Bookplate of an “Anglus Americanus”

Pasted onto the inside front board of Jethro Tull (1674-1741), The Horse-Hoing Husbandry: or, An essay on the principles of tillage and vegetation. Wherein is shewn a method of introducing a sort of vineyard-culture into the corn-fields, in order to increase their product, and diminish the common expence; by the use of instruments described in cuts. By I. T. London, Printed for the author, 1733.
Call number (EX) S603 .T92 1733q. ❧

This plate is dated in manuscript at the corners “1740″. Another example is known dated “1743″.

There has been some confusion as to which Dudley Woodbridge owned this plate. Was it Dudley Woodbridge, born 1677, Harvard class of 1696, died 1720, who served as Director General of the Royal Assiento Company of England? Or was it the plate of his son, the Reverend Dudley Woodbridge, who served as Rector of St. Philips, Barbados,
born 1706, matriculated Magdalen College, Oxford 1723, and his will dated 15 March 1747/8 and proved 14 February 1749/50?

The dispositive evidence may be the use of the epithet “Anglus Americanus”. The only other recorded use on this epithet on a bookplate is that of Jeremiah Dummer (1681–1739). According to Calhoun Winton, “Jeremiah Dummer: The ‘First American?’”
William and Mary Quarterly, 3d ser., 26 (1969): 105-8, Dummer made a point of announcing his American origins to the English and other Europeans he encountered during his many years overseas. In his will, dated 7th June, 1738 Dummer left to “Dudley Woodbridge of
Barbadoes, £50, for the pleasure I had in his company when in England.”

Of the two, father and son, only the son, the Rev. Dudley Woodbridge was alive in 1738. Clearly he was well acquainted with another “Anglus Americanus” and evidently wanted to show his communal association.


Example of Dummer bookplate from Charles Dexter Allen, American Book-Plates (London, 1895).