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February 29, 2024

Dr David A Spencer’s donation to the Rare Books Room

Dr David A Spencer’s donation of Tentations their nature, danger, cure. By Richard Capel, sometimes fellow of Magdalen College in Oxford.

This week we were delighted to welcome Dr David A Spencer and his wife, Ianne to the School. David attended St Paul’s between 1957 and 1962, went to University and then emigrated to Canada. He still lives there so we are very grateful to him for his lengthy journey to visit School and his donation of this beautiful book.

Richard Capel born in 1586 was a clergyman, tutor and doctor. He married, had at least four sons and two daughters. He was described by a friend as “a very living Library”. He edited a number of works by one of his students, William Pemble, during the 1620’s and then finally produced his own work in 1633. Tentations discusses sin in all its forms from the point of view of a Calvinist clergyman.

This copy of Tentations is the sixth edition from 1659, after Capel’s death, and includes an account of his life by a friend. It is in unusually good condition and appears to have the original binding. Its original owner’s name is written on the frontispiece, Elizabeth Gainey, with a note saying that she was one of Capel’s descendants. It also has a lengthy handwritten note which says Capel was “a person eminent for piety and learning who resigned his parsonage in 1633 and practiced physick at Pitchcombe near Stroud, because he would not read the Book of Sports on the Lord’s Day”.

Tentations has joined our other books in the Rare Books Room. We are very grateful to Dr Spencer and his wife for this generous donation.

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