Records of Mansfield Road Baptist Church, Nottingham, 1775-1988

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

As well as the records of the Mansfield Road Church, the Collection includes those of Stoney Street Chapel (1799-1882) and Broad Street Church (1820-1902). These consist of accounts, minutes and Sunday School records.

The records of the Mansfield Road Church also feature administrative documents in the form of accounts, minutes and registers. The records of the Church's Sunday School are also present, as are financial records relating to the Church's Benevolent Society (1849-1916). There are sermons and notes, 1863-65, of the Reverend Samuel Cox and some manuscript and printed music. Printed matter (e.g. annual reports, orders of service) also features. A series of general monographs and publications is present, chiefly of the 18th and 19th centuries. Miscellaneous material includes 19th and 20th century legal papers and photographs of centenary celebrations in 1949.

Administrative / Biographical History

The origins of the Mansfield Road Baptist Church can be traced back to 'the New Connexion of General Baptists' formed in 1770. This revival, that begun in the villages of North-West Leicestershire, reached Nottingham in 1775. In 1776, William Fox was ordained as pastor over the small congregation that had formed in the city, and preached from his own house in Boot Lane.

The Baptists bought the Methodist Tabernacle in Nottingham in 1783, and in 1799 built their first chapel in Stoney Street. By 1815 there were 444 members, making this easily the largest congregation in the New Connexion. However, in the early 19th century, a schism occurred leading to the establishment of a second church at Broad Street. In spite of this split, by the mid-19th century the Stoney Street Chapel had a remarkably large membership of 1344. A second schism in 1849 led to the establishment of a new church on Milton Street, which moved to Mansfield Road in 1912.

The General Baptists of Nottingham, with eleven chapels (eight of which had more than 1000 people attending their evening congregations), were second only to the Wesleyan Methodists in their evangelical success.

Arrangement

Material is arranged according to form (e.g. accounts, minutes) and then further divided by church. Material is listed chronologically within these sections.

Conditions Governing Access

The majority of material is accessible to all registered readers; a small number of items, and recent uncatalogued accruals are restricted. Permission must be sought in writing in advance from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections to consult the records of Deacon's meetings (Mr M 17-18).

Other Finding Aids

Copyright in all finding aids belongs to The University of Nottingham.

In the reading room, King's Meadow Campus:

Typescript Catalogue to bundle level, 15 pp

At the National Register of Archives, London:

Typescript Catalogue to bundle level, 15 pp

On the World Wide Web:

Catalogue accessible from the website of Manuscripts and Special Collections, Manuscripts Online Catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies can be supplied for educational use and private study purposes only, depending on the copyright status and condition of the documents.

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance in writing from the Keeper of Manuscripts and Special Collections (email mss-library@nottingham.ac.uk).

Custodial History

The records came to The University of Nottingham's Department of Manuscripts from the Mansfield Road Church in a series of acquisitions in 1963. Further acquisitions were made in 1973 and 1998.

Related Material

Notebook belonging to James Smith, probably the James Smith who was a lay preacher at Broad Street General Baptist Chapel (MS 118); and deeds relating to James Smith's property on Broad Street (MS 839)

Pre-1837 registers of births of children associated with Broad Street General Baptist Chapel are held at The National Archives: Birth register, 1784-1830 (RG 4/1589), and Birth register, 1801-1837 (RG 4/2676). Also one pre-1837 register of births of children associated with Stoney Street General Baptist Chapel: Birth register 1809-1837 (RG 4/2675). Microfiche copies of these registers can be seen at The National Archives and at Nottinghamshire Archives. The website www.bmdregisters.co.uk offers paid access to digital images of the registers via a subscription. It is free to search the registers on this website. Indexes to the registers are also available as part of the International Genealogical Index (IGI) and can be searched for free on www.familysearch.org.

Nottinghamshire Archives holds one original marriage register and some records from Stoney Street General Baptist Chapel: Marriage register, 1837-1866 (NC BP 31); minutes of church meetings, and correspondence (NC/BP11/1-6).