Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Herbert Allkin

Image scanned from "History of Hyde (St. George's) Church and Schools" by Thomas Middleton (1911).

Herbert Allkin was the first minister of St. George's Church. The former curate of Ashton under Lyne Parish Church was described as a man of fine appearance, a good preacher and reader belonging to the old school of Evangelical clergymen who wore a white "choker" neck-cloth and preached in a black gown and white bands.

His stipend at the start of his Hyde ministry in 1832 was only £50 per annum and to augment his income he started a private school in his residence at Hill Bank. This became a popular local educational institution. The Rev. Jas. Brooks, parson of Hyde Chapel (1806-1854) records in his diary that he sent his son to this school, after stipulating that the lad was not to be taught the Church catechism. He adds that the greatest harmony prevailed between Mr. Allkin and the ministers of other denominations. Once the congregation at St. George's had increased to the extent that the living provided a sufficient income for the minister, the school was closed.

During his incumbency the church building was completed and the Old School in Church Street was erected and opened as a Day and Sunday School. However, a dispute arose between the minister and several wealthy members of the congregation with the result that a number of leading laymen left to join the new church of St. Thomas, which had started in the Chartist Institute in 1846.

Herbert Allkin died in 1849 at the age of 49. He was interred at the East end of the church in a grave which now lies beneath the clergy vestry. Originally this was an altar tomb outwith the walls but when a new vestry was built in 1897, the slabs of the tomb were placed in an upright position and now form part of the vestry walls.

A photograph of the tomb can be seen on Hyde Daily Photo.

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