Spencer Cowper 1670-1728

From Book Owners Online

Spencer COWPER 1670-1728

Cowper's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection 7125)

Biographical Note

Second son of Sir William Cowper, 2nd bart, of the Castle, Hertford. Matriculated at Christ's College, Cambridge 1686, but did not graduate; admitted at the Middle Temple 1687 (barrister 1693). he developed a legal career while also becomingComptroller of Bridge House Estates for the Corporation of London 1690; in 1699 he was tried for the murder of a drowned woman in Hertford, but acquitted. MP for Bere Alston 1705-10, for Truro 1715-27; he became attorney-general to the Prince of Wales after 1714, chief justice of Chester in 1717, and was made a judge in the Court of Common Pleas shortly before his death.


Cowper used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 7125); the extent and disposition of his library is not known (he died intestate).


  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Lemmings, D. Cowper, Spencer (1670–1728), judge. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.