~ COUNTESS OF HUNTINGDON ~
WATLING STREET, CANTERBURY
There are christenings available on IGI 1793-1837 - CO68081
A view from the Dane John c.1937, showing the Congregational church "Countess of Huntingdon" in Watling Street on the right, see detail below
"The Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel stands in Watling Street, near the Dane John, and was built in 1797. It stands in a recess, and adjoining the chapel is a dwelling house for the minister. The interior is neatly fitted up and contains a gallery and an organ, and will hold 250 bearers."
The 1851 census for religious worship, gives statistics for the Lady Huntingdon's Church attendence as follows:
Morning - 260
Afternoon - 0
Evening - 220
"The chapel of the congregation of the late Countess of Huntingdon is a stone building, in the Early English style, erected in 1863, on the site of the old chapel in Watling street."
Kelly's Directory of Kent, 1882
"During the Winter of 1771 the Archbishop of Canterbury* gave a series of balls and fashionable parties at his palace. The extravagance of expense, and the mirthful indulgences of the guests on these occasions were a sad reproach to religion. The Countess Huntingdon obtained a private interview with the Archbishop* and his wife, and courteously but firmly remonstrated with them concerning these improprieties. His grace became violently angry, and his wife ridiculed the Countess in all fashionable circles, while the parties went on as before. She then sought a private interview with the King. She was received cordially both by His Majesty and the Queen. When she had laid her complaint before him the King replied, "Madam, the feelings you have discovered, and the conduct you have manifested on this occasion,a re highly creditable to you. The Archbishops behavior has been slightly hinted to me already; but now that I have a certainty as to his proceedings, and most ungenerous conduct toward your ladyship, after your trouble in remonstrating with him, I shall interpose my authority and see what that will do toward reforming such indecent practices."
Having thus briefly recounted the principal labors of this noble woman, we come to contemplate her at the close of life. For some years before her death her thoughts were naturally turned to some plan by which the work of God committed to her hands might be perpetuated. She employed an "Acting Association" at London to draw up a plan of government for her Connection after her decease. Their labors met her full and cordial approval, but the plan encountered opposition from her bosom friends. To the last her judgment clung to it as the best provision for her people. But not being able to leave a denominational organization, she left the chapels, which she still held as private property, "with all her houses and furniture therein, with the residue of her estates and effects," to four trustees. The whole amount of her contributions to the cause of religion exceeded five hundred thousand dollars.
A short time before here death, when a bloodvessel broke, which was the commencement of her last illness, she said to Lady Anne Erskine, on being asked how she did it, "I am well, well forever; I see wherever I turn my eyes, whether I live or die, nothing but victory." Toward the close of the bleeding she repeated with all the energy her weakness would allow, "The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. O, Lady Anne, the coming of the Lord draweth nigh! The thought fills my heart with a joy unspeakable!" On another occasion she said, "I am encircled in the arms of love an mercy. I long to be at home - O, I long to be at home!" A little before she died she said repeatedly, "I shall go to my Father to-night. Can he forget to be gracious? Is there any end to his loving kindness?" With her expiring breath she whispered, "My work is done; I have nothing to do but to go to my Father."
In the village of Ashby, in the Huntingdon domain, is a church in which the Hastings family had worshiped for generations. It is an ancient, handsome stone edifice, consisting of a nave and two aisles, separated by four lofty arches springing from the fluted pillars. On each side is a large chapel projecting considerably wider than the church; the one on the north is converted into a vestry-room, the south side is the burial-place of the Hastings family. Here under a mural monument lies Lord Huntingdon, and beside him his eminent Countess. Her inscription informs the visitor that she died June 17, 1791."
The Ladies' Repository 1863
*Frederick Cornwallis, archbishop from 1768 - 1783
There is a book about the Countess - "The Life and Times of Selina Countess of Huntingdon," by Aaron Crossley Hobart Seymour, 1840
March 4th, 1882 (at Countess of Huntingdon), Marriage of Thomas Wraight to Martha Elizabeth Thwaites, eldest surviving daughter of the late W. Thwaites of Northgate Street, Canterbury
1896 - The Rev. W. Mardon Beeby, who had been in charge of the Countess of Huntingdon Church a little over 12 months, died at Sheffield on the 15th inst.
About the year 1808 the hymn "All hail," etc. ,was printed at Canterbury, on a card, for the use of a Sunday-school, to which is appended the following notes of the author: The Rev. Edward Perronet died at Canterbury, January 2, 1792. *Edward however, becoming Calvinistic in his theological views, was employed by the well-known Countess of Huntingdon, and labored at Canterbury, Norwich, and other places, with considerable success.
1847 - Rev. Jacob Kirkman Foster is the pastor
1858 - Rev. Jabez J. G. Carpenter, Minister of Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, Watling Street
1861 - The Rev. Valentine Ward, late of Horbury, Yorkshire, has accepted an invitation to the pastorate of the church assembling in Watling-street, Canterbury
1882 - Rev. William Le Pla, Hours of Service: 11 am. 6:30 pm.; mon 7 pm. wed 7 pm.
1889 - Pastor, Rev. David Thomas
1891 - Watling Street, The Manse, Joseph Craig Kelly age 37, Congregational Minister Countess of Huntingdon's Connection
1917 - Watling Street, Services Sun. 11 and 6:30: Holy Communion 1st Sun. in month. Pastor Rev. W. Edmondson, 45 Whitstable Road
© T. Machado 2007