The Devon book trades: a biographical dictionary. Introduction
This dictionary forms part of a two-part project aiming to chart the development of the book trade In Devon. The other part is a chronological checklist of Devon imprints. The period to 1800 was published as Exeter working paper no. 6 in 1989. The closing date of the biographical aspect of the project is the middle of the nineteenth century although a certain amount of more recent material has been Incorporated where readily available in the sources consulted. Material was gathered intermittently over a period of about twelve years but coverage is still by no means complete. A higher proportion of sources have been searched for Exeter, and Plymouth is under-represented. Additional information gleaned from local records will be welcomed for addition to the file.
Information has been contributed by too many indivduals for me to provide an exhaustive list. Thanks are due in particular to the Devon Record Office, especially Michael Dickinson and the late Trevor Falla who passed an many references which they discovered in course of listing documents. Richard Davin, a frequent user of Devon Record Office, also drew my attention to many items. Victcor Berch of Brandeis University passed me his extracts from national newspapers and periodicals of the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and A.J.Clamp of Plymouth made available his card index of Devon printers and booksellers. Peter Christie of Bideford was of great assistance to me in forwarding details on the north of the county. As study leave was not available, such assistance has proved invaluable. Once again my family must be thanked for their patience over the years. Both parts of the project are now held as html files and will be updated as new information becomes available. The indexes were compiled with the assistance of d-Base software using a subset of the fields employed in the record structure of the British Book Trade Index project, at that time directed by the late Professor Peter Isaac at Newcastle upon Tyne. The 2,800 records In this present listing were made avaible to to the national BBTI database. Entries contain the following information where ascertained:
SURNAME, Forenames. Or name of institution.
Trades. These do not necessarily reflect the full range of activities of the individual concerned.
Addresses. With dates of occupancy. Dates followed by "d" indicate information from directories, "1785p" indicates Pendred's directory of 1785 and "1855h" Hodson's directory of 1855.
Date of birth. With place of birth and parentage where known. Marriage(s). With name and parentage of spouse where known.
Children. With dates of birth or baptism where known, and notes of other relatives in the book trades.
Date of death. Where known, or notes of probate or settling of estate.
Other biographical details. E.g. apprenticeship, freedom, partnerships, bankruptcies, predecessors and successors in business.
Imprints. References give the date of publication followed by the name of the author or the first word of anonymous titles. This should normally be sufficient to identify titles in Books with Devon Imprints or other Devon bibliographies and catalogues. In addition references are given to individual topographical prints listed in the catalogue by J. V. Somers Cocks.
Sources. The main sources consulted are listed below, preceded where necessary by any abbreviations used in the entries. Inclusion in the list below does not imply that all sources have been searched exhaustively.
Attwood, J.S. "Booksellers and printers in Devon and Cornwall in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries", Devon & Cornwall Notes & Queries, vol. 9 (1910-7), 129-38.
Berch, Victor. Card index of extracts notes from newspapers and periodicals. All his Devon references have been included. Coverage includes. London Gazette (LG), [London] Times (LT) Gentleman's magazine (GM), Monthly magazine (MM).
Brushfield, T.M. "Andrew Brice and the early Exeter newspaper press", Transactions of the Devonshire Association, vol. 20, 163-214.
Census enumerators' returns. Microfilms of the originals in the National Archives were fully checked only for Exeter and Topsham for 1851. Piece and folio references are given.
Chanter, J.R. Sketches of tbe literary history of Barnstaple (Barnstaple, 1835).
Chitty, Jean. Paper In Devon (Exeter: J.Chitty, 1975).
Clamp, A.J. Card index on Devon printers (except Plymouth). Deposited with Devon Library Services. Mainly covers the period after 1850. All pre-1850 and selected later information for individuals active before 1850 is included.
Clough, E.A. A short-title catalogue, arranged geographically, of books printed and distributed ... in the English provincial towns ... to 1700 (London: Library Association, 1969). [DCNQ] Devon and Cornwall notes and queries.
[DRO] Devon Record Office. Various classes of records are referred to but especially Quarter Sessions records (Q/S). The records of registration of printing presses 1799-1873 are found in Q/S 52, 68 and 69.
Dickinson, M.G. "Early Exeter printers and booksellers 1669-1741", Devon and Cornwall Notes and Queries, vol. 29 (1963), 164-171.
[DNB] Dictionary of national biography.
[d] Directories (indicated by d after date):
1. National directories: 1783 Bailey, 1784 Bailey; 1791-8 Universal British directory, 1805 Holden, 1809 Holden, 1811 Holden, 1816 Underhill.
2. County directories: 1823 Pigot; 1830 Pigot; 1840 Robson; 1844 Slater; 1848 Hunt; 1850 White; 1852 Slater; 1856 Kelly . Later titles selectively only e.g. 1862 Harris, 1866 Kelly, 1870 Morris, 1878 White, 1883 Kelly.
3. Exeter directories. 1791, 1796, 1801, 1816, 1822, 1825, 1827-28, 1830-34, 1836-51, 1853-55 Trewman; 1828, 1835 Besley.
4. Plymouth directories: 1812 Picture of Plymouth; 1836 Thomas.
Dredge, John Ingle. Devon booksellers and printers in the 17th and 18th centuries (Plymouth: W.H.Luke, 1885-91). Reprint of articles which originally appeared in the Western antiquary.
[ESTC] Eighteenth century short title catalogue, (London: British Library, 1983). Some references are made to the book trade index maintained by the Project at the British Library. Details have not been checked.
[EGL] Excise general letter. Cited by Shorter.
[EPG] Exeter and Plymouth gazette.
Exeter militia list 1803, edited by W.G.Hoskins (Chichester: Phillimore, 1972).
Exeter freemen 1266-1967, edited by Margery M.Rowe and Andrew N.Jackson (Exeter: Devon and Cornwall Record Society, 1973).
[EFP] Exeter flying post. Use was made of the card index for the period 1763-1885 held in the Westcountry Studies Library. This information was taken direct from the cards and not normally checked back against the original newspapers.
[FFBJ] Felix Farley's Bristol journal.
[FWL] Flindell's western luminary. Mainly quoted by Clamp.
[GM] Gentleman's magazine.
[h] Hodson, William Henry. Hodson's booksellers publishers and stationers directory for London and country (London: W.H.Hadson, 1855). An inaccurate and out of date but extremely useful compilation of which a facsimile with an introduction by Graham Pollard was published Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1972. References indicated by "1855h".
[Insurance policies]. Jenkinson, D.T. Indexes of the fire Insurance policies of the Sun Fire Office and the Royal Exchange Assurance 1775- 1787 (London: Economic and Social Science Research Council, 1986). Also Sun policies for earlier and later periods referred to by Shorter.
International genealogical Index (Salt Lake City: Genealogical Society of Utah). Microfiches used for selective checking only.
[LG] London gazette.
[LT] [London] Times.
McKerrow, R.B. A dictionary of the printers and booksellers in England, Scotland and Ireland ... 1555-1640 (London. Bibliographical Society, 1910)
Marriage allegations 1694-1731, marriage licences 1523-1751 for the diocese of Exeter. Book trade references in occupation indexes to manuscript and typescript calendars held in the collections of the Devon and Cornwall Record Society, Exeter.
Maxted, Ian. Books with Devon imprints: a handlist to 1800 (Exeter: J.Maxted, 1989).
[MM] Monthly magazine.
Musgrave, Sir William. Obituary prior to 1800 (London: Harleian Society, 1899-1901).
[NDJ] North Devon journal.
[OEJ] Old Exeter journal. Mainly quoted by Dredge.
Parish registers. Transcripts for all Exeter parishes to 1837 searched for individuals described as being in the book or paper trades.
[p] Pendred, John. The London and country printers, booksellers and stationers vade mecum (London: J.Pendred, 1785). New edition edited by Graham Pollard published as: The earliest directory of the book trade (London: Bibliographical Society, 1955). References given as "1785p".
Plomer, H.R. A dictionary of the printers and booksellers who were at work In England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667 (London: Bibliographical Society, 1907).
Plomer, H.R. A dictionary of the printers and booksellers who were at wcink in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1568 to 1725 (London: Bibliographical Society, 1922).
Plomer, H.R. A dictionary of the printers and booksellers who were at work In England Scotland and Ireland from 1726 to 1775 (London: Bibliographical Society, 1932).
[P&DJ] Plymouth and Devonport journal. Referred to by Clamp.
Poll books. Printed lists for Exeter 1776, 1818
Shorter, A.H. Paper mills and paper makers in England, 1495-1800, (Hilversum: Paper Publications Society, 1957).
Somers Cocks, J.V. Devon topographical prints 1660-1870: a catalogue and guide (Exeter: Devon Library Services, 1977). Individual prints referred to in the imprints section of entries.
Timperley, G. H. Encyclopedia of literary and typographical anecdote, 2nd ed. (London: H.G.Bohn, 1842). Facsimile, with new introduction by Terry Belanger, published New York: Garland, 1977. Checked for verification, not yet exhaustively searched.
[WT] Western times.
Wiles, R.M. Freshest advices: early provincial newspapers In England (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1965).
Worth, R.N. "Notes on the history of printing in Devon" Transactions of the Devonshire Association, 1879, p.497-515.
Sources with references to a few individuals only are normally listed in full under those individuals.
This page last updated 13 Mar 2005
© Ian Maxted, 1991.