This small notebook, compiled by an anonymous chapelgoer, contains notes taken at sermons given by John Gooch Robberds, William Gaskell and other Unitarian preachers, at Cross Street Chapel, Manchester, and elsewhere.
The volume begins with a trip to Bolton on 18 April 1824, to hear 'Mr Fox of London, he took his text from St Pauls address to the Athenians & made a powerful discourse, he alluded to the present struggle in which Greece is now engaged in with Turkey'. The next sermon was heard in Dublin, at the Eustace St Chapel (where James Martineau was later to be so notable a presence), on 27 June in the same year. This time the preacher was Mr Armstrong; and the next one, on 12 October 1824, at Cross St Chapel in Manchester, with John James Taylor the preacher. One or two other chapels are also mentioned over the next few years (Greengate chapel in Broughton, Salford and Essex St in London), but the focus remains the Cross St chapel in Manchester, where it is clear the compiler visited most frequently.
Among the preachers recorded at Cross St were John Gooch Robberds (1789-1854), a notable Unitarian minister, at least a dozen of whose sermons are recorded; Rev. John Relly Beard; Rev. Dr Drummond of Dublin; Rev. Henry Montgomery; and Rev. Henry Acton of Exeter. William Gaskell features three times (29 March, 30 August and 20 December, all in 1829). Of the second of these the hearer notes: 'He observed that if Men could be only be brought to give anything like the attention to religion they devoted to worldly affairs how differently they would act... The Discourse I thought an excellent one & deserving the serious attention of persons engaged in active life & particularly to those of worldly minds...'