Richard Smith 1590-1675

From Book Owners Online

Richard SMITH 1590-1675

Biographical Note

Of Old Jewry and Little Moorfields, Cripplegate, London. Son of Richard Smith (bap.1567, d.1638). Smith began working as a junior clerk in or about 1608 in the Poultry Counter and was appointed secondary in 1644, a position he retained until his resignation in 1655. He married Elizabeth (bap.1600, d.1664), daughter of George Deane of Stepney in 1622. The couple had five sons and three daughters.


An 'assiduous and discriminating book collector' (ODNB), Smith amassed a library of over 8000 books, manuscripts and pamphlets. His collection included works on history, theology, philology, medicine and classical literature. His library was auctioned for £1414 12s. 11d. in London, 15.5.1682.

Characteristic Markings

Smith annotated his books.


  • Alston, R. C. Inventory of sale catalogues 1676-1800. St Philip, 2010.
  • Beadle, R. Medieval English manuscripts at auction, 1676-c.1700, The Book Collector 53 (2004), 46-63.
  • Birrell, T. A. Books and buyers in 17th-century English auction sales, in R. Myers et al (eds), Under the hammer, London, 2001, 51-64.
  • Duff, E. G. The library of Richard Smith, The Library ns 8 (1907), 113-33.
  • Harding, Vanessa. "Smith [Smyth], Richard (bap. 1590, d. 1675), law officer and book collector." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Mandelbrote, G. The organisation of book auctions in late seventeenth-century London, in R. Myers (ed), Under the hammer, London, 2001, 15-36.
  • Richard Smith in Material Evidence in Incunabula.