Israel, the Assyrians and a shoemaker’s gift

The sacred and profane history of the world connected : from the creation of the world to the dissolution of the Assyrian Empire …, and to the declension of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel …/ by Samuel Shuckford, D.D. Chaplain in Ordinary to His Majesty, George the Second. ; Revised … by James Creighton. Philadelphia, 1824.
New College Library [Special Collections] Z.2152

At todays’ opening seminar in the Divinity Biblical Studies Research Seminar series, the speaker is Dr Carly Crouch, Lecturer in Hebrew Bible, University of Nottingham, on “Israel and the Assyrians”.

On that note, here’s an ambitious work of history from New College Library’s Special Collections that covers the Assyrian Empire and  “the declension of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel”. Written by Samuel Shuckford in the eighteenth century, this edition was published in the nineteenth century and is the first American edition of this work.

What interested me the most was in fact the label inside the book (well, I am a librarian), which states:

“Presented to the Free Church of Scotland, by Thomas Aikman, shoemaker, a native of Scotland, near Sterling [sic], a citizen of the United States of America since 1794 – a member of the Presbyterian Church in full communion for more than fifty years. Burlington, N.J., 1844.”

With this provenance, the book must have been donated to New College Library as part of the first appeal for books that came with the founding of New College as the College for the Free Church of Scotland after the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843.  It shows that Thomas Aikman, an emigrant of humble background, was following religious affairs in his homeland closely and that the principles behind the founding of New College were close enough to his heart for him to donate this book.

This book is part of the ‘Z’ Collection, currently being catalogued as part of the Funk Cataloguing Projects at New College Library.

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