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The earlier history of English bookselling online

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inaccurate and stupid blunders. Barker's octavo of
1631, and Field's Pearl edition of 1653, showed how
much a carefully printed edition was needed. Guy
was aware of this fact, and was not slow in making
capital out of it. A monopoly in the printing of the
Bible had been granted to the Barker family by
Queen Elizabeth, and their right remained undisturbed
for about ninety years. This monopoly was not
synonymous either with excellence or correctness. A
long-suffering British public did on one or two oc-
casions complain, particularly when, in 1631, Barker
omitted the seventh commandment entirely : for
this disgraceful and wanton slipshod method of going
to work, Barker is said to have been fined 3OO/.,
which he compounded by presenting a set of rich
types to one of the Universities.

Maitland, in his capital article on the Hospital,
referring to about the period when Guy had settled
into business on his own account, observes that ' the
English Bibles printed in this kingdom being very
bad, both in the letter and paper, occasioned divers
of the booksellers in this city to encourage the print-
ing thereof in Holland, with curious types and fine
paper, and imported vast numbers of the same, to
their no small advantage. Mr. Guy, soon becoming
acquainted with this profitable commerce, became a

3 1 8 The Earlier History of English Bookselling,

large dealer therein. But this trade proving not only
very detrimental to the public revenue, but likewise to
the King's printer, all ways and means were devised
to quash the same ; which being vigorously put in
execution, the booksellers, by frequent seizures and
prosecutions, became so great sufferers, that .they
judged a further pursuit thereof inconsistent with
their interest.'

In addition to the King's printer, the Oxford
University had also a claim upon the copyright, or
rather right of publication, of the Bible. It was to
the syndics of the University that he applied for an
assignment of their privilege, which, after a time, it
appears they granted. His next move was to buy a
quantity of new type, and have his own Bibles printed
in London. The project was highly successful. He
was now a prosperous man of business. As time
went on he was chosen Sheriff of London, but he paid
the fine of 5OO/. consequent upon his refusal to act in
this capacity.

Government securities of various sorts brought
many thousands of pounds to the coffers of Guy.
Nichols states that Guy realized large sums of money
by purchasing seamen's tickets in the wars of Queen
Anne, which are so frequently referred to in Pepys'
* Diary' during the first six or seven months of 1668 ;
but Mr. Knight correctly points out that at the time
this scandalous subterfuge was being prosecuted by
an unscrupulous and dishonest Ministry, Guy was
still an apprentice. The practice of paying seamen
by ticket passed into desuetude in the reign of Charles
the Second ; but it was not, apparently, until 1757,

Thomas Guy. 319

that a proposal was made in Parliament, by ' Mr.
Grenville, brother to Earl Temple,' to bring in a
bill ' for the encouragement of seamen .employed in
his Majesty's Navy, and for establishing a regular
method for the punctual, speedy, and certain pay-
ment of their wages, as well as for rescuing them
from the arts of fraud and imposition ' (Smollet,
'Hist, of Eng.'). In 1758, a bill to that effect was
passed in the Commons, and, after the usual delay,
recrimination, and jealous regard to rights and
privileges, the House of Lords finally accepted it, and
it then passed into law. Pepys has no reference
in his ' Diary ' to seamen's tickets later than July 17,
1668, and it is exceedingly unlikely that Guy specu-
lated at that early date. What the other Government
securities were in which, upon the authority of
Maitland, Guy speculated, we need not stop to

In 1695, Thomas Guy, the Whig, first entered Par-
liament as member for Tamworth, for which place he
sat in all Parliaments from the third of William III.
to the first of Queen Anne. Guy and penuriousness
have been popularly synonymous for a long period,
but like many other popular notions, the inconsis-
tencies are strong and numerous. He was what we
should now call stingy, and nothing more. He is
represented as acting as his own servant, whilst he
obtained his dinner from a cookshop, using his
counter as a table, and an old newspaper as a table-
cloth. Mr. Knight remarks upon this, that the Caro-
lian newspapers were only about the size of an
ordinary dish, and could scarcely have been used as

3 2O The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

table-cloths. This anecdote was probably concocted
years after Guy's death, as the reference to news-
paper would seem to indicate. He is also described
as being very careless about his personal appearance.
But these statements are both apocryphal. An amus-
ing story is that told concerning Guy and his servant,
to whom he had promised marriage. In October,
1671, as Mr. Knight points out, an order was issued
to the effect that all the streets within the City were
to be paved round or causeway-fashion ; the foot-
pavements were to be provided at the expense of the
occupier of each house. A fine would be inflicted
upon those who did not carry out the order within a
certain period. When the paviors were doing the
portion which fell to Guy's share to have done, the
prospective Mrs. Guy noticed a broken place which
they had not repaired, and directed them to mend it.
They answered, that Mr. Guy had requested them
not to go so far. She persisted in having it mended,
adding, ' Tell him I bade you, and I know he will not
be angry.' But in this she was mistaken, for Guy was
very much annoyed at finding his orders exceeded,
and renounced his matrimonial scheme. Guy's cha-
racter was thus delineated by John Dunton in 1705 :
' Mr. Thomas Guy, in Lombard Street,' .... enter-
tains a very sincere respect for English liberty. He
is a man of strong reason, and can talk very much to
the purpose upon any subject you will propose. He
is truly charitable, of which his Almshouses for the
poor are standing testimonies.'

Already Guy had ' come out ' as a philanthropist,
and his private acts of charity are described as many

Thomas Guy- 321

and great, especially to his poor relations. He
frequently (according to the memoir prefixed to the
annual syllabus of Guy's Hospital Medical School)
accomplished the discharge from prison, and rein-
statement in business, of Insolvent Debtors, who at
that time were liable to very harsh treatment He
was constantly ready to advance money, without
charge for interest, to enable young men, whom he
knew to be deserving, to start in business. When he
met with such (so runs the same memoir) diseased
and friendless subjects as wanted the help of an
Hospital, he used to send them to St. Thomas' (of
which Institution he was a Governor), with directions
to the Steward to supply them at his expense with
clothes and such other necessaries as are not pro-
vided by the Hospital. Among his more public acts
of benevolence the following may be mentioned : He
made large benefactions to the Stationers' Company,
and to Christ's Hospital. He built, maintained during
his life, and endowed by his Will, Almshouses, and a
Free Library at Tarmvorth, and was a great bene-
factor to this town generally. In 1707 he built
and furnished three wards on the north side of the
outer court of St. Thomas' Hospital, for the reception
of sixty-four patients, and gave to those wards zoo/,
yearly, for eleven years immediately preceding the
foundation of his own hospital. Some time before
his death, he removed the frontispiece of this
hospital which stood over the gateway in the
Borough, and erected it fronting the street ; he also
enlarged the gateway, rebuilt two large houses on its
sides, and erected a fine iron gate between them.


322 The Earlier History of English Bookselling.

This work cost him 3<DOO/. As an example oi his
charity, the following anecdote was communicated to
the Saturday Magazine of August 2, 1834: The
munificent founder of Guy's Hospital was a man of
very humble appearance, and of a melancholy cast of
countenance. One day, while pensively leaning over
one of the bridges, he attracted the attention and com-
miseration of a by-stander, who, apprehensive that he
contemplated self-destruction, could not refrain from
addressing him with an earnest entreaty not to let this
misfortune tempt him to commit any rash act ; then
quickly placing in his hand a guinea, with the
delicacy of genuine benevolence, he hastily with-
drew. Guy, roused from his reverie, followed the
stranger, and warmly expressed his gratitude, but
assured him he was mistaken in supposing him to
be either in distress of mind or of circumstances,
making an earnest request to be favoured with the
name of the good man, his intended benefactor.
The address was given, and they parted. Some
years after, Guy, observing the name of his friend
in the bankrupt list, hastened to his house, brought
to his recollection their former interview, found upon
investigation that no blame could be attached to
him under his misfortunes, intimated his ability and
also his intention to serve him, entered into imme-
diate arrangements with his creditors, and finally
re-established him in a business which ever after
prospered in his hands, and in the hands of his
children's children, for many years in Newgate Street.
But it was in the infamous South Sea transactions
that Guy made the bulk of his immense fortune. ' In

Thomas Guy. 323

the year i/io/ observes Maitland, 'when the debt of
the navy was increased to divers millions, an Act of
Parliament was made to provide for the payment of
that and other men's dues from the Government by
erecting the South Sea Company, into which the
creditors of divers branches of the National Debt
were empowered to subscribe the several sums due to
them from the public.' Guy, possessing such securities
to the amount of several thousands of pounds, sub-
scribed the same into the South Sea Company, it
being the condition that the subscribers should re-
ceive an annual interest of six per cent, upon their
respective subscriptions, until the same was discharged
finally. This bubble lasted for ten years. Maitland
tells the story with sufficient clearness : ' It no sooner
received the sanction of Parliament than the national
creditors from all parts came crowding to subscribe
into the said company the several sums due to them
from the Government, by which great run one hun-
dred pounds of the company's stock that before was
sold at one hundred and twenty pounds (at which
time Mr. Guy was possessed of forty-five thousand
and five hundred pounds of the said stock), gradually
rose to above one thousand and fifty pounds. Mr.
Guy, wisely considering that the great rise of the
stock was owing to the iniquitous management of a
few, prudently began to sell out his stock at about
three hundred (for that which probably at first did
not cost him above fifty or sixty pounds), and con-
tinued selling till it arose to about six hundred, when
he disposed of the last of his property in the said

Y 2

324 The Earlier History of English Bookselling,

It is clear from this that the charge of stock-jobbing
cannot be preferred against Guy, and in selling out
he only followed the example of Sir Robert Walpole
and several others. The bubble, as every one knows,
burst in 1720, and many hundreds of families were
completely wrecked. It would indeed have been a
very queer sort of charity if Guy, foreseeing the ulti-
mate bursting of the South Sea scheme, wilfully
entered into it with the intention of fraud before
him, and to have spent the proceeds he thus acquired
in raising an everlasting monument to his name in
the shape of an Hospital. But it does not appear
to be understood with sufficient clearness that Guy
was no stock-jobber ; although, on the other hand,
we do not hear that he refunded any of the money
which he received from the infatuated individuals to
whom he sold at different times his shares. Maitland
relates that those best acquainted with Guy averred
that he got more money in the space of three months,
by the execution of the South Sea scheme, than what
the erecting, furnishing, and endowing of the Hospital
amounted to.

The idea of erecting a hospital at some time or
other he had perhaps entertained for a long period.
With this sudden and unexpected addition to his
wealth in 1720, he at once commenced carrying his
idea out by purchasing of the President and Governors
of St. Thomas' Hospital, Southwark, a lease of a piece
of ground opposite to that hospital, for a term of 999
years, for a ground-rent of 3O/. per annum. This piece
of ground was covered with small, old, and ill-tenanted
houses, which were pulled down in 1721, and, erecting

Thomas Guy. 325

a house for his own residence, the foundation of the
hospital bearing his name was laid in the spring of
1722. Tliis 'vast fabric was completed before the
death of its founder,' which occurred December 27,
1724. The only motive, says one writer, that induced
Guy to erect this Hospital in-so low and close a situa-
tion was his design of putting it under the manage-
ment and direction of the Governors of that of St.
Thomas, but by the advice of his friends he altered
his resolution ; it was then, however, too late to think
of choosing another situation, for the building was
raised to the second story, but he rendered the place
as agreeable as possible by its elevation above the
neighbouring streets. The expense of erecting and
furnishing the hospital amounted to 18,7937. i6.f., the
greater part of which was spent before Guy's death.
He endowed it with a sum of 21 9,4997., which, to-
gether with the cost of erection, &c., amounted to
238,2927. i6s., which was up to that time the largest
amount left by one person to a single institution.

On August 5, 1717, he offered to the Stationers'
Company, through the medium of his friend Richard
Mount, the sum of iooo7., to enable them to add $o7.
a year, by quarterly payments, to the poor mem-
bers and widows, in augmentation of the quarterly
charity; also noo7., to be paid quarterly to such
charitable uses as he should appoint by his Will in
writing; and a further sum of 15007., to have 757. a
year paid quarterly for another charitable purpose,
to be appointed in a like manner ; in default of such
appointments the sum of 1257. to be paid annually
by the Company to St. Thomas' Hospital. And,

326 The Earlier History of English Bookselli ng,

writes Nichols, no appointment having been made,
the same is now regularly paid to the Hospital.

On September 24, 1724, Guy made his Will. He
died on December 27 following, at the age of eighty
years. In little more than a week afterwards Guy's
Hospital was opened, and on Thursday, January 6,
1725, sixty patients were admitted. On April 6
of the same year the first Committee of Governors
was held, and three days afterwards two physicians
and two surgeons were formally appointed.

By his Will he bequeathed numerous legacies and
annuities to a great number of his near and distant
relations. To the Almshouses at Tamworth for four-
teen poor men and women, and for their pensions, as
well as for the putting out of poor children appren-
tices, Guy left I25/. a year. To Christ's Hospital he
left 4OO/. per annum in perpetuity. The residue of
his estate he left for the endowment of his own
hospital, and to provide for the maintenance in it of
four hundred patients. The sum of 7S,589/. was left
to be divided up in slated portions among his younger
relations and executors. He also bequeathed a
further sum of iooo/. for discharging poor prisoners
within the city of London and the counties of Middle-
sex and Surrey who could be released for the sum of
5/. ; by which sum, and the good management of his
executors, there were over 600 persons set at liberty
from the several prisons within the prescribed radius.

The Governors of his charity, in pursuance of the
powers entrusted to them by Parliament, erected a
noble monument of the founder, at a cost of iooo/.,
in the chapel, from a design of Bacon. A copy of

Thomas Guy. 327

the inscription appeared, with some other interesting
particulars concerning Guy, in the Gentleman's
Magazine, vol. 54, p. 430. It runs as follows :

' Underneath are deposited the remains of Thomas Guy, a
citizen of London, member of Parliament, and the sole founder
of this hospital in his life-time. It is peculiar to this beneficent
man to have persevered, during a long course of prosperous
industry, in pouring forth to the wants of others all that he had
earned by labour or withheld from self-indulgence. Warm with
philanthropy, and exalted by charity, his mind expanded to those
noble affections which grow but too rarely from the most elevated
pursuits. After administrating with extensive bounty to the
claim of consanguinity, he established this asylum for that stage
of languor and disease to which the charities of others had not
reached, he provided a retreat for hopeless insanity, and rivalled
the endowments of kings.'

From the Annual Report and Syllabus of Guy's Hos-
pital Medical School, 1886-7, we are enabled to give a
few further particulars, which will bring the present
sketch, so to speak, down to date. Guy's Hospital
was the first of the London Hospitals designed and
built for the special purposes which it fulfils. The
original building is at present occupied by the sur-
gical wards and operating theatre, the surgery, the
library, and various offices. The east wing was com-
menced in the year 1738 : it contains the Treasurer's
house, the Governors' court-room and offices, and, as
at present arranged, the Superintendent's residence,
and the House-Surgeons' and Dressers' rooms. It
was not until more than thirty years later that the
west wing was added, which now contains the chapel
and the residences of the chaplain and the matron.

In 1744 the Lunatic House was built for the
accommodation of twenty confirmed lunatics, in

328 The Earlier History of English Bookselling,

accordance with directions contained in Guy's Will.
In 1859, the Governors of the Hospital, in the exer-
cise of their discretion, provided for the reception of
the then inmates elsewhere, and converted this house
to general hospital purposes. It now contains the
clinical wards and room, electrical department,
private rooms for ovariotomy and other special cases,
the House-Physicians' rooms, &c.

But, although additions were thus made to the
original building, it would appear that during many
years the internal arrangements and management of
the Hospital were so far defective or faulty that the
beneficent intentions of the founder were but imper-
fectly fulfilled. In 1797, Mr. Harrison was appointed
Treasurer. He assumed and maintained until nearly
the period of his death the almost absolute control
and direction of the affairs of the Hospital, which
was brought into a state of the highest efficiency.
On February 8, 1828, William Hunt, merchant and
citizen of London, a friend of Harrison's, and for
many years an influential Governor of Guy's, added
a codicil to his Will, by which, after providing for
certain bequests and annuities, he left the residue of
his property to the Treasurer and Governors of Guy's
Hospital, for the benefit and purposes of the institu-
tion, on condition that, ' within three years after his
decease, they should enlarge, extend, finish, and fit
up such other buildings adjoining the said Hospital ;
and also finish and provide the same with beds and
all other conveniencies necessary to receive and enter-
tain therein at least one hundred more persons than
were provided for by the said Thomas Guy.' Hunt

Thomas Guy. 329

died September 23, 1829, and was buried in the
chapel vault on October 2. His estate realized
about 2OO,ooo/., of which 1 8o,ooo/. came to the funds
of the Hospital. Three windows of stained glass
have been placed in the chapel by the Governors,
commemorative of this munificent benefaction. In
compliance with the conditions of Hunt's bequest,
some temporary buildings, named together Hunt's
House, were speedily prepared, at a cost of 35OO/.,
and on December 23, 1830, the first patients were
received into them. These buildings were removed
when the new wards were built some years after-
wards, and which are now known as 'The New
Building, or Hunt's House.'

In 1768 it was resolved that the barrier between
Guy's and St. Thomas' Hospitals be taken down,
and that the pupils of each avail themselves of the
advantages afforded by the other institution. This
union of the two schools lasted until 1825.


Addison, Joseph, 128, 161, 171,

177, 179, 203, ., 204, 257,


'Advancement of Learning,' 75.
Aldine Afagazine, The, 138, .
Aldrich, Dean, 197.
Allestry, James, 107.
Allot, Robert, 56, 144.
Alphonsus, King of Naples, 6.
' Amadis de Gaul,' 108.
America, Dunton in, 290.
Amhurst, N., 248.
Amory, Thomas, 277 279.
' Anglia Illustrata,' 237.
Anjou, Countess of, 5.
Anstey's ' Munimenta Academica,'

. ! *

Antiquarian Magazine, 261.

Antiquarii, The, IO.

Arbuthnot, John, 256, 257.

' Art of Making Love,' 163.

Ashmole, Elias, 257.

Aspley, or Apsley, W., 50, 51, 52,

55 63, 74, 144.
Astle, Thomas, 10.
Astley, Hugh, 136.
' Atalantis, Mrs. Manley's, 251.
Athenian Gazette, The, 296.
Athenian Mercury, The, 297 299.
Athenian Spy, 298.
Athenianisin, 307.
Athenian Society, The, 298.
' Athenian Sport,' 307.
Atkins, M., 144.

Atterbury, Bishop, 115, 240, 256.

Aubrey, John, 237.

Audeley, John, 119.

Authors, The status of early, 33.

Aylmer, Brabazon, 166.

BACON'S (Lord), booksellers, 72


Baker, Alderman, 187.
Baker, Thomas, 189.
Bale, John, on the Monasteries,

1 6.
Ballards of Little Britain, The, 124,

127, 152.
Bancroft (not Bancroft), Archbishop,

Bangorian Controversy, The, 241,


Banks, John, 113.
Bankworth, R., 60.
Barber, Alderman, 256, 276.
Barber, John, 229, 230, 256.
Barker, Benjamin, 148.
Barker, Christopher, 31, 36.
Barker, Robert, 75."
Barlow's (Bishop) ' Remains,' 294.
Barret, Hanna, 74, 76.
Barret, W., 48, 62, 74, 76.
Bartelet, Thomas, 34.
Bartlett, John, 144.
Bassett, T., 104, 153, and note.
Batemans of Little Britain, The,


Bath, ' Churches ' of, 237.
Bayle, Peter, 127.



Bayley, John, 165, .

Beale, John, 73.

Beaumont and Fletcher, 48, 98,

1 80.

Beckingham, Charles, 239.
Bede, the Venerable, 2.
Bee, Cornelius, 119.
Bee, The, 257, 258.
Beeston, Hugh, 90.
' Beliarus of Greece,' 108.
Beloe's 'Ovid' 177.
Benedict Biscop, 2.
Benedictines, The, 2.
Bennet, Thomas, 114, 115.
Bentley, Richard (bookseller), in


Bentley, Dr. Richard, 113 115.

Bethel, Hugh, 274.

Bettesvvorth, Arthur, 136, 222.

Betterton, Thomas, 196, 209, 216,
222, 280.

Bibles, 8385, 109, 317.

Bickerton, Thomas, 127.

Bill, John, 76.

Billingsley, S, 165, .

Binneman, Henry, 43.

Birch, William, 144.

Blackmore, Sir Richard, 173.

Bladen, Captain, 218.

Blare, J., 134.

' Bloody Assizes,' The, 295, 300.

B.ount, or Blunt, Edward (book-
seller), 54, 56, 62, 73.

Blount, Edward, 267,

Blount, Miss, and Pope, 265.

Boccaccio, 5, 73, 127.

Boethius' 'Consolation of Philo-
sophy,' n.

Boileau, 219, 164.

Bonian, R., 54, 63.

Boniface, St., 2.

Book, A 'Good,' 67.

Books, prices paid for, 5, 6, 83, 88 ;
with valuable appendages, 8 ;
peculiarities and sizes of
early, 20 22 ; licenser of, 26 ;
proscribed in 1531, 25 ; sedi-
tious and heretical, 27 ; fines
for selling on Sunday, 37 ; un-
licensed, 86 ; various methods
for disposing, 93 ; lotteries, 93;

burnt at the Great Fire, 99 ;

printed in England, 1471

1660, 103 ; 1666 1680, 102 ;

dedicated to booksellers, 113;

and quack medicines, 114.
Bookbinding, early, 22 ; and gilding

and garnishing 15.
Book-borrowing in ancient times,

5, 12.

Bookseller, ' Epigram to my,' 92.


Bookselling in France, 12.

ENGLISH, 18 45.



116 129.



140 149.

Bostock, Robert, 144.
Bosvil, J., 220.
Bowyer, William, 201, 209.
Boyle -v. Bentley, 114.
Bragg, B., 306.
Breton, N., 61, 67.
Breval, J. D., 239.

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