The Foxearth and District Local History Society

The Hysterical Hystorian

For occasional articles, snippets and announcements by the Resident Historians.These articles are presented in date order, but if you explore the back-catalogue, you may find much of interest. Historical information doesn't really go out of date! Any member of the F&DLHS may add an entry or make a comment to an existing entry once they have got their userID and password from the Webmaster.

If you'd like to publish any interesting material about the history of East Anglia on the site, then please send an email to the Resident Historians at and we'll add it.

Family Historians have their own area on the site, so look there if your main interest is in tracing your family history.

Monday, March 28, 2005

More Censuses and Museums

We have now completed the transcription of the 1891 and 1901 censuses for Foxearth, Liston, Borley and Pentlow. We have the whole transcription, including the details of where each family lived, taken directly from the original. We've also added the transcriptions of the 1891 censues for Belchamp Walter and Belchamp St Pauls.

We thought we'd announce it here out of perversity as the Family Historians tend not to read this column, so they will miss being the first to know about this splendid enhancement of the service. You, on the other hand will be able to smugly hint to your 'Family Historian' friends that something new and exciting is on the site.

At last, we have completed the labour of listing all the Museums and Houses open to the public in the region, along with addresses and contact numbers. This is also available from the main menu. We were amazed by the number of museums around, and how poorly some of them are advertised. Hopefully, it will inspire you to visit them and let us know what you think of them.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Chelmsford by John Walker

Whilst writing the publication about the famous Chelmsford Ballad, we were researching the location of the 'Tenter Ground' mentioned in the Ballad. There is a famous map of Chelmsford by John Walker, dated 1591. Just in case you haven't seen it, here it is. If you click on it, you will be confronted with the full map, but don't think of doing so unless you are keen on detail or you have broadband. It is a fascinating map with a wonderful way of showing you how chelmsford must have looked on those days.

Chelmsford in 1591

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Short Jacket and White Trousers

The story of a girl who disguises herself as a sailor on board ship is an old one, and the subject of many ballads such as 'Short Jacket and White Trousers'. For lonely sailors on long sea journeys, it was a powerful enough story, given the strict and absolute taboo on any sexual activity on-board ship.

A L Lloyd, the folksong expert, was sure that all such stories of male-imporsonation were legends and fantasies. The strange case of Dr Barrie, the military surgeon, who managed to keep up the disguise for most of her life, suggests that there could easily be some truth behind the fantasy. Tom stumbled over the following press-cutting in the Ipswich Journal which actually gives corroborative details which hint at the possibility that it might really have happened after all. Whether it was true or not, it is nice to think that such a well-known story (even celebrated in a 'Ripping Yarns' episode, a 'Carry On' film, and alluded to in 'Blackadder') is based on a real news-story at least. You will notice, however, that the impersonator of the news-story did not do it for love, as in the ballads and broadsheets, but, like Dr Barrie, in order to take on a career that was otherwise barred to her through the prevalent prejudice toward ladies.

May 21st 1748.

Bristol May 14th.

Last Tuesday a remarkable discovery was made about one of his Majesty’s ship’s, The Prince Edward in Kingsroad, a person who went by the name of John Davidson having drank freely became passionately fond of his messmate which occasioned him to suspect something, having informed his officer and on due examination by the ship’s surgeon he was discovered to be of the female sex and confessed to having been three years in the Privateers Service in which she was so successful as to be entitled to £150 prize money.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

'Jam Seges est ubi Troja fuit'-the end of Dunwich

Radulph Agas, wrote in 1789 of the end of Dunwich, the old Capital of East Anglia. What gives his account a vivid immediacy and a sense of tragedy, is that it seems to be an eye-witness account. This does not necessarily mean that the Agas, a deformed and eccentric cartographer from Stoke by Nayland, saw all the events himself, but it would seem that he heard them firsthand, or had contemporary accounts to draw from. Dunwich was such an old port that its name has Celtic roots (meaning 'Deep') and it was once of the same size as London. The site of the old beach is now two or more miles out to sea, and the earlier descriptions talk of a forest on the seaward side and a road to the beach.

Terrible Devastations were made in December 1740. 

The Wind blowing very hard about North-East, with Continuance for several Days, occasioned great Seas, doing much Damage on the Coast during that Time by Inundations breaking down the Banks and overflowing many Marshes, &c. The sad effects thereof were severely felt by Dunwich, when a great Churchyard; and a great Road heretofore leading into the Town from the Key; leaving several naked Wells, Tokens of ancient Buildings, and from Maison Dieu Lane northwards, a continual Scene of Confusion. 

Part of the Old Key, built with stone, lay bare; making Canals cross the Beach, through which the River had Communications with the Sea, to the Hindrance of the People on Foot travelling that Way, for some Days. King's Holm, (alias Leonard's Marsh) heretofore valued at 200 and then at 100 Pounds per Annum, laid under Water and much Shingle and Sand thrown thereon from off the Beach; rendering it ever since of little worth; much of the Pasture and some of their arable Land, destroyed. 

The Sea raged with such Fury, that Cock and Hen Hills (which the preceding Summer were upwards of forty feet high, and in the Winter partly washed away) this Year, had their Heads levell'd with their bases, and the Ground about them so rent and torn, that the Foundation of St Francis's Chapel (which was laid between the said Hills) 'was discovered; where, besides the Ruins of the Walls, were five round Stones near of a Bigness; the Dimensions of one (I took) were four Feet the Diameter, and near two the Thickness. 

There was likewise a Circle of large Stumps of Piles, about twenty-four feet Circumference. The Bounds of the Cemetery were staked; within which the secret Repositories of the Dead were exposed to open View; several Skeletons, on the Ouze, divested of their Coverings; some lying in pretty good Order, others interrupted, and scattered, as the Surges carried them. 

Also a Stone Coffin, wherin were human bones covered with Tiles. Before a Conveniency offered for removing the Coffin, it was broke in two pieces (by the violence of the Sea) which serve now for Steps at each Foot of Deering Bridge. At the same Time, and near the Chapel, the Pipes of an Aqueduct were found; some of Lead, others of gray Earth, like that of some urns. 

On the lowest part of the Chapel's Yard was the Flagg, retaining the old dead Grass; and in several Places, the Impression of the Spade; although it had been (beyond the Memory of the eldest Person in the Town) raised four or five Feet high with made Earth, bearing good Grass, Corn and Turnips; a Crop of the latter then growing thereon, but at that Time was reduced to Beach, over which the Sea plays ever since at high Tides. Between that and Maison Dieu Lane many Roots of Trees were washed bare. 

In November 1739, and some Time in the Winters 1746 and 1749, the Shingle and Sand were so abluted in some Places, by the Vehemence of the Furious waves of the Sea, which, at those Times, overflowed the Beach, that the Foundation of Houses, and the Banks, on each Side of the New Port, and Hummerston's Cut, were exhibited to open View. 

In the Year 1740, as the Men of Dunwich were digging a Trench, near their Old Port, cross the Beach, to make a Watergang to drain their marshes and low Grounds, drowned the preceding Winter, by the Inundation of the Sea which drove prodigious Quantities of Shingle and Sand into the River, filling it in several Places, so that the Water could not disembogue itself they happened on a Stone Wall, cemented exceeding strong, which was part of their Old Key; and near that, on a Well; both which I saw as they were working. 

At which Time several Pieces of old Coins and other Curiosities were found . . . And now this once famous Town or City, of a large Extent, the Buildings fair and many, well peopled, and wealthy; abounding with most Kinds of Merchandises, and the Source of Literature in those parts of the Kingdom; by the irresistablc impetuosity of the merciless sea, and the raging Plague of Fire, with which it hath been visited at sundry Times, is reduced to a narrow Compass; the Buildings few, and most of them mean; but one Church, some Remains of the Grey Friers, Saint James', and Maison Dieu Hospitals, and thirty-five Houses (including them in the Hospitals) are now standing, and about one hundred Souls subsisting; so that some of the Freemen, for Want of a sufficient Number, are obliged to serve or hold more Offices than one; and for the Generality, upon Account of the Stagnation of Trade, are poor and indigent. But the Inhabitants, by their Representatives erecting new Edifices, and repairing others, entertain reviving hopes of becoming once more a flourishing Town. 

The chief Business carried on — at present, is the Fishery in the Bay, where are caught Herrings, Sprats, Soals, Flounders, Plaice, Cods, Haddocks, Whitings, Skeats, &c. whereby seven small Boats are occupied. The great Alterations and Vicissitudes, of late Years, in several parts of Dunwich, are apparently conspicuous by Duck, alias Dukes Street; wherein at the latter End of Q. Ann's Reign, fourteen substantial Dwelling houses, besides Out houses, and Fish offices, were standing; all which are now utterly demolished, and a Bank cast up cross the West Entrance therein, where Middlegate stood, making it an Inclosure, which is now plowed, and the face therof so changed that what was said of the of the once famous City, Troy, may be applied to this Street. 'Jam Seges est ubi Troja fuit'

Thursday, March 10, 2005

The New-fangled Chimney

I was being shown around a house around here recently which dated from the fifteenth century. The Chimney had been obviously inserted into what had once been an open hall, and such was the extreme conservatism of householders of the time that the Chimney was almost always inserted over the site of the old open-hearth. We fell to musing as to what life had been like in the house before the chimney had been put in, and my host said it was strange that chimneys were such a late invention, dating from the 'great rebuilding' of the last quarter of the sixteenth century. Oh no. Here, in Essex, we have splendid chimneys in both Castle Hedingham and Colchester castle. Both were built in the Eleventh century, and we know that smithies had them before that time. The Romans knew all about them, of course. Even small mediaeval houses had a 'smoke bay' or section of the timber-framed house lined with clay for the smoke to leave. However, the general opinion was that Chimnies were unhealthy. Leland, for example, saw the introduction of chimneys as a sign of the degeneracy of the younger generation, and William Harrison, in his 'A Description of England' in 1577 wrote...

Now have we manie chimnies, and yet our tenderlings complain of rheumes, catarhs and poses. Then had we none but reredosses, and our heads did never ake. For as the smoke in those daies was supposed to be a sufficient hardening for the timber of the house, so it was reputed to keepe the good man and his familie from the quacke or pose, wherewith as then verie few were oft acquainted... whereas in their young days there were not above two or three (chimneys), if so many, in most uplandish towns of the realm (the religious houses and manor places of their lords always excepted, and peradventure some great personages), but each one made his fire against a reredos in the hall, where he dined and dressed his meat.....

Curiously, our modern insistance on central heating and complete insulation from the weather has also been blamed for the worrying increase in allergies and asthma. Herrison might even have been right about the smoke contributing to the preservation of timbers. It took some time too for people to work out how to preserve their food once chimneys had been installed. Previously, they could just hang them from the roof rafters in a dry, smokey, but not sooty spot over the open hearth. Now they were compelled to hang them inside the dark and cramped confines of the new-fangled chimney. There were technophobes even then.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Strabo on Britain

Whilst researching for some information on the ways that the celts managed their transport systems in the iron-age, I came across Strabo's description of England. Because he was writing at a time before the Claudian invasion, he is vague on detail, and wildly optimistic about the sheer cost of subjugating the island. It is amusing to read his description of the British as being "bandy-legged" and presenting "... no fair lines anywhere else in their figure". He goes on to describe the Irish in an unflattering light "Besides some small islands round about Britain, there is also a large island, Ierne, which stretches parallel to Britain on the north, its breadth being greater than its length. Concerning this island I have nothing certain to tell, except that its inhabitants are more savage than the Britons, since they are man-eaters as well as heavy eaters, and since, further, they count it an honourable thing, when their fathers die, to devour them, and openly to have intercourse, not only with the other women, but also with their mothers and sisters; but I am saying this only with the understanding that I have no trustworthy witnesses for it;". Quite.

Britain is triangular in shape; and its longest side stretches parallel to Celtica, neither exceeding nor falling short of the length of Celtica; for each of the two lengths is about four thousand three hundred — or four hundred — stadia: the Celtic length that extends from the outlets of the Rhenus as far as those northern ends of the Pyrenees that are near Aquitania, as also the length that extends from Cantium (which is directly opposite the outlets of the Rhenus), the most easterly point of Britain, as far as that westerly end of the island which lies opposite the Aquitanian Pyrenees. This, of course, is the shortest distance from the Pyrenees to the Rhenus, since, as I have already said, the greatest distance is as much as five thousand stadia; yet it is reasonable to suppose that there is a convergence from the parallel position which the river and the mountains occupy with reference to each other, since at the ends where they approach the ocean there is a curve in both of them.

2 There are only four passages which are habitually used in crossing from the mainland to the island, those which begin at the mouths of the rivers — the Rhenus, the Sequana, the Liger, and the Garumna. However, the people who put to sea from the regions that are near the Rhenus make the voyage, not from the mouths themselves, but from the coast of those Morini who have a common boundary with the Menapii. (On their coast, also, is Itium, which the Deified Caesar used as a naval station when he set sail for the island. He put to sea by night and landed on the following day about the fourth hour, thus having completed three hundred and twenty stadia in his voyage across; and he found the grain still in the fields.) Most of the island is flat and overgrown with forests, although many of its districts are hilly. It bears grain, cattle, gold, silver, and iron. These things, accordingly, are exported from the island, as also hides, and slaves, and dogs that are by nature suited to the purposes of the chase; the Celti, however, use both these and the native dogs for the purposes of war too. The men of Britain are taller than the Celti, and not so yellow-haired, although their bodies are of looser build. The following is an indication of their size: I myself, in Rome, saw mere lads towering as much as half a foot above the tallest people in the city, although they were bandy-legged and presented no fair lines anywhere else in their figure. Their habits are in part like those of the Celti, but in part more simple and barbaric — so much so that, on account of their inexperience, some of them, although well supplied with milk, make no cheese; and they have no experience in gardening or other agricultural pursuits. And they have powerful chieftains in their country. For the purposes of war they use chariots for the most part, just as some of the Celti do. The forests are their cities; for they fence in a spacious circular enclosure with trees which they have felled, and in that enclosure make huts for themselves and also pen up their cattle — not, however, with the purpose of staying a long time. Their weather is more rainy than snowy; and on the days of clear sky fog prevails so long a time that throughout a whole day the sun is to be seen for only three or four hours round about midday. And this is the case also among the Morini and the Menapii and all the neighbours of the latter.

3 The Deified Caesar crossed over to the island twice, although he came back in haste, without accomplishing anything great or proceeding far into the island, not only on account of the quarrels that took place in the land of the Celti, among the barbarians and his own soldiers as well, but also on account of the fact that many of his ships had been lost at the time of the full moon, since the ebb-tides and the flood-tides got their increase at that time. However, he won two or three victories over the Britons, albeit he carried along only two legions of his army; and he brought back hostages, slaves, and quantities of the rest of the booty. At present, however, some of the chieftains there, after procuring the friendship of Caesar Augustus by sending embassies and by paying court to him, have not only dedicated offerings in the Capitol, but have also managed to make the whole of the island virtually Roman property. Further, they submit so easily to heavy duties, both on the exports from there to Celtica and on the imports from Celtica (these latter are ivory chains and necklaces, and amber-gems and glass vessels and other petty wares of that sort), that there is no need of garrisoning the island; for one legion, at the least, and some cavalry would be required in order to carry off tribute from them, and the expense of the army would offset the tribute-money; in fact, the duties must necessarily be lessened if tribute is imposed, and, at the same time, dangers be encountered, if force is applied.

Monday, March 07, 2005

Superstition about witches

In 1881, The Rev Thiselton Dyer wrote a fascinating book on 'Domestic Folklore' in which he described the various superstitious beliefs that was still current at the time. At the end, he wisely adds "Our object has been to give a brief and general survey of that extensive folklore which has, in the course of years, woven itself around the affairs of home-life. However much this may be ridiculed on the plea of its being the outcome of credulous belief, yet it constitutes an important element in our social life, which the historian in years to come will doubtless use when he studies the character of the English people in this and bygone centuries". Quite right, and it is nice to think that I have done precisely what he prediced.

On the subject of the belief in witches he wrote....

The belief in witchcraft, which in years gone by was so extensively entertained, has not yet died out, and in many of our country villages it is regarded as one of those secret dangers to which every home is more or less exposed. Hence we find various devices still resorted to for the purpose of counteracting the supposed hurtful influences of this baneful power, instances of which we subjoin.
Thus, according to a common idea, one of the best preservatives is a horse-shoe nailed to the threshold. The reason of this is said to be that Mars, the god of war, and the war-horse, was thought to be an enemy to Saturn, who, according to a mediaeval idea, was the liege lord of witches. Thus, iron instruments of any kind have been said to keep witches at bay, a superstition which has been traced back to the time of the Romans, who drove nails into the walls of their houses as an antidote against the plague. Mr. Napier says that he has seen the horse-shoe in large beer-shops in London, and was, present in the parlour of one of these when an animated discussion arose as to whether it was most effective to have the shoe nailed behind the door or upon the first step of the door. Both positions had their advocates, and instances of extraordinary luck were recounted as having attended them.
In Lancashire, where there are, perhaps, more superstitions connected with this subject than in any other county of England, we find numerous traditions relating to the evil actions of the so-called witches in former years, many of which have become household stories among the peasants. At the present day the good housewife puts a hot iron into the cream during the process of churning to expel the witch from the churn; and dough in preparation for the baker is protected by being marked with the figure of a cross. In some places a "lucky stone"—a stone with a hole through it—is worn as an amulet, and crossed straws and knives laid on the floor are held in high repute. A belief, too, which was once very prevalent, and even still lingers on, was that the power of evil ceased as soon as blood was drawn from the witch. An instance of this superstition occurred some years ago in a Cornish village, when a man was summoned before the bench of magistrates and fined for having assaulted the plaintiff and scratched her with a pin. Not many years ago a young girl in delicate health living in a village near Exeter was thought to have been bewitched by an old woman of that place, and, according to the general opinion, the only chance of curing her was an application of the witch's blood. Consequently the girl's friends laid wait one day for the poor old woman, and scratching her with a nail till the blood flowed, collected the blood. This they carried home, and smeared the girl with it in the hope that it would insure recovery Curious to say, she finally got well, an event which, it is needless to add, was attributed to this charm.
It is still thought by many that witchcraft, like hydrophobia, is contagious, and that the person, if only slightly scratched by a witch, rapidly becomes one. The faculty of witchcraft is also said to be hereditary, and in some places families are pointed out as possessing this peculiarity. Again, witches are supposed to have the power of changing their shape and resuming it again at will, a notion which was very popular in past years, the cat's and the toad's being the forms they were thought to assume. Hence the appearance of a toad on the doorstep is taken as a certain sign that the house is under evil influence, and the poor reptile is often subjected to some cruel death. Cats, also, were formerly exposed to rough usage, one method being to enclose them with a quantity of soot in wooden bottles suspended on a line. The person who succeeded in beating out the bottom of the bottle as he run under it and yet escaping the contents was the hero of the sport, a practice to which Shakespeare alludes in Much Ado about Nothing, where Benedick says:—
" Hang me in a bottle like a cat and shoot at me."
It is only natural, too, that in Macbeth, Shakespeare, in his description of the witches, should have associated them with the cat, their recognised agent.
Another important character whose supernatural powers are still credited is the "charmer." She is generally an elderly woman of good reputation, and supposed to be gifted with extraordinary powers, by means of which she performs wonderful feats of skill. By her incantations and mysterious ceremonies she stops blood, cures all manner of diseases, and is, in short, regarded as almost a miracle-worker. At the same time, however, it must not be imagined that she exercises her power gratuitously, as oftentimes her charges are very high, and it is only by patient saving that the poor can accumulate enough to satisfy her exorbitant demands. This kind of superstition has been already incidentally alluded to in the chapter on " Common Ailments; " and it is one that still holds its ground in our country districts. These supposed charmers, however, do not always make trade of their art; for, on the contrary, it is supposed by some of them that any offer of pecuniary remuneration would break the spell, and render the charm of no avail.
Again, there is still an extensive belief in "second sight," certain persons being thought to possess the faculty of peeping into futurity, and revealing future events to their fellow-creatures. Many of the Highlanders lay claim to this power, which was called by the ancient Gaels "shadow-sight."
" Nor less availed his optic sleight, And Scottish gift of second-sight."
Sometimes, says Mr. Napier, the person fell into a trance, " in which state he saw visions; at other times the visions were seen without the trance condition. Should the seer see in a vision a certain person dressed in a shroud, this betokened that the death of that person would surely take place within a year. Should such a vision be seen in the morning, the person seen would die before that evening; should such a vision be seen in the afternoon, the person seen would die before next night; but if the vision were seen late in the evening, there was no particular time of death intimated, further than that it would take place within the year. Again, if the shroud did not cover the whole body, the fulfilment of the vision was at a great distance. If the vision were that of a man with a woman standing at his left hand, then that woman would be that man's wife, although they may both at the time of the vision be married to others.
The case is related of a man living near Blackpool who foretold death and evil events from his visions. Men of superior ability were credulous enough to visit him, and to give implicit faith to his marvellous stories.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

The Stour Valley Riots

The people of Melford attacked Melford Hall and partially destroyed it in 1642. Why they did so is not altogether clear. Of course, there was considerable unreast leading up to the Civil Wars, but the rioters supported neither side and both Royalists and Parlimantarians were quick to condemn them. The Countess of Rivers was the widow of Sir Thomas Savage. Her father was Count Rivers and she inherited his title and great wealth on his death. Evidently, when the mob went into action, they first attacked The Countess of Rivers' mansion in St Osyth and pursued her to Melford where all the furnishings were carried off, and the deer in the park were taken. She was a prominent catholic. There were other attacks on prominent catholics at the time, including Sir Francis Mannock at Stoke by Mayland. There was mounting disorder in East Anglia then, due to rising unemployment as the once-prosperous cloth industry went into collapse, and both the Royalists and the Parliamentarians gained recruits from the fear of the anarchy of the mob. The Parliamentary gentry under Sir Nathaniel Barnardiston did their best to regain order. This makes it seem unlikely that it was a parlimentarian mob that sacked the place. It is true that The Countess Rivers was an enthusiastic royalist who subsequently lost her fortune to the royalist cause, and died in a debtors prison, but this attack seems to have been for a different reason.

At the time of the run-up to the civil War, the popular press was convinced that the Pope wished to overturn Anglicanism by stirring up the civil War. Pamphlets spoke of 'The Devil's counsel to the Pope' which was 'to cut them off by some damnable plot, by your adherents among them confiscate their pernicious parliament, destroy and put to the sword the princilpe men thereof, confound them in their devices by civil mutiny.Strangely, other prominent catholic recusant families, such as the Waldegraves, escape the attentions of the mob. In fact the mob was said to have pursued the Countess of Rivers to Melford from St Osyths, which implies that it was not part of random attacks against catholics but was directed particularly against the unlucky Countess.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Schisms in Glemsford

Steve Clarke has spotted a mistake in the captioning of one of the photographs of a Glemsford chapel. Glemsford has a large collection of Nonconformist chapels. Some are still being used, but others have, sadly, gone out of use. To quote from Kenneth Glass's guide

"In 1828 Bbenezer Baptist Chapel was built in Egremont Street and opened in 1829, and through the years they maintained a strong Christian witness. They also were able to support their own ministers, Mr, A. J. Ward was Pastor in the late 1800's and the last, Pastor Laver, resigned in 1945, The sad dispute which troubled the Baptist denomination in the 1850's had its repercussions in Glemsford and In 1859 Providence Chapel in Hunts Hill was opened. Both Churches flourished whilst Glemsford was prosperous with a large population but grew less strong as the village declined and Providence Chapel is now closed and disused. A branch of the Long Melford Congregational Church was formed in Glemsford about this period and they built a small chapel off Egremont Street, It is interesting to record that the Congregationalists used the Chapel for a fortnightly midweek service on a Thursday, and rented the Chapel to a company of Methodists for use on Sundays. The Chapel was known as "Renters Chapel" for this reason. During the first World far the Congregationalist cause was revived and flourished again for a number of years, but the Chapel is now closed and used as a store. The company of Methodists mentioned above were a church of Primitive Methodists in the Sudbury Circuit and in 1914 they decided to build the present Chapel at a cost of £495, and it was opened on Whit Monday 1915; it has seating for 300 and useful Sunday School hall and vestries After the Union of Methodist Churches in 1934 it continued in the Sudbury circuit and remains today the most flourishing nonconformist church. Members of the Plymouth Brethren have a meeting place in Egremont Street and although small in number their influence in Christian witness has been felt in the village. "

There must have been some friction at times between the various chapels and at one point, in March 1829, this piece accidentally slipped into the paper, written by one of the hot-heads

Our Glemsford correspondent says that several places in the neighbourhood, Chapels for Baptists and Independents have occassioned a schism and a Meeting House was erected in opposition to the old Meeting House, the erectors of the Meeting House refuse to continue in fellowship. The officiating preacher announced himself a Baptist. Here is the begining of heresy, the Sunday previous to the commencement of service the place was taken into possession of the Independents and the doors were locked and entrance refused but the place was besieged by the Baptists who broke open the doors and took possession, I think you will agree such spirit does not savour of Christianity.

This story must have led to a number of complaints because, on March 25th 1829, came the following apology

We confess we acted unwisely in publishing the dispute at Glemsford among dissenters, we cannot make our paper a vehicle between rival parties