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For the first quarter of 1879 Mission Services have been held as follows:
Langley Mill and Heanor..
W. 'Hill, W. March.
W. Hill, W. Bailey.
W. Bailey, W. H. Tetley.
W. Bailey and W. Orton.
Foreign Letters Received.
to April 15th, 1879.
SACRAMENTAL OFFERINGS FOR WIDOW AND Dividend-Alleghany Valley
35 8 2 Bedworth
5 18 0
ORPHANS' FUND, Birmingham, Lombard Street 65 3 4
£ s. d. Chatteris 10 2 6 Bacup
1 0 0 Hinckley 6 0 10 Belper
0 10 0 Leicester, Victoria Road 4 90 Chatteris
1 0 0 Longford, etc. 23 10 3 Louth, Eastgate
1 0 0 Louth, Northgate-on account 25 11 0
0 10 0 Eastgato 24 13 9 Stanton Hill
0 10 0 Nottingham, Broad St. and Stoney st. 27 0 11 Stoke-on-Trent
4 17 0
General Baptist Societies.
I. FOREIGN MISSIONS.—TREASURER: W. B. BEMBRIDGE, Esq., Ripley, nr. Derby
SECRETARY: Rev. W. HILL, Crompton Street, Derby. II. CHILWELL COLLEGE.— TREASURER: T. W. MARSHALL, Esq., Loughborough.
SECRETARY: Rev. W. Evans, Leicester. III. HOME MISSIONS.—TREASURER: T. H. HARRISON, Esq., Wardwick, Derby.
SECRETARIES: Revs.J. FLETCHER, 322, Commercial Road, E.,
and J. CLIFFORD, 51, Porchester Road, London, W. IV. BUILDING FUND.—TREASURER: C. ROBERTS, Jun., Esq., Peterborough.
SECRETARY: REV. W. BISHOP, Leicester. Monies should be sent to the Treasurers or Secretaries. Information, Collecting
Books, etc., may be had of the Secretaries.
The Purgest Parisly in England.
BY REV. WATSON DYSON.
HALIFAX BOROUGH SEAL.
“THE largest parish in England.” So Halifax was considered to be,” according
“ to Crabtree, its old historian. Bearing in
mind that its area is over 120 miles, old bale
Crabtree is probably right. But mere extent will interest General Baptists very little; they will feel a more pleasant excitement in being assured that the town owes its name to John the Baptist.
In the Anglo-Saxon period, possibly within a short time after Paulinus had
preached Christianity to the Northumbrian Court, a monk climbed the almost impassable rocks of West Yorkshire, and travelled through its woods and wilds till he arrived at the banks of the Hebble. Here he settled,” and began to teach. A relic of stupendous value—one which could heal diseases, and make weak people strong-increased the power which the missionary gradually acquired over his pagan neighbours. This relic was part of the face of John the Baptist-"the Halig-faix (i.e., Holy Face), as the people called it. The relic gave its name to the neighbourhood; for, in time, “Halig-faix" was corrupted into Halifax.* All antiquarians are not agreed upon this derivation, but it is received by learned men; and is quite as reasonable as an attempt to unite a Saxon word with a Norman one, and so make the name mean, not "Holy Face,” but “Holy Ways."
The claims made for ancient Halifax can hardly be considered wellsustained. In the neighbourhood are certain remains which are assumed to be Druidical, or even earlier ; but these are, to say the least, equivocal. Two Roman military ways passed through or near some portion of the parish, f and Roman altars and coins have also been found; but the time of the town's real growth and prosperity had not yet come. The same may be said of Saxon times ; although the name, and evident traces of entrenchments and fortifications” of the period show that it existed. Coming down to the days of the Normans, a church was built; but the town is not named in Domesday-book, though several of its townships are. In those primitive days its soil would be largely waste, its rocks covered scantily with the purple flowers of the heather, or the yellow ones of the furze; its cultivated portions would probably return only scanty harvests, and its whole neighbourhood would be thinly inhabited and poor. The introduction of the woollen manufacture was the foundation of its prosperity. * There is some difference of opinion as to the ancient mode of spelling. Even yet the town is
occasionally called “Helly-faise.” + A local antiquarian, who has studied the subject with much interest, believes that Halifax was a station on a Roman road to Chester. He believes he has traced a considerable portion of this road: and says that Roman coins have been found all along its course. name of the station is unknown-perhaps is even beyond recovery. The next station to the east, would be Wakefield.
GENERAL BAPTIST MAGAZINE, JUNE, 1879.-VOL. LXXXI.-N. S. No. 114.
But the Roman
The date of this is a little uncertain. Possibly the town is indebted to King Edward III.," the father of manufacturers," who, in a Parliament held at Nottingham, took measures to improve the national industry; and afterwards invited cloth-workers from Flanders to settle in the country, granting them some considerable privileges, one of which was “protection," which, like a wise man, he shortly afterwards withdrew. In the absence of direct evidence this advent of the Flemings is not improbable, first, because Yorkshire was assigned to the cloth-workers from that country; and, second, because there are certain peculiarities in the local dialect which considerably resemble the Flemish speech. Here again, however, authorities differ. It is sometimes said that the immigration of the men of Flanders did not occur till the reign of Henry VII. This, at least, is certain the manufacture was here in 1414. But it must have been very inconsiderable, because nearly thirty years after Halifax numbered only thirteen houses. Still, its day was begun, and it prospered, for in 1540 the houses were between five and six hundred.
For a long period woollen was the staple manufacture, but now there is a considerable mixture of other businesses. Cotton, carpets, staffs, and worsted, provide the principal employment of the inhabitants to-day. A relic of the business of the last century may be seen in the Markethall (formerly Piece-hall). This is a freestone edifice of three stories, fireproof, with three hundred and fifteen rooms ranged along the sides of an extensive square, something like a College at Cambridge with its “quadrangle.” The area of this square is about two and a half acres. Formerly the little makers and hand-loom weavers brought their goods on packhorses which grazed on the grass while their owners disposed of their wares. Business, in its development and change, has now entirely forsaken this old haunt, except that it serves the purpose of a wholesale market for greengrocers, fisħmongers, etc. It is a time-mark in the town's past history; but its glory is departed. Once in five years it has a brighter day, when about 35,000 Sunday scholars, teachers, and friends, assemble there for a great local celebration—“The Halifax Sunday School Jubilee.”
One of the most singular facts in the history of the town was the maintenance, to a later period than in any other English town, of an old Gibbet Law. Probably this was not a local law, but a remaining item of that feudal system which gave the barons power to inflict capital punishment. Under it the authorities exercised a power to try and inflict death upon all who were convicted of stealing property to the amount of thirteenpence half-penny. The culprit must, however, either confess his crime, or be found with the stolen goods in his hands or on his back. The last execution took place in 1650 ; one every two years having been the average for a whole century before. From this law arose the town's share in the well-known Beggar's Litany, "from Hell, Hull
, and Halifax, good Lord deliver us.” The gibbet-stone and culprit's chair may still be seen by visitors; and if any boys read this sketch, it may interest them to know that when the Earl of Morton, afterwards Regent of Scotland, was in England in 1566, he had a model made of it, from which a similar gibbet was afterwards made in Scotland. It continued unused in that country for a number of years, and
THE LARGEST PARISH IN ENGLAND. 223 at length the Regent himself, like another Haman, was the first to suffer by it. The town has never been greatly damaged by war. One
smart action” took place in a neighbourhood now called “ Blood Field” between the Royalist and Parliamentary forces, Halifax being, at the time, garrisoned by the latter. It continued faithful to the Parliamentary cause, and was rewarded by the privilege of returning two members. At the Restoration this power was withdrawn; and the town continued unrepresented until the Reform Bill of 1832, since which it has returned two members, as in good, stout, Oliver's day.
A number of men whose names “posterity will not willingly let die” were either born in the parish or lived in it for a time. Sir Thomas Brown is said to have here practised as a physician, and written his “Religio Medici.” Daniel de Foe, absconding from London on account of his political writings, found a refuge here, during which time he wrote his “ Robinson Crusoe.” There is a tradition that Lawrence Sterne inscribed his name in a beam of one of the Grammar Schools, using a red-hot poker for the purpose. The astronomer Herschel was, for a short time, the organist of the parish church, gaining the position by a little ingenuity of which I should be glad to tell my boy-readers if I had space. Out of a considerable number of divines there may be mentioned Bishop Farrar, the Marian martyr; Archbishop Tillotson, son of a nonconformist; and good Oliver Heywood, a long-suffering nonconformist himself. Remembering that this sketch will appear in a Baptist serial, I need only mention the names of John Fawcett, John Foster, and Dan Taylor, the last of whom was at one time pastor of the church in whose chapel the next Association will meet.* In later days manufacturers have brought to the front men like Edward Akroyd ; and better known still, the noble triumvirate of the Crossley Brothers, the last of whom was called to a higher service less than two months ago. This is no place to speak of their virtues; but both secularly and religiously the town owes them much, though how much few will ever know.
Delegates to the Association, being conscientiously determined to do the denominational business well, will, of course, have little time to climb the hills and admire the splendid valleys; but even they may find time to notice some of the buildings. Amongst Episcopal Churches some may wish to see the Parish, now undergoing restoration from plans prepared by the late Sir Gilbert Scott, R.A. All Souls' Church, at Akroyden-a modern erection—will well repay a short walk, especially if the visitor finds it open. The Square and Park Congregational Churches are well worthy of notice. So are the Stannary and Salem Chapels, the interior of which visitors will see, and will be almost certain to admire. Taken as a whole, the writer knows few towns where nonconformist places of worship are better than here ; and, at much cost, the Sunday schools have also vied with each other in providing the most complete arrangements for their work.
Visitors who are not contemplating chapel or school building may * Among the “relics” of Dan Taylor is a chair kept at North Parade, well-made, substantial, elaborately carved, and sound as its author's theology was. The Chairman, if he desires, may use it during the sittings of the Association. What more fit than that the successor of our Apostle should sit on the apostolic throne ?
be more interested in the Dean Clough Mills (Messrs. Crossley's) employing about 6,000 hands; or the Town Hall, which cost £50,000, the last work of the late Sir Charles Barry, R.A., the architect of the Houses of Parliament. The latter building fails to impress sufficiently, at first sight, because of the proximity of surrounding buildings. The New Grammar School at the Heath is not far removed from the homes where some of the delegates will probably be entertained. The Infirmary and the Museum are near each other, both being on the Harrison Road. But the especially distinctive buildings of Halifax are the Homes of its Charities, of which there are several. Foremost is the Crossley Orphan Home, a noble pile at the top of Savile Park, which provides education, board, and clothing, for 240 orphans. More than a dozen have been received here who were the children of General Baptist parents. Then follow almshouses-one set, endowed by the late Mr. Joseph Crossley, providing fifty-one homes for aged men and women ; and another, endowed by the late Sir Francis Crossley, providing twentyfour homes; another, endowed by Mr. Nathaniel Waterhouse, in the seventeenth century, for poor widows and orphans of the Established Church ; and lastly, though hardly to be called almshouses, the " Abbot's Ladies' Homes," a group of detached houses in a park-like enclosure of their own, the bequest of a bachelor, and intended for ladies reduced in circumstances, but possessed of a little property.
Younger visitors may be more interested in Savile Park, a large recreation ground about a mile from the heart of the town; and the People's Park," the noble gift of the late Sir Francis Crossley, Bart., which, with the endowment, cost the donor £46,000. Those who visit it will see marks of the master-hand which laid out the grounds at Sydenham Palace.
From its position amongst hills, Halifax has abundance of excellent water-towns with a better supply are rare. A few visitors may be interested in the capacious reservoirs, capable of storing 1,450,000,000 gallons.
The Association will meet here this month for the fifth time in its history. The earlier dates are 1780, 1792, 1798, and 1862. The Minutes of the Association for 1798 (bound with the first volume of the Magazine), are open before the writer, and he extracts a fact or two. They number eighteen pages, and a Table of Statistics. In these Statistics thirty-two churches are named, and 3,438 members are reported. "Brother D. Taylor preached”—as usual. Questions were answered about "laying on of hands,”. “instrumental music,” and difficult passages of scripture. The church at Spalding was advised to “obtain a lively young minister.” And the Association met for business at Six o'clock in the morning.
From 1798 to 1862 was a long interval; and it might have been longer if efforts had not been made to secure a new chapel. Aided by good Dr. Ingham, the church accomplished this in 1854, and in a few years time was again able to invite the Association.
The Association of 1862 is still in the remembrance of many readers. The late Rev. J. C. Pike was Chairman, and the late Rev. T. W. Mathews Vice-Chairman. At that time it was resolved to include the Lord's Supper in the Association services. Then it was reported that the Chilwell College property was purchased, and then came the conflict