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



Bulkeley Bandinel


Bulkeley Bandinel was born in St Peter-in-the-East parish, Oxford on 21 February 1781. His surname is Italian, but his ancestors had settled in Jersey in the early seventeenth century.

His father James Bandinel (d.1804) came up to Jesus College, Oxford from St Saviour's in Jersey in 1752, and was appointed a Fellow of Jesus in 1758. He was living in St Michael's parish when on 20 December 1775 he married Margaret Dumaresque at her home parish of Wilcott, Oxfordshire. They settled in Oxford where they 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's father was made a Doctor of Divinity in 1777 and served as Public Orator of the University from 1776 to 1784. He was also Rector of both Furtho in Northamptonshire and Wiggington in Oxfordshire from 1775 to 1789.

On 16 April 1789 Bulkeley's father James Bandinel was appointed Vicar of Netherbury in Dorset. When Bulkeley was aged 11 his mother Margaret Bandinel died at Netherbury at the age of 48 and was buried there on 30 November 1792.

Bulkeley Bandinel was was sent to Dr. Valpy’s school at Reading and then went on to Winchester College. He was matriculated at the University of Oxford from New College on 16 January 1800, aged 18.

His father the Revd James Bandinel died at Netherbury in Dorset in 1804 and was buried there on 22 November. His will was proved at the Prerogative Court of Canterbury on 9 March 1805.

Bulkeley Bandinel obtained his B.A. in 1805 and was ordained Deacon on 4 August 1804 and Priest on 9 June 1805. He was awarded his M.A. in 1807, and in the same year was appointed a Fellow of New College. He served as a Chaplain to the Royal Navy on the Victory in the Baltic from 1808.

In 1810 he was appointed under-Librarian at the Bodleian by his godfather and Bodley's Librarian John Price, and on Price's death three years later in 1813 he was elected Librarian, a post he was to hold for 47 years. From 25 January 1813 he also served as Curate of Kidlington.

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

From 8 November 1816 Bandinel served as Stipendiary Curate of Wytham and from 7 April 1820 as Curate of Albury, both in Oxfordshire.

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.

On 1 August 1822 Bandinel was appointed Rector of Haughton-le-Skerne, Durham and in 1823 he was made a Doctor of Divinity. He continued to live 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, where he was still Curate, 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 both 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 also come to live with them, died and she was buried in the same vault:

† 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 just four months later he too had died, and was buried in the family vault:

† 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 (taken on the night of 7 April) with three servants (a cook, housemaid, and lady’s maid).

By 4 November 1861 Mary Bandinel had moved to 6 Clarendon Villas in Park Town (now numbered 33 Park Town). On that date the properties in Park Town that still belonged to the liquidated Park Town Estate Company were put up for auction, and Mrs Bandinel, who had been paying a rent of £60 a year bought her house for £600.

The 1871 census shows her at the age of 79 living alone with three domestic servants at 6  Clarendon Villas.

Mrs Bandinel died in 1875, and was the fourth and last person buried in the family vault:

† Mrs Mary Bandinel, née Phillips died at 6 Clarendon Villas, Park Town at the age of 83 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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