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A History of Horncastle by James Conway Walter

Both Clowes and Bourne were present


At

the Conference in 1842, 35 years after the first camp meeting on Mow Cop, both Clowes and Bourne were present; but the assembly was saddened to see the original founders, of what was now a thoroughly established and wide-spread community, both shattered in health and broken by toil. Nine years later Clowes said to a friend "I feel myself failing fast, I am fully prepared." He spoke of the glories of heaven, and said "I shall possess it all through the merits of Christ." His speech began to fail, but he got downstairs, and once more led his class. On the Saturday he attended a committee meeting; on Sunday he was too weak to go to chapel; on Monday there was further weakness; early on Tuesday slight paralysis; and on March 2, 1851, he quietly passed to his rest, aged 71. The people of Hull were greatly moved, and many thousands lined the streets as the funeral procession passed to the grave, at which the Rev. William Harland briefly recited the story of the good man's work.

Of the general progress of the connexion, we may say, that down, to 1870 it was simply a Home and Colonial body, but, in that year, the Norwich branch sent out the missioners, Burnett and Roe, to the island of Fernando Po, on the west coast of Africa. This was in response to an appeal from the Fernandians, who had been converted by a member of the connexion, Ship Carpenter Hands, of the ship Elgiva, who, with his godly Captain, Robinson, had in the course of trade visited

that country. The same year also saw a mission established at Aliwal North, in the eastern province of Cape Colony.

In 1884 the Primitive Methodists of Canada formed themselves into an independent community, although with expressions of mutual good will on both sides; their numbers at that time were 8223, with 99 travelling and 246 local ministers, and 237 chapels.

From the middle of the 19th century to its close was a period of great expansion, a return in 1888 reporting the existence in Great Britain of 4,406 chapels, there having been in 1843 only 1278. In 1864 Elmfield College was opened at York, as a middle class school, one of their best; John Petty being first Warden; in 1876 a college was opened at Birmingham, named after the great founder, "Bourne College." At Sunderland a Theological College was opened in 1868, the former Infirmary building being bought; and here, from that date till 1881, Dr. William Antliff, assisted, and afterwards, succeeded by Mr. T. Greenfield, trained candidates for the ministry. The college was afterwards transferred to a new building at Alexandra Park, Manchester.

In 1889, at the 70th Annual Conference, held in Bradford, the membership of the society numbered 194,347, with 1,038 itinerant and 16,229 local preachers; 430,641 Sunday School scholars, 4,436 chapels and 1,465 smaller places of worship; the value of the connexion's property being estimated at over 3,218,320 pounds.

For these details I am largely indebted to the notes of the late Mr. William Pacy, of the Wong, Horncastle, and to the courtesy of the Rev. R. B. Hanley, Minister 1903-5.


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