"Black Friars Monastery, Refectory", from my old postcard



In a late issue of THE CHRISTIAN LIFE, there was a notice of the Unitarian General Baptist Chapel in that city, by a visitor J.S. Having been connected wtih Canterbury by birth and residence of twenty-six years, from 1809 to 1835, this chapel was then always well filled, and had many influential families attending it, the Rev. Sampson Kingsford and the Rev. J. Farren being minsiters. I have seen as many as twenty-one young people baptized by immersion on one Sunday. But leaving Canterbury for Liverpool in 1835, I could only make occasional visits to the ancient city. Several causes have no doubt combined to reduce the congregation. In my time the chapel was surrounded by pleasant gardens; now the ground is covered with small tenements, which completely hide the chapel, making it difficult to find. The introduciton of railways and facilities afforded for the young people to migrate for large spheres of usefulness, combinded with the dying out of the old General Baptist body in Kent, have caused the congregation to dwindle of late years very considerably; the result being no settled minister, and only a very few families now remaining to attend the services. A revival could only be effected by a new chapel being built in a better situation, and an energetic minister appointed. But where are the funds to come from? Any movement of that kind, or a restoration of the present I should hail with pleasure; and willing to give two guineas for every ten subscribed for that purpose. J. T. E. May 14, 1881

Corporate Officers - Sampson Kingsford, Miller, March 11, 1833 (John Nutt, Town Clerk)


March 13, 1848, at Canterbury, at the great age of nearly 97 years, Mrs. CHILD, and old member of the congregation assembling in Black Friars chapel in that city, to the maintenance of public worship in which she was also the chief contributor. She was sister to the late Rev. Sampson Kingsford, for more than half a century the esteemed pastor of the same church. The Christian Reformer

"Also in Canterbury, burials to be discontinued forthwith in the following churches and chapels, and from and after the first January, one thousand eight hundred and fifty-six, in the burial-grounds thereof, viz.: The Cathedral, All Saints, St. Mary de Castro, St. Mildred, St. Peter, Holy Cross Westgate, St. Margaret, St. Mary Bredin (two burial-grounds) St. George the Martyr, St. Alphage (two burial-grounds) St. Mary Northgate, the Wesleyan Chapel in the parish of St. Peter, the Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, in the parish of St. Mary Bredin, and the Independent Chapel Orange-street, and Unitarian Baptist Chapel, both in the parish of St. Alphage. To be discontinued forthwith in the churches of St. Dunstan and St. Gregory the Great. To be discontinued forthwith within three yards of all dwelling-houses in the Friends' Burial-ground in St. Dunstan's parish. In the burial-ground of St. Gregory the Great, and in the Canterbury Cemetery in the parish of Thannington, burials to be conducted according to the regulations for a new burial-grounds provided under the Burial Acts."

Bulletins and Other State Intelligence 1855



"The Unitarian Baptist Chapel, situated in Black Friars, is one of the most venerable places of worship in the city, it being part of the church of the ancient Dominicans or Black Friars, who settled in Canterbury about the year 1217."

Directory 1847


Canterbury, Blackfriars Monastery


1889 - Unitarian Baptist - Blackfriars

1882 - Pastor (various). Hours of Service: 10:30 am. 6:30 pm.

1903 - John Remington Wilson M.A. Hours of Service: 10:45 am.

Canterbury, Blackfriars Baptist, births and burials, 1780-1836, transcribed by G. Rickard

There are records of christenings at the Blackfriars General Baptist on IGI 1780-1836

Family names such as:

Addley, Banks, Barber, Boon, Bourne, Bowles, Burrows, Carpenter, Chapman, Earle, Farrin, Levever, Filmer, Fletcher, Fowler, Gardiner, Goulden, Godwin, Grey, Habinal, Hammond, Hart, Hooker, Horn, Hosier, Hayward, Kingsford, Love, Mann, May, Munn, Pawson, Peirce, Philpot, Pyall, Scott, Shrubsole, Smithson, Stevenson, Walker, Walter and Welsh.


© T. Machado 2007