This thesis examined the Nonconformist denominational membership in the Borough of Leeds during the early Victorian era to determine the social composition of its members. The chapel goers of Old Dissent, represented by the Unitarians, Baptists, Independents, and the Society of Friends, and New Dissent, represented by the Wesleyan Methodists, Methodist New Connexion, Primitive Methodists and the Mormons were the basis for this study. The results of the occupational, residential, family, and migration analysis revealed a surprisingly high percentage of working classes (72) represented among the Dissenters. This fact flys in the face of contemporary observation and historical investigation, which placed English Nonconformity as a middle class phenomenon. There were also significant differences among the denominations. The Friends displayed an upper middle class orientation, the Unitarians and Independents, were more educated, with slightly less than half their membership middle class, and the remaining denominations proved to be more attractive to the working classes.
College and Department
Family, Home, and Social Sciences; History
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Fales, Susan L., "The Nonconformists of Leeds in the Early Victorian Era: A Study in Social Composition" (1984). Theses and Dissertations. 4675.
Leeds, England, History, Leeds England, Social life, customs, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mormons, Social conditions, Mormon Church, West Yorkshire