Henry Colman 1670/1-1715

From Book Owners Online

Henry COLMAN 1670/1-1715

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of Richard Colman, lawyer, of Brent Eleigh, Suffolk. BA Trinity College, Cambridge 1692, fellow 1694, MA 1695, BD 1705, DD 1712. Rector of Harpley, Norfolk 1706, and of Foulsham, 1713.


In his will, Colman bequeathed all his books to his wife, in trust to carry out further instructions contained in a codicil, which were to use them to establish a parish library for Brent Eleigh ("I ... dedicate and consecrate them to the use of the Church of Brentily that is the incumbent minister there for ever"). This was done, and by 1720 the books had been delivered to the church, with a library room built onto the east end of the chancel; a catalogue of 1719 lists ca.1500 titles in ca.1700 volumes. These were strong in theology, classics and history, with printed books dating back to 1524, and a small number of medieval manuscripts. The library building was demolished in 1859, the manuscripts were sold in 1887, and the printed books were dispersed ca.1890-1900. Examples: one manuscript is now in the Bodleian (MS Bodl. Lat. liturg.f.5), others are in Cambridge University Library (Add.MSS.3037-42). Printed books: Wellcome EPB/A 1142/A.

Characteristic markings

The books were inscribed "Brent Ely Library" and assigned a shelfmark.


  • Fitch, M., Suffolk parochial libraries, 1977, p.xv.
  • Lewis, R. H., Book collecting: a new look, London, 1988, p.81-85.
  • Perkin, M., A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England, London, 2004, p.151-2.
  • Venn, J. and J. A., Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge, 1922.