Thomas Hervey 1625-1694

From Book Owners Online

Sir Thomas HERVEY 1625-1694

Biographical Note

Son of Sir William Hervey of Ickworth, Suffolk. Matriculated at Pembroke College, Cambridge 1641, but did not graduate. MP for Bury St Edmunds 1679-89, knighted by 1661; he inherited the Ickworth estate from his elder brother in 1680, although he had been managing it since his father's death in 1660. He became a member of the Navy Board in 1664, where he came to know Samuel Pepys.


Over 240 books survive today, at Ickworth House and elsewhere, inscribed "Tho: & Isabella Hervey", although there are numerous books which seem initially to have belonged to his wife, Isabella Hervey, personally. A number were inherited from Thomas's father William. The books are wide-ranging in subject, including theology, history, philosophy, husbandry and literature, with smaller proportions of science and medicine. There are many French books, alongside English and Latin ones. The Shakespeare First Folio which belonged to them is now in Meisei University, Tokyo. Hervey's will has no specific mention of books; they would have passed, as part of the residue of his estate, to his eldest son John Hervey. Examples: many at Ickworth; Aberystwyth University Library RBR DA110 C4 (Angliae notitia, 1673); Christopher Edwards catalogue 77 (2020)/64.

Characteristic Markings

The inscription "Tho: & Isabella Hervey" (or sometimes just "Tho: & Isabella") seems to have been added to the books by Thomas, systematically. After Isabella's death in 1686, he inscribed a number of books, associated with her, with a statement of mourning taken from the Aeneid ("O decus atque dolor"). The books sometimes have occasional marginal annotations but mostly they do not have extensive marks of reading.