William Cowper 1690-1740

From Book Owners Online

William COWPER 1690-1740

Cowper's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection 7128)

Biographical Note

Son of Spencer Cowper of Hertingfordbury Park, Hertfordshire, lawyer and judge. Matriculated at Wadham College, Oxford 1706, but did not graduate; soon afterwards he entered the Middle Temple, where he became a barrister in 1712. Around 1714 he became Clerk of the Parliaments, a post he held for the rest of his life.


Cowper used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 7128); the extent of his library is not known, though he may have inherited books from his father. In his will, he directed that his "household goods plate furniture books pictures statues busts and other ornaments" should go to his eldest son William.