Cotton, Sir Robert Bruce

Cotton, Sir Robert Bruce

biographical name

(born Jan. 22, 1571, Denton, Lancashire, Eng.—died May 6, 1631, London?) English antiquarian. From c. 1585 Cotton collected ancient records, manuscripts, books, and coins and welcomed scholars to his library. He entered Parliament in 1601 and was favoured at court until c. 1615. His acquisition of so many public documents aroused misgivings, and after he wrote several works criticizing policies of Charles I, his library was sealed in 1629. After his death his son regained possession of the library, and his great-grandson presented it to the nation in 1700. The Cottonian Library's historical documents formed the basis of the manuscript collection of the British Library.

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