Among the many treasures of the Pforzheimer Library is an annotated copy of the first edition of Hobbes's Leviathan (London, 1651) with an unusually interesting provenance. The engraved title page is inscribed: 'Ex Bibl. P. de Cardonnel. mdclii. ex dono nobiliss. Com. Deu'. 1 This is of interest not only for the date—which would make the marginal comments in the book, if written at that time, the earliest such annotations to have come down to us—but also for the donor, William Cavendish, the third Earl of Devonshire ('Com. Deu.'), who was Hobbes's patron and employer. That there were personal connections between Cavendish and de Cardonnel is confirmed by an entry in the Earl's Privy Purse accounts for 29 December 1653, recording a gift of £20 'to Mr Cardennele' for his child's christening, as well as by other evidence, which will be cited below, recording visits by de Cardonnel to the Devonshire household. 2 The possibility—likelihood, even—thus arises that this attentive reader of Leviathan had the opportunity to discuss the arguments of that book with Hobbes himself.
One of the few readily obtainable pieces of information about de Cardonnel also confirms this Cavendish connection, and adds the possibility of a further indirect link with Hobbes. In 1662 de Cardonnel published a slim volume of poetry celebrating the recent marriage of Charles II and his coronation in the previous year. It included a Latin poem written extempore on the occasion of an encounter with the King on the Thames one day in July 1661; the poem was dedicated to the Earl of Devonshire, and the wording of the dedication suggested