Armorial bookstamp and inscription of William Cecil, Baron Burghley (1520-1598)
William Cecil, later Baron Burghley, and Elizabeth I's chief minister, entered St John's in 1535, and stayed for six years before embarking on his political career. Although he never bequeathed any books to the Library there are at least five volumes which bear his armorial binding stamp, including two volumes of Plantin's 1580 edition of the Torah, and a work on medicine by Konrad Gesner. There are another three items which have his signature, "Gulielmus Cecilius", on the title-page, and one of these also has the initials "W.C." and the name "Cicil" stamped in blind on the front cover. These volumes come from a variety of sources, not all of which can be identified, but which include donors such as John Collins, Peter Gunning, G.U. Yule, and J.F. Stephen.