William Moore ca.1640-1684

From Book Owners Online

William MOORE ca. 1640-1684

Biographical Note

Not much is known about Moore's early life. It is assumed he was born around 1640, but the location and his parentage is unknown.

In 1655, he entered St. Salvator's College St. Andrews, graduating with an MA in 1659. He became Regent of Humanity in St. Leonard's College in 1662 and was recommended for ordination by the presbytery of St. Andrews the following year. Moore quickly moved from his position in the parish of Dunino to the Second Charge of the Town of St. Andrews. He became Archdeacon of St. Andrews in 1680.

Moore was married to Agnes Watson in 1672.


In accordance with Moore's will, when his children passed away without leaving heirs, the books in his library were given to St. Salvator's College and his manuscripts to Mr. James Gillespie, Minister at Tarbolton.

His will stipulated how the books should be shelved and that they should bear the inscription 'Donum d. Gulielmi Mori St Andreae archidecani olim hujus collegii alumni'. The bequest was contingent on a post at the college being provided for his wife's nephew, Mr James Pitcairne, in the event that he did not already hold another position in the church. This request was refused by Dr Alexander Skene, and legal action was taken against the school's provost by Moore's widow and her nephew. The details of these proceedings has been lost, but the library eventually passed to the college, and later to St. Andrews University Library.

The books were inscribed with Moore's name but became separated over the years and the original catalogue was lost. Eventually, the books were brought back together but it is unclear whether the entire original library has been recovered.

What remains of the library today is mostly comprised of theological books, with works by theologians John Cameron (1579-1625), Johann Heinrich Alting (1583-1644), and Johannes Maccovius (1588-1644). There are 183 titles, 93 of which are in Latin and 90 in English. Among them are books printed by Aldine press, Francois Raphelengien, Andreas Wechelus, and Louis and Daniel Elzivir.

Notable selections:

Pope Gregory I's Opera Praecipua [Paris, 1521]

MS copy of Jacques du Fouilloux's La Venene, et Receptes pour guerir les chiens de plusieurs maladies [Poitiers, 1561]

Examples: St. Andrews University Library Mor BT70.A5C62; Mor BX8915.C2C42

Characteristic Markings

Moore's books can be found in the University of St Andrews Library with the classmark prefix 'MOR'. They also bear the inscription 'Will: Moore; Ex Libris Collegii Sti Salvatoris'. Some of the books have Moore's signature in his own hand - 'Will. Moore'.


  • Rankin, W.E.K. "A seventeenth century manse library", Records of the Scottish Church History Society 17, (1969/71).
  • Scott, Hew. Fasti ecclesiæ scoticanæ; The succession of ministers in the Church of Scotland from the Reformation, vol. 5. Edinburgh, 1925.