25 JUNE 1904, Page 12

Venn Family Annals. By John Venn, F.R.S. (Macmillan and Co.

158. net.)—William Venn, otherwise Fenn (with varieties of spelling), was vicar of 011erton from 1600-22. He matricu- lated at Exeter College as " Gulielmus Fenne, Pleb. fil. aetat 22." "Pleb. fil." is an entry that in later days came to be un- common; but when William Venn went up it meant lower fees for everything than the "gun. fil." He died early—i.e., at fifty- two—leaving movable property which the editor notes as more than one would expect. The inventory shows a total of £94, of which "books" figure for £10, and " apparell" for as much. Richard Venn succeeded his father after a brief tenure by a "warming pan"; was expelled in 1645, lived to be restored, but died in 1662. His inventory came to £59 Ils. 10d. "Wearing apparell, gownd and books" are valued at £10. His widow, who died four years later, had apparel of the very modest value of £2 10s. She had two cottages, which are put down at .R9 each. The third in the clerical dynasty was Dennis Venn, vicar of Holberton (1648-95) ; the fourth a man of some dis- tinction, Richard Venn (1690-1739), vicar of St. Antholin's, in the City of London ; the sixth was Henry Venn (1725-27), vicar of Huddersfield ; the seventh, certainly the best known of the line, John Venn (1759-1813), vicar of Clapham, and in a sense teacher of the "Clapham Sect" ; the eighth Henry Venn (1796-1873), for many years secretary to the Church Missionary Society. This record is an unusual one, and, it is almost needless to say, apart from its personal interests, throws a considerable light on social history. The difference between the half-farmer parson of 011erton in the beginning of the seventeenth century and the accomplished secretary of a great Church society is very striking. It must not be supposed that the earlier Venns were at all of the kind that Macaulay, with his hasty generalisation, pictured ; but the change is great.