W. (William) Roberts.

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lication, in 2 vols. duodecimo, was entitled ' Mis-
cellaneous Poems, Translations, and Imitations,' and
the collection was formed by Lintot himself. The
contributors included Buckingham, Gay, Pope,
Betterton, Dryden, King, Smith, Dibben, Fenton,
Yalden, Rowe, Southcote, Broome, Ward and Daniel.

P



2 1 o The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

This was probably the Miscellany at which Pope
waxed so wroth in a letter to Christopher Pitt, 6 July
23, 1726: f If I have any [merit] in me, it really
consists in an earnest desire to promote and produce,
as far as I can, that of others. But as to my being
the publisher, or in any way concerned in reviewing
or recommending of ' Lintot's Miscellany/ it is what
I never did in my life, though he (like the rest of his
tribe), makes a very free use of my name. He has
often reprinted my things, and so scurvily, that,
finding he was doing so again, / corrected the sheets
as far as they went, of my own only.'

Nichols suggests a very plausible theory which in
absence of a better may be accepted. He says,
' perhaps Mr. Pope conceived that Lintot had risen
above his proper level, for it appears that early in
1726, having, by successful exertions in business,
acquired a decent competence, and made some addi-
tions to his paternal inheritance in Sussex, he was
desirous of tracing the origin of his family.' He there-
fore consulted Humphrey Wanley, who had then the
custody of the Earl of Oxford's heraldic manuscripts,
and in whose diary is the following memorandum :
'Jan. 3-1, 1725-6. Young Mr. Lintot, the bookseller,
came enquiring after arms, as belonging to his father,
mother, and other relations, who now, it seems, want
to turn gentle folks. I could find none of their
names.'

One of the few lucrative Government appointments
which fell to Lintot's share was the printing of the
Votes, in conjunction, however, with Jacob Tonson
6 Of whom see Gibber's ' Lives of Poets,' v. 298 307.



Bernard Lintot. 211

and William Taylor, when the Hon. Spencer Comp-
ton was Speaker of the House of Commons, in 1715.
The appointment held good until 1727. A name-
sake, of whom little is known, Joshua Lintot, Jacob
Tonson, Timothy Goodwin, and John Roberts,
printed them from 1708 until 1710, whilst Sir Richard
Onslow was Speaker.

The very natural sequence of running across Pope's
path followed Lintot, as well as every one else : he
became enrolled in the ' Dunciad.' But, as Nichols
justly points out, the principal delinquency Pope
urged was that his late bookseller was a stout man,
clumsily made, not a very good scholar, and that he
filled his shops with rubric posts. Nothing is in-
sinuated against Lintot's general character. Lintot
makes his debut in the first book, thus :

' Hence Miscellanies spring, the weekly boast
Of Curll's chaste press, and Lintot's rubric post.'

(Lines 39, 40.)

In the famous race described in the second book,
in honour of the Goddess of Dulness, Lintot and
Curll are the two rival competitors :

' But lofty Lintot in the circle rose :
The prize is mine : who 'tempt it are my foes ;
With me began this genius, and shall end.'
He spoke: and who with Lintot shall contend ?
Fear held them mute. Alone, untaught to fear,
Stood dauntless Curll : Behold that rival here !
The race by vigour, not by vaunts is won,
So take the hindmost, hell (he said), and run,
Swift as a band the bailiff leaves behind,
He left huge Lintot and outstripped the wind.
P 2



2 1 2 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

As when a dab-chick waddles through the copse
On feet and wings, and flies, and wades, and hops.
So lab'ring on, with shoulders, hands and head,
Wide as a windmill all his figure spread,
With arms extended Bernard'vows his state,
And left-legg'd Jacob seems to emulate.'

Curll, however, wins the race.

Nichols quotes an extract from a ' poem ' entitled
' Lintot's Lamentation,' which appeared in ' Gulliver-
iana,' (1728) :

' Well, then, all human things, henceforth, avast !
Sawney the great is quite cut down at last.
But I must say, this judgment was due to him,
For basely murthering Homer's sacred poem ;
Due too, for dropping me, and running mad,
To fall so foul on every friend he had.
" So Fate and Jove require," and so, dear Pope,
Either thy razor set, or buy a rope.'

But little now remains to tell concerning Bernard
Lintot. He retired on an easy fortune in 1730, to
Horsham, not far from Cuckfield, in Sussex, for
which county he was nominated High Sheriff in
November, 1735, but died on February 3 following,
before he had actually entered on the duties of the
office, to which his son, Henry, was appointed in his
room, two days after his father's death. Henry's
residence at that time was Southwater, two miles
from Horsham.

From the entries published in Notes and Queries,
referred to at the commencement of this sketch, we
learn that Lintot's wife ' Katherine ' was born by
Temple Bar on January 2, 1664, that the marriage
took place 'at St. Bartholomys by Smithfield' on



Bernard Lintot t 2 1 3

October 13, 1700, and that some time in 1703 'My
son Henry was. born.' Nichols incorrectly gives this
last date as 'about August, 1709.' Henry Lintot
was admitted to the freedom of the Company of
Stationers, by patrimony, September I, 1730, and
obtained the Livery on the same day. Henceforth,
until the death of his father, the business was carried
on in the joint names of Bernard and Henry Lintot.
The latter does not seem to have been much of a
business-man, although .he obtained the patent of
Law Printer about 1748. In 1754 he was elected
into the Courts of Assistants of his Company. In
1730 Henry was married to Elizabeth, daughter of
Sir John Aubrey, Bart., of Llantrythed, in Glamor-
ganshire, and by whom he had two children, ' born
by Temple Barr,' (i) Aubrey Lintot, born 1731, died
April 26, 1735, and (2) Catherine, born in 1732.
Henry's wife died of consumption on January 21,
1734. He married a second time ; and died suddenly,
December 10, 1758. His widow survived until
January 31, 1763. On October 20, 1760, Cathe-
rine Lintot 7 married Sir Henry Fletcher, 8 at Oxford
Chapel.' Henry Lintot, like his father before him,
came in for some hard words, but in the present
instance we shall only quote one example, extracted
from a letter of Warburton's dated June 20, 1744 :
4 You will oblige me with telling me that beast

' She had a fortune of 45,ooo/.

" This entry is as transcribed in N. and Q., but at the time of
marriage her husband was a captain in the employ of the East
India Company, and was not created a baronet until 1782, after
which perhaps the entry quoted was only made.



214 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

Lintot's steps. I would do him all reason while he
acts with decency and justice, and shall never print
any part of his property with my notes and com-
mentary without his leave ; but if he acts like a
rogue, I have but one word with him, the Chancery
and Mr. Murray.'

It is equally uncertain how long Henry Lintot
remained in the trade, and the date at which he
finally abandoned it

One of the latest books we have noticed that
contains his name is the ' Collection of English Pre-
cedents,' by James Harvey, Esq. (3rd ed.) ' In the
Savoy: printed for Henry Lintot, Law Printer to
the King's most Excellent Majesty, and sold by J.
Shackburgh,' at the Sun between the two Temple-
gates, Fleet Street, 1751.'

There are several descendants of the Lintots still
living, notably Sir Henry Fletcher, Bart., of Clea
Hall, Whitchavcn, Cumberland.

This person was in business as a printer or bookseller quite
twenty years previous to 1751, but his whereabouts is not quite
certain.



- 5



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2 1 6 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

Mr. Thorns has pointed out that ' to form a just
estimate of the character of Curll, the then state of
literature and the law must be taken into account.
We must remember how great were the restraints on
the liberty of the press which existed in his days,
when,

' Ear-less on high stood pillory'd Defoe ; '

how uncertain was the law of libel ; and how heavy
the' penalties for publications which were adjudged
libellous. How undefined, or rather worse than un-
defined, how degraded, was the position of the mere
author by profession : and, as a consequence of this state
of things, what strange shifts were occasionally adopted
to escape the risks which then awaited both authors
and publishers, and adopted, too, by men of far higher
social position than Edmund Curll.'

1 Nearly everything connected with Curll is charac-
terized by more or less mystery. Hrs birth, parentage,
and early career are shrouded in almost impenetrable
gloom. The ' New and General Biographical Diction-
ary/ 1798, states that he 'was born in the west of Eng-
land/ but gives no authority by which the remark can be
verified. The question of Curll's parentage is one of
importance, which has been considerably enhanced by a
stray observation. In Curll's ' History of the Stage/
1741, compiled perhaps in part by Betterton, whose
name appears on the title-page, mention is made of the
fatality which happens to the shedders of blood, and
among other examples is the following : ' The last
instance I shall produce is in the case of the late Lord
Chief Justice Pine, of Ireland, who, when he was a



Edmund Curll. 217

student of Lincoln's Inn, in these walks killed the
eldest son of one of the finest gentlemen in England,
I beg to be excused naming him because he was my
near relation.' This was not perhaps altogether an
empty boast. It has been suggested (Gents. Mag.,
1858, 2,), and we are, after careful consideration and
inquiry, strongly inclined to think that Curll really
did claim relationship with the family of Dr. Walter
Curll, who was born at Hatfield, Hertfordshire, who
was at one time lord almoner to Charles the First, and
successively Bishop of Rochester (1628), of Bath and
Wells (1629), an d of Winchester (1632). We have it on
the authority of Anthony Wood ('Athenae Oxon ') that
this eminent and worthy man died in reduced circum-
stances in the summer of 1647, leaving a widow and
several children. At Edmund's death in 1747 he was
seventy-two years of age, and was consequently born
in 1675. No theory is more plausible than that these
children were compelled to shift for themselves, and
that Edmund, the much-abused bookseller, was a
grandson to the good Bishop. Another coincidence
which is, to say the least, curious, lies in the fact that
one of his biographical publications was a ' Life ' of the
Bishop. The Curll family had for some time main-
tained a good social position, for in the list of counsel
practising at the Bar in the time of James the First we
find the name of ' E Curll ' (Foss* ' Judges of England,'
vi. 36). A few more links, missing as yet, are required
either to clinch or to disprove the connection between
the Bishop and the bookseller.

From the biographical dictionary already referred
1 See also Collier's ' Annals of the Stage,' i. 320, n.



2 1 8 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

to we further learn that ' after passing through several
menial capacities [he] arrived at the degree of a book-
seller's man. He afterwards kept a stall, and then took
a shop in the purlieus of Covent Garden.' Curll's
master, it seems, was 'Mr. Smith, by Exeter Ex-
change/ an incident gleaned, as so many others have
been gleaned, through the outcome of a quarrel.
Curll's antagonist had advised, in connection with the
bookseller's advertisement of a quack medical book,
' The Charitable Surgeon,' that his opponent's ' next ad-
vertisement, for the satisfaction of the publick, might
be a certificate under the hand of Mr. Smith, by Exeter
Change, his master, signifying, that he served him
honestly during the whole of the time for which he
was bound 'prentice to him.' The author of London's
Medicinal Informer' (the rival publication), Curll's an-
tagonist, quaintly concludes : ' but he has not, as yet,
that I know of followed my advice.' Mr. Solly (JV.
and Q, 6th S., x. 204) has suggested that this Mr.
Smith, ' was Richard Smith who had a shop at the
sign of the Angel and Bible without Temple Bar,' that
it was not unlikely that he was succeeded by Curll,
and also that in the process of transfer, the sign of the
shop was altered to 'the Peacock/ Mr. Solly draws
his inferences from the fact that Capt. Bladen's edition
of Caesar's ' Commentaries ' was originally printed in

1705, for Richard Smith, whilst the second edition
was issued by Curll in the latter part of 1705 or else in

1706, at which period it is assumed that Smith re-
signed in favour of his apprentice. We have unim-
peachable evidence that Curll was in business in 1706
and in 1707, and that, moreover, he published books



Edmund Citrll. 2 19

in each of these years. It is not easy, therefore, to
reconcile these facts with a statement of Curll's own,
which he makes in ' An Apology for the writings of
Walter Moyle, Esqr/ 1727, where, speaking of Dod-
well, 2 he says : * As to Mr. Dodwell, I had above
twenty years intimate correspondence with him, and
always believed him to be a learned and very pious
man he truly was, what the poet asserts :

' Stiff in opinions, mostly in the wrong,
Was everything by starts, and nothing long.'

The first book I ever printed was the present of a
manuscript he made me, in defence of his now suffi-
ciently exploded doctrine of the Divine Immortalizing
Spirit transferred by Baptism.' This was an octavo*
price 2s. 6d., published in 1708. Curll made no entries
ofhis books in the Stationers' Company Registers
until 1710, a fact, however, of but little moment.
But this slight inconsistency of Curll's need not occa-
sion surprise. From 1706 to 1708 Curll issued, among
other books, and generally in part proprietorship with
some other bookseller, 'A Letter to Mr. Prior/ 1706*
occasioned by the Duke of Marlborough's victory at
Ramilles; 'Prince Eugene, an Heroic Poem/ 1707*
a translation of Boileau's ' Lutrin,' 1708, and Dodwell's
work already referred to, ' An explication of a famous
passage in the Dialogue of St. Justin the Martyr with
Tryphon, concerning the immortality of Human Souls/
1708 (2s. 6d.}. ' Muscipula ' was also issued from the
Peacock without Temple Bar, in 1709.

Three distinct and important episodes distinguish

Henry Dodwell, 16411711, a learned theological writer.



2 2 o The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

Curll's career in 1710. First, he removed to the
premises just vacated by J. Bosvill, at the Dial and
Bible, against St. Dunstan's Church, in Fleet Street ;
secondly, he was already in hot water ; and, thirdly,
he published several books, the titles of which have
been at least preserved, and in the compilation of
which he must have had some share. (See N. and Q.,
6th S., xi. 381.)

The quarrel was an interesting one, and plainly
showed that Curll was not only a man not easily put
down, but that his education, for the time, must have
been unusually good. Curll, like Newbery and many
others, sold pills and powders for physical purposes,
as well as food and medicine for mental. ' The
Charitable Surgeon' (vide ante, p. 21 8) was 'reckoned
up ' in a ' scurrilous pamphlet ' as quackery, etc.
Mr. Curll does not trouble himself much about the
attack made upon his book perhaps for obvious
reasons but he takes exception to his opponent's
logic. ' Whether,' says Curll, ' he can read or write
is a query; but he has given the world a demon-
stration that he can't cast account ; for he says the
medicines sold at my shop come to between 3/. and
4/. a packet, which the author advises to be taken
forty days, and will at that rate cost the patient
about 2O/. ; but I am of the opinion that physick for
forty days at los. per dose amounts to I2O/. So
much for his arithmetical learning. And for his
grammatical, though he pretends in his book to
understand Greek, I have five guineas in my pocket,
which if John Spinke [the antagonist] can English so
many lines out of any school-book, from " Sententia



Edmund Curl/. 221

Puerilis" to Virgil, he shall be entitled to.' This
advertisement appeared in The Supplement newspaper
of April 8, 1709, and was quoted in 'London's Medicinal
Informer' (1710), the author of which was, it seems,
the redoubtable Mr. Spinke. Taking him at his
word, Spinke ' attended this ingenious E. Curll,' the
day following that on which the challenge appeared,
'and in his shop Englished the first five lines of
Virgil's first Eclogue, and made a demand for the
said five guineas ; ' but he does not say whether he
got them, so we may fairly conclude that the money
was duly handed over. Even at this early period
Curll's name was ' up ' as the propagator of objection-
able literature. Mr. Spinke grimly admits that if
* The Charitable Surgeon ' were a scandalous book,
' then sure E. Curll would not sell it ! '

Among the works issued partly or solely by Curll
in 1710 were: 'A Complete Key to the Tale of a
Tub,' a sixpenny pamphlet of 36 pp., which pro-
fessed to give some account of the authors, in
addition to an explanation as to the occasion
and design of writing it. ' A Search after Principles,
in a free conference between Timothy and Philatheus
concerning the present times,' issued by Morphew,
was one of the many productions in which Curll had
a hand. The British Museum has a copy containing
this statement in what is presumably Curll's own
handwriting, which is, by the way, very neat : ' This I
wrote at Farmer Lambert's, at Wanstead, in Surrey,
whither I went with Mr. Gosling. 3 E. CURLL.'

3 A brother bookseller ; the two were partners in numerous
literary ventures.



222 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

' The Meditation upon a Broomstick, and Somewhat
Beside of the same Author ' (pp. 30, price 6d.) , also
contains a manuscript note, which states that the
poems included in this volume viz. ' Baucis and
Philemon/ ' Mrs. Harris's Petition/ ' To Mrs. Biddy
Floyd/ and 'The History of Vanbrugh's House'
were ' given and by John Cliffe, Esq., who had them
of the Bp. of Kilolla, in Ireland, whose daughter
he married, and was my lodger. E. CURLL.' The
Sacheverell controversy called forth, in 1710, three
books from Curll, viz. f The Case of Dr. Sacheverell '
(pp. 32) and ' Some Considerations/ &c. (pp. 40).
In the absence of anything proving the contrary,
Curll's claims to the authorship of these and other
works may be considered as genuine. The third
work, ' Some Account of the Family of Sacheverell/
was entered in the books of the Stationers' Company,
Sept. 13, 1710. This may have been, also, the
work of the bookseller. ' The White Crow/ entered
in the books of the Stationers' Company, Dec.
4, 1710, and published by Curll, professed to be an
' enquiry into some new doctrines broached by the
Bishop of Salisbury [Dr. Burnet] in a pair of Sermons
uttered in that Cathedral on the 5th and 7th days of
November last, 1710 ; and his Lordship's Restauration
Sermon, last 29th of May.' Betterton's ' The Amorous
Widow ' was printed for A. Bettesworth, of the Red
Lion, London Bridge ; R. Gosling, of the Mitre and
Crown; and E. Curll, in 1710. ' Callipaedia ; or
the Art of Getting Pretty Children/ translated by
N. Rowe, was one of Curll's early publications, which



Edmund Cur II. 223

was also issued by Tonson, and one or two other
leading booksellers.

'The year 1716,' observes Mr. Thorns, 'was an
unlucky year for Edmund Curll. The spring of it
witnessed his first quarrel with Pope ; and in the
autumn

" Himself among the storied chiefs he spies,
As from the blanket high in air he flies,"

when the Westminster scholars avenged themselves
upon him in a most characteristic manner for mis-
printing an oration delivered by one of their body.'
The war between Pope and Curll was one of the
most protracted in literary history. It arose through,
comparatively speaking, nothing. Dignity was not
one of Pope's failings. In March or April, 1716,
James Roberts, who was for a long period connected
more or less with Curll, but with whom, it seems, he
subsequently quarrelled, issued a volume entitled,
4 Court Poems,' which contained ' The Basset Table,'
an eclogue, ' The Drawing-Room,' and ' The Toilet.'
These were alleged to be ' published faithfully as
they were found in a pocket-book, taken up in West-
minster Hall the last day of the Lord Winton's
trial.' 4 Curll was responsible for the publication of
this work, and wrote the ' advertisement by the book-
seller.' This curious piece of preface relates that the
poems in question had been submitted to the inspec-
tion of the literati of St. James' Coffee House, by
whom they were attributed to the pen of a ' Lady of

4 The Earl of Winton or Wintoun was convicted of high
treason, March 17, 1716.



224 The Ear lief History of English Bookselling,

Quality/ whilst the 'poetical jury' at Button's
' brought in a different verdict,' the ' foreman ' strenu-
ously insisting that 'Mr. Gay was the man.' But
these two decisions were insufficient, and the book-
seller resolved to call in an umpire, and accordingly
chose 'a gentleman of distinguished merit/ who
answered : ' Sir, depend upon it, these lines could
come from no other hand than the laudable trans-
lator of Homer.' This was quite enough for Pope,
who, perhaps not alone, manufactured the infamous
' Full and True Account of a Horrid and Barbarous
Revenge by Poison on the Body of Mr. Edmund
Curll,' which, with the ' Circumcision,' surpassed in
foulness and indecency anything published by Curll
himself ; a fact which some of Pope's apologists deem
proper to overlook. According to Pope, 'the said
Mr. Edmund Curll, on Monday, the 26th instant,
published a satirical piece, entitled " Court Poems," '
and on 'the Wednesday evening, between the hours
of ten and eleven, Mr. Lintot, a neighbouring book-
seller, desired a conference with Mr. Curll, about
settling a title-page, inviting him at the same time to
take a whet together. Mr. Pope, who is not the only
instance how persons of bright parts may be carried
away by the instigation of the devil, found means to
convey himself into the same room, under pretence
of business with Mr. Lintot, who, it seems, is the
printer of his " Homer." This gentleman, with a
seeming coolness, reprimanded Mr. Curll for wrong-
fully ascribing to him the aforesaid poems. He
excused himself by declaring that one of his authors
(Mr. Oldmixon by name) gave the copies to the



Edmund Curll. 225

press, and wrote the preface. Upon this Mr. Pope,
being to all appearances reconciled, very civilly
drank a glass of sack to Mr. Curll, which he as civilly
pledged ; and though the liquor, in colour and taste
differed not from common sack, yet it was plain, by
the pangs this unhappy stationer felt soon after,
that some poisonous drug had been secretly infused
therein.' It would be difficult to match what follows
for foulness ; and whether Pope intended it for
humour or for satire, it will be difficult to find a
more deplorable failure, if we except ' Dr. Norris's
Narrative.'

Through this 'account,' however, we have at least
one interesting fact concerning Curll's movements
that would, perhaps, have been otherwise overlooked.
We learn that Curll had a shop, depot, or agency of
some sort at Tunbridge Wells. In a frenzied address
to his books, Curll is made to say, ' To my shop at
Tunbridge ye shall go, by G , and thence be
drawn, like the rest of your predecessors, bit by bit,
to the passage-house.' This was written in 1716.
In connection with this Tunbridge Wells branch, a
correspondent in N.. & Q., 6th S., ii. 484, cites the
following advertisement, 'dated July 15, 1712,' but
without indicating its source :

' By Edmund Curll, Bookseller, at his shop on the
walk at Tunbridge Wells. Gentlemen and Ladies may
be furnish'd with all the new Books and Pamphlets
that come out ; also French and Italian Prints, Maps,


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