James Bindley 1739-1818

From Book Owners Online

James BINDLEY 1739-1818

Biographical Note

Son of John Bindley (d.1761), distiller, and Alice Odell. The family lived in Smithfield, London and Bindley attended Charterhouse school. BA Peterhouse, Cambridge 1759, MA 1762, fellow 1762-1778. Was a partner in the family business from 1763, and a commissioner of the stamp office from 1765.

The bookplate of James Bindley (Gunnerusbiblioteket, GUNNERUS LibR Fol. 249)


Bindley described himself as an "incurable Bibliomaniac", and had a vast collection of books - many Elizabethan and Stuart - as well as engravings and medals. When he died the majority of his library was sold by Robert Harding Evans from 1818-1820, and raised over £13000. It was dispersed in the process. The catalogue described the sales as "an extraordinary assemblage of rare and curious books in every department of literature but particularly in early Englishh literature". Example: "The description of Leicester Shire : containing matters of antiquitye, historye, armorye, and genealogy" (1622) in Gunnerusbiblioteket, GUNNERUS LibR Fol. 249.

Characteristic Markings

Bindley used an armorial bookplate, which can still be seen in some books from his library.


  • A catalogue of the curious and extensive library of the late James Bindley, esq., F.S.A. ... which will be sold by auction by Mr. Evans ..., [London, 1818], available to view via Google Books
  • Chantilly, Marc Vaulbert de. "Bindley, James (1739–1818), book collector." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
  • Information from Aming Shi.