evey man may know & keep his place, and the worship of God not be disturbed as it has been in months past.”
They say that “the town must see some very ill consequence from numbers of young men fixed in the front gallery, rushing on so fast as to leave the body of the church behind them, & so irregular that even the master of the assembly [Deacon Samuel Livermore
], though of undoubted skill and good voice, is not able to govern and lead them,” and although the young men “profess to know so much about singing,” they are declared “on the whole to sing so as to interrupt the service and really give pain to the judicious singer.”
The singers were thereupon sent down but were afterwards invited to return, which they did.’1
preached in the same church as his predecessor until 1767, when it was abandoned and a new meeting-house erected on the triangular piece of ground2
a short distance west of the site of the old one.
‘It was not painted for many years, until it required repairs and more pews to accommodate the increasing number of worshippers.’
‘This structure was a pure specimen of that order of architecture which may be termed the Puritan
, that had its origin in the 16th Century, and succeeding the Gothic, so long considered peculiarly adapted to ecclesiastical purposes, it was intended to supersede those styles which preceded it, while it combined all their merits and avoided their defects.’
The pews were square, 40 in number, with seats on hinges to be lifted when the congregation stood up in prayer; the clatter of the falling seats would shock the sensibilites of our modern church goers.
The deacons, chosen for high religious character and eminent qualifications in other respects, sat in front of the pulpit facing the congregation.
‘In those days the old men sat together in one place in the church, the young men in another, the young women in another.
The boys all sat on the pulpit stairs and gallery stairs, guarded by constables.
Each of these constables had a wand, with a hare's ’