Non-conformist is a very broad term, covering churches that did not follow the teachings of the Church of England. The phrase can be used to describe Roman Catholics, Jews, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, members of the Society of Friends, and English Protestants who did not follow the established Anglican Church.
Before civil registration was introduced in 1837, most people were baptised, married and buried in their local C of E parish, regardless of their beliefs. Some however kept their own registers, particularly after the Toleration Act of 1689.
This collection contains 603,680 records of burials between 1640 and 1898. These come from the Presbyterian, Baptist and Independent churches, the Wesleyan Methodist Metropolitan registry and the extensive collection of Non-conformist records in the Dr Williams’ Library in London.
There are also records from the Royal Hospital in Chelsea and the Royal Hospital Greenwich, as well as burials in locations such as Hackney, Walworth, and Liverpool.