William Godwin's Diary


Dissenting minister Daniel Williams made modest provisions in his will for establishing the library before he died in 1716. The opening of the library in Red Cross Street in 1729 was largely due to the efforts of his trustees. For over a century it served as ‘the headquarters of London dissent’ (DNB). The collections were greatly enlarged over the years with many important gifts, and Williams's original benefaction of about 7600 books forms only a small part of the modern library. See DNB.