1856, June 7th Independent
Missionary Gathering at Conisbrough.
A Wesleyan missionary gathering was held at Conisbrough Castle, on Thursday. Considerable preparations had been made for the occasion, under the directions of a committee, consisting of Mr. Sandford, of the Castle Iron Works, Mr Blythe, Mr. Howson, Mr. Marsden, Mr. Townsend, and others.
Two large tents had been erected in the grounds of the Castle, and were decorated with evergreens and flags. A flag also floated from the top of the ruins of the old Castle.
The day being remarkably fine, the number of persons who assembled was extremely large. No less than 400 went by special train from Shefield, and the total number present during the afternoon and evening is estimated at nearly 5000.
The meeting, which was held in the Castle yard, where a platform had been erected, commenced at two o’clock, under the presidency of W. Fawcett. Esq., Mayor of Sheffield, and was addressed by the Rev. Mr. Punshon, [late of Sheffield,) and other ministers.
The Mayor of Sheffield and the clergy were entertained to dinner at the house of Mr. Blythe, and tea was provided for the audience in the booth. The accommodation, however, proved inadequate to the requirements of the large assemblage, and many were under the necessity of going into the village in groups, and seeking accommodation in the houses.
A prayer meeting was held after tea, and an eloquent sermon was afterwards preached by the Rev. Mr. James, a young minister from a distant circuit.