Protestant Nonconformity in Frolesworth

Frolesworth is in the south of the county, about 5 miles north of Lutterworth.

By 1669 about 10-15 Baptists were said to have been meeting illegally in the village for several years, about once a fortnight, at the house of Thomas Townsend, a resident who had been assessed for two hearths for the hearth tax.[1] Just four resident nonconformists were noted in 1676.[2]

By 1706 there was a monthly meeting of Baptists in a house in the village, and there were two resident families of Independents. The Baptist ‘teacher’ in 1709 was Benjamin Moor.[3]

A property was licensed for dissenting meetings in 1779, but the denomination which met here is not recorded.[4]

A congregation of 25 Wesleyan Methodists met here for worship in 1829.[5] Only one congregation responded to the 1851 religious census, an Independent congregation, which met in part of a house. Services were usually in the morning, but pastors from local villages preached on two Sunday evenings each month. The sole service on 31 March 1851 was in the evening, and attended by 40 people.[6]

No further information about these chapel has yet been found.

Notes

[1] R.H. Evans, ‘Nonconformists in Leicestershire in 1669’, Trans LAHS 25 (1949), p. 134

[2] A. Whiteman, The Compton Census of 1676: A Critical Edition (London, 1986), p. 336

[3] J. Broad (ed.), Bishop Wake’s summary of visitation returns from the diocese of Lincoln, 1706-1715. Part 2, Outside Lincolnshire (Huntingdonshire, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire, Leicestershire, Buckinghamshire) (Oxford, 2012), p. 849

[4] ROLLR, QS 44/2/89

[5] ROLLR, QS 95/2/1/14

[6] TNA, HO 129/408/16