This Page is dedicated to promoting publications of seventeenth-century Particular Baptist historiography. Specifically, I want to promote works that are engaging in resourcing Baptist history. There is a wealth of material in Britain’s archives awaiting diligent investigation, materials that shed entirely new and important light on the lives of Baptist men and women. Resourcing means studying these records in order to prove, disprove, or modify previous Baptist historiography.
This is a field of research in need of greater visibility and participation. It is also a field requiring some level of guidance and training. The works promoted here provide a pattern of direction and method to be followed by others.
Larry Kreitzer, of Regent’s Park College, Oxford, has been setting the example and leading the way in resourcement for some years now through his project William Kiffen and His World. There are currently six volumes, full of primary source materials. Click the link above for more information.
I recently published a volume on Particular Baptist covenant theology in the seventeenth century. Though more oriented towards historical theology, it includes archival sources offering new information related to several of the authors discussed in the book. Click the link above for more information.
The Petty France Church (c.1656-1727)
This is a work in progress. The scope of the project is to provide a history of this important church by bringing together as many archival sources as possible in order to introduce Baptists to one of the central churches of London Particular Baptist life. In so doing, many errors or incorrect suppositions are corrected. Given that this church eventually merged with Devonshire Square, it parallels nicely and complements the Kiffen volumes referenced above.
My current plan for the first volume includes:
- The church book itself (1675-1727), which has already been transcribed
- Documentation of the locations where this church met until its merger with Devonshire Square in 1727
- Government records relating to the church, especially dealing with conventicle convictions and surveillance reports
- A biography of Nehemiah Coxe with many new archival sources
- Coxe’s views on congregational singing
- Coxe’s probate inventory
- Coxe’s will
- And more
- A biography of William Collins with all new archival sources (there has been almost nothing known of Collins)
- Collins’ first and second marriages
- Collins’ inheritance of a Rectory
- Collins’ will
- And more
My plan for future volumes on the church includes:
- The Harrison and Collett families
- The Grainge and Locke families
- Information on Samuel Tull, a pastor of the church
- Information on the deacons of the church
- The wills of Petty France members, and other life details (birth, marriage, family, death, apprenticeships, etc.)
I’m also excited to make connections in this project between the Petty France church and:
- Many other Particular Baptist churches
- Independent churches
- James, Duke of Monmouth, his life and death (rebellion)
- James II and the Repeal Campaign
- John Locke
- Jane Austen
- Thomas Gainsborough
- A Governor of India
- And more.
– Thomas Crosby