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.
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