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Henry St. John's gifts (1616, 1618)

Lower Library E.9.20, A.1.22

Two books were gifted to the Library by Henry St John (1652-1715). Father of the infamous 1st Viscount of Bolingbroke, he was described as a 'typical Restoration rake' and a 'man of pleasure'. In 1685 during a supper party brawl he ran through Sir William Estcourt with his sword and was condemned to death but spared after his mother paid a £16,000 fine.

Alongside a fledgling political career as MP for Wootton Bassett Henry St John was admitted to Caius in 1688 as a fellow commoner but one year later he transferred to St John’s College in Oxford. Fellow commoners customarily left a gift of plate upon leaving – perhaps he donated these books to the Library instead. The peerage still survives today and is currently held by the 10th Viscount St John.

Certaine Errors in Navigation (1610) << Henry St. John's gifts (1616, 1618) >> De gli habiti (1626)