Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spurgeon's Publishers: Passmore & Alabaster

"Passmore & Alabaster" --
Original Publishers of
C. H. Spurgeon's Sermons and Works

Historian Terry Wolever, who is in association with Pastor Gary W. Long and their publishing work, Particular Baptist Press of Springfield, Missouri, sent me the following most interesting information about C. H. Spurgeon's publishers, Joseph Passmore and James Alabaster --

Bob, awhile back I had asked you if you knew when the two Spurgeon publishers, Passmore and Alabaster, were born. At the time neither of us knew. I have since pursued this further and with the help of a friend in England I can share more about the two.

JOSEPH PASSMORE, the senior partner in the firm, is stated in Boase, Modern English Biography, page 1376, to have been born in 1822. But according to the 1881 British Census, FHL film 1341147, Folio 57, page 12, which was taken on March 31st of that year, he more likely was born in 1823, as his age is shown to be 57. Boase goes on to say of Passmore that he was "a member of C.H. Spurgeon's church, actively assisted in building the Tabernacle institutions and in founding the Stockwell orphanage 1867; [he] suggested the weekly issue of Spurgeon's Sermons 1855 and continued printing it without intermission [for] 36 years; [he] printed and published the whole of Spurgeon's works 1855-1895." Passmore died at his residence in London on August 1, 1895.

JAMES ALABASTER, the junior partner, was born ca.1826 and died on November 19, 1892 (the same year as Spurgeon). His death was recorded in this notice in the Sword and Trowel:

"On Saturday, November 19, just as these 'Notes' were being printed, Mr James Alabaster was 'called home,' after being laid aside less than a week. His loss is most keenly felt by his family and partners in business, especially by the head of the firm, Mr. Joseph Passmore, with whom Mr. Alabaster had been in close personal friendship for nearly forty years. We have tried to picture the meeting [in heaven] between the beloved Pastor and his esteemed publisher; for, although Mr. Alabaster was a staunch adherent of the Church of England, he loved the same Lord whom Mr. Spurgeon served, and was an equally devout believer in the faith once for all delivered to the saints."

At the time of their deaths, Passmore would have been 71 and Alabaster about 66. As all of us who appreciate the writings of Spurgeon know, we owe a great deal under God to the diligence of these two men and their associates for preparing the extensive works of Sprugeon for publication. I hope Mike is doing much better. With kind regards, Terry Wolever

Bob's Note:

We are deeply grateful for this -- as well as for other information which Brother Wolever has provided for us over time. He has done a remarkable job with the historical works which have been reprinted by Particular Baptist Press, and I would urge my readers to take a look at these works and make them a part of your library.

Pilgrim Publications has made it our practice to always use original, unedited editions of Passmore & Alabaster productions when we have done a reprint of a Spurgeon book. -- Bob L. Ross

1 comment:

  1. My thanks to Terry Wolever for this information and to you, Bob, for distributing it.

    Thanks be to God for Messrs. Passmore and Alabaster for committing themselves to print and distribute Spurgeon's sermons and remaining faithful to the tast to the end.