The fall of the Whig ministry in the latter part of
1710 was necessarily the occasion for much ' shuffling '
of cards with respect to Governmental appoint-
ments, and its effect upon Tonson, though not quite
serious, may be gathered from Swift's 'Journal to
Stella,' of July 2, 1711 : " Mr. Addison and I have
at last met again. I dined with him and Steele
to-day, at young Jacob Tonson's. The two Jacobs
think it is I who have made the Secretary take from
them the printing of the Gazette, which they are going
to lose, and Ben Tooke and another are to have it.
Jacob came to me t'other day to make his court ;
but I told him it was too late, and that it was not my
doing. I reckon they will lose it in a week or two '
Steele was the Gazette writer, and purposely kept it
' very weak and very insipid.' Jacob's connection with
the Gazette was as (nominally) the printer, he being,
as appears from his Will, in partnership with John
Tonson's name was taken as a guarantee by the
book-buying public. He seems to have done best,
however, with his republications. In 1702, a couple of
years after the poet's death, he issued the ' Works of
elseif (getClientWidth() > 430)
the late famous Mr. Dryden,' in 4 vols. folio, the sale
1 8o The Earlier History of English Bookselling,
of which was considerable. The ' new editions '
which he published in the subsequent twenty years
were numerous. In 1702, also, he had issued Cowley's
'Works.' One of the latest editions of Dryden was
the six-volumed one in I2mo, that came out in
1/25. This contained the Dramatic works only ;
the illustrations are after Gravelot, and the dedication
to the then Lord Chamberlain, the Duke of New-
castle, is from Congreve's pen. This particular
edition is curious, inasmuch as, although bearing
Tonson's general imprint, several of the plays have on
their title-pages the names of the booksellers in whom
the copyright was at that time vested. M. Poulson
occurs on the ' Kind Keeper,' and on ' GEdipus ;' G.
Strahan and B. Motte on ' Don Sebastian ;' and a
small dialogue at the end of the last volume bears
Motte's name. Speaking of Denham, Dibdin says,
' The neatest edition of his works, with which I am
acquainted, is that of Tonson, of 1719 ; and there be
those who love to possess the edition of Donne's
poems, of the same date, and by the same printer.'
Tonson issued the poems of Waller in 1711, with
illustrations, and of this edition, Dibdin no partial
judge speaks in high praise. Among other im-
portant works that came from the Tonsons, was
Tasso's ' Jerusalem Delivered' (1724), in two quarto
volumes, and an edition of Beaumont and Fletcher in
ten volumes, which is still held in high esteem. In
1734-5, ' J. Tonson, and the rest of the proprietors,'
published an edition of the plays six in number
attributed to Shakespeare. ' The History of Sir John
Oldcastle ' contains the following curious 'advertise-
Jacob Tonson. 181
ment : ' 'J. Tonson, and the other proprietors of
the copies of Shakespeare's plays, designing to finish
their edition now publishing, with all speed give
notice, that with the last play they will deliver gratis
general titles to each volume of the whole work, so
that each play may be bound in its proper place,'
&c., &c. ' N. B. Whereas one R. Walker has pro-
posed to pirate all Shakespear's plays, but through
ignorance of what plays are Shakespear's, did in several
advertisements propose to print ' CEdipus King of
Thebes ' as one of Shakespear's plays ; and has since
printed Tate's ' King Lear ' instead of Shakespear's,
and in that and Hamlet has omitted one half of the
genuine edition printed by J. Tonson and the other
proprietors ; the world will therefore judge how likely
they are to have a complete collection of Shake-
spear's plays from the said R. Walker.' With re-
ference to Shakespeare ; it is exceedingly probable
that the very last speculation into which the Tonsons'
firm entered was the edition of Capell,in ' ten sprucely
printed crown octavo volumes.' Indeed, it is almost
a certainty that the last bookselling Tonson died
before the work was actually out of the printers' hands.
Capell's dedication was dated November 9, 1767,
whilst Jacob Tonson the third died in March of the
same year. It may be assumed, however, that
his younger brother took a little interest in the busi-
ness for a short time after his decease.
After a life of unwearied exertion, honest trading,
and unflagging zeal, old Jacob Tonson died in 1736,
having principally resided on his estate in Hereford-
shire since about 1720. His nephew, Jacob Tonson
1 8 2 The Ea rlier History of English Bookselh rig.
secundus, predeceased him by four months only, dying
at Barnes, November 15, 1735. Nichols gives cur-
rency to the anecdote, which he strongly doubts,
relating to the death-bed scene of Jacob Tonson.
Jacob is reported to have said, ' I wish I had the
world to begin again,' and having been asked why
he expressed such a wish, replied, ' Because then I
should have died worth a hundred thousand pounds,
whereas now I die worth only eighty thousand
pounds.' This anecdote was probably manufactured
by some libellous person who, perhaps, had a grudge
against the bookseller. But the same anecdote is
also related of the younger Jacob Tonson, in which
case, however, it is still less authentic, for he died
worth at least the hundred thousand pounds which
was to have consummated his earthly bliss. The
Will of the younger Jacob was written by himself,
and fills 27 pages. ' After having devised his estates
in Herefordshire, Gloucestershire, and Worcestershire,
and bequeathed no less a sum than 34,ooo/. to his three
daughters and his younger son Samuel, and disposed
of his patent, he mentions his uncle, old Jacob
Tonson, to whom he leaves fifty guineas for mourning ;
but knowing his love of quiet and retirement, he says
he would not burthen him with the office of executor
of his Will. He, however, recommends his family to
his uncle's care, and exhorts all his children to
remember their duty to their superiors and in-
feriors, tenderly adding, " and so God bless you
all ! " '
Lingering for a moment or two over the character
cf old Jacob Tonson, the barber- surgeon's s6n, we
Jacob Tonson. 183
find it to be indubitably that of a thorough trades-
man, not perhaps of a hero, but certainly of a generous,
hearty, and good man with a plentiful sprinkling of
the worldly in his composition. From his very
earliest associations, excepting the occasional bicker-
ings of Dryden, the correspondence which have been
preserved prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that
Jacob was esteemed by all the great men with whom
he came in contact. Congreve's letters to the old
bookseller are all couched in the most friendly and
amiable terms. When in France in 1719, Vanbrugh,
speaking of a visit to Cleremont, writes; November
5, in this strain : ' There was much talk about you ;
and I do assure you, with no small regard and affec-
tion from everybody. Mr. Spence was there, who
gave us a very agreeable and friendly account of you,
and joined heartily with us, in drinking round your
health, and your return.' Surely this is not the
language of a sycophant, whose officiousness was to
be substantially rewarded ! When at Hazle, near
Ledbury, in Herefordshire, in 1722, Vanbrugh writes
(June 1 8): ' You have regaled me with the best sider
I ever drank since I was born ; but if you had sent
me a bit of a letter along with it, I should have
thought it better still.' Indeed, nearly all letters to
him contain acknowledgment of some kindness
received or good office performed by Jacob. Pope him-
self, who ran amuck nearly every one, seems to have
been on friendly if not very intimate terms with him.
In 1706 Tonson endeavoured to secure the right of
publishing Pope's works, and wrote : ' I remember I
have formerly seen you in my shop, and am sorry I
1 84 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
did not improve my acquaintance with you. If you
design your poem 5 for the press, no one can be more
careful in printing it, nor no one can give greater
encouragement to it than, Sir,' &c. Pope's pastorals
were published in Tonson's Miscellany, 1709. Not-
withstanding the fact that Pope finally went over to
Lintot, Spence records several anecdotes which can-
not but lead us to conclude that the two were on
excellent terms. For example: 'Ay, Mr. Tonson,
he was ultiimis Romanorum ' (with a sigh) : speak-
ing of poor Mr. Congreve, who died a year or
two before. (Section 1728-30.) On March 20,
1730-1, Gay writes to Swift, ' Lord Oxford, Lord
Bathurst, he [Pope] and I dined together at Barnes
with old Jacob Tonson.' And yet Jacob does not
quite escape from Pope's immortal satire, which was
published only about three years previous to the
dinner of which Gay speaks. In the Dunciad, as it
now stands Lintot is charged with . emulating ' left-
legged Jacob,' but before Jacob's death the reading
was either ' with steps unequal ' or ' with legs ex-
panded.' We have already seen the origin of the
epithet ' left-legged,' and it may be taken for granted
that old Tonson 's gait was an awkward one. He is
also described as short and stout. Apropos of
Tonson's legs the following anecdote is related :
' The figure of Charles the First by Vandyke in the
Walpole collection has a singular defect ; both the
gauntlets being drawn for the right hand. When
this picture was in the Wharton collection, old
Jacob Tonson, who had remarkably ugly legs, was
6 Tonson saw a Pastoral of Pope's in MS.
Jacob Touson. 185
finding fault with the two gauntlets, when Lady
Wharton, said; ' Mr. Tonson, why might not one man
have two right hands as well as another two left legs ? '
This particular incident is said to have given rise to
John Dunton delivers himself concerning Jacob in
this manner : ' He was bookseller to the famous
Dryden, and is himself a very good judge of persons
and authors ; and, as there is nobody more compe-
tently qualified to give their opinion upon another,
so there is none who does it with a more severe
exactness, or with less partiality ; for, to do Mr-
Tonson justice, he speaks his mind upon all occa-
sions, and will flatter nobody.'
But little now remains to be said of the Tonson
family. After the deaths of the uncle and his
nephew, the title of 'J. and R. Tonson ' was still
used until up to and including the year 1767.
Old Jacob died either unmarried or issueless.
Seventeen days after the decease of his nephew he
made his will, in which he confirmed a settlement
that he had made on him, and appointed his great
nephew, Jacob Tonson, the eldest son of the second
Jacob, his executor and residuary legatee. This,
remarks Nichols, must have been an immense acces-
sion to what he already had derived from his father,
who devised all his estates in Herefordshire, Glouces-
tershire, and Worcestershire, in what is called strict
settlement, to his sons, Jacob, Richard, and Samuel,
successively ; and the whole benefit of his patent
between the two elder, whom he also made his
1 86 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
The third Jacob Tonson, to whom Johnson ap-
plies the epithet of 'amiable,' served as High
Sheriff for the county of Surrey in 1750 ; and in
1759 paid the customary fine for being excused
serving in a similar capacity for the city of London
and the county of Middlesex,,his father and great-
uncle both having paid the same fine in 1734. ' He
carried on his trade, in the same shop which had been
possessed by his father and great-uncle, opposite
Catherine Street 6 in the Strand, but, some years
before his death, removed tq a new house on the
other side of the way, near Catherine Street, where
he died without issue, March 31, 1767.' ('Lit.
Anec.' i. 297.) He is the subject of a very eulogistic
and deserved reference by Stevens in his edition of
Shakespeare, published in 1778, a notice which
concludes in these words : ' He was the last com-
mercial name of a family which will be long remem-
bered, and if Horace thought it not improper from
Quintilian's dedication to Trypho, let it not be
6 Speaking of ' Shakespeare's Head,' Charles Knight remarks :
' That house, No. 141, was remarkable as the shop of three of
the most eminent amongst the old booksellers. Here the elder
Jacob might have looked out upon the 'furies of the football
war,' which Gay so well describes in his 'Trivia.' Here, Andrew
Millar concluded, over many a hospitable entertainment in his
upper rooms (for the old days of booksellers' bargains at taverns
were over), his treaties with Fielding and Thomson, with Hume
and Robertson. Here Thomas Cadell smiled with honest exul-
tation as he wrote to Gibbon to tell him how wonderful was the
success of ' The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.' Illus-
trious shadows flitted about that house, which, long since rebuilt,
is now (1865) an insurance office.'
Jacob Tonson. 187
thought that we disgrace Shakespeare by appending
to his works the name of Tonson.'
The younger brother Richard survived Jacob only
a few years, dying in 1772. ( By his father's Will,
the estate at Water-Oakley, in the parish of Bray,
near Windsor, was directed to be sold, and the pro-
duce to be considered as a part of his personal pro-
perty ; but, either by agreement with his family or
by purchase,' it came solely into his possession.
He was M.P. for Windsor at the time of his decease.
The eldest daughter of the second Jacob was mar-
ried to Alderman Baker, father to Sir William
Baker, M.P. for Hertfordshire, and the lineal de-
scendant of Tonson still resides at Rayfordbury,
1 8 8 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
ACCORDING to an entry in his Bible, published in
Notes and Queries, 6th S. ii. 293, it appears that
Barnaby Bernard Lintott, the son of John Lintott,
a Horsham yeoman, was born at Southwater, Hor-
sham, Sussex, on December i, 1675. There were
seven children, besides the famous bookseller, their
names and dates of birth being duly registered in
the Bible in question, which was in the possession of
a descendant, Mr. J. P. Fletcher. Lintot, as he
afterwards spelt his surname, was bound apprentice
at Stationers' Hall, to Thomas Lingard, December
4, 1690, and was subsequently 'turned over' to
John Harding, whom John Dunton graphically
describes as ' of a lovely proportion, extremely well
made, as handsome a mien,' &c., as any of his
neighbours. He was 'made free' March 18, 1699.'
Lintot dispensed with the less elegant Christian
name of Barnaby at the. commencement of his
1 ' He was Renter- Warden in 1715 ; elected into the Court of
Assistants 1722-3, and served the office of Under Warden 'in
1729 and again in 1730; but died before the Upper Wardenship
came to his turn.' (' Lit. Anec.' viii. 161).
Bernard Lintot. 189
Nichols states that, soon after the date given,
Lintot commenced business as a bookseller at the
sign of the ' Cross Keys,' between the Temple
Gates, and instances the ' Examen Miscellaneum,'
1702, a collection of prose and verse, in 189 pp., as
the earliest publication that was issued bearing
Lintot's name. Some of his earlier work is dated
from ' The Cross Keys,' in St. Martin's Lane, near
Long Acre, and at least four years before the date
given by Nichols appears as a bookseller. This will
be seen by consulting the 1698 editions of Settle's
' Empress of Morocco/ and also Crowne's ' Caligula.'
With regard to the situation of Lintot's shop, Cun-
ingham, in his ' Handbook of London,' describes
Nando's as a ' Coffee house in Fleet Street, east
corner of Inner Temple Lane, and next door to the
shop of Bernard Lintot, bookseller.' Mr. E. F.
Rimbault points out (N. & Q. 1st S. vi. 326) that
' if Lintot's shop was between the Temple Gates, as he
himself tells us, it could not have been next door to
Nando's.' But, rightly or wrongly, Cuningham was
justified in stating that the ' Cross Keys ' was next to
Nando's, as will appear from the title-page of Far-
quhar's ' Beaux Stratagem,' Gibber's ' Perolla and
Izadora' (1706) and several other plays.
Lintot's first bookselling decade was unmarked by
anything approaching notoriety, and he seems to
have made a steady but slow and perhaps sure pro-
gress in his trade. In 1703 he published Lady
Chudleigh's ' Poems on Several Occasions, 1 and
Thomas Baker's comedy, ' Tunbridge Wells.' Law-
books and the drama formed the staple of his stock,
1 90 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
and but few of either section were issued on his own
responsibility. Mrs. Centlivre and Colley Gibber
each had some plays brought out with Lintot's name
attached, either as part proprietor or bookseller.
Lintot's shop has been described as the 'constant
morning lounge of literary men.' He published
'The Lawyer's Fortune/ by Lord Grimstone (1705).
E. Smith's 'Phaedra and Hippolitus' (1708), a
tragedy which had quite an ephemeral success, and
also work from the pens of such as Gay, Farquhar,
William King, Fenton, Parnell, &c. Mr. John
Dennis, also, gave Lintot ' a turn,' or, perhaps, ac-
cording to the custom of those days, the case was
the other way about, and in 1704 ' Liberty Asserted '
is printed for George Strahan, of the ' Golden Bull,'
against the Royal Exchange, and Bernard Lintot,
at the Middle Temple Gate. But in this particular
case, perhaps, Strahan purchased the whole of the
copyright from Dennis, and afterwards sold half of it
to Lintot for the modest sum of jl. ^s. From Lin-
tot's account-book (' Lit. Anec.' viii. 293 304), we
find that Dennis was paid 2i/. icxr. for ' Appius and
Virginia/ whilst his two essays the one on Public
Spirit and the ' Remarks on Pope's Essay/ combined,
only fetched 3/. 4s. 6d.
Toland was the most learned and perhaps also
the most unfortunate of all Lintot's hack writers.
He was at once a political, polemical, and miscel-
laneous writer and antiquary, and not very distin-
guished at either. An Irishman by birth and a
Roman Catholic by persuasion, he gravitated to-
wards freethinking, and in 1696 published a work
Bernard L intot. 1 9 1
entitled 'Christianity not Mysterious,' which con-
tains nothing of any note, but the title-page, which so
frightened the Church magnates that it was ordered
to be burnt by the hangman. One of Toland's
works was among Lintot's first venture, viz. ' The
Art of Governing by Parties ' (June 12, 1701), for
which he paid 2O/. Toland, whom D'Israeli describes
as 'a great artificer of title-pages, covering them
with a promising luxuriance, and in this way recom-
mended his works to the booksellers,' had no fewer
than thirteen different works issued through Lintot
in as many years. (Nichol's ' Literary Anecdotes,'
viii. p. 302, 303). Toland received io/. 15^. for his
pamphlet on ' Naturalizing the Jews ' (1714), and was
to receive a similar sum when Lintot sold 2000
copies. The agreement, published by D'Israeli, runs
thus : 'Whenever Mr. Toland calls for ten guineas,
after the first of February next, I promise to pay
them, if I cannot show that 200 copies remain unsold.'
In the account-book already mentioned there are
several entries made of agreements entered into
between Tonson and Lintot, ranging from the year
1717 to 1725, including, notably, three or four of
Steele's plays. One entry may be here given as ex-
emplifying the mutability of literary fame : ' 1722,
Oct. 24. A copy of an agreement for purchasing
250 of the Duke of Buckingham's works afterwards
jockeyed by Alderman Barber and Tonson together'
Lintot, says D'Israeli, ' utters a groan over the Duke
of Buckingham's works. Who can ensure literary
celebrity ? No bookseller would now regret being
jockeyed out of his Grace's works ! '
192 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
Gay, as already mentioned, was one of ' Lintot's
authors/ and it is highly interesting to learn that
within about four years he received 43/. for ' Trivia,'
43/. 2s. 6d. for 'Three Hours after Marriage,' and 75/.
for the c Revival of the Wife of Bath' (1717), for
which, in 1713, a first sum of 25/. had been paid.
Theobald, also had some transactions with Lintot,
and under date April 21, 1714, we have the follow-
ing entry : ' Articles signed by Mr. Theobald to
translate for B. Lintot the twenty-four books of
Homer's f Odyssey ' into English blank verse. Also
the four tragedies of Sophocles, called ' QEdipus
Tyrannus/ ' CEdipus Coloneus,' ' Trachiniae,' and
' Philoctetes,' into English blank verse, with explana-
tory notes to the twenty-four books of the ' Odyssey,'
and to the four tragedies. To receive for translat-
ing every 450 Greek verses, with explanatory notes
thereon, the sum of 2/. los. To translate likewise
the satires and epistles of Horace into English
rhyme. For every 120 Latin lines so translated, the
sum of i/. is. 6d. These articles to be performed,
according to the time specified, under the penalty of
5O/., payable by either party's default in perform-
ance. Paid in hand 2/. ios.' In the original book,
the foregoing entry has a line drawn through it, and
D'Israeli suggests that perhaps Lintot submitted to
pay Theobald for not doing- the ' Odyssey ' when
Pope undertook it.
We have not space to give all the entries, interest-
ing as they are, in full here. But those relating to
William King are too important to be passed over
' Here, too,' says D'Israeli, ' we find that the facetious
Bernard L intot. \ 9 3
Dr. King threw away all his sterling wit for five
miserable pounds/ The account-book enumerates
eight, of which the following are the more im-
portant, their respective values being in parenthesis :
' Art of Cookery,' 1708-9 (327. 5*.) ; ' Useful
Transactions,' 2 pt. i. 1708-9 (5/.) ; 'Art of Love/
1708-9 (32/. 5-y.) ; 'Transactions,' pt. ii. 1709 (5/.) ;
and the 'History of Cajamai,' 1709-10 (5/.). The
following is a list of the most noteworthy works
which Lintot acquired at various times, and the
prices he paid for them : Centlivre's ' Busybody,'
1709 (io/.) ; Gibber's 'Love's Last Shift,' a third
interest, 1701 (3/. 4^. 6*7.) ; ' Perollaand Izadora,' 1705
(36/. us.); 'Double Gallant,' 1707 (i6/. 2s. 6d.)\
'Lady's Last Stake,' 1707 (327. $s.) ; 'Venus and
Adonis,' 1707 (5/. js. 6d. ; 'Comical Lover,' 1708
(io/. 15.?.) ; ' Cinna's Conspiracy,' 1712 (i3/.) ; ' Non-
juror,' 1718 (I05/.) ; D'Urfey's 'Modern Prophets,'
1709 (61. gs.) ; Farquhar's ' Beaux Stratagem,' 1706
(30/.) j 'Recruiting Officer,' 1705 (i6/. 2s. 6d). Fen-
ton was paid in all 34/. 14^. $d. The ' Accomplished
Conveyancer,' in three vols., was bought for IO5/.
from Jacob, and Lintot seems to have secured a
number of other legal works from the same source.
N. Rowe's 'Jane Shore,' 1713 (5O/. 15^.) ; and 'Jane
Grey/ 1715 (757. 5*.) ; and Settle's 'The City
Ramble,' 1711 (37. los.) ; Smith's 'Phaedra and Hip-
polytus/ 1705-6(507.) ; J. Moore Smyth's ' The Rival
Modes/ 1726 (1057.) ; Steele's 'Lying Lover/ 1703-4
One of Lintot's earlier publications was Tom
* Dr. King's famous banter on the Royal Society.
1 94 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.
D'Urfey's 'Tales, Magical and Comical,' 1704, which
was dedicated to the then Duke of Argyle in the usual
fulsome strain. This publication is rather notable
from the fact that it is alluded to in Dunton's 'character '
of Lintot, whom John describes thus : * He lately
published a collection of Tragic Tales, by which I per-
ceive he is angry with the world, and scorns it into the
bargain ; and I cannot blame him : for D'Urfey (his
author) both treats and esteems it as it deserves : too
hard a task for those whom it flatters ; or perhaps for
Bernard himself should the world ever change its
humour, and grin upon him. However, to do Mr.
Lintot justice, he is a man of very good principles, and
I dare engage will never want an author of Sol-Fa s so
long as the playhouse will encourage his comedies.'
Although Lintot had to some extent emulated
Jacob Tonson's successful Miscellany publication in
1709, when the ' Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany
Poems ' came out under the general editorship of
Fenton, it was not until three years after (1712), that
Lintot actually and obviously imitated his more famous
rival. The contributors to Fenton's, or the Oxford and
Cambridge, collection of poems included Prior, Philips,
Sir John Denham, ' Mr. Milton,' Otway, etc., so that
from this fact it may be safely inferred that Lintot's
name as a publisher was pretty well known.