Bartleet sees red

An interesting bit of marginalia has turned up, courtesy of L. B. Bartleet, who takes exception to Illingworth’s Personality: Human and Divine, one of the extensive Bampton Lectures. A rather intrusive collection of red-inked notes on the title page reads, in part, ‘The notes in red on almost every page of this work seem to me to bear indisputable testimony to this being nothing more nor less than an expansion of my own meditations’ – in short, an accusation of plagiarism.

bartleet hates illingworth

Bartleet, whose archives (including the ‘meditations’ in question) can be viewed at Pusey House, keeps his promise and exhaustively annotates the whole of the book with his insistence of Illingworth’s plagiarism. Whilst also an amusing piece of Oxford marginalia, it is perhaps the first time I have considered writing ‘extensive condemnation of contents on title page’ in a holdings record…


A Candid Examination

Amongst the newest assortment of curiosities discovered in the Lower Library is a surprisingly appropriate bookmark in A Candid Examination of Theism by George John Romanes:

exam 2

The note reads ‘11.30 will be quite soon enough: for if the candidate has done all he can before then, he must wait.’ Whether the book’s reader really was in the process of invigilating examinations, or whether he or she simply took the word ‘Examination’ a bit too literally is up for question, but for anyone interested, this book along with its unusual bookmark can be viewed in the Lower Library. It can be found on SOLO here:

exam 1


The Lower Library has uncovered a copy of John Minter Morgan’s Letters to a Clergyman on Institutions for Ameliorating the Condition of the People (1846), given to Dr. Pusey.

minter 1 new

Minter was an author and philanthropist who founded the National Orphan Home in 1849 and is notable for having been distinctly Christian in his projects. Minter’s other works include The Revolt of the Bees, which gives his views on education. For those interested, the book can be found in the Lower Library under the call number 11.21 b5.

minter 2


The Bampton Lectures

A copy of the 1878 Bampton lectures has the inscription ‘Presented to Her Majesty The Queen [almost certainly Victoria] by her humble & faithful subject, The Author.’ The ‘Author’ in question was Charles Henry Hamilton Wright, an Irish Anglican clergyman who delivered his lecture at Oxford, on the subject of Zechariah and his Prophecies. Given the book’s presence in the library one can only assume the Queen found little to interest her in its pages, but for those interested in the Bampton lectures an extensive collection can be found on the Pusey House Library shelves!



Mother Marian (Marian Rebecca Hughes) (1817-1912)

A copy of an 1841 edition of Thomas Aquinas’s Commentary on the Four Gospels (first volume) turns out to have belonged to none other than Mother Marian:

Marian Hughes

The inscription dates from 1842, when Mother Marian would have been 25 years old, and is written from Shenington, her birthplace in Gloucestershire. A year earlier, Marian had become the first female since the Reformation to take religious vows, inspired by an essay of Edward Bouverie Pusey’s she had read in 1839. She took her vows privately before Pusey early in the morning of Trinity Sunday before receiving holy communion. At a time when there were no Anglican sisterhoods, this move demonstrated the strength of character and force of will for which Marian later became renowned.


A pencil note in the same books also reads, ‘This copy came from the Convent of the Holy + Undivided Trinity, Southleigh, when that Society dispersed its books. It is of interest as bearing the name of the foundress.’ Marian officially founded the Society of the Holy and Undivided Trinity, later noted for its austerity, in Oxford in 1851, and based it on the character of the French Ursulines. She remained Mother Superior of the convent until her death in May 1912, aged 95. During her life, as well as after her death, she was celebrated for her altruism, such as her work during the cholera epidemic of 1854 and commitment to helping the poor. She and the other members of her sisterhood also ran schools and an orphanage. Further information and the Mother Marian archives can be accessed at Pusey House Library.


Fundraising, Project news

Well, that escalated quickly…

So, you may be aware that the Library has been running a crowdfunding campaign at to raise money towards the costs of the cataloguing project.

The direct costs of the project are being funded externally from a variety of sources: mostly via grant-making trusts of various kinds. We have received grants from the Foyle Foundation, the Pilgrim Trust, the Chichester Theological College Trust, the William Delafield Charitable Foundation, and the Historical Society of the Episcopal Church, and there are further applications in the pipeline.

We decided to launch a Crowdfunding appeal to raise some money directly from our supporters, Friends, and library users too. Crowdfunding is rather like an old fashioned public appeal, except instead of little envelopes and collecting boxes, it all happens online.Charity tin

Like this, but on the internet

We chose a target of £2,200, which covers a good round 5% of direct costs for 1 year of the project, and also seemed like an achievable goal. The campaign launched on 5th October (a few days after the first member of project staff began working in the Library) and will close on 9th November (a few days before the second member of project staff gets stuck in).

However, less than half way through the campaign time-wise (we’re on day 14 of 35), we have already more than reached our target. This means:

  1. We are very happy
  2. We are now aiming towards a new stretch target of £10,000

Year one of the cataloguing project is fully funded, but we are still raising funds towards the second year. The more we can raise directly from our supporters, the less we need to raise from grant making organisations.

Conversely , the more we can raise directly from our supporters, the more likely grant making organisations are to offer us money, as it displays popular support for the plan, a healthy relationship with our visitors, and a bit of initiative!

So, the appeal continues on until 9th November, and additional donations are still very welcome.

Thank you all very much.

Project news, Team

Meet the Team – 1


The first member of the project team to be appointed was Isobel Galek, who started work as library assistant on the cataloguing project at the beginning of October.


Isobel grew up on the south coast of England and began to love books from an early age. She studied BA English Language and Literature at Keble College, Oxford, and finished with first class honours, having won the Robin Geffen prize for English at the end of her first year. Whilst at Pusey House she hopes to get a better idea of her own future career, although she is planning to work with books (and their contents) longer term, hopefully in an academic setting. Her interests include reading, especially literature and history, and writing.