Anthony Higgin d.1624

From Book Owners Online

Anthony HIGGIN d.1624

Biographical Note

Born at Manchester. BA St John’s, Cambridge 1572; fellow 1574, MA 1575, BD 1582. Prebendary of Gloucester 1578, but spent most of his career in Yorkshire; Rector of Kirk Deighton 1583, Master of St Michael’s Hospital at Well 1605, Dean of the newly re-established collegiate church of Ripon from 1608 until his death.


Acquired books throughout his life; by the time of his death his collection, which became the foundation of Ripon Minster Library, amounted to ca.1250 vols. His theological books (the major part) were listed in a manuscript catalogue made shortly before his death (Ripon MS 35), naming 758 books of which ca.500 are still extant. The collection also includes classics, medicine, geography, astronomy and law. Many of his books have connections with identifiable Yorkshire contemporaries of Higgin, although he also bought books in York and London (the composition and sources of the collection are discussed in more detail in Mortimer’s edition of the catalogue). He bequeathed all his books to his cousin William Cleburne and his nephew William Lumley, on condition that they gave them to Ripon church when they died; it is not clear just when the transfer to Ripon took place. Examples: numerous in Ripon Minster Library (now in Leeds University Library); BL Davis 51. A few books were sold at Sotheby’s, 31 May 1960.

Characteristic Markings

Regularly inscribed his name on titlepages, often adding the date of acquisition or price paid, sometimes the place of purchase or the donor. Sometimes added the motto Sors mea mortalis, sed non mortale quod opto. He also often wrote class-marks into the books, either on a flyleaf or on a small parchment or paper label pasted inside the front cover, projecting over the fore edge.


  • Fowler, J. Ripon Minster Library and its founder, Yorkshire Archaeological and Topographical Journal 2 (1872), 371-402.
  • Mortimer, J. The library catalogue of Anthony Higgin, Proceedings of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society (Lit and Hist section) 10 (1962) 1-75.
  • Venn, J. & J. A. Alumni Cantabrigienses. Cambridge, 1922.