Christ Church, Frome Somerset

This account of the foundation of Christ Church, Frome Somerset has been extracted from The History and Description of the Public Charities in the town of Frome published in 1833, based on the report of the report of the Commissioners appointed to enquire into the Charities of England which was published on January 15, 1820, together with other material.  


In the year 1814, there being only one Church in the Town of Frome, and one at a place called the Woodlands in the same parish, but about three miles from the Town, a subscription was made for the building and endowment of an additional church. This church, which is named Christ Church was built in the years 1817 and 1818, and was consecrated September 15, 1818. The expense of building it, including quarrying stones, carriage, and all incidentals, as particularized in the book in Mr. Wickham’s possession, was about £3,900. The Rev. Joseph Algar, M. A. at that time Curate of Frome, was nominated Minister of the said Church by the Rev. Charles Phillott, M. A. Vicar of Frome, at the unanimous request of the Committee of Subscribers.

The endowment consists of forty acres of land at Grandon, in the parish of Frome, now in the occupation of Thomas Harding: nine acres of land and about half an acre of orchard, at Paulton, now in the occupation of John Flower. £93. 18*. 9d. three per cent reduced in the public funds. And the house at Keyford, in which the Rev. Mr. Algar now resides, with the garden and field adjoining.

Half an acre of ground, with the church then lately erected thereon, was conveyed by deed of 4th of September, 1818, now in the possession of the Registrar of the Bishop’s Court at Wells, to the following persons.

  • The Marquess of Bath
  • The Earl of Cork
  • Richard Lord Bishop of Bath and Wells
  • Charles Sandiford, Archdeacon of Wells
  • The Rev. John Methuen Rogers
  • The Rev. Henry Sainsbury
  • The Rev. Francis Skurray
  • The Rev. Charles Phillott
  • The Rev. John Bishop
  • The Rev. Joseph Algar
  • The Rev. Theophilus Prosser
  • Thomas Samuel Joliffe
  • Thomas Strangways Horner
  • Charles Knatchbull
  • John Gale Everett
  • William Dickenson
  • William Gore Langton
  • Robert Moody
  • George Sheppard
  • John Olive
  • George George
  • Timothy Lacy
  • Joseph Frowd
  • Robert Blunt
  • William Hulbert Sheppard
  • Thomas Napper
  • William Rossiter
  • Thomas Bunn
  • Thomas Charles
  • Edward Cockey
  • George Messiter
  • Edward Olive
  • John West
  • John Nicholls
  • James Anthony Wickham
  • James Fussell
  • Thomas Davis

and they by deed of the same date, declared that the conveyance was upon the trusts following, viz.

Upon special trust and confidence to be devoted when consecrated to ecclesiastical purposes for ever according to the rules rites and ceremonies of the Church of England and pursuant to the purposes and subject to the regulations hereinafter expressed and declared or that may hereafter be found necessary or expedient to be made by the said trustees but subject always to the order and control of the Lord Bishop of the diocese for the time being as well as to the existing rights of the vicar of the old church in Frome Selwood aforesaid (that is to say) that no interment shall be made nor any person buried in the inside or internal part of the said church nor shall any monument or monumental inscription be placed against the walls of the internal or external part of the said church without conforming to the rules that may be made in that respect by the minister and majority of the trustees for the time being and paying such a sum of money as may be thought reasonable and just by the said minister and trustees as an acknowledgement for the same And that half at least of the area or floor of the said church shall have proper convenient and suitable benches or seats for the free use and comfortable accommodation of all the humble and poor persons resorting to the said church for the purpose of attending divine worship therein and who may not be able to afford to pay for renting seats or sittings in the same church and that no pew rent payment gratuity or composition for any sitting or seat of any sort or kind whatever shall be ever had received or taken by any person er persons whosoever for or on account of any such seat or sitting or accommodation but that all the remaining part of the area or floor of the said church and also all the galleries of the same shall be let for such rents or payments as the minister of the said church for the time being and the major part of the said trustees for the time.being shall think fair and reasonable provided that no greater sum than ten shillings per annum be taken for any one sitting in the area or floor of the said church nor a greater sum than one guinea per annum for any one sitting in the gallery without the express consent and approbation of a majority of the said trustees for the time being first had and obtained at a public meeting held for that express purpose And that the said Minister of the said church (for the time being) shall receive for his own use as part of his stipend for his performance of the duty of the same church all such rents he paying thereout the necessary expense of keeping the said church at all times clean and in every respect fit for the performance of divine worship therein and also providing at his own costs and expenses and at his own discretion a fit and proper person to officiate as the clerk of the said church and also another fit and proper person to keep order during the performance of divine service in the same church.

On vacancy of Trustees, another to be elected of the established church, residing in or within five miles of the parish of Frome. And if vacancies be not filled up when each happens, and the number be reduced to twenty-one, they are to elect enough to make up with themselves, the number of thirty-one, and to convey the church and land to them, and so from time to time.

Further particulars on the above subjects, and the progress of the undertaking—the Subscriptions, and Subscribers Names—the Building—Endowment—Consecration—Subscription for Organ—and other circumstances, are stated in the minute and order book of the proceedings; now in the possession of Mr. Wickham.


  1. John Messiter-Davis said,

    November 16, 2008 at 2:20 am

    My great,great grandfather was George Messiter of Frome. I am the decendent of his son Frederic Messiter, a solicitor at Birmingham and his grandson Wilfrid Basil Messiter an architect in Birmingham and Detroit (my grandad). Is there any way I can get information on George. I understand that he was an industrialist and /or a solicitor and owned Barwick House at one time. Any way you can assist me would be greatly appreciated.

    • July 27, 2018 at 3:12 am

      I am researching George Messiter solicitor of Frome, 1791-1860 and I would like to discuss the family if you are still looking,



  2. Gary Phillott said,

    March 10, 2009 at 11:35 pm

    As stated above my name is Gary Phillott ( in Australia) i am a direct descendant of the Rev Charles Phillott and am 9 years into trying to build a family tree of all Phillott family in the UK. If there is any information regarding this gentleman or any other members of the PHILLOTT(in the UK) family would it be possible to have that info shared
    Kind regards
    Gary Phillott

    • John Barker said,

      March 17, 2009 at 8:59 pm


      You will find an extensive genealogy of the Phillotts on my web site at


  3. Colin Mitchell said,

    June 16, 2010 at 2:44 am

    My grandparents Frank Mitchell & Annie Elizabeth Phillips were married at Christ Church on 1 January 1901 by the Rev Sydney Cooper. Is there any information available about Sydney?

    • June 16, 2010 at 5:40 am

      From the 1901 census, Sidney Cooper aged 39 was born at Bromley in Kent. His wife Edith, aged 37 was born in Cornwall. The first three children, Sylvia (10), Corin (8) and Cecelia (8) were born at Cirencester, Gloucestershire and the last three John (4), Mary (3) and Hugh (10m) were born at Frome

  4. April Bullock said,

    August 28, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    I am looking for family history for William Hulbert Sheppard of Keyford House and his wife Hannah. I am especially interested in Hannah Sheppard’s manuscript recipe book, now held by the Wellcome Library in London. Does anyone know who the Edwin Sheppard who appears in Hannah Sheppard’s recipe book c. 1840-51 was?

    Much thanks for any information,


    • Stephanie Duggan said,

      February 2, 2011 at 1:04 pm

      Hi April
      William Hulbert Sheppard and Hannah Pollet Sheppard are my 3rd great grandparents. Their son Thomas Pollet Sheppard is my 2nd great grandfather. I am very interested to know more about Hannah’s manuscript.

      The only Edwin Sheppard that I have found in the family is Edwin John Sheppard, born in Dec 1836 and died in infancy in Mar 1837. While there would definitely be a familial relationship to Hannah, it would not be a close one, though there is a strong likelihood that they lived near each other in Frome. Edwin John Sheppard was the son of Thomas Byard Sheppard (1805-1888) and Augusta Perchard Winter Sheppard (1805-1890). He was a cloth manufacturer and lived in Frome. They had 9 other children who survived childhood.
      Not sure if this helps!
      Stephanie, Ottawa, Canada

  5. January 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm

    Hi Stephanie,
    I am so sorry for the long wait for a reply. This Edwin Sheppard must have been an adult, someone who had served in India as he contributed curry recipes to Hannah’s book. He may have been a more distant connection and I have been unable to locate him anywhere. I have a partial typescript of Hannah Sheppard’s receipt book and I have published an academic article where I used it as a source. I am very interested in Hannah and her family as part of a long term research project on women’s manuscript recipe books. If you get this, please go to and contact me. I would be happy to share my partial transcription with you.
    April Bullock, PhD
    Riverside, CA USA

  6. Annette said,

    October 3, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    I am looking for more information about ancestors, great grandfather! Born in Frome Rev. Walter Augustus Williams (ca. 1829) and his brother William H. Williams (1827). Rev. Water Augustus Williams is married to Janet Morrison. Later they moved to Osgathorpe.
    Christchurch is home to one of his children, Rev. Henry Morrison Williams. Can someone help me to find some more information? thanks in advance! Annette, Rotterdam The Netherlands.

  7. annette said,

    December 6, 2021 at 2:10 pm

    I am looking for more information about ancestors, great grandfather! Born in Frome Rev. Walter Augustus Williams (ca. 1829) and his brother William H. Williams (1827). Rev. Water Augustus Williams is married to Janet Morrison. Later they moved to Osgathorpe.
    Christchurch is home to one of his children, Rev. Henry Morrison Williams. Can someone help me to find some more information? thanks in advance! Annette, Rotterdam The Netherlands.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: