Protestant nonconformity in Long Clawson

Long Clawson is a village in north Leicestershire, 6 miles north of Melton Mowbray and close to the border with Nottinghamshire. It is dairying country and the village is famed for the production of Stilton cheese.

Around 20 Quakers are recorded as meeting at husbandman Edward Allum’s house in Long Clawson in 1669, ‘consisting of a middle sort of people theire teachers not known’.[1] There were 31 nonconformists in 1676.[2] There was a Quaker meeting house and burial ground in the parish by 1706.[3] No return of meeting houses was made in 1829.

Wesleyan Methodists

A Wesleyan chapel was built in 1840. There were two services there on census Sunday in 1851, when 120 worshippers met in the afternoon and 170 in the evening. There were also 80 at the afternoon Sunday school. The chapel was large enough to hold 400 people.[4] The chapel was said to have originally cost £1,300. It was renovated in 1875 at a cost of £100. A schoolroom was also built in 1870, close to the chapel, which had cost £290.[5]

General Baptists

There was also a General Baptist chapel, built in 1845, and on 30 March 1851 there was just one service, in the evening, attended by 35 people. The chapel could accommodate 130. Deacon Thomas Burnett commented that the numbers were well below average. Services were held on three Sunday mornings in each month, and one Sunday evening. There had been a Sunday school that morning, which 40 scholars attended, but few of them went to an evening service.[6]

Primitive Methodists

A Primitive Methodist chapel was built in 1868, at a cost of £330.[7]

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[1] R.H. Evans, ‘Nonconformists in Leicestershire in 1669’, Trans LAHS 25 (1949), 140

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

[3] 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. 757

[4] TNA, HO 129/418/59

[5] White, Hist. Gaz. & Dir. Leics. (Sheffield, 1877) p. 188

[6] TNA, HO 129/418/58

[7] White, Hist. Gaz. & Dir. Leics. (Sheffield, 1877) p. 188

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