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During the latter half of the 18th Century Huddersfield was powerfully influenced by two great movements, the Industrial Revolution and the Evangelical Revival of Religion. In 1764 the spinning-jenny was invented by the weaver Hargreaves ; in 1768 the spinning-machine by the barber Arkwright ; in 1776 the mule by the weaver Crompton. And the value of coal "as a means of producing mechanical force was revealed in the discovery by which Watt in 1765 transformed the steam engine from a mere toy into the most wonderful instrument which human industry has ever had at its command." (J.R. Green's Short History of the English People.) Obviously the effects in this district of these inventions were immense. Troublous times had to be passed through. The introduction of the new machinery was often met by violence on the part of the workers. The conflict with Napoleon was ruinous to trade. The employment of children in the factories was inhuman, and took some years to abolish. But from that time began the growth of Huddersfield in population and in wealth. In 1760 the Gazetteer still ranked it with the villages: though the parish included a large country district and several outlying hamlets (stretching out to Golcar and Deanhead), the population was only 4,000, In 1816 the population of the township was 10,500, and the rest of the parish about 7,000. The population of the parish had therefore quadrupled in about 50 years.
The Evangelical Revival of Religion may be said to have begun in 1739 when Whitefield and Wesley began their open-air preaching. To understand the work of the great Revival, we need to realise the state of the country and the Church just before it — "a people coarse, brutal, ignorant, and a Church that had largely forgotten its mission, unspiritual, discredited, useless." That is an outline. I have not space here to fill in the details and make the picture live. Evangelicalism established itself in the North comparatively early. Three names I will mention as affecting this history — Henry Venn, William Wilberforce, and Charles Simeon.
In 1759 Henry Venn became Vicar of Huddersfield. As we have seen, his parish was extensive, and "much of his time was spent on horseback, hunting out obscure parishioners in lonely farms and cottages. He drew enormous congregations, so that often the Church could not hold the people, and the sermon had to be preached in the open air. He took care to make the services real. He would begin with a short exhortation reminding the careless that they were standing in the presence of God : a few words of explanation accompanied the Psalms and Lessons: and when the time for the sermon came, he had the gift of moving large numbers to repentance and tears. But his best work was done outside his pulpit. His common-sense was sensible and sanctified in the highest degree, and shepherds and weavers, saints and sinners flocked to his study for advice. But behind all the good advice that he gave about farms or quarrels or marriages, there was always the deep desire to win the soul for God." After eleven years the work broke him down. A hacking cough and spitting of blood made it impossible to preach, and in 1771 he left Huddersfield for a little agricultural parish. He was unfortunately succeeded by a Vicar of a different stamp, and the result was a secession and the founding of Highfield Chapel. Elsewhere in the West Riding Evangelicalism was strong. John Crosse, the blind Vicar of Bradford, was drawing such congregations that the great Church could not hold them, though gallery after gallery was added. At Leeds, Miles Atkinson's influence was supreme, and William Hey, the famous surgeon, was his great supporter. Slaithwaite, in the Parish of Huddersfield, had a steady succession of Evangelical Clergy. First "Boanerges" Furly, whom Venn had chosen for the living, then Matthew Powley, and then Thomas Wilson, for whom a new Church had to be built, and afterwards enlarged, and yet it could not hold the people who flocked to hear him. "They stood, like corn in a cornfield, sometimes double rows in a seat: there was no dissent in that valley." Dr. Henry Coulthurst, as Vicar of Halifax, had all the twelve chapels-of-ease in the parish in his own patronage. Altogether, by the time that the end of the century had been reached, the Evangelicals were far stronger in Yorkshire than in any other part of the country.
We pass from Huddersfield to Clapham, then a village separated from London by three miles of pleasant meadows. Here from 1792 to 1813, John Venn, a son of Venn of Huddersfield, was Rector, no genius, but a solid, sensible, persevering man, who, after the usual preliminary struggle, and mass meetings of his opponents at the Plough Inn, had succeeded in organizing his parish on vigorous Evangelical lines, including two things then regarded as amazing novelties — a Sunday Evening Service and a system of district-visiting. Venn preached every Sunday to what was, perhaps, the most notable congregation in all England. Various causes had brought to the village of Clapham a remarkable group of laymen, devoted to the Church, fervent in prayer, drawing the whole inspiration of their lives from a diligent study of the Bible, at the same time men whose brains and brilliancy could not be denied even by those who sneered at their religion. The best known of these notable men was William Wilberforce, M.P., "the light-hearted Member for Yorkshire," whom Pitt and Burke declared to be the greatest orator of the age. They were rich and prosperous men, living in large houses, well-clothed, well-fed, driving well-groomed horses, and the outside world was apt to scoff at all this ease in Zion. "In Egypt itself," sneered Thackeray, "there were not more savoury fleshpots than at Clapham." But little did the critics guess the almost monastic self-discipline by which these well-to-do Christians ordered each day of their lives. They moved in Society, they were given to hospitality, because they believed it a duty. "My business is in the world," wrote Wilberforce, "and I must mix in the assemblies of men, or quit the part which Providence seems to have assigned to me," but every temptation to self-indulgence was rigidly held in check. Like all Evangelicals in those days, they were very early risers, for they realized intensely the value of time. Every hour was marked out beforehand: some of Wilberforce's time-tables were discovered after his death — so many hours for prayer, so many for study, so many for business, so many for rest, and a column at the end in which to enter all the time that had been squandered. They made a point of setting apart three hours a day for prayer — from five to six in the morning, from twelve to one at noon, and from five to six in the evening. Above all, they regarded their wealth as not their own, but God's : a business man's ledger is always the best commentary on his religion. But the finest work which this "Clapham Sect" (as Sidney Smith nicknamed them) accomplished was the abolition of the Slave Trade. The opposition was tremendous. The struggle lasted twenty years. Wilberforce first took up the question in 1787, and not till 1807 was the Slave Trade made illegal. This is not the place to give the story except in this briefest summary.
I have dwelt upon William Wilberforce and his religious life, because, as we shall see, he was a personal friend of Mr. Benjamin Haigh Allen, the Founder of Holy Trinity Church, and I cannot help thinking that lie at some time worshipped in our Church.
The next name is that of Charles Simeon, and I think it well to speak of him, because the patronage of this living has since 1880 been in the hands of " Simeon's Trustees." We are taken now to Cambridge. So bitter was the prejudice against the early Evangelicals that Henry Venn, of Huddersfield, had the greatest difficulty in finding a College that would consent to admit his son! However, the position was entirely changed in 1788, when Isaac Milner, who had been the chief means of W. Wilberforce's conversion, was appointed President of Queen's. A big North countryman, who had forced his way up, by sheer strength of character and intellect, from a weaver's loom, he had been not only senior wrangler, but so far ahead of his competitors that the examiners had added the word "Incomparabilis" to his name, and in his new post he showed that he was not afraid of difficulties. The College was in very low water. Milner, a keen Evangelical, determined to make his College a sort of School of the Prophets, the stronghold of Evangelicalism in Cambridge, and he succeeded. The College prospered, and before long, instead of being one of the smallest, Queen's became one of the largest in the whole University. Milner's work was supplemented by that of Charles Simeon. One gathered the men together, the other trained them. Simeon was Fellow of King's College. He was ordained, and in 1783 was appointed Minister of Trinity Church, Cambridge, near the Market Place. Here he learnt what it meant to be known as an Evangelical. The seat-holders deserted the Church in a body, and locked the great doors of the pews, so that no one else should use them. When Simeon placed forms in the aisles, the churchwardens threw them out into the churchyard, and for more than ten years his congregation had to stand for the whole service in the aisles. Rowdy bands of undergraduates used to try to break up the service. "For many years," wrote one of his contemporaries, "Trinity Church and the streets leading to it were the scenes of the most disgraceful tumults. In vain did Simeon exert himself to preserve order. In vain did Farish (Fellow of Magdalene), who was popular with the undergraduates, station himself outside the door, to prevent improper conduct; though one undergraduate, who had been apprehended by Simeon, was compelled to read a public apology, the disturbances still continued." "Those who worshipped at Trinity," wrote another, "were supposed to have left common-sense, discretion, sobriety, attachment to the Established Church, love of the liturgy, and whatever is true and of good report, in the vestibule."
But Simeon went on with his work with quiet pertinacity, never deliberately doing anything to provoke opposition, but never flinching from declaring what he knew to be the truth, and won first toleration, and then recognition as the most inspiring teacher at Cambridge. Then Trinity Church was always crowded with undergraduates. His Friday Conversation Circle for the discussion of religious questions, his Bible Class and Doctrine Class never failed to fill his room at King's with eager young disciples, and especially his famous Sermon Class, in which most of the Evangelical preachers of the next generation were trained. And this continued for fifty years with results that no man can estimate. A teacher so wise, so genial, so spiritual, moulding the lives of the men from whom the bulk of the clergy were drawn, acquired a position almost unique in the English Church. "If you knew what his authority and influence were," wrote Lord Macaulay, who was himself at Cambridge in Simeon's later days, "and how they extended from Cambridge to the most remote corners of England, you would allow that his real sway in the Church was far greater than that of any Primate."
To-day his name is best known in connection with his Trust. His attention had been called early to the question of Church Patronage. He saw men like John Newton and Thomas Scott and William Romaine, some of the most efficient and godly men in the Church, remaining unbeneficed almost to the end of their lives, while utterly worthless and useless idlers were able to secure important livings for the sake of the loaves and fishes. "The greatest reform that the Church needs," he wrote to the Bishop of Oxford, "is an improvement in the method of appointing to the cure of souls." Some money, which he inherited through a brother's death, gave him his opportunity, and he determined to buy the patronage of a certain number of livings. "Others purchase income," he wrote, "I purchase spheres of work." As years passed on, other Evangelicals gave money for the same purpose, or handed over to him livings that were in their gift, and in this way arose the Simeon Trust, which has the right of appointing to more than a hundred parishes. Of course most of these livings have been handed over to the Trustees since Simeon's death.
In several cases where new Churches have been built and endowed and separated from their Mother Churches by Evangelicals, the patronage has been vested in Simeon's Trustees.
There are many mistaken notions in people's minds with regard to Simeon's Trust. They imagine that before the Trustees appoint a man, they demand some declaration of faith in certain doctrines, or promises with regard to customs or ritual. There is nothing of the kind. I wrote to the present Secretary of the Trustees, mentioning the existence of these notions, and asked him if I could see a copy of Simeon's Trust, and whether it contained any terms or conditions governing the appointment to livings, and I received the following reply :—
Such was Charles Simeon, and such is his Trust. (As the Trustees are human they doubtless make mistakes, but I believe they have honestly sought to remember this charge.) In the course of our history we shall see how the Patronage of this Living came in 1880 into the hands of the Simeon's Trustees.
I have dwelt at some length upon these early Evangelicals, because it is evident that the Founder of Holy Trinity Church was heart and soul an Evangelical, and a very fine example of the type represented by Wilberforce and his friends. Let us now turn to him. There is a tablet on the south wall of the Chancel inscribed as follows :—
Benjamin Haigh Allen was born in 1792 or 1793. His father was Thomas Allen, of Fanthorpe, Almondbury, then of Greenhead. His mother was Martha, daughter of Thomas Haigh, of Gledholt. We can picture him in 1804 as a boy of eleven. We know that at that time Greenhead was his home, and on June 24th of that year his mother died, and was buried at Almondbury. He had two sisters, Susanna and Sarah, both older than himself, and a brother, John, younger. At Gledholt near by lived his grandfather, his mother's father, Thomas Haigh, who died in 1809 at the age of 80, and his uncle, Benjamin Haigh, who died in 1811. I wonder if this uncle was his godfather, for the nephew was evidently called after him, and the uncle, who had never married, left him most of his property. Springwood Hall, also near by, was the residence of Joseph Haigh, a cousin of Benjamin Haigh. He was a successful man of business, and amassed a very large fortune. His sister became the second wife of Thomas Allen, that is, stepmother to the Founder. She died in 1841, at the great age of 87, and is buried in Trinity Churchyard.
From the Rev. C. Hole's "Early History of the C.M.S." I have obtained two most interesting glimpses of Mr. B.H. Allen in the years 1813 and 1814. The C.M.S. was founded in 1799, and made slow progress for the first few years. In 1813, however, it took to sending well-known clergy as deputations to make tours of various parts of the country, preaching and holding meetings with a view to forming Associations. Twenty-three towns in different parts were selected as likely places for establishing such Associations, because there were known friends there — and Huddersfield had the honour of being one of these 23. Doubtless the remembrance of Henry Venn was one reason. Then there was a Mr. Thomas Atkinson, of Huddersfield, who was one of the first members of the Society; and the Curate of Huddersfield Parish Church was an enthusiastic supporter, doing his best to bring the Vicar into some activity on its behalf. The result was that on September 16th, 1813, a C.M. Association for Huddersfield was formed — and among the small Committee for the first year of its existence we find the names Mr. John Whitacre and Mr. B. Haigh Allen who at that time could not have been more than 21 years of age, possibly only 20.
In the following year, 1814, the Society sent another well-known clergyman on tour in Yorkshire. His name was Legh Richmond, He had written a small book or tract, called "Annals of the Poor ; or, The Dairyman's Daughter," telling some of his ministerial experiences in the Isle of Wight. It had an enormous sale. Legh Richmond said he would require a post-chaise for his tour, and it would be more profitable if another clergyman could go with him. He selected as his companion the Rev. H.J. Maddock, who was then Perpetual Curate of Bonsai. In the course of their tour the two came to Huddersfield, and were the guests of Mr. John Whitacre, of Woodhouse. On Tuesday evening, September 27th, 1814, Richmond preached in the Parish Church, which was "crowded in the extreme," and the collection was £81 6s. 6d.
In 1807, through Wilberforce's efforts of 20 years, the slave trade was made illegal, and British gunboats patrolled the West Coast of Africa to capture slave ships. The slaves could not possibly be returned to their own homes, so they were landed at Sierra Leone under the care of the Government. The C.M.S. had begun work among them, and several sympathisers used to contribute £5 a year for the maintenance and education of such a rescued African boy or girl. It was also the custom for such benefactors to name the children after themselves or someone whom they desired to honour. This will explain what follows :—
Richmond's journal reads thus :— Oct. 1st, Saturday. "Prepared to leave Woodhouse, a roof under which I have met with so much to improve and delight, that I know not how to express my gratitude to God and its owners as I ought. The five daughters gave me £5 as an annual subscription to a rescued negro child, to be called after Maddock and myself." That day Richmond proceeded to Bradford to preach there on the Sunday, Oct. 2nd. But Maddock must have stayed in Huddersfield, for on the Sunday he preached in the morning at Kirkburton Church, and in the afternoon at "Honley Chapel." The next day he must have been driven over to Halifax, as I shall show soon. Perhaps he had agreed to meet Richmond there, as they certainly continued their tour together southwards. Perhaps they were attracted to Halifax to see old Dr. Coulthurst, Mr. Whitacre's brother-in-law, and a great supporter of the C.M.S.
Now here is an interesting little discovery of mine. Legh Richmond, on the conclusion of the tour, sent to the Secretary of the C.M.S. a list of five African Children to be adopted and named. He describes the contributor or contributors and gives the name by which the child is to be called. First there comes "Legh Maddock Richmond, supported by five sisters in Yorkshire." Well, you recognise that those were the five daughters of Mr. Whitacre. The last name runs thus :— "S.W., an African girl, by a friend through Mr. Maddock." This looks somewhat confidential, and it really is very impertinent of me to try 100 years after to drag this annonymous friend into the light. But here are the facts. The Secretary had of course to find out the name for which the initials S.W. stood, and he learned that they stood for "Sarah Whitacre." Who was the friend who wished to do honour to Sarah Whitacre ? Well, there was a young man who was about to marry Sarah Whitacre in a month or two. His name was Benjamin Haigh Allen. Moreover in the Vestry is preserved a Bible which belonged to the Rev. H.J. Maddock, and was presented to the Church together with his portrait by his son, the Rev. P.B. Maddock, in the year 1897. On the fly-leaf of this Bible is written in the Founder's handwriting "A small token of gratitude to the Rev. Henry John Maddock, from his very sincere young friend, Benjamin Haigh Allen." "Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a Crown of life. Rev. ii. 10." And then in Mr. Maddock's handwriting "Given me at Halifax in Yorkshire, October the third, 1814, H.J. Maddock. O my God, remember the giver for his good always." There is no doubt in my mind who the annonymous friend was who subscribed for the support of an African girl in honour of Sarah Whitacre.
It is clear that Benj Haigh Allen was powerfully attracted by Henry John Maddock. The latter's memoir states that it was on this occassion that Mr. Allen invited him to become the first Incumbent of the Church which he intended to build; so that the intention had now been formed. Only a year before (in a letter dated Aug. 28th, 1813), the Rev. Wm. Harding, Curate of Huddersfield, had written to the C.M.S. — "The state of the Church here is truly painful. We have a population of 8,000 and only one Church, and every seat in it is private property. The consequence is that the body of Dissenters and Methodists is great, and there seems no probability of a new Church or Chapel being built." Somehow God had put it into the heart of Benjamin Haigh Allen.
Just one month after this visit of Richmond and Maddock, Benjamin Haigh Allen was married to Sarah Whitacre. The "Leeds Mercury," of Saturday, the 5th November, 1814, contained the following announcement among the marriages : "On Monday last (i.e., November 1st), at Huddersfield, by the Rev. H.W. Coulthurst, D.D., Vicar of Halifax, Benjamin Haigh Allen, of Greenhead, to Sarah, fourth daughter of the late John Whitacre, Esq., of Woodhouse." Dr. Coulthurst was an uncle of the bride, Mrs. Couithurst being a sister of Mr. John Whitacre. I have been permitted to see some letters written by the bridegroom, evidently on his honeymoon, to Mrs. Whitacre, his mother-in-law.
It seems that on the death of Benjamin Haigh, in 1811, Gledholt had come into the possession of Thomas Allen. Anyhow in 1814, his son, Benjamin Haigh Allen, on his marriage, was given possession of Greenhead, and Thomas Allen resided at Gledholt.
By the end of 1814, then, we see Benjamin Haigh Allen married and settled at Greenhead. The house in which he lived stood where the Municipal High School for Girls now stands. Attached to it was a park which roughly covered the land now contained in Greenhead Park, except the part now used for a playing field which formed part of a rifle range.
I have endeavoured to discover where Benjamin Haigh Allen was educated, but so far in vain. I wonder if it was at Healds Hall, Liversedge, where a school was carried on by the Rev. Hammond Roberson. Here is the reason for the suggestion. It is manifest that there was some close connection between St. Mary's Church, Liversedge, and Trinity Church, Huddersfield, as anyone can see who looks at their pictures side by side. Hammond Roberson was ordained in 1779 and went as Curate to the Rev. Matthew Powley, Vicar of Dewsbury, on the recommendation of Henry Venn. He was Curate for nine years — active and energetic, and always ready to promote every good cause. So far as he knew, he had the first Sunday School in the North of England. Here is an account he gave of the state of religion in the locality : "Not only was the Sabbath profaned and the duties of religion entirely neglected, but the most brutal vices of drunkenness, dog fighting, cock fighting, and bull baiting were carried on to a most disgraceful extent." Against these he fought with courage.
He resigned his Curacy and established a School, moving in 1795 to Healds Hall, Liversedge. In 1810 he lost his wife and, having no child, he set himself in earnest to consider how he should provide for the township in which he resided the benefits of the ministry of the Church of England. He purchased some land, and having procured by December, 1812, an Act of Parliament — an expensive preliminary — he built St. Mary's, Liversedge, out of his own pocket. The Church was consecrated August 29th, 1816, a few weeks before the first stone of Trinity Church was laid. Mr. Roberson kept an accurate account of all his expenses in building the Church, and was able to state that it cost £7,474 11s. 10¾d. This came, not out of the income of a rich man, but was the entire savings of his own many years of hard toil. In a private letter to a friend he wrote : "From the best judgment I can form I am still solvent : more I have no ambition to be. To pay my debts is my highest worldly ambition. There will be a shilling left for the sexton to level up my grave. And there is Liversedge Church. No other style of building at all respectable could be built for the same money : that is my opinion. However, I fall down on my face and say the General Thanksgiving."
The Rev, Hammond Roberson died in 1841, aged 84. He is said to have been the original of the Rev. Matthewson Helstone in Charlotte Bronte's "Shirley," together with her father.
This has been something of a digression — but whether Benjamin Haigh Allen was at school at Healds Hall or not — whether it was his schoolmaster who inspired him to build a Church or not — there can be no doubt that he liked the plan for Liversedge Church, and secured the same Architect for Trinity Church, and gave him instructions to build on very similar lines. The name of the Architect was Mr. T. Taylor. The builder was Mr. Joe Kaye, who in 1848 built Huddersfield Station. He did his work well. "The style of architecture is that of the 15th century, perpendicular Gothic — with tower, nave, side aisles, clerestory, choir and crypt." Such is the summary description which I have read somewhere as applying to Liversedge Church, and so of course to our own.
At the beginning of the 19th century architecture was for the most part at a very low ebb. From 150 to 70 years ago there were a good many very ugly Churches built, some of a very debased classical style, some of a very debased Gothic style, or of no style at all. Within that period comes the building of Liversedge Church and of ours: and we are thankful and proud that we did not share in the prevailing ugliness of the time. In many parts of the country there still lived on in some hearts the love and reverence for the old Gothic. Hammond Roberson got hold of an Architect who had been drawing ancient Churches, and set him to build his Church. This Architect broke away from the dominant style of the period, and tried to revive the perpendicular Gothic of the 15th century. Of course the 15th century did not have galleries — but the 18th and 19th centuries had to contend with rapidly increasing populations, and this was one way of giving a Church sufficient seating accommodation. Our Church then is an early example of a return from classical architecture to perpendicular Gothic. It is easy to point out its. architectural imperfections, but it is remarkably good for the time when it was built. By degrees Gothic won its way, and since 1850 numberless Gothic Churches have been built, many of them very handsome. St. John's and St. Thomas' in our own town are good examples, built in 1853 and 1859.
To return to the year 1816. At that time the Vicar of Huddersfield was the Rev. John Coates, M.A., who had been Curate from 1784 to 1791, and was Vicar from 1791 to 1823. He was in thorough sympathy with Mr. B. H. Allen's proposal, and put no impediment in his way. A Private Act of Parliament was obtained, entitled "An Act for Building a Church or Chapel of Ease in the Parish of Huddersfield, in the West Riding of the County of York (58 Geo. III., 1816)." There were so many practical difficulties as to the power of conveying land to be consecrated, and it was uncertain in whom the freehold of such land should vest, that it was impossible in those days to build a new Church without an Act of Parliament. Two years later, in 1818, the first Church Building Act (58 Geo. III., ch. 45) was passed. And now, under the provisions of the various Church Building Acts, the Ecclesiastical Commissioners with the consent of the Bishop may take conveyances of lands, and may authorise the building of Churches and the division of old parishes.
The Preamble states that the inhabitants of the township of Huddersfield, in the parish of Huddersfield, "have of late years considerably increased in number, and are likely to continue to do so, the present population of that township consisting of ten thousand five hundred inhabitants." It also states that the Parish Church of Huddersfield " contains seats for only about one thousand four hundred persons, and is therefore very inadequate ... there being no other place for the performance of divine worship according to the rites and usage of the Church of England within two miles distance from the said Church." There was no other Church within the Township, but within the Parish of Huddersfield there were the Churches or Chapels of Deanhead, Slaithwaite and Longwood. There had been a Church at Deanhead for a long time, though the present ore was built only in 1863. The Church at Slaithwaite was repaired in 1593, and rebuilt in 1719, and again about 100 years later. It served for four townships, Slaithwaite and Golcar in Huddersfield, and Lingards and Linthwaite in Almondbury. The Church at Longwood was originally a private Chapel of the family at Milnsbridge House, and was consecrated for parts of Linthwaite and Golcar, as well as its own Township of Quarmby. It was rebuilt about 1750, and again in the last century.
The Preamble of the Act declares, therefore, that it would be "of great benefit and utility to the inhabitants ... if a Church or Chapel of Ease ... were erected within some distance, not exceeding half a mile of the said town of Huddersfield."
The Act empowers Mr. Benjamin Haigh Allen to purchase land for building a Church upon. He is authorized and required to erect on the said land, in a substantial and workmanlike manner, a Church or Chapel of Ease, with a chancel and steeple, which together shall contain or cover forty-two yards in length or thereabouts, and twenty yards in breadth or thereabouts. He is to erect proper pews, seats, a vestry, and a bell or bells, and (if the same shall be found needful) a gallery or galleries, with proper pews and seats therein, and to provide proper Communion plate, ornaments, and other requisites and conveniences, and in all things to finish and complete the said Church or Chapel of Ease in a proper, decent, and commodious manner. He is also authorized "to cause vaults to be made under the floor of the said Church or Chapel of Ease for the interment of the dead." The Church when completed is to be consecrated, and to be "a perpetual cure and benefice," and "shall be called by the name of Trinity Church or Chapel in Huddersfield for ever."
The Act allows Services of Baptism, Churching of Women, Confirmation, Burial of the Dead, to be performed in the Church, but not the publication of Banns of Marriage or the Solemnization of Marriage.
The Patronage was vested in Mr. Allen, and was made entirely independent of the Vicar of Huddersfield. In order to secure it as an entire and distinct cure and benefice from the Parish Church of Huddersfield, it is enacted "that it shall not be lawful for the Vicar for the time being of the Parish Church of Huddersfield ... or any other person holding any curacy or lectureship within the said parish ... to be minister of the said Church or Chapel of Ease."
Before the Church was consecrated, Mr. Benjamin Haigh Allen was to buy £3,333 6s. 8d. Consols 3%, and transfer them into the names of the Archbishop of York, the Archdeacon of York, and the Vicar of Huddersfield, "who shall pay the dividends thereof for ever to the minister for the time being." This produced £100 per annum at that time. Besides this he received fees for burials and churchings. The fees charged had to be double those charged at the Parish Church, and half went to the Vicar of Huddersfield, the other half to the Minister of Trinity Church.
The Act declared that its intention is not to make a new Parish, and all the rights of the Vicar of Huddersfield were secured. Accordingly no district was then assigned to the Church.
The Minister's duty is set forth, the only point of interest being that he shall, at least eight times in a year, administer the Holy Sacrament of the Lord's Supper : namely, on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Whit-Sunday, and Christmas Day, and on such other four Sundays as he shall appoint, so that the space of time between such administration ... may be as nearly equal as may conveniently be."
By the Act Mr. Allen, immediately before the consecration of the Church, was to set apart 500 sittings for the gratuitous accommodation of the poor of the parish of Huddersfield.
Further, all the rest of the pews and seats on the floor of the Church or in the galleries, and all the vaults under the Church were "vested in Benjamin Haigh Allen, his heirs and assigns for ever." All the pews and seats (except those set apart for the poor) were to be numbered and valued which valuation shall at all times hereafter be referred to and abided by, in any rate to be made in pursuance of this Act."
Mr. Allen was empowered to sell not more than one-fifth part of the burial ground for vaults or places of interment for the dead, the prices to be regulated by the Archbishop of York. The remainder of the burial ground was to be considered as the burial ground for the inhabitants of Huddersfield, Marsh, Lindley and Fartown.
The Minister was authorized to appoint to the office of church or chapel warden one who must be a proprietor of one or more pew or pews in the Church, also to appoint proper persons to the offices of questman, or sidesman, clerk and sexton, and of organist, and to such other offices and places as he shall think proper, and to appoint others in their stead.
The Churchwarden is authorized to make a rate upon the proprietors and renters of pews or seats, and he is required "by and out of the monies arising by such rates, to find and provide bread and wine for the Holy Communion, and books and surplices for the minister, and to keep the windows whole and in good repair, and also the inside of the Church at all times in a clean, neat and decent state, suitable for the solemn celebration of divine worship therein."
Further, Mr. Allen was to invest in 3% Consols the sum of £200 sterling as a fund for substantial repairs. The sum was to be left to accumulate till it reached the value of at least £400 sterling. Then at any time it could be drawn upon for "necessary expenses of supporting and keeping in repair the roof, mainwalls and timbers of the Church, and the Church yard and fences." But the sum was never to be reduced below the value of £300 sterling. This Fund was in the names of the Archbishop of York, the Archdeacon of York, and the Vicar of Huddersfield.
Such was the Act. We shall see in the course of our History in what respects it has been modified.
A copy of a pamphlet is preserved in the vestry safe, on the third page of which is the following statement, to our ears somewhat quaint — "On Thursday, the 19th day of December, 1816, the First Stone of a Church, intended to be built by Benjamin Haigh Allen, Esq., and to be dedicated to the Holy Trinity, was laid by the Rev. John Coates, M.A., Vicar of Huddersfield, who delivered the following address on the occasion to an attentive audience, consisting of a numerous and respectable assemblage of Clergymen, Gentlemen, Ladies and others." The address is in the stilted style which was prevalent about that time, but is clearly from the heart of a true man of God. He referred to "the long, expensive and bloody war" with Napoleon, which had been such a terrible drain on the country and had especially injured trade. He referred to the "return of peace" which had been proclaimed in that year, and suggested that there could be no better way of expressing their gratitude to God for this blessing than by building churches for His worship. After speaking of Mr. Allen's undertaking, he said "So excellent an example will, I trust, kindle in the breasts of others a desire to promote the honour of God and the benefits of true religion, in the same way. A flame has been lighted in two neighbouring Parishes where the spiritual wants of many are provided for ; and thanks be to God, it has spread into this populous Parish, where I sincerely hope it may influence the hearts of the opulent, till churches are provided for the accommodation of all the inhabitants. In this Township, which contains about 11,000 inhabitants, there is only one church, while in the remaining part of the Parish, consisting of about 7,000 inhabitants, there are three chapels," by which he meant "chapels of ease," referring to Deanhead, Longwood and Slaithwaite.
Mr. Coates' desire for Huddersfield was fulfilled as follows :— Christ Church, Woodhouse, was built by Mr. Whitacre in 1824. Then came a great building of Churches. For by an Act of Parliament passed in the year 1818, one million pounds was granted in aid of building Churches in populous places in England. This was supplemented by a further sum of £500,000 in the year 1824. The money did not come out of the taxes, but was the surplus of a war indemnity paid to the British Government by Austria after the Battle of Waterloo. This is the only occasion on which the State gave money for the building of Churches. These grants called forth public subscriptions amounting to £181,000 more. This district had a considerable share of this money, and about 1830 the following Churches were built :— St. Paul's, Lindley, Paddock, Lockwood, Golcar, Netherthong, South Crosland, and Linthwaite.
To return to Mr. Coates' address. He asked : "Can we see population increasing and manufactures flourishing, and be insensible to the spiritual wants of those who, by their industry, contribute to the wealth of the neighbourhood? Let us, at least, have regard to the public security, which must be best promoted by the support of national religion, and the laws of the land. Where these are held in contempt, what can we expect but public disorders and devastations?" Clearly he was here referring to the labour troubles and disorders of the time, which gathered round the introduction of new machinery. It was in 1812 that William Horsfall, a manufacturer, was shot and killed by the Luddites.
"After this address, the hundredth Psalm was sung with great animation." I have no doubt that means the hundredth Psalm in Tate and Brady's metrical version of the Psalms. The Psalm was followed by some prayers. And so the first stone was laid. The Church took nearly three years to complete, being consecrated on October 10th, 1819.
Let us consider the building and Mr. Allen's undertaking in the matter. I have already mentioned a Bible preserved in the Vestry, presented by the Founder in 1814 to the Rev. H.J. Maddock, who in 1820 became the first Incumbent of the Church. On one of the fly-leaves of that Bible is pasted a small piece of paper, on which is drawn a rough ground plan of the Church, and these words are written :
Of the internal arrangements of the Church I will speak in my second Lecture.
The Church was not built skimpily. It cost £12,000 ; a very large sum to expend on a church in those days, and as the Founder also purchased the land, invested £3,333 6s. 8d. in Consols for the Minister, and £200 in Consols for the Repair Fund, it cost him altogether about £16,000 to build and endow the Church.
It strikes us to-day as very strange that he should have had the pews and the vaults vested in himself and his heirs, so that he drew the pew rents or received the money from the sale of freehold pews, and derived some income from the vaults. When anyone first hears of this arrangement, he is inclined to say "Then the building of the Church was a commercial transaction." The reply is that it provided but a small return on an outlay of £16,000, and the history will show how these arrangements came to an end. Certainly we cannot imagine a Church being built now-a-days with such a seeming touch of commercialism about it. But we could hardly imagine a Church of the Church of England being built now-a-days with even the seeming touch of commercialism which is involved in the system of pew rents. The system of pew rents served a good purpose at a time when population had been and was increasing fast, and the Church had been asleep and had to build churches quickly to recover lost ground. It could not endow all these churches sufficiently, and pew rents seemed to men of that day the obvious way of arranging an income. I suppose that Mr. Allen preferred to build the Church well, making it lofty and handsome, and to recover some portion of the cost in the way described. It may well be reckoned that it meant a free gift of over £12,000.
The Church was consecrated on Sunday, October 10th, 1819, by the Archbishop of York. I have seen a letter from Mrs. Allen written just before, in which she looks forward to the coming of the Archbishop, and says they have invited 31 guests to meet him at dinner the evening before.
"The Leeds Intelligencer" (which afterwards developed into "The Yorkshire Post") of the 11th October, 1819, contained an account of a Confirmation held at Halifax, on Saturday, October 9th, by His Grace the Archbishop of York, and then continued as follows :— "After the Confirmation at Halifax, His Grace proceeded to Greenhead, the seat of B.H. Allen, Esq., where he slept, and the following morning consecrated the beautiful Gothic Church just built there at the sole expense of Mr. Allen. His Grace was highly gratified with the elegance and spaciousness of this truly important accession to the Established religion in that vicinity, and we understand expressed himself in strong terms of approbation." "An important accession to the Established religion" is an expression which is very characteristic of the time.
The History of the Church and Parish may be divided into three periods.
|1. Henry John Maddock, 1820-1825.||John Pridham, Oct. 1819 to May, 1820.|
Jesse Bellamy, 1820-3.
E. Edwards, 1823.
Hugh Stowell, 1823-5.
Richd. Maunsell, 1825-6.
George Hare, Assist. Minister, 1825-6.
|2. Benjamin Maddock, 1826-1830.||W. Wilkins, 1826-9.|
D. Morgan, 1829.
T. Donkin, 1829-30.
|3. Henry Withy, 1830-1834.||Wilniot Cave, 1833-4.|
|4. Edward Acton Davies, officiating March, 1832 to January, 1833 ; then Incumbent, 1834-1839.||Henry Full, 1834.|
James Kelly, 1834-5.
J. Maguire, 1836-7.
|5. Naasson Mailing, officiating 1838-9; then Incumbent, 1839-57.||Wm. Moriarty, 1839-41.|
C.A. Graham, 1841-2.
Benjn. Talbot, 1842-3.
Wm. E. Shaw, 1843-4.
T.H. Mailing, 1847-51.
J. Battersby, 1851-4.
G.A. Poole, 1854-5.
|6. Thomas Roberts Jones, 1857-71.||Abrm. Smith, 1857.|
A.T. Wood, 1857-60.
Fredk. Ball, 1861-5.
Alfred Turner, 1865-7.
Edwd. Smyth Thorpe, 1868-72.
|7. Thomas Henry Sharpe, 1871-1886.||Lewis Jones, 1872-5.|
T.G. Johnson, 1875.
H.H. Rose, 1875-9.
C.M. Sharpe, 1880-6.
|8. Edward Markby, 1886-1909.||H.H. Ashley Nash, 1887-91.|
H. Brownrigg, 1892-5.
W.S. Sherwen, 1895-1909.
|9. Arthur Swinton Weatherhead, 1910-||Oliver G. Crockett, 1910-12.|
Let us try to picture the surroundings of the Church in the first period of its history. In the Reference Library of the Huddersfield Public Library there hangs a Map of Huddersfield dated 1826. Let me draw attention to a few points of interest. John William Street was not made till several years later. The old George Inn stood facing the Market Place, just about the spot where John William Street now begins, and behind the lower portion of Westgate on that side was a Bowling Green. The present Vicarage of the Parish Church was not yet built. The old Vicarage stood in Kirkgate, lower down than the Church, on the opposite side of the road, next to a Public House called The Rose and Crown. The site of the old Vicarage is now the entrance to Venn Street. The Cloth Hall had been built by Sir J. Ramsden in 1768, and enlarged by his son in 1780. The open space between the Parochial Hall and Upperhead Row did not exist, but a triangular piece covered with buildings divided Upperhead Row and Upperhead Street. Near the Parochial Hall is seen "Water House." A well was there from which West Parade and all the neighbourhood fetched water in cans. The upper part of Westgate, where the Railway Tunnel is now, was broken by a series of narrow buildings, which formed a narrow street called Temple Street. What we call West Parade was then called Snowhill. Beyond Snowhill we get into the country. Greenhead Lane had rows of small houses at its entrance, some of which still stand. New North Road does not appear in Maps of 1816 and 1820, but it appears in the Map of 1826 as Halifax New Road. It is clear that Bradley Lane is older. Highfield Chapel had been founded about 40 years, but the present building is of later date. Where Spring Bank now stands there was a house called "Dyke End." This gave the name "Dyke End Lane" to the road leading to it, now Portland Street. This house was inhabited by a manufacturer. Later it was taken by a man who had some fields at Edgerton, and he farmed the fields adjoining, so that it became a Dairy Farm. The house was still standing about 40 years ago. The Map of 1826 seems to indicate that when Mr. Allen bought the ground for the Church, he bought at the same time the ground between the Churchyard and Trinity Street (then called Huddersfield and New Hey Turnpike Road), on which West Place, Westfield, and Trinity Place now stand. West Place and Westfield are marked, and the Sexton's Cottage in the backyard of West Place. These were probably built about the same time as the Church.
Under date December 20th, 1841, I find this Resolution passed by the Church Committee : "That the footpath from Newhouse to the Church be repaired out the Contribution Fund." That indicates that up to that date the Church was in fields, with footpaths leading to it from that side. The Map of 1826 shows Newhouse — and Baths, with a new road running past it (Bath Street). Belmont Street also appears with two houses in it. But these streets were not properly made till later. "Gass House" is also seen, gas having been introduced into Huddersfield in 1821.
The Rev. John Coates, Vicar of Huddersfield at the time the Church was built, has left a little account book from which we gather the following interesting information. "The net value of the Living exclusive of the house, after the deduction of Curate's stipend and other necessary expenses, is about £140 8s. 6d." We also learn from it that in 1819 (the year Holy Trinity Church was opened) the number of families in the Parish of Huddersfield was 3,889, distributed as follows :— Huddersfield Township 1,327, Marsh 411, Fartown 411, Deighton 112, Bradley 90, Lindley 300, Longwood 225, Golcar 392, Scammonden 101, Slaithwaite 393, Marsden 88. This gives a fair indication of how the population was distributed. Here are numbers of the inhabitants in the Town at each ten years' Census from 1801 to 1861 — excluding Lindley, Longwood, Golcar, Scammonden, Slaithwaite, and Marsden :—
The first Incumbent (whose legal title then was "Perpetual Curate") was the Rev. Henry John Maddock, M.A. He was born in Nottingham in the year 1781, and was the eldest son of Benj. Maddock, Esq., a respectable surgeon of that place. He went to Trinity College, Cambridge, and in 1803 removed to Magdalen College, where in the following year he took his degree as Bachelor of Arts, and in April of the same year was elected a Fellow of his College. During his time at the University, in one of the vacations, he was brought to a whole-hearted acceptance of Christ as his Saviour and Lord. On his return to Cambridge he made a very candid and open confession before his friends of the new stand he had taken. He began regularly attending Trinity Church, Cambridge, where, as we have seen, Charles Simeon was Vicar. By this time Simeon had passed through the hardest part of the fight. He was now tolerated, but hardly more than that. Mr. Maddock derived much spiritual benefit from his ministry. I wonder if he attended Simeon's Sermon Class. In June, 1805, he was ordained deacon, and in the following year priest. He spent some months in assisting friends, and more particularly the Rev. Thomas Robinson, of Leicester. We have in the vestry a letter written by Mr. Robinson to Mr. Maddock. It is dated October 30, 1805, 11, South Parade, Bath, and is addressed to the Rev. H.J. Maddock, Mr. Hardy's, Gallow Tree Gate, Leicester. The letter speaks of Mr. Maddock having had "the offer of St. Martin's Afternoon Lecture." Mr. Maddock in 1805 was only 24 years of age. This offer is an indication that at that early age he was considered an able and attractive preacher of the Gospel.
The Rev. Thomas Robinson was an evangelical clergyman, who, after being afternoon Lecturer at All Saints', Leicester, 1773-8, became Lecturer and then Vicar of St. Mary's, Leicester, where he exercised an immense influence for good, dying in 1813 after 35 years' Vicariate.
Mr. Maddock did not accept the Lectureship, but took the Curacies of Enderby and Whetstone, two populous manufacturing villages near Leicester. Here he married and worked hard till his course was interrupted by haemorrhage of the lungs. After a rest he accepted? in 1811, the lighter charge of Bonsai, near Matlock. In 1814 whilst his church at Bonsai was undergoing some necessary improvement, he undertook a tour into Yorkshire, as we have seen, in company with the Rev. Legh Richmond, on behalf of the Church Missionary Society. During this tour he met Mr. Benjn. Haigh Allen, who was evidently very much drawn to him, for he gave him as a token of friendship the Bible which is now preserved in the Vestry, and also asked him to become the first Incumbent of the Church which he proposed building. More than five years passed before this Incumbency began.
Some time after Mr. Maddock's return from his tour in Yorkshire the old trouble re-appeared, and he was obliged to give up Bonsai and went to live in Leicester in the Spring of 1817. His health having been somewhat re-established, he accepted in September, 1819, the Curacy of Thornby, Leicester, and in May, 1820, entered upon the Incumbency of Trinity Church, Huddersfield. "Here he laboured with all the intenseness that his constitution would allow, and lived to see a numerous, attentive, and most affectionate congregation attached to his Church. The kindness and urbanity of his disposition, the amiable courtesy and cheerfulness of his deportment, together with his earnest, practical and perspicuous style of preaching, making Christ and Him crucified the grand topics of his ministry, rendered him an object of much love and esteem to his flock, whilst his Catholic and truly Christian spirit obtained for him even amongst those who were neither attendants on his services, nor members of the Establishment, an unfeigned and general regard. The Church Missionary and Bible Societies, with other kindred institutions, ever found in him a zealous and powerful advocate ; and it was no slight attack of indisposition, nor trifling hindrance, which would prevent him from attending and assisting their public anniversaries. Nor can his friends fail to remember the gleam of satisfaction which used to pervade the assembly on his entering the room on these occasions. It was sufficiently indicative of the esteem in which he was held, and of the pleasure his presence gave." Thus he laboured nearly to the close of 1824, at times tolerably well in health, at other intervals the invalid.
I learn from the Register of Baptisms that he lived at Edgerton Lodge, and a son, Edward North, was born December nth, 1821, and baptized on Christmas Day. There were at least six children in the family.
What income did the first Incumbent receive? The Founder had invested £3,333 6s. 8d. in 3% Consols, which provided an income of £100 per annum for the Minister.
In 1825 the Governors of Queen Anne's Bounty made grants (by lot) to this benefice, amounting to £1,000. This sum was invested in "£1,131 10s. 10d. Stock," providing about £34 per annum. Then there were fees for Burials and Churchings, which would not amount to very much. I can find no indication of any other source of income, or of the source from which the Assistant Curate's stipend came.
A Directory may be allowed to be devoid of humour. A Huddersfield Directory of 1842 states that the Living (Curacy) "valued at £135 is enjoyed (sic.) by Rev. N. Maning." There was no Vicarage House till 1861.
Mr. Maddock's first Assistant Curate was Jesse Bellamy (1820-3), who afterwards became first Incumbent of Lindley. Then the Rev. E. Edwards came from St. Mary's, Liversedge, but after a very short time he became Incumbent of Marsden. The third Assistant Curate afterwards became a famous preacher and orator. His name was Hugh Stowell, and after I have closed the story of Mr. Maddock I will turn to him in my second Lecture. Hugh Stowell was here from August, 1823, to October, 1825. The only reference to him during this time that I have found is in a memorandum of Mr. Maddock, under date November 16th, 1823. "Was not able to go out; but my lack of service was well supplied by my kind and laborious Curate, who took the whole three services, and was much strengthened and blessed in them."
In June, 1825, Mr. Maddock, suffering from haemorrhage of the lungs, and finding himself unable to address his flock from the pulpit, took up his pen and wrote "a Pastoral Letter to the Congregation," and had it printed. This contains very much that is interesting, too much for this evening, so I will hold it over till the next Lecture, and close this with a few more words about the first Incumbent.
The Rev. Henry John Maddock seems to have remained in Huddersfield for some months longer, and on the last Sunday in October, 1825, he took an affectionate leave of his flock after the Communion, concluding with these words, "Be steadfast and unmovable, always, &c." He removed with his family to Matlock in extreme weakness — a severe cold which he took accelerated the disease, so that when his father visited him in December he insisted upon his immediate removal to his own house at Nottingham. There on March nth, 1826, he passed away. A funeral sermon was preached in Trinity Church by the Rev. W. Thistlethwaite, Minister of St. George's Church, Bolton, which was published with a brief memoir, from which I have obtained my information. A funeral sermon was also preached at the Parish Church of Bonsai by the Curate, the Rev. Henry Sim. This was also published.
On the south wall of the Chancel, within the Communion rails, is a tablet inscribed as follows :—