John Kedermister d.1631

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The Kedermister armorial stamp (British Armorial Bindings)

Biographical Note

Son of Edward Kedermister, of Wraysbury, Buckinghamshire, one of the Six Clerks in Chancery. Knighted in 1609, he acquired Langley Park, Buckinghamshire and other lands near Slough.


Kedermister decided to create a library for the benefit of the clergy in and around Langley Marish, and in 1613/14 he obtained a faculty to build a library room in the church. During the following decades he steadily acquired books and the catalogue made in 1638, listing 307 books, reflects the size of the library by the time of his death. His daughter Elizabeth established a Trust to oversee it, which remains in existence today.

The books are almost entirely theological in content, with strong holdings of patristics and medieval theologians. Continental reformed writers are well represented (e.g. Calvin, Chemnitz, Luther, Pareus) though there are also numerous Biblical commentaries by the Jesuit Jean de Lorin. the small number of non-theological texts include a manuscript Pharmacopoeia, Holinshed's Chronicle and Gower's De confessio amantis. Around three quarters of the imprints date from 1610 to 1637. The Library is celebrated today at least as much for the specially decorated room which was created for it, which is a rare survival showing "what a Jacobean grandee's study might have looked like" (Purcell).

Characteristic Markings

Most of the books were bought new for the library (there is no evidence that they were ever intended for private family use), and are bound in typical plain calfskin bindings of the period, usually with a gilt stamp of the Kedermister arms.


  • British Armorial Bindings.
  • Francis, J. The Kedermister Library, J. Records of Buckinghamshire 36 (1996), 62-85.
  • Hoare, P. (gen.ed.), The Cambridge history of libraries in Britain and Ireland. 3 vols. Cambridge, 2006. I 417-8.
  • Perkin, M. A directory of the parochial libraries of the Church of England. London, 2004, 259-62.
  • Purcell, Mark, The country house library, New Haven and London, 2017, 66-67.
  • Rouse, E. The Kederminster Library, Records of Buckinghamshire 13 (1934-40) 369-72, 14 (1941) 50-66.