Books and objects from Lenkiewicz Foundation

Judith and Peter (and Agnes) had trip out to Plymouth yesterday to collect some important new acquisitions for the Museum.  We visited Robert Lenkiewicz’s former library overlooking Plymouth Harbour.  It has been the home of many of his objects and books which are now part of the Lenkiewicz Foundation, who have kindly donated two objects to the Museum collection.  First in the van was the old coffin used by Museum founder Cecil Williamson to display the supposed remains of Ursula Kemp, a witch who was executed in Chelmsford in 1582.

Here you see Cecil with the body and coffin in the 1980s.  They were bought by Lenkiewicz but the bones were later buried in St. Osyth where Ursula originated.

Next in the van was Lenkiewicz’s very own ‘witch bottle’, a nineteenth or early twentieth century example with hair, pins and the residue of some liquid in the bottom.  We don’t know much about this yet; further research is needed!

The bottle didn’t take up much space in the van – but the artists collection of books did!  Lenkiewicz had a superb library of rare and fascinating titles and it is great that his library of witchcraft and occult books is staying in the South West where it will be catalogued and available for viewing in the Museum Library.  We are also pleased that they will be housed in the Museum that he knew and loved. 

Many thanks to Mark Penwill at the Foundation, and to Steve Patterson for his help to make this happen!

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