Notebook of Charles Wellbeloved

  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 133 UCC/2/37
  • Former Reference
      GB 133 Q5(3)
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      21 x 13 cm 1 item Poor condition: covers loose

Scope and Content

Manuscript notebook: 'Lectures on the Existence and Attributes of God by T. Belsham'.

Inside front cover is written 'Charles Wellbeloved Nov. Coll. Hackn: 1790'.

Administrative / Biographical History

Charles Wellbeloved was born on 6 April 1769 at St Giles, London to John Wellbeloved and his wife Elizabeth (née Plaw). He was educated by Rev Richard Delafosse of Richmond. After a spell working for a firm of drapers, he attended Homerton Academy in 1785, moving to New College, Hackney in 1787. In 1792, he became an assistant to Newcombe Cappe at St Savioursgate Chapel, York, taking over as minister on Cappe's death in 1800. During the early years in York, to supplement his income he set up his own school. He remained a minister at St Savioursgate until his death in 1858, although from 1845 he had the help of assistant ministers. In 1803, he became divinity tutor at Manchester College and the College was moved to York. Initially the running of the College proved burdensome to him: the staff consisted merely of himself and a classics tutor, as a result he suffered from stress related illness during 1807 and 1809. The situation improved in 1809 with the appointment of a mathematics tutor, and from 1810, he had the help of John Kendrick who taught classics. He retired from the College in 1840. In a noted controversy during 1823 and 1824, he successfully defended Unitarianism from Archdeacon Francis Wrangham, winning plaudits from Sydney Smith and James Martineau.

Wellbeloved was active in a range of social reform movements in York. He exposed abuses at York Lunatic Asylum, and was involved in setting up the York Book Society, the Mechanics Institute, the York Whig Club and the School of Art. He was also the curator of antiquities for the Yorkshire Philosophical Society from 1823. He wrote the theological and philosophical sections of the Annual Review between 1802 and 1808 and was a gifted linguist: he read Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Syriac, Chaldea and Arabic, as well as French, Italian and German. Much of his time was devoted to a popular translation of the Bible, some of which was published during his lifetime. After his death, the fruits of his labours were revised by John Kendrick in the three volume Holy Scriptures of the Old Covenant (1859-62). He published a popular book of Devotional Exercises for Young People (1801) which was regularly reissued, and also produced antiquarian studies of York.

He married Ann Kinder on 1 July 1793 with whom he had four sons and five daughters. He died on 29 August 1858 in York.


David L. Wykes, 'Wellbeloved, Charles (1769-1858)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).