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Haverhill family's 157-year-old bible is back where it belongs after Echo appeal pays dividends




An appeal by the Echo to return a 157-year-old copy of the Bible to the family who owned it has led to it being handed over to three descendants of the Haverhill woman who first signed it.

It was a real family affair when three generations of the Scrivener family, all descendants of the bible’s original owner Mary Peck, went to Haverhill Library on Sunday to collect the book from Haverhill Family History Group (HFHG) member Alan Bumpstead.

Robert and Yvette Scrivener, of Bartlow Place, Haverhill, their son James and his son Isaac, all popped to the library to collect it.

Alan Bumpstead (right) of the Haverhill Family History Group, presents the Peck family bible to Robert Scrivener, his son James and grandson Isaac. Contributed picture
Alan Bumpstead (right) of the Haverhill Family History Group, presents the Peck family bible to Robert Scrivener, his son James and grandson Isaac. Contributed picture

How they came to do so stems back to October 10, when the Echo published an article about the Bible, which had found its way back to the town and led to an appeal by HFGH to trace descendants of Mary Peck, who had signed it in 1862.

The Bible, which originally belonged to Mary and her husband William Ellis Peck, was brought to Haverhill a few weeks ago by Patricia Curran, from Northamptonshire.

Patricia, a passionate family historian came across the book and undertook the mammoth task of trying to trace a descendant.

So dedicated was she that she travelled to Haverhill to visit Haverhill Family History Group at one of its weekly help sessions held in the library.

Fortuitously this was also just before one of HFHG’s open days, on Saturday, October 12, and it was decided to launch an appeal in the hope that someone would come forward to claim it.

At the open day there were several unsuccessful enquiries made by people who had an ancestor by the name of Mary Peck, but then Robert arrived.

After some checking it was verified that Robert, of Bartlow Place, in Haverhill. was indeed the great great grandson of Mary through his mother Madge’s family line.

Yvette Scrivener said: “I read the story and said to Bob ‘your mum’s name was Peck’ and I said to him ‘we will go down or ring them up, whatever.’

“He went down to town on the Saturday and about three hours later he came back and he went ‘it’s mine’ and I said ‘what’ and he said ‘the Bible’ and his face was just a picture. He was well chuffed.”

HFHG secretary Charmian Thompson said: “It’s good that it’s ended up in Haverhill and the thing that made me so pleased was that Robert was so delighted to have it.

“He is absolutely thrilled to bits to have the Bible.”

As the new custodian of this family heirloom, a delighted Robert plans to find out more about the lives of his ancestors, people he was unaware of until a few weeks ago.

Robert and Yvette hope to attend the next HFHG Open Day in January to continue their research.


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