17/06/2019

Reading books from the Library

There were well over 400 books in Beddome's library. From 1762, when Beddome was 45, until two years before his death, in 1795, he read over 70 of these books and made a note of the fact in them. He would usually write in Latin perfect or perfectum ie finished and then the date, eg Mense Aprilis 1766 or Mense 10bris 1785. Sometimes there is further comment, such as Cum magna Aprobatione with great appreciation or valde approbat much appreciated. Of a book of poetry by Hercules Collins he notes "All savoury & orthodox but the poetry very bad". Of a book by John Owen formerly owned by others he says Read this Book thro the first part the second Time December 1785. One other book gets a similar note. It is clear that some of the books were obtained second hand or even third or fourth hand. Most of these former owners we know nothing of but some, such as Bernard Foskett, have familiar names. No doubt Beddome read other books as well as those in his library and perhaps he did not always carefully note what he had read. There is no record of any unfinished books. For most years between 1762 and 1793 he would read at least one book and sometimes as many as seven of them each year.
The first book Beddome notes reading is a two volume collection of the works of Johann Arndt (1555-1621) and the last a book on the archaeology of Britain by William Camden (1551-1623). Authors read include Amandus Polanus von Polansdorf 1561-1610; Richard Bernard 1568-1641; Richard Carpenter,1575-1627; Jeremiah Burroughs 1599-1646; Edward Reynolds 1599-1676; Thomas Goodwin 1600-1680; Walter Cradock 1606?-1659; Isaac Barrow, 1630-1677; Samuel Blair 1712-1751, etc, etc.
In the next blog we will give a simple graph of his reading.

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