During the twenty five years following the Restoration of the Monarchy in 1660 the Baptist churches underwent a time of persecution. This lantern would appear to date from that period, when some local Dissenters met secretly by night in the woods near Anglesey Abbey to worship God.
The Church Book of the Particular Baptist Church of Bottisham Lode contains the following entry from a Church Meeting held on June 28th. 1891 –
‘Br. Debnam stated that the Lanthorn that belongeth to a Family that worshiped God at Midnight in a wood near Anglesee Abbey … in the time of Persecutions was now in the possession of Mrs. Padworth of Swavesey the daughter of the late Mr. Tall Form of Swavesey Baptist Minister which was given to him by Mr. Reynolds Baptist Minister Bottisham Lode 1810 to be Preserved and not Destroyed. We can have this Lanthorne if the Deacons & Church will have it placed up in the Chapel & made secured to abide there so long as the Chapel stands.The Deacons and Members agreed to have the Lanthorne fixed on July 20th 1891 – the said Edward Debnam receved the Lanthorn of Mr. Padworth as named befor. The Lanthorne was fixed up in October. Mr. James Watts of Quy made the house for the Lanthorne and gave it to the Church. Mr. Nathan Watts fixed it and allso gave his services free.’
A photograph of the lantern also appears on the cover of a booklet produced in 1903 to celebrate the bi-centenary of Waterbeach Baptist Church.
The lantern is still kept in Lode Chapel in the case made by Mr. James Watts in 1891.