William Bromley 1663-1732

From Book Owners Online

William BROMLEY 1663-1732

One of Bromley's bookplates (British Museum Franks Collection *359)

Biographical Note

Son of Sir William Bromley of Baginton, Warwickshire, from whom he inherited the family estates in 1682. BA Christ Church, Oxford 1681, DCL 1702; admitted at the Middle Temple 1683. He travelled in Europe in 1688-89, and in 1690 became MP for Warwickshire. Although he initially had difficulty in reconciling himself to William and Mary, he gained a reputation, and respect, as a person of great integrity. He was out of Parliament between 1698 and 1701, when he returned as MP for Oxford University. He held various parliamentary committee posts thereafter, and was elected Speaker of the House of Commons in 1710, and made secretary of state for the northern department in 1713. he lost these positions after the accession of George I in 1714. He was a trustee of John Radcliffe's bequest to Oxford University.


Bromley used two engraved armorial bookplates, one dated 1703 (Franks 3864, 3865/*359). The extent of his library is not known; the bulk of his estate and property passed to his eldest son William. In his will, he expressed the wish that the Library room at Baginton be continued for that use only, and that "I would not have the books in the Library parted with on any account but preserved entire in my family encreasing not diminishing with them - there will be found the best and most solid entertainement better than can be had elsewhere". He left pictures (but not books) to the Bodleian Library, the Radcliffe Camera, University College, Oxford and Christ Church, to embellish those libraries.