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HALIFAX: Halifax Congregational Church History up to 1868.

Halifax Congregational Church History up to 1868.


We have already spoken of the early religious history of Halifax, and of the lectures instituted there. At the Restoration, Eli Bentley (son of Richard Bentley, Sowerby, Dean of Trinity College, Cambridge), a college-friend of Heywood, and at that time minister of the parish church, was removed from his position, before the passing of the Act of Uniformity. Bentley was driven by the Five-mile Act to Bingley. He afterwards returned to Halifax, where he was licensed to preach at the house of Timothy Bentley, his brother. He also frequently officiated at Sowerby, and elsewhere. He died Aug. 2, 1675. Calamy, probably using Heywood's words, characterizes him as "a man of good abilities, a solid, serious preacher, of a very humble behaviour, very useful in his place, and much respected." His widow married Rev. Edmund Hough, M.A., Vicar of Halifax, 1679.

After his death, his congregation appear to have met at Old Bank-top, though many of them regularly attended the ministry of Oliver Heywood. Heywood preached regularly at Bank-top on Sunday afternoons till 1688. Among Heywood's hearers at Northowram was John Brearcliffe, an apothecary of Halifax. He died 168i, and his funeral sermon was preached by the then vicar, Dr. Hooke, Heywood attending the funeral. Ultimately a chapel was erected at HALIFAX.-NORTHGATE END

* Aided by communications from Rev. B. Dale, M. A,

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