Market Lavington Museum

A Discourse on Secret Prayer


In Market Lavington Museum, we have this little book dating from the 1700s.

Its covers, in poor condition now, contain the second edition of ‘A Discourse on Secret Prayer’ by Henry Grove, 1736. Inside, we find pages such as these.

In 1751, our book belonged to someone with the surname Mudge, about whom we know nothing.

It had also belonged to Rd Smith of Market Lavington.

On the brightly covered papers inside the front cover, we see another owner’s name – H Atley.

He was Rev. Henry Atley, who was minister at the Independent Church in Market Lavington. Kelly’s Directory for 1859 has him listed amongst the private residents as Atley, Rev Henry (Independent). He is also on the 1861 census as the minister of Market Lavington Independent Church.

At the museum, we have copies of his book, A Topographical Account of Market Lavington. This book of Reminiscences includes a few interesting pages about ‘Market Lavington, Wilts, its past and present condition’ and some delightful sketches. Much of the book is about ‘the rise and progress of the Independent Church in that place’ and it also contains a large section on ‘the authentic history of David Saunders, the pious shepherd of Salisbury Plain.’