Protestant Nonconformity in Knipton

The village of Knipton is in the extreme north-east of Leicestershire, 2 miles south of Belvoir Castle and about 13 miles north of Melton Mowbray.

Around eight ‘Anabaptists’ met on Sundays in Knipton in 1669 at the house of Francis Templeman, while the service was taking place in the parish church. They were described as being ‘of a mean sort of people’, and their ‘teacher’ was Tobias Watson, a carpenter.[1] Nine ‘Anabaptists’  were recorded in 1676.[2] By 1706 there were said to be three families of ‘Anabaptists’ in the parish, but no meting house. In 1718 it was said that they met quarterly in a private house, around 18 people attended and their teacher was called Johnson.[3]

A General Baptist chapel in the village is said to have been built in 1700.[4] In 1851 it could accommodate 90 worshippers. There were no services there on Sunday 30 March 1851 , but there was usually an evening service, generally attended by around 30 people.[5]

A Wesleyan Reform ‘preaching house’ opened in 1850, but was not a separate building. There were no services there on Sunday 30 March 1851 , but the usual attendance at an evening service was 40.[6] Perhaps because it was not a separate chapel, its existence does not appear to have been noticed by the publishers of any trade directories.


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[1] R.H. Evans, ‘Nonconformists in Leicestershire in 1669’, Trans LAHS, 25 (1949), 141

[2] A. Whiteman, The Compton Census of 1676: A Critical Edition (London, 1986), p. 340

[3] J. Broad (ed.), Bishop Wake’s Summary of Visitation Returns from the Diocese of Lincoln, 1706-1715 (Oxford, 2012), II, pp. 766-7

[4] W. White, Hist., Gaz. and Dir. of Leics. and Rutland (Sheffield, 1863), 357

[5] TNA, HO 129/427/39

[6] TNA, HO 129/427/38

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