Henry Jacob ca.1608-1652

From Book Owners Online

Henry JACOB ca.1608-1652

Biographical Note

Born possibly in Holland, son of the puritan minister Henry Jacob. He studied with Thomas Erpenius and developed great skills in oriental languages. Moving to England in the 1620s, he was made a BA and probationary fellow of Merton College, Oxford, and spent the succeeding years there, with various roles, and in contact with many leading philologists of the time (e.g. Thomas Crosfield, John Selden) to whom he gave linguistic assistance. Expelled from Oxford in 1648, he was supported for a while by Selden, before moving to Canterbury where he died.


A brief inventory of Jacob's goods made in 1653 (transcribed and edited as PLRE 166) shows he had a library of ca.370 books, though these are not listed by title. Some of his books may have been confiscated or lost when he was forced out of Oxford.


  • Nicholson, R. Henry Jacob, in R. Fehrenbach and J. Black (eds), Private Libraries in Renaissance England 7 (2009), 281-285.
  • Wright, Stephen. "Jacob, Henry (c. 1608–1652), philologist." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.