Rugman Bible

Rugman Bible Before

I couldn’t believe my luck when this Rugman bible was offered for sale on the internet in February 2008. As you can see the bible was in a terrible condition with the front cover separate from the main body. The bible was originally covered in black goat skin but faded badly.

I later discovered, from the owners of the Rugman bible, that they found the bible in the attic 7 years before and 2 years after they moved into the house.

Rugman Bible Before Pics

On the first plain page it says ‘Given by Arthur Willis to Emily Rugman with Fondest Love September 25th 1893’, which was 4 years before they married.


Emily Caroline Rugman was my second cousin, 3 times removed.

Rugman Bible After

I had the bible restored at Keele University at considerably more than what I paid for it but they did a fantastic job. The spine was replaced, the front and back covers were attached with new paper, the goatskin was stained to its original colour and the brass-work was cleaned.

Illustrations and text pages were in very good condition compared to the hard covers in goatskin.

Rugman Bible After Restoration Pics

On the 1901 census Emily and Arthur had no children. The first children’s page is blank and the second page has nieces and nephews of Emily.


Family information, some new and other information confirmed what I already had.


I have tried to find out how the bible arrived at the Beckenham address as the house was built in the 1950s but to date I don’t know despite finding out who lived there in the 1950s. The previous owners of the bible bought the house from a builder who renovated the house and it survived this upheaval.


It could easily have landed up in a skip!