4. The Rise of Non-conformity

I have runne through all sects, yet finde no rest in any
Sir Thomas Browne 1605-82; Physician of Norwich

The XVIIth & XVIIIth centuries; the incumbencies of the Paynells.

If the Act of Supremacy ended the political struggle between the King & the Pope, it ushered in a period of religious conflict which was not ultimately resolved until the end of the XIXth century. The XVIIth century saw the struggle between the Stuart kings and the firmly Protestant Parliament. Though heads of the Anglican Church, royalty favoured Catholic practices and died as members of that faith. This led to civil war, the proclamation of a republic by Oliver Cromwell, the restoration of the monarchy, the Bloodless Revolution of 1688 and the 1715 & 1745 Jacobite rebellions. The same period saw the rise of nonconformity: this led to parliamentary struggles for religious tolerance, the emergence of the Baptist & Methodist churches and the Quakers. These events had a major impact on Stambourne where nonconformity was first overtly proclaimed by the two Paynell Rectors, father & son, who held the cure from 15701651. They were of a large family of minor local landowners, perhaps even owning land in that part of the present parish then called Ridgewell Norton. John signed the Essex Testimony of 1648 though not the Watchword of the following year; this distinction suggests that they were of the Presbyterian tendency but not deeply radical. The word Puritan appears not to have been used locally & there are no records of any emigrants to the colonies of New England.

The Influence of the Reverend Henry Havers BA

The decisive time in this as in many villages was 166065. The Restoration of the Monarchy did not lead here to a parallel restoration of Anglican religious supremacy; indeed it could be claimed that the village has a nonconformist majority to this day. Havers, rector since 1651, was a presbyterian who had signed the Watchword but stopped short of taking the Engagement. He continued, even after 1662, both to preach to & to hold sway over his parishioners. As he had full legal tenure under the authority of the Great Seal, no action could be taken against him; despite the litigious times he did not offend against the laws then existing. This period of uneasy calm came to an end on St Bartholomew’s day 1662 when, in common with a thousand or so others, he refused to swear the oath required by the Act of Uniformity passed by the Government of the newly restored King Charles II (reigned 16601685). He was now ejected & formally deprived of the living. He did not however leave the parish and the Hearth Tax records imply that he still occupied the Rectory @ Michaelmas 1664. He had however founded a nonconformist group known as the Stambourne Meeting which survives as the Congregational Church to this day. Several persons were prosecuted for housing the conventicles. Havers moved his domicile only half a mile down the Rectory Lane where he had purchased, or more probably built, New House Farm, within a moat. It was for this address that he obtained his Presbyterian licence to preach in 1672. Though he was from now on often in the courts & did for some short times leave the village he continued preaching here until he died @ the ripe old age of 84. The battle between him & the Church of England for the spiritual care of the parish continued all this time & he decidedly had the best of it. Brown says that in 1700 no one could be found to act as Churchwarden: in a census of 1676 Stambourne was the only Essex parish to show nonconformists outnumbering their Church counterparts (by 65 to 60); the numbers would not be greatly dissimilar today.

Havers is an ancient Essex family. Henry had money of his own, as well as by marriage. The records of Newhouse farm begin only in 1813 and it was pulled down during the last war. The chimney bore a date in diaper, possibly I.P.1678. He seems to have disregarded the Five Mile Act of 1665 but did seek & obtain two licences to preach. There is a legend of his being sought by soldiers of the King in the village but escaped by hiding in a kiln which had cobwebs across the opening. The XVIIIth century antiquarian Bishop White Kennett, who in 1745 married Dorcas, the widow of Clopton Havers Henry’s 2nd son, notes that the Meetings were well attended while the parish church was in a state of neglect. Absenteeism of the Rector, Mark le Pla, may well account both for this & the absence of a warden.

This Clopton Havers was our most famous son. His birth in 1657 is recorded in a bold hand in the register, but, I deduce, not until after the Restoration. He grew up during the exciting times when his father was establishing the Meeting. After leaving his father’s college, Catherine Hall, without taking a degree he subsequently achieved renown in the medical world. He was elected in 1686 an early Fellow of the Royal Society in the presidency of Samuel Pepys. His name is till in current use in the eponymous Haversian systems which conduct blood to the long bones though he thought they had a different function. It is known that he did revisit his birthplace latterly to attend his father in a serious illness when he stayed here for three weeks.

There is a close connection between the Havers and the much grander Clopton family of Long Melford; it is attested by a beautiful finely wrought & engraved silver porringer of 1672 bearing their arms; this was used for the next two and a half centuries as a communion cup by the chapel but is now safely lodged in a bank. Henry’s third marriage to Dorithy (sic) Clopton was discovered by Boyd. There was a contemporary son in holy orders, likewise a nonconformist, and a Pannell married a Susanna Clopton. Clopton Havers called his own son Clopton and there was a Clopton Pannell who was probably the son of Havers’ predecessor, John Paynell.

The first Chapel built in 1715/16

The legal right to hold Meetings at Newhouse Farm granted to Henry Havers (whom we will call HHI) under the Declaration of Indulgence of 1672 was exercised by him for the rest of his life but the congregation had to wait some 45 years before the first actual chapel building was erected by his firstborn son Henry (HHII). The deed granting him ‘ a parcel of the Wast ‘ was written in 1710. An affidavit preserved on film with the Congregational records in the Essex Record Office, dated 17 February 1837 says …..founded about the year 1716 : …. and continues, in brackets, (not depolared) whatever that may have meant. A manuscript note by James Spurgeon (q.v.) written in 1810 says it was built about 1717. The present leaders of the chapel have inherited a tradition of celebrating their anniversary on the 3rd Sunday in July; which they do ‘whatever be its date ‘ and give it the number of years elapsing since 1662. Henry Havers was buried in our God’s acre on 25 October 1707 as had been a Mrs Judith Havers in 1701. There is no record of the burial of Dorithy. HHII was buried in The Meeting Yard in 1724. He was succeeded by the grandson, also Henry, of HHI’s second son, Philip: he too was buried at the Meeting, in 1748, and shares a stone with his uncle.
There can be no doubt that construction took place in 17111717. It was a small building and would not have taken many man-hours but money and labour may well have been short. Any elder of the chapel who was 70 y.o. in 1810 would have been 10 y.o. in 1750; such a man would have heard the story of the actual building from those who did it and could have handed down oral tradition to Spurgeon at only one remove.
The most likely date seems to me to be 1715/16.

It was a solid rectangular building with a porch and pent roof. I illustrate a simple outline of a pencil sketch made by Charles Haddon Spurgeon. when a boy in 1846. Leslie R Fitch, who says erroneously that it was built by HHI, describes it as having a gallery on three sides and seating 200. It was doubled in size by HHIII who put double doors on the east side.
The three clerics all named Henry Havers had a continuous pastorate of 86 years. A detailed chronology appears in chapter 8 with the biography of the Rector.

The Spurgeon Influence

Another wellknown Stambourne nonconformist was James Spurgeon. He was born in Clare in 1776 and, after a probable spell at the chapel there moved here in 1810 where he stayed until his death in 1864 at the age of 88. His grandson Charles Haddon Spurgeon (183492) achieved national fame for his sermons of which 50 million copies are said to have been printed. He frequently visited his grandfather as a boy and later wrote a chatty guide called Welcome to Stambourne. He published this as an introduction to the Memoir ‘ Memories of Stambourne ‘ of 1863 by Benjamin Beddowes, grandson of the XVIIIc pastor who was James’ predecessor. Beddowes says the very old man was ‘ suffering decay & dissolution ‘ and did a sermon for him.
This strongly nonconformist family, whose earliest record is in 1465 first achieved a pastorate in about 1740 in Halstead Independent Church. From then until 1900 there were at least 10 priests and one lecturer.
Present History of the Chapel

It was continuously supplied with regular priests until Wilfred Potts died in 1988. It first lady pastor was Mrs L Williams (19661974). It is now efficiently and energetically run by lay persons with a panel of ministers from a local circuit. The Revd Michael Wallace H.C., who was ordained in S Laurence, Ridgewell 21 Sep 1977, often attends.

A second chapel was built in 1865, though this seems an early date for its corrugated iron construction. An old dim photograph of it appears in the pictorial record of DRJ. Fitch says it incorporated much of the old timber in the doorway. This was still standing in 1963 but was demolished and rebuilt in brick in 1966.

This third building on the site is the present chapel. At the time of its building Leslie A Fitch wrote a cyclostyled history called 300 Years of History. It appears to have been made up from an article by P G M Dickinson in the Haverhill Gazette of 1947 and from the Baddow/Spurgeon book, Memories of Stambourne. I have been unable to trace any other material he may have used. The Drew Family of Tom Drew, bus driver and later our organist, Arthur Drew, who sought entry to our Church in c. 1990 but sdaly died on the eve of his confirmation and their unmarried sister, the aged Alice, all say they think there were no papers of significance.

Annex 1: The two Pannell Rectors and their family

There are 33 entries for the name Pannell in the Registers from 1581 1684 and a solitary one of 1782; I have listed some of them below. I also recall that there is one grave in the churchyard.

The Congregational records contain 14 entries of 4 families from 1877 to 1904. There is none in the period 181177 which might connect with ours.

Our Rectors belong to a local family. They owned Pannells le Hill, now Hill Farm in Ridgewell, in 13851613; [my note on it says it is not far from Ridgewell but I do not think this means Ridgewell Norton] also Bradfields in Toppesfield: there are Paynells in both Hedinghams: the placename Pannells Ash occurs in both Ashen & Belchamp St Paul.

There was however a Canon Thos. Paynell in Surrey & London who died in 1563 when Rector of All Hallows, Honey Lane. He could be the father of our Thos.

There are at least 3 Pairings with a Thomas in our own register:
No 1 is our Rector with his first wife Susan: they had 810 children 15821603; he died 1624
No 2 is with Grace; 1 child in 1623 who died ?1670 this may also be our Rector when a very old man with a new young wife who then died 15 Jan 1628
No 3 is Thos with Sara; 3 or 4 children in 166476; died 1714. This Thos is probably s.o. our Rector & may be the child on the line above

Some of the entries which I noted in about 1984 follow:

January 1618/19 An isolated signature at the bottom of a page that is at not the end of an o.s.year. It is clearly Robin [& possibly] Pannilz

Thos Paynell s.o. Thos & Grace bz 20th [written CCth] July 1624. [the distorted C was a way of writing X] There is a cross in the margin & the Father is written Thomas [M] Paynell [the script M having 4 peaks] is this a sign for a posthumous [postmortem of the male parent, as opposed to a Caesarian] birth, for Rx was buried on CCth February.? This entry is pairing No 2 above.

Jldach Paynell s.o. John & Sara bz 25 Nov 1623

Thos Paynell, clerk, [supposedly our Rx 15781623] buried CCth(20) February 1623/4 [I deduce his birth to be about 1545 making him nearly 80 when he died.

Thos. gent of Hedghm Sible, widower, m Sabryna of Castle H 1635 [was she a Fitch ?]

A beautiful latin secretary hand appears in 1632, 1635&6 & 1639. He wrote year headings as well as did some work [how do I know he did ?]; he will be the parish clerk who wrote the only surviving Bishops transcript signed by John P in a quite different italic hand.

Francis d.o. John & Rebecca bz 22 Feb 1650/51

John s.o. John & Rebecca bz 22 Feb 1650/51 [is this a young 2d wife of Rx ?]

John Paynell buried 29 Sep 1651 [Rx 162251; bz 1589; + aet 62]

Anna d.o. Thos & Sara bz 16 Feb 1666/7 [father is probably s.o. of Rx Thos bz 1623, now aet 43; cannot be the Hedingham parents.]

William Pannell buried 16 Aug 1684 [apart from the Robin Pannillz & this entry the name is constantly spelt Paynell] (I have a note d.o.b. 1620 + aet 64 but could be 1636 + aet 48; G O K Y)

Sara Paynell + 15 Jan 1628 [I think J.F. asked for this]

Canon Fitch mentions several families, mainly of Stoke, from 1442 onwards going on to his own family.
They are in Appendix B of Chapter 6 of Fitchcraft, pp 116118 but seem not to tie in with any of these entries in the Stambourne Registers. He does not mention either of our Rectors. There must be a connection but it would take a large family tree to work this out. I shall delay this until I see need for it. Much of his data come verbatim from a man called Neil whom I suspect to be a previous cleric from Stoke, but he gives no references. I have destroyed my notes on my 1984 notes.

[For the Chronology of the time of Havers see Chapter 8]
Annex 2: The Spurgeon Family
Some notes on the family tree in the biographical book on the Spurgeon Family by W Miller Higgs, London 1906 made by J B E with data from the Stambourne records & information from Mrs Veronica Etchells & Geoffrey Diss. It is out of print & untraceable.

First known 2 Dec 1465 [5 Edwd iv]in~Gt Maplestead where John & Thos Spirjon are witnesses
24 Jun 1551 [5 Edwd vi] Richd Spurgeon rents Fitzjohes close to Bourchiers College Chantry
19 May 1575 Thomas Spurgeon was tenant of the Manor Of Dynes in the parish of Gt Maplestead

John Spurgen bd Halstead 1570 = Ellen….. bd Halstead 1566
Let us call this generation #1 in which births occurred around 151020; there must have been at least four earlier generations for Thos Spirjon to be active in the 5th year of K Edw iv.

They have 2 issue in generation #2 born about 1540
#1, John Spurgeon = Joan Wang….[the centre fold did not copy up to 5 letters of her surname]

They have 6 issue in generation #3 born 156781
#4, Vincent Spurgeon or Spurgin, bd Halstead 1625 alone carries on the line; wife’s name unknown

They have 6 issue in generation #4 born 1592/1607/8;
#3, Clement Spurgen [..in, or ..eon] bz Hstd 1599/1600; will 1662 = Mary Vine in 1623.

They have 3 issue in generation#5, born 162328
#1 Clement bz Halsted 1624; will 1681; = Mary….

They have 5 issue in generation #6, born c16581670c ; [this gap is rather large]
#1 Clement Spurgen of Halsted; will 1715 = Eliz d o John Morley & Julian[sic]Bragg
Morley ²(will 1696) was a butcher & property owner; father of the famous land agent etc
16561733(Morley’s College ??)

Geoffrey Diss in a letter of 31 May 1997 presents data that he is descended from the Jeremiah & Hannah of this generation.

They have 7 issue in generation #7; d.o.b around 1690
#1 Clement = Bethia? d o John & Eliz Bunting [John was a clothier s o Wm B]

They have 2 issue in generation #8; d.o.b. around 1710
#1 Clement Spurgen = Ann Goodson 28 Jul 1732
#2 Rev Samuel Spurgeon (sic), Pastor Halstead Independent Church. He is the first Gentleman of the Cloth in this family tree
Clement & Ann have 2 children in generation #9 born c 1735;
#1 Clement Spurgeon of Halstead m Ann Pinchbeck 8 May 1766 = parents of J.S. of Stambourne& were born perhaps 1740

They have 12 children in generation #10 of whom 6 died in infancy; bz 17671780++
#1 Clement bz 1767 is the seventh consecutive firstborn to bear that christian name; he has no issue & it does not appear again.
#5 Rev James Spurgeon born in Clare 29 Sep 1776, bd Stambourne Meeting Ground 1864 married Sarah d o Haddon Rudkin of Coggeshall 11 Nov 1806 This Jas is the 2nd Spurgeon to take holy orders [and apparently the first to carry the christian name James]

The printed pedigree records only 8 issue in generation #11 from 18081823 but there are 11 births entered in the register kept by Jas himself at the Stambourne Meeting House; none of them appears to have died young, for J S was meticulous in his entries, usually adding a note [This is dead].
There is also a record of a burial in 1901 for an 84 y o Mary Spurgeon whom I think to be his child.
#2 became the Rev John Spurgeon [the 3rd priest]& was also born at Clare on 15 July 1810; d 14 Jun 1902. He m Eliza [surname unknown] of Otton Belchamp

They are shown as having 17 children in generation #12;
#1 Their firstborn was the famous Rev Chas Haddon Spurgeon b 19 Jun 1834; d 31 Jan 1892; bd @ Norwood [really ? I thought he d in Switzerland]
#2 Eliza Rebecca b Rayleigh 19 Jan 1836 m Rev W Jackson.
A piece of paper held by Mrs Etchells, who is the granddaughter of a Charles Oliver Sudbury [18641916, [(shown as Oliver Charles on his birth certificate)which is in her mother’s writing, says:

Miss Spurgeon, sister to Charles Spurgeon, Married Mr Franklin.
Miss E Franklin married Mr Sudbury
Mr C Sudbury married Miss Mary Adler

Originally I deduced Miss Adler [or is it Alder ?] to be Mrs Veronica Etchells’ [V.E.]mother and the author of the manuscript note.
Eliza cannot be grandmother of Oliver Chas Sudbury who was born 25 June or 3 July in 1864.
Equally nor can any of Charles’s other 5 sisters Viz:
Emily Jarvis bz 1839
Caroline Lewis bz 1845
Charlotte Jarvis bz 1846
Josephine Eva bz 1857 & m to Rev Henderson
Flora Mary bz 1859
Eliz, bz 1836, could genetically, aet 18y, be the mother whose name is given on the birth certificate of O.C.S. as “Ellen, formerly Spurgeon”; though whether she was a spinster or widow[!] is not stated.
None of the other 5 could be.
Of the 3 females, aunts of Charles, recorded in the previous generation none could be mother or grandmother of O.C.S.
The note remains a mystery, as does Mr Franklin. In a letter of 11 February 1997 V .E. says she has concluded both the Franklins to be ” both apochryphal
& erroneous ” & that my deduction is incorrect. She writes:
An Anthony Sudbury, born in Hadleigh, Suffolk, in 1836 To Anthony & Amelia, née Norfolk, married
Ellen Spurgeon in 1857 in Halstead. No father is given for Ellen on the certificate. They had several daughters & 3 sons, the 3d of which, Chas Oliver, m Mary Ann Alder (sic) in Woolwich SE18 in 1891. Chas & Mary Ann (Polly) had 7 d. The third of these was Gladys Victoria Maud, bz 2 Nov 1896, She m Thos Edwd Martin on 23, Dec 1923, Their only child was Veronica Alison Martin (= V.E.). She m Roy Vincent Etchells 24 Nov 1933 & have 2 s.
She adds that Spurgeons owned shops in Halstead [I have a picture of one in Sible Hedingham only 6 mi from there]& one of their daughters was probably Ellen
#3 Rev Jas Archer S D.D., bz 1837, was priest #4 in America. He m, firstly a Miss Burgoyne and secondly, a Helen Withers; they had a child, Ellen Mary born in 1885 who is the first Ellen I can see in the family., though she would indeed be an Ellen Spurgeon.

So who was Ellen, the mother of O.C.S. I can see no candidate in the couple of dozen children of about the right age in the records I have.

There were at least 33 children in generation #12 but only the 2 priests

Of 17 children in generation #13, 4 were ordained

In generation #14, 8 births are registered between 18891893 but no ordinations are recorded for any of them; but the chart records no issue for half of the families in this generation of the nineties. The date of publication was 1906.

Thus this NonConformist Family had 10 priests (and at least one other with some status as a lecturer) in the period of about 1740 1900. Of three of them we have some details:

James [17761864] was minister at Stambourne for more than half a century and prompted my interest.
He was born in Clare and since his son was born there also in the year that he left to take up the Stambourne living it seems probable that for a decade or so he was minister in Clare too

Charles Haddon Spurgeon [18341892] was the famous author of the book of sermons that sold five million copies. Among his many other publications is ‘Memories of Stambourne’ where he frequently visited his grandfather.

James Archer, born 1837, is the only known graduate with a degree recorded as D.D.(America)
[at that time presumably Yale or Harvard]. Since he married the daughter of a General Burgoyne he was a cleric of some renown though this soldier cannot have been the one famous in the revolutionary war of 17751783.

Pencil outline by J.B.E. of the Sketch of the First Chapel made by C.H.Spurgeon in 1846

An old Photograph of the Second Chapel

Annex 3: The Pastors of the Congregational Church, formerly the Stambourne Meeting

Henry Havers BA The founder in 1662-1665 buried at Parish Church 25 October 1707
Henry Havers Appointed 1707 died 1724
Henry Havers Appointed 1724 died 1748
Anthony Mayhew
Henry Hammell Died 1774
The Revd Mr King for two years only until 1776 Died 1799
Benjamin Beddow Appointed 1776 died 26 June 1810
James Spurgeon Appointed 1810 died 1864
John Cooper Houchin Resigned 1897; born 14 January 1820 died 21 January 1900
John Wesley Houchin Appointed 1897; born 1841 resigned 1908; died 1920
H S Webb Appointed 1910 resigned 1913
Frank Doddridge Humphreys Appointed 1914 resigned 1923
born 1864; died 1946
J A Lawson Appointed 1926 resigned 1932
Noah Brewer Appointed 1933 retired 1942
F A Clements Appointed 28 September 1943 resigned 1949
V L Sheldrick Appointed 1950 resigned 1954
J T Pringle Appointed 1959 resigned 1961
L C Jones Appointed 1962 retired 1966
Mrs L Williams Appointed November 1966 retired May 1974
Wilfred Potts Appointed 1976 resigned 1987 (with intermissions); died 1988
Annex 4: The Recollections of Mrs King

These are found in a manuscript by James Hopkins which was in a book into which he was copying the old records; the second page of it shews the burials for 1761 on the facing page. The Rector enquired of her reminiscences which were mainly about five Pastors of the Meeting and of Venn Eyre in our Church. It is included in this chapter since it is mainly about Pastors; I presume she is the relict of the Mr King who died in 1799 some 14 years before J.H. spoke to her..
I have not yet checked the accuracy of her recollection of dates.
For the purpose of ascertaining the history of Stambourne as // as I cd. I called this day (Thursday 8th April 1813) on old Mrs King widow of the late Wm King who died 14 years ago viz: 24th March 1799. I found her in good health & considering that she is 76 years of age* wonderfully in possession of her faculties. She resides in a farm house on what is called Morley’s Farm near the meeting. Her *Maiden name was Price She was brought up at The Slough the substance of her information seems to be as follows_ Believes there was a meeting house or place of worship for dissenters at or on the farm called Newhouse now in possession of her son Wm King believes there were two dissenting teachers of the name of Havers [so I find the name written in Mr Bowyer’s Tithe Book] brothers [I find mention of a Mr Henry Havers buried October 5th 1707, the other Mr Havers dissenting teacher buried at the meeting 1723, in the old registers] does not recollect when the meeting was built. nor when the house contiguous to it. Remembers a 3d Mr Havers (Henry) nephew to the preceding says he was 22 years dissenting preacher at Stambourn recollects their coming to visit a school which was kept at the Butcher’s Arms, rewarding the best answerers with fruit. recollects his funeral when she was only 12 years of age.] reckoning from 1737 the time of her birth Mr Havers died 1749 adding 22 years of his ministry to 1723 when his predecessor died his death must have been 1745] recollects the day of the month 2d Decr. Mr Mayhew succeeded him as teacher [I conjecture anno 1750]staid but 4 yrs having married a lady of Lynn in Norfolk who p[referred residing there Succeeded by Mr Hullum [I suppose about 1754] who staid 22 years left Stambourn [blot 1776] & died at Melford. Mr King was the next dissenting minister he staid 2 years and was succeeded Mr Benj.n Beddow [1770] who died in June 1810 and was buried in the meeting next to Mr Henry Havers. Mrs King having pointed out to the bricklayer where the latter had been interred. His successor was Mr Spurgeon who had been minister at Clare Suffolk thus as the old lady remarks she recollects 6 dissenting ministers in Stambourn

Having been always been brought to the meeting does not possess so much information respecting the church does not know who was Mr Bowyer’s predecessor always had an excellent character of him does not know whether he built any part of the parsonage in taking his tythe he received the farmers separately at his house or 2 or 3 together rather than all together at an Inn at 7 or 8 o’clock used to dismiss them with the observation that it was time for them to be at home.
Recollects Mr Eyre very well. Latterly was very intimate with his family latterly Mr E did not visit Stambourn at all died at Lynn was a magistrate and much occupied with magisterial duties Mr Frost lived at Stambourn Hall married a woman who had been servant to Mrs Lowe.

Her statements that she recalls both Mayhew & Eyre decamped to Lynn are questionable.; perhaps a confused recollection of an old mind. I shall endeavour to find some evidence there this Spring.

This report is referred to in the paragraph on Venn Eyre in Chapter 8
Annex 5: The Extant Records Of Stambourne Congregational Church

A REGISTER OF BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS AT STAMBOURN after 1 June 1837. 18 plain pp without a cover in the hand of James Spurgeon who signed each entry JS. The last entry is 26 may 1842. (Let it be called A).

A REGISTER OF BIRTHS AND BAPTISMS WITH THE PERSONS BURIED IN THE MEETING YARD AT STAMBOURN, MEETING, FROM JUNE 1842 BY THE REVD JAMES SPURGEON. In another hand (?LR Fitch) ‘Births and Baptisms with the Burials) 150 x 198 mm. It has a calculation of the 200 y anniversary written in JS hand in 1862 on the flyleaf. Baptisms to 22 Aug 1858; Reversed from back burials to 30 April 1858. He gives mothers’ maiden names. B

10 untitled plain pp partly held by thread; 156 x 198 mm. Baptisms 27 Dec 1858 to 27 April 1863. Reversed from the back Burials 20 July 1858 to 18 July 1879. C

Feint lined book 186 x 230 mm that has lost its covers and title. Baptisms 27 July 1864 to 24 Sep 1961.
Then 4 blank pages – the only 5 marriage records 23 Nov 1888 to 20 Feb 1897 – then 7 blank pages – Burials 25 Jan 1885 – 13 Jul 1979. D

A modern lined Red Book 156 x 208 mm. Baptisms 19 Jul 1964 to 19 Sep 1965. Burials 15 Mar 1963 to 28 Jun 1977. Burials then continue in D with these entries also copied there. There seem not be any proper up to date records but there may be another book and indeed a separate marriage register too.

A combined Register and Minute Book 1869-1897.

A Register from before 1865 to 1910 listing 92 members and again 1926-1934 listing 63 more.

A list from 1910 on of names and addresses in attendance files.

A minute book from 1897 to 1952.

Sunday School minutes 1911-1954.

Abbreviations used (though I have been far from consistent)
s o = son of; d = daughter; w = wife or widow; bn = born; bz = baptized; bd = buried; r, rgd = registered; r i d t = r in due time (JS only); St = Stambourne; Rgl = Ridgewell or Redgwell; Ntn = Norton; Bdbk = Birdbrook (about a third of entries with records specify it); Tfd – Toppesfield; Ffd = Finchingfield; b o m yd or ch yd = buried in our meeting yard or church yard.

Some conventions
Mostly I have used standard forms but where the entry was unusual it is commonly copied exactly, especially unusual spellings of Christian names and multiple surname usage in the same family.
The first date in an entry gives the date in full; the second, as in bn and bz has the year omitted if it be the same; if different but within the same century the 18 or 19 is omitted. All subjects of the major names are collected together with all the variants on the same page whatever the second letter; they are listed at the head of the page; the first spelling is assumed if not repeated. Jas Surgeon gave mother’s maiden names which I have put in parentheses after the Christian name as (MAIDEN); to or to them has commonly been used in place of born to this couple where there is a series of identifiable births; such families are sometimes separated by an extra ½ scrolling.
Annex 6: Yearly occurrence of Births and deaths in the Congregational Membership

Baptisms Burials Baptisms Burials
1837 3 A 1897 6 1M 4 Totals Baptisms Burials
8 19 8 6 1 1830s 34 113 no entries
9 12 9 2 3 1840s 9320
1840 18 1 B 1900 4 3 1850s 11523
1 24 3 1 6 2 1860s 9627
2 9 3 2 0 5 1870s 14840
3 9 2 3 9 1 1880s 77 86 13 26
4 10 2 4 4 2 1890s 5037
5 13 0 5 1 3 1900s 41 46 19 21
6 10 1 6 1910s 12 24 6 12
7 15 4 7 5 2 1920s 11 27 9 23
8 16 4 8 9 1 1930s 6 10 22 30
9 11 3 9 4 1 1940s 5 21
1850 24 1 1910 3 1 1950s none 6 30
1 11 3 1 3 2 1960s 6 18
2 10 0 2 1 1 1970s none 19
3 18 2 3 2 2
4 7 1 1914 1 3 The figures in italics are calculated on the
5 8 0 assumption that a year that is missing had
6 9 1 the same number of events as the average
7 7 1 1924 for the decade.
8 15 5 5 3 5
9 7 5 C 6 The ciphers A to E indicate the book in the
1860 5 1 7 3 1 record is found. More details of dates &
1 5 2 8 who made the record are on a manuscript &
2 5 2 1929 4 1 in the alphabetical index.
3 1 1 1 2
4 12 6 1932
5 14 5 3 1 1
6 12 3 4 3 3
7 20 1 5
8 15 2 6 3
9 11 4 7 3
1870 20 3 8 2 6
1 26 6 9 3
2 5 2 1940 3
3 4 3 1 1 3
4 24 4 2 1 3
5 29 2 3 0 2
6 13 4 4 0 1
7 5 6 5 3
8 21 6 6 2
9 1 4 7 1 4
1880 15 D 8 1
1 1 9 2
2 14 1950 1 1
3 13 1959 3
4 1960 3
5 9 2 1961 1 4
6 12 3 2 1
7 2 3 3 1 E
8 7 1M 3 4 2 1
9 4 2 5 2 1
1890 6 3 6 1
1 3 3 1968 2
2 8 7 1971 2
3 4 1M 2 1972 2
4 6 4 1973 1
5 4 1 2 1974 2
6 5 1 3 1976 2
1977 1