In black ink on white paper, this bookplate consists of a shield parted per pale, baron and femme, three coats; first, or, a bordure, argent, a lion rampant; second, parted per fess, sable, on a chevron argent, between three swans’ heads, two over one, erased at the neck, ducally gorged, three pellet one over two; in base (same as second) sable, on a chevron argent, between three swans’ heads, two over one, erased at the neck, ducally gorged, three pellet one over two. Above a straight wreath, the crest of a lion rampant, ducally gorged. Below the shield, laurel sprigs. At the bottom of the ex libris appears the name “John Caton Thompson.”
The owner was likely John Caton Thompson (October 15, 1801-?), son of John and Dorothy Thompson of Lancashire, England. The birth registries for several of Thompson’s children list his occupation as solicitor or attorney, and he appears to have been a partner in several businesses including a “rope-manufacturers and ship-chandlers” business, which was dissolved in June 1827; the firm of William Birkett and Company, manufacturing chemists, which was dissolved in November 1831; and the firm of Henry Thompson and Company, ale and porter brewers, which was dissolved in August 1846. On May 10, 1831, Thompson married Mary Troughton, the daughter of John Troughton of Leach Hall and Anne Moore Troughton. After Mary died on January 20, 1834, leaving behind children Dorothy Ann, Frances Mary, and John Troughton, Thompson married her sister, Alice, on November 29, 1834, and had known children William Caton, Federick Horsfall, Charles, Alfred George, Alice, and Walter Henry. For much of his adult life, it appears that Thompson lived in Low Hill, a quarter on the border of Liverpool in the township of West Derby. Although his date of death is not known, in a marriage notice for his fourth son, Charles, in the Liverpool Mercury of October 1, 1875, Thompson is referred to as the late John Caton Thompson of Liverpool. The ex libris of Thompson’s son-in-law, Marcus Brown Westhead (c. 1834-1897), who married Thompson’s oldest daughter, Frances Mary, is also in the Thomas Murray Bookplate Collection, as is the ex libris of his wives’ first cousin, the Reverend Thomas Troughton (1817-1880).