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].


Angus Library said...

The Beddome library is currently being catalogued as part of a major project in the Angus Library. http://theangus.rpc.ox.ac.uk/about-the-angus/project-info/ You're right, it is a fantastic collection! At least 1/3 are not available in any other library within Oxford.

Gary Brady said...

Thanks for this note and the good news. I would love to get up to the Angus again soon and peruse the various volumes. Your hard work is appreciated.