Thomas Preston ca.1647-97

From Book Owners Online

Thomas PRESTON ca.1647-97

Biographical Note

Son of Thomas Preston, of Holker, near Cartmel, Lancashire. The Preston family were Lancashire landowners whose fortunes were built on the acquisition of Cartmel Priory estates in the 16th century. BA St John’s College, Cambridge 1669. He was appointed commissioner for assessment in Lancashire, 1673; JP 1677; and served several times as a captain of militia in Lancashire. MP for Lancaster 1689-97. His daughter, who inherited the Holker estate, was said to have assets worth £30,000 when she married soon afterwards.


Preston bequeathed “the books now at Cartmel town which were formerly my father’s” to the church of Cartmel, to enlarge the existing parish library there. A catalogue made in 1698 lists ca.300 titles, valued at £69, most of which survive today (the collection is now on deposit in Lancaster University Library). The books mostly date from 1525-1660 and were probably accumulated not only by Thomas I but also by earlier generations of the Preston family; they are largely theological, including many patristic texts and writings of 16th-century commentators.


  • History of Parliament.
  • Perkin, M. A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England. London, 2004. 169.
  • Ramage, D. The ancient library in Cartmel Priory Church, 1959.