Friday, February 26, 2010

Oxenbridge Libraries

I've added a couple new Libraries of Early America: those of John Oxenbridge (1608-1674) and his third wife, Susanna Abbott/Abbit Oxenbridge (d. 1696). Their wills are printed in Henry F. Waters, Genealogical Gleanings from England, Vol. I (Boston: NEHGS, 1901), pp. 420-423, and each outlines a number of gifts of books.

Although the collections are small in terms of titles, there are some tantalizing clues that at least Susanna might have had some additional books (though they are not disposed of in her will). John's will makes clear that Susanna is to keep the "bookes she had in her former widowhood," and some gifts she provides seem to indicate that the recipients will be able to make a selection (Rev. James Allen is given one book by name, plus "fowre more att his choice", while Mr. John Davie is granted "a good booke").

Interestingly, of the eight recipients of books named in Susanna's will, five are women (Mrs. Sarah Davie, Mrs. Bellingham, Mrs. Hodges, Mary Taylor, and Sarah Gent).

I'm hoping that there might be inventories for these estates, and may find some additional titles if there are. Stay tuned!

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