Francis Cherry 1667-1713
Francis CHERRY 1667-1713
Born at Cookham, Berkshire, the son of William Cherry, a wealthy lawyer. Matriculated at St Edmund Hall, Oxford 1682, but did not graduate. Cherry spent most of the rest of his life as an independent gentleman of scholarly disposition, living at the family home in Shottesbrooke. Politically a Jacobite, he became the patron of a circle of eminent nonjurors including Thomas Hearne, George Hickes, Thomas Ken and Charles Leslie, who met at his house; he encouraged and assisted their studies, although he did not publish anything himself. After his father’s death in 1705 he became caught up in financial difficulties around the clearing of substantial debts.
Cherry’s collection of 47 manuscripts was bequeathed to the Bodleian Library by his widow in 1729. They are largely 17/18th century collections of scholarly notes of Cherry and his circle, including letters and papers relating to the nonjurors, with one manuscript of 1544 written (and possibly bound, in needlework) by Elizabeth I. The number and fate of his printed books is not known but he is said to have had “a fine collection of books, coins and other antiquities” (ODNB); ms Cherry 44 is a catalogue of ca. 2000 books, which may have been his. A commonplace book of Cherry’s, together with other letters and literary papers of his, survives in the British Library (Add ms 39314, and others). Examples: NAL Clements N23.
Cherry used a series of armorial binding stamps, including his full coat of arms, his crest of a demi lion holding an amulet, and a monogram combining a Greek phi and chi.
- British Armorial Bindings.
- Harmsen, Theodor. "Cherry, Francis (bap. 1667, d. 1713), nonjuror and antiquary." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
- Macray, W. D. Annals of the Bodleian Library. 2nd edn, Oxford, 1890.