Turner Collection

Please note that this collection is no longer held at the University of Reading. It was placed on deposit at the University by the Abbot and Community of Douai in July 1966. Following the opening of a new library and archives building at Douai Abbey in 2010, the collection was returned to the abbey in September 2017. Please direct any queries relating to the Turner Collection to the Library and Archive at Douai Abbey.

This collection of French Revolution pamphlets consists of about 2500 pamphlets in 275 volumes, plus newspaper cuttings, extracts, and manuscript notes and transcripts amounting to some 8000 items in all, concerning the events of mainly 1787-1806.

The collection was gathered by Father John Turner (1765-1844), a member of the Community of English Benedictines in France during the Revolution. He was personally involved in events in Paris, taking the Civic Oath, and suffering imprisonment in Sainte-PĂ©lagie 1793-5.

The collection was preserved in the Community's monastery at Douai, despite efforts by Turner, who had returned to England, to have it sold, until the Community's removal to England in 1903, when it was transferred to Douai Abbey, Woolhampton.

More information

  • Geoffrey Scott, 'English Benedictines and the Revolution: the case of Dom John Turner (1765-1844), guardsman and grammarian'. In: The Great Return : the English communities in Continental Europe and their repatriation, 1793-94 / edited by Dom Aidan Bellenger. English Benedictine History Commission and the South Western Catholic History Society, 1994

church history & theology, history, politics printed books (pre-1850), ephemera turner collection

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