The Vinegar Bible

The Vinegar Bible gets its name and fame from a mistake!

It was printed in 1717 by John Baskett at the Clarendon Press, Oxford. It has an error in the chapter heading for Luke 20. Instead of it correctly reading, "The Parable of the Vineyard," it reads, "The Parable of the Vinegar."

You can trace the "travels" of one of these Bibles in an article written by Rosemary E. Bachelor in December, 2008. She tells the story of the Lunenburg Vinegar Bible that once belonged to Rev. Robert Vincent. He was an Anglican missionary assigned to the fishing village's St. John's Church.

Vincent died young. His widow needed money, so sold the Bible to Michael Francklin in 1766. Francklin was Nova Scotia's governor at the time.

Francklin returned to England in 1772. It is thought that it remained in his family for several generations. However, somehow it turned up at Cambridge University about 20 years ago. The back of the Bible has notes written by Francklin as well as the births and deaths of family members.

Marie Elwood, former head curator of the Nova Scotia Museum, negotiated the return of the Bible to Lunenburg with the understanding that the province would pay $5,000 for it.

And so 236 years later, 2008, the Bible returned "home."

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