Search over 450 titles and 1.2 million pages
Lady Barham's Secretary -The Rev. William Hammerton by IORWERTH HUGHES JONES PARACLETE CHURCH WAS BUILT FOR Lady Barham of Fairy Hill, opened in 1818, and named by her. The word is derived from the Greek Paracletos meaning One called to aid or support," hence a term applied to the Holy Spirit. William Hammerton, the first minister, was born on 17 August, 1791 at Aldersham, Hertfordshire, the son of a small farmer. At the age of six he was placed under the tuition of a clergyman of the Established Church and remained with him until he was twelve years of age. when he returned home to assist his father. In 1811, at the age of 20, he entered the service of Mrs. Gerard Noel, after- wards Lady Barham, as her secretary. To quote from the Memoir of William Hammerton in the Evangelical Magazine of February, 1835 (National Library of Wales) Here he was destined to acquire those principles which formed his future character. At first he found himself in a very uncongenial atmosphere and determined to leave his situation, but just as he was coming to the point, he was seized with a fever, which confined him to his bed for a considerable time. During this period every medical and domestic attention was paid to him both by the family and the amiable lady with whom he lived. This, however, produced no effect or sanctified impression upon his mind, yet he thought it would be ungrateful to leave immediately after receiving so much kindness and he determined to stay a little longer. The family then travelling, he went with them to Bath, thence to Kingston Hall. At this place Mrs. Noel presented to him An Address to Sinners. He read it with some attention and became a little alarmed. From Kingston Hall they went to Bath and here it pleased the Great Head of the Church effectually to change his heart under a sermon preached by the Revd. J. Meffin in the late Countess of Huntingdon's Chapel, from the General Epistle of James v, 9, Judge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned.' This was the time,' he said when the word was to prick me to the heart. I was in great distress all the week. The Honourable Mrs. Noel read and prayed and talked much with me.' On the following Sabbath he heard the same minister again from Mathew xxii, 42, What think ye of Christ ?' Whose Son is he ? and then received much comfort. From that time he became a new creature and removing to Weymouth united in commemorating the death of Jesus with the Church then under the pastoral care of the Revd. Dr. Cracknell. About this time he read Boston's Fourfold State Booth's, Reign of Grace and Elisha Cole's The Sovereignty of God, and these invaluable books were the means of establishing his mind in the doctrines he held till his death.