Gold-stamped crest of Major Thomas Pearson (1740?-1781)

The gold-stamped crest of a bird standing above an urn, indicating the ownership of Major Thomas Pearson. Pearson served in India, but still managed to amass a large library, mainly consisting of Elizabethan material. This volume cannot be representative of his collection, as it is a Dutch edition of the works of Tacitus (Leiden, 1589), but it does bear a fine 16th-century blind-tooled binding, probably from Oxford. The crest must have been added to the spine at a later date, along with the spine label, perhaps when the book was repaired. Pearson is one of a long line of owners who have left their mark upon this volume. According to a note dated 1643, it was given to Thomas Godfrey by Edward Scott, having previously belonged to his father Sir Edward Scott. After Pearson, it must have passed through the hands of John Buck, as it bears his bookplate. The volume was presented to St John's by Hugh Gatty in 1945.