Christopher Rawlinson 1677-1733

From Book Owners Online

Christopher RAWLINSON 1677-1733

Rawlinson's bookplate, from a copy of Pharmacopoeia Radcliffeanae, 1716, British Library 777.b.14

Biographical Note

Born at Springfield, Essex, son of Curwen Rawlinson, of Carke Hall, Lancashire, landowner and MP, from whom he inherited the family estates. Matriculated at Queen's College, Oxford 1695, but did not graduate; at Oxford, he became interested in Anglo-Saxon studies as part of the circle of Edward Thwaites, and in 1698 he published an edition of Alfred the Great's translation of Boethius. He subsequently devoted much of his life to antiquarian researches.


Rawlinson used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 24622). The extent of his library is not known; he died intestate and unmarried, and Carke Hall was inherited by the children of his aunts. He had assembled various manuscript collections relating to the history of the north-west and it is recorded that after his death "his manuscripts were disposed of in bundles and bought for pence by the villagers [of Cartmel]" (ODNB). A copy of the 1665 Dordrecht edition of the Gospels in Anglo-Saxon and Gothic, with Rawlinson's ownership stamped at the head of the titlepage, was sold at Sotheby's, 18 December 1995, lot 92.


  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Wroth, W. W., and Mary Clapinson. "Rawlinson, Christopher (1677–1733), antiquary." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.