Henry Alvey gained his BA at St John's in 1575/6, graduated MA in 1579 and BD in 1586. He was a Fellow from 1577, and became President of the College in 1590. In 1601 he relocated to Ireland, where he became Provost of Trinity College, Dublin. He returned to Cambridge in 1609.
The year before his death Alvey gave 100 marks to the Library for the purchase of books, as well as various items from his own library. There are some 50 items in the Old Library bearing his provenance, all of a theological nature.
Most of the books given by Alvey bear an inscription, dated 1630, detailing his gift. Translated it reads:
AD 1630. The Reverend Henry Alvey Batchelor of Sacred Theology, former President of this College, bequeathed 10 pounds, with which five volumes in folio, sixteen in quarto, and twelve in octavo were purchased, of which this is one.
Some have a printed book label.