Holy Trinity, Huddersfield: Three Lectures on the History of the Church and Parish, 1819-1904 (1913) - Lecture II
Holy Trinity, Huddersfield: Three Lectures on the History of the Church and Parish, 1819-1904 (1913) by Rev. A.S. Weatherhead:
In my first Lecture I brought our History up to the end of the first Incumbency — that of the Rev. H.J. Maddock. But for lack of time I had to defer till to-day two matters which belong to that period, viz., Mr. Maddock's Pastoral Letter, and the story of one of his curates, the Rev. Hugh Stowell. I take these up now.
The Pastoral Letter is 24 pages of close and rather small print. Eighteen of those pages are taken up with a solemn reminder of the doctrines which he has preached to them. He takes them through several of the 39 Articles of Religion, quoting them at length, expounding and applying them, and sometimes quoting from the old Reformers. Here we see what solid instruction in the doctrines of grace those old Evangelical preachers used to give, combining with it an immense amount of earnest and solemn exhortation Times have changed — in some respects for the better, but not wholly so. There was a strong Calvinism in the doctrinal teaching, to parts of which our consciences to-day could not assent, and which we now see are not a true interpretation of the New Testament. This is not the occasion to go into details on these subjects. Evangelical teaching has undergone considerable modification in certain particulars. We express things differently, and also certain strong and rigid views have been somewhat softened and moderated, but I trust we and a large portion of the Church of England hold fast the essential truths which in the great Evangelical Revival of the 18th century transformed England religiously and morally.
The remaining pages of Mr. Maddock's Pastoral Letter suggest to me the suitability at this point of trying to picture to ourselves the interior of the Church and the Services during this first period of our history. I shall naturally draw attention chiefly to such points as would strike us as different from the present.
Opposite page 37 will be found a plate which shows side by side a ground plan of the Church as it was in 1873, and a ground plan of the Church after the alterations in 1880. The latter is as it is now, except for one or two minor alterations. At this point I would fix your attention wholly on the left hand plan, which, except in a few details, represents the Church as it was in its first days.
We enter the west door and find the porch or entrance lobby extending as far as the inside edge of the west gallery. That is, after passing through the present porch, i.e., the Tower, people found themselves in a dark lobby under the west gallery extending the width of the nave. Through the screen which shut this lobby off from the Church, doors led into the central aisle and the two side aisles. When a burial was to take place in the Church yard, the first part of the Funeral Service was held in this lobby, the coffin being placed there, and the Clergyman standing by it. On the ground floor of the Church, in place of our present seats, there were high pews with straight backs and with doors.
Looking at the plan, the square pew on the south side of the Chancel Arch, between the Chancel and the door of the present Choir Vestry, was "the minister's pew," with one for his servants behind it. The corresponding pews on the north side were bought by Mr. Thomas Allen, of Gledholt, the ather of the Founder. After his death they came to Mrs. John Allen. The large pew in the corner with the table in the centre was placed there later, and belonged to Mr. Watkinson.
All down the north and south aisles under the windows were free seats. They were not square pews such as you see in this plan ; those were put in later. I am afraid these free seats for the poor had a stone floor, for in May, 1840, it was resolved that the sum of £10 be expended in boarding the free pews in the side aisles, and in matting the centre and east and west aisles on the ground floor, and the aisles in the gallery, also the north-east vestry. Encaustic tiles had not come in those days, and no doubt the aisles were paved with stone flags, as the side aisles are still. The central aisle was wide, and up the centre of it were placed forms with backs, each capable of taking four Sunday scholars. Here the younger boys sat at the morning service, the older ones being seated in the pews against the north wall. Come in to the Chancel. Instead of three steps, as there are now, there was but one low step into the Chancel. In the Chancel there were three pews on either side, but they never seem to have been taken. The Communion rails were oak, and instead of going straight across the Chancel, as shown in the plan, they formed three sides of an oblong, the east wall being the fourth side. The Chancel was by no means prominent. It was about the same level as the floor of the nave, and just in front of the Chancel Arch, right in the centre, stood a high three-decker. The top deck was the pulpit, high enough to command the galleries. In our Church this was reached by a long straight flight of steps corning up from the Chancel behind. The second deck was the Reading desk, from which the prayers and lessons were read by the clergy facing the people. When two clergy were present they stood side by side in this reading desk. The third deck was occupied by the clerk. One who can remember the Church in "the thirties" has told me that the third deck for the clerk was not directly under the front of the reading desk, but just under the north end of it — perhaps in front of one of the graceful curved staircases by which the reading desk was reached on either side. My informant's boyish remembrances recall an old man as clerk who was apt to fall asleep, and then the verger, also old, came to awaken him. The Reading desk and clerk's desk were lit with candles, and he remembers the clerk snuffing the candles with old fashioned snuffers. The clerk used to say the Amens, and helped the minister to lead the congregation in the Confession, Lord's Prayer, &c. He used also to give out the hymns. Where were the choir? From the pulpit look round the Church, and you see the galleries somewhat similar to the present ones, only filled with high pews, and the floor not rising in tiers so much as now. The north gallery contained some of the most highly valued pews as we shall see. The Founder's pew was there. But we have not yet found the choir. Look towards the west and lift your eyes much higher and you will see perched high up above the west gallery an organ and singing loft. There is the organ and there are "the singers of the choir" (as they were always called) — about six men and women — and there are seats for about 100 persons. How was this singing loft reached? Come out into the porch or tower and I will show you. The organist and choir came in at the west door and went up the right hand steps as if you were going into the present gallery till they reached the landing. On that landing they turned round and ascended a flight of steps going in exactly the opposite direction till they reached a landing against the west wall. From this landing they turned eastwards again and ascended a third flight of steps immediately above the first flight, and on reaching the top landing they found a door leading into the singing loft, and there was another into the Ringing Chamber.
I will turn now to Mr. Maddock's Pastoral letter and read to you such parts as throw an interesting light on the services.
"And now, my Brethren," he writes, "suffer the word of exhortation. — A few subjects yet remain which call for a word of pastoral advice, if not reproof. We begin with that of public worship. Though, on the whole, I have reason to be thankful for the seriousness and attention which prevail in our congregation, yet there are some parts of your behaviour which may be altered for the better, and tend to honour God, and recommend His service. Let me urge upon you the necessity of an early attendance. You must be aware that the beginning of worship is sadly interrupted for want of attention to this matter. Persons come in during the whole of the prayers, by which the minds of the worshippers are distracted, and much confusion caused. I know that many come from a distance, and that some little allowance may be made for the variation of clocks." (N.B — No telegraph to send Greenwich time for clocks to be set by — nor probably such accurate clocks.) Then he dwells upon the importance of the opening part of the service. Then he goes on :—
"Let it then be your study to offer unto God a reasonable service. Endeavour to understand what you are about, and to enter into the spirit and meaning of every petition you offer. Read what is called the Rubric in your Prayer Books, and conform thereunto. Do not be silent when you ought to speak, sitting when you ought to kneel or stand up ; repeating when you should be hearing, as is the case with too many. Our Liturgy partakes of the nature of social worship as well as public. The Minister and the People have each their appropriate portions. The Minister speaks to them from God, and for them to God. When he speaks to you, as in the Exhortation beginning "Dearly beloved brethren, &c.," or in the Absolution, you ought to hear, but not repeat after him. When he speaks for you as in the prayers, your heart should go along with him in serious and devout attention, and lively faith ; and when you are to join with him, your voices should be heard, and others be encouraged by your example." That passage is interesting as showing how ignorant of the Church of England service many people were, and what pains the Evangelical ministers of those days took to make their services real and reasonable.
Again the Pastoral letter continues :— "Many little things which tend much to the comfort and Christian worship may be pointed out as worthy of attention. Before the Minister begins the service, the congregation should rise up, and also at the Te Deum, and other parts of the service after the congregation have been sitting. The neglect of this causes the first sentence to be generally lost in the noise of the congregation rising. For instance, in the opening of that incomparable Hymn, the Te Deum, when the Minister breaks forth in holy rapture, 'We praise Thee, O God,' how unseemly it is for above half the congregation to be sitting and the other half rising, instead of all being ready to answer with heart and lip 'All the earth doth worship Thee.'" That clause shows us that in those days there was no chanting. Not even the Te Deum was chanted. Psalms and Canticles were read by Minister and People in alternate verses and in the natural voice.
Again the Pastoral letter continues :— "Persons coming in should make as little noise as possible — all pattens should be taken off, and pew-doors opened and shut gently" — and exhortation on this subject follows. I am told that in the entrances of Churches and Chapels sometimes the notice was displayed :— "Ladies are requested to remove their pattens before entering the Church." One can imagine the clatter of pattens on a stone floor when a person was coming in late!
Again he continues :— "It would be well if the Psalmody was a little better attended to. Through your liberality we have a noble organ, and it is soberly and properly and skilfully played. We have singers, too, who are intended to lead and assist the congregation in the delightful work of praise. On them I would charge it to remember their own souls, and to conduct themselves with propriety in the House of God, to restrain the whisper and the laugh, and to give their ear to the hearing of that Word, by which at the last day of account they must stand or fall. On the congregation I would urge it to take their part in the divine and lively work of praise, to let their heart and their voices join in sacred melody, and endeavour to swell the chorus of grateful joy, and praise their God lustily and with good courage." What then was this psalmody, this singing and praise in which the congregation were to join? It was the Evangelicals who introduced hymns into Church Services. Before that there were metrical versions of the Psalms, either Sternhold and Hopkins' version or Tate and Brady's, bound up with most Prayer Books. And these used to be sung to a limited number of tunes, very limited in some cases, for Charles Simeon, at Cambridge, had for some time a barrel organ, and speaks of adding a fresh tune to it. Some of Tate and Brady's pieces retain an honoured place in our hymn books still, such as :—
- Ps. xlii. — "As pants the heart for cooling streams."
"O render thanks to God above"
- Ps. xxxiv. — "Through all the changing scenes of life."
"While shepherds watched their flocks by night."
You observe that these were all metrical versions of portions of Holy Scripture, and there was considerable prejudice against admitting anything else. However, the Evangelical Revival produced a host of fine hymns, especially from the pens of Charles Wesley, John Newton, W. Cowper, I. Watts, and several Evangelical clergy compiled hymn books. The Rev. John Coates at the Parish Church introduced a "small but judicious selection of hymns" intended to replace Tate and Brady. Evidently he had to be cautious with the innovation, and some good old-fashioned Churchmen never approved of it. It is most probable that hymns were used in Trinity Church from the beginning, but I do not know what selection. It may have been Conyer's, of Helmsley. By that time there were no hymn books with tunes published, such as we are accustomed to, but I find a note dated December 18th, 1840, which runs as follows :— "Inasmuch as a new selection of tunes is now being taken in for the use of the choir, Resolved that Messrs. Roberts and Lancashire (two members of the congregation who were in charge of the choir) be authorised to dispose of Ripon's selection for the highest price they can." Evidently there were certain selections of tunes published. So many L.M., so many C.M., S.M , 7-7-7-7, &c., and the Organist or Choirmaster fitted the tune to the hymn.
The Pastoral Letter also has some good advice about hearing sermons. Here is an interesting paragragh showing how times have changed. "And here I may remark," he writes, "that one reason amonst others why the preaching of the Word of God has so little effect upon the generality of those who hear it, is that they are so occupied on the Sabbath with the public means of grace as to find no time for private meditation and prayer. What with dressing and cooking, and going from one sermon to another, the day is so consumed that family instruction is omitted, catechising servants and children is neglected, communing with our own hearts discarded, and we are satisfied with a sort of religious dissipation and spiritual entertainment, and after hearing three sermons retire to rest with little or no real benefit."
The Pastoral Letter closes with a few general remarks about the regulating of their conduct in the world. It is signed — Your faithful and affectionate Friend and Pastor, H.J. Maddock, Edgerton Lodge, near Huddersfield. June 12th, 1825.
As we have seen, Mr. Maddock was unable to carry on his ministry much in 1825. The Rev. Hugh Stowell, his curate, remained until October of that year, and probably took most of the preaching. From May, 1825, to August, 1826, the Rev. Richard Maunsell was assistant Curate, and after Mr. Maddock and Mr. Stowell had left the Rev. George Hare officiated from November, 1825, to June, 1826. The Incumbency was not filled up for about twelve months.
I said I would return to the Rev, Hugh Stowell, who was assistant Curate to the Rev. H. J. Maddock, 1823-5. I will do so now. Where he was from 1825-8 I do not know, but in June, 1828, he went to Manchester. He was a young Manxman from St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, and was reported to be "an extemporaneous firebrand." By that time Evangelicalism was very weak in Manchester, and it was with great hesitation that Bishop Blomfield licensed this "extemporaneous firebrand " to be Curate of St. Stephen's, Salford. In a few weeks there was no standing room in the Church. Stowell's oratory (though it had not quite the same strong intellectual fibre) was even more fervid than that of Hugh McNeile (who a little later was a tremendous power in Liverpool, and afterwards Dean of Ripon). His first words were always halting, but, when he warmed to his subject, the rush of rhetoric fairly swept his hearers off their feet. The May Meeting audiences were entirely at his mercy : they wept, or laughed, or emptied their purses just as he desired. It was obvious that, if Manchester was to keep him, it must offer him something far more permanent than a curacy ; so in 1831 his friends built Christ Church, Salford, and here he remained till his death in 1865. And then another Church was built in Salford and consecrated in 1869. It was dedicated to no Saint unless it be Hugh Stowell, for it is called The Stowell Memorial Church. A very beautiful trait in his character was his love for children ; his enormous Sunday Schools were his special pride. His love for children drew him into municipal life. The Lancashire Public School Association had been formed to agitate for Secular Education, and with a strong committee behind it, and the Mayor in the chair, it held a meeting in the Town Hall to send a petition to Parliament. Stowell attended the meeting and obtained permission to speak, which he did for more than two hours with such effect that he carried an amendment praying the House not to sanction any system of general education of which the Christian religion is not the basis. From that day he was recognised as a power that had to be reckoned with, and his authority steadily grew as years went on, until it became almost as great as that of McNeile in Liverpool. The influence of these two men forms a curious chapter in provincial history. Neither was a political person of the usual type. Pulpit and parish were to each the main interest of his life. But they did bring religion to bear on political and municpal life with such effect that a majority of the laity looked to them for guidance, and little was done without first asking their counsel and consent. Hugh Stowell was appointed Hon. Canon of Chester Cathedral in 1845, Chaplain to Dr. Lee, first Bishop of Manchester, in 1857. His portrait was placed during his life time in Salford Town Hall. He published numerous works.
It was decided before the Rev. H.J. Maddock's death that his brother, the Rev. Benjamin Maddock, M.A., was to succeed him, but he did not actually enter upon his ministry here till October, 1826. He had been a friend of Henry Kirke White, who gave promise of some literary power. Southey admired him, and brought him to notice. Kirke White was born at Nottingham, where the Maddocks' home was. He died of consumption just after taking his degree at Cambridge. Southey published a selection of his prose writings and poems. Benjamin Maddock had been Curate of Wimeswold, in the County of Leicester, and Chaplain to the Duke of Rutland. He continued here for four years till September, 1830. The Assistant Curates during this time were the Revs. W. Wilkins, 1826, D. Morgan, 1829, T. Donkins, 1829-30. A Directory of Huddersfield, dated 1830, mentions that the Rev. B. Maddock was local secretary with the Rev. B. Boothroyd, D.D., of both the Bible Society and Religious Tract Society. Mrs. B.H. Allen was cash secretary of the Ladies' Bible Society. It also states that the number of Sunday Scholars at the Parish Church was 480 ; at Trinity only 50. "About 1,100 children belonging to Church Sunday Schools in the township of Huddersfield assembled every Whitsuntide."
This is all I have been able to gather about the Church and Parish in the Rev. B. Maddock's time. But the period of this short Incumbency turns our attention towards Greenhead and the Founder.
We have seen that Benj. Haigh Allen was married at the age of 21, in November, 1814. There was no child of the marriage for nearly seven years. In 1821 the eldest son, Benjamin Haigh, was born. Then another son, John Whit-acre, in 1823. Then three daughters — Caroline in 1825, Anne Elizabeth in 1826 (she died in infancy, and was buried in the family vault under the Vestry), Sarah, born in 1828.
Mr. Allen was an active helper in the work of the Church. One of his wife's letters shows that on one occasion, when they were staying for a few days together at Woodhouse, her husband came over to Greenhead for the week-end to take his Bible Class on the Sunday. He also opened a School in a large room over his stables at Greenhead, which he maintained as a Day School and Sunday School.
Mr. Allen was active in the town. He was a County Magistrate, and that was trying and anxious work, for it was a time of great unrest among the workers, and no one knew when a serious outbreak might take place. His tablet says he sought the commercial welfare of the town. In the last two years of his life he took a prominent part in the following way :— In December, 1825, and the early part of 1826, there were many failures and stoppages of Banks in England. At that time the whole of the Banking in England, with the exception of the Bank of England, was carried on by private banks. The panic caused by these numerous failures had a lamentable effect upon the trade of the Kingdom, and so contributed to the general distress. Huddersfield and its neighbourhood not only shared fully as a manufacturing district in this general suspension of demand, but also suffered from the additional local evil of the failure of five private banks. In the meanwhile the Joint Stock Banks of Scotland were enjoying perfect stability and public confidence. Consequently in 1826 an Act of Parliament was passed permitting and legalizing the formation of Joint Stock Banks in England, at a distance of 65 miles from London or more.
The first bank established under this Act was the Lancaster Banking Co. ; the second was the Huddersfield Banking Co.
At the George Inn, Huddersfield, on January 22nd, 1827, eleven gentlemen met — Wm. Brooke, James Brook, Charles Brook, Geo. Senior, Thomas Lockwood, Abm. Lockwood, Thomas Pedley, Thomas Starkey, Joseph Armitage, Joseph Walker, and Benj. Haigh Allen in the chair. It was resolved "That a Banking Establishment, to be formed on the system hitherto so successfully adopted in Scotland, would be highly advantageous to Huddersfield and the surrounding district." A meeting of the inhabitants was held at the Court House on Friday, March 9th, 1827, pursuant to public advertisement. A long resolution, setting forth the reasons for establishing a Bank, and the general outline of its plan, was moved by Mr. B.H. Allen and seconded by Mr. Joseph Brook. A committee was appointed to carry the resolution into effect, and Mr. B.H. Allen was a member of this committee. There were to be 5,000 shares of £100 each. More than half of these were taken up in four days. A General Meeting of the Shareholders was held on March 19th. By then 4,248 shares had been subscribed. The Banking Co. was incorporated on June 1st, 1827, and the Bank was opened for business on July 1st. Mr. B.H. Allen was first Chairman of Directors, and was hardly ever absent from the weekly meeting of the Board — his last attendance being on March 27th, 1829. At the first usual weekly Board of Directors after his death, held on Friday, 22nd May, 1829, the Directors passed a unanimous resolution in reference to his valuable services in the establishment and progress of the Bank.
The Huddersfield Bank has been taken over by the London City and Midland Bank. As you know, it stands at the corner of Cloth Hall Street and New Street. A large portrait in oils of Mr. B.H. Allen hangs there to-day.
The tablet (in the Church) to Mr. Allen's memory states that "he laboured to promote vital religion at home and abroad." We recall that it was in 1799, when B.H. Allen was six years old that the "Church Missionary Society for Africa and the East" was founded by leading Evangelicals of the time, John Venn, of Clapham, being chairman. And in 1813 Church Missionary Associations were established in Leeds and in Huddersfield. It was in connection with this that Mr. Allen laboured for the promotion of vital religion abroad. He was on the Committee from the first.
Death came into the family in 1827, when his infant daughter Anne died. In 1828 his father, Thomas Allen, died at Gledholt, aged 76 years, and was buried at Almondbury. Then it seems his brother, John Allen, went to live at Gledholt. John Allen had married Sarah Brooke, daughter of William Brooke, of Armitage Bridge, and aunt of Mr. William Brooke and Mr. John Arthur Brooke, whom we know so well and respect so highly. Our history will often be recording her benefactions to the Church. A daughter, Hannah, was born to them in 1823, a son, Thomas, in 1825. Then soon after moving to Gledholt, in 1828, a daughter, Sarah, was born. John Allen died at Gledholt aged 35 early in 1830, less than a year after his brother, Benjamin Haigh Allen. His widow lived to a good old age, beloved by all. She will often appear in this history. Such were the family surroundings of those years. I picture to myself the party at Greenhead in 1828. Benjamin Haigh Allen was then 35 years old. I picture him and his wife and one or two boys, then old enough to go to Church, walking by a footpath across the Park from Green-head Hall, passing through the Park gates, which were then just opposite the Church, and crossing the road to Church. I like to think that at times he brought some distinguished guest with him, and that once, perhaps oftener, he was accompanied to our Church by William Wilberforce, for I know he used to visit at Greenhead. One of Mr. Allen's granddaughters kindly entrusted me for a time with a letter written by William Wilberforce to Mr. Whitacre, of Wood-house, on hearing of Mr. Allen's death. This is how it ran :—
- Highwood Hill, Middx.,
- 11th June, 1829.
- Highwood Hill, Middx.,
- My Dear Sir,
- The weakness of my eyes not allowing me to read the newspapers I often remain ignorant of the events which mankind generally know through that source. A report has just now accidentally reached me (not at my own house, though I date from it as I return home D.V. to-morrow), that it has pleased God to remove Mr. Hague (sic) Allen. I cannot but feel deeply anxious to ascertain the truth or falsehood of the report. We know the uncertainty of our mortal life too well to be surprised by the sudden removal of the youngest and the strongest. Blessed be God, we know that our dear friend was ready for the change. Yet I indulged the hope that he would long be spared in the enjoyment of comfort, usefulness, and honour. If the fatal tidings are to be confirmed let me beg you to inform us how Mrs. H. Allen has been enabled to bear the shock, and how the young one and your own circle also are in bodily health. With Mrs. W.'s and my daughter's kind regards to your ladies, &c.
- I am, my dear Sir,
- Yours sincerely,
- W. Wilberforce.
- Yours sincerely,
- I am, my dear Sir,
- J. Whitacre, Esq.,
The following account of Mr. B.H. Allen's funeral appeared in the Leeds Mercury on May 23rd, 1829 (quoted in the Huddersfield Chronicle, weekly edition, November 21st, 1874) :— "The manifestation of public respect paid to the memory of this amiable man has seldom, if ever, been equalled in this country on the death of any individual in any rank or station in life, nor has there been any individual more worthy of it. The urbanity of his manners, the suavity of his temper, the benevolence of his heart, and the undeviating uprightness of his conduct as a civil magistrate had endeared him to all who knew him. His remains were interred in Trinity Church, which he had built and endowed when quite a young man. A public notice had been given of the intention of the inhabitants of Huddersfield to pay every possible respect to his memory, and accordingly on the day of his interment all the shops were shut up, and at ten o'clock in the morning from six to seven hundred gentlemen assembled at the Parish Church dressed in deep mourning and wearing white gloves. From thence they walked four deep to Greenhead, late the residence of the deceased, the Clergy of the district in front, followed by the Methodist and Dissenting Ministers, and next the Huddersfield Magistrates. In this order they proceeded with the most profound silence — a silence which was not broken by the vast concourse of spectators, amounting to about 10,000 — to Greenhead. On their arrival at the gates they went up the road to the front of the house, which they passed, and then counter-marched, so as to bring the front back to the gate. As soon as the corpse was put into the hearse the procession moved forward, and the hearse with the mourning coaches fell into the rear. On their arrival at the Church they formed a double line, through which the body passed, and after it the amiable and disconsolate widow leading a fine boy, about 10 years old, by the hand, and supported on the other side by her brother, John Whitacre, Esq., of Woodhouse. In this manner they entered the Church, where the Rev. B. Maddock, M.A., read the Funeral Service in the most solemn and impressive manner. The corpse was then deposited in the Family Vault. Funeral sermons were preached on Sunday morning at the Parish Church by the Rev. J.C. Franks, M.A., Vicar; at Ramsden Street Chapel by the Rev. J. Eagleton ; and at night at Trinity Church by the Rev. Benjamin Maddock, M.A., on which last occasion many hundreds attended that could not gain admittance."
So there passed away a truly good man, who, from an early age, exercised a great and good influence. Huddersfield was the poorer by his death, and Holy Trinity Church especially so. For years the Church was commonly known as Allen's Church, or Ben Allen's Church, or Ben Haigh Allen's Church. And we do well to cherish his memory as the Founder. There is an old lady still living who remembers him as a tall gentlemanly man with kindly ways. As a little girl of five or six she would run across the road if she saw him to get a pat on the cheek or a kiss. A little child is often a good judge of character. He usually enjoyed very good health, but began to fail in 1829, and was seized with inflammation of the brain, to which he succumbed.
In 1830 the Rev. B. Maddock left Huddersfield to become Vicar of Tadcaster, where he remained for about 40 years, resigning that living in 1870 or 1871.
The third Incumbent was the Rev. Henry Withy, who entered upon his ministry here near the end of 1830. I have found in the Vestry a beautifully bound book entitled "Withy's Lectures and Sermons." They are humbly and affectionately dedicated "To the Congregation of Trinity Church, Huddersfield, by their grateful and sincere Friend and Pastor, the Author." The volume is a second edition, printed in 1839, after Mr. Withy's death, so a memoir of him by some friend is bound up with the Sermons. He was but 30 years old when he came here. From a child he had been delicate, probably with a tendency to consumption. He seems to have been a fine character from childhood, religious and cultured and lovable. At each stage of his career, at Westminster School, at Oxford, and in his ministry, he was checked and pulled up by his delicacy. For some time before his ordination he travelled in Switzerland, Italy, and Russia for the improvement of his mind and the establishment of his health. His chief sphere of work before coming to Huddersfield was a Senior Curacy at St. Mary's, Cheltenham, which he held for three years. His first wife had died before he went there, and at Cheltenham he married again. In Huddersfield he resided at "Westfield," probably in the lowest house of the block. I quote from the memoir a simple statement of his weekly employments. "He began the public duties of the Lord's Day at the Sunday School, which he diligently superintended. In the Church, a large building and very difficult for the voice, he had a full service, without any assistance, morning and afternoon." I have been allowed to see a letter from Mrs. B.H. Allen written in 1832 to her sister, in which she says :—" I hope the sounding board answers very well, but I have found it necessary to remove from my pew to the front one, which I find very comfortable. I am quite willing to make this sacrifice for the general good " Evidently Mr. Withy's voice was not strong enough for the Church, and a sounding board was erected to help in this matter. Mrs, Allen in the same letter writes :—"My good and heavenly Father sees fit to punish me and to try my faith and patience by withholding his blessing in a great measure from Trinity Church." She speaks of the pew rents having declined to the extent of £28 in the last two years, and goes on, "The money is of little consequence, nay, it is less than dross compared with the souls of men, but the small sum is a sad proof how little the Gospel is valued. I think I should be quite content if the poor would but come and fill the free sittings." It should be remembered, however, that in 1830 Lindley, St. Paul s, and Paddock Churches were all opened for public worship — this was bound to affect Trinity Church. To continue the account of Mr. Withy's work : "In the evening he assembled the Bible Classes with the School Teachers in the Chancel, and gave them Catechetical lectures. There was a weekly meeting in the Schoolroom, i.e., at Greenhead, for the exposition of the Sacred Scriptures ; after which, those who took advantage of a parochial lending library being invited to change their books, he would take occasion to drop many sentences of suitable and pious exhortation. He held a Cottage Lecture at some distance from the Church every week, and once a fortnight he was in the practice of receiving into his house, or meeting at their houses in succession, many of his parishioners, who thirsted for spiritual knowledge, and of reading with them a chapter of the Bible ... But to describe his parochial labours would be to account for the employment of every day in the week, and almost of every hour of the day. Each morning brought with it its specific demand ; now the Infirmary (which was opened in 1831), now the School, now the houses of the sick and afflicted in this or the other quarter of the district." In the full career of his usefulness, after being here less than two years, he ruptured a blood vessel, and from the effects of this he never quite recovered. It was judged necessary for him to try the effect of a milder climate. But he could not afford this. A private meeting of the principal members of the Church was held, and they sent him a sum of money which enabled him to remove to the South of Devon. During this time his place was taken in the Church by the Rev. Edward Acton Davies, who was tutor to the sons of Mrs. B.H. Allen at Greenhead. Mr. Withy returned much recruited in health and hopeful of being able to resume his work. But this hope proved to be fallacious. Though he continued in Huddersfield for two years, yet it was so painful to him to be surrounded with calls to exertion, which his weakness made it impossible to obey, and his life was so clearly threatened by the severity of the northern winters, that in the autumn of 1834 he resigned the living and removed to Hastings. Again the affectionate reverence of those he had watched over in the Lord declared itself, and he was entreated, although he should cease to be their minister, still to reside among them, as his "presence would be a blessing to the place." After leaving Huddersfield he was unable to maintain regular work for any length of time, and in 1837 he succumbed to an attack of influenza at Tunbridge Wells.
The fourth Incumbent was the Rev. Edward Acton Davies (1834-39), who had now married the widow of Mr. B.H. Allen. As we have seen, he had officiated during Mr. Withy's illness, and now he was presented to the living by his wife. I see from the Register of Baptisms that a son, Edward Whitacre, was born in November, 1834. Mr. Davies remained as Incumbent a little more that four years, resigning in January, 1839. About this time they do not seem to have been fortunate with regard to Curates. There were two, neither of whom stayed as much as nine months. One of them used to preach for about an hour. People could stand that in those days if it was good ; but in this case it was not good enough. Sunday Scholars were looking forward to their Sunday dinner, and they declared that this Curate could have "nothing but a red herring for his dinner" to go on so long.
During Mr. Davies' Incumbency we find practically the beginnings of a Church Council, for at a meeting held in the Vestry Room of Trinity Church, February 2nd, 1835, the Incumbent in the chair, the following resolutions were carried :—
- 1. That the undermentioned gentlemen do constitute a Lay Committee for the future management of the secular affairs connected with Trinity Church, with power to add to their number, viz., Messrs. John Battye, Henry Birch, John Crowther, Edward Dent, Geo. Dyson, Joseph Exton, Charles Graham, Edward Lake Hesp, T.G. Lancashire, Henry Nelson, George Roberts, John Smith, and Thomas Starkey.
- 2. That the Incumbent, Assistant Minister, and Churchwarden shall be considered ex officio members of the Committee.
- 3-4. That the incidental expenses of the Church, heretofore defrayed by Congregational Collections, be henceforth provided for by contributions of the pew-holders, paid at the same time with their pew rents,
- 5. That the Executors of the late B.H. Allen, Esq., having authorised the Committee to let the pews of Trinity Church, and to receive the rents of same ; to give 15 guineas annually to the Singers, 12 guineas to the Clerk, and 7 guineas to the Sexton out of the proceeds ; and to pay over the balance to J.C. Laycock, Esq., to be placed to their account; the Committee shall receive the rents and make such payments accordingly.
- 6. That the Committee be authorised to levy the rate upon the pew-holders, provided for by the Act of Parliament, and to pay the same into the hands of the Churchwarden. (N.B. — Only one warden.)
- 7, 8, 9, 10. Certain arrangements about meetings of the Committee.
The appointment of this Committee and the record of its doings naturally raises the subject of the finances of the Church in those early days, so I will take this opportunity of setting before you the results of my investigations with reference to pew-rents.
The Act of Parliament ordered that at the Consecration of the Church all the pews, except the 500 sittings set apart for the free use of the poor, should be numbered and valued. We have in the Vestry a book entitled "Rents. Trinity Church. 1819." On its first page it has the pews with their numbers from 1 to 164, and opposite each pew is put the sum of money for which it could be purchased outright as a freehold, and in another column the sum for which it could be rented. The annual rent was generally reckoned as 1/18th the freehold value. The list was signed by a licensed appraiser. The lowest price for a freehold pew was £16, the highest was £108. In the Chancel there were six pews, valued from to £75 12. 0d. In the South Aisle (not those against the wall, which were free) 19 pews from £27 to £16. Middle Aisle or Nave 38 pews (£46 16s. to £52 13s.) North Aisle (not against the wall) 19 pews from £27 to £36. Then Mr. Thomas Allen's pews were £108 and £44 11s. In the South Gallery 26 pews ranging from £45 to £108. Those near the pulpit were popular. In the West Gallery 17 pews ranging from £45 to £64 16s. In the North Gallery 25 pews ranging from £45 to £108. The Founder's pew was No. 160 in the North Gallery, and next to it was No. 161 taken by Mr. John Whitacre, of Woodhouse, until 1824, when Christ Church, Woodhouse, was built by him. The total freehold value of the pews was £7,580 4s. 0d. The total possible annual rental was £432 17s. 6d.
It is evident that the hopes of the Founder in building such a large Church have never been realised. The ordinary Congregation has never nearly filled it. I do not suppose he foresaw the rapid building of Churches which would follow : Woodhouse 1824, St. Paul's 1830, Lindley 1830, Paddock 1830, enlargement of Parish Church 1836, St. John's 1853, St. Thomas' 1859.
Further, the 500 free sittings for the poor have never been much appreciated. It is an interesting question to ask: Have they ever been appreciated in any Church in which they have been provided like this?
I have analysed the pew rents for several of the earlier years, and this is what I have found. The years reckon from November to November, the Church having been consecrated in October. Taking the years from the first I find the following Sale of Freehold Pews :—
|£ s. d.|
|1st year 3 for||194 8 0|
|2nd year 5 for||384 15 0|
|3rd year 1 for||54 0 0|
|4th year 1 for||54 0 0|
|6th year 2 for||145 16 0|
|7th year 1 for||75 5 0|
making a total up to Mr. Allen's death of 13 pews sold for £908 4s. 0d. I do not think any others were sold after that, though these changed hands Now follow the course of the pew rents received from the first year :— £197, £165, £167, £184, £ 205 (top), £170, £146, £139, £107, £103. Then in 1829-30 the rents were reduced about 20%. Was it because St. Paul's Church and Paddock and Lindley were about to come into competition? Or did the Founder's death give an opportunity for the desire for reduction to find expression ? Anyhow the amount received continued to fall. It fell from 103 to 79, then 77, 57, 56, 56, 62. This brings us to the year 1835 when the Committee was appointed to manage the secular affairs of the Church. From this time till 1845 the pew rents ranged from £54 to £69, so that, after paying out 34 guineas to the Singers, Clerk, and Sexton, not much remained to hand over to the Executors. On November 18th, 1839, a minute of the Committee runs as follows :— "That it would be advantageous to the late Mr. Allen's Trustees, and render the Church more useful if the pew rents were reduced, as, upon a comparison with those of other Churches, the rents of pews in this Church are generally higher." In accordance with this a further slight reduction was made. It is clear that there was a general feeling in 1835 that the Church's affairs required to be pulled together.
This Committee resolved upon two-fold action. First they established a Church Rate, which the Act of Parliament empowered the Churchwarden to do. This was a small affair, and brought in only £5 or £6 a year. It was only a rate upon pew-holders, proportional to the rents of their pews, and it continues to-day. Secondly, they abolished the collections for Church expenses, which had been taken only twice in the year, and established subscriptions or contributions to be paid with the pew rents. This brought in generally from £52 to £36 a year.
This Committee soon got briskly to work with the Organist and Singers of the Choir, though the Act of Parliament said that the organist was to be appointed, &c., by the Minister. They heard that the lady Organist was making application for another situation without having given any intimation of her intentions to anyone connected with the Church, so it was resolved that she shall be informed that after a month from that time her attendance as organist will not be requsite. They took the opportunity to intimate to the singers that their services "will not be required after six months, it being intended to re-model the choir, when they will be at liberty to be candidates along with others."
Here are some further notes from the minutes of this Committee :—
- Mr. _____ appointed organist at £10 a year. He is to pay some attention to the teaching of the singers and of the scholars, so as to endeavour to bring the latter to join regularly in the singing.
- April 7th, 1836. — Resolved that £30 (including the 15 guineas from Mr. Allen's Executors) be expended on a choir of singers (six in number), one of whom to be a good tenor.
- Nov. 10th, 1836. — That Mr. Geo. Roberts and Mr. Lancashire be appointed a Sub-committee to aid the Organist in the conducting of the choir of singers.
- November, 1837. — Reported that the Congregation have complained of the Organist's playing on the organ being unsatisfactory. He is to be written to ____ to improve himself as much and as early as possible. Complaints continue of Mr. ____'s inferior playing, and he is dismissed.
Another organist appointed at £10 per annum. The wife of the former organist was a leading singer. It was expected that she would resign in consequence of her husband's dismissal, and she did so. But after a time she was offered £12 12s. per annum as salary to sing at the Church, and this she accepted. However in the following month there was "an instruction to the Singing Committee to confer with this lady upon the impropriety of her leaving the Church before the conclusion of the services, and to report accordingly." Did she go out to sing in some other Church, or was it an expression of the displeasure which still reigned in her heart?
In 1841 the organist died, and three candidates for the post were requested to give a trial performance on the next Saturday afternoon, under the decision of Mr. Parratt, Mr. Horn, or Mr. Charles Sykes. Mr. Jabez Shaw was declared to be the best player by Mr. Parratt, and so was appointed at a salary of £15, a rise of £5.
These extracts give us indications of the troubles of the Organ and Singers' Loft.
In 1838 the Rev. E. Acton Davies failed in health. There is an Address from him on resigning the Incumbency of Trinity Church, Huddersfield, dated from Hastings, January 4th, 1839. He had been nearly a year away through severe illness, and was not yet completely restored. So now he resigned, and it was decided that Mr. Maning, who had been officiating, should be Incumbent. Greenhead was therefore no longer occupied by members of the Allen family. Mr. and Mrs. Davies removed to Martley, in Worcestershire. Mrs. Davies, formerly Mrs, B.H. Allen, died in 1865, and Mr. Davies in 1880.
In 1836 the Diocese of Ripon was formed out of portions taken from the Dioceses of York and of Chester, and Huddersfield passed from the Diocese of York to that of Ripon.
The fifth Incumbent of Trinity Church was the Rev. Naasson Maning, B.A., T.C.D., who was presented to the living by Mrs. Davies. He entered upon his ministry here in 1838, became Incumbent 1839, and remained for nearly 20 years, leaving in 1857.
In accordance with the plan I have laid down for this History we will consider first the years 1838-45, in which important developments took place.
First there came the building of Portland Street Schools. The history is as follows :—
Even before the building of the Church, Mr. B.H. Allen had used as a School for the Poor a large room over the stables at Greenhead. Perhaps at first both boys and girls were taught here on weekdays and on Sundays. But after the Church was built the Boys' Sunday School used to meet in the North Vestry Room, where the Organ Chamber now stands. There was an entrance from outside. There were no seats in this room except a high stool with a desk for the Superintendent. After the opening of School had taken place here, the boys were marched into the Chancel where the classes were taken. The girls remained at Greenhead.
Owing to a visitation of cholera a low building had been erected in Dyke End Lane (Portland Street), on the Infirmary side, for a temporary Cholera Hospital. This was used by the Parish Church for its Sunday Schools during the rebuilding of the Church (1835-6), as their proper Schools were being used for Services. When they finished with this building in 1836, Trinity Church took it for a Day School and Sunday School for Boys. I have seen a little book given as a Sunday School Reward on Whit-Monday, 1839, at the time when the School met in the Cholera Hospital. It was given to a boy of 14 — and was strong meat for one so young. It is bound in sober brown cloth, and is entitled : "Thoughts on Religious Subjects," by the late Rev. Rowland Hill, A.M., published by the R.T.S., 1835. Here is its Table of Contents — "The Holy Scriptures — of God and His Providence — of the Lord Jesus Christ — of the Holy Spirit — of Human Depravity — Change of heart and life — Love to God, His Cause and His People — Social and Christian Duties — Strictures on Sins and Errors — Privileges and happiness of Christians — The Christian Ministry — Afflictions and Death — Miscellaneous." It is a series of short extracts.
Mr. Lancashire — a bookseller — Superintendent of the Boys' Sunday School, is remembered with admiration by one old Scholar.
The removal of the family from Greenhead brought changes. The Girls' School had to be removed from Greenhead — and for some reason, the Boys' School had to vacate the temporary Cholera Hospital. So at a meeting of the Committee and Members of the Congregation, held on Feb. 21 st, 1839, it was resolved : "That Mr. Hesp do write to Sir J. Ramsden and solicit a grant of a plot of ground in the Dyke End Lane for a site for a School."
A site was obtained opposite the Infirmary (which had been built in 1829-31). There is no lease of the ground on which Portland Street School stands. It was granted by Sir John Ramsden at a nominal rent of 1/- per annum. He can give us six months' notice, but we hold a letter dated Feb. 4th, 1874, stating that "so long as the premises are used as at present, no rent shall be demanded ... nor shall the tenancy be disturbed."
There being no Board of Education in those days, and no demand for 10 square feet per child, a Meeting of Subscribers authorised the Committee "to provide for 400 children, and that at the least practicable expense." Mr. Wallen's plan was accepted. He provided specifications, and agreed to accept a donation of £10 as a full acknowledgment of his services on the completion of the work. Estimates were accepted amounting to £648 9s. 0d. If you work it out you will find that for 400 children that was only 32/6 per head. A few years ago it cost St. Paul's Church £6,000 to build Schools for 450 children, that is nearly £13 10s. a head.
Then it was resolved to build two cottages in the School yard, the cost of which would not exceed £100. These were "low-deckers," each containing two small rooms, a door in the centre with a window on either side.
The School was opened on September 28th, 1840. The first Schoolmaster there was Mr. Braithwaite, who was engaged at a salary of £50 per annum, out of which he was "to allow per annum for the rent of one of the new cottages, which he would be required to occupy."
The left hand portion of what is now the Caretaker's house was the Schoolmistress' house. Miss Garfitt was the first to occupy it. The Girls' School was the upper floor of the main School, and the girls entered through the front door of the house and ascended the stone staircase. The Boys' School was the ground floor, and their entrance to it was opposite the Schoolmaster's cottage. The main School was 18 feet shorter than it is now; the extension was made in 1873.
The present parlour of the Caretaker's house was used as a Class-room for elder boys, and was connected with the Boys' Schoolroom by a door. It was also used as a Committee Room. The room above this was used as a Classroom for elder girls.
The National Society was approached for a grant. The following form of Certificate was sent for signature :— "We, the undersigned, promoters of the School at Huddersfield, in union with the National Society, hereby certify :
- That the new School-house, in aid of which the National Society was pleased to grant £150, is completed in a satisfactory and workmanlike manner, being built of the proper dimensions, and in all respects according to the statement forwarded to the Society.
- That the amount of private subscription has been received, expended, and accounted for ; and that there does not remain any debt, charge, or claim of any kind on account of the same, except what will be liquidated by the grant made by the National Society, the payment of which is now prayed for.
- That the site of the School-house has been obtained with a good legal tenure, and has been conveyed to Trustees so as to secure for ever the building for the purpose of educating the children of the poor according to the principles of the National Society.
In testimony whereof we affix our signatures, and request the payment of the sum appropriated to the School at Huddersfield aforesaid."
Before this was signed the words in italics in clause 3 were crossed out and replaced by the words "in the manner referred to on the back." The statement on the back runs thus :— "The tenure as stated in my former communication is a holding under Sir John Ramsden, Baronet, at will, being the only tenure that could be obtained, and the only convenient site, as the town of Huddersfield is chiefly the property of that gentleman. N.M."
The certificate was signed by "Naasson Maning, Incumbent ; John Smith, last Churchwarden ; T.G. Lancashire, Superintendent."
The following was the covering letter enclosing this certificate :— Huddersfield, 7th October, 1840. Dear Sir — I have been desired by the Rev. N. Maning to forward the enclosed and to apologise for the omission of transcribing it (which was quite overlooked until signed). Having a personal interest as treasurer I should be truly glad to receive your sanction for our obtaining the draft as speedily as possible. We have opened the Schools very encouragingly, and from experience can testify to their utility, past and to be expected, having laboured from Sunday to Sunday, both morning and afternoon, for eight years with great delight, seeing that Sabbath Schools are a useful means under God's blessing. Yours faithfully, T.G. Lancashire."
Before the Draft was received, however, the following Bond was required, and was signed :—
- We, the undersigned, do hereby declare that in case the School buildings in Dyke End Lane, Huddersfield, in the County of York, towards which the National Society has made a grant of £150 shall be taken possession of by the owner of the land or his representatives, or be otherwise prevented from continuing to be made use of for the purpose of a National School, we shall each and every of us hold ourselves responsible for the repayment of the said grant.
- Dated 31st March, 1841.
- N. Maning, Incumbent of Trinity, Huddersfield.
Jno. Haigh, Merchant, Huddersfield.
George Dyson, Wool Stapler, Huddersfield.
G. Lancashire, Bookseller, Huddersfield.
- N. Maning, Incumbent of Trinity, Huddersfield.
- Dated 31st March, 1841.
The dimensions of the Schools were as follows :—
- Boys' Schoolroom 45 ft. x 26-6 x 11-6 high.
Class-room 12-3 x 13-6 x 11-6 (parlour).
Girls' Schoolroom 45 x 26-6 x 11-6.
Class-room 12-3 x 13-6 x 10 (over parlour).
This worked out at about 6 square feet to each child
- Boys' Schoolroom 45 ft. x 26-6 x 11-6 high.
- Infants' School added 42 x 15 X 19.
On September 19th, 1842, it was Resolved : "That an Infants' School be erected in connection with our present Boys' and Girls' Schools. That the Infants' School be raised upon the present cottages within the yard if found practical." This was done. The roof of the cottages was removed, a Schoolroom was built above them, and a front was added to contain the staircase. This Infants' School was opened in 1843. The Schoolmaster continued to occupy one of the cottages, and at a later date, when Mr. Holmes was Schoolmaster, the two cottages were made into one for him and his family.
Such were the beginnings of "Dyke End Lane Schools," or "Portland Street Schools," or, better, "Trinity Church Schools," and there have been not a few honoured citizens of Huddersfield, by no means all of them Churchmen, who were educated there. For the benefit of those who do not know the Parish, it may be stated that the Schools are still recognized and are still doing good work.
You will be interested to hear how the Schools were supported in those early days. Here are the receipts for the year 1844 :—
|£ s. d.|
|Weekly Pence — Boys||49 5 10|
|Weekly Pence — Girls||49 1 10|
|Weekly Pence — Infants||21 13 10|
|120 0 8|
|Annual Sermons||21 2 6|
|Annual Subscriptions||38 2 0|
|Annual Subscriptions (Infant's School)||6 9 0|
|A Donation from a Friend||10 0 0|
|A Donation from a Friend||1 0 0|
|Mrs. J. Allen (Interest on Debt)||5 0 0|
|Sale of the Old Clock||1 10 0|
|Tea Meeting — Sale of Tickets||18 1 0|
|Tea Meeting — Private Donations||5 0 0|
|Total raised by the Congregation||106 4 6|
There was evidently a considerable debt for the interest was £15 5s. Till 1851 the Rev. E.A. and Mrs. Davies subscribed £10 10s., and then for some time £5 5s. Mr. B.H. Allen, the eldest son of the Founder, subscribed £5, and Mrs. John Allen £6 6s., besides frequent special gifts, so that a considerable sum came from the Allen family.
In 1845 two important developments took place.
First. The London Gazette" of February 18th, 1845, records an Order in Council stating that "it appears to be expedient that a particular district should be assigned to the consecrated Church called Trinity Church ... and that such district should be named 'The Chapelry District of the Holy Trinity, Huddersfield.'" Here is the description of its boundaries : "The district is bounded on the North by a stream called Lea Head, and the hamlet of Birkby (the poor-house being excluded from the district) ; on the East by an ancient footway running from Bay Hall, past the Brick Factory towards the Parish Church ; on the South the boundary line runs, first, up the middle of a projected new street which will intersect the said pathway near the Brick Factory, and ascend to the New North Road. (Notice. — New North Road had been made since 1820 — and in 1845 the lower part of Fitzwilliam Street was projected, not yet made). Secondly, the boundary line crosses the said New North Road in a South-Westerly direction, and enters York Place, along the middle of which it runs as far as the South-West corner of the Infirmary ; thirdly, from the South-West corner of the Infirmary it is formed by an imaginary line drawn due North and South till it enters Greenhead Lane, along the middle of which it proceeds Westerly, and continues along Greenhead Lane as far as the road from Paddock ; on the South-West the district is bounded by the district of Paddock ; on the North-West by the district of Lindley."
Thus a Chapelry district was assigned to the Church — but it was not a Parish.
Marriages could not yet be solemnized in the Church, and the fees from Churchings and Burials were still to be equally divided between the Vicar of Huddersfield and the Incumbent of Trinity Church.
Secondly, on July 1st, 1845, the Pews and Pew-rents passed from the Founder's family to the Rev. Naasson Maning, the Vicar, and his successors. An agreement was made by which Mrs. John Allen paid £1,000 to Mr. John Whitacre Allen, second son of the Founder, and in consideration of this, the Rev. Edward Acton Davies and his wife (the Founder's widow) and John Whitacre Allen, Esq., conveyed all the pews (not sold as freehold) to the Rev. Naasson Maning and his successors. At the same time they gave up all responsibility for paying the Clerk, the Singers, and the Sexton, and for Repairs.
A Directory of Huddersfield dated 1842, states that "The Curacy (that means the living), valued at 5, is enjoyed by the Rev. N. Manning." A Directory dated 1853 states that the Perpetual Curacy is valued at £185. So far then pew rents had added £50 to the value of the living, which does not indicate a large Congregation.
Yet one more event in 1845. Certain alterations were made in the Church, The organ and singing loft perched high up above the West Gallery was taken down. From January, 1846, till 1880, the organ was at the back of the West Gallery, with the singing pew in front of it. I am not certain about any other alterations made at that time. But some old members of the Congregation have told me that they remember their mother saying that originally the pews in the Church extended as far back as they do now, and it was only when it was discovered that the Church was too large that the part under the West Gallery was screened off and made into a lobby. If that were the case the most probable occasion for such an alteration would be in 1845, when they were also diminishing the accommodation by the removal of the singing loft.
The Church was re-opened in January, 1846. The Rev. Hugh Stowell, a former Curate, and now a power in Manchester, preached at the re-opening, and on Sunday, January nth, 1846, the sermon was preached by the Rev. John Haigh, Incumbent of St. Paul's.
The Second Section of the History of the Church and Parish is a short one, extending only from 1845-1857. It comes almost wholly within the Incumbency of the Rev. Naasson Maning, who was the fifth Incumbent, 1839 to 1857. The following were his Assistant Curates :—
|Rev. Wm. Moriarity||1839-41|
|Rev. C.A. Graham||1841-42|
|Rev. Benjn. Talbot||1842-43|
|Rev. Wm. Shaw||1843-44|
|Rev. T.H. Maning||1847-51|
|Rev. J. Battersby||1851-54|
|Rev. G.A. Poole||1854-55|
|Rev. A. Howarth||1855-57|
I know practically nothing of any of them.
Let us try to picture to ourselves the district as it had developed, or was developing during this time.
At Greenhead lived Mr. Joseph Brook, a great wool broker. Later he was unfortunate, and left Greenhead to live at Woodhouse.
The Greenhead Estate was bought by Sir John W. Ramsden is 1848. At Spring Grove (where the Council School now stands) lived Mr. Edward L. Hesp, a great supporter of the Church, his daughters also being good workers.
The Rev. N. Maning at first lodged somewhere in Trinity Street. In 1811 was married to Miss Wynn Owen, and lived in that part of "Westfield" which is nearest to the Church gates. "Trinity Place" was not yet built. The ground had been reserved as a possible addition to the Churchyard. Perhaps the opening of the Huddersfield Cemetery in 1855, with the consequent closing of Trinity Churchyard, led to the use of this land for building purposes. Anyhow "Trinity Place" was built between 1851 and 1859. The first Vicar of St. Thomas' Church which was built in 1859 lived in No. 4 for a time.
In 1848-9 Huddersfield Railway Station was built and opened. Before this the people had to go by coach to Cooper Bridge as being the nearest point on the Lancashire and Yorkshire Railway, or to Dunford Bridge, the nearest point on the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway, which has since developed into the Great Central Railway. In those days its initials M.S.&L.R. were sometimes irreverently taken to mean "Money Sunk and Lost Railway."
With regard to the Church and its services I will quote from a letter written by one who was baptized in Trinity Church in the summer of 1838. He says, "I attended Day and Sunday School from an infant, and obtained the prize for Biblical knowledge at the Midsummer Examination of 1846. These Examinations were attended by the parents of the children and many members of the Congregation. Before gas was installed in the Church, the Sunday Evening Service was held in the Girls' Schoolroom (Dyke End Lane). It consisted mainly of a large Bible Class, singing, and prayer, and these services were well attended and appreciated. The Morning Service in the Church at that time was very long — the Litany and the Commandments along with the other portions were read, and the sermon took 40 to 45 minutes, so that it was generally 12-45 or 12-50 before we were released, and on Communion Sunday, about 1-15 p.m. When I was a boy the pulpit construction was a 'three decker' — the lower desk for the Clerk, the next above the Reading Desk, and above again the pulpit and sounding board. It was placed in the centre of the East End of the Nave, and was frequently re-constructed to suit the whim of Mr. Maning. The Clerk at that time was the Schoolmaster, Mr. Bell, a highly respected elderly gentleman, and he announced the hymns, &c., and all notices — a kind of precentor, The organ and choir were placed in an isolated Upper Gallery, almost touching the west roof. You could, by straining, just see the heads of the choir." This last sentence refers to the time before 1845, but is interesting as giving a little child's impressions.
In 1848 the Committee resolved that Mr. Bell, the Clerks should receive£8 per annum instead of £6 6s. formerly resolved, "such additional salary being intended as a recompense for the additional trouble he has in the annual practising of the children in singing for the Whitsuntide Feast." I find no minutes of the Committee during this period indicating troubles about organists or singers. Only near the end of the period we have the first sign of the old order changing, yielding place to new. For in 1856 the Churchwardens were requested to engage Mr. Hanley, at a salary of £15 per annum, to instruct twenty boys to act as Choristers. We shall see how this was followed up two years later. The Committee seems to have been quiescent for some years, for there are no minutes for the years 1849-52 and 1855.
On April 16th, 1857, it was resolved "That Collections having been announced for next Sunday, they be made agreeably thereto. That it is expedient that the expenses of the Church should be raised by a rate on the occupiers of pews." The Churchwardens are requested to advise with the Incumbent, and if approved by him to convene a meeting of the pew-holders for the purpose of raising a rate.
On Saturday afternoons Mr. Maning used to hold a Bible Class for young people in the Chancel, which was very well attended, and not by the children of Church people only.
In 1855, St. John's Church having been built in 1853, a district was assigned to it which took away a small portion of the district assigned in 1845 to Holy Trinity. It is very difficult to follow the boundary line precisely. The following is a description of the line :— From Fitzwilliam Street it runs along St. John's Road "as far as the Collegiate, and including it. It then runs up between the Collegiate buildings and Headlands, and passes along a zig-zag line to the Spink's Nest. Proceeding up Birkby Lane until it reaches a water-course called Lea Head, &c."
In 1855 the Huddersfield (Edgerton) Cemetery was opened, and the Huddersfield Burial Acts came into operation. In accordance with these Trinity Churchyard was closed except for burials by license granted in cases where vaults were already secured.
I will take this opportunity of describing one of the most curious features of Trinity Church. It has a large and lofty crypt under the whole of it, intended for a burying place, and used for that purpose to some extent.
The sides of the crypt can be entered by steep flights of steps about the middle of the north and south sides of the Church (outside), the central portion by a slope down the eastern end. Enter at the east end, pass through the part under the Chancel, and come into the next section. Then look at the north wall, and you see a set of pigeon holes made with slabs of stone, each pigeon hole being large enough to take a coffin pushed in end ways (see illustration). Here at the present time are fourteen bodies. After the coffin was put in, a small stone was cemented over the front, and the inscription carved on it. Notice some who are buried here. John Allen, his daughter, Sarah Allen, Edward Lake Hesp and his wife ... There were three other bodies here, a father, mother and son, but the daughter came some time afterwards to see the place, and was so dissatisfied that she obtained a faculty for removing the three coffins and burying them in the Churchyard. The foundation walls of the Vestry form a separate vault in the crypt. This was reserved for the Founder and his family. He is buried there in a similar manner, and his infant daughter Anne.
I have said nothing so far about Churchwardens. The Act of Parliament stated that the Minister was to appoint a Church or Chapel Warden, and so for many years there was only one warden. The only two names I can find before 1853 are those of Mr. Smith 1840, and Mr. Topp, who in 1848 was thanked by the Church Committee for his five years' service. The following names occur in the closing years of Mr. Maning's Incumbency :— Sidney F. Battye, Foster Shaw, Benjamin Hall, John Wilkinson. In 1854 there is the first mention of a second warden, who is called "The Householders' Warden." Mr. Foster Shaw was the first to occupy that position. We now call him the "People's Warden."
On May 28th, 1855, the Congregation of Trinity Church met at the Gymnasium Hall for the purpose of presenting to Mrs. Maning a full length portrait of her husband, the Rev. N. Maning. It was an oil painting by Mr. Howell, and no doubt our portrait was taken from it. About 400 were present, and of course there was a tea, after which the chair was taken by Joe Beaumont, Esq., of Greenhead Lane.
In 1857, the Rev. N. Maning left Huddersfield and went to be Vicar of Hoe, in Sussex. "It is a very scattered and truly rural locality, and the Church is a very primitive barnlike building with a little spire, quite a contrast to the noble edifice of Trinity, at Huddersfield. Mr., Mrs., and Miss Maning rest in a secluded spot in the Churchyard. They died within a year of each other, viz., Miss Maning 1887, Mrs. Maning, 1888, Mr Maning 1889 He was 81 years of age, and had been Vicar of Hoe for 32 years."