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134 TJie Earlier History of English Bookselling .

sionally illustrated in a rough-and-ready sort of
fashion. They are, of course, of the usual duodecimo
form, and catchpenny titles. As an indication of
the way in which Mr. Norris tempted his visitors to
part with the coveted coin, we may as well quote a
few of these ' nominations,' which are decidedly quaint
and explanatory. His list included ' The Garden of
Love's Craftiness,' for the elegant and sentimental
young gentleman ; ' England's Witty and Ingenious
Jester,' for the retailer of small talk and stale fun ;
William Grismond's, the ' Fisherman's Daughter's
Garland,' the ' Verteous Maiden's Garland/ the
' Politick Sailor's Garland,' the ' Ladies' Sorrowful
Garland,' the 'Weeping Swain's Garland,' and
probably a great many other ' garlands ' for other
and equally special purposes. No doubt Mr. Norris
kept a stock of these sort of things on hand for any-
thing in the way of a calamity or disaster that might
occur. The ' garlands ' run from one to four leaves
each.

James Hodges, of the Looking Glass ' over against
St. Magnus Church/ is the best known of all the
bridge booksellers. He has a political as well as a
trade history. He was constantly producing books
between the years 1720 and 1757, and was perhaps
the most active and enterprising of the fraternity in
the locality. Another interesting feature about him
is that he was the third bookseller who occupied the
same premises in succession. J. Blare, who flourished
circa 1688 1^04, at the ' Looking Glass/ was suc-
ceeded by F. Hodges, who, we presume, was the
father of the energetic James. J. Hodges was a



Bookselling on London Bridge. 135

member of the Common Council for Bridge Ward,
and was one of the Court of Assistants of the
Stationers' Company. He made a famous speech on
April 15, 1757, m ^e City Senate, on moving the
Freedom of the City to Pitt, and this oration is said
to have commenced in this fashion : ' History, the
key of knowledge, and experience, the touchstone of
truth, have convinced us that the country owes the
preservation of its most excellent constitution to the
frequent fears, jealousies, and apprehensions of the
people/ Hodges was a very popular man, and in
the year following 1758 he was knighted on pre-
senting an address to George II. He died at Bath
in October, 1774. Hodges' books, for the most part,
are of the usual bridge class, but he was probably the
first bookseller who published novels on London
Bridge. One of the best known, but perhaps not the
earliest, was 'Matrimony' (1755) in two volumes,
which, as with many others, B. Collins of Salisbury
either printed or had a partnership interest. Sermons
also were published or sold by Hodges, who likewise
was one of the very few who advertised his wares in
the newspapers. A list of some of his books appears
in the Grub Street Journal .February 15, 1732.
The following is an example of Hodges' windy
titles :

' The Traveller's Pocket-Companion ; or, a Compleat Descrip-
tion of the Roads, in Tables of their Computed and Measured
Distances, by an Actual Survey and Mensuration by the Wheel,
from London to all the considerable Cities and Towns in Eng-
land and Wales ; together with the Mail-Roads, and their
several Stages, and the Cross-Roads from one City or eminent
Town to another. With Directions what Turnings are to be



136 The Earlier History of English Bookselling .

avoided in going or returning on Journeys, and Instructions for
riding Post. To which is annexed, A New Survey-Map, which
shews the Market-Days, and remarkable Things ; the whole
laid down in a Manner that Strangers may travel without any
other Guide. Also an Account of the Expences of sending a
Letter or Pacquet by Express from the General Post-Office,
without Loss of Time, to any Part of Great Britain. By a
Person who has belonged to the Publick Offices upwards of
Twenty Years. London : Printed for the Author, and sold by
J. Hodges, at the Looking-Glass over-against St. Magnus's
Church, London Bridge. 1741. Price bound One Shilling
and Sixpence.'

Arthur Bettesworth was another of the better
known bridge booksellers, but he only resided in
this locality during the earlier part of his career.
His sign was the ' Red Lion ' or ' Red Lyon.' He
was publishing on the bridge in 1712. After a time
he removed to Paternoster Row, still retaining his old
sign. He was a prominent member of two bookselling
' congeries/ and was succeeded by Charles Hitch, his
son-in-law and partner. Hitch was on the Commission
of the Peace for the county of Essex. "and was Master
of the Stationers' Company in 1758, to which Com-
pany he bequeathed a sum of twenty guineas to
purchase a pair of silver candlesticks. He died
September 20, 1764.

William Pickering, who flourished on the bridge
'under St. Magnus Church' between 1556 and 1571,
was, suggests Mr. Gray in Notes and Queries, pro-
bably succeeded by Hugh Astley, 1588 1608. Henry
Gosson, the fourth (remarks the same writer), ' had a
shop on London Bridge circa 1610 1628. Gosson's
house must have been situated at the southern part
of the bridge, and in 1635 we find him 'on London



Bookselling on London Bridge. 137

Bridge, near to the gate.' 2 He is not noticed as
being one of those who had their places burnt,
according to Nehemiah Wallington's ' Records of the
Mercies of God/ quoted by Thomson, nor, indeed,
are any booksellers mentioned in that list. His still
being on the bridge after the fire seems to confirm
this. ' In 1608, a namesake or possibly the same
person was carrying on business at the Tun, in
Paternoster Row ; one of his publications, which was
printed by Robert Raworth, being ' The Contention
between the Brethren.' Most of his books were, of
course,' broadsides, ballads and the like, often printed
in black-letter type, and occasionally ' adorned with
cuts.' One of the most curious was perhaps ' The
Old, Old, very Old Man,' i. e. Thomas Parr, who
lived, it is stated, over 150 years, and who died
November 15, 1635. This tract, the scope of which
is set forth in 1 50 words, comprising its title-page,
was written by John Taylor, and is reprinted in 'The
Harleian Miscellany' (vol. vii.).

H. Tracy, of the Three Bibles, made a speciality
not only of school-bo'oks, but also of a balsam ' lately
brought from Chili, a Province of America.' Of him
Dunton says, ' His religion is not confined to the
church, any more than the shop. His behaviour in
his family is grave and exemplary ; his devotion con-
stant ; his care over his household is tender and im-
partial ; and to his servants he seems a father rather
than a master/ He published, inter alia, Dyche's

2 Stephen Powell had a shop ' on London Bridge neere to the
gate,' in 1635, when he published ' An Essay of Drapery,' which
had an engraved title-page.



1 38 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

' Youth's Guide to the Latin Tongue,' and Roger
Rea's ' The Sector and Plain Scale compared ;' the
former at five shillings, and the latter at eighteen-
pence.

Stanley Crowder deserves some mention in con-
nection with this chapter, as being probably the last,
if not the only bookseller who remained on London
Bridge prior to the final clearing out. Crowder, who
died May 23, 1795, was an apprentice of Sir James
Hodges, and for many years after quitting the bridge
did a large wholesale trade at the Aldine Chambers,
Paternoster Row. Proving at last unsuccessful, he
applied for and obtained the office of Clerk of the
Commissioners of the Commutation and Window
Tax for the City of London. 3 Some of the better
known bridge booksellers were : John Tap, of St.
Magnus Corner, 1610; Charles Tyus, of the Three
Bibles, in the middle of the bridge, 1659, and pro-
bably succeeded by Thomas Passinger, who, at all
events, had the same sign in use shortly afterwards
and whose name is occasionally seen in company
with that of Charles Passinger ; John Williamson
was at the ' Sun and Bible in the low buildings on
London Bridge' in 1678; and in addition to those
previously mentioned as having the Looking Glass
as a sign, we may mention that it was also used by
Ed. Midwinter, 1721, and T. Harris, 1741-4, the last-
named of whom became a bankrupt in December,
1745. This list is, of course, very far from com-
plete ; and for lengthy catalogues of the bridge

3 An interesting reference to Crowder occurs in the Aldine
Magazine, December, 1838.



Bookselling on London Bridge. 139

booksellers the reader is referred to Notes and Queries,
sixth series, fifth, sixth and seventh volumes.

The bridge, which had passed through so many
storms, received in a manner of speaking a severe
blow in 1633, when many of its houses were burnt.
The great fire of 1666 also destroyed a number.
Still more were burnt in 1727, and thenceforward its
decay was rapid and its removal inevitable. In 1757
most of the houses and shops were reckoned among
the things that were. In December, 1760, ' notice
was given to the people on the west side of London
Bridge to quit their premises by the 25 th of March
next/ with a view to the demolition of the build-
ings.' The toll was abolished on March 27, 1781 ;
the gate at the Southwark end disappeared in 1766.
The famous old bridge itself ceased to exist in 1832,
and the stones of which it was constructed were, it is
said, used to build or rebuild Ingress Hall, near
Greenhithe, and the tough pieces of iron which held
the stones together were converted into razors and
pen-knives as mementos. Sic transit gloria mundil



1 40 The Earlier History of English Bookselling .



CHAPTER VII.

OTHER BOOKSELLING LOCALITIES.

THE history and associations of the immediate
vicinity of St. Paul's Cathedral are indissolubly inter-
woven with the annals of bookselling. Literature and
Paternoster Row are almost synonymous terms. The
dull and narrow thoroughfare, with its nomenclature
abbreviated into ' The Row/ is the most famous
bookselling quarter in London, we had almost
said in the world. The derivation of the term is
ascribed to various causes, one of which points to the
fact that funereal processions on their way to St.
Paul's began their pater noster at the commencement
of the Row. The most probable theory, however, is
that which connects the place with the rosary or
paternoster makers, who resided and did a great
business here until the Reformation. Dr. Brewer,
quoting from an unstated source, alludes to 'one
Robert Nikke, a paternoster maker and citizen, in
the reign of Henry IV.' As a literary emporium the
antiquity of 'the Row' is unquestionable.

From Stow's ' Survey of London ' (edit. Strype),
we learn that 'this street, before the fire of London
(1666), was taken up by eminent mercers, silkmen



Other Bookselling Localities. 141

and lacemen ; and their shops were so resorted to
by the nobility and gentry, in their coaches, that
oft-times the street was so stopped up that there was
no room for foot-passengers.' After the great con-
flagration, most of the tradesmen removed to the
vicinity of Covent Garden, whilst others again in-
habited this place so soon as new buildings were
erected. Near the east end there were 'stationers
and large warehouses for booksellers, well situated
for learned and studious men's access thither, being
more retired and private.' 'After dinner,' on June I,
1665, observes Pepys, ' I put on my new camelott
suit, the best that I ever wore in my life, the suit
costing me above 24^. In this I went with Creed to
Goldsmiths' Hall, to the burial of Sir Thomas Viner,
which Hall, and Haberdashers' also, was so full, that
we were fain for coolness to go forth to Pater Noster
Row, to choose a silk to make me a plain ordinary
suit/ An 'extract from a periodical of 1705' has a
reference to the ' semptresses of Paternoster Row '
which points to the conclusion that collateral branches
of the drapery trade lingered in the Row for a much
longer period than is generally thought. At this
present moment there is, we believe, but one existing
representative of this trade in ' the Row.'

For a century or more the famous locality has been
almost entirely inhabited by booksellers or stationers,
such as the Longmans, Cookes, Harrisons, Hoggs,
Rivingtons, Baldwins, and very many others, whose
careers would each need a lengthy chapter. There
are records, however, which prove that the Row was
a regular bookselling locality in the middle of the



142 The Ea rlier His to ry of English Bookselling.

sixteenth century. Henry Denham, for example,
was living at the Star, in Paternoster Row, in 1564,
and for several years afterwards ; he adopted the
Latin motto of ' Os homini sublime dedit/ In
1570 he published George Tuberville's 'Epitaphs,
Epigrams, Songs and Sonnets.' It was not until the
latter part of the last century, however, that 'the
character of the trade in the Row became changed
from old bookselling, or the issuing only of large and
important new works by the principal houses, to
general publishing, and particularly of periodicals.
The issuing of works in weekly numbers was more
particularly confined to Cooke, Hogg and Harrison.
These all stood prominent as publishers of what have
been called ' Paternoster row Numbers,' namely
Family Bibles, with notes, editions ofFoxe's 'Book of
Martyrs,' and the works of Flavius Josephus ; new and
complete Histories of England, Histories of London,
Life of Christ, and various other denominations of
works, which, years back, more than now, were chiefly
purchased by the more intelligent of the working
classes, and were seen in the shape of handsomely
bound folios in several of their houses. However it
may be customary to kick the ladder down when we
find we no longer want it, these sort of publications, it
must be confessed, greatly contributed to lay the
foundation of that literary taste and thirst for know-
ledge which now pervade all classes. To give such
works as we have mentioned all the attraction pos-
sible, the title-pages were copious to an extreme ;
enumerating the whole contents of the book, the
authors were generally called esquires, and had two



Other Bookselling Localities. 143

or three high-sounding Christian names.' ' Among
the booksellers of Paternoster Row, no one had a
higher reputation or a more extensive business than
William Taylor, who resided at the Ship, during the
first quarter of the last century. And of all his
undertakings, or part undertakings, none was more
famous or more signally successful than ' Robinson
Crusoe.' Taylor published the first part on April 25,
1719, and the second on August 20, in the same year.
His catalogue is a matter of 16 pages, the subjects
being divided into three sections folio, quarto, and
octavo and duodecimo and including nearly every
conceivable class of literature. Of the first part of
Defoe's immortal book, four editions were sold in as
many months.

When the bibliopolic glory of Little Britain and
its immediately contiguous neighbourhood departed,
some of its rays were transferred to St. Paul's
Churchyard, which, in its turn, has been gradually
deserted by booksellers during the past century,
until, at the present moment, there is only one firm
left. Its halcyon days, however, were previous to
the Fire. The booksellers' shops were mostly on
the north side. ' It was,' observes Mr. Treloar, ' at
the 'White Greyhound' that John Harrison first
published Shakespeare's poems ; at the ' Fleur de
Luce and the Crown ' appeared the first edition of
the ' Merry Wives of Windsor,' and the ' Green
Dragon,' the ' Fox,' the ' Angel,' the ' Spread Eagle/
the ' Gun,' and the ' Red Bull ' are all associated

1 Timperley's ' Dictionary of Printers ' (1839), p. 838.



1 44 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

with the publications of the great dramatist." 2 ' Who,'
exclaims Tom Nash in Pierce Penilesse/ ' can abide
a scurvy pedling poet to plucke a man by the
sleeve at evrie third step in Paules Churchyard, and
when he comes in to survey his wares, there's
nothing but purgations and vomits wrapt vp in wast
paper ? "

The following list includes most of the principal
' churchyard ' booksellers, with signs and approxi-
mate dates, who lived in the seventeenth century :
M. Atkins, the Half Moon,' 1674 ; Robert Allot,
the ' Black Bear,' 1629 ; William Apsley, the ' Parrot,'
1622; John Bartlett, 'The Golden Cup' in the
Goldsmith's Row in Cheapside ; 1610-40; Walter
Burne, the 'Crane/ 1614; William Birch, the 'Pea-
cock,' ' at the lower end of Cheapside,' 1678 ; John
Budge, ' at the great South doore of Paul's/ 1609;
Henry Brome, the ' Gun,' who first published
Milton's ' Character of the Long Parliament and
Assembly of Divines' (1681) ; Robert Bostock,
the ' King's Head,' 1645 ; Walter Kettilby, the
' Bishop's Head/ 1678 ; and Joshua Kirton, of the
' King's Arms/ who possesses the distinction of having
been Mr. Pepys' bookseller, and who is thus referred
to in the ' Diary/ under date November 2, 1660 :
' In Paul's Churchyard I called at Kirton's, and
there they had got a masse book for me, which I
bought, and cost me \2s., and, when I come
home, sat up late, and read in it with great pleasure
to my wife, to hear that she was long ago acquainted
with it.' And we have already seen to what extent
- ' Ludgate Hill, Past and Present.'



Ot/ier Bookselling Localities. 145

poor Kirton was the loser by the great Fire. Henry
Kyrkham was living 'at the little North-dore of
Paul's Church, at the sign of the ' Black Boy ' in
*593 5 Richard Moore's shop was at the 'Seven
Stars ;' Giles Calvert's at the ' Black Spread Eagle,'
from 1547; and John Wolfe's in ' Paules Chayne,'
whence appeared ' Quip for an Upstart Courtier,' in
1592. Jefiferie Chorlton, who did a large trade in
sensational executions, arraignments, and the like,
had a shop ' adjoining the great North door of Paules,'
circa 1607. And so we might go on ad infinitum
enumerating the various booksellers, all distinguished
in some way or another for being associated with a
particular book or author, whilst many of those
named in the foregoing list have already been re-
ferred to in previous chapters.

Among bookselling localities, none was more
unique than Westminster Hall. This historical place
is a vast parallelogram, standing north and south,
290 feet long and 68 feet broad. The place is redo-
lent with associations, what with Parliaments, corona-
tion revelries, and impeachments. And of the
last-named none was more famous than that of
Warren Hastings (February, 1788 April, 1795).
' The place,' says Macaulay in his brilliant essay,
'was worthy of such a trial. It was the great hall
of William Rufus, the hall which had resounded
with acclamations at the inauguration of thirty kings,
the hall which had witnessed the just sentence of
Bacon, and the just absolution of Somers, 3 the hall

3 This is more poetical than true. The proceedings against
Bacon and Somers took place, not in Westminster Hall, but in

L



1 46 The Earlier History of English Bookselling .

where the eloquence of Strafford had for a moment
awed and melted a victorious party inflamed with
just resentment, the hall where Charles had con-
fronted the High Court of Justice with the placid
courage which has half redeemed his fame.'

The Hall was occupied by shops, stationers and
otherwise, for a period of at least 200 years. A
very early instance, which would place the term at a
much longer span, is referred to in the Gentleman's
Magazine of 1853, the object being a copy of the
c Legenda Aurea,' which was either bequeathed to
the parish of St. Margaret's, Westminster, by Caxton
himself, or given by his executors. Machyn's ' Diary '
records the fact that in 1556 a 'boye that sold papers
and printed books ' was killed in Westminster Hall
by being hit under the ear with a stone thrown by
' a hosier's boy above London Stone,' the said book-
seller being a poor scholar of Westminster School.
Nearly forty years after, Nash exclaimed, ' Looke to
it, you booksellers and stationers, and let not your
shop be infested with any such goose gyblets, or
stinking garbadge as the jygs of newsmongers ; and
especially such of you as frequent Westminster Hall,
let them be circumspect what dunghill papers they
bring thether : for one bad pamphlet is inough to
raise a dampe that may poysen a whole towne, or
at the least a number, of poore clyents, that have
no money to prevent il aire by breaking their fasts
ere they come thether."

Referring to this place, Tom Browne, in his

the old House of Lords (Jesse's ' Literary and Historical
Memoirs of London,' i. 394).



Other Bookselling Localities. 147

'Amusements' (1700) says, ' on your left hand you
have a nimble-tongued, painted sempstress, with her
charming treble, invite you to buy some of her knick-
knacks, and on your right a deep-mouthed cryer,
commanding impossibilities, viz., silence to be kept
among women and lawyers.' This describes (says a
writer in the Gentleman's Magazine for November,
1853) the situation of the shops or stalls, as ranged
along the blank wall on the southern side of the
Hall. Some years later, they occupied not only the
whole of that side, but such portion of the other as
was not occupied by the Court of Common Pleas,
but which then sat within the Hall itself, as did the
Chancery and King's Bench at its further end.
Gravelot's print of the Hall during term-time shows
this arrangement to have been followed, a print, by-
the-way, which had, in the original engraving, some
verses appended at foot, in which the legal pro-
clivities of ' fools ' who ' fall out ' are hardly hit.
Another interesting point may be here noted : the
stationers and booksellers in the Hall were emphati-
cally a privileged class, inasmuch as they were
exempt from the pains and penalties in the statutes
in force relative to licences and regulation of the
press. Here, as elsewhere, there were plenty of
inferior books obtainable ; Mr. Pepys, writing on
October 26, 1660, and referring to some purchases
made in the Hall, remarks, ' among other books, one
of the life of our Queen, which I read at home to
my wife, but it was so sillily writ that we did nothing
but laugh over it.'

For convenience, the stalls were distinguished
L 2



1 48 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

by certain signs. One of the very early issues of
'Paradise Lost' (1668) contains the name, among
others, of H. Mortlock, of the 'White Hart' in
Westminster Hall, who also had a shop at the Phoenix,
St. Paul's Churchyard. Raleigh's 'Remains' (1675)
was one of the books printed for Mortlock, who was
in all probability succeeded by Benjamin Barker,
whose name occurs on Raleigh's ' Three Discourses '
(1702) as being at the 'White Hart.' Mortlock pro-
bably acquired interest in some of the books sold
previously by William Shears, Jun., who, like Mort-
lock, and several others, had a shop in addition to
the stall in the Hall.

Few of the Hall booksellers were more prolific
than he who bore the horticultural cognomen of
Matthew Gilliflower. His sign was the Spread
Eagle and the Crown, and perhaps one of his earliest
part-ventures was the 'Refined Courtier' (1679).
' Both his eyes/ remarks Mr. Dunton, ' were never at
once from home ; for one kept house, and observed
the actions of men, while the other roamed abroad
for intelligence. He loved his bottle and his friend
with an equal affection. He was very tetchy upon
some occasions : yet thriving was part of his character.
He printed L'Estrange's ' ysop,' Lord Halifax's
'Advice to his Daughters,' and many excellent
copies.' C. King and Stagg were two of the leading
booksellers in the Hall during the earlier years of
the last century, for nearly every ' proposal ' had
their names, whilst they are included among the
' unprejudic'd booksellers' who acted as agents for
the Gentleman's Magazine during the first year of



Other Bookselling Localities. 149

its existence. The former published that grimly
humorous piece of satire, ' Neck or Nothing. A.
Consolatory Letter from Mr. D nt n to Mr.
C rll upon his being Tost in a Blanket' (1716).
Fox, of the ' Half Moon and Seven Stars,' is de-
scribed by Dunton as 'a refined politician . . . to his
knowledge in trade, he has joined no vulgar erudi-
tion, which all his modesty is not able to conceal.'
B. Toovey, whose name occurs, with seven others,
in the imprint of The Life of Henry VIII.,' by Mr.

W. Sh , dedicated to Colley Gibber, Esq., 1758 ;

James Collins and J. Renn were other tradesmen
who sold books in this place.

Early in the reign of George III. the traders were


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