Bulkeley BANDINEL (1781–1861)
His wife Mrs Mary BANDINEL, née Phillips (1792–1875)
His sister Miss Harriet Anne BANDINEL (1778–1859)
His wife’s sister Miss Susannah PHILLIPS (1795/6–1858)
St Mary Magdalen section: Row 8, Grave D68

See the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography for the full career of Bulkeley Bandinel, librarian

Bandinel grave

[side facing camera] BULKELEY BANDINEL BODLEY’S LIBRARIAN AND HIS DEAR WIFE
MARY WHO DIED [APRIL 15 1875 AGED 84]

[other side] ALSO HARRIET ANNE BANDINEL HIS SISTER WHO DIED DEC 7 1889 AGED 80
ALSO SUSANNAH PHILLIPS SISTER OF MRS BANDINEL WHO DIED JUNE 3 1858 AGED 63

Bulkeley Bandinel

 

Bulkeley Bandinel was born in Oxford on 21 February 1781. His surname is Italian, but his ancestors had moved to Jersey in the early seventeenth century. His father James Bandinel (d.1804) came up to Jesus College, Oxford in 1752 and was appointed a Fellow there; he was also Public Orator of the University from 1776 to 1784.

Bulkeley’s parents James & Margaret Ann Bandinel had five children, all baptised at St Peter-in-the East Church on the dates shown:

  • Margaret Bandinel (4 July 1777)
  • Harriet Ann Bandinel (30 September 1778)
  • Bulkeley Bandinel (20 March 1781)
  • James Bandinel (13 March 1783)
  • Marianne Bandinel (22 April 1784).

Bulkeley was a pupil at Winchester College, and proceeded to New College Oxford in January 1800, obtaining his BA in 1805.

His parents both died at Netherbury, Dorset: Mary Ann was buried there on 28 November 1798, and James on 22 November 1804.

Bulkeley Bandinel served as Chaplain to the Royal Navy on the Victory in the Baltic from 1808.

In 1810 he was appointed under-Librarian at the Bodleian, and in 1813 Librarian, a post he was to hold for 47 years.

On 25 May 1815 at Sutton Courtenay church Bulkeley Bandinel of St Giles, Oxford married Mary Phillips (born at Culham in 1792 and baptised there on 2 January 1793, the daughter of John & Mary Phillips). They had no children.

By 1820 Bandinel was living at 15 St Giles's Street, which he rented from Sir Edward Hitchings.

William Tuckwell records how London booksellers sent their catalogues of rare books both to Bulkeley Bandinel and Dr Routh, the President of Magdalen. Bandinel would write by return of post requesting books that the Bodleian did not possess, but was always told that they were bespoken by Dr Routh. Further investigation revealed that Routh had an arrangement whereby the catalogues were sent to him at proof stage.

In 1823 Bandinel obtained his DD and was appointed Rector of Haughton-le-Skerne, Durham and Curate of Wytham, Berkshire. He retained his home at 15 St Giles' Street until 1832. The following advertisement appeared in Jackson’s Oxford Journal on 22 September 1832:

A very superior House in St. Giles’s, OXFORD
TO BE LET, with possession at Michaelmas next,–That spacious and excellent HOUSE, now in the occupation of the Rev. Dr. Bandinel; comprising breakfast, dining, and drawing rooms, suitable sleeping rooms, and offices; with a good garden; and every requisite for the residence of a most respectable family.

By the time of the 1841 census he and his wife were living at Wytham with two servants.

By 1846 they had moved back to Oxford and were living at 31 Beaumont Street. The 1851 census shows Bandinel (70) living there with his wife Mary (59), his wife’s sister Susannah Phillips (54), and three servants (a butler, cook, and housemaid). He described himself simply as the Curate of Wytham.

In 1855 Bandinel resigned his curacy of Wytham and rectorship of Haughton-le-Skerne.

His wife’s sister, who lived with the Bandinels in Oxford, was the first member of the family to be buried at St Sepulchre’s:

† Miss Susannah Phillips died at 31 Beaumont Street at the age of 62 on 2 June 1858 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 June (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Just over a year later Bandinel’s own sister, who had evidently come to live with him, also died:

† Miss Harriet Anne Bandinel died at 31 Beaumont Street at the age of 82 on 7 December 1859 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 December (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

Bandinel resigned his position as Librarian at the Bodleian on 28 September 1860. As well as a pension, he was granted another £200 a year for the remainder of his life in consideration of his invaluable service over a fifty-year period; but four months later he too had died:

† Bulkeley Bandinel died at 31 Beaumont Street at the age of 79 on 6 February 1861 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 12 February (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church).

The following obituary appeared in the Gentleman’s Magazine of April 1861:

The Rev. Dr. Bandinel.
Feb. 6. At Oxford, aged 79, the Rev. Bulkeley Bandinel, D.D.

The deceased, who for so many years filled, with such great advantage to the public at large and the world of letters in particular, the post of Librarian to the Bodleian, or, to speak with academic precision, “Keeper of Bodley’s Library,” was descended from one of the oldest and noblest families of Italy, the representative of which in the early part of the seventeenth century settled in Jersey, and was appointed the first Protestant Dean of that island by James the First.

Dr. James Bandinel, father of the late librarian, was the first of the family who settled in England. He became successively Fellow of Jesus College and Public Orator at Oxford, and was appointed first Bampton Lecturer, and subsequently Vicar of Notherbury in Dorsetshire.

His eldest son, the subject of this notice, was born in the parish of St. Peter-in-the-East, Oxford, Feb. 21, 1781. From Dr. Valpy’s well-known school at Reading he proceeded to the foundation at Winchester, and thence, in 1800, as a scholar to New College. In 1805 he graduated as B.A., and in 1807 as M.A. In 1808 he went with Admiral Sir James (afterwards Lord) De Saumarez, as Chaplain in the “Victory,” to the Baltic. In 1810 he was appointed Under-Librarian by his godfather, the Rev. John Price, who had married his parents just thirty-five years before, and in 1813 he succeeded to the Librarianship vacated by Mr. Price’s death. In 1814, the year when the allied sovereigns visited Oxford, he filled the office of Proctor for the University, and discharged its arduous duties with great success and popularity. In 1815 he married Mary, eldest daughter of John Phillips, Esq., of Culham, Berks. In 1823 he was appointed by Dr. Barrington, then Bishop of Durham, to the Rectory of Haughton-le-Skerne, in that county, and proceeded to the degrees of B.D. and D.D. In the spring of 1860, feeling the pressure of his advanced age, he tendered his resignation, and in Michaelmas of the same year retired upon a pension considerably exceeding that fixed by statute, which was voluntarily accorded to him by the University in consideration of his distinguished services. He died Feb. 6, 1861, of angina pectoris, after his strength had been exhausted by a severe attack of bronchitis.

Dr. Bandinel’s administration of the Bodleian was characterized from first to last by zeal, energy, courtesy, and discretion. As a librarian he was indefatigable, as a connoisseur in books he had few equals. In fact, his knowledge of all that was and of almost all that was not in the Bodleian Library would seem something quite fabulous, had it not been tested and proved on countless occasions. To the very last he knew the size, appearance, and position of every volume belonging to that vast establishment. As a chief he was just, courteous, and discerning, and more than one who has since risen to affluence and distinction has owed his first start in life to Dr. Bandinel’s disinterested and discriminating kindness. As a host to strangers of distinction and students of all classes, he combined the graceful courtesy of the gentleman of the old school with the genuine kindness that sprang from his own heart. There was no trouble that he would not take for the most obscure scholar, if he was persuaded of his integrity and good faith. He had, however, a quick eye for a charlatan, whether of the manuscriptive or any other genus, and an extreme distaste for false pretensions of all kinds.

Dr. Bandinel was for many years one of the Delegates of the University Press, and took a prominent part in editing Dugdale’s Monasticon and Clarendon’s “History of the Rebellion,” as well as other works of mark. The latter subject took such a hold upon his mind that for many years of his life he neglected no occasion of purchasing books or tracts, some of them of great value, bearing upon the life and times of the unfortunate Charles. It is to be hoped that the University will not lose the opportunity now offered of securing “Bandinel’s Caroline Collection.”

His wealth at death was £16,000.

His widow Mary moved to 1 St John Street, where she was living at the time of the 1861 census with three servants (a cook, housemaid, and lady’s maid).

By the time of the 1871 census she had moved to 6 Clarendon Villas (now part of Park Town), and was living there alone at the age of 79 with three domestic servants.

Mrs Bandinel died in 1875:

† Mrs Mary Bandinel, née Phillips died at 6 Clarendon Villas, Park Town at the age of 84 on 15 April 1875 and was buried at St Sepulchre’s Cemetery on 23 April (burial recorded in the parish register of St Mary Magdalen Church, with a note that the deceased was living in the parish of Ss Philip & James).

Her effects came to nearly £20,000.


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