(Stamp, Josiah Charles)
Herefordshire churches of interest. Their architectural features and beauties (title taken from printed advance announcement in Hereford Times newspaper)
(Hereford, Hereford Times 2 September 1905 following).
4to. An album containing the text of 35 newspaper articles on “Herefordshire Churches”written by the future Lord Stamp for the Hereford Times newspaper from September 1905 onwards, with accompanying woodcut illustrations signed F.N.B. The articles are cut and mounted, together with cuttings of associated correspondence also printed in the Hereford Times, on both sides of (39)ff of stiff card. The album also contains a mounted typed letter, signed, written to the author by the Hon.Secretary of the Woolhope Club (local Herefordshire antiquarian society) 11 May 1909. The album was rebound in the early 1980s in quarter calf, marbled boards. Loosely inserted are two examples of Lord Stamp’s engraved bookplate, and an autograph letter, signed, 27 December 1984, from Trevor Stamp, 3rd Baron Stamp, the author’s surviving son, in which Trevor Stamp records that he has had the album rebound and is giving it and the small associated notebook (which we are also offering here) to Gavin Stamp ; Gavin Stamp was Josiah Charles Stamp’s great-nephew and therefore a cousin of Trevor Stamp. A further autograph letter, signed, from Trevor Stamp to Gavin Stamp, 19 December 1977, has an attached photocopy of a newspaper photograph of the Stamp family taken at the golden wedding of their common ancestor Charles Stamp.
In 1905 Josiah Charles Stamp, subsequently 1st Baron Stamp (1880-1941), later to become famous but then a newly married Surveyor of Taxes at the Hereford office of the Inland Revenue, and a Wesleyan Methodist lay preacher, took upon himself to write a series of newspaper articles for the Hereford Times on Herefordshire’s mediaeval parish churches, signed with the initials J.C.S., and these are what are mounted in the present album. It can be claimed with confidence that the present set of these articles, bound together with the accompanying newspaper correspondence which they generated, is the only set of these articles that survives in anything approaching book format, and it represents a probably unrecognised addition to the author’s known published writings. The attention shown in these articles to accurate historical detail, and to the evidence provided by such features of the churches’ surviving fabric as mouldings and window tracery, is an early manifestation of the intellect and ambition which was to launch the author, the future Lord Stamp, who had left school before the age of sixteen, from a junior post in the Inland Revenue through a dazzling career in the public service all the way to a peerage and the position of Chief Adviser to the Government on Economic Co-ordination. His services were particularly valued by Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s Prime Minister in 1937-40, who even thought of him as a potential war-time Chancellor of the Exchequer. Regrettably, he was to be killed by a bomb at his London home in April 1941, and, as his contemporary Lord Beveridge put it in his article on Stamp in the DNB, “by this direct hit the Germans did more harm to their chief enemy than they could then have realised”. We also offer with this album a related notebook, of small octavo format and in a limp leather binding, written throughout in ink in Lord Stamp’s handwriting, containing an alphabetically arranged dictionary of the principal terms used in the description of mediaeval church architecture, given by Stamp the title “Concise Guide to the Styles”. The presence on its first page of Lord Stamp’s address when resident in Hereford dates its composition to the same approximate period as his articles in the Hereford Times.