Saturday, 2 March 2019


The little school at Salcombe Regis in 1850 housed a lending library.  We know this, if not from elsewhere, from a remarkable polemic by Thomas William Christie entitled " Extracts from Books Taught at Salcombe Regis National School with Remarks on their Popish Character."  published in Sidmouth by J Harvey, Fore Street and in London, 1850 and now to be found in the British Library.   The title and rules of the lending library seem first to have been promulgated in 1847.  The title was The Salcombe and Sid Lending Library, interesting perhaps in that at so late a date the Regis was not found in an official title but Christie uses it three years later.

It was not much of a library!  There were only 152 books and all of them seem to have been religious works.  The charge made for borrowing a large book was one penny.   A halfpenny would let you take away a small book and for a farthing you could borrow a tract.  Anyone connected with the school, including the children, could read the books without paying.

This Thomas William Christie, was a prolific writer and ferreter-out of papists and according to the Alumni Cantab.  was "a faithful preacher of the faith of God's elect."  He seems to have been something of a Irish peripatetic trouble-maker.   In 1850 he was living or lodging at Salcombe Mount.   

I intend to blog more on the nineteenth century Puseyites of Salcombe Regis as and when.

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