Blunham's most famous historical character was Dr. John Donne, the famous poet and preacher, who was Rector of the village church from 1621 until his death in 1631. During this period he was also Dean of St. Paul's Cathedral in London. How much time he spent in Blunham is not recorded, but one of the 6 bells in the church tower was struck in 1530, so he would have heard it just as we hear it today on Sunday mornings.....Maybe it was this bell that inspired him to write the famous line "Ask not for whom the bell tolls....."
"When one man dies, one|
chapter is not torn out of
the book, but translated
into a better language."
-----John Donne (1572-1631)
Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions
Within a few years, another local man in Bedford was to become famous, John Bunyan, (1628-88)writer of "A Pilgrim's Progress". It is likely that between his long periods in prison at Bedford for non-conformity, he visited and preached in Blunham. It has been suggested that the (then) marshy River Ivel at Blunham was the inspiration for the "Slough of Despond" in his famous book, although other local sites also make this claim. The current Baptist chapel in Blunham dates from 1750, although built on the site of an earlier Meeting House"