Charles Hedges 1650-1714

From Book Owners Online

Sir Charles HEDGES 1650-1714

One of Sir Chares Hedges's bookplates (British Museum Franks Collection *384)

Biographical Note

Born at Wanborough, Wiltshire, son of Henry Hedges. BA Magdalen College, Oxford 1670, MA 1673, DCL 1675. He began a legal career as a civil law advocate; admitted to the Court of Arches 1675, chancellor of the diocese of Rochester 1686, judge of the Admiralty 1689. Knighted 1689, he had several unsuccessful attempts to enter Parliament before being elected MP for Orford in 1698; he subsequently held a number of other seats in the Commons. Secretary of state for the north, and Privy Councillor, 1700. His political and ministerial career continued until his death, subject to various rises and falls in favour. He purchased the estate of Compton Bassett, Wiltshire in 1701 and was a wealthy man throughout the latter part of his life.


Hedges used a number of very similar engraved armorial bookplates, dated 1702, shortly after the accession of Queen Anne advanced his political fortunes (Franks 14399, *384, *427). The size and fate of his library are unknown; his will is brief, and directed that all his real and personal estate should be inherited by his son William. Examples: Ellis catalogue 223 (1924)/259.