The Mendham Catalogue

Catalogue of the Law Society’s Mendham Collection, lent to the University of Kent at Canterbury and housed in Canterbury Cathedral Library. Completed and edited by Sheila Hingley and David Shaw from the catalogue of Helen Carron and others.
The Law Society, London, 1994. cliv, 500p.

Launch of the Mendham Catalogue, 1994

Invitation to the launch of the catalogue
Law Society President Rodger Pannone presents a copy of the Catalogue to David Shaw, Canterbury Cathedral Library, 17 June 1994

Sale of the Mendham Collection by the Law Society, June 2013

The Law Society of London gave notice to the University of Kent and Canterbury Cathedral in April 2012 that it intended to sell the Mendham Collection. In July 2012, Sotheby’s took away 300 of the most valuable books which it planned to sell at auction. This would result in the breaking up of the collection, which was left to the Law Society in the expectation that it would be kept together as “The Mendham Collection” and would be made available for scholarly research. An online petition was created to protest about this action. It had received over 4,000 signatures by the autumn of 2012. An appeal to the Charities Commission was unsuccessful and following further unsuccessful legal steps, the first tranche of the sale took place on 5 June 2013, realising £1,180,875. The Mendham Collection has now been irrevocably broken up.

The Sotheby’s sale catalogue

Items purchased by public institutions

The remainder of the Mendham Collection was removed from Canterbury Cathedral Library in January 2014.

A second sale took place at Bloomsbury Auctions, London, on 20 March 2014 (Books from the Ecclesiastical Collection of Joseph Mendham).

Mendham’s manuscripts at the Bodleian Library, Oxford

Thirty-seven manuscripts dating from the fifteenth to the seventeenth centuries were bequeathed to the Library by Joseph Mendham in 1856. They mainly concern the Council of Trent and include letters and diaries.
Catalogue description

Joseph Mendham and the Mendham Collection

David J. Shaw, ‘The Library of the Reverend Joseph Mendham’
[published in Swedish translation as ’Pastor Joseph Mendhams bibliotek’ in Biblis 44, Vintern 2008/09, 45?55].
[Download the original English text as a PDF file]



Catalogi libroru[m] reprobatorum, et praelegendorum ex iudicio Academiae Louaniensis. Cum edicto Caesareae Maiestatis euulgati. Louvain, 1550. (Mendham R263)    

Die catalogen oft inuentarisen vanden quaden verboden boucken: ende van andere goede, diemen den ionge[n] scholieren leeren mach, na aduys der Uniuersiteyt van Loeuen. Met een edict oft mandement der Keyserlijcker Maiesteyt. Leuven, 1550. (Mendham R262)    

Joseph Mendham, The Protestant king, with a view of the coronation oath, and of certain papal oaths, a sermon, preached in … Sutton Coldfield … February 27, 1820. Birmingham, 1820. (Mendham M185)    

Bookplate of the Collegium Evangelicum, Augsburg, in Johannes Nauclerus, Chronica, Cologne, 1579. (Mendham N12)    

Bookplate of an abbot of the Praemonstratensian Abbey of Rot an der Rot, in Alphonsus Liguori, Theologia moralis, Bologna, 1762. (Mendham A71)    

Ownership inscription of Christoph Carl Neumann, a Danish nobleman, in Martin Luther, Tomus primus Omnium operum, Jena, 1600. (Mendham L215)

Joseph Mendham, An account of the indexes, both prohibitory and expurgatory, of the Church of Rome, London; Birmingham; Dublin, 1826. (Mendham M163)