Robert Raworth ca.1610-1676

From Book Owners Online

Robert RAWORTH ca.1610-1676

Biographical Note

Son of Francis Raworth of Dover, Kent and his wife Elizabeth. Admitted to Gray’s Inn in 1633, becoming a barrister in 1640 and bencher in 1664. He had a successful practice working for a wide range of aristocratic and gentry clients, and purchased the manor of Throcking, Hertfordshire in 1670. He married Katherine Spelman, daughter of Sir Henry Spelman.


While his two elder brothers Francis and Thomas were bequeathed the vast majority of their father’s books, Robert received just ‘the three volumes of the bookes of marytrs’.

In his own will he bequeathed ‘all my manuscripts and printed bookes (except such of Divinity as my Wife or Daughter shall chuse for themselves)’ to whichever of his grandsons Robert Elwes or John Elwes ‘will studdy the Law, which I desire one should’. Both came to be admitted to Gray’s Inn (in 1682 and 1692 respectively), so perhaps the bequest came to be shared.

These books are to be distinguished from about a hundred volumes, principally law books, purchased by Gray’s Inn out of £100 given to them by Raworth in 1669, half of a £200 payment connected with his continuing as a bencher there although by now infirm. The Library would seem to have contained 320 books in 1689, so it was a substantial addition. Bearing the label ‘Ex Dono Roberti Rowarth… Anno 1669’ (Lee 184), virtually all are assumed to have been destroyed during the 1941 Blitz. A surviving example: Gray’s Inn Library, Strong Room 3B.


  • Will of Robert Raworth, The National Archives, PROB 11/351/378.
  • Will of Francis Raworth, The National Archives, PROB 11/269/119.
  • Douthwaite, W. R. Gray’s Inn: its history & associations. London, 1886, pp. 177-8.
  • Foster, J. The Register of Admissions to Gray’s Inn, 1521-1889. London, 1889.
  • Lee, B. N. Early printed book labels. Pinner, 1976.
  • Note on Robert Raworth and family, MarineLives wiki.