George Tollet d.1719

From Book Owners Online

George TOLLET d.1719

Tollet's bookplate (private collection)

Biographical Note

Tollet's origins and parentage are not known, but he began life in Ireland, where he was a founder member of the Dublin Philosophical Society in 1683, as well as a teacher of mathematics; he is known to have trained one of his daughters to have been scientifically proficient. In 1688 he moved to England and held various administrative posts, including that of accountant-general of Ireland, and secretary of the excise. In 1702 he became a commissioner of the Navy, and moved to live in the Tower of London. He was acquainted with both Samuel Pepys and John Evelyn. In 1718 he retired to Betley, Staffordshire.


In his will, Tollet gives and bequeathes "to my elder son George Tollet all my books papers (except bonds and notes for money) and mathematical instruments". Later in the same document he goes into some more detail: "There are three setts of Bishop Stillingfleets Works of which I design'd for each of my children one". His books were sold by retail sale alongside those of Richard Barcroft in London from 21 June 1726. The sale was advertised in the Daily Post and the Daily Journal.

Characteristic Markings

Tollet used an engraved armorial bookplate, which exists printed in red as well as black (Franks 29548-9).


  • Will of George Tollet of Tower of London, Middlesex, The National Archives PROB 11/571/412.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903-4.
  • Librorum, ex bibliothecis ornatissimi Doctissimique Geo. Tollet, ... et Rev. Rich. Barecroft, catalogus. Being the libraries of Geo. Tollet, ... and of the Rev. Mr. Richard Barecroft, ... to be sold ... at Weaver Bickerton's ... on Tuesday the 21st of June, 1726. ..., [London, 1726] ESTC T62843.
  • Londry, Michael. "Tollet, George (d. 1719), mathematician and naval administrator." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Information from Michael Londry.