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Quakers in Kensworth

As Kensworth was in Hertfordshire until 1897 Bedfordshire & Luton Archives & Records Service does not have any registrations of nonconformist meeting houses - these are at Hertfordshire Archives Service in Hertford. The first one for Kensworth, registered in the Hertfordshire Quarter Sessions in 1689, was for a Quaker meeting.

Volume 81 published by the Bedfordshire Historical Records Society (2002) is devoted to returns made during episcopal visitations to the county by the Bishop of Lincoln in the early 18th century, edited by former County Archivist Patricia Bell. It throws some interesting light on nonconformity in the parish. The returns for Kensworth, then in the Archdeaconry of Huntingdon, are as follows:

In 1706 the parish: “is about 8 miles in circumference, and has 60 families in it. Of these one halfe are Anabaptists and Quakers, but they have no Meeting house in the Parish”. In 1709 it was noted: “Families 71. Souls 340, of which 22 Anabaptists, 32 Quakers”. In 1712 it was noted: “Families 67. Among these are 10 persons Anabaptists, 26 Quakers. No Meeting