[ocr errors]

for the purpose. In addition, he, with his two sisters, Mrs. Glover and Miss Mansfield, set apart a considerable sum of money for the support of the institution. In order that the college might be established in their lives, Mrs. Glover and Miss Mansfield resigned their dwelling-house for this purpose, and the college was opened for the admission of students in 1838, when 13 young men commenced their studies under the tuition of Mr. Watts, Professor of Theology and Ecclesiastical History, and Mr. Barker, Professor of Languages; to whom was shortly afterwards added Mr. Rogers, Professor of Mathematics, Philosophy, and the Belles Lettres. Nearly thirty students have finished their course of education in the institution, of whom two have become professors in similar institutions; three have gone abroad as missionaries to India and China; and the rest have settled as pastors of churches in various parts of the British empire. No building has yet been erected specially for the college, and till that is done, for which a site has been purchased, the studies are carried on in the house formerly occupied by the family of the founders.

HIGHBURY CHAPEL, GRAHAM-STREET. At the removal of the congregation from Livery-street to Steelhouse-lane, in 1818, a few of the members remained behind, and formed there the nucleus of a new congregation, who invited Mr. Eagleton to be their minister. This gentleman, though self-educated, was a man of considerable talent and much reading, and in spite of a somewhat dull and ponderous manner in the pulpit, succeeded, by vigorous thought and some novelties of matter and manner, in attracting a large congregation. Dissatisfied with the inconveniences of the place

of worship, as others had been before, and some also were after him, it was in his contemplation to erect a new chapel, and a committee was appointed to look out for ground. Instead, however, of carrying this scheme into execution, they finally determined to alter and improve the building in Livery-street, and laid out a large sum of money in the accomplishment of their design. Soon after this Mr. Eagleton, somewhat disappointed and discouraged with the result of the alterations in the chapel, removed to Huddersfield, where he died some few years since. After he left Birmingham, the place, encumbered with a heavy debt, and oppressed at the same time with a high rent, as it is leasehold property, went through various mutations for many successive years. For awhile it was successively occupied by Mr. Mather, Mr. Griffiths, Mr. Binks, Mr. Bean, and Mr. Alsop. The last-mentioned individual, still finding the place incommodious, and the rent heavy, determined upon the erection of a new chapel, purchased for that purpose a piece of ground in Graham-street, and erected the present place, which bears the name of Highbury chapel, and was opened for public worship in 1845. Mr. Alsop resigned his charge in 1848, and was succeeded by Mr. Grant, the present occupant of the pulpit, who, after receiving his education in part at Highbury College, and subsequently at the University of Glasgow, where he took his Bachelor's degree, settled at Prescot in Lancashire, and removed from thence to Birmingham, the year that Mr. Alsop left. Mr. Grant is the author of

· A Bishop's Charge to the Laity,” in answer to the Bishop of Worcester's “Charge to the Clergy:" and “ The Church of Christ—what is it ?” a premium tract of the British Anti-State Church Association.


LEGGE-STREET CHAPEL. This small but neat place of worship was commenced by a few members of the Wesleyan body, who gave it up in an unfinished state into the hands of the Independents. It was opened for worship about the year 1825. The first minister was a Mr. Griffiths, who was educated at Hoxton College, London. After labouring at Legge-street for twelve years, he was advised to remove with his congregation, with a view to greater usefulness, to Livery-street chapel, then vacant, which occasioned the dispersion of the congregation in Leggestreet, without any compensatory advantage to that in Livery-street.

Mr. Richards, late of Stourbridge, then supplied the pulpit for some time gratuitously. In 1837 Mr. Sibree, the present minister, commenced his labours, which he still continues, though amidst some discouragement. Nearly a thousand pounds have been raised in Birmingham of late years to purchase the chapel from the lessor, and to erect school rooms, and through the munificence of a wealthy and catholic spirited member of the Church of England, a daily school is supported, which is diffusing the benefits of a good education through a neighbourhood in which there is a dense population of the labouring class.



The chapel in this vicinity was originated by a Mr. Smith, who, having been converted to God by the ministry of one of Lady Huntingdon's preachers, felt a religious solicitude for the welfare of the neighbourhood which was then populous and very remote from the parish church. In conjunction with the late Mr. Hammond of


this town, this gentleman commenced erecting the chapel, but died before it was finished, when the support and direction of the business devolved entirely upon Mr. Hammond. The place was opened for worship in 1788, in Lady Huntingdon's connexion, and a considerable congregation was soon raised, which subsequently so much declined in consequence of the misconduct of the minister, that the chapel was for a while shut up. was then offered to the friends of the Church of England upon condition of Mr. Hammond's having the first presentation of a minister. This being declined, he conveyed it in trust for an Independent place of worship, and it was re-opened in 1806, when the present minister, Mr. Hammond, who had studied under Dr. Williams, at Rotherham College, was chosen and ordained to the pastoral office. In 1819 the chapel was improved and enlarged, by the erection of galleries and school

The church consists of ninety members, and supports several institutions for the temporal and spiritual benefit of the neighbourhood, and the support of foreign missions.



This place of worship was erected solely at the expense of the Carr’s-lane congregation, one of the members of which having generously given a site for that purpose. It was opened for worship in 1839. The first minister was Mr. E. A. Pearce, who, after three years, removed to Pendleton, near Manchester, and was succeeded in 1845, by Mr. Baker, who was educated at Blackburn College, and is now the pastor of this church.


This neat fabric also was erected by the Carr's-lane congregation, and was opened in 1845, and was intended to supersede the little chapel erected by the same community in Garrison-lane, which had been found too small for the people who wished to attend. It is a preaching station in connection with the Town Mission supported by that congregation. No regularly organized church has yet been formed. The pulpit is occupied by Mr. Derrington. The expense connected with the worship is sustained by the church which erected the building.


This neat little sanctuary was erected at the sole expense of the late John Green, Esq. who was formerly a member of the congregation of St. Mary's chapel in this town. Mr. Green gave the site as well as erected the building, which was set apart for public worship about the year 1828. At first the liturgy of the Church of England, revised and abridged by Mr. Mark Moggridge, the first minister, was used in the worship. This has long since been discontinued, At Mr. Moggridge's removal he was succeeded by Mr. Aston. The pulpit is at present occupied by Mr. Greenway. The chapel has been conveyed to trust by the relict of its founder.


This section of the great body of Nonconformists is a very large and influential one, and every way entitled to a respectful mention in this history. It is well known that while they entirely agree with the Independents in their views of church government, in which they are strictly congregational, they differ from them on the

« VorigeDoorgaan »