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Mr Fawkes adopts 17th century Gunpowder Plot book at Durham Cathedral

Mr Fawkes adopts 17th century Gunpowder Plot book at Durham Cathedral

With perfect timing, a Mr Fawkes has supported Durham Cathedral’s Adopt a Book campaign by adopting a 17th century book about the Gunpowder Plot.

The Gunpowder Treason (1679), by Thomas Barlow, Lord Bishop of Lincoln, is one of 68 books in Durham Cathedral’s Adopt a Book catalogue. This features early printed books and manuscripts in need of urgent conservation work. People are invited to adopt a book to help pay for its conservation and that of others.

Mr Fawkes was browsing the Cathedral’s Adopt a Book catalogue when he noticed the book was still available for adoption. With the 5th November approaching he decided it was too good an opportunity to miss.

The Gunpowder Treason (1679), by Thomas Barlow, Lord Bishop of Lincoln

Remember, remember, to adopt a book. Image: Durham Cathedral

Gaye Kirby, Head of Development, said:

“We are extremely grateful for Mr Fawkes’ generous donation, and for those who have already chosen to adopt a book.

“The Adopt a Book scheme helps to conserve the Cathedral’s historic book collection for future generations, but as so many items have aged over the years, they require restoration and repair work.

“The Cathedral’s volume of The Gunpowder Plot was originally bound in full leather. Its boards have become loose and worn and it now requires rebacking in leather, and repair of the boards. Mr Fawkes’ donation will enable us to complete this vital conservation work.”

Durham Cathedral houses over 30,000 early printed books.  Its Adopt a Book initiative has been set up to help fund repairs on over 60 books. These include:

  • five volumes of Jan Jansson’s Novus Atlas dating back to 1646
  • John Nichols’ Collection of the wills of the Kings and Queens of England from 1780
  • the 1743 work by ‘the father of British ornithology’ George Edwards, A natural history of uncommon birds.

Anyone who adopts a book from the Cathedral collection will have a personalised bookplate inserted into their adopted copy. 


Both images copyright: Durham Cathedral


Howard Lake is a digital fundraising entrepreneur. Publisher of UK Fundraising, the world's first web resource for professional fundraisers, since 1994. Trainer and consultant in digital fundraising. Founder of Fundraising Camp and co-founder of Research massive growth in giving.

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