Brethren Archive

James Ebenezer Batten

Born: April 1803
Died: 18th August 1885

Intro, Biographical Information, Notes etc:

James Ebenezer Batten (born Devonport [sc. Plymouth] 1803/4) was a draper or a builder. He was a trustee of a chapel built for a group of Particular Baptists in Plymouth, which was bought by G V Wigram in 1831 and which became Providence Chapel, the first building used by the early Brethren in Plymouth. In 1846 Batten was one of the signatories (together with H.W. Soltau, W.B. Dyer and J. Clulow) to a letter protesting against B.W. Newton’s exclusion by the Saints at Rawstorne Street, London, but later in the division of the late 1840s, JEB sided with JND, as is apparent from his Letter to the saints meeting in Ebrington Street, which was written from Tothill, [formerly ‘Tuttle Fields,’ near Westminster] 23 December 1847  

According to the Census returns, JEB (described as a ‘proprietor of houses’) was visiting a family in Kent in 1861, but in 1871 he was living at Andover Lodge, Cheltenham with his wife (born c.1820 in India) with several visitors, viz. William ?Waller/Walter (born c.1816, Ireland; MD, MRCS) and his wife Wilhelmina; Henry M Hooke (born c.1837, Lynne, Norfolk; evangelist) and Lord Adelbert P. Cecil (born c.1842, London; evangelist).  It was from Cheltenham in 1885 that J.E.B. published a letter, Is it subjection to the Holy Ghost? Or to a Committee?  endorsed ‘Private, for those in fellowship only.’ Later in 1885, W.R. Hadwen published J.E.B.’s last letter on the Reading Sorrow [i.e. the controversy in Queen’s Road Assembly] from Highbridge, Somerset, where JEB died 18 August 1885. Copies of most of the pamphlets mentioned above are in the CBA at Manchester.  

Submitted (16-12-2016) by Timothy Stunt. 

According to the England and Wales Non-Conformist Record Indexes, a James Ebenezer Batten was born on 16 December 1803, though in Cripplegate (London). Could this be "our" JEB?

JEB's entry in the National Probate Calendar is here.

Michael Schneider

C Gribben said ...
Could this be the author of:

[J.E.B.], “Mr R. P. Smith’s ‘Farewell’,” The Bible Treasury 224 (January 1875), pp. 205-8.

[J.E.B.], “To Mr R. P. Smith on ‘Consecration’, &c,” The Bible Treasury 228 (May 1875), pp. 271-72.

Wednesday, Jun 21, 2023 : 21:40
Rodger said ...
I’ve always believed so. Mr. Batten contributed a number of articles to The Bible Treasury and The Christian’s Friend…, up until the Reading division.

Would it make sense that JEB would want to interact with RP Smith’s doctrine because they were both from Quaker background? There seems to have been more of that (ex-Quaker’s turned “brethren” challenging Quaker teaching) 30 years previous to these articles.
Thursday, Jun 22, 2023 : 00:44
C Gribben said ...
I didn't know about JEB's Quaker background ... but that does make sense. Thanks!
Thursday, Jun 22, 2023 : 14:53
Timothy Stunt said ...
J E Batten was involved with the Brethren in Plymouth several years before the 'Beaconite' crisis [1835] among the Quakers which was the occasion of many 'Friends' becoming Brethren. I know of no Batten/Quaker background.
However Michael Schneider has drawn my attention to the fact that Batten's daughter (Annie Lydia 1833-1915) was married [1865] to Johannes Peter Daniel Nippel (1824-1908), a German whose association with the Brethren led to their being known as 'Nippelians' in the region around Tübingen and who was later a teacher in Neuchâtel, Switzerland. The English census records indicate that J E Batten and his first wife, Anna [née Bliss, born 1803] lived in Plymouth until her death in 1851. His second wife, Jane Eliza Burton had a property in Cheltenham where they lived for the rest of his life. Timothy Stunt
Tuesday, Jun 27, 2023 : 22:03
Rodger said ...
If you know of no “Quaker background” to Mr. Batten, Timothy, then I must be mistaken. Your knowledge in that area far exceeds mine!
Wednesday, Jun 28, 2023 : 00:57
Timothy Stunt said ...
As ever, Rodger, your judgement is generous ! However if you rediscover evidence of a Batten/Quaker connection, please let me know as I shall add it to my collection which is much larger than it used to be! Timothy
Thursday, Jun 29, 2023 : 02:09

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