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Edward Capern letter

 Collection — Folder: 1
Call Number: MS P58


This collection consists of a single letter written by Edward Capern to Dr. Lin from Bideford, England, providing biographical details about his life and career, including working as a child laborer at a factory.


  • March 19th [1859]


Conditions Governing Access

No access restrictions.

Conditions Governing Use

Spencer Library staff may determine use restrictions dependent on the physical condition of manuscript materials.

Biography of Edward Capern (1819-1894)

Edward Capern was born in Tiverton, England on January 21, 1819, the eldest of 8 children. From the age of 9, Capern worked in a lace factory to help support his family. His eyesight began failing him, however, and he had to abandon factory work in the mid-1840s. In 1848 he secured a post as a letter carrier with the Post Office, working routes between Bideford, Appledore, and Westleigh.

Capern wrote poetry while waiting for return post at each location, and he became known as the "Rural Postman of Bideford." His published books of poetry included Poems, by Edward Capern (1856); Ballads and Songs (1858); and Sungleams and Shadows (1881), among other works. The popularity and critical acclaim for his poetry won him a civil list pension, granted by Lord Palmerston. Capern died on June 4, 1894.

[Information retrieved from Secome, Thomas, revised by Jane Potter, "Capern, Edward," Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.]


1 folder ; Folder measures 22x37 cm.

Physical Location

MS P58

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Purchase, Maggs Bros Rare Books, June 27, 1966.

Processing Information

Former SC temporary call number: MS (Box) 38:13.

Former temporary collection name: Collection of 19th c. letters: Miscellaneous group of mainly English letters: mostly 19th c, some 20th c, a few 18th c.

Guide to the Edward Capern Collection
Edward Capern letter
Finding aid prepared by alh, 1966; mwh, 2020. Finding aid encoded by mwh, 2020.
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Finding aid written in English.
Finding aid permalink
Preferred citation
Edward Capern letter, MS P58, Kenneth Spencer Research Library, University of Kansas

Repository Details

Part of the University of Kansas. Kenneth Spencer Research Library Repository

1450 Poplar Lane
Lawrence KS 66045-7616 United States