Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Bagster, Samuel (1800-1835)

BAGSTER, SAMUEL, the younger (1800–1835), printer and author, eldest son of Samuel Bagster, 1772–1851 [q. v.], was born on 19 Oct. 1800, and, after having been educated at a school at Oxford, conducted by the Rev. James Hinton, was articled to his father in 1815. From an early age he showed a serious tendency, and in October 1822 joined the baptist church in Blackfriars. Having acquired the necessary technical training in his father's establishment, young Bagster commenced business for himself in 1824 as a printer in Bartholomew Close. He married Miss Elizabeth Hunt in June 1825. During the summer of 1834 he brought out a little work on 'The Management of Bees,' printed by himself, published jointly by his father and William Pickering, and which has passed through three editions. It is full of useful and practical information, and, although now superseded by more recent treatises, has been in considerable repute. Samuel Purchas, the son of the author of the 'Pilgrimes,' issued in 1657 a quaint quarto, now extremely rare, styled 'A Theatre of Politicall Flying Insects,' in two parts, the first being devoted to the history and management of bees and the second to ' meditations and observations, theological and moral,' upon the subject. The greater part of these reflections were reprinted by Bagster in a volume produced in the same style and at the same time as his own practical handbook. He contributed 'The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge' to his father's polyglot series, and projected a series of questions on the gospels for Sunday-school children, but the manuscript of the latter remained unfinished and unpublished. Although at first the progress of his business gave him cause for anxiety , it steadily increased in extent. Many of the polyglot bibles and other learned publications of Messrs. Bagster & Sons came from his press. His amiable and devout disposition is dwelt upon by his biographer, the Rev. John Broad, a baptist minister, from whom we learn that the subject of this memoir took an active part in the anti-slavery and temperance movements. For the latter cause he wrote several pamphlets. Shepherd's Bush, where he spent the last part of his life, was then a rural neighbourhood, and Bagster occupied some of his leisure in poultry-breeding and bee-keeping. There he died at his residence, Aldine Cottage, on 1 July 1835, aged 35 years, leaving no children. He was buried at Tottenham Court Chapel, and his remains were removed in 1843 to the family vault in Abney Park Cemetery. His widow survived until 1879. His works consist of: 1. 'The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge; consisting of a rich and copious assemblage of more than 500,000 scripture references and parallel passages from Canne, Brown, Blayney, Scott, and others, with numerous illustrative notes: adapted to be the companion of every biblical reader,' London, S. Bagster [1834], foolscap 8vo and 4to, forming the second part of the 'Treasury Bible.' '2. ' The Management of Bees, with a description of the "Ladies Safety-hive," with 40 illustrative wood engravings,' London, S. Bagster, 1834, small 8vo. A second edition was published in 1838, and a third (also unaltered) in 1805. 3. 'Spiritual Honey from Natural Hives, or Meditations and Observations on the Natural History and Habits of Bees, first introduced to public notice in 1657 by S. Purchas, M.A.,' London, S. Bagster, 1834, small 8vo.

[Information from Mr. B. Bagster; Broad's Memoir of the Life and Christian Experience of S. Bagster, jun., 1837; Literary Gazette, 1834, p. 753.]

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