Peter Manwood 1571-1625

From Book Owners Online

Sir Peter MANWOOD 1571-1625

Armorial stamp of Sir Peter Manwood (British Armorial Bindings)

Biographical Note

Born at Hackington, Kent, son of Sir Roger Manwood (d.1592), a judge. He became a student at the Inner Temple in 1583, and subsequently had rooms there, but he was never called to the Bar. He inherited his father’s estates in Kent, London and elsewhere and subsequently maintained houses in both places. He became MP for Sandwich in 1588 and thereafter sat in numerous parliaments through to 1621, for various constituencies. He was actively involved in Kentish affairs, as a JP, Commander of Dover Haven (1591), Commissioner for grain (1596), Sheriff of Kent (1602-03), Mayor of Canterbury (1605) and Commissioner of sewers (1619-23). Knighted, 1603. He lived beyond his means and by the early 1620s his finances were in serious difficulties; he went abroad 1621-23 and on his return was saved from ruin partly by royal patronage.

Manwood was a keen antiquary, a friend and patron of authors and historians like Edward Grimestone and Richard Knollys, and a member of the Society of Antiquaries. He collected and exchanged notes and transcripts with men like William Camden and John Stow.


The extent of Manwood’s library and the methods of its dispersal are not known, but books of his can now be found in numerous collections. He had a small number of medieval manuscripts, including a 13th-century bestiary (the Ashmole Bestiary, Bodleian ms Ashmole 1511), as well as manuscript historic collections and commonplace books. Some of his manuscripts were inherited from his father. Over 20 printed books of his can now be traced but his original collection is likely to have been much larger than this. He gave 4 volumes of manuscripts state papers to the Bodleian in 1620. Examples: Bodleian Art.4to.Z.12(8); St John’s College, Cambridge D.9.28; Queens’ College, Cambridge H.7.9; Exeter College Oxford 9M.22248; Folger Library STC 7642 copy 1; Maggs 1121 (1990)/15.

Characteristic Markings

Commonly inscribed his titlepages with his name and the date/source of acquisition (“sent mee by Mr Danyel my good friend”, etc). Used two armorial binding stamps, incorporating his full arms with crest and mantling. Exeter 9M.22248 has his name “Sir Peeter Manwood” tooled on the boards in gilt letters.