1833 Indenture Pew Sale

I recently preached a sermon on “The Pews are Free.” There I mentioned the old (and rather unfortunate) practice of selling or renting pews to fund a church. Now in my recent digging through old documents I found this 1833 Indenture from my neighboring Presbyterian Church (Westtown, NY). I’m told these are fairly common, but this is the first one I’ve seen.

3 thoughts on “1833 Indenture Pew Sale”

    1. I’ve heard of it from time to time. I suspect it was widespread, but I don’t know if most churches practiced it, or only some churches.

      1. It was a common practice across most denominations of the time. In fact, the “Free” Methodist Church was founded to oppose the practice of renting pews.

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