Protestant Nonconformity in Asfordby

Asfordby is a rural village 15 miles north-east of Leicester and 4 miles west of Melton Mowbray, on the north bank of the river Wreake.

No record of any dissent has been traced in the 17th or 18th centuries.[1]

Wesleyan Methodists

A Wesleyan Methodist chapel was built in 1828,[2] and the congregation numbered 40 in 1829.[3] The chapel had 60 free sittings and 46 other sittings. Two services were held on 30 March 1851, with 42 worshippers in the afternoon and 58 present in the evening. A small afternoon Sunday school was attended by 38 people.[4] The chapel was rebuilt in 1889, in red brick, to seat 180 people.[5]

Primitive Methodists

In 1829 a meeting of 20 ‘Ranters’ was noted,[6] the name given by some in this period to Primitive Methodists. By 1851 they were meeting in a chapel which had been built in 1840-42, but it is not clear whether this was their first purpose-built meeting place. It had 60 free and 50 other sittings, and on 30 March 1851 was well attended, with 70 worshippers present in the afternoon and 90 in the evening. There was no Sunday school.[7] The chapel was enlarged in 1889, and then had 120 sittings.[8]

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[1] R.H. Evans, ‘Nonconformists in Leicestershire in 1669’, Trans LAHS, 25 (1949), p. 137; A. Whiteman, The Compton Census of 1676 (1986), 337; J. Broad (ed.), Bishop Wake’s Summary of Visitation Returns from the Diocese of Lincoln, 1706-1715 (Oxford, 2012), II, p. 809

[2] TNA. HO 129/418/35

[3] ROLLR, QS 95/2/1/34

[4] TNA. HO 129/418/35

[5]Kelly’s Dir. of Leics. (1895), 19

[6] ROLLR, QS 95/2/1/34

[7] TNA. HO 129/418/36

[8]Kelly’s Dir. of Leics. (1895), 19