David Rayfield is a lettings agent who was performing a valuation at a home in Oxfordshire, UK when he noticed something peculiar: a very old book being used as a bedroom doorstop. The book was entitled “Corporation of Wallingford” and turned out to be a rare 1799 book of statutes, which detailed laws enacted by Parliament.
The resident allowed Mr. Rayfield to take the book to the Wallingford Museum, where curator Judy Dewey and her colleagues are currently examining and researching it. “Councils couldn’t consult the internet in those days so they all had books of statutes as reference books to show them all the laws that had been passed by Parliament,” Mrs. Dewey explains. “It’s fascinating because it provides such a detailed picture of 18th century life.”
I’m glad that the book ‘rediscovered’ and can provide a significant historical snapshot of this area. I can’t get over where it was found, though– being used as a doorstop?! Cringeworthy, to be sure, but this story also highlights how exciting appraising and scouting can be– you never know what you’ll find or where you’ll find it!
Rare history book used as doorstop [Oxford Mail]