Brethren Archive
Tuesday April 27, 2021

King George VI's Attendance at an Assembly Bible Study - Truth or Legend?

When I first started attending Brethren meetings (in London), almost 20 years ago now, a story I heard frequently, was that His Majesty King George VI regularly attended an (OB) Assembly Bible Study in London for a period of time. Those older brethren who retold it, although not themselves personally familiar with the alleged event, were only one generation removed, and had enough details that it was hard to believe anything other than it was genuine. Unfortunately though I never wrote any of this down at the time, but always wished to investigate it further and tie down whether this was fact or fiction.

Is anyone else familiar with this, or able to add further details?

I had a vague recollection that the Assembly in question was in Earl's Court, where Sir William Dobbie was in fellowship at the time. But I've also been told that the Honour Oak area is perhaps more likely. I even thought I'd seen the story in writing somewhere once, but no idea where this could have been now.

Another interesting one I was told recently is that Prince Charles had spent some time in earlier years in the home of a prosperous farmer in the West Country who was in the Assembly in his locality, and was impressed with the conduct of family devotions and the prominence of the Gospel. Again no direct sources for this at present.

John said ...
I have heard similar comment from my late grandfather. My understanding was that he used to slip discreetly out of the Palace, and in the meeting was known under a pseudonym (Mr Smith?). When he became King things tailed off, as realistically one might expect - amongst other things he became head of the CofE. What flavour of brethren meeting it was I was never told.

A related story I heard from an OB in Scotland that one of the kings (so that cuts it down to three) needed to speak with one of his officials one Sunday morning and he was tracked down to the meeting room. The message was relayed that the King wanted to see him. The reply was that "he is remembering his Lord", to which the King responded "The King of England will give way to the Lord of Glory". The impression I had was this was the Rosyth area, and I think it would be either Geo V or Geo VI.
Tuesday, Apr 27, 2021 : 18:41
Jonathan said ...
Prince Charles defintely spent signficant time with a 'prosperous farmer' - around c. 25-30 years ago, perhaps subsequently, though in this case he was a north-easterner from Northumberland. He was OBE'd, then knighted then elevated to the Peerage. His heritage was Glanton. I haven't put his name here but you can take it from this guy on the internet that it's true :-)
Wednesday, Apr 28, 2021 : 00:07
Adrian Hiltona said ...
my after also used to tell me tis story and I tried to scan the internt to have it verified.
All I couls get as that it hadn't been proved and that the Assemblies closet link to the Royals was the fact that Grorge V's mother Adelaide, had been saved through George Cutting's tract "Safety, Certainty and Enjoyment"
Monday, May 3, 2021 : 05:53 said ...
George V's mother was Queen Alexandria. It was in fact his mother-in-law, Queen Mary's mother, Princess mary Adelaide, who was converted through Cutting's tract.
Friday, May 7, 2021 : 04:21
Jack Sneddon said ...
Queen Mary wrote to Charles A Coates thanking him for his outline of Leviticus. She said that Leviticus was a closed book to her until she read his outline. She asked Mr Coates to visit her at the Palace but he declined the invitation.
Tuesday, Jul 26, 2022 : 02:46
Angela said ...
I was brought up in the open brethren and was told about 40 years ago by a brother in our assembly that King George VI attended his meeting to brake bread - came in at the back with a body guard. This was a London assembly the name of which I don’t know.
Whether it was before or after his accession to the throne I don’t know
This gentleman is now deceased but I know his wife is still alive and over 100 years - I will see if I can get any more details.
Tuesday, Feb 6, 2024 : 19:52
Nigel said ...
In the late 1960s and 1970s I went with my family to annual OB conferences around the west of London, one of which was in Windsor. The Gospel Hall building was located down a narrow walkway with no vehicular access, but I believe is no longer standing as it was demolished a number of years ago. The account my mother told me was that on occasions when King George VI was staying in Windsor Castle, that, arriving a little late, he would slip into one of the rear seats for the breaking of bread and leave just before the meeting ended. Anyone who greeted him treated him as they would any other believer, which was as he wanted, apparently.

One of my mother’s friends attended Windsor Gospel Hall as a child from the late 1930s, so I have no good reason to doubt the account.
Monday, Apr 22, 2024 : 16:08

Add Comment: