Family History Notebook

 Hexham Baptist Records 1651 - 1682







1644 - 1720


The Hanserd Knollys Society







     IN  the  name  of the Lord Christ, I came to Hexham the 27th day of the 10th month, 1651,  and so wonderfully hath God appeared in this dark corner,  that upon the 21st day of the  5th  month,  1652  (that  is,  the 7th  month  following),  after serious consideration  and  some gospel preparation,  a living temple began of these living stones:

Month. Day. No. Month. Day. No.
5th, 21st. John Thirlwall 1 Susanna Thirlwall 1
Richd. Orde 2 Mary Carr 2
James Carre 3 Isabell Rowland 3
Thomas Ogle 4 Dorothy Rowland 4
Michael Adon 5 Margaret Ogle 5
Robert Elwood 6
John Johnson 7
John Orde, jun 8
Edward Croser 9
Edward Stowell 10
Stephen Anderton 11

These, solemnly giving up themselves to the Lord and one


to another, to walk in communion together, with submission to all the ordinances of the gospel,  I, Tho. Tillam, espoused to one husband ;  hoping  that  I shall present them a chaste virgin  to  Christ,  with all that  in sincerity of heart,  have (through the mighty power of God),  or shall be,  joined to them.
   At my desire and testimonial of my wife, as a member of the church of Christ in Cheshire, they gave her the right hand of fellowship.

      Month. Day. No.
      5th, 21st Jane Tillam 6

   The 25th day of the 5th month, 1652, the church joyfully celebrated the Lord's supper: John Thirlwall being desired (for proof) to supply the place of deacon. And the church began a stock, putting it into his hand.
   Persons since baptized and added to the church,

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
6th, 12th John Carnabye 12   6th. 13th. Kathren Anderton 7
        24th  Thomas Stackhouse 13   7th.  3rd. Anne Smythe 8
Edmund Hickhorngill 14          25th  Cicilye Bell 9
7th.  3rd. John Hudspeth 15 Frances Stobberd 10
        18th.   Henry Farbricke 16    
        22nd  Edward Bell 17
Edward Limbrough 18
Edward Stephenson 19

The 23rd day [of the seventh month] the church celebrated a day of praise, and had a love-feast, and after it the holy ordinance of our Lord's supper; to which we admitted Richard Denton Trumpet, a member of one of the London churches.


Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
8th, 16th John Ward 2 20   8th, 3rd Katherine Carnaby 11

Brother Holmes minister of Bywell [Northumberland], a

2 [This year, 1709, I, John Ward, have been an unworthy member  57 years, and a more unfit ordained elder in the ministry to the church, 54 years.   MS. note.]


member of a church in London, was admitted to our com-munion, 8th month, 17th day.

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
8th, 23rd. Thomas Rewcastle 21 9th, 16th Jane Rookesby 12
10th. 15th,  Hugh Hesloppe 22      
Thomas Bilton 23      

   The 20th day of the 10th month, the church, with prayer, fasting, and imposition of the hands of the minister, ordained brother Hickhorngill a minister, and their messenger into Scotland ; and brother John Thirlwall, deacon.


      First m. Barbara Orde 13
      19th day. Elizabeth Carey 14
      Dorothy Banks 15

   Charles Bond, a member with Dr. Chamberlain,3  was admitted to communion, 2nd mo., 3rd day. And the same day, John Hudspeth, who before was suspended and again embraced, was now excommunicated.

2nd mo. 3rd day

  The same day the church solemnly commended their minister to the grace of God for the work in Cheshire, and sent their deacon with him, in much love.
  By which means many were added to the church in Cheshire,4 which, upon our return, caused great. joy to the church of Hexham; whereunto, by the Lord's presence with

3 [Dr. Peter Chamberlain, pastor of a church in London. He was engaged. in 1650, in a discussion on the subject of baptism with Mr. Bakewell, and also with Dr. Gouge.]
4 [Probably the ancient church at Hill Cliffe, near to Warrington. A Mr. Thos. Loe was pastor of the church in Warrington in 1689-91, which it is likely was a part of the church at Hill Cliffe.   Douglas, GHist. of North. Bapt. Churches, pp. 21, 58.]


the labours of Tho. Tillam and S. Anderton, preaching in several parts of the country, many precious souls fly as a cloud, and as doves to their windows.

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
 3rd.   14th  Henry Angus 24       3rd.   14th  Mary Angus 16
  Mark Tayler 25   Elizabeth Tayler 17
Anthony Hunter 26   Jane Tayler 18
      Jane Wards 19
      Elizabeth Heslopp 20
                       28th  Alice Swan 21


  The 4th month, 4th day, a child of the devil came from Rome to ruin this church, and with great subtlety made a most glorious confession of Christ, pretending that he had been a Jew, and that his name was Joseph Ben Israel. After his declaration in the parish house, he was baptized. But the Holy One of Israel, our gracious Protector, brought the hellish impostor to light before he had any church commu-nion. Ever blessed be His glorious name for this great deliverance.

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
   4th,  18th  John Bradshaw 27   4th,  18.  Elizabeth Reidshaw 22
  Robert Whitfield 28      
William Marshall 29      
  Anthony Taylor 30    

The 5th month, 3rd day, we prepared for the great work at Stokesley,6 seven members engaging in the journey, where Mr. William Kaye,7 the minister, and nineteen with him,

5 [Mr Douglas has given at some length an account of this singular imposture. The pretended Rabbi turned out to be the son of a Dr. A. Ramsay, a Scotch physician. This story is confirmatory of the wide spread impression existing during the Commonwealth, that papist spies were employed to add to the distractions of the times, by mixing with the various sects. Douglas, Hist. of N.Churches, pp. 24-29.  Broadmead Records, pp. 42-46.]
6 [In Yorkshire, at the base of the Hambleton Hills, and about 12 miles from Stockton-on-Tees. Douglas, p. 30.]
7 [Crosby speaks of Mr. Kaye as a gentleman of learning, who left the Established Church, and joined the Baptists.  Hist. iv 251.]


were baptized by Tho. Tillam; a work of wonder, and calling for our high praises. In our journey, going and returning, eight persons were baptized, and are since added to the church of Hexham; viz.

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
   5th,  5th  Rowland Harrison 31   5th,  5th.  Anne Joblin 23
  Cuthbert Warde 32            11th.  Gilian Greenwell 24
Thomas March 33      
  John Joblin 34    
  Robert Tayler 35      
  Christopher Vicars 36      

5th, 21st. Three ministers engaging at Muggleswicke,8 their great design being to set up infant sprinkling, and the people in great expectation ; the Lord so appeared on our side, that six persons, the same evening, desired the ordinance of baptism, and the next morning were baptized.

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
   5th,  22nd Robert Sharpe 37   5th,  22nd.  Elizabeth Sharpe 25
  John March 39   Frances Vicars 26
      Isabel March 27
6th.    6th. John Draydon 39 5th, 22nd Margaret March 28
  William Burrell 40 5th, 24th. Alice Joblin 29
           13th.  William Darnell 41 6th, 13th. Margaret Draydon 30
        Jane March 31
               27th.  Mary Tillam 32

  The 16th of the 6th month, Capt. Sympson and Capt. Mason,9 with br. Blenkinsop, came to visit us, by order, from London and Newcastle churches. They hearing of our constitution and condition, sweetly and lovingly owned us as

8 [A village about twelve miles south-east of Hexham.]
9 [In March 1651, we find the ministers of Newcastle complaining of a Lieut. Col. Mason, as an abettor or certain errors and sectaries in Newcastle. He is said to command the garrison in chief, in the absence of Col. Fairfax.  Milton's State Papers, by Nicholls, p. 81.]


their brethren ; which was far from the rugged and unbro-therly carriage of Mr. Goare,1 &c.
  The beginning of the 10th month, 1653, a charge came from the church of Newcastle, to the brethren of Derwent-side, consisting of twelve articles against Mr. Tillam, wherein mani-festly appeared a subtle design to break or divide the church of Hexham. To which the person concerned returned (as was but needful) a speedy answer, which was approved; a Christian, sober, and faithful answer, and such as they did hope would amount to the satisfaction of those that follow after such things as make for peace amongst brethren. And as such it was subscribed by the whole church's full consent.



JOHN READSHAW,   } Deacons, &c

  Notwithstanding, Mr. Goare, with much violence, laboured with the church at London, from whom Mr. Tillam was a messenger;2 but God blasted all his endeavours, and won-derfully preserved the integrity of his despised servant,  giving him still a large room in the hearts of his people of  that society. Ever praised be His most glorious name.


  The 6th of the 3rd month was baptised, 

Month. Day. No.   Month. Day. No.
   6th,  3rd. William Royle 42   5th,  8th. Elinor Hunter 33
  8th,  29th John Shouler 43   6th, 24th Jane Yonger 34
11th,  6th. Michael Warde 44   7th,   2nd. Ann Greenwell 35
            23rd. Cuthbert Newton 45   8th,  11th. Sarah Court 36
        9th,   5th. Margaret Atchison 37
        Idem Jane Rawlinson 38
        9th,   4th  Ann Ellwood, under hand

1 [Mr. Thomas Goare, Gower, or Gover, was a member of the church at Newcastle, and a colleague of Mr. Paul Hobson, at this time one of its ministers.]
2 [The church of which Mr. Hanserd Knollys was pastor.]


4th month, 11th day, 1655.

  Great storms and commotions, raised by Mr. Gower more than ever, so far prevailing with the church in Coleman Street, as to a disowning of Mr. Tillam, and all that are in the practice of laying on of hands.
  Mr. Anderton first endeavoured a schism about imposition of bands ; but failing therein, he opened his mouth in blaspheming against Mr. Tillam's doctrine, and plunged himself into other gross evils. For which he was by the elders, with the joint approbation of the church, delivered unto Satan, with Thomas Ogle.
  The 4th of the 9th month, 1655,  the church withdrew from  Jo.  Warde and  John  Readshaw.    Rom i. 31 ; 2 Tim. iii. 3.

The 18th of the 9th month, 1655

  Being at Richmond, Ann Blackburne and Ann Lambe were added to the church.3
Brother Blenkinsopp and brother Angas having been at Dotland Park to invite us to a meeting with Dement friends, we met them at Eadsbridge, the 26th of the 4th month, 1656; where we debated the cause of our division. And we did confess we had done better if we had laid Mr. Tillam aside, and not so suddenly had communion with him, till first we had used all means, and waited some time, to satisfy Coleman Street church  (by what we know)  in the insufficiency of their grounds of dealing with Mr. Tillam.  And also for the evil that  br.  Heslopp acquainted us with,  we should not have communion with him, till God should give him re-pentance ; labouring by all means for peace with truth, but could not have it, unless we could see ourselves to have sinned in not hearkening unto the first testimony of Colman

' [The preceding entries are in Mr. Tillam's hand-writing, the following in Richard Orde's


Street church, concerning their withdrawing from Mr. Tillam, though contrary to our consciences and [to] appearances, and would own our friends' withdrawing (as they call it) from us to be according to rule.  And so we parted,  leaving them   (as appeared to us) in the same mind they were before they went to London. Though in private, elder Warde4 did seem to confess their withdrawing not right, as to manner, before brother Blenkinsopp.
   The 11th of the 5th month ('56)  I went to Newcastle to the messengers. The 15th of the same, our Derwent friends and we met before them there. The 22nd [was] agreed upon for a conclusion betwixt us: and meeting at brother Joblin's,5 and each party declaring the sense of  their  miscarriage to the other, we were by the messengers declared to be one body in the Lord.
   The same day, the messengers having the hearing of the difference betwixt Mr. Anderton and the church, they judged Mr. Anderton had no warrantable ground to withdraw from the church, and that his withdrawing was but a fruit of passion, and [a breach of] the rules by which he pretended to with-draw; but the grounds for which the church dealt with him [were] warrantable and . . . . . .   Much whereof was confessedly by himself grant[ed].

' [After Mr. Tillam's departure, the church at Hexham seems to have been divided into two parts ; one arrested with other members of the under Mr. Ord., the other under Mr. Ward. Mr. Ward was chosen minister at the age of twenty-five, and presided over that part of the church which lived near the Derwent. The division seems to have been connected with Mr. Tillman departure. Douglas p71.]
5 [Mr. John Joblins, or Joplin, lived at a farm called Foxholes, in the township of Heyleyfield. He was arrested with other members of the churches on the Derwent and at Newcastle, and tried for taking part in a pretended plot against the in-creasing tyranny and cruelty of the restored king, Charles IL The in-formers evidence was so clearly a fabrication, that all were acquitted. Douglas, p. 81.]


from Tho. Rewcastle,  for marrying with an unbeliever.       1 Cor. vii. 39, and ix. 5 ; 2 Cor. vi. 14, 15.
  The 26th of the 10th month ('58), John Johnson did acknowledge his sin (from Rom. xiii. 13, 14),  in going to one of the world's drinkings after a wedding, and so was received ; and so did Jo. Orde for the same.
  The 14th of the 2nd month, 1660, Stephen Anderton made a declaration to the church of his repentance; [and] was again received with great joy.
  The 22nd of the same, Aylos Robson and Elizabeth Younger were baptized, and the 13th of the 3rd month were added to the church.
  The 10th day of the 4th month, 1660, the church, after many tender admonitions, withdrew from Thomas Rewcastle, because he held, from Rom. xiv.5, that he was not bound in duty from any command or practice, to give a seventh part of time to the worship and service of God, judging it a doctrine not according to godliness. 1Tim. vi. 3, 5.
  After this, the church here began sadly to decline their duties, break off their meetings, and forget their Rock. Whereupon miserable effects ensued to be their portion, so that most of them returned to folly. In this state they continued for many years. Though reproofs and admonitions were not wanting from several members of the church of Eadsbridge, on Derwent, but little of a [right] spirit yet remained in them to return unto the Lord, until the aforesaid church was pressed in spirit, in the year ('72), to send brother Ward and brother Blenkinsopp6 to give them a meeting at Dotland Park7 When and where the Lord was pleased to speak so powerfully and convincingly, through them, that there began a little few of them, weakly and faintly, to return to the Lord, and sometimes [to] meet together. But notwith-

6 [Elders of the church on the Derwent.]
7 [Within four miles of Hexham.]


standing, they could not come up to walk in all the appointments of the Lord, in respect of the fewness of their number, and the remoteness of the dwellings of those few ; which began to be a grief of heart to some of them, who went to advise with the church of Derwent what course to take herein, whom they found very ready to assist in what they might. In which interval of time, they were not a little helped and encouraged by brother Turner, pastor of the church of Newcastle, who, by a providential hand of the Highest was cast amongst them atHexham, who did en-courage them to make their addresses again to the church of Derwent; at which meeting it was agreed by the church there to send their two aforesaid elders, along with Mr. Richard Orde, to the remote members, to exhort them to return to their places and duties in the Lord's house. Which motion was so desirable unto diem, that they did embrace it with readiness of mind. And then a day was appointed, with all our consents, to meet together at my house at Ardley. And in order to a right preparation for so great a work, we had days of humiliation set apart, when some of our number being admonished to be [there] did come, in particular brother Aydon, and made a declaration of his short-comings, and brokenness of heart for sin, that these few sheep here were much affected, and willing to embrace him.
  The day before appointed being come, which was the 27th of the 10th month ('74), where also brother Blenkinsopp and brother Wattle had laid out themselves to be; the method which was used was this:—every one of us did particularly declare our state, with a manifestation of our desires to wa k together as a church of Christ in all his appointments, giving ourselves up to the Lord, and to one another by the will of God, willing to watch over, and to be watched over, in the Lord. This done, the two messengers of the church, viz.,


brother Blenkinsopp and brother Warde, did declare their satisfaction, with much joy, and did solemnly pronounce us to be an orderly church of Christ.
  The good Lord help us to walk worthy of our vocation wherein we are called, unto all well pleasing, and make us fruitful in every good word and work to the praise of his grace, &c.
  Then we did address ourselves to the ordinance of the Lord's supper, in the close of the day ; and our King was with us. Brother Ward did administer it.
  The names of our members who are remaining, and [who] entered into a covenant to be the Lord's, are :-

No.   No.
1. Richard Orde. 1. Susanna Orde.


John Carnaby.


Catheren Carnaby.


Humphrey Hughes


Margaret Ogle


Thomas Bilton, removed to New-    castle


Dorothy Bilton, removed to New-castle


Robert Ellwood, mort


Ann Ellwood, died the 14th of 5th month ('82)


Adam Stevenson, mort the 26th, 11th month ('82).


Elizabeth Sharpe, mort.


Michael Aydon, excommunicated. August 29th ('75)


Ann Aydon, mort.


John Ellwood was baptised, and September the 5th following, was added to the church.


March 19th ('75), Ales Robson who had been one with us formerly, and had been wandering in the world and after the quakers, did declare her sense of evil, gave the church satisfaction and was received.

  May the 21st ('76) 7. Ales Robson


Mark Pigg and }  dead.


July the 22nd ('77), Deborah Thirlwall was baptized, and the 5th of August following was added to the church.


Aron Bunting   } were baptised
and the 11th June following were added to the church


  May the 12th ('78), the church having used all endeavours to recover those disorderly members, and finding it unsuccessful, at last did excommunicate John Johnson, for refusing to hear or come at the church. Matt. xviii. 17 ; 1 Cor. v. 5; [also] Ales Robson for the same, and joining


with the quakers. Matt. xviii. 17; 1 Cor. v. 5. And Frances Browell, for owning herself to be a papist, and saying she judged it, viz. popery, to he the way to salvation, &c.


   Samuel Sharp was baptized the 12th of the 7th month (1680).


Mic. Adon excommunicated, the 2nd of the 5th month, for excessive drinking, by the rule Rom. xiii. 13 ; 1 Cor. vi. 10; 1 Cor. v. 5, 11.

Copy of Register of Marriage.

These are to declare to all whom it may concern, that Anthony Hunter of Holmsterley [Hamsterley], in the parish of Medomsley, and Ellinor Labbourne his wife, of the said parish, were married upon the 13th day of November, 1653, being the Lord's day, in the house of Mr. Thomas Tillyam, minister of Hexham, before us whose names are here under-written, as witnesses of the said marriage:


(Subsequent pages contain correspondence.)