Beaupre Bell 1704-1741

From Book Owners Online

Beaupré BELL 1704-1741

Bell's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection 2084)

Biographical Note

Son of Beaupré Bell of Beaupré Hall, Norfolk, a member of a long-established gentry family there. BA Trinity College, Cambridge 1725, MA 1729. He became a keen antiquary, with particular interests in numismatics; a planned publication on Roman coins was never completed. His personal network included many other contemporary antiquaries, and he is known to have helped both Francis Blomefield and Thomas Hearne with their books.


Bell acquired a significant library to support his interests; he left most of it, together with a monetary bequest and a collection of coins, to Trinity College, where ca.450 books remain today, together with some manuscript collections. The money was immediately used by the College to buy additional numismatic books. He also gave books to the Spalding Gentleman's Society, of which he was an active member (a hand-coloured bookplate affixed to one of these is reproduced by Blatchly).

Characteristic Markings

Bell used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 2084); he also regularly inscribed and annotated his books.


  • Blatchly, J., East Anglian ex-libris, London, 2008, p.42-3.
  • Courtney, W. P., and David Boyd Haycock. "Bell, Beaupré (1704–1741), antiquary." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • McKitterick, D. (ed), The making of the Wren Library, Cambridge, 1995, p.72.