Rare library book returned after 30 years

A rare library book has been returned to its south London home after more than 30 years of globe trotting with a former Australian naval commander.

Former Royal Australian Navy Lieutenant Commander Ron Robb borrowed the book from Wallington Library in Sutton in 1981 to help his daughter with a project. The volume of Samuel Pepys’ Diary then accompanied him to Hong Kong before ending up in Australia.

Samuel Pepys' diary

Samuel Pepys

Mr Robb discovered the book while in the process of moving house in Toongabbie, New South Wales, and contacted Wallington Library to get it safely back to Sutton in south London.

Speaking from his home in Australia Mr Robb said: “I happened to flick open the book’s cover and noticed that it belonged to Wallington Library. “I especially noted that it was part of a donated series and, being an honorary archivist for a college, I recognised that it might be quite valuable,” he added.

The book is now back with the other volumes of the edition in the library’s Mallinson Room.

The original ‘blogger’?

The detailed private diary Pepys kept from 1660 until 1669 was first published in the 19th century.  It provides a combination of personal revelation and eyewitness accounts of great events, such as the Great Plague of London, the Second Dutch War and the Great Fire of London.

Visit an on-line version of  Samuel Pepys’ diary.


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