HOWDEN: Howden Congregational Church History up to 1868.



The church at Howden claims to have arisen under the preaching of Rev. Stephen Arlush, M.A., "an excellent preacher, and of a very public spirit." "He had a good estate, and did good to many with it."*1 He afterwards removed to York, where he died 1680.

About 1700, Rev. Mr. Gould officiated in a building in the street leading to Booth Ferry, and his congregation was considerable. Not long after, Joshua Jefferson, Esq., of Hook, made a bequest, by will, of £ x oo for the erection of a chapel, and 400 for the support of a minister. The money, however, was ill appropriated, though a chapel was built in 1722. At that time Rev. JAMES MALLISON was the pastor. He was a recipient of the Hewley fund in 1727 and 1728. In 1715 his congregation is reported as 1 oo. At this time Gould must have been living, for he, top, is mentioned in the accounts. He married Dorcas Almond, of York. Rev. -- BROWN succeeded and died here. There was in his time a good con-

gregation. He was followed by Rev. JOTHAM FOULJAMBE, who was an Unitarian, and writer in the "Theological Repository." The numbers then decreased. At length the chapel was shut up. There were, however, at this time in Howden a considerable number who eagerly desired Gospel ordinances. These persons united, and applied to Rev. J. Scott (Heckmondwike), who sent preachers, and their efforts were attended with encouraging success. As there was little probability that the old chapel would be recovered, a barn was fitted up for public worship, and an invitation given to Rev. JOSHUA WILKINSON, who accepted it 1781. Mr. Fouljambe had now left off preaching. But some of his former flock, with the aid of Lady Hewley's trustees (at that time Unitarian), caused the chapel to be repaired, and service was resumed. This occasioned a question as to the place in which the deeds of the chapel were deposited. A copy was at length obtained, and the whole case was laid before the ministers in London. By their advice the people endeavoured to ascertain who was the heir of the last surviving trustee, and to obtain his nomination of fresh trustees, with a new trust-deed. Means were now taken to secure a legal possession of the property which remained. Mr. Fouljambe died in 1795. A new chapel was erected in the same year, and opened for public worship.

During the occupation of the barn, great annoyance was experienced from some Sandemanians in the congregation, but they at length withdrew, and formed a separate society.

A vigorous effort was now made to liquidate the debt on the new chapel, and by the assistance of neighbouring, congregations, seconded by the Board in London, this was at length accomplished.

Another separation took place (for a time) of that part of the church which assembled at the village of Asselby, but this soon came to nothing.

Afterwards the course of things at Howden became flourishing. Galleries were added to the chapel, and a new school-room was erected on part of the premises.

  • Mr. Wilkinson died Jan. 12, 1833, after a useful ministry of fifty-one years, æt. 81. A tablet erected to his memory by "his affectionate people" bears the motto-" Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright, for the end of that man is peace."
  • May, 1834. Rev. JAMES BRUCE. After a ministry of twelve years, he removed to Bamford, July, 1846.

  • Dec., 1846. Rev. HENRY ROEBUCK. He remained till Nov., 1848.

  • Jan., 1850. Rev. GEO. RICHARDS (Airedale Coll.), from Alnwick. Mr. R. removed to Beverley, Oct., 1862.

  • Jan., 1863. Rev. J. G. ROBERTS (Airedale Coll.), from Liverpool.

* Scales' MSS., aided by Rev. J. G. Roberts.
*1 Calamy writes Holden instead of Howden. That the latter is the true place, the grave of his wife in Howden distinctly shows.

Transcribed by Colin Hinson © 2014
from the Appendix to
Congregationalism in Yorkshire
by James C. Miall, 1868.