Robert Petre 1690-1713

From Book Owners Online

Robert PETRE, 7th Baron Petre 1690-1713

Petre's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection 23403)

Biographical Note

Born at Ingatestone, Essex, son of Thomas Petre, 6th Baron Petre, a member of a long-established Roman Catholic aristocratic family there; he inherited the title and family estates from his father in 1707. Celebrated for his good looks, his main claim to fame in his short life comes from having been the young nobleman who cut off a lock of hair from Arabella Fermor while courting her; the incident was immortalised in Alexander Pope's poem The Rape of the lock (1712). He died of smallpox, not long after marrying Catherine Walmesley.


Petre used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 23403). The extent of his library is not known, but its size must have been limited by his early death; his estate, and title, were inherited by his son Robert James Petre, who also used a bookplate.


  • Blatchly, J., East Anglian ex-libris, London, 2008, p.27.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903.
  • Wood, Robert G. E. "Petre family (per. 1633–1801), Roman Catholic nobility." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.