John Ernest Rattenbury Papers

Date range: 1918-1920.

John Ernest Rattenbury (1870-1963), grandson of John Rattenbury and brother of Harold Burgoyne Rattenbury, was born in Stanningley near Leeds and trained for the Wesleyan ministry at Didsbury College in Manchester.

Much of Rattenbury's ministry was spent in city missions, including eighteen years from 1907 in the West London Mission where he established himself as one of the outstanding Nonconformist ministers in the capital.

He was one of the leading evangelists and preachers of his day. From 1918 to 1922 he was on the editorial board of the Methodist Times and in 1936 he served as President of the National Free Church Council.

His popularity and status within the Connexion made him a formidable opponent of Methodist union in 1932. His opposition was grounded on his fear that union would damage the prospects for wider Christian unity.

The collection consists of correspondence, newspaper cuttings and printed tracts relating to anti-Catholic agitation organized by groups such as the Protestant Truth Society immediately after the First World War. Rattenbury came into conflict with the leaders of the Protestant extremists because of his alleged Catholic tendencies.

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