THE ARCHIVES OF THE CHURCH OF ST. JOHN THE EVANGELIST, YORKSHIRE

The archives of the Church of St. John the Evangelist consist of .5 linear feet of material, including correspondence, manuscripts, documents and related printed ephemera, regarding its founding and construction, in the township of Clifton. The papers, dating from 1856 to 1862 and arranged in chronological order, constitute the earliest records of this parish church, located near Mirfield, Yorkshire.

Before 1856, the inhabitants of the township of Clifton worshipped in a church in the village of Hartshead, despite the fact that the church could only accommodate one ninth of the population of both villages. However, in 1856 the Rev. Thomas Atkinson, incumbent of Hartshead cum Clifton, and the people of Clifton, decided that a new church should be built in Clifton. A committee for the erecting of the new church was organized to coordinate and oversee the efforts of the construction. This collection constitutes the files of Joseph Rayner, a solicitor from the firm Fenton, Jones and Rayner, and treasurer for the building committee.

The committee also included noted figures of the time. Indeed, the chairman was the well known businessman and liberal politician, Henry Wickham Wickham (1800-1867). Whickham, a lineal descendant of the famous William Wickham, Bishop of Winchester in the time of Queen Elizabeth I, was also an M.P. for Bradford, Yorkshire from 1852 to 1867. In addition, he was a partner in the Low Moor Iron Works, and chairman for the Quarter Sessions from 1842.

The correspondence covers all aspects of the building program, from early discussions about the new parish, to the actual construction and funding of St. John, including the debate over the hierarchical status of the church with regards to the older parish of Hartshead, and the consecration of the new chapel by the Bishop of Ripon. There are letters from the local squire, Sir George Armytage (1819-1899), owner of over 3,000 acres, and donor of the land for the construction of the church. There are also letters from other donors and subscribers, including Lord de Saumarez, and from architects James Mallison and Thomas Healey. The papers are further enriched by letters from workmen, contractors and craftsmen participating in the building of the church. In addition, there are numerous accounts, detailing the costs and the procedures of the construction.

The collection also includes letters from ecclesiastical authorities, such as the Bishop of Ripon and his secretary, and Sir James J. Chalk (1803-1878; for a full account of his career see the DNB), secretary of the Ecclesiastical Commission in London, to whom the committee for the erection of the Clifton church appealed for funds on various occasions. Also regarding fundraising, there is correspondence from several secretaries from charitable organizations, such as the Incorporated Society for the Enlargement, Building and Repairing of Churches and Chapels and the Marshall's Trustees. In addition, there are also letters from neighboring clergymen, namely Rev Joshua Fawcett, Rev. John Birch and Rev. Thomas Allbutt.

The Archives of the Church of St. John the Evangelist, provide not only valuable biographical information about the individuals involved with the construction and founding of the church, but also important knowledge about Yorkshire local history, British architectural history, and British ecclesiastical history.

FOLDER REGISTER

Box 1 Folder 1
Correspondence 1856
Date span: 10 Jul 1856 - 19 Dec 1856
Description: Letters from priests, architects, officials with the Ecclesiastical Commission, and benefactors, discussing the proposed Clifton church.
Includes the following items:
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to Fenton, Jones and Rayner.
3 Dec 1856
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to Fenton, Jones and Rayner.
19 Dec 1856


Box 1 Folder 2
Correspondence 1857
Date span: 11 Feb 1857 - 15 Dec 1857
Description: Letters, receipts and accounts regarding the proposed Clifton church. Discussion centers around the financial aid applications to the Ecclesiastical Commissioners and fund raising efforts.
Includes the following items:
D by Sir James J. Chalk.
1 Jan 1957
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to the Committee to erect
a new church.
11 Feb 1857
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to Joseph Rayner.
6 May 1857
ALS from the Bishop of Ripon.
29 May 1857
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
15 May 1857
ALS from Sir George Armytage to J. Rayner.
16 Aug 1875
ALS from Lord de Saumarez to Joseph Rayner.
5 Oct 1857


Box 1 Folder 3
1857 Circular
Date span: Aug 1857 - Feb 1859
Description: The first drafts and the final circular to raise funds for the building of St. John. The circular contains information about the populations of Hartshead and Clitford, a description about the church's accommodations, and an update on fund raising efforts
Includes the following items:
Printed circular to raise funds for the building of St. John. Feb 1859
Draft of the circular to raise funds for the building of St. John. 1857


Box 1 Folder 4
Contract for the building of St. John. 1857
Date span: 1857
Description: Contracts for the building of St. John. Includes descriptions of the site for the proposed church, estimates, conditions for the construction, and specific explanations of the carpenter, plumber, plasterer, painter, slater, glazier, and joiner's work.


Box 1 Folder 5
Correspondence 1858
Date span: 1 Jan 1858 - Dec 1858
Description: Letters, documents and accounts, regarding the construction of Clifton church. Letters from architects Mallison and Healey. Discussions about the consecration of the church and its position within the ecclesiastical hierarchy. Fundraising correspondence
Includes the following items:
D by Sir James J. Chalk.
1 Jan 1858
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to Joseph Rayner.
27 Jul 1858
ALS from Sir George Armytage to Joseph Rayner.
16 Mar 1858
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk.
18 Oct 1858


Box 1 Folder 6
Correspondence January to July 1859
Date span: 1 Jan 1859 - 26 Jul 1859
Description: Letters and documents regarding the completion of the Clifton church and its consecration. Numerous letters from benefactor Thomas Atkinson, and Rev. John Birch. An account of grants and subscriptions towards the building of the church.
Includes the following items:
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
28 Feb 1859
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
8 May 1859
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
23 Mar 1859
D by Sir James J. Chalk.
Jul 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
14 Jun 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
16 97 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
21 Jul 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
5 Jul 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
15 Jul 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
23 Jul 1859


Box 1 Folder 7
Correspondence August to December 1859
Date span: 6 Aug 1859 - 21 Dec 1859
Description: Letters regarding the consecration of St. John, and the requisite funds that must be raised for the chapel to be consecrated. Numerous letters from Thomas Allbutt, Joseph Birch, and Joshua Fawcett. Also, letters from Thomas Atkinson and Mallison and Healey.
Includes the following items:
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
16 Aug 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
30 Nov 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
5 Dec 1859
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
15 Dec 1859


Box 1 Folder 8
Accounts 1859
Date span: 1859
Description: Bills and receipts regarding the construction of St. John. Also, numerous lists of subscribers that donated money for the building of the church.


Box 1 Folder 9
Correspondence 1860
Date span: 13 Jan 1860 - 33 Dec 1860
Description: Letters and documents regarding the hierarchical standing of St. John with reference to the nearby Hartshead parish, including numerous letters from Rev. Allbutt. Details about the completion of the church, including the bells, and related accounts.
Includes the following items:
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
13 Dec 1860
ALS from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
14 Feb 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
27 Feb 1860
LS from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
27 Feb 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
28 Feb 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
14 Mar 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
16 Mar 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
3 Apr 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
20 Apr 1860
D from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
16 Jun 1860
D by Sir James J. Chalk.
Jul 1860
ALS from Henry W. Wickham to J. Rayner.
26 Jun 1860
ALS from Sir George Armytage to J. Rayner.
25 Aug 1860
ALS from the tenants of Sir George Armytage's estate to Sir George Armytage.
1860
D from Sir James J. Chalk to J. Rayner.
22 Dec 1860

Box 1 Folder 10
Accounts 1860
Date span: Jan 1860 - Oct 1860
Description: Bills and receipts regarding the completion of the Clifton church and the furnishing of the building.


Box 1 Folder 11
Correspondence 1861
Date span: 26 Jan 1861 - 21 Aug 1861
Description: Two receipts, one from the Yokshire Banking Company and one from a Lavile Goldthorp.


Box 1 Folder 12
Correspondence 1862
Date span: 9 Jan 1862
Description: One letter to J. Rayner by a D. Smith.


Allbutt, Thomas (Rev.) 1: 7
- 1: 9
Armytage, George (Sir) 1: 12 - 1: 2
- 1: 5
-1: 9
Atkinson, Thomas (Rev.) 1: 6
- 1: 2
- 1: 5
Birch, John (Rev.) 1: 6
- 1: 7
Bishop of Ripon 1: 2
Bounty Office 1: 6
Chalk, James J. (Sir) 1: 6
- 1: 9
- 1: 5
- 1: 1
- 1: 2
Ecclesiastical Commission 1: 7
- 1: 2
- 1: 9
- 1: 6
- 1: 5
- 1: 1
Fawcet, Joshua (Rev.) 1: 1
- 1: 7
Incorporated Society for the Enlarg 1: 7
- 1: 9
- 1: 1
Mallison & Healey (architects) 1: 5
- 1: 7
- 1: 9
Marshall's charity 1: 1
Saumarez, Lord de 1: 2
St John
- Contract 1: 4
- Accomodations 1: 3
- Accounts 1: 10
- 1: 11
- 1: 8
- Bells 1: 9
- Consecration 1: 6
- 1: 7
- 1: 5
- Construction 1: 8
- 1: 4
- 1: 5
- 1: 10
- 1: 9
St. John (cont.)
- Description of Site 1: 4
- Fund raising circular 1: 3
- Hierarchical Standing 1: 5
- 1: 6
- Mason work 1: 8
- Proposals for a District 1: 1
- Sittings for the poor 1: 1
- Subscribers 1: 8 - 1: 10
Wickham, Henry W. 1: 6
- 1: 9
- 1: 3
- 1: 5
- 1: 7
- 1: 2


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