Scroop Egerton 1681-1745

From Book Owners Online

Scroop EGERTON, 1st Duke of Bridgewater 1681-1745

Armorial bookplate of Scroop Egerton in Marsden E7/29, Foyle Special Collections Library, King's College London.

Biographical Note

Son of John Egerton, 3rd Earl of Bridgewater, from whom he inherited the title and estates in 1701. He held several offices at court and was created 1st Duke of Bridgewater in 1720.

As Lord Lieutenant of the county of Buckingham between 1702 and 1711, he commissioned a new town-hall at Brackley in 1704. He was responsible for the initial planning of the Bridgewater Canal, a project completed by his second son Francis, the 3rd Duke of Bridgewater. Between 1703 and 1727 he held various positions in the royal household. He had two children with his first wife, Lady Elizabeth Churchill, daughter of John Churchill, 1st Duke of Marlborough, and five children with his second wife, Lady Rachael Russell, daughter of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford.


Egerton inherited the library which had been built up since the time of his great-great-grandfather Thomas Egerton, and added to it himself; it became known as the Bridgewater Library. It has thought that Scroop made few additions to the library himself, it having been developed during the preceding generations and left relatively dormant during the eighteenth century, but it should be noted that Scroop commissioned and used a bookplate, dated 1703 (Franks 9643/*34), and that the catalogue of the library compiled at the beginning of the 20th century (British Library LR274.b.1) contains many early eighteenth-century imprints which seem likely to date from the 4th Earl's/1st Duke's time.

The Bridgewater Library began to be dispersed in the 19th century and a significant portion of it (ca.4400 volumes) was purchased by Henry Huntington in 1917, and is now in the Huntington Library in California. The Foyle Special Collections Library at King’s College holds one book bearing the Scroop's bookplate: The Historical and political observations upon the present state of Turkey ... (1683) Marsden E7/29.

Characteristic Markings

Bridgewater Library books can sometimes be recognised from their distinctive early pressmarks.


  • Erne, L., Shakespeare and the book trade, 2013, 202-6.
  • Gambier Howe, E. R. J. Franks bequest: catalogue of British and American book plates bequeathed to the ... British Museum. London, 1903-4.
  • Hackel, H., Reading material in early modern England, Cambridge, 2005, 240-81.
  • Mendle, M., Preserving the ephemeral in J. Andersen (ed), Books and readers in early modern England, Philadelphia, 2002, 201-16
  • Pargeter, S. A catalogue of the library at Tatton Park, 1977.
  • Tabor, S., The Bridgewater Library in W. Baker (ed), Pre-19th century British book collectors, Detroit, 1999, 40-50.
  • West, S., An architectural typology for the early modern country house library, 1660-1720, The Library 7th ser 14 (2013), 441-464, p.460.
  • Information from King’s College London, Foyle Special Collections Library