Bibles Donated to, and Possibly Printed for, Poor Children
The Holy Bible, Containing the Old Testament and the New, Newly Translated out of the Original Tongues: and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised, by His Majesty's Special Command. Appointed to be Read in Churches.
London: Printed by Mark Baskett, . . . and by the Assigns of Robert Baskett, 1765. (BRB0883)
James Sadler, a nine-year old boy, received this Bible from a charity created by Puritan politician Philip Wharton (1613–1696), the fourth Baron Wharton. In 1692 Wharton stipulated in his will a charitable bequest, to be administered by trustees, in which income from land holdings was to be used to distribute Bibles to poor children. The recipients were required to be able to read and to memorize certain psalms.
On display is the title page facing the front pastedown with the young boy’s ownership inscription (“James Sadler aged nine years. This Bible is the gift of Lord Wharton’s Trustees, Dec.r 16, 1767”) and a printed slip with instructions for reading and memorizing specific psalms (“The reading psalms of the Translation in the Bible, to be learned without book by the children, are these psalms, viz. 1, 15, 25, 37, 101, 113, 145.”). In addition, the upper board of the binding has been stamped in blind: “The gift of Philip late Lord Wharton distributed by his Lordship’s trustees.” Fifteen years after he first received and signed the volume, James Sadler inscribed this Bible again with the accomplished signature of an adult.