Something about the Beddome Library

In an autobiography here Pope A Duncan says (writing in the seventies)
One of the very fascinating things that occurred during the summer I was at Regents Park [1952?] was that the College received the Library of Benjamin Beddome who had been the pastor of the Baptist Church at Burton-on-the-Water in the seventeenth-century. This remarkable man had been a hymn writer and a very highly educated and intelligent individual. So much so that he ran a kind of seminary for young preachers out of his home in Burton-on-the-Water. In the process he collected hundreds of books and pamphlets of the Puritans and Separatists. After his death, his library lay in the attic of one of the members of his church and his succeeding family until Ernest Payne [tutor 1940-1951] found it over two hundred years later and managed to get it put on permanent loan at Regents Park College. Dr Ernest Payne had been principal of Regents Park College [?] and was at the time the executive officer of the British Baptist Union in London. Payne continued to take an active interest in Regents Park and in scholarship. His rescue of this library was certainly important. The library had never been cataloged nor really had it been closely examined when I was given a chance to work in it. I went through most of it fairly carefully in terms of seeing what was there. I found it to be a remarkable collection that had several first editions, some of which were not otherwise known to exist. Again, I wrote this up and planned to publish it and never got around to it before I moved into administration. When Margaret and I visited in Oxford in 1961, approximately nine years later, I found the library of Benjamin Beddome in the same room apparently having been untouched in all of those years. I do not know what has happened to it, but it is a gold mine waiting to be discovered if it has not been so up to this time. More than likely it has, since a splendid church historian, Barry White, has been a recent principal of Regents Park College [principal 1972-1989, not aware he or his successors have been able to do much - Paul Stuart Fiddes 1989-2007 and Robert Ellis the current principal].

Beddome's journey from Bristol to Tewkesbury

This is the journey mentioned in the poem

Poem to Ryland

In a book complied by grandson Samuel Beddome and found in the Angus Library there is a printed poem preserved with the heading we have reproduced here. It must be from the early 1740s.


From the late REV. BEN. B - ME, to the late REV. JOHN RYLAND; written from Tewksbury, the Day after he had left Bristol, his friend Ryland having accompanied him about ten Miles from Town.

DEAR BROTHER, WHEN of your company bereft,

I turn'd a little to the left;

I spurr'd my mare, and made her go

Thro' thick and thin, thro' hail and snow:

But she (alas!) is aged grown,

As by her pace may well be known.

To Tethrington I came at last,

At nine o'clock, or somewhat past;

Down by the fire I straightway sat,

Hoping the snow wou'd soon abate.

From head to foot (alas) wet thro',

I dry'd my coat, and stockings too.

I ate-and drank, and fed my, Horse:

(The charge was small, the diet coarse:)

But now an hour full expir'd,

And I with waiting almost tir'd;

I call'd to know what was to pay,

Then took my horse and rode away.

Large flakes of snow came down apace,

And still the wind was in my face:

With feet benumb'd and spirits down,

At length I came to Newport town

Then on I passed to Cambridge Inn

And there arrived wet to the skin

Again I drank, again I ate,

And gave my horse a little meat

Again I dry'd, then on 1 went,

Nor e'er repin'd at what I spent.

Still heavy clouds obscur'd the sky,

Now rains descended from on high.

I travell'd on, and thought of you,

And Bristol friends, and you know who;

Perhaps (said I) some of them see

The beating storm, and think of me.

Sometimes I wish'd that heav'nly grace

Might thus bedew our fallen race.

'The Lord' (said I) 'with gentle show'rs

Visit these barren souls of ours,

Till ev'ry plant of grace within

Be like the earth more fresh and green !'

At Gloster now did I arrive,

A quarter wanting just of five;

At Mrs Smith's I made some stay,

Tir'd with the labours of the day.

Such acts of kindness there I met,

'Twou'd be ungrateful to forget.

A welcome glass, some cheering tea,

I wish'd my RYLAND there with me;

If ever you to Gloster come,

I'd have you make that house your home.

But still to Tewkesbury I must go;

There's nought enduring here below;

And now the heav'ns more fair and bright

(At even tide there oft is light)

I took the hint and mounted straight

And got to Tewkesbury just at eight.

O thou e'er-availing Power above

Accept the tribute of my love.

O thine upholder of my ways

Now move my lips to grateful praise!

This night I've had a little sleep

And onwards am engag'd to keep.

The Lord be with you, my dear friend,

And me to those I know commend,

To parents dear be love expressed,

And then to Mrs Evans next

First read, then burn these doggerel lines.

But I must haste - day brightly shines.

Then think of me as I of you,

My dearest friend once more adieu.


We have some knowledge of Beddome's preaching and the hymns sung in 1771 from a notebook in the Angus library.

Fe 17     1 Cor 6.13c To Thee tho' rightful Lord of all
24          Gen 7.23b When in the waters of ye flood
Mr 10    1 Chr 29:14b Great God whate'er we give to Thee
31          Ps 119.19 All earthly glory fades
Ap 7      Gen 49.19 Our help is in the Lord
Ma 19   Ps 6.2,3 Go wicked man boast of thy wealth
Jl 7       1 Sam 15.32 The midnight shadows are withdrawn
14         Eze 20.41 part Jehovah from his mercy seat
21         1 Thess 5.24 Great God, Thy love and truth conjoin'd
Au 11   Matt 5.48 How perfect Lord art Thou
18         Philemon 17 Engaged in the same common cause
Sp 1      Prov 19.3b Why should I murmur or repine*
15         2 Kings 4.26 a And now my soul what sayest thou
No 24   Isa 37:4c In humble prayer I always find
De 15   1 Jn 5.1a Amidst the floods of deep distress

*This appears to be the only hymn in the hymn book. It is 238.

29 1 Jn 5.18a Oh, what a hateful thing


Rippon's Selection

These are the hymns by Beddome in Rippon's Selection. There appear to me than other sources suggest.
  1. Wait, O my soul, thy Maker's will 11
  2. Great God my Maker and my King 18
  3. Great God of providence! 35
  4. Astonished and distressed 40
  5. What is the world? A wildering maze 43
  6. God in the gospel of his Son 54
  7. My rising soul with strong desires 97
  8. Great God 'tis from thy sovereign grace 111
  9. When by the Tempter's Wiles Betrayed 122
  10. Ye worlds of light that roll so near 160
  11. Jesus, my love, my chief delight 171
  12. Come, Holy Spirit, come 211
  13. Faith! 'tis a precious grace 217
  14. Lord, incline my wandering heart 226
  15. Let party names no more 255
  16. O blest society 258
  17. Dear Lord, though bitter is the cup 264
  18. The Mighty God will not despise 273
  19. Why, O My Soul, Why Weepest Thou? 274
  20. My times of sorrow and of joy 276
  21. If secret fraud should dwell 283
  22. If God is mine, then present things 287
  23. Ye trembling souls, dismiss your fears 288
  24. If duty calls, and suffering too 293
  25. While carnal men with all their might 293
  26. Is there in heaven or earth who can 294
  27. Strait the Gate, the Way is Narrow 294
  28. The wandering star and fleeting wind 310
  29. Great god! oppressed wit guilt and fear 330
  30. Prayer Is the Breath of God in Man 353
  31. Unto thine altar, Lord 356
  32. How free and boundless is the grace 362
  33. Ye messengers of Christ 420
  34. Go forth ye saints, behold your king! 421
  35. Father of mercies bow thine ear 426
  36. Shout, for the blessed Jesus reigns! 429
  37. How great, how solemn is the work 453
  38. Jesus! When faith with fixed eyes 477
  39. So fair a face bedew'd with tears 484
  40. On Britain, long a favoured isle 530
  41. Death! 'tis an awful word 580
  42. To the eternal three (Doxology) 592



We have some fragmentary knowledge of Beddome's preaching and the hymns sung in 1770 from a notebook in the Angus library.
We know of eight sermons he preached in Bourton - on Job 36:7a (April 8), Gen 28:17 (June 17), Matt 23:37 (July 1), 1 Cor 12:6 (Sep 26), Joshua 3:3, 4 (Oct 13 a funeral sermon for a Mr Lowingdon) and then at the end of the year on 1 Thessalonians 5, including verses 16, 17 and 21 and perhaps others (Nov 4, 11 and Dec 23).
Hymns sung included That God who form'd Heav'n, Earth and seas; How sweetly awful is the place; Tho wrath alarm and love invites; In various ways, by various means; When Israel thro the wilderness (339) God's gracious Presence once withdrawn (190); The secret sob, the pensive sigh and  “Prove all things” thus doth God command. Of these only two (those with numbers marked in brackets) made it to the hymn book. Here's the one from the funeral.
When Israel through the wilderness
 had passed at God’s command,
 From Jordans banks, their wishful eyes,
 Beheld the promised land.

But still a river lay between,
 Whose waters overflowed;
 And through the deeps they needs must go,
 The only way allowed.

Death is the Jordan we must pass;
 Lord, this divides from thee!
 But if thine ark move on before,
 Safe will the passage be.

Table Double Lecture 1781-1788

This table takes us from 1781-1788. The table is complete
(click to see)