Bible of Emma Hanchett (1837 – 1909) of Newport, Essex
It took us a while to unravel this one – a small leatherbound Bible with nice inscription and family details written on front and back endpapers. The inscription reads “Mrs Woolner presented by Mrs Binn of Shortgrove”.
We believe “Shortgrove” refers to Shortgrove Hall, a large country estate on the outskirts of Newport in Essex. we acquired the Bible just three miles from Newport in Essex. The family details were tantalisingly incomplete. A list of four children: Elizabeth Hanchett, Frank Woolner, Alice Susanna Woolner and Florence Ethel Woolner. Birthdates are given but not the years, except for Elizabeth Hancett who is given as being born in 1867. Emma Hanchett is only referred to in the inscription as Mrs Woolner, and this is followed by “Dear Mother entered into eternal rest May 29th 1909”. Her husband, John Woolner is only referred to in a similar death notice: “Dear Dad passed away Dec 8th 1901”. We have been able to determine from these details that this Bible definitely belonged to Emma Woolner nee Hanchett of Newport in Essex. There are further details on the rear endpapers that time does not allow us to research (we have spent longer on this Bible than ones that sell for ten times the amount!). Five children and birth dates but only two birth years: Catherine Elizabeth Bailey (July 6th), Lizzie Maud Bailey (June 5th), Alice Dora Bailey (Sep 15th), Reginald John Weston (July 19th 1900) and Violet Alice Weston (Sep 12th 1905). The Bible has a few inserts that we have left in situ: a few pressed leaves, a shred of material, a clipping of a John Wesley quotation. A very tight and usable Bible with an interesting history at a very reasonable price.