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William Bradbury (printer)

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William Bradbury
William Bradbury

William Bradbury (13 April 1799 – 11 April 1869) was an English printer and publisher. He is known for his work as a partner from 1830 in Bradbury and Evans, who printed the works of a number of major novelists such as Charles Dickens and William Makepeace Thackeray, as well as leading periodicals such as Punch, which they also owned.[1]

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Early life

Bradbury was born in Bakewell in Derbyshire, where he was baptized on 14 April 1799.[2] He was the son of John Bradbury (1776–1834), a shoemaker, and his wife, Elizabeth née Hardwick (1775-1820). By 1811 the family had moved to Lincoln[3] where Bradbury was expected to follow his father into shoemaking. Instead, in 1813 he entered into a seven year apprenticeship as a compositor under John Drury (1757-1815) and after his death his son John Wold Drury (1789-1850).[4] By 1821 Bradbury had set up his own printing firm on Castle Hill in Lincoln. From 1822 to 1830 he went into business with his soon-to-be brother-in-law William Dent (1792-1858), who married Bradbury's sister Mary in June 1825. On 6 July 1826 Bradbury himself got married, to Sarah Price (c1803-1896) in his native Bakewell. The couple had five children: Letitia Jane Bradbury (1827-1839); Henry Riley Bradbury (1831-1860), who committed suicide, possibly on being refused in marriage by a daughter of Frederick Mullett Evans, his father’s partner; William Hardwick Bradbury (1832-1892), who in 1865 was to take over the business on his father's retirement; Walter Bradbury (1840-1891); and Edith Bradbury (1842-1910).[5][4]

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Move to London

In 1824 Bradbury and Dent published their first book, The Poll for the Election of a Knight of the Shire for the County of Lincoln, taken November 26 to December 6, 1823, following which they relocated to London, where they set up their printing business at 76 Fleet Street,[6] During one of the firm's several moves they gained another partner, Samuel Manning, and became Bradbury, Dent, and Manning. In 1830 that partnership was dissolved and Bradbury entered into a new one with the printer Frederick Mullett Evans (1803-1870). Bradbury's long experience in all aspects of printing and his ability to personally oversee the most difficult of jobs earned Evan’s respect, he later commenting on "Bradbury's excellent taste as a printer and his influence in raising the quality of printing in England."[5]

Bradbury and Evans

In 1841 Bradbury and Evans acquired Punch
In 1841 Bradbury and Evans acquired Punch

In July 1833 Bradbury and Evans installed a newly-designed large, steam-driven cylinder printing press which they kept running twenty-four hours a day six days a week.[5] For the first ten years of the firm's existence Bradbury and Evans were printers, but they added publishing in 1841 after they acquired the satirical magazine Punch.[7][8][9] Bradbury and Evans began the tradition of holding a weekly dinner for the contributors to Punch which Bradbury regularly attended in the early years, and the magazine's staff became the nucleus of the owners' social circle.[5] A keen gardener, in 1841 he co-founded perhaps the most famous horticultural periodical, The Gardeners' Chronicle along with John Lindley, Charles Wentworth Dilke and Joseph Paxton.

The firm printed that serial The Pickwick Papers (1836-7) for Chapman and Hall
The firm printed that serial The Pickwick Papers (1836-7) for Chapman and Hall

Because Bradbury and Evans kept their presses running through day and night they often took on large jobs for other printers and publishers with tight deadlines, sometimes printing The London Journal and even The Illustrated London News on one occasion.[5] They printed Paxton's Magazine of Botany and Register of Flowering Plants for Joseph Paxton,[10] as well as printing for the publisher and bookseller Edward Moxon[9] and Chapman & Hall (publishers of Charles Dickens), for whom Bradbury and Evans printed the serial novels The Pickwick Papers (1836-7) and Nicholas Nickleby (1838-9).[8]

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Bradbury and Evans

Bradbury and Evans

Bradbury & Evans (est.1830) was an English printing and publishing business founded by William Bradbury (1799–1869) and Frederick Mullett Evans (1804–1870) in London.

Punch (magazine)

Punch (magazine)

Punch, or The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and wood-engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration. From 1850, John Tenniel was the chief cartoon artist at the magazine for over 50 years.

The Gardeners' Chronicle

The Gardeners' Chronicle

The Gardeners' Chronicle was a British horticulture periodical. It lasted as a title in its own right for nearly 150 years and is still extant as part of the magazine Horticulture Week.

John Lindley

John Lindley

John Lindley FRS was an English botanist, gardener and orchidologist.

Joseph Paxton

Joseph Paxton

Sir Joseph Paxton was an English gardener, architect, engineer and Member of Parliament, best known for designing the Crystal Palace and for cultivating the Cavendish banana, the most consumed banana in the Western world.

The Pickwick Papers

The Pickwick Papers

The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club was Charles Dickens's first novel. Because of his success with Sketches by Boz published in 1836, Dickens was asked by the publisher Chapman & Hall to supply descriptions to explain a series of comic "cockney sporting plates" by illustrator Robert Seymour, and to connect them into a novel. The book became a publishing phenomenon, with bootleg copies, theatrical performances, Sam Weller joke books, and other merchandise. On its cultural impact, Nicholas Dames in The Atlantic writes, “'Literature' is not a big enough category for Pickwick. It defined its own, a new one that we have learned to call “entertainment.” Published in 19 issues over 20 months, the success of The Pickwick Papers popularised serialised fiction and cliffhanger endings.

The London Journal

The London Journal

The London Journal; and Weekly Record of Literature, Science and Art was a British penny fiction weekly, one of the best-selling magazines of the nineteenth century.

The Illustrated London News

The Illustrated London News

The Illustrated London News appeared first on Saturday 14 May 1842, as the world's first illustrated weekly news magazine. Founded by Herbert Ingram, it appeared weekly until 1971, then less frequently thereafter, and ceased publication in 2003. The company continues today as Illustrated London News Ltd, a publishing, content, and digital agency in London, which holds the publication and business archives of the magazine.

Edward Moxon

Edward Moxon

Edward Moxon was a British poet and publisher, significant in Victorian literature.

Chapman & Hall

Chapman & Hall

Chapman & Hall is an imprint owned by CRC Press, originally founded as a British publishing house in London in the first half of the 19th century by Edward Chapman and William Hall. Chapman & Hall were publishers for Charles Dickens, Thomas Carlyle, William Thackeray, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Anthony Trollope, Eadweard Muybridge and Evelyn Waugh.

Charles Dickens

Charles Dickens

Charles John Huffam Dickens was an English writer and social critic. He created some of the world's best-known fictional characters and is regarded by many as the greatest novelist of the Victorian era. His works enjoyed unprecedented popularity during his lifetime and, by the 20th century, critics and scholars had recognised him as a literary genius. His novels and short stories are widely read today.

Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby

Nicholas Nickleby, or The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby, is the third novel by Charles Dickens, originally published as a serial from 1838 to 1839. The character of Nickleby is a young man who must support his mother and sister after his father dies.

Charles Dickens and others

Charles Dickens in 1843 - portrait by Margaret Gillies
Charles Dickens in 1843 - portrait by Margaret Gillies

When Bradbury's daughter Letitia Jane died in 1839 aged 11[11][12] Dickens wrote to him offering his 'earnest and sincere sympathy and warm regard', saying that he knew what Bradbury was going through as he himself had lost 'a young and lovely creature' in the person of his sister-in-law Mary Hogarth, almost two years before.[13][14][15] Dickens, his wife Catherine, and her sister Georgina Hogarth became fond of Bradbury and his wife Sarah over the coming years, with Dickens nicknaming Bradbury 'Beau B' while lampooning his Derbyshire accent, while Georgina Hogarth was able to imitation Mrs Bradbury with great accuracy. When on 20 December 1855 the Bradburys held a party at which Dickens, John Forster, and the Punch staff were present they were treated to 'the very best cooked dinner' Dickens had 'ever sat down to' in his life. In a letter to his wife Catherine Dickens he wrote that after the party Mrs Bradbury told him of the occasion when her husband burned down their bed while she was away and secretly replaced it. When she returned home and laid her 'luxuriant and gorgeous figure' between the sheets she sat up sharply and exclaimed, 'William, where his me bed? - This is not me bed - wot has 'append William? -Wot ave you dun with me bed?’[16]

Cover of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, No. I, printed by Bradbury and Evans for Punch (1847)
Cover of William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, No. I, printed by Bradbury and Evans for Punch (1847)

When Dickens left Chapman and Hall in 1844 Bradbury and Evans became his new publisher.[8] From 1844 to 1859 they printed and published all of Dickens's new works, leading to great profits for both sides and the enhancement of Dickens's reputation.[5] In 1847 they published William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair (as a serial), in addition to most of his longer fiction.[8][9] The firm operated from offices at no.11 Bouverie Street, no.85 Fleet Street, and no.4-14 Lombard Street, London (now Lombard Lane).[17][18]

The inclusion of a monthly supplement, Household Narrative, in the weekly Household Words edited by Dickens was the occasion for a test case on newspaper taxation in 1851. Bradbury and Evans as publishers might have found themselves in the forefront of the ongoing campaign against "taxes on knowledge"; but the initial court decision went in their favour. The government then tried amending the existing law, to duck public opinion, reversing the stand taken by the revenue on the definition of "newspaper".[19][20]

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Margaret Gillies

Margaret Gillies

Margaret Gillies was a London-born Scottish miniaturist and watercolourist.

Mary Hogarth

Mary Hogarth

Mary Scott Hogarth was the sister of Catherine Dickens and the sister-in-law of Charles Dickens. Hogarth first met Charles Dickens at age 14, and after Dickens married Hogarth's sister Catherine, Mary lived with the couple for a year. Hogarth died suddenly in 1837, which caused Dickens to miss the publication dates for two novels: The Pickwick Papers and Oliver Twist. Hogarth later became the inspiration for a number of characters in Dickens novels, including Rose Maylie in Oliver Twist and Little Nell in The Old Curiosity Shop. Charles and Catherine Dickens' first daughter was named Mary in her memory.

Catherine Dickens

Catherine Dickens

Catherine Thomson "Kate" Dickens was the wife of English novelist Charles Dickens, the mother of his ten children, and a writer of domestic management.

Georgina Hogarth

Georgina Hogarth

Georgina Hogarth was the sister-in-law, housekeeper, and adviser of English novelist Charles Dickens and the editor of three volumes of his collected letters after his death.

Derbyshire

Derbyshire

Derbyshire is a ceremonial county in the East Midlands, England. It includes much of the Peak District National Park, the southern end of the Pennine range of hills and part of the National Forest. It borders Greater Manchester to the north-west, West Yorkshire to the north, South Yorkshire to the north-east, Nottinghamshire to the east, Leicestershire to the south-east, Staffordshire to the west and south-west and Cheshire to the west.

John Forster (biographer)

John Forster (biographer)

John Forster was an important Victorian English biographer and literary critic.

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray was a British novelist, author and illustrator. He is known for his satirical works, particularly his 1848 novel Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of British society, and the 1844 novel The Luck of Barry Lyndon, which was adapted for a 1975 film by Stanley Kubrick.

Vanity Fair (novel)

Vanity Fair (novel)

Vanity Fair is an English novel by William Makepeace Thackeray, which follows the lives of Becky Sharp and Amelia Sedley amid their friends and families during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It was first published as a 19-volume monthly serial from 1847 to 1848, carrying the subtitle Pen and Pencil Sketches of English Society, which reflects both its satirisation of early 19th-century British society and the many illustrations drawn by Thackeray to accompany the text. It was published as a single volume in 1848 with the subtitle A Novel without a Hero, reflecting Thackeray's interest in deconstructing his era's conventions regarding literary heroism. It is sometimes considered the "principal founder" of the Victorian domestic novel.

Bouverie Street

Bouverie Street

Bouverie Street is a street in the City of London, off Fleet Street, which once was the home of some of Britain's most widely circulated newspapers as well as the Whitefriars Priory.

Fleet Street

Fleet Street

Fleet Street is a major street mostly in the City of London. It runs west to east from Temple Bar at the boundary with the City of Westminster to Ludgate Circus at the site of the London Wall and the River Fleet from which the street was named.

Household Words

Household Words

Household Words was an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens in the 1850s. It took its name from the line in Shakespeare's Henry V: "Familiar in his mouth as household words."

Taxes on knowledge

Taxes on knowledge

Taxes on knowledge was a slogan defining an extended British campaign against duties and taxes on newspapers, their advertising content, and the paper they were printed on. The paper tax was early identified as an issue: "A tax upon Paper, is a tax upon Knowledge" is a saying attributed to Alexander Adam (1741–1809), a Scottish headmaster.

Later years

Page 1 of the first number of  Once a Week (1859)
Page 1 of the first number of Once a Week (1859)

Bradbury and Evans parted company with Dickens in 1859 when they refused to carry an advertisement by Dickens in Punch explaining why he had separated from his wife, Catherine Dickens.[8] Furious at their refusal, Dickens immediately cut all business and personal connections with them, returning to his old publisher, Chapman and Hall. When Bradbury and Evans learned of what Dickens had done they were shocked, later writing:

"... it did not occur to Bradbury and Evans to exceed their legitimate functions as proprietors and publishers, and to require the insertion of statements on a domestic and painful subject in the inappropriate columns of a comic miscellany ."[21]

As a result, they founded the illustrated literary magazine Once a Week, in direct competition with Dickens' new All The Year Round (the successor to Household Words).[8] Leading illustrators of the time contributed to the firm's publications, including Hablot Knight Browne (‘Phiz’), John Leech[22] and John Tenniel.

During the early 1860s Bradbury began to feel the effects of protracted periods of illness. In addition, he never got over the shock of his son Henry's suicide. In the summer of 1865 Bradbury attended the weekly Punch dinner for the first time in three years where all present were pleased to see him. He spoke of his gratitude at the recent improvement in his health, adding he had thought he would never be well enough to join his "dear old friends again."[4][23] In November 1865 William Bradbury and Frederick Mullett Evans finally retired and dissolved their 35-year partnership.[4][24]

The founders' sons, William Hardwick Bradbury (1832–1892) and Frederick Moule Evans (1832–1902), continued the business on the retirement of their fathers, with the much needed financial backing of William Agnew and his brother Thomas,[25][26] Bradbury's son William Hardwick Bradbury and his daughter Edith having married into the Agnew family. The firm then became Bradbury, Evans & Co.[5]

William Bradbury died from a protracted bout of bronchitis at his family home, 13 Upper Woburn Place, Tavistock Square, London, two days short of his 70th birthday.[27] He was buried with his son Henry Bradbury in Highgate Cemetery.[4] The South London Chronicle recorded that:

"On the 15th inst., the mortal remains of Mr. W. Bradbury, the well-known printer and publisher, were interred at Highgate Cemetery. Amongst the mourners were his son, Mr. Wm. Bradbury; his partner, Mr. F. M. Evans, Mr. Mark Lemon, and several relatives, friends and workmen."[28]

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Once a Week (magazine)

Once a Week (magazine)

Once A Week was a British weekly illustrated literary magazine published by Bradbury & Evans from 1859 to 1880. According to John Sutherland, "[h]istorically the magazine's main achievement was to provide an outlet for [an] innovative group of illustrators [in] the 1860s."

Punch (magazine)

Punch (magazine)

Punch, or The London Charivari was a British weekly magazine of humour and satire established in 1841 by Henry Mayhew and wood-engraver Ebenezer Landells. Historically, it was most influential in the 1840s and 1850s, when it helped to coin the term "cartoon" in its modern sense as a humorous illustration. From 1850, John Tenniel was the chief cartoon artist at the magazine for over 50 years.

Catherine Dickens

Catherine Dickens

Catherine Thomson "Kate" Dickens was the wife of English novelist Charles Dickens, the mother of his ten children, and a writer of domestic management.

Household Words

Household Words

Household Words was an English weekly magazine edited by Charles Dickens in the 1850s. It took its name from the line in Shakespeare's Henry V: "Familiar in his mouth as household words."

Hablot Knight Browne

Hablot Knight Browne

Hablot Knight Browne was an English artist and illustrator. Well-known by his pen name, Phiz, he illustrated books by Charles Dickens, Charles Lever, and Harrison Ainsworth.

John Leech (caricaturist)

John Leech (caricaturist)

John Leech was a British caricaturist and illustrator. He was best known for his work for Punch, a humorous magazine for a broad middle-class audience, combining verbal and graphic political satire with light social comedy. Leech catered to contemporary prejudices, such as anti-Americanism and antisemitism and supported acceptable social reforms. Leech's critical yet humorous cartoons on the Crimean War helped shape public attitudes toward heroism, warfare, and Britons' role in the world.

John Tenniel

John Tenniel

Sir John Tenniel was an English illustrator, graphic humorist and political cartoonist prominent in the second half of the 19th century. An alumnus of the Royal Academy of Arts in London, he was knighted for artistic achievements in 1893, the first such honour ever bestowed on an illustrator or cartoonist.

Frederick Mullett Evans

Frederick Mullett Evans

Frederick Mullett Evans (1803–1870) was an English printer and publisher. He is known for his work as a partner from 1830 in Bradbury & Evans, who printed the works of a number of major novelists, as well as leading periodicals.

Sir William Agnew, 1st Baronet

Sir William Agnew, 1st Baronet

Sir William Agnew, 1st Baronet was an English politician and art dealer. Thomas Agnew & Sons, his London art business in Mayfair flourished as one of the leading art dealerships in London from 1860, until it closed in April 2013, still with the Agnew family involved, and still known as "Agnew's Gallery", or more informally "Agnew's".

Bronchitis

Bronchitis

Bronchitis is inflammation of the bronchi in the lungs that causes coughing. Bronchitis usually begins as an infection in the nose, ears, throat, or sinuses. The infection then makes its way down to the bronchi. Symptoms include coughing up sputum, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest pain. Bronchitis can be acute or chronic.

Tavistock Square

Tavistock Square

Tavistock Square is a public square in Bloomsbury, in the London Borough of Camden.

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery is a place of burial in north London, England. There are approximately 170,000 people buried in around 53,000 graves across the West and East Cemeteries. Highgate Cemetery is notable both for some of the people buried there as well as for its de facto status as a nature reserve. The Cemetery is designated Grade I on the Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. It is one of the Magnificent Seven cemeteries in London.

Source: "William Bradbury (printer)", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, January 28th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Bradbury_(printer).

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References
  1. ^ Paul Schlicke (3 November 2011). The Oxford Companion to Charles Dickens: Anniversary Edition. OUP Oxford. p. 53. ISBN 978-0-19-964018-8.
  2. ^ Derbyshire Record Office; Matlock, Derbyshire, England; Derbyshire Church of England Parish Registers; Diocese: Diocese of Derby; Reference Number: D 2057 A/PI 29
  3. ^ see Lincoln St Mary Magdalene Parish Records - Marriages & Banns (1811-1812). John Bradbury was a witness to the marriage of William Dobson and Ann Waits 22 July 1811
  4. ^ a b c d e Chadwick, Jane. William Badbury, An Inky Tale website
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Robert L. Patten and Patrick Leary. Bradbury, William (1800–1869), printer, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, 23 September 2003
  6. ^ A Directory of Printers and Others in Allied Trades London and Vicinity 1800-1840, (1972) Willliam B. Todd page 23
  7. ^ Bradbury and Evans (London), Royal Academy of Arts Collection
  8. ^ a b c d e f John Sutherland (1989). "Bradbury and Evans". Longman Companion to Victorian Fiction.
  9. ^ a b c Bradbury and Evans at Victorian Web, last accessed January 2011.
  10. ^ Paxton, Sir Joseph. Paxton's Magazine of Botany and Register of Flowering Plants. London Bradbury & Evans for Orr and Smith and W. S. Orr and Co, 1834-1849.
  11. ^ London Metropolitan Archives, Saint Mary, Stoke Newington, Register of burials, 1813 Jan-1851 Dec, P94/MRY/037; Call Number: P94/MRY/037
  12. ^ England & Wales, FreeBMD 1837-1915 Death Index: Name Letitia Jane Bradbury; Registration Year 1839; Registration Quarter Jan-Feb-Mar; Registration district Hackney; Inferred County London; Volume 3; Page 118
  13. ^ Forster, John (13 March 1839). "Condolences". Letter to Bradbury, William. Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University.
  14. ^ Sawyer, C. J., Dickens v. Barabbas (1930), p 61
  15. ^ Letters of Charles Dickens, ed. M. House, G. Storey, and others, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 12 vols. (1965-2002), 1.515-16 and n.
  16. ^ Letters of Charles Dickens, 7.769-70
  17. ^ Post Office London Directory. 1852. p. 628 – via University of Leicester, Library.
  18. ^ John Timbs (1867), "Whitefriars", Curiosities of London (2nd ed.), London: J.C. Hotten, OCLC 12878129
  19. ^ Martin Hewitt (5 December 2013). The Dawn of the Cheap Press in Victorian Britain: The End of the 'Taxes on Knowledge', 1849-1869. A&C Black. pp. 62–3. ISBN 978-1-4725-1456-1.
  20. ^ The Law Journal for the Year 1832-1949: Comprising Reports of Cases in the Courts of Chancery, King's Bench, Common Pleas, Exchequer of Pleas, and Exchequer of Chamber. E. B. Ince. 1852. pp. 12–24.
  21. ^ Once a Week Mr Charles Dickens and His Late Publishers Volume 1, Number 1 July 2 1859
  22. ^ "Exhibition of Pictures by Mr. John Leech", Saturday Review, 24 May 1962, Egyptian Hall, Piccadilly
  23. ^ Silver, Henry. Diary entry, 21 June 1865. Punch Archive. British Library
  24. ^ The London Gazette, 14 November 1865
  25. ^ Laurel Brake; Marysa Demoor (2009). "F.M. Evans". Dictionary of Nineteenth-century Journalism in Great Britain and Ireland. Academia Press. ISBN 978-90-382-1340-8.
  26. ^ Frederic Boase (1908). Modern English Biography. Netherton and Worth.
  27. ^ England & Wales, FreeBMD Death Index: 1837-1915; Name William Bradbury; Estimated Birth Year abt 1800; Registration Year 1869; Registration Quarter Apr-May-Jun; Registration district Pancras; Inferred County London; Volume 1b; Page 19
  28. ^ South London Chronicle, 24 April 1869
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