Blencowe Authors

The Blencowe families: The Descendants of the Blencowe families of Cumbria and Northamptonshire edited by Jack Blencowe is the crowning achievement of the Blencowe Families Association, but we are from a long line of authors, as I found when idly searching on the Internet for books relating to various family history interests. EBay offered History of Oriel House School by R. S. Blencowe and Life Begins At Forty (Locomotive No.7812) by S. V. Blencowe. (I can confirm that Life Begins At Forty (Locomotive No.7812) was written by Stewart Blencowe who was at the U.K. reunion Anne).

"Abebooks", a wonderful site for scouring worldwide bookshops virtually, offered a variety of books showing the wide range of Blencowe interests over the years (and still being published in philosophical, scientific and legal fields amongst others).

Available for purchase were a number of religious texts including Thoughts We All Share by Revd John Walcot Blencowe; Plain Sermons Addressed to a Country Congregation Revd Edward Blencowe (1848) and the enticingly entitled Christian Positivism George Blencowe (1882).

Yet another Blencowe was an early photographer Rotorua: The Wonderland of New Zealand comprising 56 photographs taken by J R Blencowe and E le Grice, was published either about 1950 or 1890-1900.

I discovered that Rhymes of NonsenseEdward Lear was originally written for R.C. Blencowe when a small boy about 1862. Thereby hangs a tale surely — does anyone know what it is? Lear's Books of Nonsense are in most school libraries but who is R.C. Blencowe and what is the connection?

A Mrs Blencowe edited in 1829 The Casket, A Miscellany of Unpublished Poems by various society luminaries including Wordsworth and Byron, a first edition of which would set you back £300.

Richard Blencowe was of a more practical bent: An Easy and Effectual Method of Destroying Rats, Mice, Polecats, Weasels, Moles, Otters & Co, published in Banbury in 1812 discusses the capabilities of the various pests named and "receipts for their demise". A bargain at a mere £475, and possibly very useful even to the modern country dweller — polecats and weasels rarely trouble us but rats and moles are a different story. I wonder whether any of the receipts originally came from Lady Anne Blencowe — possibly her less appetising medicinal remedies.

Finally, for a mere £1250 a first edition of Sir John Blencowe's An Essay for Lowering the Gold, and Raising the Silver Coin, published in London in 1696 is available.

I feel sure that a reading of these offerings by their descendants would offer valuable insights into their ancestor's life and character. The rare books may be available in the British Library or the Library of Congress; the others are more affordable.

It would be interesting to hear from descendants of the lesser known authors, with any snippets they have gleaned about them, possibly from reading the books?

Ruth Jenkins
Suffolk, U.K