The table here is extracted from entries in books of the Methodist Society in Bradford Archives. The unlined and unnumbered pages carry the information of all the local societies in the Bradford area and sometimes beyond.
The first Methodist Chapel in Pudsey was erected in 1773, so the meeting of the 'classes' could have taken place at the church as well as in private homes under a 'leader'.
The book gives the state of class membership for thirteen separate years. A grey cell means that person is listed as being amongst the membership for that particular year. The listings were usually made in June. The earlier records give the most information while the latter years just give name and surname.
We have entered a class number when it was entered in the book but this number was quite arbitrary and simply served to distinguish one class from another in the order they were entered in the book. The order varied each year. In later years this was dropped and classes can only be identified by the space between each set of entries and comparison to previous years classes. Usually the class leader is entered first and identified as such and often the tally of each class is written underneath and helps in identifying different classes.
We have kept the numbers for the classes that were easiest to follow, for others, we have been unable to differentiate. This is due to classes splitting and forming new classes with both old and new members. At the beginning of these records in 1781, it appears that there were five classes with 151 members. By 1802, there were eight classes with 164 members. In all, the book lists about 700 separate individuals.
In later years, the random numbering of each class stopped so we have continued to reproduce that same number last used for that class, e.g. in 1788 one class was listed as '1st' and is then entered by us as the 1st for all the following years, though as explained, the classes weren't known by these numbers. It appears they were usually referred to by the leader's name, but leaders often changed.
In one year, 1788, half of the classes are identified by location, these being Chapeltown (5th), Littlemoor (6th), Fartown (7th) and Stanningley (8th). Stanningley was a single class until 1795 when it split into two classes.
In 1797 under James Stead and again in 1802 under Edward Lee, the '2nd' class is overlooked and not entered. In 1802 this is realized and a marginal comment notes that 'Edward Lee's class' of 18 had been left out by mistake. In 1795, the '1st' class with leader Joseph Brown was also missed off the list. These missing entries can be identified in the table below by the use of an asterisk.
In 1801, the Stanningley classes are entered apart from Pudsey
Variations in name spelling abound and although the names have been standardised, variations that appeared are entered in the 'Notes & Variations' column