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Bloomsbury Project

Bloomsbury Institutions


Swedenborg Society

Also known as London Society for Printing and Publishing the Works of Emanuel Swedenborg


It was founded on 26 February 1810 to translate Swedenborg’s Latin texts into English and publish them

The members of its committee were John Augustus Tulk (Chair), Thomas Jones, Charles Jenkins, Samuel Noble, John Parry, Charles Augustus Tulk, John Presland, Thomas Jones, Robert Armitstead, Samuel Sharpe (who was replaced by Mr J. Grayson of 9 Featherstone Buildings when he died), Robert Oliphant, and Mr M. Prichard

Both Flaxman and Tulk were also associated with the new University of London (later University College London) founded in 1828

The Society quickly became the main and subsequently the only publisher of Swedenborg’s works in the United Kingdom

According to Dickens’s Dictionary of London, most of its institutions had their headquarters at the Charlotte Street premises; its journals Morning Light and New Church Magazine were published from here every week and every month respectively (Charles Dickens (jr), Dickens’s Dictionary of London 1888: An Unconventional Handbook (1888)

It was incorporated in 1925, and later became a registered charity

It continues to flourish as a centre for the translation, publishing, and general dissemination of Swedenborg’s works, with a library, bookshop, and lecture-hall on site in Bloomsbury

What was reforming about it?

It was the chief method by which the works of mystic Emanuel Swedenborg reached a wider audience in the nineteenth century

Where in Bloomsbury

Its first permanent premises were at 36 (later renumbered no. 1) Charlotte Street from 1854 to 1925, when the lease expired; the Society then moved to nos 20–21 Hart Street

Website of current institution

www.swedenborg.org.uk (opens in new window)

Books about it

Freda Griffiths, The Swedenborg Society, 1810–1960 (1960)

Richard Lines, ‘The Swedenborg Society: A Very Short History’ (opens in new window)

Richard Lines, A History of the Swedenborg Society 1810–2010 (2011)


The Society’s administrative records, along with many manuscripts, artefacts, personal items, and much visual material, are held on site in Bloomsbury; details of the collection are available via the Society’s website (opens in new window)

This page last modified 13 April, 2011 by Deborah Colville


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