Account Book for Cross Street Chapel, Manchester

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Account book recording receipts and disbursements of the charity established by Lady Meriel Mosley in 1697 for poor members of the congregation of Cross Street Chapel. Disbursements largely consist of payments made to named poor persons. On folio 1r is a memorandum that £50 was given by Lady Mosley ('Mossley') for the use of the poor of the congregation of the New Chapel in Manchester, the interest thereof to be distributed among the poor. The capital sum was augmented by further donations from Nathaniel Gaskel in 1716 (£50), Thomas Butterworth in 1739 (£100), another unknown benefactor in 1739 (£100), David Bayley in 1761 (£50), and Josiah Birch in 1781 (£50). The names of feoffees or trustees are recorded on folios 1r-3r. Folios 56v-88v are blank.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Dissenters' Meeting House, later to be known as Cross Street Chapel, was opened in 1694 and is the parent church of Nonconformity in Manchester. The congregation dates from 1662, the year of the Act of Uniformity, which required all clergymen to conform strictly to the requirements of the Book of Common Prayer. Some clergy refused and were ejected from their livings, one of whom was the Reverend Henry Newcome (d 1695). His followers eventually erected a place of worship of their own, the first of its kind in Manchester. The original chapel was destroyed by German bombing in 1940. The chapel was rebuilt in 1959, and again in 1997. William Gaskell, husband of the novelist Elizabeth Gaskell, was the minister for fifty-six years (from 1828 to 1884). Throughout its history, members of the congregation have made a remarkable contribution to the religious, social and cultural life of the city. In 1697 a charity was founded by Lady Meriel Mosley to support poor members of the congregation; this was later augmented by other benefactors.

Conditions Governing Access

The manuscript is available for consultation by any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

Presented to the John Rylands Library by Mrs Rodger of Chorlton-cum-Hardy, Lancashire, in March 1956.

Note

Description compiled by Jo Humpleby, project archivist, with reference to http://www.tbns.net/cross-street/history.htm .

Other Finding Aids

Catalogued in the Hand-List of the Collection of English Manuscripts in the John Rylands Library, 1952-1970 (English MS 1183).

Related Material

Minutes, registers, deeds, accounts and miscellaneous papers relating to Cross Street Chapel, 1693-1938, remain in private ownership (NRA catalogue reference: NRA 3493 Cross St). Researchers are advised to contact the JRUL for further information.

Geographical Names