Edward Sherburne 1616-1702

From Book Owners Online

Sir Edward SHERBURNE 1616-1702

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of Edward Sherburne, secretary of the East India Company. He was educated locally and by being sent on European travel in 1640, returning to take up his father's position as Clerk of the Ordnance. After involvement on the royalist side in the Civil War he spent much of the Interregnum in the country homes of his friend Thomas Stanley, and also travelled again in Europe as tutor to Sir John Coventry. He was restored to his clerkship at the ordnance in 1660. He began publishing poetry in the 1640s and in 1675 his translation of part of the Astronomica of Manilius, on which he had long worked, appeared in print; he published numerous other translations of classical texts.


Two manuscript catalogues of his library survive, one ca.1670, listing ca.1000 titles (BL ms Sloane 857), and a later one dated 1681, listing ca.2000 titles (Bodleian ms Rawl.Q.b.3). He claimed to have lost an earlier library of 2000 volumes during the Civil War. The second of these catalogues includes notes of book auctions, and also a list of borrowers from Sherburne's library, including John Flamsteed, Hadrian Beverland and Thomas Gale.


  • Birrell, T. The library of Sir Edward Sherburne, in A. Hunt et al (eds.), The book trade and its customers, 1997, 189-204.
  • Poole, W., Loans from the library of Sir Edward Sherburne, The Library 7th ser 14 (2013), 80-87.
  • Quehen, Hugh de. "Sherburne, Sir Edward (bap. 1616, d. 1702), translator and poet." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.