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Tabley Book Collection

Date range: 15th-20th centuries

Number of items: 5,000 items.

The personal library of the Leycester/Leicester/Warren family and Barons de Tabley from Tabley House near Knutsford, Cheshire, includes the books of the 17th-century antiquary and Royalist, Sir Peter Leycester, and those of the great patron of British artists, Sir John Fleming Leicester (1762-1827), 1st Baron de Tabley.

The collection contains items ranging from the late 15th to the early 20th centuries, with the majority dating from the 17th and 18th centuries. They cover a wide variety of subjects: art, English and foreign literature, the classics, history, law, politics, religion, natural history and travel. Miscellaneous material includes scrap-books and sketch-books. Many works are finely illustrated and some have attractive bindings.

Items of note include:

  • An incunable, Jacobus Philippus de Bergamo's Supplementum chronicarum (Venice,1486);
  • An (incomplete) Second Folio of Shakespeare (1632);
  • Three copies of Sir Peter Leycester’s Historical Antiquities (1673);
  • A full twenty-four-volume set of Shaw and Nodder’s Vivarium Naturæ: or the Naturalist’s Miscellany (1790–1813), copiously illustrated with hand-coloured engravings.

Several of the earlier items carry annotations by Sir Peter Leycester.

Of the 5,000 items in the collection, approximately 700 are located at the John Rylands Library and have been fully catalogued. The rest of the collection remains at Tabley House.

See also:

Tabley Muniments

Further Information:

Partially recorded in Library Search.

Location: