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not preach long to this society, and, we believe, was never regularly settled as their pastor. When he left them, they applied to the Particular Baptists, who recommended Mr. Thomas Harrison, a promising young minister, and then assistant preacher to the Baptist congregation in PettyFrance. Mr. Harrison being invited accordingly, accepted their call, and was ordained to the pastoral office by Mr. Leonard Harrison, and Mr. Hercules Collins, in the month of Dec. 1699. From this time they were encouraged by several ministers among the Particular Baptists, particularly Mr. Joseph Stennett, and Mr. John Piggott, who occasionally preached here. Mr. Harrison's labours with this society were but of short duration ; for on the 14th of August, 1700, he was removed by death, in the prime of life, being only 35 years of age.
Some account of his life and character has been already given under the article Petty-FRANCE, to which place we refer the reader. After Mr. Harrison's death, his church united with the Particular Baptist congregation, formerly meeting in Petty-France, but then in Spitalfields. That church had been lately deprived of its pastor, Mr. William Collins, and Mr. Nathaniel Hodges was chosen to take charge of the united society. But a fuller account of its proceedings will more properly fall under our notice when we come to speak of ARTILLERY-LANE.
After the departure of the Baptist congregation, Loriners'Hall was taken by a society of Independents, under the care of Dr. Singleton, who removed hither at Midsummer, in 1704. The Doctor did not survive any great while, but was succeeded by the celebrated Dr. DANIEL Neal, who was ordained at Loriners'-Hall, in 1706. Mr. Neal's congregation increasing, he removed, after a few years, to a large meeting-house, in Jewin-street. Loriners'-Hall was then taken by Mr. RICHARD PAIN, who brought his congregation from Brewers'-Hall, and occupied this place several years. But in 1728, he removed to Girdlers'-Hall. After this, Loriners'-Hall fell into the hands of the Methodists.
In 1739, it was occupied by a Mr. Robert SEAGRAVE, a clergyman of the church of England, and Master of Arts, who joined Mr. Whitefield's connexion. In the year just mentioned, this gentleman published “ An Answer to Dr. Trapp's four Sermons against Mr. Whitefield, shewing the Sin and Folly of being angry overmuch. With a View to explain the present Controversy, and point out the true Ground of his being disagreeable to the Clergy.” Mr. Seagrave 'was, also, the author of “ Observations upon the Conduct of the Clergy in Relation to the 39 Articles. Wherein is shewn, that the Church of England, properly so called, is not now existing. With an Essay towards a real Protestant Establishment.” The preacher at Loriners’Hall, in 1750, was a Mr. Samuel Hull, of whose history we know nothing, excepting that in that year he published a sermon occasioned by the late shocks of earthquakes, preached at Loriners'-Hall, March 1, 1749-50, from Matt. xxiv. 44. Loriners'-Hall, after being shut up for some time, was at length taken down, and all traces of it are now lost.
The company of Curriers was incorporated by James the
HE First, in 1605; but the society was of much greater antiquity, having founded a guild, or religious fraternity, in the conventual church of the White Friars, in Fleet-street, as
early as 1367. Their hall was situated at the upper end of Curriers’-court, London Wall. In the reign of Charles the Second, it was let out to the Nonconformists for a meetinghouse. The first that occupied it was the Presbyterian congregation collected by Mr. Edmund Calamy, Jun. soon after his ejectment from Moreton, in Essex. This valuable minister coming afterwards to London, preached first in his own house, in Aldermanbury; but the worship of Dissenters in public being sanctioned by the Indulgence in 1672, Mr. Calamy hired Curriers'-Hall, which he fitted up for a meeting-house, and continued to preach there to the time of his death. He was succeeded by Mr. Samuel Boret; as he was, in 1691, by the celebrated Mr. John Shower, whose congregation increasing, he removed in the year following to Jewin-street, and from thence to the Old Jewry, as we have before recorded.
Some years after the removal of Mr. Shower's congregation, Curriers'-Hall was taken upon lease by an ancient society of Particular Baptists, collected during the civil wars that agitated the nation in the reign of Charles the First, by the famous Mr. Hanserd Knollys. His first meeting-house was in Great St. Helen's, where he was much followed, having seldom less than a thousand hearers; but he met with frequent disturbance from the government, and the landlord was prevailed with to warn him out of that place. Mr. Knollys then opened a meeting-house in Finsbury-fields, and afterwards at Broken Wharf, Thames-street, where his congregation assembled at the time of his death. From Broken Wharf his people removed, in 1691, to Bagnio-court, Newgate-street, where they continued several years. About 1705, they left that place for Curriers'Hall, which they occupied nearly a century. This place went for many years under the appellation of Cripplegatemeeting, by which nanie it was best known. The lease expiring in 1799, the congregation, which was then greatly reduced, was obliged to remove; and they took a lease of
the meetiny-house in Redcross-street, close to Dr. Williams's library. There they still continue to exist, though their numbers are so extremely small that the phrase seems scarcely allowable. The meeting-house has been for some time let to another congregation, with whom they assemble for public worship, having no minister of their own; but they still retain the name of a church, in order to preserve an annuity attached to it, and which would be lost were they entirely to dissolve.
After the removal of the Baptist congregation, Curriers’Hall was occupied for a short time by a branch of the Wesleyan Methodists, who separated some years ago from the old connexion, on account of discipline. They were at first called Kilhamites, from Mr. Alexander Kilham, the leader of the separation; but they prefer the name of “ The New Methodist Connexion.” Their principal station in London, is at Bethnal-green. About 1802, Curriers'-Hall, and some surrounding buildings were entirely demolished, and some new houses erected on the site.
Besides the churches above-mentioned, a society of Particular Baptists, that observed the seventh-day, met for many years at Curriers'-Hall, and removed along with the other church to Redcross-street. Mr. Joseph Jacob, of singular memory, is, also, said to have preached sometime at Curriers’-Hall; but of him we have spoken already. (z) The other church will fall under our notice presently.
The Baptist congregation that met at Curriers'-Hall on the first day, had the following ministers in succession as pastors :
HANSERD KNOLLYS.—This pious and venerable Divine was born about the year 1598, at Chalkwell, in Lincolnshire. He had the advantage of descending from religious parents, who took great care of his education, and had him instructed betimes in the principles of religion and good literature. For this purpose they maintained a tutor in their house, till he was fit for the university, when they sent him to Cambridge, where he became a graduate. His behaviour at this place was praise-worthy and exemplary. He divided his time between study, couversation, and religious duties; and though he had been long noticed for his pious disposition, he attributed his effectual conversion to some sermons he heard here. It was at Cambridge, most probably, that he received his first tincture of Puritanism, as he conversed chiefly with persons of that persuasion. When be left the university, he was chosen inaster of the free-school at Gainsborough, in his native coupty.
In June, 629, Mr. Knollys was ordained by the Bishop of Peterborough, first deacon, and then presbyter ; soon after which the Bishop of Lincoln presented him to the living of Humberstone, in Leicestershire. But this he held only two or three years, when he began to scruple the lawfulness