Catalogue description Memorial of Richard Thomas How addressed to those who knew him not.   Written by B.B....

This record is held by Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service

Details of Z 813/1
Reference: Z 813/1

Memorial of Richard Thomas How addressed to those who knew him not.


Written by B.B. Wiffen of Mount Pleasant, Aspley Guise, 1840, and dedicated to Richard Edward White of Aspley Guise "in the hope that his children's children will preserve the memory of one of their ancestors in order to imitate his virtues".


A finely written manuscript biography in book form, xx +312pp, small 4to, full red morocco, gilt back, red edges, with (at front) the bookplate of R. How, Aspley, Beds.. The material is in two parts, the first comprising a long resume of the life of How in rhyming couplets (Cantos 1-4), and the second consists of a prose memorial. At the end there are twelve pages on the history of the How family and other material. The volume is arranged as follows:


ff. v-xviii


Preface xix


List of contents 1-4


Invocation - The Lately Dead, by B.B.W. and other verses


The resumé of the life of Richard Thomas How ff. 5-24 Canto 1 - verses on "His Person" (382 lines, with a few notes) 25-44


Canto 2 - verses on "His Walks" (416 lines, with a few notes) 47-70


Canto 3 - verses on "His Garden" (416 lines, with several pages of notes) 71-90


Canto 4 - verses on "His Home and Death" (330 lines, with a few notes)


Memorial of Richard Thomas How of Aspley by B.B.Wiffen f. 95


List of contents 97-154


"His ancestors - his father's letters" 155-183


"His youth - father's letters - character" 185-220


"His habits - mind - disposition" 223-264


"His residence - death"


Appendix of supplementary material ff. 265-7


Account of dinner provided by How for 17 aged poor people [names given] at Aspley in 1832


Copy of notice of How's death from Northampton Mercury of December 1835 268-293


Text of sermon preached at How's funeral by Mr. Fallowfield 294-297


Mr. Eglon's prayer after the sermon at the funeral, 1835 299-311


Notes on the history of the How family, taken from a letter written by Richard How, father of Richard Thomas How?] to his friend Gilbert Van Der Smissen, 27 Nov. 1765

Date: 1840
Related material:

The main How and White archives are held at BRO ref: HW.


The main Quaker archives are held at BRO ref: FR.

Held by: Bedfordshire Archives & Records Service, not available at The National Archives
Language: English
Immediate source of acquisition:

Acc.No. 7399


Purchased on 2 November 1993.

  • How family of Aspley Guise, Bedfordshire
Administrative / biographical background:

The author, Benjamin Barron Wiffen (1794-1867) of Woburn was a biographer and translator, and a strict Quaker. He was the brother of Mrs. Alaric A. Watts and of Jeremiah Holmes Wiffen (1792-1836). He was born at Woburn, where he was an ironmonger.


The subject, Richard Thomas How (1765-1835) of Aspley Guise was the son of Richard How (1727-1801) who collected a remarkable library and who edited the Letters of Lady Rachel Russell. Richard the father was also a friend and supporter of John Howard the philanthropist and of Thomas Clarkson, the anti-slavery campaigner. The library, sold in 1890, contained some 5000 volumes including several notable manuscripts. R.T. How was a very shy, reclusive person, who led a quiet life in his father's shadow. The memorial includes remembrances of Richard How, his political interests (e.g. slave trade) and his library; information on family history; material on the local Quaker community and the meeting at Hogstye End at present-day Woburn Sands; details of How's house and gardens at Aspley Guise and the social circle in which the family moved.

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