Records of Gildersome Preparative Meeting of the Society of Friends

Scope and Content

Minutes of Preparative Meeting, 1710-1739, 1750-1835 (3 vols.) [P 32, 15-16]; rough minutes, 1749-1818 (9 vols.) [P 17-25]; Minutes of Women's Preparative Meeting, 1711-1830 (3 vols.) [P 26-28]; List of members of Leeds Preparative Meeting, later Monthly Meeting, including for Gildersome, c.1906-1945 [J 63]; Tabular statements, 1881-1896 (1 bundle) [M 18]; Index of births, marriages and deaths by Caleb Haworth, 1828, and other papers, 1750-1914 (1 bundle) [P 29]; Birth notes, 1826-1835 (1 vol.) [P 30]; Orders for burials, 1828-1833 (1 vol.) [P 31]; Papers, 1706-1993 (1 bundle) [Z 3]

Administrative / Biographical History

The first Friends in Gildersome were convinced in the early 1660s and formed part of Leeds Meeting. They included Thomas Benson, a clothier, and his wife Grace Scott, and Michael Pratt, who was amongst those imprisoned in York Castle in January 1661 for failing to take the oath of allegiance. Meetings for worship for local Friends began to be held in Gildersome twice a month from 1705 onwards. Land for building a Meeting House in the town was purchased from Joseph and Susanna Dickinson in 1709, and the following year, an independent Preparative Meeting was established (within Brighouse Monthly Meeting). The trustees of the Meeting House (and hence some of the new Meeting's leading Friends) were Samuel and William Dickinson, Thomas Benson jnr. and John Thackerah, all of Gildersome, and Robert Arthington of Farnley. In 1756 a new Meeting House, with a burial ground, was built on land acquired from John Reyner, and this is still in use by the Meeting today. Gildersome Meeting was also responsible for burial grounds at Hare Park Lane (originally a private ground of the Bartlett family), and in Morley. The Meeting was in decline from 1820 onwards; from 1830, joint Preparative Meetings were held for men and women, and a standing committee appointed by Brighouse Monthly Meeting to visit the Meeting. The Preparative Meeting was finally discontinued in 1835, with local Friends joining Leeds Meeting. Meetings for worship however continue in Gildersome to the present day.


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

Access Information

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 House, 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 Brighouse Monthly Meeting and Gildersome School


See J. E. Mortimer, Quakers in Gildersome: the history of a Yorkshire Meeting (author, 1990)

Additional Information

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

Personal Names