William Moore 1590-1659

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William MOORE 1590-1659

Biographical Note

Born at Gissing, Norfolk, son of William Moore. BA Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge 1610, MA 1613, fellow 1615, lecturer in rhetoric 1614; Librarian of Cambridge University 1653.


According to his contemporary biographer, Moore was "through his whole life a diligent collectour and transcriber of the choicest manuscripts which he could possible purchase". He assembled a significant collection of ca. 150 ex-monastic manuscripts, largely from southern English monasteries including Canterbury, Peterborough and Reading, which he bequeathed to Gonville and Caius where they remain today. He was remembered for his learning, and as a diligent custodian of the University Library.


  • Feingold, M., The mathematician's apprenticeship, Cambridge, 1984, 67.
  • James, M. R., A descriptive catalogue of the manuscripts in the library of Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, 1907-14, vol. 1 p.viii.
  • Oates, J. C. T. Cambridge University Library: a history. Cambridge, 1986, 268-70.
  • Pouzet, J.-P., Towards reconstructing manuscript-collecting in 17th-c. Cambridge: observations on William Moore’s catalogue and some manuscripts, Bulletin des Anglicistes Médiévistes 91 (2018), 55-70.
  • Roberts, R. Julian. "Moore, William (bap. 1590, d. 1659), librarian and collector of manuscripts." Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.