St John's College W.114

The Psalms in English by Ernest Hampden-Cook, c. 1921-31


'The Psalms for the People. An idiomatic & slightly paraphrastic translation into everyday English mainly from the Massoretic Hebrew text. By Ernest Hampden-Cook, BA London; MA Cambridge; formerly exhibitioner for Hebrew, St John's College Cambridge & Hebrew prizeman, Owens College Manchester; editor and part reviser of Dr R.F. Weymouth's 'New Testament in Modern Speech'.'

Born in 1860, the son of a London oil merchant, Hampden-Cook was educated at Mill Hill School, Hackney, and trained for the Congregationalist ministry at the Lancashire Independent College. Admitted as a sizar to St John's College in 1882, he graduated BA in 1885 with a third class in the Theological Tripos and subsequently served as a minister in New Zealand (1887-9) and New South Wales (1889-90). Returning to England in 1890, Hampden-Cook acted as Resident Secretary to Mill Hill School until 1896. He subsequently served as pastor at Dolgelly (1897-1900), Sandbach (1900-12), Jarvis Brook (1912-14), Salford (1914-16), and Barton-on-Humber (1916-18). In 1906 he carried out a revision of Weymouth's New Testament in Modern Speech. He died unmarried at Cambridge in 1932, aged seventy-two. A note in The Eagle 47 (1934), 247 reads: 'From the first he had become deeply interested in the attempt to make the Bible more familiar to English-speaking people ... His knowledge of Hebrew led him in later years to undertake translations into the vernacular of parts of the Old Testament. These have been left in MS form, and ought to be preserved.'

Manuscript extra information

220 x 145mm. 256 pages + blanks. Ruled, hardback notebook. Written in a single neat hand throughout in blue ink, with headings and marginal annotations in red ink. The text contains several additions and corrections, in pen and pencil. Two dates appear in pencil at the end of the text, 15.8.21 and 17.7.31. These presumably refer to revisions. Three loose pages tucked into the volume contain notes by Hampden-Cook detailing conventions followed in his translation and acknowledging the assistance of various individuals.

Pencil notes on the front flyleaf read 'E. Hampden-Cook, 34 Harvey Goodwin Avenue, Cambridge' and 'The property of Florence Mary Hughes, Tudor House, Barnet'. College bookplate on flyleaf. Given by Florence Mary Hughes in 1933 (book label inside front cover).