As a token of Gratitude
for the great favors conferred
in the year 1811
when prejudices where much against
A dissenter is one who disagrees in matters of opinion, belief, etc. English Dissenters opposed state interference in religious matters, and founded their own churches, educational establishments, and communities. These ministers and their followers came to be known as Nonconformists. Dissenting groups continuing today include Baptists, Congregationalists, Presbyterians (majority in Scotland but classified as dissenters in England), Quakers and Unitarians.
Well, I think I have, at last, found one of the missing pieces of the jigsaw which explains why 1811 was such an important year for the clergy preaching outside the Church of England doctrine. However, I have also discovered that Rev. Hunt didn't become the minister at the chapel until 1817, so "THE DONOR" probably wasn't him. From what I have found so far, the Minister between 1807 and 1814 could have been Dr. Richard Povah (definitely 1805, probably ceased by 1807), Thomas Comyn (definitely 1814), or someone else.
It seems that at this time, since the Toleration Act of 1689, any person, however depraved, however ignorant and illiterate, whether descending from a chimney or a pillory, if he appeared at the quarter sessions, and claimed to take the oath of allegiance to his Sovereign and that against Popery, he was entitled to, and could demand a certificate, although there was no proof of his fitness to preach, or of his having any congregation requiring his ministerial services.
This licence gave the bearer some status and, because they were so easy to obtain, the procedure had been misused by certain individuals. It resulted that the immunities granted by these acts were in a number of instances claimed and enjoyed by individuals, to the greater burden of the rest of their fellow-subjects. Down to 1802, one of those immunities was an exemption from military services; and, to this time, from serving on juries, and other civil duties, which were forced upon other members of society.
The 1811 Bill was intended to clarify the law and to prevent coblers, tailors, pig-drovers, and chimney-sweepers from obtaining certificates.
There are evils in the church, and there are also ten thousand evils amongst dissenters. Worldly-mindedness, pride, self-interest, and party feeling, seem to reign among a vast mass of ministers and people. The aristocracy of dissent look with scorn upon their less wealthy, less elevated, and less influential brethren so that a plain, humble, Baptist minister, who is not one of the great and rich of his denomination, but a hard-working, pains taking, useful man, called, and said he thought we ought to have a Dissenting Ministers' Protection Society, to defend the humble working class of ministers from the persecutions and prejudices of persons of all descriptions amongst dissenters who are so exalted and imperious.
Quotes in mauve are from local newspapers of the time.
London Borough of Lambeth : Watercolour painting by G.Yates in 1825 - Interior view of the altar and organ in the Kennington Chapel, Kennington Park Road. Built 1796 'for the use of independents' it was said to accommodate around 500 people. The first minister was David Bradbury. In the 1840's it became a Church of England proprietory chapel dedicated to St James. The site was sold to the NAAFI in 1923 and chapelk demolished.
Other information :
Known ministers at Kennington Chapel :
1796 until his death in 1803 David Bradberry
1805 (and at least 1806) Richard Povah
1814 Thomas Comyn
1817 until 1834 Robert T. Hunt
In 1833 William Bird died.
Ironically, a year after William’s death, in September 1834 the Chapel was converted into a chapel of ease to allow devine service to take place. A chapel of ease is a church building other than the parish church built within the bounds of a parish for the attendance of those who cannot reach the parish church conveniently.
In 1843, William’s elder daughter, Anne (read her story in blog 58) became the fourth wife of another dissenting minister, Reverend Styles.
In 1861 Rev. Robert Hunt died.