The Baptist movement began in Spalding in 1646 with the baptism of 4 inhabitants by a visiting preacher. The baptism were done in secret as baptism by immersion was opposed. However an Anne Jarrat reported the event to the local magistrate and Henry Denne was arrested and put into Spalding prison. Discipline was harsh in the early 1700’s and the penalty for mending a dress on the Sabbath was to be put in the stocks and a thirteen year old boy was whipped for playing football on the Lords Day.
In 1689 transactions were made between “widow Elizabeth Burton and Br Lawson – a thatcher Brother Watson – yeoman Brother Hursthouse – a mercer“. For £24 She bargained and sold all her one cottage and garden situated in Spalding ..between the common sewer The Westlode and Deadman’s Lane.(now Swan St) On this land they were to build a Meeting House and also a fenced burial place for the baptised believers of Spalding. The first Building was quite small, bricked walls and a thatched roof. The cost of this building £83.0s.1d. Compare this to average wage of £15 it was a lot of money at this time.
Extract from Living Stones – The Story of the Baptists in Spalding. 1646 – 1996. Part of the Forge library.