Lewis Buck 1734/5-1783

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Lewis BUCK 1734/5-1783

Buck's bookplate (British Museum Franks Collection 4222)

Biographical Note

Son of John Buck of Bideford, Devon, gentleman. BCL Exeter College, Oxford 1765, DCL 1771. His will shows that he was affluent, and was ordained.


Buck used an engraved armorial bookplate (Franks 4221), "Lewis Buck Exet. Coll:"; a variant state exists (Franks 4222), with "or of Bideford" added at the foot. The extent of his library is not known, but his will made extensive provision for the disposal of his books. Most of them were bequeathed to his nephew, George Stucley Buck, subject to exceptions set out in a codicil. His sister Mary was left some specific books, together with "any set of books she shall think fit to take from my study". The will describes in detail a series of manuscript volumes of his own writings and musical compositions, including sermons, annotations on the Bible, and songs. Most of these were not to be published - "my Annotations on the Bible in twelve volumes was a work of great labour and is valuable but they have not had the finishing stroke and I don't believe if they were to be printed they would pay for the trouble - few people now caring to be concerned with such writings". He thought that some of his songs might be published, if edited, and that his manuscript Companion for the sick might similarly be made available "if put into proper persons hands to correct". A set of medical recipes in 7 volumes "may not be parted with or given away out of the family", "for they consist of some of the very best receipts that were prescribed by the best physicians within the last 200 years". It does not seem that any of his unpublished works were subsequently edited.