Independent Primitive Methodists

Independent Primitive Methodism resulted from the expulsion in 1832 from the Norttingham PM Circuit of five local preachers for 'base immorality' - probably a refusal to submit to pastoral discipline. Several of the rural societies seceded, most of them neeting in private or rented accommodation and centred on the village of Bingham. They adopted a free gospel polity and were led entirely by local preachers, mostly agricultural workers, notably Henry Castledine and his sons William and Edward. The 1851 Religious Census recorded ten churches, with evening congregations totalling 865 adults, and three Sunday Schools, totalling 137 children.

In 1892, reduced to eight churches, the Independent PMs finally applied to join the Independent Methodists, with whom informal contacts had been maintained for several years. At present only the Lowdham congregation remains, though no longer in membership with the Independent Methodist connexion.

There is no known connection with the group calling themselves 'Independent Primitive Methodists' in Scarborough who existed briefly under the leadership of Matthew Baxter before joining the WMA in 1836.

  • A. Mounfield, A Short History of Independent Methodism (1905)