Hugh Bourne

Hugh Bourne     (Link to Pdf of his life by REV. JESSE ASHWORTH)

I was bought up by people who talked about Hugh Bourne as if he was a member of our family.  I perhaps can understand why now as the Charlesworths, Tomkinsons, Turners and Hollins (my antecedents, are all intertwined with this remarkable mans life and his influence upon the people of Brown Edge and Endon.  Having looked at many articles about his life little is made of his connection with our village.  But then of course Brown Edge was part of Norton and indeed Bemmersley has been part of Brown Edge since 1844.  It was here (Marshes Hill) sometimes referred to as Norton that his first camp meeting was going to be held but inclement weather supposedly postponed it.

I suspect another reason. I have never seen a record of this but my family say that he was Churchwarden of Norton Church and he didn’t want to be excluded from the Church as was John Wesley.  Old Nortonian Records say that his brother James was Churchwarden in 1797 when he was 17 years old!  At that time Methodism (amongst the Methodists in particular was seen as a movement within the Church of England.  So a camp meeting in their own parish was provocative.

In any event the third camp meeting was held at Brown Edge (Marshes Hill) on August 16th  (The first two held at Mow Cop) and a fourth at Norton on August 23rd 1807.

What is true is that Hugh and James paid for the Wesleyan Chapel of Norton before they were excluded from the Wesleyan circuit before they started the Primitive movement.

Hugh Bourne was a himself a member of Brown Edge (Hill Top) Chapel which was located on the edge of Marshes Hill and overlooks Bemersley and Mow Cop.


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