“A journey unique”: Archbishop Davidson at the Western Front

May 2016 marks the centenary of Archbishop Randall Davidson’s tour of the Western Front, a journey he described as “unique in my own experience as a man, and I think unique historically in the experience of an Archbishop”. To commemorate Davidson’s visit, Lambeth Palace Library will posting and tweeting extracts from his diary (Davidson 583) and summaries of Davidson’s activities, one hundred years to the day, via its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

 

Davidson spent 9 days at the Front, from 16 to 24 May, at the invitation of Deputy Chaplain-General Llewellyn Gwynne, and with the “warm concurrence” of Commander-in-Chief, Sir Douglas Haig. The visit had two principal objectives:

  1. A fact-finding mission, giving Davidson the opportunity to meet with meet the commanders of the British Expeditionary Force (B.E.F.), and to survey almost the entirety of the British-held section of the Western Front, from the military base at Étaples on the French coast, to the Somme (where preparations were continuing for the eponymous battle that was to commence on 1 July).
  2. A morale-boosting tour, to cheer and encourage the chaplains and to allow the Archbishop of Canterbury to meet and talk with ordinary soldiers.

 

Davidson was profoundly moved by his experiences, and just four days after his return to Lambeth he began dictating to his secretary, Mary Mills, what was to become known as his ‘war diary’, which he supplemented with postcards and maps from the visit.

Davidson diary 1
Davidson’s typsecript ‘war diary’

Though he was kept from the front lines he was never far from danger. On 17 May he visited the shattered town of Ypres, still being regularly shelled by the Germans, donning a steel helmet and carrying a gas mask “ready for use at a moment’s notice”. Davidson was given ample opportunities to observe the ongoing fighting, witnessing a tremendous artillery barrage preceding a successful attack by the Germans on the Vimy Ridge sector. He was:

Constantly impressed when looking across the Front at fighting times by the absence of physical men – guns are firing, shells exploding, and aeroplanes are overhead, and you know that within the few miles which you are looking at there are thousands and thousands of men, but they are all in trenches, and the country sometimes looks as though it were uninhabited. I had not been prepared for this.”

He was also fascinated by the huge logistical operation that kept the British army supplied, noting the huge array of lorries loaded with ammunition, food and other essentials, and was most “amused to find that one of the biggest and most formidable looking of these ranges of cars, turned out on closer inspection to be not great heavy lorries after all, but London omnibuses painted slate colour and looking most imposing and as unlike buses as possible”.

Davidson diary 2
“One felt more & more the fearsomeness of all this going on between Christian peoples”. Davidson made revisions and additions to the typescript in his own hand.

The Archbishop held conferences for the chaplains, one each for the four armies that made up the B.E.F., at which as many of the Church of England chaplains as possible had been gathered, as well chaplains from the Church of Scotland and the English Free Churches. Davidson made it a priority to speak with as many of them as possible, and at the conference at Talbot House in Poperinghe, he recorded that he was “very much struck with the quiet simplicity, and even the unconscious dignity of the chaplains, some of whom I had known quite well; and all of them seemed to me to have ‘grown’ in the best sense”. Davidson also spoke to the troops whenever he could, usually in the hospitals but also those resting from duty on the front line. After meeting a group of soldiers at St. Omer, he wrote of them:

“There was an obvious seriousness which betokened what they had gone through, near Ypres, and might yet have to go through, and it was in a sort of awestruck way that some of them spoke about the fearful fighting in the trenches. No one, they said, could wish to go back to it, though they were quite ready to go when they were wanted, not light-heartedly, but determinedly.”

 

Davidson’s visit was relatively low-key in comparison to previous episcopal visits to the Front by Arthur Winnington-Ingram, Bishop of London, and Henry Wakefield, Bishop of Birmingham. Those visits had been characterised by preaching marathons and subsequent published accounts that infuriated military commanders. The more circumspect nature of Davidson’s visit was welcomed by Sir Douglas Haig, who, on their meeting at General Headquarters on 20 May, stated: “Visits like yours for quiet consultation with us and for giving stimulus to officers and chaplains, and speaking to the gatherings of men which you come across naturally, are of very real good”.

 

A scholarly edition of Davidson’s war diary, edited by Michael Snape, appears in From the Reformation to the Permissive Society: A Miscellany in Celebration of the 400th Anniversary of Lambeth Palace Library, (Church of England Record Society Volume 18, 2010) and is available for consultation in the Lambeth Palace Library reading room (Classmark: H5051.C4 [R]), or for purchase through Boydell & Brewer.

The National Mission of Repentance and Hope 1916

In the autumn of 1916 the Church of England called the nation to a National Mission of Repentance and Hope. The Mission was launched by the Archbishop of Canterbury Randall Davidson and Cosmo Lang, the Archbishop of York, as an attempt to repent for our sins as a nation:

‘We are to repent not because we believe that we are guilty of provoking this war, but because we, together with the other nations that profess to be Christian, have failed to learn how to live together as a Christian family, how to set forth Christ to the peoples who do not know Him. We are to repent because, in the light of the war, we are learning to know our sins as a nation. Because it is clear that the spirit of love does not rule our relations with one another at home, any more than it rules the relations between the nations.’

As well as repentance, the National Mission projected a much needed message of hope during the grave time of war. The perils of war lowered public morale and tested the faith of many Christians. The Church believed that a collective national effort is required to combat this bleak sentiment. ‘The war deepened the Church’s sense that society needed its pastoral role.’ The Church had hoped to reconnect with the nation and re-awaken Christian conscience:

‘We look forward to a new England, to a new world. Our repentance will open the way for the Holy Spirit to show us how we can help to make that new England, that new world.’

The message of the National Mission of Repentance and Hope invited the nation on a Mission of Witness, to earnestly reflect on their attitudes, weaknesses, and passions, and to repent in hope of a better world. The Church’s sentiment of hoping for a better world mirrored the reason why many conscripted-in a hope to fight to save their country and the world. The National Mission was very much a home front initiative but was also a message for the trenches. The war was an opportunity to renew the Christian faith: to learn the lesson taught to us by war through examining ourselves as a nation and taking the lesson to heart. The words of the former Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, in his Presidential Address, sum up the fundamental idea behind Anglican Witness: ‘To be a Christian is to believe we are commanded and authorised to say certain things to the world; to say things that will make disciples of all nations.’

church times article blog
An excerpt of an article from Church Times, March 1916, by the Bishop of London (Arthur-Winnington Ingram) [Davidson 772 f.85]
The organisation of the National Mission was an enormous undertaking. The Bishop of London, Arthur-Winnington Ingram, took the role of Chairman of the Central Council and a panel of Archbishops’ Messengers was set up specifically for the purpose of the National Mission. A large body of literature was provided at national level; posters, postcards, resolution cards, pamphlets, hymn books, children’s books, and study guides. The date of the Mission was to be between October and November 1916 with the clergy preparing first and dioceses following with their own arrangements. Once the arrangements had been made, it was decided that the Mission would go ahead with the help of the newly established general Consultative Committee and five Archbishops’ Committees of Enquiry.

national mission notebook 1

national mission notebook 2
Archbishop Davidson’s book of Sermons and addresses 1916 [Davidson 539 ff. 36]

 

 

Image management project

A project to improve access to digital images of items from the Library’s collections began in 2011. LUNA software was acquired to upload and manage images of material, with the ultimate aim of creating a searchable online resource. This data is now available online alongside the Library’s other catalogues.

Msc434f11v
MS 434 f 11v

 

The system contains over 22,500 images dating from the medieval to the modern period and includes items from:
• The manuscripts sequence including illuminated manuscripts and manuscripts from Sion College
• Lambeth printed book collections (including prints) and selected items from the Sion College collection
• Selected parts of the Archbishops’ papers and archives
• Selected images from the collections of the Church of England Record Centre
The system also allows access to some 14,000 images digitized from the archive of the Incorporated Church Building Society which were formerly available via the Church Plans Online website and provide a valuable resource to architectural historians and others interested in church fabric, local historians, and other researchers. This complements catalogue data on the ICBS archive which is accessible via the Library’s archive catalogue.

ICBS00024a
ICBS 00024a

It is now easier to identify images for instance those relating to particular people and places. The system also allows users to zoom into details of images. In addition, the ‘book’ functionality of the software has made some complete texts available electronically.

Further background on the Library’s image holdings and help in using the system are also available.

Wynkyn de Worde’s “Remorse of Conscience”: a unique survivor

Wynkyn de Worde (died c. 1534) was a printer and publisher in London and is best known for his work with William Caxton. Although Caxton was the first printer to set up shop in England, it was arguably de Worde who proved instrumental in ensuring the success of the printing trade in this country. Through technical innovations and an insistence on high quality materials, he greatly improved the fledgling art of printing and has since been described as ‘England’s first typographer’ (Haley, 1992).

Device of William Caxton which subsequently passed to Wynkyn de Worde in 1492. From ‘Pilgrymage of perfecyon’, printed in 1531 by de Worde

Few details are known about de Worde’s early life. He was thought to have been born in Woerden in Holland (but possibly Woerth in Alsace). It is often assumed he accompanied William Caxton to England as a journeyman printer, working for him as apprentice or foreman until Caxton’s death in 1492, however there is little evidence to support this. We do know that de Worde took over Caxton’s printing house in Westminster around the time of Caxton’s death in 1492, and began by reprinting some of Caxton’s earlier titles. In 1496, following the settlement of a long dispute with Caxton’s family over the will, he was able legally to take control of the enterprise.

In 1500 de Worde transferred the business from Westminster to London and was the first printer to set up a press in Fleet Street, a location that would become synonymous with the printing trade. He published more than 400 books in 800 editions (Mueller, 2002), some of which are now known to exist in just a single copy. One of these unique survivors, The remorse of conscience (1515), is to be found here at Lambeth Palace Library, held within the Sion College Library Collection.

Title page: 'The remors of conscyence: Here begynneth certayne demonstracyons by our lorde to all synfull persones with the remors of mannes conscynce to the regarde of the bounte of our lorde'
‘The remors of conscyence. Here begynneth certayne demonstracyons by our lorde to all synfull persones with the remors of mannes conscynce to the regarde of the bounte of our lorde’

Wynkyn de Worde printed at least three editions of The remorse of conscience,  in 1510, in 1515 and again in 1534 (see Rhodes, 1958). The Sion copy is the only recorded example of the second edition. A fragment only, it was discovered within Sion College’s copy of Albertus Magnus, De officiis (Cologne, 1503) where it had been bound among the flyleaves. The fragment consists of folios 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 11 only (the first and second sheets of quire A and the second of quire B). The title (The remors of conscyence) is printed within a wooden scroll, and both the title page and its verso are illustrated with the same fine woodcut of a penitent kneeling before Christ.

De Worde often illustrated his books with woodcuts, not only re-using woodblocks from Caxton’s period but also commissioning new products from skilled craftsmen. These new blocks would be used again and again in different publications, eventually showing evidence of wear, as shown by our copy of the The remorse… The woodcut has a neat crack down the middle, also visible in the previous edition. By the time of the third recorded edition, thought to have been printed in 1534, the same woodblock has been badly broken.

Woodcut of the penitent kneeling before Christ
Woodcut of the penitent kneeling before Christ. Damage to the block is clearly visible.

The remorse of conscience takes the form of a dialogue between God and Man and is also known in earlier manuscript editions as The complaynt of God (Lambeth Palace Library holds two 15th century copies at MS306 and MS853). The author was the poet William Lichfield, whose gravestone at Christ’s College, Cambridge, reads: “William Lichfield, Doctor of Diuinitie, who deceased the yeare 1448, hee was a great student, and compiled many bookes both moral and diuine”.

Bibliography
Haley, Allan. Typographic milestones, London: John Wiley & Sons, 1992.
Meuller, Janel. Cambridge history of early modern English literature, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002.
Rhodes, D. E. “The remorse of conscience”, The Library, pp. 199-200, 1958.

 

Library Records project 1785-1953

A project to produce new catalogue descriptions of the Library’s records from 1785 to 1953, together with a web guide to the evidence which they contain, has begun with the generous support of the Friends of Lambeth Palace Library.

The first phase of the project has focused on the years from 1785 to 1828 when the Library was under the direction of John Moore (Archbishop 1783-1805) and Charles Manners-Sutton (Archbishop 1805-28). Archbishop Manners-Sutton emerged from the research as a far more significant patron of the Library than has hitherto been appreciated. His interest in biblical studies led not only to the acquisition of the Carlyle Greek manuscripts but to a substantial collection of early printed Bibles, including a splendid copy on vellum of the Greek/Latin New Testament edited by Erasmus (Basel, 1519), as well as Wycliffite Gospels and other manuscripts. He also gave two printed works owned by Archbishop Cranmer, and significant manuscripts, including the 13/14th century cartulary of the See of Canterbury and a 13/14th century miscellany from St. Augustine’s, Canterbury, with texts relating to Magna Carta. It now seems likely that he also acquired the 9th century Macdurnan Gospels which were first recorded in the Library in the 1830s. Manners-Sutton also supported the publication of the catalogue of the Library’s manuscripts, edited by H.J. Todd, in 1812.

Henry J Todd

The project has also brought to light unexpected new information on the Lambeth Librarians. After the librarianship (1786-90) of the antiquary Michael Lort, the work of the Library was divided between the antiquary John Topham as ‘Manuscripts Librarian’ 1790-1803, and a previously unidentified printed books Librarian, the Old Testament scholar Henry Dimock, who served until his death in 1810. Henry John Todd served as ‘Keeper of the Archiepiscopal Manuscripts and Records’ until 1818. Thereafter the work of the Library fell to two others whose roles were previously unknown. George D’Oyly, Archbishop’s chaplain, Rector of Lambeth and biographer of Archbishop Sancroft, was serving as ‘Keeper of the Archbishop of Canterbury’s Records’ by 1824 and  evidently became responsible for the management of the printed books. Also closely involved was Thomas Archdeacon Lewis, Assistant Secretary at Lambeth Palace, who succeeded D’Oyly as Keeper of the Records during the 1830s.

The Archbishop and the Suffragettes

In the collection of Archbishop Randall Davidson’s papers held at Lambeth Palace Library are two large volumes containing a number of letters regarding women’s suffrage (Davidson 515 and Davidson 516). From them, we can tease out some of the stories of these women and of the Archbishop’s views on the events surrounding the suffragette movement. Most of these letters refer specifically to the suffragettes and not to the suffragists who protested by non-militant methods for women’s votes.

Davidson took a consistent stance on the issue of women’s suffrage, according to his replies. Whilst he supported the idea of women’s suffrage in general, he disagreed with the militant methods undertaken by the Women’s Social and Political Union, which were often violent and involved the activists acting illegally. Therefore, Davidson chose not to openly show his support for women’s suffrage in case he was misinterpreted as supporting the suffragettes and their tactics. He was, one could say, a passive suffragist.

For many of the suffragettes, this was not what they had hoped for from the head of the Church of England, as most mistook his actions as being anti-women’s suffrage, and others believed that he should show his support for their cause more openly.

It is easy to feel the suffragettes’ frustration when reading these letters. In particular, Ethel Smyth (1858-1944), who was well-known for composing The March of the Women and conducting singing through her prison bars with a toothbrush, writes page after page to the Archbishop, venting her frustration and claiming that women are, in her opinion, being ignored and will continue to be ignored unless their point is made through militant acts. Smyth was not afraid to speak her mind about the politicians of the time:

“…if ever I come across Mr Asquith’s path… I shall say, as loudly and distinctly as I can, that I think it disgraceful that millions of women shall be trodden underfoot because of the “convictions” of an old man who notoriously can’t be left alone in a room with a young woman after dinner.” (Letter to Davidson from Ethel Smyth, 11 February 1914, from Davidson 516)

Smyth1
Signature of Dame Ethel Smyth as found on one of her letters to Archbishop Davidson

When reading Davidson’s replies to these letters, one is struck by how careful the Archbishop is not to be associated with the actions of the suffragettes, although his frustration at being misrepresented is also clear:

“Would it not be fairly said “they have even converted a stolid Archbishop?” whereas in the first place he was fairly converted before…” (Letter from Davidson to Miss Agnes Gardiner, 5 March 1907, from Davidson 515)

He is also keen to inform the suffragettes of the damage he believes they are doing to the cause and to the efforts of the suffragists in general by partaking in violent actions such as window smashing, throwing missiles at MPs and other illegal activities.

“I fear [the suffragettes] are daily strengthening the hands of those who say, untruly as I think, that the enthusiasm of good women is apt to lack the kind of balanced judgement which is specially called for in dealing with large political questions.” (Letter from Davidson to Lady Blomfield, 25 October 1909, from Davidson 515)

For many of the WSPU, Davidson’s actions weren’t enough. The Union’s most prolific and founding member, Mrs Emmeline Pankhurst (1858-1928), was in and out of prison. She underwent hunger strikes and submitted to force feeding, which caused her to be a victim of the infamous ‘Cat and Mouse Act’. Whilst in prison, she wrote to Davidson, asking for an audience. Unfortunately, Davidson felt unable to visit her, due to her associations with the suffragettes. The meeting never took place, although Mrs Pankhurst makes her views on the situation clear:

“… I shall call upon women to refuse to obey and men to vote against, a Government which while professing the principles of representative Government, refuses to apply them to women…” (Letter to Davidson from Emmeline Pankhurst, 31 March 1914, for Davidson 516)

Pankhurst
Emmeline Pankhurst encourages Archbishop Davidson to meet with her.

Norah Dacre Fox (1878-1961), another prominent member of WSPU, goes further, saying that the Archbishop, in fact, is to blame for their militancy, stating that in the half century since the fight for women’s votes began, the Archbishop of Canterbury has had plenty of opportunities to show his support, and that the support of such a spiritual leader could have resolved the issue before militancy was needed.

“Our view is that the Church is very responsible for Militancy, because it has failed to realise the spiritual meaning of the Women’s movement and has not helped women to get the vote.” (Letter to Davidson from Norah Dacre Fox, 27 February 1914, from Davidson 516)

The two volumes show the vast array of letters sent to the Archbishop by many well-known suffragettes, including Millicent Fawcett (1847-1929), Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence (1867-1954), and Louise Creighton (1850-1936). For some members of the WSPU, however, simply writing letters was not enough to cause a reaction from the head of the Church of England. In Davidson 315 we find newspaper accounts regarding Miss Annie Kenney (1879-1953) who, in May 1914, gained access to Lambeth Palace and refused to leave. Archbishop Davidson, his wife and several members of staff attempted to make her leave, but eventually she had to be arrested and removed from the site. Due to the ‘Cat and Mouse Act’ (1913) she succeeded in making several visits to Lambeth Palace to seek sanctuary, and Davidson was warned that he could be accused of harbouring someone wanted by the police, so he could do nothing to hinder the arrests. The WSPU thought he could have prevented Miss Kenney’s further arrests. Yet another blow to Davidson’s reputation as a supporter of women’s suffrage. In one of many letters he sent to suffragette supporters he argued his corner, stating that he had treated Miss Kenney with ‘utmost consideration and kindness’, but, as Davidson well knew, the versions of the story being published in the suffragette newspapers painted him in a less than bright light (Letter from Davidson to Mrs Wilcock, 19 June 1914, from Davidson 516).

Kenney
Archbishop Davidson’s account of Miss Kenney’s visit.

 

Possibly the most shocking inclusions in these volumes are descriptions sent to the Archbishop of the treatment of imprisoned suffragettes. Pressure on the Archbishop increased in 1914 in response to the methods used to feed the suffragettes. Many accounts go into horrific detail about the acts of forced feeding which were inflicted upon these women and the injuries and damage they suffered as a result. In some cases, the practice was seen as so violating that even the prison doctors refused to take part, and many of the women suffered permanent injuries. We have no evidence of how Davidson reacted to the practice, as no letters of response have been retained in this collection.

In 1918 Davidson had his chance to show his support for women’s suffrage when the motion was voted on in the House of Lords. Women over the age of thirty had the vote, which was the first step to women having equal voting rights to men in the UK.

Elizabeth Whately 1795-1860

This week we have a guest post by a great friend of the Library, Mr Cliff Webb.

The strength to scholars of a specialised reference library such as Lambeth Palace Library lies not so much in the high spots, the medieval books of hours and other illuminated manuscripts, important as they are. It is in the depth of coverage – the accumulation over many years of so many germane items in one place where lies its greatest value. However, such a collection can never be complete. Books (and editions of books) unknown to the great series of short title catalogues, printed and online, of books printed before 1800 continue to turn up. For the nineteenth century, our bibliographical knowledge is still more incomplete and it is never surprising to find new items or ones known only by one or two copies.

One of my pursuits is finding such items for Lambeth which fit the Library’s parameters. A recent example is Conversations on the Life of Jesus Christ. For the use of children. By a mother. London: John Harris, 1828, 12mo., vii, 136p. (see below).

christ1
Elizabeth Whatley’s Conversations on the Life of Jesus Christ

 

 

Our title went through three editions, of which the captioned is the first, of which the only other copy known is in the Osborne collection at Toronto Public Library. A second edition of 1833 is held by Trinity College, Dublin and a third of 1838 is in the British Library. No other copies seem to be known.

The book is in interlocutory form, between the mother and a daughter named Jane. Though anonymous, the author can be identified as Elizabeth Whately. Though her husband and two of her daughters are in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Elizabeth is not, possibly because she hid her authorship under a cloak of anonymity.

She was born as Elizabeth Pope, daughter of William Pope by his wife Mary Heaton (née Willis), on 7th October 1795 and was baptised on 22nd December of that year at Hillingdon, Middlesex where her father was the incumbent. She was married by her brother William Law Pope at Cheltenham, 3rd July 1821, to Richard Whately of St Mary Oxford.

Richard Whately (born 1 February 1787, died 8 Oct 1863) was educated at Oriel College, Oxford, and ordained in 1814. On marriage he had to resign his fellowship and was made rector of Halesworth, Suffolk. In 1825 he returned to Oxford on his appointment as the principal of St Alban Hall. Briefly Drummond Professor of Political Economy, he was appointed (it would seem to universal surprise) archbishop of Dublin in 1831, a preferment he retained until his death. He has a fine monument in St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.

Whately wrote on logic and political economy, as well as extensively on various religious matters and was very interested in education. He was a leading member of what is now known as the Noetic group, centred at Oriel College, who combined freethinking and rationalism with a firm belief in scriptural authority. He was an eccentric character, fond of punning and causing offence by his bluntness of speech and views in advance of his time, advocating free speech even for atheists, combined education for Anglicans and Catholics, and state support for the Catholic clergy of Ireland. He championed homeopathy and investigated hypnotism.

Elizabeth Whately is a far more shadowy character. She had six children (not five as in DNB) (Elizabeth) Jane (1822-93), Edward William (1823-92), Mary Louisa (1824-89), Henry (c1825-), Henrietta (1827-1908) and Blanche (1829-60). The family naturally lived in the archiepiscopal palace at Redesdale House, Kilmacud, just outside Dublin, but in 1841 they were visiting Brighton, presumably on holiday and were recorded in the census of that year. Elizabeth Jane, always known as Jane, is in DNB, edited her father’s commonplace book and wrote extensively. She is doubtless the Jane of her mother’s book. Mary Louisa was a missionary in Egypt for over 30 years. Elizabeth Whately became ill, went to Hastings in a vain attempt to recover her health but died there on 25th April 1860.

Most of her writings were anonymous. The Library hitherto contained over 100 works by the archbishop, and his daughter’s edition of her father’s commonplace book, but nothing by his wife. The following is a provisional bibliography, excluding Conversations on the Life of Christ:

  1. Reverses, or Memoirs of the Fairfax Family. By the author of Conversations on the Life of Christ, etc., London: B. Fellowes, 1833. This is another children’s book: “The little Tale now offered to young people was written for the Author’s own children, and with a view (beyond mere amusement) to the improvement and correction of their moral tendencies”.
  1. The second part of the History of Rasselas, Prince of Abyssinia. In : Fox (Lady M.) Friendly Contributions, etc.
  1. English Life, social and domestic, in the middle of the nineteenth century, considered in reference to our position as a community of professing Christians. London: Longman Rees Orme Brown Green and Longman, 1847. Reprinted in: The Edinburgh Review or Critical Journal, Vol.LXXXVIII, Jul-Oct 1848, Edinburgh: Adam Black, 1848.
  1. Quicksands on Foreign Shores. Edited by the Author of English Life, social and domestic. In: Truths. Great Truths popularly illustrated no.1, London: Blackader, 1854.
  1. The Roving Bee: or, a Peep into many hives. By the author of Quicksands on Foreign Shores. London: J. Nisbet & Co., 1855.

The compilation of the above bibliography has enabled copies of Reverses, English Life (which was written in response to the Irish potato famine, which Richard Whately spent much of his own money to trying to relieve) and Quicksands also to be secured for the Library.

A link with the 21st century is that Kevin Whately of Morse and Lewis fame, is a descendant of Richard and Elizabeth through their son Edward.

Life-of-Jesus-Christ-dedica
Inscription from Mrs Gunson to E.F. Spedding

 

One mystery remains. The inside front cover of the book contains an inscription to E.F. Spedding from a Mrs Gunson (see above). I have been unable to identify either of these. Possibly a reader can supply further information.

 

Cliff Webb.