James Craggs 1657-1721

From Book Owners Online

James CRAGGS 1657-1721

Craggs's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection *425)

Biographical Note

Son of Anthony Craggs of Holbeck, County Durham and Anne Morecroft. He moved to London in 1680 and became steward to the Duke of Norfolk. He subsequently moved into the employ of the John Churchill, Earl (and later Duke) of Marlborough, through whom his career prospered; he became closely involved with the East India Company, and wealthy. He was MP for Grampound 1702-13 and in 1702 was appointed master general of the ordnance. He was much engaged in government affairs during the first two decades of the 18th century, working for Charles Spencer, Earl of Sunderland, after Marlborough's dismissal. He was heavily involved in the South Sea Bubble in 1720-21, and his estate was forced to pay some compensation to shareholders after his death.


Craggs used an engraved armorial bookplate dated 1703 (Franks *425). The extent of his library is not known; his estate was largely divided between his three daughters after his death (his only son, also James, predeceased him by a few months).