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  • Creator History
    "The firm, although now part of W. H. Smith and Co. Ltd., is of some antiquity, and the history of bookselling at 1 Trinity Street long predates the origins of the firm. According to George J. Gray in ‘Cambridge Bookselling’ (an address given to the Eastern Branch, Associated Booksellers, in 1924 and published by Bowes and Bowes in 1925) an entry in the parish book of Great St. Mary’s for 1537 suggests that Spierinck, the binder, lived at 1 Trinity Street. If so, the site may have been a bookseller’s shop from as early as 1505, when Spierinck first settled in Cambridge. Certainly from 1581 the names of successive occupiers of 1 Trinity Street are all known and all were concerned with bookselling: William Scarlett 1581-1617 Henry Moody 1620-37 William Lone till his death in 1688 William Dickinson till his death in 1718 Edmund Jeffery 1718/19-1729/30 William Thurlbourne 1729/30-1757 when he moved to 2 Trinity Street John Woodyer 1757-79. Thurlbourne and Woodyer may have been in partnership for a time, since for some years many works bear their joint imprint. In 1719 Woodyer was declared bankrupt. R. Matthews ? John Deighton 1780- he later moved and returned to different premises John Nicholson 1807-1822. His father, John ('Maps') Nicholson began business in 1752 on the west side of Trumpington Street, now King's Parade. He died in 1796. After John II moved to Trinity Street, he was joined by his son, who predeceased him. In 1822 John II retired, and Thomas Stevenson continued the business until his death in 1845. Thomas Stevenson 1822-45 [ ] Macmillan 1846 The history of the present firm begins in 1843 or 1844 when Daniel and Alexander Macmillan, with financial help from Archdeacon Hare, bought Richrad Newby's book shop at 17 Trinity Street. They subsequently acquired Thomas Stevenson's business and amalgamated the two at 1 Trinity Street in 1846. In 1846 too Robert Bowes, their nephew, came from Scotland to learn the business. The early business was a mixture of bookselling, publishing and the printing and supply of stationery, as becomes quite clear from the few early records that have survived. By 1858 it was necessary to open aLondon branch and in 1863 the London publishing business was detached from the Cambridge business. Alexander Macmillan moved to London and managed the publishing firm, leaving Robert Bowes to manage the Cambridge business with partners. In 1899 Robert Bowes took his son, George Brimley Bowes, into partnership, and from 1907 the firm was called Bowes and Bowes. Prior to this changes of name had been numerous 1844-6 D. & A. Macmillan 1846-9 Macmillan, Barclay and Macmillan 1850-82 Macmillan & Co. 1882-1907 Macmillan & Bowes Comparatively few records have survived, but the early cash books, journals and letter books, and the run of printed catalogues give a fairly good picture of the business, its diversity and growth. Items 187-235 were sent from Bowes & Bowes in Cambridge to the archive of W H Smith & Son Ltd in 1980, 1981 or 1987. "
  • Extent
    21 items
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  • System of arrangment
    NB Published items previously numbered BAB 18-200; 205-235 have been transferred to the Special Collections Library (WHS BOWES & BOWES COLLECTION)
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