William Stone 1606/7-1685

From Book Owners Online

William STONE 1606/7-1685

Biographical Note

Born at Hampstead, Hertfordshire, son of John Stone, according to Foster, though other sources say he was the son of William Stone, Headmaster of Wimborne Grammar School . BA Magdalen Hall, Oxford 1626, BCL St Edmund Hall 1633. Minister at Wimborne, Dorset, 1641, ejected ca.1646; served in the royalist army, then went abroad, being admitted at Padua University in 1652. It is not clear when he returned to England but he was reinstated at Wimborne in 1661, and was Principal of New Inn Hall, Oxford 1663-85. He resigned his ministry at Wimborne in 1681.


Stone is generally credited as the founder of the Chained Library at Wimborne Minster, where there had been a small library for some time but which was significantly augmented by a gift of ca.90 volumes of patristic and theological works, including many of the standard biblical commentators of the 16th century, received there in 1686. There is no reference to books in his will and the books probably came to Wimborne as part of the administration of the residue of his estate to "be bestowed on some charitable uses" by Obadiah Walker, master of University College, Oxford. It seems that this was only one part of his library and the rest, of unknown size, is thought to have been sold.


  • Foster, J. Alumni Oxonienses: The Members of the University of Oxford 1500-1714/1715-1886, 8 vols, Oxford, 1891.
  • Matthews, A. G. Walker revised. Oxford, 1948.
  • Perkin, M., A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England, 2004, 392-4.
  • Tandy, W. A. The Chained Library in Wimborne Minster, Wimborne, 2001.