Biographical and bibliographical information on the book trades
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31 October 2007

Britain 1784-1811: Introduction

Exeter working papers in British book trade history; 20
The British book trades 1784-1811: a tabulation of national directories


The following table compares the provincial traders listed in the following early trade directories which have nationwide coverage:
  • Column 1: John Pendred's The London and country printers, booksellers and stationers vade mecum, 1785. The fellmongers included by Pendred are omitted. Additional information (chiefly forenames) taken from Bailey's British directory, of 1784, which is the main source for Pendred, is added in brackets.
  • Column 2: The Universal British directory, volumes 2-5, compiled 1792-98. The precise date for each place is difficult to establish, but the chronological order generally follows alphabetical order, volume 2 being compiled mainly in 1792, volume 3 in 1793 and 1794, volume 4 between 1794 and 1797 and volume 5 (a supplementary volume) in 1798. The table below gives details of current or recent dates noted while searching the directory.
  • Column 3: Holden's triennial directory, volumes 2 & 3, 1811. Volume 2 covers the larger towns, which had previously been included in the 1809 directory (sometimes with little change in 1811), and volume 3 the smaller towns.
Where "none" is recorded against a particular date, this indicates that there is an entry in the directory for that town, but no book trade personnel have been found to be listed. The use of "not" indicates that there is no entry at all for that town in the directory. It is hoped to improve the coverage of population figures, which should be used with caution as they do not always fully reflect the nature and extent of the urban area.
Localities: A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I-K, L, M, N-O, P, R, S, T-U, W-Y.

Universal British directory: dates noted for individual parts.

11-14-London17902nd ed. 1793 Jun 10
215-32-A-D1792-3No part 33
222378Biggleswade1792 Feb 25in press
224450Bury St Edmund1792 Apr 12-
232860,864Durham1792 Oct 17before May 1793
336/7240Harwich1793 Jul 20-
340418Ilminster1793Present year
3-391Honiton17921791 last year
341--1792 Sep-
341501Kidderminster1793At this time
344627Liverpool1794 Mar 24-
344?730Liverpool?1794 Junjust finished
345--1794 Jun-
346762Lynn Regis1794 Aug 25-
346777Manchester1794 Jan-
4496Norwich1794 Jul 16-
452190/6?Portsmouth1795 May 1-
455196-1795 May 1-
456397Sheffield1795 Nov 5-
457507Sudbury1796Present year
458521Swansea1796Present year
461699Watford1796 Mar-
462755Wigan1797 Jun 27-
463795Winster1797 Jul 1-
463871Worcester22 Nov 1797last week
465915Winchester1798 Jan 13Election of freemen
569165Richmond, Yorks1797 Jun-
571--1798 Jan 24-

Page last updated 2 June 2009