Records of Bentham Preparative Meeting of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes of Preparative Meeting, with some accounts, 1685-1811, 1819-1852, 1874-1982 (13 vols.) [H 16-18; EE 7-10a, 51-55]; Minutes of Women's Preparative Meeting, 1791-1795 (1 vol.) [H 19]; Minutes of Extension and Visitation Committee, 1948-1960 (1 vol.) [EE 57]; List of members, 1875-1979 (1 vol.) [M 20]; Register of births, deaths and marriages, 1652-1835 (1 vol.) [D 7]; Birth notes, 1874-1908 (1 vol.) [EE 13]; Burial notes, 1875-1944 (5 vols.) [EE 14-16.2; F 27]; Orders for burials, Calf Cop burial ground, 1891-1947 (1 vol.) [EE 60]; Calf Cop estate account book, 1834-1847 (1 vol.) [EE 11]; Cash accounts, Low and High Bentham Meeting Houses, 1910-1947, 1969-1973 (2 vols. & 1 bundle) [EE 62-64]; Receipts and expenditure account book, and pass books, for John Thomas Rice Legacy Fund, 1900-1967 (3 vols.) [EE 65-67]; Receipts, 1900-1964 (1 bundle) [EE 68]; Correspondence re. frontage of Meeting House on Main Street, High Bentham, 1961-1964 (1 bundle) [EE 71]; Correspondence of Joshua Hall, with specifications and estimates for alterations to Calf Cop Cottage, Low Bentham, 1966-1968 (3 bundles) [EE 72-74]; Plan of Calf Cop estate, no date [DD 3]; Ordnance Survey maps of Bentham and Calf Cop, 1909 (2 items) [LL 72-73]; Epistles, advices, minutes etc. received: From Yearly Meeting and Yorkshire Quarterly Meeting, 1736-1777 (1 vol.) [EE 12]; Papers, 1843-1979 (1 bundle) [EE 40]

Administrative / Biographical History

A group of First Publishers of Truth, William Dewsbury, Richard Farnsworth, Robert Fell and John Snowden, visited the market town of High Bentham in 1652 or 1653, and a number of local people were convinced. The response was not altogether favourable - Robert Fell died shortly after being attacked outside the local church. A Meeting was settled nonetheless, and was recorded in 1665 as part of Skipton Monthly Meeting, and again in 1669, as part of Settle Monthly Meeting. Its members included Jarvis Benson, George Bland, Richard Guy, Thomas Gibson, Tristram Ray and Jo[hn] Topham. A barn was bought in 1686 in Low Bentham (or Calf Cop) and adapted for meetings. By the early 18th century, the Meeting was flourishing and in need of larger premises. A new Meeting House was completed in 1720 and was in use until about 1797 when it was completely rebuilt. The Meeting was in decline by the early 19th century. In 1853 it became part of Brighouse Monthly Meeting. Friends began to meet separately for worship in neighbouring High Bentham and in 1866, the two Meetings were combined. A Meeting House and mission hall was built on Main Street, and used until 1973, when the Meeting returned to its 18th century home in Low Bentham. The Meeting is still in existence and has been part of the re-formed Settle Monthly Meeting since 1924.


The records are numbered and arranged according to the system used when they were in Carlton Hill Meeting House

Conditions Governing Access

The conditions of deposit include a clause requiring written prior permission from a Friend Custodian for access to consult current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old

Acquisition Information

The collection of archives of the Society of Friends formerly held at the Friends Meeting House at Carlton Hill, Leeds


In English

Other Finding Aids

Contents listed in Handlist 99, Inventory of the records of Brighouse, Knaresborough, Leeds, and Settle Monthly Meetings of the Society of Friends formerly preserved at the Friends Meeting Housem, Carlton Hill, Leeds, 2nd edition, 1997

Conditions Governing Use

As with access, the photocopying of current legal documents and any material less than fifty years old requires the permission of a Friend Custodian

Related Material

Related material in Leeds University Library: Records of Settle and Brighouse Monthly Meetings, and Bentham Friends Essay Society

Additional Information

The records are deposited and remain the property of the Society of Friends

Personal Names