Religious Life in Mid-19th Century Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire: The Returns for the 1851 Census of Religious Worship

Religious Life in Mid-19th Century Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire: The Returns for the 1851 Census of Religious Worship
Edited by David M Thompson

By the mid-nineteenth century urbanisation and a growing population emphasised social problems such as drunkenness in the streets, violence, and 'Saint Monday' when workers who had over-indulged on a Sunday evening failed to turn up for work on a Monday morning. Social evils indicated a country which appeared to be rejecting religious faith; this led to the government seeking information on the national provision of religious worship to ascertain if there were sufficient opportunities for everyone to attend a place of worship on a Sunday. The result was the unique but controversial religious census. Forms were sent out to ministers of every denomination, who were asked to give details about their church or chapels, showing how many seats free or otherwise there were, giving the size of congregations and Sunday Scholars who braved the cold and sleet on 30 March 1851 to attend a service in the morning, afternoon or evening, and to provide an average of the numbers who usually attended throughout the year. As the transcripts of the returns in this volume show, every parish in Cambridgeshire and the ancient county of Huntingdonshire was covered, and the religious census provides a detailed account of religious life in the mid-nineteenth century, with the extent and geographical range of dissent and adherence to the traditional Anglican faith.

ISBN: 
978 0 904323 23 8
Published: 
2014
Price: 
£27.00
Member's Price: 
£18.00

Contents

Introduction. Returns. Bibliography. Index. 5 maps, 23 tables. 275pp. soft back

Thompson, David M

David M Thompson is Emeritus Professor of Church History in the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Fitzwilliam College