Nicholas Crouch 1618-1689
Nicholas CROUCH 1618-1689
Son of Nicholas Crouch, of Falldoe, Bedfordshire. BA Balliol College, Oxford 1638, MA 1641; spent the rest of his life mostly in Oxford, as a fellow of the college, and a practising physician.
Crouch acquired books throughout his life, both new and secondhand, and bequeathed whatever books the college might want to Balliol. It seems that most of his library was selected for acquisition, ca.4000 items, mostly bound in ca.320 tract volumes, though it is known that some books were not taken in, and disposed of after his death. The books include many medical texts, but also a wide range of other material reflecting Crouch's life and times. His library is particularly interesting because he kept extensive personal records of purchase, binding and borrowing, all of which are preserved with the books. Examples: very many in Balliol.
Most of Crouch's books survive in plain, very simply decorated 17th-century calfskin bindings as commissioned by him, and many include his note of the cost of the binding, and sometimes the binder. Most were also bound up as tract volumes with several items together; the leaf edges are often multicoloured to reflect this. He rarely wrote his name in his books, but regularly inscribed lists of the contents on the flyleaves of the tract volumes.
- Foster, J. Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford 1500-1714/1715-1886, 8 vols, Oxford, 1891.
- Jones, J., Balliol College, a history, Oxford, 1988.
- Morgan, P. Oxford libraries outside the Bodleian. 2nd edn, Oxford, 1980.
- Reconstructing Nicholas Crouch.