1752 - 1757/8

Laurence Clarke's,

A Compleat History of the Holy Bible

Lost for 100 years

Rediscovered in 1881.

Contains First Sample of

Chatterton's Handwriting?

Chatterton Family Bible
Chatterton Family Bible Spine.JPG

The Chatterton Family Bible

Is Stated to be the 1737 edition

But is this Claim Correct?

There are Three Editions,

1737, 1739, 1740.

Many Pages & Engravings are Missing

As well as the Dated Title Page

If it is the 1737 edition

The missing title page

Would be as shown below.

The Title Page of my   Imperfect Copy of 1737.  Missing from Chatterton Bible.
jonah 1.JPG

An engraving from the Bible.

Chatterton learned his ABC

from an

Old French Music Folio

And was taught to read

Using the Family Bible

Surely he was influenced

By the stories and engravings

It would be useful to see the bible 

In Original Condition &

Determine his earliest influences


I have Obtained Copies of

The 1739 & 1740 editions

And an imperfect 1737

I plan to Compare and Collate them

With the Family Bible

With Luck I will Recreate

whichever edition

The family bible resolves itself to be

John Taylor v John Ingram

New facts William George.JPG

This Strangely Dilapidated Bible

Created Much Excitement in 1881.

It was  claimed to be the Original

Chatterton Family Bible

Complete with Handwritten Details.


Vitriolic arguments ensued

In a magazine of the day

The Athanaeum

For & Against

The Genuineness of the Bible

Enter the Protagonists

John Taylor

The Bristol Librarian & Author


John Ingram,

Author of The Life of Thomas Chatterton (1910)

William George

A Famous Bristol Book Dealer

On the side of John Taylor

 Printed a Pamphlet About the Argument

New Facts Relating to The Chatterton Family.

His Family Donated the Bible

To Bristol Library in 1900

 The Challenge

Vol 1 - p. 590 & 591 - B21121 bible clar

Resolve the Bible's Edition

Is it: 1737, 1739 or 1740?

Analyse the Heavily Stained Pages

What are these unusual stains?

Arsenic and Opium perhaps?

How old are the Stains?

Are they Coincidental with

The Opium Stained Notebook?


Analyse the handwriting to

Determine who wrote what?

There are five Contenders;

Chatterton's Mother & Father

Mary, his sister; his Grandmother

And young Thomas himself.

 Does the Bible contain 

The earliest sample of Thomas's handwriting?

Examine the Manuscript

Decide for Yourself!

 Heads Up!

When you Analyse old documents

It is as well to note the career of

Mark Hofmann

The American counterfeiter & murderer

His Counterfeiting Shenanigans

Should give you pause for thought!  


Hofmann was in Bristol in 1973

For his two-year Mormon mission


While in Bristol

He Bought an Old Bible from

A shop on the Christmas Steppes

It was used in one of his

Infamous Frauds

Upon the Mormon Church. 


It is likely he helped himself to

Blank pages from Antiquarian books

In Bristol Reference library

It is probable that Chatterton

Was an Inspiration

And is the reason he chose

Bristol for his Mission

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