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Baptists in Eversholt

There are a number of references to Baptist meetings in Eversholt, but these are scattered, and there is no coherent collection of records for Baptist in the parish. Baptists, or Anabaptists, as they were then described, are mentioned in the episcopal visitations to the county in 1706. Independents are also mentioned in this visitation and they often shared worship with the Baptists. The independents had a meeting house in the parish.

The earliest reference to a Baptist meeting is in Rads End in 1727 when William Deacon made his will; he devised a twenty shilling rent charge out of some land he owned to be paid to the poor members of the congregation of the “Rodd End” Baptist meeting which was held in the yard of his son John [ABP/W1727/103].

In October 1824 the house in occupation of Thomas Chew at “Rans End” [Rads End] was registered by Chew himself, William Thackray and James Smith as a nonconformist meeting [ABN1/2; ABN2/210; ABN3/3, 61]. A William Thackray was minister of the Particular Baptist meeting in Toddington in 1851 suggesting that this was a Baptist meeting.

Finally, in October and November 1835: a room in occupation of Thomas Smart, labourer, was registered by William Wood of Toddington, minister, Thomas Smart and Daniel Howe, both of Eversholt. A William Wood of Clophill was known to be a Baptist minister in Toddington in 1833.

This meeting seems to have closed by 1851. On the last Sunday in March that year a mandatory ecclesiastical census was undertaken throughout the kingdom, to determine the number of people attending religious worship on that day. No return from a Baptist meeting in Eversholt was made.