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CHATBURN VILLAGE - A Potted History.
By D. Mary Hornby
The village dates from Anglo-Saxon times and probably takes its name from the stream St. Chad's (Ceat's) burn, one of the earliest Saxon bishops of Lichfield. The ancient chapel of St. Martin survived the dissolution of the chantries in 1536, but is now only remembered by its site of "Chapel Croft" near the stream at the bottom of Ribble Lane. The existence of a hermitage there was recorded in 1372 by John of Gaunt "to Brother Robert de Goldbourne".
A corn mill existed in the fourteenth century which later became a "King's Mill", this is mentioned many times in the Clitheroe Court Rolls as various tenants were presented for minor offences and the miller for taking excessive tolls. Tenants listed during the reign of Henry VI included Robinson, Hornby & Chatburn, names which existed into the 20th century.
Agriculture was the main trade for centuries, followed by limestone quarrying and lime-burning. Many homesteads would have their own equipment for handlloom weaving, and in the late 18th century a jenny factory was established in the village. In 1823 the corn mill was used for cotton spinning, but was destroyed by fire in the 1830's. About 1850 a silk handloom factory was built in Ribble Lane, which changed to cotton weaving later that century after being extended until a major fire destroyed the building in 1905. The following year the mill was restored and extended many times until its closure and subsequent demolition in the 1990's. A housing estate now occupies the site.
The poor people of the village were taken care of when the Chatburn Friendly Society, or Blanket Club as it became known, was formed in 1780. The balance sheets produced from 1838 could only have been written by the village schoolmaster. A national school, at the top of Downham Road, was built in 1817, followed by a larger one in 1850 at the junction of Bridge Road and Sawley Road. This was demolished in the 1960's to make way for road widening, and a new school was built as an extension to the Church Institute dating from the First World War.
The foundation stone of Christ Church was laid in 1837, three days after Queen Victoria's accession to the throne, and the church was completed (in Romanesque style) in the following year. The spire was struck by lightning in 1854, and the steeple had to be pulled down, but was restored in the same year. The church was extended in 1882.
The first Methodist Chapel, on Downham Road, was built in 1862, and a new one was constructed nearby in 1883, the front of which is in Greco-Doric style.
A roman road ran through the southeastern side of the village, and during reconstruction of the road to Worston in 1778, a hoard of 1,000 silver denarii was discovered by the workmen. A new road to Clitheroe was constructed in 1826, but the old road remained until the 1970's when it made way for quarry extension. The railway-line from Blackburn reached Chatburn in 1850 and terminated near the Pendle Hotel, it was extended to Gisburn in 1879.
The most notable event of the 20th century was the dropping of two German bombs in the centre of the village on October 30th 1940, some people were killed, others injured, and many homes suffered damage. Many villagers had to stay with friends or relatives until their own homes were fit for habitation. Miss Robinson, who was killed by one of the bombs, left a field for use by the villagers. This was officially opened as the Village Playing Fields during festivities for Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953. A "Playing Fields Committee" was duly formed which is still extant today, raising money for the upkeep of the field and providing an annual Christmas Party for the over 60's.
In June 1837, the Prophet Joseph Smith called him on a mission to Great Britain, which was to be the first missionary effort of the Church outside North America. He left Kirkland the same month and sailed from New York aboard the "Garrick" on 1 July 1837 accompanied by Orson Hyde, Willard Richards and Joseph Fielding. They arrived at Liverpool on 19 July 1837 the first missionaries to Britain.
Traveling to Preston where they preached to a congregation of Reverend James Fielding, brother of Joseph Fielding. A week later on the 30 July 1837 they had their first converts in England, when nine individuals were baptised in the River Ribble outside Preston by Elder Kimball.
After having attended to this duty, I again went into the county, where I spent the principal part of my time; leaving Preston on Monday morning and returning on Saturday night.
Having mentioned my determination of going to Chatburn to several of my brethren they endeavored to dissuade me from going, informing me that there could be no prospect of success whatever, as several ministers of different denominations and endeavored in vain to raise churches in these places, this did not discourage me in the least I went in the name of Jesus Christ. My testimony was accompanied by the Spirit of the Lord and was received with joy, and these people who were represented as being so hard and obdurate, were melted down into tenderness and love, and the effect seemed to be general.
I told them, that being a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ I stood ready at all times to administer the ordinances of the Gospel. At the close of my discourse I felt some one pulling my coat and turning around, I was accosted with, "Master! Master! Please will you baptize me," "and me," "and me," exclaimed more than a dozen voices. Accordingly I went down into the water, and baptized twenty five and was engaged in this duty, and conversing with the people until 1 o'clock. The next morning I returned to Downham, where I had preached the evening previous to preaching in Chatburn and baptized between twenty-five and thirty in the course of the day. ***
Being absent from Preston five days, brother Fielding and I baptized and confirmed about 110 persons, organized branches in Downham, Chatburn, Waddington and Clitheroe--ordained several to the lesser priesthood to preside; this was the first time the people in these villages ever heard our voices, or ever saw an American.
We held a general Conference in Preston on Christmas day, the Saints assembled in the Cock Pit. There were about three hundred Saints present. There were delegates from each Branch to represent the branches around, which extended thirty miles. Brother Fielding was ordained an elder, and several others were ordained to the lesser priesthood to take charge of the branches. The brethren were instructed on the principles of the Gospel and their several duties enjoined upon them, as Saints of the Most High. We confirmed fourteen and blessed about one hundred children.
At this Conference the Word of Wisdom was first publicly taught in that county; having heretofore taught it more by example than precept and from my own observation afterwards, I am happy to state, that it was almost universally observed by the brethren.
I accompanied brother Hyde to Longton, where he had preached before, some were believing but none had been baptized. I preached a plain and simple discourse on the first principles of the Gospel, and after meeting baptized twenty-five. . . .
On a certain occasion while brother Fielding and myself were passing through the village of Chatburn, going to Downham, having been observed drawing nigh to the town, the news ran from house to house, and immediately the noise of their looms was hushed, the people flocked to their doors to welcome us, and see us pass. The youth of the place ran to meet us, and took hold of our mantles, and then of each others' hands; several having hold of hands went before us, singing the songs of Zion, while their parents gazed upon the scene with delight, and poured out their blessings upon our heads, and praised the God of heaven for sending us to unfold the principles of truth, the plan of salvation to them. Such a scene, and such gratitude, I never witnessed before. "Surely," my heart exclaimed, "Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise." What could have been more pleasing and delightful, than such a manifestation of gratitude to Almighty God, from those whose hearts were deemed too hard to be penetrated by the Gospel, and who had been considered the most wicked and hardened people in that region of country.
The above was written in 1837, and certainly concludes with an interesting observation on the people of the area.
Heber C. Kimball
Born in Sheldon Township, Vermont, on 14 June 1801, he moved in 1811 to West Bloomfield, New York, where he eventually became a potter and blacksmith. In 1820 he moved to nearby Mendon, where he carried out his trade, became a Mason, married Vilate Murray on 7 November 1822, met his lifelong friend Brigham Young, and joined the local Baptist congregation in 1831.
Later that same year, Kimball first heard Mormon missionaries preach; he was baptized 16 April 1832 and moved his family to Kirtland, Ohio--the headquarters of the new church. He subsequently went on eight missions between 1832 and 1841, including two to England (in 1837 he became the "First Mormon in the Old World"), participated in the Zion's Camp march of 1834, became a member of the First Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1835, followed Joseph Smith to Missouri in 1838 and to Illinois in 1839, went west with the pioneers in 1846-47, crossing the plains three times. In 1847 he became First Counselor to Brigham Young, who had succeeded Smith as president of the church.
Kimball married forty-three wives and had sixty-five children and at least 300 grandchildren. In Utah he amassed land, cattle, and property, and was worth more than $100,000 at the time of his death. He died on 21 June 1868 from a subdural hematoma occasioned by being thrown from his wagon by a lunging horse.
Webmasters Note: Heber is an uncommon first name, but I am told that there are a number of people in this area with the name, does anybody know of a link?
*** A comparatively large number of members of the Mormon Church were recorded as being from Chatburn at the General Conference, 15 April 1840 held at the Temperance Hall, Preston, Lancashire.