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permission to use the chapel in 1818

Any place of worship that did not intend to adhere to the rules of the Church of England was required to be legally registered with the local authorities (the Registrar) and the local Bishop (in this case the Bishop of Bristol). Known as a Dissenter's License, this is a scan of the original document authorizing the Methodist Chapel in Tolpuddle to be used as a place of worship. Scan of the original Dissenter's license for the chapel


A 'dissenter' was someone who chose not to follow the official church, the Church of England.

People who chose to be Methodists were opting out of the Church of England, in order to worship and study in the way that reflected their own beliefs.

Read the document carefully - it is one of the ways that people such as Methodists were made to feel like second class citizens.