Thursday 30 March 2023

St John Broderick of the Middle Temple, 1703

This “Early Armorial” Restoration exlibris bookplate (Ginn, slide 14; see below) was created for St John Broderick of the Middle Temple, later The Honourable St John Brodrick (ca. 1685–1728), son of Alan, Baron Brodrick (ca. 1655–1728)—who outlived his son by only six months (Wikipedia pages here and here).

The short Wikipedia entry on St John Broderick characterises him as “an Anglo-Irish politician who sat in the Irish House of Commons from 1709 to 1728 and in the British House of Commons from 1721 to 1727”; since he was a parliamentarian, a few more details appear in Romney Sedgwick’s The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715–1754 (1970; online here).

Combining details from Wikipedia, Sedgwick and C. M. Tenison’s “Cork M.P’s, 1559–1800,” Journal of the Cork Historical and Archaeological Society, vol. 1, 2nd ser. (1895): 177 (here), the details of his life can be summarized as follows:

St. John Brodrick of Ballyanane, alias Midleton, was the eldest son, by his first wife, of Alan Brodrick, M.P., who was afterwards created Viscount Midleton. He was educated at Eton, 1698, and King’s College Cambridge, 1700, and was admitted to the Middle Temple, 1700; barrister-at-law, Ireland; Recorder of Cork, in succession to his father, 1708.

Brodrick was M.P. Castlemartyr, 1709–13 (then “of Cork”); Cork City, 1713–14 (then “of the Middle Temple”); Cork County, 1715–27; and 1727 (then Right Hon. St. John Brodrick) till his death in 1728. Brodrick was M.P. also for Beeralstown, county Devon, 1721–27; a Privy Councillor, 1724.

He married Anne, daughter of Michael Hill, of Hillsborough. She died 1752, leaving five daughters, of whom Anne married James Jeffreys, and Mary married Sir J. R. Freke, M.P. (q.v.). He died s.p. and s.p.m., 21st February, 1728.

A “Sketch Pedigree exemplifying the Brodrick M.P’s” is in Tenison here and a “Pedigree of Broderick” (that includes St. John and his daughters) can be found here

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I found only a few references to this 1703 bookplate. It seems that Broderick owned a copy of Donne's Poems (London, 1633), now at Texas Tech University, Lubbock (here, but no photograph).

There appear to be no modern photograph or scan of St John Broderick’s bookplate online, but Egerton Castle reproduced a copy of this bookplate in his English Book-plates: Ancient and Modern (1893), 60 (above; text here); and this image was used by both Linda K. Ginn, for her 2017 lecture on “Digital Bookplates: Old Technology and New Applications” [University Libraries Workshops and Presentations, 6 (pdf online here]) and Paul Magrath in his 2021 post for the ICLR [Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England and Wales] on “(L)ex Libris — the art of the legal bookplate” (here).

Regarding the Brodrick family motto: “a cuspide corona” can be translated as “from a spear, a crown” (i.e., one receives honour [a crown] for military exploits [a spear]). This motto can also be seen on the 1754 engraving above, taken from John Lodge, The Peerage of Ireland, vol. 3 (Dublin, 1754), pl. 29 (here).

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I have no record, and no clear memory of when I acquired this bookplate—but I think I have had it and a one other anglo-Irish bookplate (which I blogged about here) for decades, probably since the late 80s. I have a pretty strong aversion to supporting “breakers”—biblioclasts who disassemble books for engravings, or sammelbands and nonce-volumes for individual works, especially plays—so I can only assume that I bought the collection of bookplates [1] not from the beaker themselves (to avoid encouraging this sort of thing) and [2] out of a desire to protect bookplates themselves.

As you can see, I have managed to protect this one so far. But it occurred to me recently, when I was going through my ephemera, that it might be even better to post images and information about some of my ephemera here. Destruction is only a bushfire away after all and the bookplates are both very attractive—as the appearance of this one in Egerton Castle’s English Book-plates suggests.

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