. nos. 258, 355, 567, 597.
56 Ibid. nos. 584, 660.
57 Ibid. no. 374; Hailstone, Bottisham, suppl. 12; cf. R.C.H.M. Cambs. ii. 6.
58 Listed to 1870s, Hailstone, Bottisham, suppl. 12; cf. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1875-79); Congregational Year Bk. (1885), 308.
59 P.R.O., HO 129/189, f. 26.
60 e.g. ibid. RG 10/1598, f. 18v.; RG 11/1678, f. 4v.
61 Inscr. on bldg.; Hailstone, Bottisham, 55; Cong. Year Bk. (1895), 251; cf. C.R.O., Q/RDz 5, incl. map.
62 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/24.
63 Ibid. C 3/30; C 3/36.
64 Cong. Year Bk. (1905), 206; (1935), 314; (1965), 125; cf. Camb. Ind. Press, 25 Nov. 1960.
65 Camb. Ind. Press, 11 Feb. 1971; cf. Camb. Evening News, 18 Oct. 1972; 15 Feb. 1976; 15 Apr. 1978.
66 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. no. 732.
67 Ibid. no. 175; Hailstone, Bottisham, 55-6.
68 P.R.O., RG 31/2, Ely dioc. nos. 620, 642.
69 Inscrs. on bldg. of 1832 and 1855.
70 e.g. P.R.O., HO 107/72 (2), f. 14; HO 107/1762, f. 311; ibid. RG 9/1033, f. 27; RG 10/1598, f. 40v.; Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1875-9).
71 P.R.O., HO 129/189, f. 27.
72 C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/24; cf. Char. Com. file 203215/13, report 1870.
73 e.g. Baptist Handbk. (1875), 13; (1885), 172; cf. C.U.L., E.D.R., C 3/30.
74 e.g. Kelly's Dir. Cambs. (1916-37).
75 Notice at chapel.