Mousehole - Revivals (1747-1895)

Mousehole has been touched by revival on several occasions; it is also the birthplace of William Carvosso (see this website).

John Wesley first came here in 1766, then in 1782 and finally in 1785 when he writes in his journal, 'About nine I preached at Mousehole, where there is now one of the liveliest societies in Cornwall.'

'But early in 1813 a glorious revival took place, and a large number of individuals were added to the Lord. Being at that time stationed in the Penzance circuit, of which Mousehole formed a part, I had frequent opportunities of witnessing, with the liveliest emotions of gratitude, not only in this place, but in most other parts of the circuit, the remarkable and overwhelming effects produced by the ministrations of the glorious gospel of the blessed God on the minds of thousands of individuals. Then the word of the Lord indeed had free course and was glorified. The spirit of prayer and supplication was poured out abundantly upon the leaders and active members of the society; and being graciously quickened in their own souls by the baptism of the Holy Ghost, they felt a deep concern for the salvation of their perishing fellow-creatures. Some who had been members of the society for years, but who had never obtained the knowledge of salvation by the remission of their sins, sought and found this unspeakably precious blessing. Many careless people who were drawn to the chapels by curiosity, or who came to mock, were cut to the heart and cried aloud for mercy. And so great were the ascessions to our Zion, that from the year 1812 to that of 1815, the societies in that circuit increased from 1612 to2700; and from the latter end of January unto the early part of April in the year 1813, 181 persons joined the society in the village of Mousehole alone.'

Later in the book, a letter stated that in 1813 there were 260 in the society out of a population of 700 - a large percentage.

From, 'Memoirs of Mr Richard Trewavas Sen', by Richard Treffry, 1839, page 27-8.

William Carvosso ministered here many times and Holy Spirit was stirred up, particularly in 1818 when, 'I proceeded to Mousehole where I rejoiced to see the mighty works of God displayed in convincing and converting sinners. I intended to stay only a week (he was there seven weeks) but the work of the Lord broke out among them and the friends would not let me go. In my usual way, I went preaching from house to house and I believe God never blessed my feeble efforts more than at this time. There was gracious work in the Sunday school. None but those who have witnessed such a revival can form any idea of it.’

In 1828 he visited Mousehole again and once again a revival began. He records in his journal that he found Mousehole very quiet but this soon changed. ‘After this meeting in the chapel a general concern took place in the minds of the people. The prayer meetings were crowded by hundreds of attendants, and all the enquiry was, ‘What must I do to be saved?’ This extraordinary visitation from above continued four months and the ‘revival at Mousehole’ resounded far and near. Vast numbers, moved by different motives, came from a distance of many miles to see the wonderful works of God. Thus the heavenly fire was carried to different villages and societies in the circuit. This revival was carried on in the best order I ever saw one in my life. Mousehole now appears like a new town. Instead of scores of men of different ages standing in groups on the cliff, talking about worldly things and idling away the Sabbath as they used to do, there are now scarcely any but such as seem to ‘to remember the Lord’s day to keep it holy.’ During the four months I was with them there were very few houses in Mousehole that I did not visit. It was astonishing to all the friends, as well as to myself, how the Lord supported my strength. (He was 79) Day and night I was employed in visiting, instructing, exhorting and in praying with the distressed.'


Another revival came in 1832; the circuit minister writes, 'The next place was Mousehole. Here we have long had one of the best societies in the county, consisting of upwards of two hundred and fifty persons; and during the last six weeks, near fifty more have joined themselves to the Lord and to us. The chapel has been open till near midnight for a week together.'

The plaque above shows the dates of the expansion of the chapel; they mark the times of revival. There seems to have been a revival in StJust in 1782and I suggest that this spread to Mousehole which would account for the original chapel being built in 1784. Wesley said above that there was a lively group there in 1785. There was the 'Great Revival' in 1814that began in Camborne which would account for the enlargement in 1814. Next, the chapel was rebuilt in 1833 to accommodate those who came to the Lord in the 1832 revival mentioned above.

In 1863 William Haslam (see this website) was in nearby Paul for six weeks and revival broke out. He came to Mousehole for one meeting but people from the town would have visited the Paul meetings.

In 1862 William Booth (see this website) came to Mousehole during his 18 months of revival meetings in Cornwall.

Finally in 1895 James Udy came here and wrote, ‘I found they had a very good chapel, seating about 800 people. Just before I went there I received a letter from a lady who had been a great help to me on one of my missions and who walked with God. She said ‘I suppose you have heard that God is going before you into Mousehole in a most miraculous manner?’ Many thought the mission would be a failure, for the place was well-nigh dead, only two or three coming out to the prayer meeting. At night the power of God came down upon us and eight came out for salvation; on the Monday about eighteen came, and on the Tuesday thirty-five came and gave themselves to Christ. The whole town was moved by the power of God, people in their homes could not rest.’ The whole town was ‘smashed up.’ I remained there five weeks and 400 souls came to Jesus.'

This town has been mightily blessed by the Lord in the past; come Lord, do it again.

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