The Correspondence of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1710-1761

March 2010
8 black and white illustrations
302 pages
23.4x15.6 cm
Publications of the Lincoln Record Society
ISBN: 9780901503879
Format: Hardback
Lincoln Record Society

The Correspondence of the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1710-1761

Edited by Diana Honeybone, Michael Honeybone

Annotated edition of erudite letters from the eighteenth-century sheds light on intellectual life at the time.
One of the more remarkable survivals from sociable eighteenth-century England is the Spalding Gentlemen's Society. Founded in 1710 in Spalding in the south Lincolnshire Fens by the local barrister Maurice Johnson, to encourage the growth of "friendship and knowledge", it received hundreds of letters from correspondents across Britain and overseas. Concerned with such matters as antiquities, natural philosophy, numismatics, mathematics, literature and the arts, they were collated by Johnson to provide material for the Society's weekly Thursday meetings.
This detailed calendar brings together the 580 letters to survive, from some 154 correspondents. 119 were members of the Spalding Society, including well-known figures of the intellectual world: Martin Folkes, Roger Gale, William Stukeley, many Freemasons and three secretaries of the Royal Society and the Society of Antiquaries. The letters are fully annotated and indexed; fifty-four are transcribed in full. They provide a vivid picture of the interests of the "curious" and demonstrate how knowledge spread during the eighteenth century.

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The breadth of interests reflected in the correspondence is astonishing. [...] In bringing this superb volume to the press, Diana and Michael Honeybone and the Lincolnshire Record Society are to be commended, congratulated and thanked; it will make and important contribution of our understanding of the transmission of sociability and politeness in the eighteenth century. ARCHIVES

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