From The Teignmouth Post
Friday 4 January 1901
MR. PASSMORE EDWARDS AND NEWTON ABBOT
OFFER OF A FREE LIBRARY
"Mr. Passmore Edwards has offered to present to Newton Abbot, a home for a free library as a memorial to his mother, who was born in the town. It was originally Mr. Passmore Edwards' intention to present a hospital to the town, but he paid a visit to Newton quite unknown to the inhabitants, and found that an excellent little hospital had just been provided. There the matter ended for a time.
Recently, Mr. H. T. Parker, a well-known member of the Newton Abbot Council, attended the consecration of the Devonian Lodge of Freemasons in London, at which the Lord chancellor was elected Worshipful Master. Mr. Parker had the pleasure of sitting opposite Mr. Passmore Edwards at the banquet, and in the course of conversation, the great philanthropist mentioned that it had been his intention to build an institution there in memory of his mother, but that apparently the need for such a place had been met. With ready wit, Mr. Parker suggested that there were other directions in which the town might be benefited.
On his return from London, Mr. Parker laid the facts before the Devon Lodge of Freemasons at Newton Abbot, and the brethren were naturally delighted at the possibility of the town benefiting from Mr. Passmore Edwards' liberality.
Consequently, a small committee of well-known townsmen, including Mr. Underhay, the Worshipful Master, Mr. Parker, Mr. Hambly, hon.sec. and Mr. G. H. Hearder, was appointed to open negotiations with Mr. Passmore Edwards. The correspondence thus opened has resulted in Mr. Passmore Edwards offering to give the town a Free Library Institution similar to those he has presented to Truro and other towns in Cornwall.