Prattware Model of a Wesleyan Chapel
Prattware Model of a Wesleyan Chapel
Prattware Model of a Wesleyan Chapel
Prattware Model of a Wesleyan Chapel
Prattware Model of a Wesleyan Chapel
Inscribed Joseph & Mary Wright, Primative Ch(urch)
Mexborough, South Yorkshire
Circa 1840

The chapel is raised on four red balled feet and is in the form of a Wesleyan chapel. To the front two corners stands a figure of a young child, there are two red doors as entrances and a blue slate roof. A chimney is found at each end of the roof which is edged in yellow. To one side is a single window and to the other are two. The back is plain white brick.

This form is usually a money box with a slot in the roof. In this case there is no opening for coins and was most likely just made to celebrate a wedding.

A very similar chapel was in the collection of Alistair Sampson and Jonathan Horne with very similar colours catalogued as Mexborough. In their 2008 Exhibition Catalogue pp38-39 fig J they mention that the local Wesleyan Chapel in Mexborough which is still standing has its doors at the front and it is thought this was used as a model for the Yorkshire money boxes.

Primitive Methodism was a major movement in English Methodism from about 1810 until the Methodist Union in 1932.

Please refer to this wikipedia article on the Weslyian movement and the breakaway Primitive Methodism.

Here is an exert:

The Primitive and the Wesleyan Methodists had much in common. They were both initially very anti-Catholic. Their social background was not completely different. There were many poor Wesleyans. It was in influence that middle-class Wesleyans dominated the movement, not in numbers. Many Wesleyans did not agree or abide by official policy. Many were sympathetic to revivalism and popular culture. The existence of an alternative sect, Primitive Methodism, did not end dissent.

In official policy and outlook the two movements had much in common. They both centred their teaching on the Bible and shared a similar outlook on society and morality. The Primitives were more radical than the Wesleyan Methodists. Armstrong claims, Thomas Cooper found the Primitive Methodists "demurred to [his] reading any book but the Bible, unless it was a truly religious book". Likewise, both the Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists wanted to reform popular behaviour. Again the Primitives were more radical than the Wesleyans and less in keeping with bourgeois correctness. Bourne was not just in favour of temperance, he disagreed with alcohol altogether and thought of himself as the father of the teetotal movement. The Primitive Methodists were a religion of popular culture. While the Wesleyans attempted to impose elements of middle-class culture on the lower classes, Primitive Methodists offered an alternate popular culture. They timed their activities to coincide with sinful events. For instance, as an alternative to the race week at Preston they organised a Sunday School children's parade and a "frugal feast". Both tried to inculcate the doctrine of self-help into the working class. They promoted education through Sunday Schools, though the Primitives distinguished themselves by teaching writing. Through a combination of discipline, preaching and education both Primitive and Wesleyan Methodism sought to reform their members morality.

By 1850 the Primitives and Wesleyans were showing signs that they could surmount their differences. Primitive Methodism was mellowing. It was less distinctively non-middle-class by 1850 and more in keeping with social norms. Less emphasis was placed on the supernatural. In 1828 Bourne said of trances, "This thing still occasionally breaks out. It is a subject at present not well understood and which requires to be peculiarly guarded against impropriety and imposture". Hymns about hell were sung less frequently and the Providence section of the Primitive Methodist Magazine declined in importance and was dropped altogether in 1862. The revivalist enthusiasm of the Primitive leadership dimmed. Even Clowes once an ardent enthusiast became, "convinced that religion does not consist in bodily movements, whether shouting, jumping, falling, or standing".

The Primitives became less ardent in their support of the female right to ecclesiastical equality. In 1828 women were forbidden from becoming superintendents, and in mid-century there was a cessation of the biographies eulogising female preachers in the Methodist Magazine. Preaching changed considerably. Services became characterised by their decorum and the ministry was increasingly professional. The dress code was dropped in 1828 and preaching became more urban based. The community's values were more in line with middle-class respectability: Parkinson Milson reported that local preachers and class leaders were offended at his plain speech.

In the 1820s the Primitive Methodists were showing signs of increased conformity. At the same time the Wesleyan Methodists were relaxing their opposition to revivalism.

In 1820 the Conference permitted an altered form of camp meeting but gave it a different name. Wesleyan preachers adopted door-to-door techniques and in 1822 there were numerous open air meetings. The official Wesleyan attitude was not only softening in regard to Primitive Methodist revivalist techniques. It was also softening in regard to the Primitive Methodist promotion of non-worldliness. The Methodist Magazine printed a series of articles "On the Character of the Early Methodists". The magazine praised their "plain dress" and "simplicity of manners". This represented an attempt to re-engage with the poor. By 1850, both Primitive and Wesleyan Methodists were finding that their differences were less significant and passionate.

The Primitives were becoming more like the Wesleyan Methodists. The same forces that promoted schism in Wesleyan Methodism operated on Primitive Methodism. Their leaders became more conservative as they got older. They showed signs of a move away from revivalism and the leadership became intent on imposing greater discipline on the membership. They experienced some schisms in the 1820s. These Primitive Methodist troubles were blamed on the admission of "improper" preachers and "questionable characters". The sentiment of this explanation is similar to Bunting's comments that "schism from the body will be a less evil than schism in it". The problems in the 1820s were often related to money matters. A decision by the conference of 1826 to impose tighter financial discipline on the circuits led to an exodus of members and thirty itinerants. The movement became more geared towards consolidation through greater organisation. In 1821 preachers were called upon to record their activities and in 1822 a preachers' manual was published. Preachers now had guidelines, an element of accountability had been introduced, and the leadership had asserted the connexional accounts had priority over spreading the word.
Height 7.00 inch (17.78 cm)
Width 5.50 inch (13.97 cm)
Depth 4.75 inch (12.06 cm)
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