There are several books or accounts of people on this website, all written by or about members of the family.
1835: Memoir about Benjamin Beddome
This is from a book was called "Sermons printed from the manuscripts of the late Rev. Benjamin Beddome, A.M., of Bourton-on-the-water, Gloucestershire; with a brief memoir of the author." Rev. Benjamin Beddome died in 1795. Some of the subscribers are the Beddome family, and presumably the book was published partly as a tribute to him, even though it was 40 years after his death. It starts with the Memoir, which gives an account of his life. There is no author given for this memoir, but it seems likely that it was written by one of his family. It includes some letters written by his father, Rev. John Beddome to Benjamin.
1921: The Life of Florence L. Barclay
This was written by one of her daughters. Florence Barclay (née Charlesworth) died in 10 March 1921, so the book must have been produced in a hurry! It includes an account of a trip to America, and her Chautauqua tour with her sister, Maud Ballington Booth.
1994: "A Rector's Daughter in Victorian England" by Maud Ballington Booth (published by Volunteers of America). This is the only autobiography (as opposed to biography) but it was published long after her death. The content was taken from notebooks of hers titled "Memories".
Each book describes not only the individual, and sometimes the siblings or children, it also mentions the parents, so gives quite a wide view of Beddome and Charlesworth history. Along with the more serious information, I noticed references in each of these accounts to something that in my childhood was called the Barclay Voice. This is a loud, penetrating voice, useful when talking to a large group of people, but irritating sometimes in normal conversation. Yes, I have the Barclay voice!
Rev. John Beddome, the father of Rev. Benjamin Beddome, wrote to him when he started preaching to give some good advice:
"I wish from my heart I could prevail with you not to strain your voice so much in the delivery of your sermons...If you deliver the great truths of the gospel with calmness, and with a soft, mellow voice, they will drop as the gentle rain or dew."
"I cannot but advise, and earnestly press you, to strive with all your might to soften your voice...if you could deliver the matter you produce in the same manner as Mr. Evans, you would be more popular and useful than ever likely to be if you retain your harsh mode of speaking."
Rev. Samuel Charlesworth, the husband of Maria Charlesworth, described her speaking voice like this:
"Having a very clear, distinct voice, of peculiar sweetness and earnestness, she could be distinctly heard by all when speaking in a large hall to a thousand people."
In Maud Ballington Booth's autobiography, she describes her mother Maria Charlesworth in a similar way:
"She often spoke to women's Bible classes in many parts of London, and her clear voice could reach as manay as a thousand people."
In Maud Ballington Booth's autobiography, she describes her sister, Florence, aged 5, rescuing the 2 year old Maud from drowing in the bath:
"She screamed, it is true. And she had lusty lungs."
In Florence Barlcay's biography, her daughter says:
"In public speaking she could always make herself heard without effort, in the largest buildings."
In Florence Barclay's biography, there is a letter from her describing her sister, Maud Ballington Booth, while speaking on the Chautauqua tour, to an audience of several thousand:
"Her voice is such that every word can be heard in any part of the auditorium without effort on the part of the hearer."
Just to show that such descriptions of voices were not used of everyone:
Rev. John Charlesworth is described in "The quiet worker for good" by a friend, this way:
In the pulpit Mr. C.'s teaching was not of an order to dazzle or powerfully arrest. He had neither a vivid imagination, great fluency of speech, nor originality of thought : no commanding voice or manner. [He does go on to point out his good points as a preacher, though!]
Through constant physical depression his voice, which had never been powerful, was generally too low to be well heard by any who were not near him.
In Florence Barclay's biography, there is a description, by her, of her father's and aunt's voice:
Miss Charlesworth had a wonderful speaking voice like my father, her brother, had. They were musical, resonant voices that almost used to sing and vibrate through the listener's nerves.
© Jo Edkins 2015 - Return to Beddome index