Ralph Button 1612-1680

From Book Owners Online

Ralph BUTTON 1612-1680

Biographical Note

Born at Bishopstone, near Salisbury, son of Robert Button. BA Exeter College, Oxford 1633, fellow of Merton 1633, MA 1640. Professor of geometry at Gresham College, London 1642. Returned to Merton 1646; public orator of the University 1648. Canon of Christ Church, Oxford 1648 (ejected 1660); subdean 1652. Moved to Brentford, Middlesex in 1660 on being ejected from his Oxford posts; briefly imprisoned for refusing to swear the oath required from unlicensed teachers. Moved to Islington in 1672, where he spent his remaining years as a private tutor.


Button’s library, together with that of Thankful Owen, was auctioned in London by Edward Millington, 7 November 1681. The catalogue lists 1931 lots, plus 5 vols of pamphlets, but does not distinguish which books came from which source. 1164 lots were in Latin (including 127 medical books and 59 mathematical ones), 60 were in Italian, French or Spanish, and the remaining 707 were in English. Examples: Pembroke, Cambridge 3.4.37 (owned when he was a student).