Timothy Armitage, in the year 1647, was chosen pastor of the first independent church in the city of Norwich. So early as the year 1643, many pious people in Norwich joined Mr. Bridge's church at Yarmouth, who afterwards wished to have the seat of the church removed to the former place; but the majority of members residing at Yarmouth, the proposal was declined. Yet it was mutually agreed that they should form themselves into a separate church. This was done June 10, 1644, in the presence of several of their brethren from Yarmouth, who signified their approbation by expressions of the most tender and endeared affection. Indeed, many of the members of both churches had been companions in the patience of our Lord Jesus in a foreign land, when they enjoyed sweet communion together in the ordinances of the gospel, but returned home upon the commencement of the civil wars. The church at Norwich was no sooner formed than numerous additions were made to it. Mr. Armitage, after labouring several years with great usefulness, died much regretted in December, 1655. He published a work entitled, " Enoch's Walk with God." Mr. Thomas Allen, the silenced nonconformist in 1662, succeeded him in the pastoral office.« There were at this early period no Iess than fifteen congregational churches on the coast of Suffolk and Norfolk, under
* Meen's MS. Collec. p. 116.
ARMITAGE—G. WORKMAN—T. YOUNG. 255
the direction and encouragement of Mr. Armitage and Mr. Bridge.*