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Quakers in Flitton

The Bedfordshire Historic Environment Record [HER] contains information on the county's historic buildings and landscapes and summaries of each entry can now be found online as part of the Heritage Gateway website. Entry HER 7661 records a Quaker burial ground at Broomhill.

In 1675 the administrator of the goods of Nicholas Crouch, deceased, leased a cottage in Flitton for twelve years. The cottage came with a hundred and ten acres of pasture and arable "except a burying place".

The Victoria County History for Bedfordshire, Volume II, was published in 1908. On page 326 it says: "In Flitton there is a piece of ground in the tenure of Mr. Elmore, which is called the Quakers' Burying Ground Corner; in digging, several human skeletons have been found, and a coffin handle; but it must have been disused for more than 150 years". The Mr. Elmore mentioned may well be Joseph George Elmore of Manor Farmhouse in Brook Lane.

Visitations by the Bishop of Lincoln to Bedfordshire in the early 18th century give some idea as to the number of nonconformists in each parish from returns made by the vicar or rector. FormerCounty Archivist Patricia Bell has compiled returns from 1706 to 1720 for the Bedfordshire Historical Records Society (Volume 81, published 2002); information for Flittonincludes the following:

  • 1706: the parish contained 150 families: "Out of these there are but 3 Dissenters, two of them Anabaptists [Baptists], and the third a Quaker. They have no Meeting house within the parish;
  • 1709: "Families 135, Souls 580, of which 7 Anabaptists, 4 Quakers";
  • 1712: "Families 139, of which only 2 of Dissenters, Presbyterians";
  • 1717: "We have an hundred and forty Families in the Parish of Flitton cum Silso and but one of them Dissenters called Anabaptists. We have no Meeting house in our Parish";
  • 1720: "We have about an hundred and forty Families in our Parish, two of which are dissenters who call themselves Presbyterians. We have no Meeting house in our Parish".

This seems to indicate that the last Quaker families in Flitton either died out or left some time after 1709. There was a Quaker meeting house in Pulloxhill recorded in the visitations of 1706 to 1717.