As I sped off from the conference I came through Shallowford where I espied a nice thatched cottage signposted Izaak Walton's Cottage.
I learn from the associated website (see here) at Izaak Walton (1594-1683), the celebrated author of the 'Compleat Angler', owned this charming cottage that nestles in the tiny hamlet of Shallowford, between Stafford and Eccleshall.
The charming thatched 16th century half-timbered cottage (I think that should be 17th century) will be of interest, they suggest, to anglers and non anglers alike, offering as it apparently does a marvellous insight into the history of fishing and the literary talent of Stafford's famous son.
Izaak left the cottage in his will to the people of his home town of Stafford, and now the museum pays homage to his illustrious life. Inside we apparently learn about Izaak Walton the Merchant, Churchman, biographer (he wrote lives of Donne, Herbert, Hooker, Sanderson, etc), writer, angler, and Royalist and of his great contribution to the genre of biography and his influence as an early conservationist.
Walton's two respective wives (his first wife pre-deceased him) were related to Cranmer and Thomas Ken. Some of his personally owned books ended up in Salisbury Cathedral Library. They include a1 1650 copy of Richard Sibbes' The returning backslider. He was a Sibbes fan and on the flyleaf of the book he has written the famous couplet
Of this blest man let this just praise be given,
Heaven was in him, before he was in heaven.