20/07/2017

Boswell Beddome

Beddome, Boswell (1763-1816) was the son of the Baptist minister and hymnwriter, Benjamin Beddome (1717-95) of Bourton-on-the-Water, one time suitor of Mary Steele’s aunt, Anne Steele. In 1797, Boswell joined the Baptist congregation at Maze Pond in Southwark, London; unfortunately, his wife, the former Anne Wilkins (sister of William Wilkins, who had asked for Mary Steele’s hand in marriage in 1777), died shortly thereafter at the age of thirty-three, leaving him with several young children. He remarried in January 1800 to Anne Parsons and that July was elected a deacon at Maze Pond, along with Joseph Wickenden, both men being friends of Benjamin Flower, radical newspaper/magazine editor at Cambridge and later at Harlow. Beddome was active in Baptist affairs, serving as a deputy to the Protestant Dissenter’s Fund in 1803. His business partner was Mr. Fysh (also a member at Maze Pond) in Fenchurch Street, London (see letter 82). Robert Hall had been intimate with the Boswell family for many years. Beddome’s father partially supported Hall during the early years of the latter’s ministry with the interest from a £600 legacy (MS., Angus Library, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, shelfmark 41.3.4[t.]). Hall and Boswell Beddome maintained a close friendship throughout their lives. Writing to Olinthus Gregory on 2 November 1816, three days after Beddome’s death, Hall laments, Alas! my dear friend Boswell Beddome—my eyes will see thee no more! The place which once knew thee will know thee no more! How many delightful hours have I spent in thy society, hours never more to return! That countenance beaming with benevolence & friendship will be beheld no more until the Resurrection morn, when it will rise to view radiant with immortal brightness and beauty. (MS., Bristol Baptist College Library, acc. no. OSG.95B, box A) See Maze Pond 2.f.213, 221; CI 15 July 1797, 25 January 1800.

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