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Dr Bray Clerical Lending Library

Number of items: 135 items.

During the 1690s the Rev. Dr Thomas Bray (1656-1730) devised a scheme for establishing parochial libraries in every Deanery in England and Wales, one of which was established at Poulton-le-Fylde, Lancashire, in 1720. Bray's project led to the formation of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK) on 8 March 1699.

The Poulton-le-Fylde Dr Bray Clerical Lending Library originally comprised 81 volumes and was augmented in 1871. In 1885 Richard Copley Christie described it as a ‘complete and excellently preserved Bray library’. An inventory compiled in 1976 showed that all but two of the volumes from the 1720 endowment were still present. The library was transferred on permanent loan to the John Rylands Library in 1978.

Two-thirds of the collection comprises works of Anglican theology and church history published between 1690 and 1720. The remainder consists of general theological books of the 19th century.

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