Page:Notes and Queries - Series 11 - Volume 9.djvu/468

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462


NOTES AND QUERIES. [11 s. ix. JU*E 13,


before, and his birthplace is omitted in ' D.N.B.,' xiii. 33. He was Rector of Abbot's Ripton, and died 17 April, 1793.

There was also in St. Ives a " Church Book Club " before 1849, and until the Rev. C. D. Goldie's time it was flourishing. " He died 11 Jan., 1886, aged 61 ; 19 years Vicar of this parish" when the Club seems to have lapsed.

Some of the Huntingdon Clubs com- menced at an early date. " R. C." (Richard Carruthers) in his ' History of Huntingdon ' (1824), p. 299, records:

" There are four Book Clubs in this town, the oldest and most respectable of which is the George Book Club, established in the year 1742. It consists at present of about 50 members, who meet and dine together once a month.

" The Ladies' Book Society, consisting of about 40 subscribers.

" Huntingdon Book Club, to which Lord Sondes and Lord John Russell are patrons and sub- scribers, the number of subscribers is 22.

" The Huntingdon Literary Society, established in 1817, 37 subscribers."

The second edition of Noble's ' Memoirs of the Protectoral-House of Cromwell ' (1787) was published by subscription. There was a large number of local subscribers, with the Earl of Sandwich leading, and several Book Clubs, including " The George Inn Book Club in Huntingdon " and " The Fountain Inn Book Club in Huntingdon."

The next reference I have to a Hunting- don Club is The Gentleman's Magazine in 1827, when it refers to the death of Dr. J. M. Leslie (7 Sept., 1827) in the follo\ving terms :

" He was one of the most active members of the Huntingdonshire Book-club, and was to have taken the Vice-President's chair at the anniversary meeting of that long-established institution, on the day before his death."

In 1840 the Huntingdon Town and County Book Club, which apparently was the same as the above, published its rules with a catalogue of its books t

'Hatfield's Gazetteer' (1854), p. 250, men- tions only two Clubs in Huntingdon the " Huntingdonshire Ladies' Book Society " and the " Huntingdonshire Literary Society " and they, like the St. Ives clubs, had book- sellers as secretaries. The former Club had Mr. A. P. Wood, and the latter Mr. R. Edis. For their careers see ' N. & Q.,' 11 S. viii. 44. Probably at this date (1854) the two other Clubs had lapsed.

There was also a Huntingdonshire Medical Book Society about the seventies or eighties, but I can learn nothing about it at present.

The foundation of the Bluntisham Club is as follows. The Cambridge Independent Press (8 Jan., 1825) states that


" a correspondent says a book club is to be formed 1 at Bluntisham, and from the number of literary and scientific characters already entered as- members it promises by profound knowledge and learning to rival anything of the kind in the- neighbourhood. The works intended to be taken are chiefly to consist of periodical publications."

I mentioned a Club in Kimbolton in 1768 when referring to Cranwell, but there was another Club there later called the " Kimbolton Congregational Book Society.'*

Of the Warboys Club I have a copy of the " Rules of the Book Society held in the Vestry in the Meeting House at Warboys,. in the County of Huntingdon," 1837.

There was a Book Society established 5 Jan., 1816, at St. Neots, but I believe no- thing further is known about it. Another St. Neots Society, however, had " The Rules of the Vestry Book Society, with Catalogue," published at St. Neots, 1838.

The Eynesbury Reading Club existed from about 1860-70.

I wrote in The St. Neots Advertiser (6 May,. 1904) on the ' Earliest Circulating Libraries of Huntingdonshire,' and this elicited the information that a gentleman of Toseland,. Hunts, possessed a record of the Caxton Book Club, dated 1745, which refers to an order of the Club made in 1712. Caxton is just in Cambridgeshire, but close to- St. Neots, and its Club belongs to the same group of Book Clubs, and is worth mention- ing, for the date is an early one.

The late Joseph Hill, in 'The Book- Makers of Birmingham : Authors, Printers, and Book-Sellers' (1907), said of Birming- ham : " The Book Clubs are only traceable to 1772."

This is a most imperfect list of the Book Clubs of Huntingdonshire, but all fresh information, and it shows great literary enthusiasm for so small a county. LIST OF CLUBS AND DATES.

Bluntisham Book Club 1825

Caxton Book Club . . 1712-1745-

Eynesbury Beading Club 1860-1870

Fountain Inn Club . . 1787

George Book Club . . 1742-1787

Huntingdon Book Club 1768-1824

Huntingdonshire Medical

Kimbolton Book Club 1768

Kimbolton Congregational Society

Ladies' Book Society . . 1824-1854

Literary Society . . 1817-1854

St. Ives Book Club . . 1768

St. Ives Union Book Club 1813

St. Ives Church Book Club 1849-1885

St. Neots Book Society 1816

St. Neots Vestry Book Society 1838

Warboys Book Society . . 1837

HERBERT E. NORRIS. Cirencester.