Ref NoD504/144
TitleLetters of John Taylor
Date1799-1864
DescriptionJohn Taylor (1781-1864) was originally from Retford in Nottinghamshire, and was part of a family whose business was that of printing, publishing and bookselling. In about 1805 he teamed up with James Augustus Hessey to form a partnership, which operated from premises in Fleet Street, London. During the next twenty years Messrs Taylor and Hessey were responsible for publishing the works of John Keats, John Clare and other major literary figures of the early nineteenth century. In 1825 Hessey gave up being a publisher, and John Taylor became publisher and bookseller to the University of London, locating his premises near the University on Upper Gower Street. He published academic, religious and antiquarian works, but not the poetry which Messrs Taylor and Hessey had published before 1825.

The correspondence consists mainly of correspondence with other members of the family, most of whom had remained in Retford. John also maintained close contact with his brother James, who became a bookseller in Bakewell. There are also letters to and from his former partner Hessey, with whom he maintained good relations. There is also some correspondence with friends and acquaintances, which includes material about his business dealings and his interests in religion and economic issues, including currency, although there seems to be very little which relates to his publishing of Keats, Clare and other major poets of the age (see D504/144/42 re. Clare).
Related MaterialThe documents have come into the Brooke Taylor collection through the descendants of his brother James Taylor. For other records relating to John Taylor, see D504/133 and D504/177.
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