Bradwell: Ancient and Modern

A History of the Parish and of Incidents in the Hope Valley.

By Seth Evans (1912)

Transcriptions by Rosemary Lockie, © Copyright 2013

Chapter XXVII.

HOW PROTESTANT NONCONFORMITY ROSE IN THE PEAK.

The Ejected Clergymen of 1662.

The light of the gospel had penetrated to this remote and at that time wild region long before the ejection of the two thousand. Churches are said to have been built in various parts of the Peak which dated from the first century of the Conquest. The chosen parishes of the High Peak were Glossop, Eyam, Castleton, Hope, Hathersage, Tideswell, Bakewell, and Youlgreave, to which were afterwards added Chapel-en-le-Frith, Edensor, and Darley. In addition to these there were about twenty-three chapels, but these were built during the time which covers the period between the Reformation and the passing of the Act of Toleration in 1689. To the people of to-day it seems strange that clergymen of the Church of England at the period now spoken of were not necessarily preachers, indeed, some of them never attempted to preach, but only read the homilies insisted upon by authority. This called into existence a body of itinerant or temporary abiding ministers, men of great zeal, and doubtless possessed of an eloquence adapted to the times, who went about from parish to parish, and soon obtained great influence in the country. The labours of these lecturers were one principal origin which led to the prevalence of dissent.

For many of the following facts we are indebted to an express treatise written by one of the fathers of Derbyshire Nonconformity, the Rev. William Bagshawe, the Apostle of the Peak, who in his old age set down to recall to his memory those who had been his fathers and brethren in the ministry, and who had been, like himself, zealous preachers of the word among the people of the Peak. The title of this little volume is “De Spiritualibus Pecci, notes (or notices) concerning the Word of God and some of those who have been workers together with God in the Hundred of the High Peak in Derbyshire”. The date is 1702. We have also had the privilege of perusal of Hunter's M.S. in the British Museum on “The Rise of the old Dissent in the Peak of Derbyshire”, which was intended as a specimen of a new Nonconformists' memorial, 1851. We have also consulted Mr. Greaves-Bagshawe's “Memoir” of his distinguished and saintly ancestor, and various other works, and have also had the opportunity, by the kindness of Mr. Bagshawe, of perusing the diary of the Rev. James Clegg. With this additional and reliable information, no apology is needed for a supplementary chapter to the somewhat meagre sketch given earlier in these pages.

In the reign of James the First, two of these itinerant preachers, Mr. Dyke and Mr. Tyler, were sent into the Peak by Lady Bowes, who lived at Walton, near Chesterfield, an old seat of the Foljambes, to one of whom she had been united in her first nuptials. She outlived Sir William Bowes, her second husband, and at last became Lady D'Arcy, by her marriage with John, Lord D'Arcy, a nobleman of the same religious spirit with herself. They were married at Chesterfield, on May 7th, 1617, which serves to fix the era of this lady, who may be regarded as having been, more than any other, the nursing mother of the Nonconformity of these parts.

Queer Parsons in the Olden Times.

It was Lady Bowes' rule not to intrude these lecturers into any parish where there was no call for them, but some idea may be formed as to the necessity for some such agency as this from a description of the character of some of the clergy. It is particularly interesting, inasmuch as the letter was written to Lady Bowes by Adam Slack, on October 12th, 1609. This Adam Slack was a Peakland notability of that day. He was a man of considerable property, was a wealthy yeoman of Tideswell, a landowner in Bradwell, and at that time was Lord of the Manor of Thornhill, which he had ten years previously purchased from the Eyres of Hassop, but which he sold to them again a few years later. His influence, therefore, counted for something. Ralph Clayton, of Burton, then a chapel of ease to Bakewell, is described as “a clergyman of the worst sort, who had dipped his finger both in manslaughter and perjury”. In the same letter he alludes to “the Bad Vicar of Hope”, and states how one of the justices would have licensed the “vicar to sell ale in the vicarage, and a special rule was made to prohibit him from either

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brewing or selling beer on his premises”, and he is further charged with some “of the most contemptible and loathsome crimes”. At that time William Leadbeater was the vicar of Hope, for he succeeded Rowland Meyrick in 1604. But whatever might be Vicar Leadbeater's character his signature as vicar appears in the Hope Register as late as 1634.

But unfortunately this was not the only “bad” vicar of Hope, for Meyrick's predecessor, Edmund Eyre, appears to have died under Church censure, as may be inferred from the following entry in the parish register: “1602, April 15, buried Edmund Eyre, Vicar of Hope, without service or bell in the night”.

These were strange times, but they were still more strange at an earlier period, judging from another Vicar of Hope, John Dean, who was appointed to the sacred office in the year 1395. At that time Sir Thomas Wendesley was knight of the shire in Parliament, and on the Rolls of Parliament there is recorded of him a strange incident, about the year 1403. Godfrey Rowland, Esq., was living at Longstone Hall, when Wendesley, only a few weeks before he was slain at Shrewsbury, together with John Dean, Vicar of Hope, and others, made a raid upon his homestead with force and arms, and carried off goods and stock to the value of two hundred marks. They took Rowland prisoner, carrying him to the Castle of the Peak at Castleton (which at that time had become a prison for the detention of criminals), where they kept him for six days without food, beside which they cut off the vile outrage of cutting his right hand off. Rowland petitioned the Commons for redress, but no light seems to be thrown upon so dastardly an act by a brave soldier and a reverend gentleman.

Bradwell Men Fight in Church.

Any bloodshed in or about a church in former times was regarded in a very grave light, even when accidental. There is on record a case where a man was killed by an accidental fall from the summit of the tower and the blood from his nostrils flowed under the west door of the church. Service was not allowed to be resumed until the Bishop had held an inquiry. There are records where blood has been shed violently within Derbyshire Churches and one of these comes within the scope of this work.

It is evident that then, as now, folks were occasionally in anything but a prayerful mood, even when at church. But whatever their feelings they were compelled by law to be present at the services. It was in the beginning part of the year 1530 - probably in February - when a couple of Bradwell men created a most unseemly scene in the parish church at Hope, and even before the altar of St. Nicholas. One would have thought that these two Bradwell kinsmen would have settled their differences at any rate on the road to or from church, but we are told that “Robert Elott maliciously struck Edmund Elott on the nose, before the altar of St. Nicholas, and that blood was effused upon the altar”. No time was lost in certifying such a terribly thing to the Chapter, the three who took the oath as having witnessed the outrage being Otwell Bamford, Curate of Hope,. Nicholas Smyth, and Helia Staley. Having had his revenge, Robert Elott confessed, whereupon the Chapter appointed Canon Edmund Stretehay to act as their commissary, and Robert was brought to his knees in more ways than one, for the Canon ordered him to submit to corporal punishment, kneeling before him. When blood, had been shed in the church there was a great to do - the sacred edifice having been defiled service was not allowed until that defilement had been wiped out - and in this case the church was closed for something like two months. The Bishop's Chancellor was informed of the circumstance, and he inhibited the curate from celebrating in the church until episcopal “reconciliation” had been obtained. And so matters went on - the Bishop caused an inquisition to be held as to the circumstances, and on the 4th of the following May he removed the interdict, and the services were resumed.

The Nonconforming Parsons.

BAKEWELL PARISH.

But to return to the subject. Amongst the clergy who, in the reign of Charles the First, held livings in the Peak, were Isaac Ambrose and Charles Broxholme. Amrose lived to be ejected, but in another county, and Broxholme died before the Act of Uniformity was passed. There were also two Rowlandsons, father and son, who were Puritan ministers in the time before Puritanism became Nonconformity. Mr. Bagshawe bears honourable testimony to the Rowlandsons, who were in succession vicars of Bakewell, but when the great day of trial came the father conformed and remained in the church although he is said to have benefited largely in his income by the property confiscated from the Royalists.

In the neighbouring Church of Edensor, the incumbent, Richard Archer, was returned by the Parliamentary Commissioners in 1650, as “reputed disaffected”, and as having been formerly in Prince Rupert's army. The two incumbents at Darley, John Pott and Edward Payne, are passed over with the remark concerning Mr. Payne, that he was “a hopeful man”. He had been recently placed there. In 1651, Samuel Coates was the minister of Youlgrave, described as “a godly minister”. Mr. Cantrell, the minister at Elton was reported by the Commissioners “scandalous and insufficient”. Robert Craven, of Longstone, and Anthony Mellor, of Taddington, were among the best-known and highly respected ministers of that day. Mr. Bagshawe speaks very highly of Parson

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Mellor, and relates how he was dragged to the sessions at Bakewell for his Puritanism, his offence being “his strict observance of the Sabbath, and the holding of prayer among his family”. John Jackson who was at Baslow in 1650, but went to Buxton on account of his health, remained here till he was turned out on Bartholomew's Day. At Fairfield, Thomas Nicholson, who had a wife and five children, occupied the living, and was content to leave all for conscience sake, and suffer with the rest. Mr. Payne, one of the most remarkable of the ministers ejected, when he was assistant minister of Sheffield Parish Church, continued a non-conforming minister in that parish till his death in 1708. He was born at Wheston, near Tideswell.

HOPE.

Coming nearer home, in connection with Hope parish there is not much more recorded, only that a Thomas Bocking was vicar in 1650, that he was a Royalist who had borne arms on the side of the King, and that he was reported “a scandalous minister” by the Parliamentary Commission. His name is carved on the front of the handsome oak pulpit in Hope Church.

CASTLETON.

In the neighbouring Church of Castleton, Samuel Cryer was the minister when Mr. Bagshawe wrote on the spiritual things of the Peak. He had then been more than forty years the vicar, and “is now most a father of any minister in the High Peak”. He was the son of an elder Cryer, one of Mr. Bagshawe's predecessors in the living of Glossop. Mr. Bagshawe appears to have had great esteem for Mr. Cryer, of Castleton - “May they who have heard his elaborate and eloquent discourses, evidence that they have heard God speaking through and by him”. Mr. Cryer was here as early as 1650. and he was a conformist in 1662.

“It was a privilege”, said Mr. Bagshawe, to Mr. Cryer, that he was, though not immediately, the successor of the thrice worthy Mr. Isaac Ambrose, a star of the first magnitude, for a time fixed at Castleton. I had not the time to converse with or indeed see this saint of the Lord, save once at Manchester. At that time his love to Castleton at the mention of it revived, tears shot into his eyes, and from his mouth fell the ingenious acknowledgment, “It was my sin and is my sorrow that I left that place when the Lord was blessing my ministry in it”. Mr. Ambrose was a Nonconformist in 1662, retiring from the vicarage of Garstang, in Lancashire. At Castleton, he succeeded Ralph Cantrell, was buried at Hope in October, 1626.

EDALE.

There was a very learned and godly minister of Puritan sympathies at the chapel at Edale, then a chapelry in the parish of

Castleton. Of him, Mr. Bagshawe says, “I have not only heard of, but in my childhood heard worthy Mr. Cresswell, one who drew as his first, so his last breath in our parts. He was some time chaplain at Lyme Hall, and preached at Disley, not far from it. . . . The Lord called this, His servant, from his work when that black night was come or coming. Surely Edale was a dale or valley of vision in his days. May their posterity show their profiting by others, as many did that were profited by him”.

Mr. Cresswell was succeeded by Mr. Robert Wright, a very earnest and sincere, though a less learned man than Mr. Cresswell. He refused to conform, and was, therefore, turned out of the Church. It is said that he afterwards conformed, but he was a Nonconformist when he died. He appears to have been a warener. However, he was silenced by the persecuting Acts, and he never took out a license to preach after the declaration of indulgence, and died between the year 1672 and 1675. The chapel in Edale was founded by the devotion of the Protestant people inhabiting that “valley of vision”, the names of fifteen of the chief of whom are preserved in the Deed of Consecration, which bears date August 3rd, 1634,

TIDESWELL.

At Tideswell the parson at this time was William Greaves, “a man whose very plain words were directed against the vices of his hearers, and he used that unusual exercise of catechising”. What the folk of Tideswell thought about him, especially the catechising part of his ministrations, is not stated, but he was there many years, while his successors, Christopher Fulnetby and Nicholas Cross, were there for a few months only. In 1636, Ralph Heathcote was given the living, and held it for twenty-six years. Mr. Bagshawe says he “could not be charged with falling short as to conformity before the war, whatever is charged on him for siding with the two Houses of Parliament in it”.

In Mr. Fletcher's “Guide to Tideswell”, Isaac Sympson is given as the vicar in 1662, but Mr. Bagshawe mentions others, and his notes on them are as follows: “After some vacancy that followed that minister's (Heathcote's) death, followed for a time (alas! a short time), reckoned not by years, but by months, and those not many, the labouring of one whose attainments were far above his years, with an eye to the preserving of whose memory, as well as that of others, this piece is penned, to wit, excellent Mr. Anthony Buxton, of him take the following account:”

“This person derived from parents, well-esteemed at Chelmorton, where the water that serves it springs at the upper end and sinks at the lower end, so in other parts of the country. His noted studiousness and seriousness when a school boy were as hopeful buddings of a fruitful tree”.

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After giving an account of his college career, Bagshawe says of Buxton that “not long after his commencement he was prevailed with to preach at Hayfield, a parochial chapel within my beloved parish of Glossop, where he showed that none were to despise his youth, and to my knowledge some to this day bear impressions of the precious truths which with much exactness he delivered”. . . . “He was, through the importunity of friends, and, I believe, through hopes of being a more useful instrument of furthering the work of the Lord, prevailed with to remove to Tideswell but, alas, he saw little more, if so much, as a quarter of a year there”. Mr. Bagshawe relates how “grave, reverend and tender Mr. Stanley”, the ejected minister of Eyam, attended Mr. Buxton on his death bed, how he (Bagshawe) was a bearer at his funeral, and preached his funeral sermon.

After him came Mr. Beeby. “He was here and elsewhere”, says Mr. Bagshawe, “particularly in the latter end of his time at Cirencester; industrious, apt to teach, and well esteemed. One thing was less satisfactory to his brethren, that he married his brother's widow, and defended his so doing from an order which did, as they believed, concern the Jewish nation and Church only”. Dr. Calamy says that he left Tideswell at the Restoration, and took charge of the chapel at Sheldon, when he was ejected. After him were Mr. Bryerly, and Mr. Creswick, a native of Sheffield, both Nonconformists.

HATHERSAGE.

The living at Hathersage was held by Robert Clarke, who was presented by the Earl of Devonshire, in 1627. He must have professed himself a Puritan, because in 1646 he had his living augmented by the Committee for Plundered Ministers, with £30 a year out of the rectories of Duckmanton and Normanton, sequestered from Francis Lord Denicourt, and £9 from the tithes of Abney and Abney Grange, sequestered from Rowland Eyre, papist and delinquent farmer thereof, under the Dean and Chapter of Lichfield, also £5 from the tithe of Litton, and the glebe there. We have no evidence that he lived to the critical year, 1662 but though he had largely partaken of the spoils of the suffering Royalists, he did not abandon his church at the last.

The chapel at Derwent lies far remote from the parish church of Hathersage, and the Parliamentary Commissioners in 1650 recommended that Derwent should be constituted an independent parish. A Mr. Burgess was then the minister, of whom nothing more appears to have been handed down.

They also recommended that Stoney Middleton should be made a district parish. There was a chapel, 400 communicants, and not above £10 maintenance for the minister. Richard Thorpe, the minister, is reported to be “scandalous for drinking”, and when the Committee voted an augmentation of £40 out of the tithe of Glossop, sequestered from the Earl of Arundel and Surrey, and the Countess of Arundel, his mother, a Recusant, they voted it for “such minister as they shall approve”. Mr. Thorpe, however, received at least a portion of it in 1650, and there is no account of his resignation of the benefice.

But though Mr. Bagshawe has nothing to say of the ministers who lived in the Puritan times in the parish of Hathersage, he speaks with great respect of a gentleman who lived at Highlow Hall, who belonged to the class so often spoken of as the Moderate Conformists. This was Mr. Robert Eyre, who was a magistrate for the county, a man of considerable estate in this district, as well as of very ancient descent. He had been left a minor by his father, and considered that he had suffered something in his wand-time [sic] “yet God in wisdom and favour ordered that he should match into the family of Mr. Bernard Wells”, by which his estate was so much advanced. This Mr. Eyre was a good man, and notwithstanding the satisfaction he had as to the point of conformity, he was far from persecuting Nonconformists. As before stated, he was a magistrate, and he so highly esteemed the Apostle of the Peak that informations were not given against him, and “in times of bondage precious liberties for labour were indulged in by me”.

This Mr. Eyre was the head of one of the principal families of the name and stock of Eyre, that very old and widely ramified family in the Peak. His mother was a Jessop, of Broomhall, Sheffield, who, like himself, belonged to the class of moderate Conformists.

EYAM.

The living at Eyam was held by Thomas Stanley. He succeeded Shoreland Adams, who held two livings, and was dispossessed at Eyam for his strong sympathy with the Royalist cause. He was of a very turbulent and selfish disposition. He was restored to his living in 1660, and Stanley acted as his curate till the ejection in 1662. It is said that Adams, when speaking of a clergyman who had left his living in Sheffield said: “Fowler is a fool, for before I would have sacrificed my living for a cause like that I would have sworn that a black cow was white”. This contrasts greatly with the disposition of Stanley, of whom Mr. Bagshawe writes at length.

Stanley was removed from Ashford to Eyam in 1644, from which place he was ejected in 1662. After his ejection he continued to reside at Eyam, and was a worthy helper to the Rev. William Mompesson during the terrible visitation of the Plague in 1666. After his ejection some of his bitterest enemies tried, but failed, to induce the Earl of Devonshire to remove him out of the village, and in reference to this a witness of that time says: “It was more

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reasonable that the whole country should in more than words, testify their thankfulness to him who, together with the care of the town, had taken such care as no one else did to prevent the infection of the towns adjacent”. It would seem from this statement that to Thomas Stanley is due no small share of the honour which history pays to the people of Eyam for their heroism and self-sacrifice during that dreadful visitation.

In the year 1670 Thomas Stanley was seized with the sickness that resulted in his death. William Bagshawe was called from his bed to visit him. Stanley had suffered very greatly from his Nonconformity, but he rejoiced on his death bed that he had been permitted to suffer in such a cause, and within three days, on the anniversary of his ejection, viz., on “Black Bartholomew's Day”, he went to his reward. He had been supported by the voluntary contributions of two-thirds of the inhabitants of Eyam. He died and was buried at Eyam, but there was no monument raised to this remarkable man until nearly 120 years afterwards, when it was done by a private individual.

The Apostle of the Peak.

In the year 1662, good William Bagshawe was quietly and effectively ministering to his parishioners of Glossop, reverenced and loved by all. He was content to remain there, doing his duty without any noise or ostentation, proof against all temptations to worldly advancement which would involve his severance from his beloved people. Such was his condition when that eventful 24th of August arrived, which taught so many ministers and congregations what a bitter thing it was to part who had lived and toiled and worshipped together.

William Bagshawe was born at Litton, on January 17th, 1627-8. He received his education at several country schools, where his diligence enabled him to attain to greater proficiency than many of his contemporaries. Under Mr. Rowlandson, minister at Bakewell, and Mr. Bourne, of Ashover, he imbibed very deep religious impressions. He subsequently went to Cambridge University, where he took his B.A. degree in 1646. He possessed a strong desire for the ministry, but his wish was opposed by some of his friends, who desired him to follow some other pursuit, but he carried his point, and preached his first sermon at Wormhill, where he remained for three months. Being desirous of finding a wider field of labour he went to Attercliffe, Sheffield, and became an assistant minister to Mr. James Fisher. On New Year's day, 1651, he was ordained by the presbytery at Chesterfield by the laying-on of hands, and the confession of faith he them made, and the sermon ho preached on Christ's purchase, was afterwards published.

In the following summer he married Agnes, daughter of Peter Barker, of Darley. Early in the year 1652, he was appointed to the living of Glossop. Here he laboured with very great effect for 10½ years; he was happy and contented in his work, he refused all offers of preferment, and was contented to live in the heart and affections of his people. But when he was called upon to make a sacrifice for truth he freely gave up for conscience sake what all the offers of worldly advancement could not tempt him to part with. For this he was willing to sacrifice friends, and to sever the ties of love and sympathy that bound him to his people and his people to him. When he preached to them the last time before his ejectment the tears of sorrow that fell from the eyes of his people testified to the affectionate regard in which he was held, more eloquently than words. On being compelled to lay down his work at Glossop, his father placed Ford Hall, Chapel-en-le-Frith, entirely at his service, and he made this his regular residence until his death, nearly forty years later.

But although Mr. Bagshawe was no longer allowed to minister to people inside the Church, he still continued to be a minister of the Church of Christ. He went from village to village, and even from house to house preaching the word to such as would listen, and his labours were crowned with abundant success. It is recorded that through his ministrations a spirit of seriousness, repentance, and faith pervaded these wild regions that had never been witnessed before, and his energy in preaching, and in all Christian work was such that he was called by his contemporaries “The Apostle of the Peak”, by which name he is known to history to this day. Through his untiring and self-denying labours he established Presbyterian congregations at Malcalf, near to his own home (who afterwards built the chapel at Chinley), at Great Hucklow, Bradwell, Charlesworth, Ashford, Middleton, Chelmorton, Bank End, and some accounts add Marple Bridge and Edale. He was called upon to suffer much and severe persecutions, but in all his trials his faith in God never wavered, and there are many stories on record which give an account of the very remarkable way in which he was delivered from the plots of his enemies.

For a considerable time after his removal to Ford Hall, he was compelled to act with very great caution. Every Sunday morning and afternoon, accompanied by his family, he attended the church at Chapel-en-le-Frith, but in the evening he held service privately in his own house and elsewhere, and he also delivered an address to a few friends on the Thursday evening. In this way there passed another ten years, but after the Declaration of Indulgence in 1672 he entered upon a more active public work. He went to his beloved people at Glossop once a month on a week evening, where the people flocked to hear him. He preached at Ashford once a fortnight, and very great caution being necessary in order not to expose his hearers to the severity

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of the persecuting laws then in force, he used to change the scene of his labours almost every Sunday morning so as to baffle the enemies of Nonconformity and the various bands of informers who were ever ready to give information to the authorities. His whole ministerial life was one continued act of suffering for conscience sake. Because of his choice of the Christian ministry as his profession in opposition to his friends' wish he was partially disinherited, and after the ejection he was for years in constant danger of fine and imprisonment.

Concerning his private life, he kept a constant guard upon his heart at all times, and he is said to have attained to such a degree of grace that few arrived at. The hearts of the poor were by him made glad, and with his readiness to give of his substance, he combined a rare faculty for giving wise counsel to those to whom he gave temporal aid. As a son he was most dutiful to his parents even after he had a family of his own; as a master he was kind and considerate; as a husband he was loving and affectionate, and as a father he was anxious for the moral and spiritual welfare of his children.

The bulk of the Apostle's journeys were made on horseback - a difficult task at certain seasons of the year - in fact, there are frequent references to these difficulties and dangers in his diary, and he states how on one occasion he and T. Barber were lost in a mist between Castleton and Bradwell. In this diary, too,. are very many allusions to Bradwell and Great Hucklow, which are very interesting. Some of these are given in the chapter on the old chapel, Bradwell. The entries in his diary also prove how thorough was the self-examination which the Apostle of the Peak continually applied and how dissatisfied he was with his own efforts. Referring to his preaching he writes: - “I cannot get my eyes down to the people, nor preach as though I were talking with them”. Of a petition that was being sent round by the Bishops soliciting subscriptions for the poorer clergymen, Mr. Bagshawe writes: - “Is it of good aspect that bishops take this course?” He replies to his own query by saying: - “It does not appear so to me, they themselves going away with so large a part of the Church's revenue. What kind of creatures in their eyes are the poor nonconformists, for whose relief no motion was made these 33 years”. And he adds: - “O, the meanness of mean measures”.

There is the entry:-

1695, August ye 25th. “One fruit of my poor labours ye last year is ye poor people of Bradwell have prepared a more meet place to meet in, and they are more than willing that my younger brethren should take their turns in preaching there”.

August ye 25th “Flocked in”.

Another entry reads:

“I preached and prayed in ye new meeting-house at Bradwell, where very many heard and I was assisted”.

Again he writes:-

1695, Sept. ye 11th. “It was said at Bradwell, where ye people hear me and others attending yt my poor endeavours in ye evening of one Sabbath on ye 4th had this good effect, that since then every Sabbath has been less profaned”.

1695-6. “When on February the 23rd I preached at Hucklow on meekness (1), and on the blood of the covenant (2), many persons seemed much affected, and when, on the Tuesday following I preached at Bradwell, in the former discourse (1), relating to the diligent keeping of the soul, tears shot into many eyes, and I hope the following one (2), concerning coming, and recourse to the waters, or ordinances, especially as dispensed publicly, was not unaffecting”.

“Divers and those whose judgments I most value, say that my taking so much time in preaching is best for writers and for those who desire to be edifyers. It is said and hoped that there is some reformation wrought by the word at Bradwell”.

1697, July 19th. “My preaching at Bradwell hath, through mercy, had this effect and influence, that many flocked to hear Mr. Parker on the last Lord's Day save one, and Mr. Haywood is thereby encouraged to go and preach to them, and I shall wait to hear what effect my sermon the last Sabbath, which was about sanctifying the Sabbath, had amongst them”.

In the year 1697 and 8 are several entries in his diary which tell how acutely he felt the infirmities of age weakening his body and interfering with his labours. On the 30th January in the former year he wrote: “I was carried through the cold to Hucklow and there led others in mourning and prayer”. It was his custom at this time to preach at Hucklow every Sunday morning and at Malcalf in the evening. On March 20th, 1698, he wrote: “I went to Hucklow, taking in a sort, my leave there”.

Speaking thirty-five years after his ejection, he said “I have now been an ejected minister for so many years, and have had much time to review my position and weigh the reasons of my nonconformity, and upon an impartial and serious consideration of my case, I see no cause to change my mind. But, some of you may perhaps say, but others have better eyes than you. I readily grant that, but I must see with my own”. So long as physical strength would permit this faithful son of God and earnest disciple of Christ continued to labour incessantly in God's vineyard but at last his growing infirmities compelled him to shorten his journeys and lessen his toils. For a time he had to confine his ministrations to Malcalf, and for the last winter of his life he was confined to his own house, but even then he did not cease his ministry, for he conducted service there, and only for a single Sunday before his death was he unable to deliver God's message to the people. He died on April 1st, 1702.

The care of his Peak congregations, and the work that was so dear to his heart, fell into the hands of John Ashe, his nephew.

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of Ashford, and James Clegg, who succeeded him at Malcalf. Both these men lived very near to the Apostle's heart, and their names appear in the Trust Deed as the joint ministers of Bradwell Chapel.

THREE NOTABLE CHURCHWARDENS.

William John Bradwell, a Churchwarden
WM. J. BRADWELL.
1881-92.
Thomas Bradwell, a Churchwarden
THOS. BRADWELL.
1872-77.
John Dakin, a Churchwarden
JOHN DAKIN.
1874-93.

Churchwardens since opening of St. Barnabas' Church, Bradwell, in October, 1868:-

1868 & 1870Dr. Joseph Henry Taylor.
1870 & 71Robert Hill, Benjamin James Eyre (Brough).
1872 & 3Robert Hill, Thomas Bradwell.
1874 6John Dakin, Thomas Bradwell.
1877-8John Dakin, Thomas Bradwell, Caleb Higginbottom (Great Hucklow) and Henry Eyre (Abney).
1778-80[1778 sic] John Dakin, Thomas Elliott.
1881-93John Dakin. Wm. John Bradwell.
1894-5C.E.B. Bowles (Abney), Francis Harrison.
1896-7Joseph A. Middleton, Abram Morton.
1898-1905Abram Morton, William Eyre.
1906Abram Morton, Harvey Hallam.
1907Harvey Hallam. Wm. B. Prisk.
1908-10Harvey Hallam. Durham Wragg.
1911Durham Wragg, Wm. John Harrison.

OCR/transcript by Rosemary Lockie in February 2013.

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