This week, Scott Ables (MCR Secretary) is on a writing retreat at the memorial library of William E. Gladstone (1809-1898), having been awarded the Library’s Canon Symonds Memorial Scholarship.
At the beginning of the week, Scott wrote to say that he had serendipitously encountered a Regent’s alumnus at the Library, The Revd Raymond Vincent, a Baptist minister now in semi-retirement. The Revd Vincent holds degrees from Wales (BA), Oxford (MA Oxon.) and Glasgow (MTh), and he is the author of two books, Let the Bible Be Itself (2008) and Chasing an Elusive God: The Bible’s Quest and Ours (2013). He was also JCR President at Regent’s from 1960-61:
Here is a photograph of Scott with The Revd Vincent (left) and The Revd Roland Wort (middle), Chaplain in the Royal Navy and Honorary Chaplain to Her Majesty The Queen:
William Gladstone was Britain’s greatest Liberal Prime Minister, an office he held four times during the reign of Queen Victoria (r. 1837-1901): 1868-74, 1880-85, Feb-July 1886, and 1892-94. Gladstone’s Library, which houses the former Prime Minister’s own collection of books, was opened on 14 October 1902 as his own National Memorial. It is now a haven for researchers and writers, the purpose of which is to ‘maintain Gladstone’s legacy of engagement with social, moral and spiritual questions, helping people reflect more deeply on issues and ideas that concern them’. For more information about the Library, visit the website: https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/contact/about-the-library. For information about the scholarships and bursaries available to visit the Library, go to: https://www.gladstoneslibrary.org/contact/about-the-library/scholarships-bursaries.
Here is a photograph of Gladstone, produced by the Victorian photography studio Elliott and Fry in c. 1880, which shows him resting from physical labour; Gladstone, who enjoyed wood-cutting, is purported to have said that ‘change of labour is, to a great extent, the healthiest form of recreation’: