An almost 300-year-old book on Bury St Edmunds Abbey was recently donated to a nearby charity shop.
The book was handed in by a mystery donor at the Oxfam book store in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. The rare book, which is 164 pages long, has two volumes: one called ‘Antiquitates Rutipinae’ (Antiquities of Richborough), and another called ‘Antiquitates S. Edmundi Burgi ad Annum MCCLXXII Perductae’ (Antiquities of St Edmundsbury to 1272).
The book, written by clergyman John Battely, was published in 1745, 37 years after its writer had died. The second volume is believed to feature the first account of Bury St Edmunds Abbey to ever be published.
According to the shop’s lead for collectible and curious items, Sue Thompson, the book was only recently handed in to the store, and is currently being displayed at the Oxfam shop. Thompson added that the donor had not given his details before leaving the book, and although they occasionally receive rare editions, the Bury St Edmunds book seemed particularly special.
A second edition publication, the book has marble boards as was popular during the 18th Century. A couple of the staff in the Oxfam store understand basic Latin, and say that the book is a history of the Abbey, with maps, illustrations and floor plans. The book has been priced at £250, and the store staff members want to see it go to a good home, perhaps where there is an antique cupboard to store the book in.
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