Monday, 7 February 2011

Reverend William Blundell

The Reverend William Blundell was the rector of St. Anne's Church who was living in 1 Clare Street, Liverpool in the early 1800's. De Quincey refers to the Reverend William Blundell on several occasions in the 1803 Diary:

Thursday night, April 14, 1803

"High consideration" - Mr Blondell tranposed "from the top to the bottom" to "from the bot to the toppom" last Sunday. - "And inclined our -s to keep this law". Miss - turned in Cathedrali Caspiensi to me at "but there is no man to help vel aliquod simile in the psalms." (NB Chatto & Pickering edition of the 1803 Diary replaces Caspiensi for Cestriensi which translates as Chester Cathedral, vel aliquod translates as "or something")

Sunday, May 1, 1803

"Went to St Ann's - heard an ass preach"

Sunday, May 8, 1803

"Charity Sermon at St. Ann's for Infirmary"

Sunday, May 14, 1803

"On my road to church, am surprised to meet Mr Kelsall; - go with him to St Ann's; hear Blondell"

Sunday, May 22, 1803

"Go to St Ann's; - am plagued with the old man; - hear a political sermon"

Sunday, May 29, 1803

"Go to St Ann's; see people running after mad dog; - am again disturbed by old man; hear Blondell preach about the spirit"

De Quincey seems to be singularly unimpressed by William Blundell from the diary entries. De Quincey mis-spells both Blundell's surname and the church.

It would appear from the above entries that De Quincey attended St. Anne's Church for the first month of his 1803 stay in Everton. De Quincey may have been familiar with the church from previous visits to Everton as the church was the nearest to where he was staying in Everton and was probably used by the people who he knew in Everton. After his May 29th visit he appears to have started attending St George's Church in the centre of Liverpool which I will feature in a later post.

There is little information about William Blundell in the 1927 edition of the 1803 Diary edited by Horace A. Eaton or in the Chatto and Pickering edition of the 1803 Diary.

I have managed to find a few snippets including that he was paid £144 per annum according to Tait's Edinburgh Magazine Vol 2 1835:

Here is his obituary in the Gentleman's Magazine 1843 Volume 174 Page 196:

I wondered whether he was related to the famous Liverpool family of the Blundells - here is what I found in Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire Proceedings and papers, Volumes 3-4 1850-51:

Reverend Blundell was also the chaplain for the Asylum of the Blind in Liverpool as mentioned in the extract from Historic Society of Lancashire and Cheshire Transactions Vol 3 1850-51 Page 154:

He also contributed to the British and Foreign Bible Society mentioned in their 1813 documents:

In 1804, he contributed to the School for the Blind:

It is interesting to note that the Harper family contributed to the fund. The Harpers may have worshiped at St. Anne's and were an influential family in Liverpool in the early 1800's.

Below is the inscription for the Asylum for the Blind:

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