Charles Blount 1654-1693

From Book Owners Online

Charles BLOUNT 1654-1693

Biographical Note

Son of Sir Henry Blount (1602-1682) and brother of Sir Thomas Pope Blount, 1st baronet (1649-1697), was home-educated and from the early 1670s was settled at a family estate at Blount’s Hall, Staffordshire. Well connected in literary circles in London (his first publication was a defence of John Dryden), he established a reputation as an anti-establishment freethinker. His Anima mundi (1678) questions the immortality of the soul, and was publicly burnt in London; in 1679 his Just vindication of learning argued for the freedom of the press, and for not renewing the licensing act. He continued to publish tracts through the 1680s, questioning religion, miracles, and received wisdom. His death followed an attempted suicide, prompted by his frustrated wish to marry his deceased wife's sister.


We do not know the size or contents of any of the Blount family libraries, but it is clear both from the family's literary activities and from testamentary evidence that books were important to them. In his will, Sir Henry left all his books, then in London, to Charles; the Tittenhanger estate (with, presumably, some family library there) had already been settled on Thomas Blount, in 1678.

Sir Thomas, in his will, left all his books to his eldest son. Charles likewise left his books to his eldest son, to be inherited at the age of 30, or when he married (whichever happened first), or (should that son die too soon) to the next in line on the same terms, "hoping that if they have any value for my memory they will never sell or dispose of that study and choice collection which I have with so much charge and trouble gathered together". If all his sons died too young to inherit the books, they were to go to "such of my daughters as shall be married and have the first son then living", or failing that, to the eldest son of his brother Thomas.

Characteristic Markings

None of the Blounts' books have been identified.