(also see Familists)
The Grindletonians were yet another small dissenting group of the mid-17th century, this time named after a place rather than a person, namely Grindleton in what was Yorkshire and is now Lancashire.
They were founded around 1610 and were active in the area until the 1660s. Grindleton is below Pendle Hill, associated with Quaker founder George Fox, who may have been influenced by the Grindletonians’ leading light, Roger Brearley.
His preaching embraced antinomianism (a rather hasty summary of which would be “you’re saved, so you can do what you like”) and the earthly paradise, and he was against the organised Church and its sacraments. Other Grindletonians included John Webster and Robert Towne.
The Inghamites also hailed from Yorkshire and Lancashire. Their founder was Benjamin Ingham (1712-72), an Ossett-born and Oxford-educated preacher who had accompanied the Wesley brothers to the USA in the 1730s.
On his return, he was banned from preaching in churches, and established his own Inghamite Methodists, split off from the Moravian Methodists – within 20 years there were more than 80 congregations, a few fragments of which persist to this day in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Cumbria. Ingham often preached in homes and fields, and emphasised devotion and responsibility to the laity.
When Ingham disagreed with the curate of Ossett, a Rev Godly, he wrote to John Wesley: “I have just been talking to Mr. Godly. You know, I believe he has been misnamed.”
The majority of Inghamite groups broke up from the 1760s, when Ingham himself was influenced by the Sandemanians (see later in this series), and some were absorbed into the Scottish Daleites in the early 19th century.
Various early Inghamite registers are held by The National Archives. A small Inghamite congregation was even founded in Canada and continues today – see www.farringdonchurch.ca.
Edward Irving (1792-1834) was a Scottish minister from Annandale who is regarded by many as the main figure behind the Catholic Apostolic Church – but not by its members themselves, who see him as more of a John the Baptist figure.
Various miracles such as prophecies, healings and speaking in tongues were believed to have taken place during Irving’s ministry in London, and the group focus on such acts of the Holy Spirit through formalised rituals of their own, under the guidance of 12 Apostles who are ‘called’ rather than ordained.
Irving was influenced by some of the poet Coleridge’s more mystical philosophies, and in 1833 was deposed from the Church of Scotland on the grounds of heresy.
The two main Irvingite or Catholic Apostolic congregations surviving in Britain are in Surrey (where Henry Drummond, a more important figure to the group than Irving himself, lived) and London, and there are others in America and across Europe – but no new Apostles have appeared since the last died in 1901.