The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets





De Beer Eb 1781 J


Printed for C. Bathurst, J. Buckland, [and 34 others in London]


The two bookplates in this volume of Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets display the concept of provenance through families. The first owner was Alexander William Crawford Lindsay, 25th Earl of Crawford and 8th Earl of Balcarres (1812–1880). His armorial bookplate is on the left, with Clan Lindsay, Abernethy, and Lindsay of Balcarres represented. The motto is Astra castra, numen, lumen munimen (‘The stars my camp, and God my light and strength’). Lindsay established the Bibliotheca Lindesiana, and when he died, it was passed to his son James Ludovic Lindsay, 26th Earl of Crawford and 9th Earl of Balcarres (1847–1913), another equally dedicated book collector. The smaller bookplate on the right belongs to him. Debts forced the Earls of Crawford to sell the best of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana in 1887 and 1889.


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Samuel Johnson, “The Lives of the Most Eminent English Poets,” | OUR Heritage, accessed December 2, 2022,