The Owners of The Ingoldsby Legends


A few weeks ago with another Fondren librarian, I went searching through our stacks for spooky book bindings and illustrations. One of the standouts included The Ingoldsby Legends by Thomas Ingoldsby aka Richard Harris Barham. I’m going to break up this book into three blog posts on the owners of the first edition, its illustrations, and the 1929 version with illustrations by Arthur Rackham.

First let’s look at the owners of the book.



John Leveson Douglas Stewart of Glenogil, Angus, Scotland August 1, 1842 – 1887 was the first owner. Since the book published in 1840, he was probably not the original one.


Then, the book fell into the hands of Sir Herbert Henry Raphael a British barrister (1859 – 1924).

At some point even between the two owners mentioned or at a later time, the book ended up at the W. Heffer & Sons Ltd. Booksellers in Cambridge, England. Raphael did attend school in Cambridge, but that doesn’t mean he purchased it at that time.


Before coming here, its last owner was Fleming L. Mays who gifted it in October 1953. I was unable to find out anything about him. Please let us know in the comments if you know more.

Somewhere along the line, someone decided to spruce up this book. In the final pages, there is the original spine and cover. It now sports a calf leather cover with gilding.



6 thoughts on “The Owners of The Ingoldsby Legends

  1. There’s a Find-a-Grave page for Fleming Lynn Mays ( that says he was born on April 23, 1893, in Ripley, Lauderdale County, Tennessee; died on May 2, 1960, in Houston, and is buried in San Antonio’s Sunset Memorial Park.

    He’s listed in the 1900 census as living in Independence County, Arkansas, with his widowed mother and three siblings. In the 1920 census, he’s single, rooming at 710 Leeland St. in Houston and working as a secretary at an oil company. In the 1940 census, he’s still single, lodging at 2119 Arbor St., has the same job title, is making $2,700/year, ans said he had an 8th grade education.

    I’ve sent a message about this blog post to the person who created May’s Find-a-Grave page, suggesting that she comment if she has more information about him.

  2. Fleming L. Mays is also listed as a member of the Friends of Fondren in at least the June 1952, June 1953, June 1954 & October 1956 issues of the Flyleaf … and as a Rice “donor other than alumni” in the August 1957 Sallyport. The June 1958 Flyleaf noted his donation of a “collection of periodicals.”

  3. Pingback: The Ingoldsby Legends: 1847 | What's in Woodson

  4. Fleming L Mays
    in the 1940 United States Federal Census

    View 1940 United States Federal Census
    View blank form
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    Report issue
    Name: Fleming L Mays
    Age: 47
    Estimated Birth Year: abt 1893
    Gender: Male
    Race: White
    Birthplace: Texas
    Marital Status: Single
    Relation to Head of House: Lodger
    Home in 1940: Houston, Harris, Texas
    Map of Home in 1940: View Map
    House Number: 4711
    Inferred Residence in 1935: Houston, Harris, Texas
    Residence in 1935: Same Place
    Sheet Number: 61B
    Occupation: Secretary
    Industry: Petroleum Co
    Attended School or College: No
    Highest Grade Completed: Elementary school, 8th grade
    Hours Worked Week Prior to Census: 40
    Weeks Worked in 1939: 52
    Income: 2700
    Income Other Sources: No
    Neighbors: View others on page
    Household Members:
    Name Age
    Alfred R Kuhleman 23
    Rosemary Kuhleman 20
    Katherine Kuhleman 2/12
    Fleming L Mays 47

    Best, and thanks for these posts, Norie,
    Pat Bell

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