Son of Rev. John Beddome|
Father of Samuel Beddome
There are (at least) three accounts of Rev. Benjamin Beddome's life. The oldest is "The Baptist Annual Register for 1794, 1795, 1796-1797, including Sketches of the State of Religion among Different Denominations of Good Men at Home and Abroad (vol 2) by John Rippon, D.D." (see extracts). This describes Benjamin Beddome as having recently died, and since he died in 1795, and the account of his life is in volume 2, I'm assuming that the date is around then. The author seems to know Rev. Benjamin Beddome, and much of the facts about his life are given there. It ends by saying "He has, however, left behind numerous sketches of sermons. From these manuscripts a selection might be made which would probably redound as much to his credit, as to the advantage of the religious public. But whether we are to be favoured by this desirable publication or not, must be left to his worthy sons, whose wisdom, discretion and public spirit, leave us not entirely without hope."
This did not happen until 1835, when a selection of his sermons were published, with a Memoir describing his life (see memoir). This is largely taken from the previous account, but adds some letters from Rev. John Beddome. Benjamin's father. These may have been among family papers. I do not know who wrote the Memoir, but several Beddomes were among the subscribers.
The last account is History of Bourton Baptist Church, (see extracts), published in 1861. The author assumed that this book would only be of local interest! He seems to have read one if not both of the other accounts, but he also adds the letters written between Bourton and London, when the London congregation were trying (unsuccessfully!) to persuade Benjamin Beddome to leave Bourton to go to London. He also gives church member numbers for Benjamin Beddome's ministry, which suggests that it was not quite as successful as the other accounts say.
Summary of his life: Benjamin Beddome was born in Henley where his father Rev. John Beddome was minister. the family moved to Bristol when Benjamin was 7 years old. He was apprenticed to a surgeon-apothecary in Bristol. At first, he was not much interested in religion, until listenening to a sermon in 1737. He gave up all idea of following the medical profession, and became a student at the Baptist College, Bristol, under Mr. Bernard Foskett, his father's close friend. Benjamin Beddome then moved to London to complete his education at the Independent Academy, in Tenter Alley, Moorfields. He was baptized in 1739, at the Baptist church in Little Prescott-street, Goodman's Fields. He began to preach before the church, according to the custom of the Baptist churches. He had some problems with his sermons at first, and his father gave his some good advice. In 1743, he was ordained and became Pastor at Bourton-on-the-water. He was offered alternative positions at both Bristol and London, but he remained minister at Bourton for 55 years. He wrote many hymns.
See The Barclay Voice for a comment about an inherited family trait!
The Baptist Annual Register gives one amusing story about a sermon of Benjamin's: Indeed sermonizing was so much his forte, that at length when knowledge had received maturity from years, and composition was familarized by habit, he has been known, with a wonderful facility of the moment, to sketch his picture at the foot of the pulpit stairs, to colour it as he was ascending, and without turning his eyes from the canvas, in the same hour, to give it all the finish of a master. One instance of this will long be remembered, which happened at a minister's meeting at Fairford, in Gloucestershire. After public service began, his natural timidity, it seems, overcame his recollection - His text and his discourse, for he did not preach by notes, had left him; and in the way from the pew to the pulpit, he leaned his head over the shoulder of the Rev. Mr. Davis, pastor of the place, and said, Brother Davis, what must I preach from? Mr. Davis, thinking he could not be at a loss, answered, Ask no foolish questions. This afforded him considerable relief. He turned immediately to Titus iii.9. Avoid foolish questions. and preached a remarkably methodical, correct, and useful discourse on it.
Wife: On 11 Dec 1749, he married Elizabeth Boswell of Bourton (1732-1784) in Hampnett,Gloucester. She was the daughter of Mr. Richard Boswell of Bourton, where he was Deacon of the Baptist church. Rev. Wilkins of Cirencester preached at both her father's funeral and hers.
|John Reynolds||Jan 1750/1||1765 in London|
|Benjamin||1753||1778 in Edinburgh|
|Samuel||1756||1761 Jane Wilkins||1815|
|Foskett||1758||1784, drowned at Deptford|
|Boswell Brandon||1763||1786 Anne Wilkins||1816 in Woolrich|
|Elizabeth||1765||1799 Samuel Favell (1760-1830)||1830|
|Josephus||1779||1804 Sophia Petrie||1835|
The Will of Benjamin Beddome mentions the surviving children when he died: sons Richard, Samuel, Boswell and Josephus, and daughter Elizabeth. I have a suggestion that Richard died in 1794, but I'm not sure where I found it, and Benjamin's will suggests that this is wrong. It also is suggested by the fact that the accounts of Benjamin's life describe his older sons dying (in great detail!) and surely they would have mentioned this last son dying, just before his father did.
Samuel Favell was married to Benjamin Beddome's only daughter, Elizabeth. He was also probably the business partner of one of Benjamin Beddome's sons, either Samuel Beddome or Boswell Brandon Beddome.
Kent directory 1812 gives "Beddome Petrie and Co, merchants, 13 Bearbinder Lane".
The following Accounts of Charities 1829 connects Petrie to Josephus Beddome.
Boswell Brandon Beddome's grandchildren emigrated to Australia.
These photos were taken my parents some time ago (before we had digital cameras!)
|This is the Old Manse in Bourton-on-the-water, built for the Rev. Benjamin Beddome in 1741, at the cost of £350. He lived there over 30 years.|
Entrance to old churchyard (the original chapel of Benjamin Beddome has been demolished)||
Grave of Rev. Benjamin Beddome|
© Jo Edkins 2015 - Return to Beddome index