Ralph Freeman d.1667
Sir Ralph FREEMAN d.1667
Of Betchworth, Surrey, son of Martin Freeman. Admitted to the Middle Temple in 1606, MP for Winchelsea in 1625 and 1628. Commissioner for revenues of Henrietta Maria in 1627 and gentlemen of the bedchamber in 1628. Made joint master of the Mint with Sir Thomas Aylesbury in 1635; he forfeited this post during the Civil War but was re-appointed at the Restoration. He published two translations into English from Seneca, the Booke of Consolation to Marcia (1635) and the Booke of the Shortnesse of Life (1636), and was author of the tragedy Imperiale (1639).
Numerous books survive marked with Freeman's monogram stamp, based on an F and two R's; some examples (like the one illustrated here) are later than 1667, so the stamp was evidently also used by some of his descendants. The size of his library is not known; his will has no specific reference to books, and all his household goods went to his son Sir George Freeman. At least some of his books descended to Ralph Freeman, Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford (d.1774), who left them to the College. Examples: Cambridge UL Syn.4.62.18; All Souls, Oxford A.5.11.
As well as the monogram binding stamp, the monogram may be found written on flyleaves, and Freeman sometimes inscribed his name on titlepages.
- Will of Sir Ralph Freeman, The National Archives PROB 11/324/554.
- British Armorial Bindings.
- Challis, C. E. "Freeman, Sir Ralph (d. 1667), government official and author." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- Craster, E, The history of All Souls College Library, London, 1971, p.91.