Nassau, George Richard Savage (DNB00)

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NASSAU, GEORGE RICHARD SAVAGE (1756–1823), bibliophile, born on 5 Sept. 1756, was second son of the Hon. Richard Savage Nassau, who was second son of Frederic, third earl of Rochford. His mother, Anne, was only daughter and heiress of Edward Spencer of Rendlesham, Suffolk, and widow of James, third duke of Hamilton. Under the will of Sir John Fitch Barker of Grimston Hall, Trimley St. Martin, Suffolk, who died on 3 Jan. 1766, he inherited considerable possessions. In 1805 he served as high sheriff for Suffolk. He died in Charles Street, Berkeley Square, London, on 18 Aug. 1823, from the effects of a paralytic seizure, and was buried in Easton Church, Suffolk, where a monument was erected to his memory.

Nassau was a man of considerable attainments and culture. His literary tastes found gratification in the formation of a fine library, rich in emblem books, early English poetry, the drama, topography, and history. In the two latter departments his collection comprised many large-paper copies, which were extra-illustrated by the insertion of numerous drawings, prints, and portraits, and were accompanied by rare historical tracts. For the history of Suffolk he made extensive collections, both printed and manuscript, which he enriched by a profusion of portraits and engravings. He likewise employed the pencils of Rooker, Hearne, and Byrne, and many Suffolk artists, particularly Gainsborough, Frost, and Johnson, to depict the most striking scenes and objects in his favourite county. Of this remarkable library only the volumes of Suffolk manuscripts, thirty in number, were reserved for the library of the family mansion at Easton. The bulk was sold by Evans in 1824 in two parts, the first on 16 Feb. and eleven following days, and the second on 8 March and seven following days. The catalogue contained 4,264 lots, and the whole collection realised the sum of 8,500l. A few of the most remarkable articles of Nassau's library are noticed in Adam Clarke's ‘Repertorium Bibliographicum.’

[Nichols's Illustr. of Lit. vi. 327.]

G. G.