To The Editor Of The
Sir, I crave your permission to make a
few remarks upon a paragraph which appeared in the Leeds Mercury of the 31st
inst. headed "Nether Yeadon Chapel" because I believe the paragraph
contrary to the truth and likely to mislead the public.
It is there stated that there has
hitherto been a deplorable want of religious instruction in the place.
And in a
printed circular issued by Mr Forbes in behalf of the same intended Chapel, it
is said the population of the township of Rawdon (in which the Chapel is to be
placed) is far too large for the means of religious accommodation with which it
is at present furnished and for these reasons Mr Forbes calls for the public to
come forward with their contributions.
Now I maintain and am ready to prove
that these allegations are not true.
The population of Rawdon is only about
2,200 and the present religious accommodation supplied by the following places
of worship viz. a Baptist Chapel, a Methodist Chapel, a Ranters Chapel, a
Quaker Meeting House, Woodhouse Grove Methodist Chapel and a Chapel of Ease at
Rawdon (St Peters Church), is much more than sufficient for the population
attending public worship, for infants and young children need not be taken into
And in addition to the above named
Chapels there is a new District Church at Yeadon only a few hundred yards from
the ground on which the intended Chapel is to be built, capable of
accommodating ? persons.
Here then are several places of worship, regularly
administering to their respective congregations religious instruction, twice
every Sabbath day, not to mention the occasional services in the week.
with a perfect knowledge of these facts, Mr Forbes and his coadjuditors have
the "Christian Charity" to publish to the world that "there has
hitherto been a deplorable want of religious instruction in the place" !
The paragraph goes on to say that
"Mr Forbes is now visiting in company with the Rev. J Stringer in the
principal towns of the neighbourhood viz. Leeds, Huddersfield, Bradford and
Wakefield; for the purpose of augmenting the subscriptions!
That is to say Mr
Forbes is going about to get money to build a Chapel where no Chapel is wanted
and to offer religious instruction to persons who are abundantly supplied at
If any of the persons to whom Mr Forbes
may apply , shall, through your courtesy see these remarks, I hope they will
have the justice to annex this condition to any sum that they may be pleased to
bestow upon him - that e shall seek out a place where there really is " a
Deplorable Want of Religious Instruction" and not to think of building a
Chapel where it is not wanted and where, if built, there is no probability of
it's even collecting any congregation beyond Mr Forbes and a few of his
2nd Feb. 1846
I am Sir,
Your Constant Reader"
Image courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive, research by Edwy Harling
Additional information by Christine Lovedale
The "ranters" referred to were the Primitive
Methodists, they originally met at a chapel on Canada Road which is now two
houses (September 2016), it closed in 1867 when a new chapel was erected on Harrogate Road, this
in turn closed and was demolished in 1970.
The chapel which Henry Forbes built was
Benton Congregational Chapel, he was the business partner of Robert Milligan
who gave the land for the chapel which was erected late 1846.
The Manse was
built alongside and the Chapel must have attracted a strong congregation as it
was enlarged and a Sunday School built in 1868.