- Also known as
Lackington & Co
primary name: Lackington & Co
other name: Harding and Lepard
other name: Lackington, Allen & Co
other name: Lackington, George
other name: Lackington, Hughes & Co
other name: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor and Jones
other name: Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Lepard
other name: Lackington, James
other name: Lackinton & Co
- individual; publisher/printer; British; Male
- Other dates
- 1746-1840s- (active)
- 46 Chiswell Street (1775-94)
Temple of the Muses, Finsbury Square (1791/4-1841)
Pall Mall East
- Bookseller and publisher, the "Cheapest Bookseller in the World". James Lackington (1746-1815) began selling books in 1774, and the following year, with support from the Methodists, set up a shop in Chiswell Street, London. From 1779 issued annual catalogues; from 1794 issued tokens worth a halfpenny or a penny, struck by Lutwyche of Birmingham, with his face on the obverse and an angel blowing a trumpet on the reverse. c.1791, moved to the "Temple of the Muses", south-west corner of Finsbury Square (burnt down 1841), the first great shopping emporium in London, which had been built to a bespoke design for him by George Dance (view in Ackermann's Repository 1809, plate 17). In 1798 retired and passed on the business to his third cousin George Lackington (1777-1844) and his employee Robin Allen, thereafter the business known as Lackington, Allen & Co.; in the 1820s trading as Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, and Lepard; after George Lackington's retirement the firm, known as Harding and Lepard, moved to Pall Mall East. For the later history see sv. Joseph Harding.
From 1825-32 George Lackington owned the Egyptian Hall in Piccadilly.
Trade cards in Heal Collection. Heal,17.84 advertises "Just published, two new editions of the Life of J. Lackington, the present bookseller...written by himself. One edition, 540 pages, octavo, large letter, and fine paper, with a new head of the author by Ridley. Price 5s. 6d. in boards. The other edition is 328 pages duodecimo, containing all the additions and improvements, in short every line as much as the octavo edition, but on a smaller letter, with the new head by Ridley, price, in boards, 2s. 6d. or bound, 3s. These memoirs contain, besides the author's life and adventures - an account of the Methodists, all their private meetings &c. disclosed. Secrets in bookselling laid open. Remarks on authors publishing their own works. Tricks of publishers towards authors, on purchasing manuscripts, &c. Nature of enthusiasm, and fanaticism - on the improved state of knowledge and literature among ladies. On sunday schools. Circulating libraries. Watering places. Knowledge of books. Knowledge of the world, &c...." Heal,17.85 advertises "Lackington, bookseller...The full value given for libraries, or parcels of books. Books lent to read. N.B. Book-binding done in the neatest manner. Pens, ink, paper, sealing wax, waste paper, &c." Heal,17.86 and Heal,17.87 show "An interior view of the extensive library of Lackington, Allen & Co. Finsbury Square, London, where above half a million volumes are constantly on sale." Heal,17.88 is an exterior view of the north west aspect of Lackington, Allen & Co. Heal,17.89 is a portrait of James Lackington Esq. "late bookseller of Chiswell St. & the celebrated founder of the Temple of the Muses, Finsbury Square." Heal,17.90 shows the shop-front of Lackington and is lettered "Two hundred thousand volumes upon an average are constantly on sale."
Hand-written notes by Heal ont he mount provide further informantion.