Background to Meeting Houses
After 1660, Protestant believers who formed congregations outside the Church of England were commonly referred to as Dissenters or Non-conformists. They could be Quakers, Baptists, Presbyterians or Congregationalists. They and the Methodists who came later would gather in Meeting Houses. The Act of Toleration (1689) permitted freedom of worship to Dissenters, but required them to register their meeting houses with the local Quarter Sessions, the bishops or the archdeacons.