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Bowyer Ledgers Vol. IX: Nichols and Son vs. Henry Fawcett, ca. 1813

The Bowyer Ledgers, Vol. IX: Messrs. Nichols and Son vs. Henry Fawcett, Esq., Executor [manuscript]: statement of case on behalf of Messr. Nichols : for the arbitrator / Devon & Tooke, Gray's Inn


Physical Description  
1 volume (67 p.) ; 34 cm.

Arrangement Note
This volume comprises Volume IX of the Bowyer Ledgers.  Vols. I-VIII have been described and cataloged separately (RLIN ID: NYGG02-A155; OCLC 122530277)

Provenance Note
Originally preserved by John Nichols and handed down from eldest son to eldest son; sold at the John Gough Nichols’s sale at Sotheby’s (London), 1929 November 18. Purchased by the Grolier Club from Quartrich, January 1930

Historical/Biographical Note
After the antiquary John Hutchins died in 1773, his son-in-law, Major-General John Bellasis, undertook to sponsor a second edition of Hutchins’ well-known History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset, with corrections and emendations by Richard Gough. The work was put through the press by printers and publishers John Nichols and his son, John Bowyer Nichols. In addition to publishing Samuel Johnson’s Lives of the Poets, a collected edition Swift, and many other important works, John Nichols was known particularly as a printer of topographic works. The first two volumes of the revised Hutchins Dorset appeared one each in 1796 and 1803. In 1808 a fire on the Nichols’ premises destroyed the unsold copies of these volumes as well as all of volume 3. Nichols appealed for funds to carry through the project, and in 1813 volume 3 appeared with Richard Gough’s name as editor. Volume 4 was published in 1815.  

Major-General Bellasis apparently subsidized the project heavily before his death in 1808. The lawsuit concerns the controversy over ownership of the copyright, the claimant then being Henry Fawcett. The arbitrator, William Bolland of the Middle Temple, who was both a barrister and a bibliophile, awarded the copyright to the Nichols in March (?) 1813, but allowed Fawcett to purchase the copper plates for the sum of 50 pounds.

Scope and Contents
Account of case involving ownership of the copyright in the second edition of John Hutchin’s History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset printed by John Nichols and his son John Bowyer Nichols between 1796 and 1815. Includes history of the publication with proposals for printing volumes 3 and 4, financial records, and report of the arbitrator. Also an unidentified set of gray boards with some endpapers and designation “Vol. 4” on spine.

Related Materials Note
Related materials may be found in the following collections held in this repository:
Bowyer Ledgers: the Printing Accounts of William Bowyer, 1710-1781. (RLIN ID: NYGG02-A155).
This collection provides information about more than 5,000 individual books or jobs printed by the Bowyers between 1710 and 1778

John Bowyer Nichols: Scrapbook of Book Values for English Topographical Works, ca. 1845 (RLIN ID: NYGG01-A40). 
John Bowyer Nichols was the son of printer John Nichols, whom he succeeded as a printer of notes and proceedings of the British Parliament. John Bowyer Nichols supervised through the press many of the most important county histories published in England in the first part of the 19th century.  This manuscript volume records the prices of 17th, 18th and earlier 19th century English topographical books, including some bibliographic details.

Related materials may be found in the following collections at the Bodleian Library, Oxford: 
Papers of William Bowyer the Younger, Printer (Reference ID: MSS. Eng. misc. c. 141-2).

Additional Physical Form Available
Photocopies of this volume included in the Bowyer Ledgers Collection in the Grolier Club Archives.

General Note
Title amended by cataloger as indicated by brackets.

General Note
Papers bound into a volume with board covers protected by a clamshell box.
Access Points
Bellasis, John, d. 1808.
Bolland, William, 1772-1840, arbitrator.
Devon, William.
Fawcett, Henry, litigant.
Gough, Richard, 1735-1809.
Hutchins, John, 1698-1773. History and Antiquities of the County of Dorset. 2nd ed. 1796-1815.
Nichols, John, 1745-1826.
Nichols, J. B. (John Bowyer), 1779-1863, litigant.
Tooke, William 1744-1820.

Copyright. England. 19th century.
Printer. England. London. 18th century.
Printer. England. London. 19th century
Printing. England. London. History.  18th century. Sources.
Printing. England. London. History.  19th century. Sources.

Legal instruments. England. 19th century.

Occupation (as reflected in collection)
Printers. England. 19th century.
Publishers. England. 19th century.

Grolier Club, 47 East 60th Street, New York, N.Y. 10022-1098.

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