Francis Combe 1583-1641

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Francis COMBE 1583-1641

Biographical Note

Born at Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, son of Francis Combe. Matriculated at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge 1600, but did not graduate; he subsequently studied also at Trinity College, Oxford. His will reveals an extensive estate with bequests of money and property.


Combe bequeathed his books, except his great English Bible, his papers and all books left by his father (which went to his brother Toby), and “somme fewe my friends desire”, to be divided equally between Sidney Sussex and Trinity. The books which went to Sidney, which cover many subjects, include a noteworthy proportion in Italian; there is no contemporary inventory. Examples: Sidney Sussex, Cambridge K.5.10, L.7.26, M.7.25, and many more; Trinity.

Characteristic Markings

Combe inscribed his books with his name, sometimes in Italian. The books given to Sidney Sussex were marked with a printed gift label.


  • Gameson R. and A. Coates, The Old Library, Trinity College, Oxford, 1988.
  • Rogers, N. “Early history of the Library” in D. Beales and H. Nisbet (eds), Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge , 1996.