The Tercentenary of the Salters’ Hall Debates can be read HERE
The Annual General Meeting of the Society for 2019 will take place at 14.55 on Wednesday 17 April at the Birmingham Hilton Metropole Hotel during the meetings of the General Assembly.This will be followed by a lecture by Dr Rachel Eckersley on ‘Benefactions in the form of books: the development of the Northern Dissenting Academies and their libraries during the 18th and 19th centuries’.
The new issue of the Transactions of the Unitarian Historical Society is out now and will be arriving with subscribers shortly. If you aren’t already a subscriber details of how to sign up can be found below.
Entrance to St Saviourgate Chapel, York. Catharine Cappe’s congregation
In this issue Andrew M. Hill looks at A Pattern of York Feminism: Catharine Cappe as spinster, wife and widow. His article gives a tremendous amount of insight to this woman, born in 1744 who died in 1821, and who Andrew discusses broadly in terms of three categories:
as a woman making efforts to escape conventional female roles;
as the companion and colleague of her husband and
as a social reformer with a burning zeal.
A review (from ‘The Christian Examiner’ of 1825) of Richard Wright’s most famous book. The Northiam Library borrowing book at the time records 122 pamphlets being borrowed, mostly written by Richard Wright, Unitarian Missionary
Valerie Smith examines Late eighteenth and early nineteenth-century Unitarian Readership particularly through the surviving library records of a number of chapels, including Newcastle, Northiam, Bridport and Lewes and looks at the reading habits of lay men and women from ‘lower levels of society’ within Rational Dissent.
Alan Ruston continues his work on Unitarian engagement with the First World War with 1919 – a re-evaluation of the part played by Unitarians in the First World War, looking at casualties, the Belgian Hospital Fund and the work of Rose Allen and some of the publications from the First World War which are only now being rediscovered.
Sue Killoran’s paper given to the annual general meeting of the society on The Library and Archives at Harris Manchester College, Oxford completes the main articles. This is an edited version of her lecture given in 2017 which can also be viewed online here:
In the Record Section Alan Ruston introduces some further research into Unitarians and the First World War with Ann McMellan’s and Lesley Dean’s initial findings from The Pearson Papers in Dr Williams’s Library, some First World War examples. They are working on some 25,000 papers connected with Rev J. Arthur Pearson (1870-1947), London District Minister from 1908 to 1944 and popularly known as ‘the Bishop’.
Salters’ Hall in the early nineteenth century
In addition we have two notes: The Tercentenary of the Salters’ Hall Debates by David Steers marks the anniversary of this important early eighteenth-century controversy (the text of which can be read online by clicking here) and Rob Whiteman discusses the career of the Rev Helen Phillips, a much overlooked pioneer within the Unitarian ministry who became the second woman to become a minister (following Gertrude von Petzold) in 1916 and who lived until 1961 but has attracted very little notice from historians until now.
The interior of St Saviourgate Chapel, York which houses the memorial to Catharine Cappe which reads:
Her whole life
was a beautiful, instructive & encouraging example
of Piety and Benevolence:
Piety – ardent, rational and unostentatious,
manifested in uniform obedience
to the law of God,
and in cheerful submission
to all dispensations of his providence:
Benevolence – pure, active and persevering,
directed by a sound judgement
and unlimited by its exercise by any regard
to personal ease or party distinctions.
Annual membership of the UHS costs only £10, each member receiving a copy of the Transactions. Membership can be obtained from the treasurer, Rev Dr Rob Whiteman, 10 Greenside Court, St Andrews, KY16 9UG, to whom cheques (made payable to the Unitarian Historical Society) should be sent.
The April 2017 issue of the Transactions of the Unitarian Historical Society is now available. Annual membership costs £10 for individuals and can be arranged through the treasurer via the Unitarian Historical Society website:
Francis Dávid (Dávid Ferenc, c.1520-1579) by the late Donald A. Bailey. This is an important article discussing the theological and historical significance of Francis Dávid which was sent for publication by Don just a couple of days before he died so suddenly in 2015.
The Diet of Torda (picture: Unitarian Historical Society)
Socinians Out – Dr Williams’s Trust in the 1840s by Alan Ruston. An examination of the will and legacy of Dr Williams and the arguments over its ownership.
Daniel Williams (portrait in Dr Williams’s Library)
The Centenary of the Unitarian Historical Society by David Steers. A survey of the foundation and early history of the Society adapted from one of the talks at last year’s annual meeting.
John Crosby Warren of Nottingham and Aberdeen. First President of the Unitarian Historical Society
Note – James Martineau – a neglected source. Alan Ruston. Newspaper articles on the centenary of his birth.
Record Section – an unpublished letter of James Martineau. David Steers. A letter to the Rev James Orr of Clonmel.
New PhD Thesis at the University of Kent. Valerie Smith. Rational Dissent in England c.1770-c.1800.
David Clark,Victor Grayson The Man and the Mystery, Quartet, 2016, 324 pp, ISBN 978 0 7043 7408 9. £20. (Reviewed by David Steers).
Alan Ruston,On the Side of Liberty: A Unitarian Historical Miscellany, The Lindsey Press, London, 2016, 212 pp. ISBN 978-0-85319-087-5. £9.50 plus £1.50 p&p. (Reviewed by Phillip Hewett).
Alan Seaburg,The Unitarian Pope: Brooke Herford’s Ministry in Chicago and Boston 1876-1892, Alan Seaburg, Alan Miniver Press, 162 pp, 2014, available on Amazon Kindle, price £3.83. (Reviewed by Alan Ruston).
Building the Church, The Chapels Society Journal, Volume 2, 2016., 91 pp, ISBN 978-0-9545061-5-5. (Reviewed by Andrew Hill).
Matthew Kadane, The Watchful Clothier, The Life of an Eighteenth-Century Protestant Clothier, Yale University Press, 312 pp, hardback, January 2013. ISBN 9780300169614. Price £65. (Reviewed by Alan Ruston).
David Sekers,A Lady of Cotton Hannah Greg, Mistress of Quarry Bank Mill, The History Press in association with the National Trust, 280 pp, 2013, ISBN 9780752490083. Price £9.99. (Reviewed by Alan Ruston).