Updated 30 Apr 2005

WIRKSWORTH Parish Records 1600-1900

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Memoranda Miscelanea


Abraham Bennet 1780

    Rev. Abraham BENNET F.R.S. 1749-1799, was Curate of Wirksworth when in 1789 he published "New Experiments on Electricity", an important work in the evolution of electrical theory.
    His notebook "Memoranda Miscelanea" survives at Derby Local Studies Library, from whom help and permission has been received to produce this transcription.
    In addition to his own speculations, Bennet's notebook contains extracts from books, periodicals and newspapers demonstrating the thought processes of a man of the 18th century 'well versed in different branches of natural philosophy'1.

    A. Bennet, Memoranda Miscelanea, mss., Derby Local Studies Library.
    1. Paper by P Elliott, Abraham Bennet,FRS(1749-1799): A provincial Electrician in Eighteenth Century England, from Not. Rec. Roy. Soc. Lond. Vol 53, No 1, pp 59-78 (1999)
    Transcriber's note: spelling or punctuation not understood is marked: ??.
    Links have been inserted to ease reading on the Internet.
    Enquiries to the transcriber
    Transcribed at Broadstone, Dorset April 2005.

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PAGE: 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, 35, 40, 45, 50, 55, 60, 65, 70, 75, 80, 85, 90,
95, 100, 105, 110, 115, 120, 125, 130, 135, 140: 145, 150, 155, 160, PAGE

"Memoranda Miscelanea"
by the Rev. Abraham Bennet of Wirksworth.
The original document is preserved at Derby Local Studies Library, 25B Irongate, Derby, Derbyshire DE1 3GL, England. Telephone 01332-255-393. The document is presented in a blue case binding with titled Spine. Height 204 mm, Width 160 mm, Depth 24 mm. The document itself is in book form. Height 190 mm, Width 156 mm, Depth 18 mm. The book has a hard binding, taupe (brownish grey) in colour with a taped spine and is in need of rebinding. There are 160 pages, all written in longhand. There are also a number of miscellaneous documents, including letters and accounts contained within the book. The spine stitching has deteriorated and the page groups are separate within the binding, some pages are fully detached. The pages are in excellent condition but somewhat yellowed due to age and the paper in places is extremely brittle. The hand writing is generally clear but ink has penetrated through the pages giving a shadow of the writing on the opposite face of the page. There is some staining and ink blotting and a number of pages have holes in the text.
Wesley's Sermon quoted on page 1 was written on 8 May 1775, establishing an earliest start date for Bennet's Notebook.
Observations in Bennet's major work "New Experiments on Electricity" begin on 24 May 1787 but are not mentioned in the Notebook, perhaps establishing a latest end date for his Notebook.

Inside front cover

Front page

Page 1

Page 153

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Transcribed, compiled, formatted, hyperlinked, encoded, and copyright © 2005, John Palmer,
All Rights Reserved.