Richard Frankland and the Rathmell Academy

This picture below is of the Rathmell Academy, where Richard Frankland (above) trained Presbyterian and Congregationalist ministers. It is now a pleasant row of cottages, many of the original school buildings having been demolished. Schools and colleges back them had to adhere to the Church of England, so Frankland and his Academy were persecuted and often forced to relocate.

Puritan clergy had been ejected from their parishes in 1662- Frankland included. He therefore resolved to train new men for ministry to fill the pulpits of dissenting churches. This building was therefore a real blessing in its time- it was essentially a Bible College to ensure the gospel survived the government’s persecution.

Frankland was once down in London, where he felt ‘a violent impulse upon his mind’ to go to the king. Catching Charles II while on his way to the council, he urged the king to ‘reform your life, your family, your kingdom, and the church.’

“I will,” said the king, “do what I can.”’ After a few more words ‘the king hasted away, saying, “I thank you, sir,” and twice looking back before he went into the counsel-chamber, said, “I thank you, sir; I thank you”’.

Richard Frankland was a great man. Not only did he willingly suffer for the gospel’s sake, he ensured Christ’s truth would still be taught after his generation had been called home. And when an opportunity arose to speak truth to power, he snatched it.

Would that today’s Christians would emulate this man of God.

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