William Craven 1608-97

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William CRAVEN, Earl of Craven 1608-97

Biographical Note

Born in London, son of Sir William Craven (d.1618), financier and Lord Mayor of London 1610-11. His inheritance after his mother's death in 1624 made him one of the wealthiest peers in the country. Matriculated at Trinity College, Oxford 1623, but did not graduate. He was in Europe during much of the 1620s and 30s, involved in various military campaigns there. He was in The Hague during the 1640s and 50s, when his estates were sequestrated (but restored in 1660). He became Baron Craven in 1627, and Earl of Craven in 1665. He had various military commissions after the Restoration, and built fine houses in London, Berkshire and Warwickshire.


Craven's library was sold in London by retail sale, 16.10.1697, though described as being the books of his longtime friend Prince Rupert of the Rhine, inherited on the Prince's death in 1682. No catalogue survives and we do not know whether these books were entirely Rupert's, or a mixture including others owned by Craven.