Hull-Bowl Alley Lane Congregational Church History


Hull-Bowl Alley Lane Congregational Church History up to 1868.



After the taking of York by the Parliamentary party, Lord Fairfax gave to the Rev. JOHN SHAWE, M.A.,* the living of Sherringham, near York, whence he was invited to Hull,*1 ministering first in the Low, and afterwards in the High, Church of that town (see p. 43). Shawe preached in York Cathedral at the raking of the solemn league and covenant (1644). He was afterwards appointed master of the Charter House (1653). He was a prominent minister in the political movements of the period, both in York and London, where he frequently preached before the Lord Protector. After the Restoration, though he was chaplain to Charles II., he was removed from his pulpit in the Trinity Church at Hull, without any reason being assigned. He continued, however, to preach at the Charter House, and the inhabitants flocked in crowds to hear him, so that the other churches were deserted. As, however, this became after a while interdicted, and his entrance into the town was forbidden, Mr. Shawe removed from Hull to Rotherham (1662), of which place he had been heretofore vicar. The congregation at Bowl Alley may have thus arisen.
  • JOSEPH WILSON was minister here, 1672. A native of Chesterfield.
  • Circ. 1673. The Rev. SAMUEL CHARLES, M.A. (of Corpus Christi Coll., Cambridge), ejected from Mickleover, settled after 1662 in Hull, where he lived and laboured for many years. But, after the Earl of Plymouth was appointed governor, Charles was exposed to severe persecutions. Being brought before the magistrates, he behaved with much spirit, but was ordered to prison, where he remained for six months. On recovering his liberty, he resumed his preaching, which he continued till the day of his death.*2 He probably preached in Bowl Alley, the date of the erection of which is unknown.
  • Circ. 1696. Rev. JOHN BILLINGSLEY. He was son to the ejected minister of Chesterfield. (Trin. Coll., Camb., afterwards Frankland.) In 1700, he is mentioned as having been present with M. Henry at an ordination in Macclesfield. He removed to London, to become assistant to Dr. W. Harris, in 1706. He died 1721.
  • 1705. Rev. JOHN WHITTER, who was a faithful pastor for fifty years. He died 1755. His assistants were Rev. Jos. DAWSON (son of Rev. Eli Dawson of Bradford), who afterwards conformed, and became Vicar of Paul, near Hull; and Rev. J. ROOT, afterwards of York.
  • In 1714, Rev. Leonard Chamberlayne bequeathed to the chapel a valuable library. He was probably related to Mr. Chamberlayne, a draper of Hull, who left a considerable endowment to the chapel.
  • 1756. Rev. TITUS CORDINGLEY (educated at Kendal Acy.), who became pastor, and died 1758.
  • 1757. Rev. JOHN BEVERLEY (from Kendal Acy.), who had been for a short time assistant to Mr. Cordingley. As the Rev. W. Graham, of Mixenden, a well-known Unitarian, preached at his ordination, it is probable that Mr. B.'s sentiments were Unitarian.
  • A new chapel was erected in 1802. He died 1810.
  • From this time Bowl Alley became entirely Unitarian.

* There is a MS. volume of Shaw's Sermons in excellent preservation in the valuable Theological Library in the Vestry of Bowl Alley Lane Chapel. The sermons are full of Evangelical truth and holy fervour.
*1 Shaw published two sermons before the Judges, 1648, and a memoir of his wife, entitled, "The Saint's Tombstone."
*2 "Mr. Charles died at Hull in 1703." -" Hist. of Hull."

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