Canterbury Cathedral Library is to care for a unique and important collection of books associated with the village of Crundale, near Wye in Kent.
This collection of books was the private collection of the Rev Richard Forster, who was Rector of Crundale from 1698 till his death in 1729.
It consists of nearly 2000 books and pamphlets. Some of these date from the 16th century and are very rare. They cover a wide range of subject matters, including theology, church history and even maths and science.
One of the books, with Forster’s signature, is an early edition of the study of the circulation of the blood by William Harvey, who was born in Folkestone. With the collection is the borrowers’ book and an original catalogue. Forster kept notes about his time at Crundale in the parish register. This gives a full account of the storm of 1703, when a fallen tree in the graveyard brought up a skeleton in its roots.
In his will, Forster left the collection to his successors as rectors. The Parochial Church Council of Crundale has decided to place the collection on long-term loan with the Cathedral Library. There it joins two similar collections: the parish libraries of Elham and Preston-next-Wingham.
Here at the Cathedral we are delighted to be able to care for this very fine collection of books. We will look forward to providing public access to the collection to researchers in our reading room, and to including individual items in displays and exhibitions
Karen Brayshaw, Cathedral Librarian