Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (Biographical details)

Clayton Mordaunt Cracherode (cleric/religious official; collector; British; Male; 1730 - 1799)

Also known as

Cracherode, Clayton Mordaunt


He was a collector of books and prints who was educated at Westminster school and Christ Church, Oxford.. He took orders but his temperament deterred him from a career in the Church and he refused all subsequent offers of preferment. He was a learned bibliophile and his collection included not only books, prints and drawings but also coins, medals and fossils. He was a trustee of the British Museum from 1784, a fellow of the Royal Society and of the Society of Antiquaries.
When he died in 1799 he left all his collections, with the exception of three major items, to the British Museum. He had some four thousand, five hundred books which provided unmatched examples of early printing. They had been chosen for their fine condition and aesthetic quality. The three volumes which had been bequeathed separately to old friends were later passed on the the museum.
His gift was a landmark in the development of the museum and advanced the library to an eminence not previously known. The seven portfolios of prints were no less important.They included engravings by Dürer and Rembrandt and like his books they provided a foundation on which comprehensive schemes of acquisition could be based.


A.Griffiths (ed.), 'Landmarks in Print Collecting', BMP 1996, pp.43-51.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography; also National Register of Archives
Paul Quarrie in ''Libraries within the Library' ed. Giles Mandelbrote, 2009, pp.187-201
See Lugt 298, 465, 606, 607 for information about Cracherode, but note that the BM Cracherode stamps described as Lugt 298, 465 and 606 were added to prints and drawings which do not necessarily come from his collection. Lugt 607 shows Cracherode's manuscript monogram with a date.