Friday, 24 August 2012

Ingatestone: Book of Common Prayer

Book of Common Prayer Anniversary

Up and down the country, the Church of England still holds services using the Book of Common Prayer – sometimes referred to as ‘1662 service’.  In some quarters its words are regarded as central to the liturgy.  But it was an Act of Parliament which ordained its use, effective from St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August) 1662.

Samuel Pepys, a Londoner, wrote in his diary:

“August 17th. (Lord’s Day).  Up very early, this being the last Sunday that the Presbyterians are to preach, unless they read the Common Prayer and renounce the Covenant, and so I had mind to hear Dr Bates’s farewell sermon, and walked to St Dunstan’s, where, it not being seven o’clock yet, the doors were not open; and so I went and walked an hour in the Temple-garden … . At eight o’clock I went, and crowded in at the back door among others, the church being half-full almost before any doors were open publicly; which is the first time that I have done so these many years since I used to go with my father and mother; and so got into the gallery, beside the pulpit, and heard very well.”

This must have been the last Sunday when John Willis preached in Ingatestone.  Following ejection “he did not move any great distance, but established a conventicle at Brentwood, in conjunction with Thomas Gibson, who had been ejected from Little Baddow.  There they had a licence for a ‘Presbyterian meeting house’ in 1672, and Rector Willis probably remained there until his death in 1679” (EE Wilde, Ingatestone & The Essex Great Road (1913) p176). This was the formation of what became the Congregational Church (more recently Brentwood United Reformed Church).

D W Coller, wrote about the events of 1662 in his book ‘The People’s History of Essex’ (1861)

“Then came the Act of Uniformity, which banished all strange doctrine from the pulpit and restored the liturgy in its completeness; and 2,000 of the clergy, many of them in Essex, with a sincerity which astonished the kingdom, abandoned their snug vicarages and comfortable rectory-houses, and went forth, voluntarily embracing a life of hardship and poverty rather than accept the articles of subscription which were tendered to them as the condition of retaining their cures.  The following is a list of the ejected clergy in this county: it shows at once the extent of the suffering, and the parishes which had been under pastors whose teaching had been most hostile to the system of the Church:

Abbey Hatch: Mr Knightsly
Alphamstone: Mr Samuel Brinsley, St John’s Col. Camb
Arkesden: Richard Pepps. M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Great Baddow: Mr Christopher Wragge
Little Baddow: Thomas Gilson, M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Barking: Benjamin Way M.A., Oriel Col. Oxon
Barnston: John Beadle, M.A.
Belchamp (Walter): Mr Dearsley
Belchamp (Otten): Mr Thomas
Bentley: Mr Thomas Beard
Boreham: Mr John Oates
Boxted: Mr Lax, also Mr Carr
Braintree: Mr John Argor, Camb. Univ
Steeple Bumpstead: Mr Edmund Symmes
Birdbrook: Issac Grandorge, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
Great Burstead: Mr Samuel Bridges
Chelmsford: Mr Mark Mott
Chickney: Mr Archer
Childerditch: Mr Harris
Chrishall (Little): Mr James Willet
Clavering: Mr John Moore, Peter-house, Camb
Coggeshall: Mr John Sams
Colchester, St Andrews: Owen Stockton, M.A., Christ’s Col. Camb
Colchester, St Peter’s: Mr Edward Warren
Colne Engaine: Mr John Clarke
Copford: Mr Robert Thompson
Cranham: Mr John Yardley
Danbury: Mr John Man
Dedham: Matt Newcomen, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
High Easter: Mr Martin Holbitch
Eastwood: Mr Phillogers Sacheverel, Ox Univ
Felsted: Mr Nathaniel Ranew, Eman. Col. Camb
Feering: Mr Constable
Finchingfield: Mr Hugh Glover, Eman. Col. Camb
Fingringhoe: Mr Gregg
Fordham: John Bulkley, M.A.
Gestingthorp: Mr Davis
Hawkwell: Mr John Church
Halstead: Mr Wlliam Sparrow, Camb. Univ
Hamstead (West): Mr Green
Hanningfield S: Mr Cardinal
Hatfield Broad Oak: John Warren M.A., Ox. Univ
Hempstead: Mr Thomas Ellis
Henham: Mr Samuel Ely
Hedingham (Castle): Mr John Smith
Henny (Little): Mr Samuel Crossman
Hockley: Mr Farnworth
Hallingbury (Little): Mr Waters
Hornchurch: Mr Wells
Ingatestone: John Willis, M.A.
Inworth: Mr Robert Dodd, Ox Univ, also Mr Jenkins
Laver (Magdalen): Mr Harvey
Laver (High): Mr Samuel Borfet, King’s Col. Camb
Laver (Little): Edward Whiston, M.A., Trin. Col. Camb
Leighs (Little): Mr John Benson
Leyton (Low): Phllip Anderton, M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Lindsell: Mr Clark
Maldon: Thomas Horrockes, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
Moreton: Edmund Calamay, M.A., Sydney Col. Camb
Nazing: Mr John Brown, Eman. Col. Oxon
Nevendon: Mr Davis Fowles
Norton: Mr Hubbard
Notley: Mr Sparrowhawk
Oakley: Mr John Hubbard
Oakley (near Stansted): Mr Lucas
Ockendon (South): Mr Barnaby
Ongar (Chipping): Mr John Lorkin
Panfield: Mr George Purchas
Parndon (Great): Mr Bastwick
Pattiswick: Mr Ralph Hile
Pebmarsh: Me Blakeley
Pentlow: Mr Henry Esday
Prittlewell: Thomas Peck, M.A.
Radwinter: Mr George Moxon
Rayleigh: Abraham Caley, B.D.
Rettendon: William Clopton, M.A., Eman. Col. Camb
Ridgewell: Daniel Ray, M.A., St John’s Col. Camb
Rivenhall: Mr George Lisle
Roothing: Mr John Wood
Roothing (White): Mr Sandford
Sandon: Mr Samuel Smith
Shalford: Mr Giles Firman, Camb. Univ
Shelley: Mr Zackery Finch
Shenfield: Mr George Bound
Shoebury: Mr Watson
Southchurch: William Ruthband, M.A., Ox. Univ
Springfield: John Reeve, M.A.
Stambourne: Mr Henry Havers, Kath. Hall, Camb
Stanford Rivers: Mr Matthew Ellistone
Stansted: Mr Robert Abbott
Stapleford (Abbots): Mr Lewis Calandrine
Stapleford (Tawney): Mr Ward
Stebbing: Samuel Bantoft, B.D., Jesus Col. Camb
Stisted: Mr Thomas Clark
Stock: Mr Martin Sympson
Stow Mary’s: Mr James Maulden
Tey (Much or Great): Mr Green
Tey (Marks): Mr Richard Rand
Terling: John Stalham, M.A., Ox. Univ
Thaxted: Mr James Parker
Thoyden Mount: Mr Francis Chandler
Toppesfield: Mr John Overhead
Upminster: Mr Hawkes
Wakering: Mr Christopher Scott
Waltham (Little): John Harrison, M.A.
Wanstead: Leonard Hoar, M.D.
Warley (Little): Mr Powel
West Ham: Mr Walton
Wethersfield: John Cole, M.A., Jesus Col. Camb.
White Colne: Mr John Bigley
Wickham Bishops: Mr Robert Billio, Trin. Col. Camb
Witham: Mr Thomas Ludgutter
Weeley: Mr Dowel
Yeldham (Great): Mr Robert Chadsly.

“It appears to have been feared that these nonconformist exiles would in many instances carry their congregations from the parish altars, and leave the churches desolate.  An act was therefore passed prohibiting separate congregations, and forbidding any dissenting teacher to come within five miles of any place at which he had preached.  Dissent prevailed in the county, nevertheless, and to a great extent, - so hard is it to coerce the conscience by human law; and though these restrictions, with occasional modifications, were continued for a century afterwards, conventicles, as they were called, were set up in secure and secret places, precautions being taken to elude the watchful constable and the lurking informer.  An illustration of this existed up to about a year ago in the old chapel in Baddow-lane, Chelmsford.  A sliding panel was to be seen in the wall at the back of the pulpit.  The tradition is, that the original building was a solitary barn, and through this loop-hole, the minister and the people who dared to worship God in what the law called an illegal manner, had a ready means to escape to the wood, which then skirted the rear of the building, and extended to Galleywood Common to the river, while the soldiers employed to hunt the fugitives were thundering the bolted door.”

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