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Pastors of Matlock Congregational Church
With additional biographical notes*
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Pastors | Additional Notes


1849-1851 Rev. John Whewell[1]
1852 - 1853 Rev. Nathaniel Rowton[2]
1854 - 1856 Rev. S. Dyall[3]
1856 - 1872 Rev. Henry Starmer[4]
1873 - 1877 Rev. Edwin Clarke[5]
1878 - 1882 Rev. John Rhemus Clarkson B.A.[6]
1883 - 1894 Rev. Valentine Ward[7]
1890 - 1893 Rev. Francis Robert Goodfellow assisted Rev. Ward[8]
1895 - 1899 Rev. James Wayman[9]
1901 - 1912 Rev. Richard Augustus Foster[10]
1912 - 1914 Rev. Thomas Lister
1815 - 1917 No Minister listed[11]
1918 - 1926 Rev. George H. Russell[12]
1927 No Minister listed.
1928 - 1930 Rev. George Learmount
1931 No Minister listed.
1932 - 1937 Rev. D. Johnston Jones B.A.
1938 No Minister listed.
1939 - 1945 Rev. Arthur Alfred Bourne
1946 No Minister listed.
1947 - 1949 Rev. H. E. Baldwin
1950 - 1956 Rev. G. W. Gregory
1957 - 1960 Dr. D. A. Thomas M.A. B.D.
1961 - 1964? Rev. N. F. Rogers D.F.C. B.A.
1964? - 1968 No Minister listed.
1969 - 1972 Rev. T. R. Dean




Organ Recitals given by Harry Douglas, many in the Congregational Church


Matlock United Reformed Church
Deaths from Church Members List 1867-80 & Deaths Register 1881-1926
Matlock Green Congregational Church Members Roll

*Most of the above names are from "Matlock Congregational Church 1848 - 1972 - Its Origin and Its History" by Norman Henstock
With grateful thanks to Mr. Barrie Moore for his help with these.
Additional research by Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.

References and additional notes.
Coloured links are to transcripts and information elsewhere on this web site:

[1] John Whewell was in Matlock in 1851. See the 1851 census and the Religious Census. He took up his post "on the first Sabbath in September" (Derbyshire Courier, 25 August 1849), having "received and accepted from the Church and Congregation assembling at the above place worship, a cordial and unanimous invitation to become their pastor". He had previously been at Rotherham College.

[2] Reverend Rowton seems to have come out of retirement, moving to Matlock from Leamington Priors. In 1851 he was already 71 years old and a widower. He was born in Coventry and died in 1868 in Northampton.

[3] White's 1857 Directory lists Rev Samuel Dial, Lumsdale. In 1861 he was living on Matlock Green. He had previously been at Hartshill in Warwickshire. By the 1871 census he was retired, but "preaching occasionally". He died in Chelsea, London in 1886 and his wife Rebecca (nee Brogden) died in 1898.

[4] Rev. Starmer was living on Matlock Bank in the the 1871 census. In 1881 he and his family were living in Alfreton where he was the Independent Minister of Wycliffe Chapel. From there he moved to Norwich and by 1911 he was the Assistant Secretary of the British And Foreign Bible Society. He died at Norwich in 1917, aged 76.

[5] Edwin Clarke, a Yorkshireman, is recorded as the Minister in Kelly's 1876 Directory. He had moved from Castleford and in 1881 he and his family were living on Cavendish Street. By 1891 the family were in Darley and they were still there 10 years later. He died in 1903.

[6] Rev. Clarkson was living on Matlock Bank at the time of the 1881 census. He later moved to Royston, Hertfordshire, where he lived for over twenty years, and died there in 1912.

[7] Rev. Valentine Ward, a Scot, had moved to Matlock from Kent. In the 1860s he became the first minister of the newly-built Broad Oak chapel during his work at the chapel's parent church, the Countess of Huntingdon Church in Canterbury (this information was kindly sent by Robert Collins some years ago). He also seems to have worked in Hythe. Rev. Ward is listed in Kelly's 1891 Directory. He and his third wife are also listed in the 1891 census. He married Emma Martin at the Congregational Chapel on Chesterfield Road in 1884. He had previously married Mary E Bullock at Newcastle on 3 Dec 1849 and, after her death, was married in 1870 to Sarah Prentice in Kent. He died at the Manse, aged 76, on 6 Nov 1894 and was buried at St. Giles'. In recognition of the 11 years of his pastorate a committee was appointed to remember him by erecting a Gothic memorial tablet and building a vestry to the church, which was one of the projects which he had in hand at the time of his death.

[8] The Rev. Francis Robert Goodfellow (b.22 Aug 1856), formerly of the Methodist New Connexion, was welcomed as assistant minister to Rev. Valentine Ward of Matlock Bank ("Derbyshire Courier", 26 April 1890). He was living with the Nicholsons at Bridge Hall in the 1891 census. He married Elizabeth Nicholson, daughter of Rev. R. Nicholson of Bridge Hall on 1 Dec 1891 ("Derbyshire Courier", 5 Dec 1891). Rev. Ward officiated at their wedding. In 1893 he left Matlock to become the minister of the Congregational Church in Godalming, Surrey. See Godalming Bridge & Congregational Church in another part of this web site. He retired in 1900 and he and his wife moved to Hastings. He later lived at Southwick but passed away at Shoreham, Sussex on 12 Apr 1946 aged 89.

[9] Rev. Wayman is listed as the minister in Kelly's 1899 Directory, though he resigned in the June of that year because of ill health ("The Sheffield & Rotherham Independent Supplement", 8 June 1899). "The Liverpool Mercury " of Saturday, December 9, 1899 reported that he had died at Blackpool on the previous day. He had been a minister there in the 1870s and 1880s before transferring first to London and then to Matlock.The Derbyshire Congregational Union later recorded the high esteem in which he had been held, reported in "The Derby Mercury" of Wednesday, April 11, 1900.

[10] "The Derby Mercury", Wednesday, October 31, 1900 reported his appointment, saying he would begin his duties in the New Year. So the date of 1900 has been amended to 1901. According to the newspaper, Rev. Foster was a young man and had trained at Hackney College, London before going to his first post at Exmouth. Matlock was to be his second pastorate. The "Nottinghamshire Guardian", 27 October, 1900 also reported the appointment, adding that "the income of the pastorate is £300, with a manse". Also see the 1901 census and Kelly's Directory 1908, Matlock and amongst the "Officials" in 1908 (see Places of Worship).

[11] Kelly's 1916 Directory gives Rev. Thomas Lister as Minister. He is also listed amongst the town's "Officials" in 1916 (see Places of Worship).

[12] Kelly's 1925 Directory provides his full name - Rev. George Herbert Russell. He was born in Hammersmith in 1880 and pre-war lived in Ashford in Kent. He was present at the unveiling of Matlock's War Memorial.