Rowland Woodward

From Book Owners Online

Rowland WOODWARD 1573-1636

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of John Woodward, vintner. Admitted at Lincoln's Inn 1591, where he began a long friendship with John Donne. Became secretary to Sir Henry Wotton in 1604, with whom he travelled in Europe, being seriously wounded when attacked by thieves in France in 1607. He held various administrative and clerical posts during the following decades, with Sir Dudley Digges, Sir Thomas Roe, and Francis Fane, 1st Earl of Westmorland. He features as a dedicatee in some of Donne's poems, made compilations of Donne's verse, and was an occasional poet himself. Examples: British Library 568.b.22; Bodleian Juel-Jensen e.29; Cambridge UL Syn 7.61.154; Folger Library 263-968q; Maggs catalogue 1121 (1990)/16; Christopher Edwards catalogue Twenty books (2020)/11.


Numerous books survive from Woodward's library, which he evidently assembled over many years, but we do not know its full extent. His books initially entered the Fane family library at Apethorpe, and are now widely dispersed.

Woodward's inscription (British Library 568.b.22, P. Bertius, De aggeribus et pontibus, 1629

Characteristic Markings

Woodward's books are regularly inscribed with his name and the Spanish motto “De juegos el mejores con la hoja” ("Of all games, the best is with the leaf").