Boynton Hall: Reconstructing a lost library

Boynton HallThe Strickland family acquired the Boynton estates in the sixteenth century and resided there until the sale of the Hall in 1950. There were always books at Boynton, but the Library waxed and waned, with periods of furious acquisition, and regular dispersals. The house as it stands today owes much to Sir William Strickland (c.1686-1735). A follower of Lord Burlington, he attempted to bring the Elizabethan hall into the eighteenth century, introducing Palladian detail and classical proportioning. His son, Sir George Strickland (1729-1808) brought in John Carr of York to fill in the recessed centre of the north front and to erect an octagonal tower, Carnaby Temple, to the south.

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The Library’s heyday was in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, when the atmosphere and culture at Boynton was steeped in antiquarianism. Sir George Strickland  bequeathed to his son, William (1753-1834) a sizeable collection of coins and a fine library, rich in numismatic texts. William expanded both collections and evidence within the Strickland books suggests he was an avid and scholarly collector. Following Sir William’s death, however, the coins, some furniture, books and other chattels were dispersed, many ending up in the hands of Charles Winn (1795-1874) of Nostell Priory.

Since 2014, supported by the Richard Marriott Trust and the Department of History at Durham University, Ed Potten has been reconstructing the Library at Boynton in its prime, based on a catalogue of the early 1830s. 

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The search for books from Boynton is ongoing and Ed Potten would be grateful for details of books in institutional libraries, in private hands, or in the trade belonging to the early collectors at Boynton. Images of their marks of provenance can be found here.