Dr. Thomas Bray was one of the founders of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in 1698 and the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in 1701. He was appointed to preside over ministers sent to Maryland, his acceptance being based upon the proposition that parochial libraries be provided for ministers sent overseas. Bray understood that the lack of available books would be a serious hindrance to ministers too poor to build up their own libraries. Dr. Bray provided 16 libraries for Maryland, including Annapolis, the first lending library in America, which consisted of about 1000 volumes and cost £400. He also founded libraries in Carolina, Rhode Island, New York, Boston, Philadelphia, the Bermudas, the Bahamas, etc. Bray himself donated £500 to these American libraries, the other subscriptions received having fallen short of the amount needed. His efforts to obtain subscriptions for these libraries occasionally met with the remark that "Charity begins at home." Recognizing the justice of this criticism, he began a programme for providing libraries for the home clergy with lending libraries formed throughout England. One of his proposals was that booksellers would provide books for foreign libraries free of charge in return for the purchase of books for local lending libraries. Bray proposed also that the lending libraries should be movable and travel abroad. Because of the possibility of loss, the books would be marked according to what Deanery they belonged. In 1701 he published "Several Circular Letters" that said "I do therefore conclude it equally necessary to have in each parish a Collection of plain practical Books, for the use of the Laity that the Defects of publick Teaching may be supplied this way." George Smith wrote in the Library Association Record: "To initiate so large a design would seem to demand a colossal fortune, to require its proposer to be of the highest rank and influence, and to need the assistance of the State; but it was commenced, and to a great extent carried out, not by any of these means, but by the unselfish sacrifice, the inspiring enthusiasm, and the practical common sense of its originator".