Church in Brattle Square (Boston, Massachusetts)

Church in Brattle Square (Boston, Massachusetts)

The Church in Brattle Square was gathered in Boston on December 12, 1698. Because of its publication in 1699 of a platform of more liberal practices differing from other Puritan churches, it was also known as "The Manifesto Church." This, their second meetinghouse, was built by Thomas Dawes based on a design of James Gibbs, the architect of St. Martin-in-the-Fields in London. It may have been the first colonial church to have an entrance tower with a pedimented pavilion that was integral to the body of the church (the side structures on the entrance tower shown above were added in 1825). The church was dedicated on July 25, 1773. The building was sold in 1871 and razed in 1872. The congregation erected a new building in Boston's Back Bay, but increasing debt and a dwindling membership led to the selling of that building to the First Baptist Church. The congregation ceased to function in 1878.

For more information, see the following items scanned during the Harvard-Google Project from the library's collection: A History of the Church in Brattle Street, Boston, by Samuel Kirkland Lothrop, 1851 (available here); Letters of Rev. S. K. Lothrop, D.D., to the Proprietors of the Brattle-Square Church, 1876 (available here); and The Manifesto Church: Records of the Church in Brattle Square, Boston, 1902 (available here). For a sample of sermons preached to the church by Samuel K. Lothrop, its minister from 1834 to 1876, see the bound volume of his sermons available here. For a fast-day sermon preached there by John Gorham Palfrey, its minister from 1818 to 1831, see A Discourse Delivered in the Church in Brattle Square, Boston, August 9, 1832, scanned for Harvard's open collection on Contagion (available here). [Photo of the exterior of the 1773 church building: bMS 15001/1]

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