Baptist Churches and their Books

Major research projects such as the Dissenting Academies Project at the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies, and the Reading Experience Database, have recently alerted us to the importance of book owership and book circulation in dissenting circles. It may be surprising to find information in the records and minutes of gathered Churches, but these manuscripts contain evidence relevant to scholars of literature, and they can afford a glimpse of the reading habits, the intellectual horizons, and the spare funds of the dissenting communities. There are at least four possible areas for investigation, as illustrated by the following four short examples:

Monksthorpe Baptist Chapel, Monksthorpe, Lincolnshire, by Brian, http://www.flickr.com/photos/79727841@N00/2181337664

Monksthorpe Baptist Chapel, Monksthorpe, Lincolnshire, by Brian,http://www.flickr.com/photos/79727841@N00/2181337664, CC BY-SA 2.0

1- Distribution of books

Baptist Churches purchased books thanks to donations from members, benefactors, and their common funds. In the Barbican Church, in Paul’s Alley, there was a ‘Library’, a multi-purposed room where not only books, but also important documents (such as letters of the Associations) were kept, where auditing the yearly accounts was conducted, as well as ‘exercising’ of gifts (Paul’s Alley, fol. 106, 147, 163, 173). In October 1706, the Church decided that there should be a committee ‘to Examine ye Deacons Accounts & also whether all ye Bookes are in ye Library’ (Paul’s Alley, fol. 120). When, in November 1709, the Baptist ministers meeting at Norwich Coffee House, in Threadneedle Street, announced their intention to ‘erect a publick Library out of ye Fund design’d for bringing up Persons for ye Ministry', Paul’s Alley immediately proposed the use of its building to that effect (Paul’s Alley, fol. 142).

Books were often distributed to targeted members of the community, most of whom candidates to the Baptist ministry.  On 28th June 1692, the first Church book of the congregation meeting in Old Gravel (1676-1711) states ‘Att the same time ther was three pounds worthe of books disposed unto seuerall younge bretheren in the congregation and aboute 12 months agoe ther was six pound giuen to other bretheren for books’ (Wapping CB, fol. 53), and the respective lists are given.

2- Churches' Libraries and Catalogues

As far as I amaware, not many lists of books have survived in the records of smaller, non-metropolitan congregation. Wapping is one example, and another one is to be found in the Church records of Hexham and Hamsterley, at the Angus Library and Archive, Regent’s Park College, Oxford. ‘Aug. 26. 1717. A Catalouge of books given me by Jo. Ward of Calffall’ is an annotated (and truncated) list of 34 books which does not seem to have been examined and does require an exhaustive enquiry.

3- Churches’ sale of books

Not content with owning and distributing books, the Baptists also organised book sales in their meeting houses. In the 1690s, in White’s Alley (General) Baptist congregation, in Moorfield, it was the practice to display books, on the communion table, for sale to members and hearers. It seems that the titles first had to be approved by the then minister, Joseph Taylor, before being put out for sale. Some titles are more easily identified than others, but they reflect a broad range of interest: conduct books for parents and children, funeral sermons, and the ubiquitous anti-Quaker and anti-Catholic propaganda. The ones identified below are short publications, quartos of between 8 and 28 pages. The sale might have been a popular practice in the mid-1690s since the first Church book (1681-1700) records it happening on four separate occasions, about once a year:

- in November 1695 ‘Bro. Cooper Book of Kent his Book of Advice to Parents & Children may be laid vpon ye Table in order to ye sale of them’ (White’s Alley CB, Fol. 133r), the plural suggesting there might have been more than one copy;

- in November 1696 were sold ‘som of those Bookes written by Bro: Stanly being a funerall discourse on occasion of [deleted word Reve ? replaced with] the Death of Bro: Will: Reve’ (White’s Alley CB, Fol. 149r), that is, A sermon preach’d at the funeral of Mr. William Reeve, a minister of Christ and servant to the churches...London, 1696, Wing S5235. Again, the plural might indicate several copies;

- in April 1698 were sold two titles, ‘a litle book of Baptisme...likewise a book ag[ain]st ye Quakers writt by a country friend’ (White’s Alley CB, Fol. 169r), the latter perhaps being W. D., A Letter from a gentleman in the country to his friend at London concerning a conference between some clergy-men...and some Quakers [London], 1698, Wing D97;

- in June 1699 ‘a Booke Called Mr pillkintons Recantation’ (White’s Alley CB, fol. 186r), that is John Piggott, An Account of Mr. John Pilkington’s public recantation of the errors of the Romish Church, London, 1699, Wing P220.

4- The Churches as Publishing Sponsors

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Seminar in Dissenting Studies

Seminar in Dissenting Studies, the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR. All are welcome.

Wednesday 11 February 2015 5.15 to 6.45 pm

 Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Queen Mary University of London), ‘Dissenting Gospels: Edward Harwood’s A Liberal Translation of the New Testament

This paper focuses on Edward Harwood’s English translation of the New Testament, published in 1768. The translation has long incurred mockery and opprobrium for its stylistic eccentricity, since it attempts to mimic the polite literature of the mid-eighteenth century, an incongruous effect for any used to the solemn rhythms of the King James Version. Behind this facade, however, lay a rigorous effort to refigure the Bible according to the principles of Arian theology, and Harwood’s contemporaries, both in Britain and on the Continent, were fully aware of this strategy. This paper, then, situates the translation against (1) Harwood's wider intellectual activity, including his theological works and his textual criticism, (2) dissenting biblical scholarship of the eighteenth century, and (3) his hostile readers, who included both orthodox critics from Scotland and the Netherlands, and the English Socinian writer William Hazlitt, Sr.

 Anthony Ossa-Richardson is a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at Queen Mary University of London. His primary research interest is early modern (c. 1600-1800) intellectual history, including religion, hermeneutics, literature and philosophy. He has published The Devil’s Tabernacle: The Pagan Oracles in Early Modern Thought (2013), and is now working towards a monograph on the history of the concept of ambiguity in a range of fields from the Renaissance to the twentieth century.

Speaker’s email: a.ossa-richardson@qmul.ac.uk

Webpage: http://www.sed.qmul.ac.uk/staff/ossarichardsona.html

For more information about the Seminar in Dissenting Studies contact James Vigus (j.vigus@qmul.ac.uk) or see: http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/current.html

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CFP: 500 Years of Reformation and New Time: 1517-2017

St. Petersburg Polytechnic University
St. Petersburg State University
Leibniz  Universität Hannover
Friedrich-Alexander Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg
St.Petersburg society of German classical philosophy
St.Petersburg Nicolai Cusanus society
St.Petersburg Martin Luther society

April 16 - 192015, St. Petersburg Polytechnic University

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CFP: VOICING DISSENT IN THE LONG REFORMATION

VOICING DISSENT IN THE LONG REFORMATION

The 8th Triennial Conference of the International John Bunyan Society

 Aix-en-Provence (France), 6–9 July 2016

 Plenary speakers: Alec Ryrie (Durham), Andrew Spicer (Oxford Brookes), Alexandra Walsham (Cambridge), Helen Wilcox (Bangor).

CFP IJBS 2016

The conference will concentrate on the expression and representation of Protestant Dissent, Nonconformity and Puritanism (1500–1800), with an emphasis on the relationship between written and oral cultures. Topics might include: preaching, singing and praying; public and private devotion; conferences and disputations; epistolary conversation; religion and politics; rumour and defamation; reading and publishing Dissent; the representation of emotions...

The conference will be hosted conjointly by the research centres on the anglophone world of Aix-Marseille and Montpellier Universities.

Applicants are invited to send proposals for 30-minute papers or for panels (3 x 30-minute papers). Please include a title for the paper; a summary of no more than 300 words; a 100-word biographical outline; and a one-page CV.

Bursaries are available for doctoral students and young researchers. To apply, explain your need for support, your likely travel costs, and include a reference letter (from e.g. a supervisor).

Send all proposals and communications (Word documents only, no pdf) to: voicingdissentconference@gmail.com

Deadline: 31 May 2015
All answers by August 2015

FURTHER INFORMATION: johnbunyansociety.org

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11/01/2015: Unity Marches across France

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News of EMoDiR: CFP and upcoming events

For those who are not members yet, here is some information from EMoDiR monthly newsletter:

15 February 2015 submission deadline for Religious Toleration in the Age of Enlightenment (1650-1800): Historical Perspectives on Current Debates June 22nd & June 23rd, 2015, Institute for Culture and Society – Religion & Civil Society Project, Universidad de Navarra – Pamplona (Spain), Convenors: Rafael García Pérez  (rgperez@unav.es) and Juan Pablo Domínguez (jdfernandez@alumni.unav.eshttp://philevents.org/event/show/14933

15 February 2015 submission deadline for Fifth RefoRC Conference 2015: Crossing Borders: Transregional Reformations, 07.05.2015 – 09.05.2015 Leuven, <http://www.hsozkult.de/event/id/termine-25372>

21-23 January 2015, Utrecht University will host an international conference on  Enlightened Religion — From Confessional Churches to Polite Piety.

The conference is the concluding event of the research project: "Faultline 1700: Early Enlightenment Conversations on Religion and the State". Jonathan Israel and Michael Driedger will deliver a concluding comment. More information on the conference, and on the project: http://faultline1700.com. – Anyone interested is cordially invited to attend. Entrance is free of charge. If you think you will be able to attend, would you be so kind to register beforehand on the site?

13 March 2015, L’Institut d’histoire de la Réformation, Genève. Journée d’étude organisée dans le cadre de la convention IHR- EMoDiR.  Les frontieres de la dissidence. Énonciations et pratiques du dissentiment religieux à l’époque confessionnelle : études de cas et parcours de recherche, organisateurs: Nicolas Fornerod, Maria-Cristina Pitassi, Daniela Solfaroli Camillocci

26–28 March 2015, Berlin, The Sixty-First Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America: 5 EMoDiR-Panels (organized by Stefano Villani) on Early Modern Religious Dissent and Radicalism have been accepted. Check the programme for further details: http://www.rsa.org/?page=2015Berlin

With the participation of Alessandro Arcangeli, Federico Barbierato, Silvia Berti, Manuela Bragagnolo, Peter Burschel, Christiana Facchini, Monika Frohnapfel, Umberto Grassi, Tamar Herzig, Ariel Hessayon, Sünne Juterczenka, Simone Maghenzani, Adelisa Malena, Justin Meggitt, Francesco Ronco, Moshe Sluhovsky, Giovanni Tarantino, Xenia von Tippelskirch, Anne-Charlott Trepp, Stefano Villani.

11-14 May 2015, Menaggio, Atelier trilatéral « Villa Vigoni »: Les dissidences religieuses en Europe à l’époque moderne : des constructions en mouvement (liens, langages, objets), 2e rencontre. organized by Adelisa Malena, Sophie Houdard and Xenia von Tippelskirch http://www.emodir.net/projects/villa-vigoni

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John Rylands Research Institute: Visiting Research Fellowship

Deadline: 27 February 2015

Call for Visiting Research Fellowships

Applications for Call 3 are now being accepted.

What does John Rylands Research Institute Visiting Fellowship offer?

  • Curatorial support for research fellows
  • Access to a hot desk including IT equipment
  • Photocopying and the opportunity to access digital imaging
  • Access to staff room
  • Successful applicants will be reimbursed expenses up to £1,500 per month for up to 3 months, to cover travel, accommodation and living expenses during the Fellowship

Candidates, whether in established academic posts or not, should at least hold a doctorate at the time of application. All applications must be based strongly on the Special Collections of the University of Manchester Library.

Applications are especially welcome in the areas of:

  • Revolutions in Print
  • Religions
  • Science
  • Medicine
  • as well as those that have the potential to result in high-profile publications

For further information, see the website.

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Seminar in Dissenting Studies

Seminar in Dissenting Studies, the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR. All are welcome.

 Wednesday 14 January 2015 5.15 to 6.45 pm

 Felicity James (Leicester), ‘Writing the Lives of Dissent: Community, Biography, and Historiography in Late Eighteenth-Century Rational Dissent’

Can we use the term ‘community’ in relation to a disparate religious group such as Rational Dissenters – lacking a unifying creed, drawn from a range of backgrounds and often professing different and sometimes contradictory theological beliefs? This talk explores the ways in which Dissenters may have nourished a collective identity, particularly through their life-writing practices. Through biography, autobiography, familial memoir, and conversion narratives, I argue, they sought to construct a story of Dissent and a sense of community across time and place. The paper will discuss specific examples including the MS biography of Theophilus Lindsey, written by his wife, and some narratives surrounding Essex Street Chapel. In particular, I want to think about how Lindsey’s story of secession and exile might shed further light on the complicated narratives of Dissenting culture in the late eighteenth century, and the development of a Unitarian identity through the nineteenth century.

Felicity James teaches eighteenth and nineteenth century literature at the University of Leicester; her research focuses on sociability, friendship and creative exchange amongst writers, and, most recently, on life-writing. Her publications include Charles Lamb, Coleridge and Wordsworth: Reading Friendship in the 1790s (Palgrave, 2008) and Religious Dissent and the Aikin-Barbauld Circle, 1740 to 1860 (Cambridge, 2011) co-edited with Prof. Ian Inkster, which arose from a day conference at Dr Williams’ Library. She is working on a monograph on life-writing by women connected with Rational Dissent, and is also one of the editors of the new Collected Works of Charles and Mary Lamb, to be published by OUP in 2018. She will be speaking at Community and its Limits, 1745-1832 at Leeds, 4-6 September 2015, and is organising a conference Writing Lives Together: Romantic and Victorian Biography, to be held in Leicester on 18 September 2015, which would welcome papers on any aspect of collaborative/community life-writing in the period, and particularly those with a focus on religious Dissent.

Speaker’s email: fj21@le.ac.uk

Webpage: http://www2.le.ac.uk/departments/english/people/felicityjames

For more information about the Seminar in Dissenting Studies contact James Vigus (j.vigus@qmul.ac.uk) or see:

http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/current.html

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1662 Revisited

We are delighted to announce the publication of:

N. H. Keeble (ed), 'Settling the Peace of the Church': 1662 Revisited (Oxford University Press, 2014).

1662 revisited

Table of contents:

Acknowledgments
Notes on Contributors
List of Abbreviations
David Wykes and Isabel Rivers: Preface
N. H. Keeble: Introduction: Attempting Uniformity
1: Jacqueline Rose: The Debate over Authority: Adiaphora, the Civil Magistrate, and the Settlement of Religion
2: Paul Seaward: 'Circumstantial temporary concessions': Clarendon, Comprehension, and Uniformity
3: Michael Davies: 'The silencing of God's dear Ministers': John Bunyan and his Church in 1662
4: Robert Armstrong: The Bishops of Ireland and the Beasts at Ephesus: Reconstruction, Conformity, and the Presbyterian Knot, 1660-62
5: Alasdair Raffe: Presbyterian Politics and the Restoration of Scottish Episcopacy, 1660-62
6: Cory Cotter: Going Dutch: Beyond Black Bartholomew's Day
7: Owen Stanwood: Crisis and Opportunity: the Restoration Church Settlement and New England
8: N. H. Keeble: The Nonconformist Narrative of the Bartholomeans
9: Mark Burden: John Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy and Church of England Responses to the Ejections of 1660-62
Index

To order through Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies with a 20% discount, use this page.

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CFP: Representing Dissent in the Long Eighteenth Century

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"Representing Dissent in the Long Eighteenth Century"

A Regional Day Conference of the International John Bunyan Society organized by W. R. Owens and David Walker in association with the University of Bedfordshire and Northumbria University will take place at the University of Bedfordshire, Bedford Campus, on Friday 10 April 2015.

This conference is open to anyone interested in Bunyan and in the ways in which Dissent and Dissenters were represented during the period from about 1660 through to the early nineteenth century. The term ‘represented’ may be taken to include self-representation and representation by others in various forms of expression and communication, including, for example, literature, art, the theatre, news media, high and popular culture, sermons, and political discourse and propaganda. Please send a title and very brief summary of a 20-minute paper – no later than 1 February 2015 – to: Bob Owens (bob.owens@beds.ac.uk) and David Walker (david5.walker@northumbria.ac.uk).

You can download the flier and the registration details here.

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Dissenting Experience: Years 2 and 3

Many thanks to all the speakers and delegates at Dissenting Experience 2nd annual conference ('Varieties of Dissenting Expression', 8 November 2014, Dr Williams's Library, London) and to our institutional partners: The Institut Universitaire de France, LERMA (Aix-Marseille University), Dr Williams's Library, Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies and the University of Liverpool.

© Trustees of Dr Williams's Library

© Trustees of Dr Williams's Library 

 

For the list of delegates, click here.

Special thanks to Jenna Townend (Loughborough) and her supervisor, Dr Rachel Adcock, for a very nice review of the conference on 'My Early Modern World' (and sorry for the early start)!

If you are a doctoral student with an interest in Dissenting studies, don't hesitate to get in touch and 'register an interest', and we will keep you informed about our activities.

The third annual conference will take place on Saturday 14 November 2015.  Confirmed speakers include

  • Dr Mark Burden (Portsmouth) on early Dissenting academies
  • Prof. John Coffey (Leicester),The problem of denominational labelling (1640-1672)’
  • Prof. Jeremy Gregory (Manchester) on the Church of England
  • Dr Johanna Harris (Exeter) on Puritan letters
  • Dr Ariel Hessayon (Goldsmiths University of London) on the Philadelphians
  • Prof. Mark Knights (Warwick) on corruption
  • Dr Kate Peters (Cambridge) on the Quakers
  • Dr Grant Tapsell (Oxford), ‘The View from Lambeth’
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News from EMoDiR

EMoDiR is advertising two events of interest for Dissenting Experience:

26-29 November 2014, Menaggio, workshop Villa Vigoni: 'Les dissidences religieuses en Europe à l’époque moderne : des constructions en mouvement (liens, langages, objets)'

Org. Adelisa Malena, Sophie Houdard and Xenia von Tippelskirch http://www.emodir.net/projects/villa-vigoni

26–28 March 2015, Berlin, The Sixty-First Annual Meeting of the Renaissance Society of America

5 EMoDiR-Panels (organized by Stefano Villani) on Early Modern Religious Dissent and Radicalism have been accepted. Check the programme for further details: http://www.rsa.org/?page=2015Berlin

With the participation of Alessandro Arcangeli, Federico Barbierato, Silvia Berti, Manuela Bragagnolo, Peter Burschel, Christiana Facchini, Massimo Firpo, Monika Frohnapfel, Umberto Grassi, Tamar Herzig, Ariel Hessayon, Sünne Juterczenka, Simone Maghenzani, Adelisa Malena, Justin Meggitt, Francesco Ronco, Moshe Sluhovsky, Giovanni Tarantino, Xenia von Tippelskirch, Anne-Charlott Trepp, Stefano Villani.

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Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies 2015 Conference

Dissent and the Representation of War

The eleventh annual one-day conference of the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies will take place on

Saturday 16 May 2015, Dr Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square WC1H 0AR

Speakers

Brycchan Carey (Kingston University)
Mary-Ann Constantine (University of Wales)
Stephen Conway (UCL)
Rémy Duthille (Université Bordeaux Montaigne)
Karen Racine (University of Guelph)

For more information, see http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/c2015.html

For Dissenters in the First World War, see also below, the Friends of Dr WIlliams's Library Annual Lecture on 13 November 2014, http://fodwllectures.wordpress.com

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Dissenting Studies Seminar Series

The 2015 programme is available from the website of Dr Williams's Centre for Dissenting Studies, http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/current.html.

The seminar meets monthly on Wednesdays from January to July (excepting May) from 5.15 to 6.45 pm in the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams's Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR. All are welcome.

1. 14 January 2015
‘Writing the Lives of Dissent: Community, Biography, and Historiography in Late Eighteenth-Century Rational Dissent’
Felicity James (Leicester)

2. 11 February 2015
‘Dissenting Gospels: Edward Harwood's A Liberal Translation of the New Testament
Anthony Ossa-Richardson (Queen Mary)

3. 11 March 2015
‘John Wood Oman, the Prophet of Westminster’
Fleur Houston (Macclesfield)

4. 22 April 2015
'Dissenters at the polls in Ireland, 1692-1760'
David Hayton (Queen’s University Belfast)

5. 17 June 2015
‘Mary Hays and Henry Crabb Robinson: Reconstructing a "Female Biography"’
Timothy Whelan (Georgia Southern)

 6. 8 July 2015
‘Dissenting lives in dissenting records: reading the manuscript Church books’
Anne Dunan-Page (Aix-Marseilles)

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Dissenting Experience gets 5,000€ grant

Dissenting Experience has been awarded a €5,000 'workshop grant' from the School of Humanities at Aix-Marseille University. The one-day workshop will take place at Dr Williams's Library, on 7th November 2014.

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A panel of international experts and advisors from France, Britain, the United States and Italy will meet to discuss the future of the project, and particularly the publication of an inventory of British Church records, along the lines of those produced for the French Churches (by Raymond Mentzer) and the New-England Churches, part of the Hidden Histories project at the Congregational Library (Boston).

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New England Church Records make front page of NY Times

The New York Times recently gave pride of place on its front page to an ongoing search to recover New England's colonial church records. (You can view the article here.) The effort is led by James F. Cooper, Jr of Oklahoma State University and Margaret Bendroth, executive director of the Congregational Library in Boston, and is part of their larger 'New England's Hidden Histories' project.

Unlike most British dissenting records, which were brought into various archives over time or into county record offices during the 1960s, many of New England's colonial-era church records remain in the hands of local churches. They were famously cataloged in the 1960s by Harold F. Worthley, former librarian and executive director of the Congregational Library in Boston. After three years and 28,000 miles of travel he produced his famous 716-page 'Worthley Inventory' of early congregational church records. But now, over 50 years on, many have gone missing.

Drs Bendroth and Cooper are recreating Worthley's travels and rummaging through church closets, file cabinets, drawers, and safety deposit boxes in hopes of finding and preserving these valuable records. Their aim is to persuade churches to protect their past by permanently loaning these records to the Congregational Library in Boston, where they can be protected and restored.

They are also making the records available to the public. Increasing numbers of these records can be found digitized and transcribed on the Library's 'New England's Hidden Histories' website. The website (found here) is an invaluable source for exploring colonial religion.

It is a fascinating project that is drawing considerable attention (the Washington Post covered the story last year). But it also provides an interesting look into some of the challenges and opportunities historians have in collecting and publishing non-state records.

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Friends of Dr Williams's Library 2014 Lecture

The 2014 Lecture will be delivered at 5.30pm on 13 November 2014 in the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR.

All are welcome. To book a place, please email conference@dwlib.co.uk.

‘Revisiting Religion and the British Soldier in the First World War’

by Dr Michael Snape (University of Birmingham)

The significance of religion for the British soldier of 1914-1918 has traditionally been downplayed, and even discounted, in the historiography and popular mythology of the First World War. However, more recent research has tended to highlight the importance of personal faith and the role of religious agencies in the British experience of the war. Going further than the case of Great Britain, and beyond the years of the war itself, this lecture examines patterns of religiosity in the British army, correlates them with the evidence of other armed forces and other conflicts, and reassesses the nature and significance of religion for the British soldier throughout the ordeal of the First World War.

For more information about the Lecturer, click here.

For more information about the Friends of Dr Willliams's Library Annual Lectures and how to order printed copies, click here.

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Dissenting Experience, Experiencing Dissent

There are still a few places available for the 'Dissenting Experience' Conference at Dr Williams's Library on 8th November 2014. See the full post below for details of registration and the complete programme here.

The conference examines the wealth and variety of written materials, both in print and from archival sources, related to the experience of dissent across a wide spectrum of genres: from surviving gathered-church records and church books in Old and New England to letters and correspondence, poetry, and dissenting activities in the book trade. The conference will explore the methodological challenges and possibilities of using such sources to explore how the dissenting experience was documented and communicated, as well as to assess their value in the literary history of dissent and the writing of its collective history. This is the second in a series of three annual events exploring the collective experience of the dissenting churches in the period 1600-1800.

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Baxter Workshop at Dr Williams's Library

Workshop on the Reliquiae Baxterianae Project

Wednesday 10 September 2014, Dr Williams's Library

For more information, visit, http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/w2014.html

Following the presentation on the project to edit Richard Baxter’s Reliquiae Baxterianae given at the 2008 workshop on Baxter organised by Dr Alison Searle and the 2011 lecture on ‘Richard Baxter, John Owen and the Reliquiae Baxterianae’ delivered by Dr Tim Cooper to mark the public launch of this AHRC-funded project, at this workshop the editors will outline the shape of the edition’s current draft and their developing understanding of the process of the text’s composition and its publication in 1696. A draft of the full edition has now been completed. They will seek the advice and suggestions of participants on unresolved and outstanding questions, and will invite comments and queries on editorial and other issues that have arisen in the course of the work.

 Attendance at the workshop is free of charge, but advance registration is essential for catering purposes. If you wish to attend, please email Professor Neil Keeble, n.h.keeble@stir.ac.uk (noting any special dietary requirements) by 31 August.

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A new copy of the 1692 Bunyan folio

We can gain a remarkable insight into the use of Bunyan’s works thanks to a copy of the 1692 folio that has just been donated to the Angus Library and Archive, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, by the Faringdon Baptist Church, in Berkshire.

While working in that Library, I was astonished to be shown what I believe is the only chained copy of the folio in existence. A portion of the rusty chain is still attached to the book, and a fly-leaf note, bearing the name of Philip Farmer, describes how the book was to be used in its original home :

This book was given by Phillip ffarmer to the Church of Christ meeting at their meeting house in Westbrook at ffaringdon, Constituted of such only as are baptized upon profession of their faith; to abide fixed in their meeting house for the use of all such whether members or hearers as shall resort thither at convinient seasons to read in it or hear any part of it read; Never to be moved from their present meeting house so long as they or their succcessours of the same faith and order shall possess and use the same for their meeting house; and if ever that church so constituted shall remove to another meeting place or be [letters deleted] divided, it is the will of the donor that the greatest number of such members as afores[ai]d that shall hold together shall possess and enjoy this book for common use as aforesaid This is declared by the donor the first day of ffebruary anno dom[in]j 1711

Phillip ffarmer

Witness. Tho: Langley

This is a unique document, describing how the Bunyan folio was to be permanently kept in the meeting house, for all those wishing to read it, or be read to from it, when stepping into the building. The volume does not possess the frontispiece, the list of subscribers, or the index dedication.

Faringdon Baptist Church, Bromsgrove face, http://www.geograph.org.uk © Roger Templeman, CC BY-SA 2.0

Faringdon Baptist Church, Bromsgrove face, http://www.geograph.org.uk © Roger Templeman, CC BY-SA 2.0

A 19th-century loose sheet inserted in the volume, simply entitled ‘Baptist Church, Faringdon,’ reveals the full contents of a second fly-leaf, which is unfortunately torn. The text runs: 'A book of Bunyan’s works, originally presented to the Church in the year 1711, by Philip Farmer, and removed by Thomas Mace to prevent it being stolen in the year 1761, was restored by Mr. J. Broad, of Reading, May 21st 1888, particulars of each circumstances being written on the fly-lead of the book, now chained to [an] antique oak lectern in its original position in the Chapel'.

The Angus Library and Archive now possesses three copies of the folio, whose editorial history might still yield some surprises. For those unfamiliar with their wonderful records, see their website, http://theangus.rpc.ox.ac.uk

 With many thanks to Emma Walsh and Emily Burgoyne.

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Matthew Henry: The Bible, Prayer, and Piety

The University of Chester, 14-16 July 2014.

Capture d’écran 2014-07-13 à 16.37.43'To commemorate the tercentenary of the death of Matthew Henry (22 June 1714) and his 25-year ministry in Chester (1687–1712), the University of Chester, in collaboration with Chester Cathedral Library and the University of Manchester, is holding an interdisciplinary conference 14th–16th July 2014 to bring together historians, biblical scholars, and theologians to explore the work, context, and legacy of Matthew Henry, especially as it relates to his engagement with and use of Scripture. With keynote lectures from Prof. Clyde Binfield, Dr Ligon Duncan, Dr David Wykes, and Prof. Jeremy Gregory, this conference will not only offer a fresh opportunity to appreciate Henry’s ministry within the local context of Chester, it will also evaluate Henry in a wider historical context, and consider his contribution to the interpretation of the Bible in the early 18th century and its legacy up to the present day.'

For more information and registration, see http://www.chester.ac.uk/node/21521

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Dissenting Experience, Experiencing Dissent: registration

YEAR 2: Varieties of Dissenting Expression 

Saturday 8 November 2014, Dr Williams's Library

You can download the flyer here. You can download the conference poster here. 

Speakers are: Margaret Bendroth, Francis F. Bremer, James F. Cooper, Joel Halcomb, Nicholas McDowell, Jason McElligott, Johanna Harris, George Southcombe, Bob Wordsworth.

© Trustees of Dr Williams's Library

© Trustees of Dr Williams's Library 

 

 

This one-day conference, organised by the Centre for the English-Speaking World of Aix-Marseille Université in association with the Dr Williams’s Centre for Dissenting Studies and the University of Liverpool, focuses on the forms of dissenting expression available to dissenters and their congregations, on both sides of the Atlantic, throughout the seventeenth century. The conference examines the wealth and variety of written materials, both in print and from archival sources, related to the experience of dissent across a wide spectrum of genres: from surviving gathered-church records and church books in Old and New England to letters and correspondence, poetry, and dissenting activities in the book trade. The conference will explore the methodological challenges and possibilities of using such sources to explore how the dissenting experience was documented and communicated, as well as to assess their value in the literary history of dissent and the writing of its collective history. This is the second in a series of three annual events exploring the collective experience of the dissenting churches in the period 1600-1800.

To register, send an e-mail to Anne Page with your title, affiliation, postal address and dietary requirements:  anne.page@univ-amu.frRegistration is free and a buffet lunch will be served at the Library. Please register early as places are limited to 70.

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Young researchers' conference on dissent: Call For Papers

Displacement, Transgression and Dissent in France, Great Britain and the American Colonies (c.1600-1800)

A young researchers’ conference, Aix-Marseille University, Friday 20 and Saturday 21 March 2015

Guest speaker: Prof. Frank Lestringant (Paris-Sorbonne University)

 CALL FOR PAPERS

One of the main consequences of the Reformation in Europe, and of colonial expansionism, was a transformation of religious, social and political thought at a time when Copernicus, Galileo and Kepler were revolutionising conceptions of the universe.

This conference sets out to examine norms and transgressions in relation to issues such as:

  • knowledge and science;
  • religious dissent and political radicalism;
  • the ontological status of man;
  • definitions of reason and forms of unreason, including melancholy and madness;
  • new discourses of body and mind, including those that shaped concepts of sexual behaviour deemed abnormal or contrary to Nature;
  • the emergence of a political sphere;
  • the beginnings of a public sphere

The aim of the conference will be to investigate how these and related issues were explored in literary and artistic forms, as for example in poetry, satirical pamphlets, travel writings and utopias, drama and theological or moral controversies.

Beinecke Flickr Laboratory CC-BY-2.0

Two page opening including sermon on Exodus 20.17
James Marshall and Marie Louise Osborn Collection, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University, Beinecke Flickr Laboratory CC-BY-2.0

 The conference is organized by Aix-Marseille University Research Centres on French Literature and on the Anglophone World and co-sponsored by two learned Societies, SEAA 17-18 (Anglophone World, 17th and 18th Centuries) and SFEDS (French Literature of the 18th Century).

Doctoral students and young researchers should send an abstract (250-500 words) and a short CV conjointly to the three organizers before 1 September 2015:

Prof. Anne Dunan-Page (anne.page@univ-amu.fr),

Prof. Stéphane Lojkine (stephane.lojkine@univ-amu.fr)

Prof. Jean Viviès (jean.vivies@univ-amu.fr)

Continue reading

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Dissenting Studies Seminar Series

Seminar in Dissenting Studies, the Lecture Hall, Dr Williams’s Library, 14 Gordon Square, London WC1H 0AR. All are welcome. Those with an interest in Dr Williams’s Library and its collections and in the history of Protestant dissent are especially invited to attend.

Wednesday 2 July 2014 5.15 to 6.45 pm

Graham Jefcoate (Nijmegen and Chiang Mai), 'The Tribulations of Johann Christoph Haberkorn: An Eighteenth-Century London Printer and his Dealings with Pietists and Moravians'

 In March 1771 Friedrich Wilhelm Pasche, a Lutheran clergyman in London, met Mr. Metcalf, an attorney, to discuss the matter of the “Haberkornian debt”. Johann Christoph Haberkorn, a printer formerly of Grafton Street, Soho, owed money for goods he had received on credit many years before. In this lecture we shall trace the background of the “Haberkornian debt” through the printer’s dealings with German Lutheran Pietists and Moravians in mid-eighteenth-century London.

Although Haberkorn’s account books have not been preserved, a range of archival sources, including the correspondence of London’s Pietist clergy, enables us to reconstruct the sequence of events in outline. The sources also provide a (perhaps unexpected) insight into the role of the clergy within London’s large German-speaking community. The narrative that emerges may also challenge some preconceived ideas about foreign communities in eighteenth-century England. At the centre of that narrative is Haberkorn himself, a significant figure in the contemporary book trade but also an individual profoundly affected by the religious thinking and the confessional conflicts of his time.

Graham Jefcoate (1951) studied English Literature at Cambridge and Library Science at University College London. With a background in rare books cataloguing and curatorship, he has held senior positions at the British Library and Berlin State Library. From 2004 he worked in the Netherlands where he was Director of the Nijmegen University Library until he took early retirement in October 2011. He has published widely in the fields of Anglo-German bibliography, book trade history, library history, library management and innovation. Since retirement he has been writing and lecturing on heritage collections and on various aspects of the Anglo-German relationship in the eighteenth century. His monograph on German printers, booksellers and publishers in eighteenth-century London is due to be published in November 2014.

Speaker’s email: g.p.jefcoate.70@cantab.net

Book forthcoming with De Gruyter Verlag:

http://www.degruyter.com/view/product/422026

For more information about the Seminar in Dissenting Studies contact James Vigus (j.vigus@qmul.ac.uk) or see

http://www.english.qmul.ac.uk/drwilliams/events/current.html

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Revisiting Early Modern Prophecies

26-28 June 2014, Goldsmiths, University of London

http://www.gold.ac.uk/history/research/panaceasociety/propheciesconference/

'The Reformation dramatically changed Europe’s religious and political landscapes within a few decades. The Protestant emphasis on translating the Scriptures into the vernacular and the developments of the printing press rapidly gave increased visibility to the most obscure parts of the Bible. Similarly, Spanish and Italian mystics promoted a spiritual regeneration of the Catholic Church during the Counter-Reformation. Prophecies, whether of biblical, ancient or popular origin, as well as their interpretations gradually began reaching a wider audience, sparking controversies throughout all levels of society across Europe. In recent years, new research has eroded the long standing historiographical consensus of an increasing secularisation accelerated by the Enlightenment, which allegedly cast away beliefs in prophecies and miracles as outmoded. The multiplication of case studies on millenarian movements suggests a radically different picture, yet many questions remain. How did prophecies evolve with the politico-religious conjunctions of their time? Who read them? How seriously were they taken?'

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