ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2012-02 > 1329041564
From: "jacqueline.cooper" <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] A Strange Marriage - Primitive Methodists
Date: Sun, 12 Feb 2012 10:12:44 -0000
We had Primitive Methodists in Clavering, so I studied them a lot. I wondered why they were Primitive and found out it did not mean what it does today - to them it meant in the sense of 'prime', they felt they were the ones going back to the prime meaning of Methodism as John Wesley had developed it, as a methodical means of worship and running everything to do with the church. They were very methodical and kept good records, so you can actually often find out more about them than about the C of E, if the records have survived. Each circuit now has its own archivist and she had made it her job to go round all the chapels and dig out all these mouldering old books from cupboards, so in the ERO you can find all the Saffron Walden records of the 19th century. From these you can see what a massive amount of emigration there was in the 1850s, mostly to Australia but also to the industrial areas. They took their Nonconformism with them, and of course there are masses of chapels in the north anyway as Wesley travelled everywhere building it up. The Prims are fascinating - they were often the very poorest, and the chapels changed their lives - in some cases, not all, the 'fallen' through drink are often mentioned too, but they were very forgiving and often let them back into the chapel again after a while. They were also known as the Ranters, as they preached hellfire from the pulpits, even within living memory, and would hold big camp meetings on the green if there was nowhere else available, as some villages didn't like them and there was quite a bit of persecution in the early years.
Sorry, bit of a hobbyhorse!
----- Original Message -----
From: Ruth Aylett
Sent: Saturday, February 11, 2012 2:51 PM
Subject: Re: [Ess] A Strange Marriage
Primitive Methodists were a split from the Methodists with more radical views about equality here on earth that appealed strongly in working class circles. I think many of their members played a role in the Chartist movement and seem to remember George Elliot's Daniel Deronda having Primitive Methodists in it.
Adult conversion to non-conformism was frequent in this period - a whole bunch of my Tillingham Ayletts went Baptist in the 1840s in repines to an inspiring local preacher; all of them had been baptised CofE as infants and a large subset had also married CofE earlier on.
Ruth Aylett Professor of Computer Science
Mathematics and Computer Science, Heriot-Watt University
Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK Tel: 44-131-451-4189 Fax: 44-131-451-3327
http://www.macs.hw.ac.uk/~ruth/ "Life is beautiful"
On 11 Feb 2012, at 14:16, Jenny De Angelis wrote:
> Many people converted from CofE to Methodism in the 1800s in England. I
> believe the methodist preachers visited around the country preaching as they
> went and gaining many converts along the way. I have this espcially so in
> places in Northumberland and the North East of England in general. But it
> was no doubt the same all over the country.
> If a preacher was convincing enough he would probably gain many convert to
> his particular branch of methodism I imagine. There is nothing to stop a
> person baptised as CofE changing to another denomination if he chooses to do
> Maybe the groom was still CofE when he married and as you say his bride may
> have been baptised as Methodist or was a convert from CofE and they married
> in her church as is more often than not the case, marriages take place in
> the bride's parish as a general rule.
> Read the information in the links that another lister has sent to you. Also
> look at the Genuki pages for England, and Northumberland in particular. It
> is a useful site to have bookmarked.
> Jenny DeAngelis
> <<One of the group recently received a marriage certificate, which he
> brought to show us today and to seek advice and comment. Usual stuff groom,
> bride, age, occupation, etc. The shock (for him) came when he saw that the
> couple were married in a Primitive Methodist Chapel in Morpeth
> Northumberland. The minister was Walter Hawchin (? looks like).
> The groom and his father are coal miners and the bride's father is also a
> coal miner.
> According to the owner of the marriage certificate the groom was known to
> have been baptised as c of e. My thought was perhaps the bride was a
> The question is what is the difference between a "Primitive Methodist" & an
> "Ordinary Methodist"?>>
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