A History of Brown Edge, a Staffordshire Moorlands Village

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.


9 Responses

  1. Although I have definitely seen Daniel Shufflebotham linked to Hugh Bourne further research indicates it may be Daniel Shubotham. However you mention Shufflebothams in Biddulph – I have Daniel’s son John (my 2 x gt grandfather) in the 1841 census at New Bent, Biddulph with Thos & Hanh Brough – Farmer. It would be interesting if you could provide any information on these names.
    Many thanks

  2. I wonder if you have in your records any mention of Daniel Shufflebotham (my 3 x gt grandfather) who believe assisted Hugh Bourne in the building of a chapel possibly at Mow Cop.

      1. Pete
        Thanks for your reply and my apologies for the delay in my response – but do you have the John mentioned in the 1841 census?


    1. I am currently researching the family tree of Hugh Bourne as I am part of the Bourne family from Staffordshire and am endeavouring to make a link. In the Memoirs of the Life and Labours of the late Venerable Hugh Bourne, it states that Hugh Bourne’s father (Joseph Bourne) and Daniel Shubotham’s father were cousins and that Hugh met up with Daniel when he bought an area of woodland for timber dealing at Harrisehead in 1800. I hope this helps you- however, I am at a loss to work out the family link between Daniel’s father and Hugh Bourne’s father to make them cousins- do you have any info from the Shubotham family that can help? Did Daniel’s father marry a sister of Joseph Bourne? He did have a sister Mary Bourne- and I can see there was a marriage at some point between a Roger shubotham and Mary – that produced Daniel in 1770. Any help greatly appreciated! Daniel then gave Hugh Bourne some of his farmland to build the first chapel at Harrisehead in 1801.

      1. Hi Caroline,
        I am also part of the Bourne family and would love to help out, to try and fill in the gaps!

      2. Hi Caroline,
        My name is Thomas Fowler Bourne, I would love to fill in the gaps (where I can), to the Bourne family tree!

  3. Hi,
    My 3x Great Grandfather was Thomas Russell, a friend of Hugh Bourne and alos instrumental in the Primitive Methodist movement. I am currently reading his autobiography and on p.11 it says that he missioned at Brownedge, and formed a society of above a dozen members. Can anyone tell me if there is any mention of Thomas in the chapel there?

    1. There have been over 5 different Chapels here in Brown Edge of which 2 are still operating. Hugh Bourne’s Chapel closed and the congregation opened another chapel ie Hill Top Chapel which my ggg grandfather and his family gifted various items. If you could tell me some names of the congregation I could perhaps recognise them.

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