Thomas Windsor 1591-1641

From Book Owners Online

Thomas WINDSOR, 6th Baron Windsor 1591-1641

One of the book stamps of Thomas Windsor (British Armorial Bindings)

Biographical Note

A member of a Roman Catholic aristocratic family, of Hewell Grange, Worcestershire, whose peerage dated from the time of Henry VIII but who fell out of favour for recusancy. Thomas, 6th Baron inherited the title in 1605 and sought to clear debts through land sales and marriage to Katherine Somerset, daughter of the Earl of Worcester. He travelled in Europe in the late 1610s and was much involved in the abortive mission to Spain in 1623 to marry Prince Charles to the Infanta there. Renewed Catholic persecution in the late 1620s saw him lose his offices and he largely retired from public life.


The Armorials Database records six different armorial stamps used by Windsor, and he is noted a a connoisseur with collections of paintings, coins and antiquities as well as books. A number of Hatton manuscripts in the Bodleian were previously his (e.g. Hatton mss 24, 44, 47). The extent and disposition of his library is not known, but one of the British Library books of his was subsequently owned by John Morris (d.1658), suggesting dispersal soon after his death. Examples: British Library C.67.g.1, C.108.a.28, Cambridge UL Adv.d.52.1.

Characteristic Markings

The known surviving books have the armorial gilt-stamped on calfskin bindings of standard design for their time. BL C.67.g.1 has the inscription "Thomas Windesor 1639", and the motto "virtus vera nobilitas", on the flyleaf. This book also has the upper corner of its leaf edges sculpted/hollowed out, to make two finger-shaped indentations, so that the book can conveniently be pulled off a shelf when stored fore-edge outwards.