This article came from the Chronicle published April 1979. Page 6


Discovery in the United Reformed Church, Yeovil

Author: L.C.Hayward


During alterations to this church in January 1979, a well-built brick-lined grave was exposed containing a lead coffin originally encased in wood. A brass plate lying on top bore a finely-engraved inscription which read:

OCTOBER 1st 1840

The records of the Bishop of Bath and Wells include a request for the registration of ‘a new building just erected in the tithing of Hendford in the town of Yeovil . . . as a chapel or place of meeting for Protestant Dissenters of the Independent Denomination’ (Congregationalists) dated 8 January 1793. Among the signatories was John Hookins, who in 1804 was occupying a dwelling house at the lower end of Middle Street. Mr Hookins was then described as a banker; his name heads a list of church members dated 1795, followed by that of Mrs Elizabeth Hookins, who almost certainly was his wife. The same church record states that Mrs Elizabeth Hookins was interred on Wednesday the 7th of October 1840 in the ground consecrated with this Independent Chapel, Yeovil. The grave would at that time have been outside the 1793 building, which was replaced after 1878 by a larger church: a burial ground was in use during the nineteenth century in front of the building.

When the alterations are completed, the brass plate, suitably mounted, will be fixed to a wall near the burial place.

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