Francis Meres 1565/6-1647

From Book Owners Online

Francis MERES 1565/6-1647

Biographical Note

Son of Thomas Meres of Kirton, Lincolnshire. BA Pembroke College, Cambridge 1587, MA 1591. After some years spent in Lincolnshire and London, he became rector of Wing, Rutland in 1602, and spent the rest of his life there as a clergyman and schoolmaster. During the 1590s he published numerous books, including his own poetry, a translation of Luis de Granada, and Palladis tamia, wits treasury (1598), a collection of similes and reflections with extensive literary references.


At least 15 books that belonged to Meres have been identified in Peterborough Cathedral Library, although there are likely to be more both there and elsewhere. Those traced are mostly 16th-century imprints acquired during his time in Cambridge, and in Wing. They include theological and literary texts, and are in typical, inexpensive bindings of their period, including a number in crudely stab-stitched parchment. Meres's extensive annotations and marking habits have been analysed in detail by Jason Scott-Warren. Examples: Cambridge University Library Peterborough C.1.52, C.5.16, L.4.5 (others are mentioned by Scott-Warren).

Characteristic Markings

Meres regularly inscribed his books, in different places, in a variety of ways which changed according to his occupation. He annotated them extensively, with textual comments, anecdotes and observations about his life, and quotations.