Mysterious Knocking in Foleshill Church…
With Halloween approaching I couldn’t miss an opportunity to mention a broadside (poster bill) from the History Centre collection about strange events at St. Lawrence’s Church, Foleshill.
The broadside, dated approximately 1827-1830, describes how parishioners heard loud knocking inside the church which could not be explained. The knocking was reported to have been heard over several days in different parts of the church.
Rather than deter the church goers of Foleshill the mysterious knocking really captured the imagination of the local people. There were constant visits to the church and the congregation swelled. However just like Chinese whispers, news of a few knocks soon transpired into airborne pews and sightings of hobgoblins!
Despite having a church “crammed to excess” Reverend Thomas Coker Adams was evidently less than impressed with the sudden surge in church going in Foleshill. The broadside reports him sternly admonishing the congregation for their curiosity and questioning their motives for coming to church.
Broadsides were displayed in prominent places and initially used for royal proclamations and
official notices. As printing processes developed they were frequently used to publicise elections, speeches, criminal trials, fairs, sporting events, advertisements, songs and poetry. The use of broadsides declined as newspapers became more affordable for ordinary people following the reduction in and eventual removal of the newspaper tax in 1855.
This particular broadside is just one from a large collection of broadsides that would have been displayed in the local area. The collection is useful for researching local, social and family history. Broadsides are available to view in the History Centre Research Room on production of a valid Archive Reader’s ticket or identification.