- Also known as
primary name: Jenner, Thomas
other name: Ienner, Thomas
- individual; publisher/printer; British; Male
- Life dates
- fl. 1618-d. 1673
- Dates taken from publication lines on prints:
White Bear, Cornhill (1621-1622 or 1623)
The Exchange (1623-1624, 1630s, 1641 ['Old Exchange'], 1644)
- Jenner was one of the main London print publishers and sellers; his active career spanned over half a century. His beginnings remain obscure. He was a member of the Grocers' Company, and was possibly the Thomas Jenneu, son of James, who received his freedom in 1619. His earliest publication, a portrait by Delaram (Hind II 229.28), is securely dated to 1618. There are strong reasons for thinking that he took over the short-lived business of Maurice Blount (qv) which was at the same address. The prints made for him in 1621 by Willem de Passe, who was married to an 'Elisabeth Jennerts' - presumably a relation - were the finest produced in London at the time, and were entered into the Stationers' register on his behalf by George Fairbeard (qv). Jenner still produced some significant plates in the 1630s (eg the portrait of the Earl of Northumberland by Cornelis van Dalen, Hind III 254.5), but his stock went steadily down-market over the years, and by his death he was only a marginal figure.
His first address was at the White Bear in Cornewall (ie Cornhill). Later he gave it as at the White Bear near the Exchange (or sometimes at the South Entrance of the Royal Exchange, eg Hind III 329.3 of the 1630s). This could be the same place under a different name, but the fact that he changed the address on various plates (eg. Willem de Passe's engraving of the Earl of Holland, Hind II 290.8) suggests that he had actually moved. The move can be dated to 1624 or before from a broadsheet of the Houses of Convocation (in the BM), which gives an address 'at the Exchange'.
Skelton noted (p.235) that his prints and maps of the 1640s show a strongly Parliamentarian bias, and in 1644 he and Henry Holland were both engaged in buying clothing for Parliamentary soldiers (CSP Dom. 1644, p.147). In 1651 he wrote a political pamphlet, 'London's blame if not its shame', attacking supine government policy over the fishing industry. Although Jenner was a specialist print publisher, many of his publications include letterpress. He also etched a few plates himself: a portrait of Oliver Cromwell that was included in a book of 1654 (Hind III p.252), a copy of Payne's Sovereign of the Seas, and a set of natural history plates.
From 1662 survives a two-page catalogue of his publications, which he added to copies of 'A Book of the Names of all Parishes'. It is most informative, giving the titles of most items. There were 25 illustrated books with text, 17 maps (for which see Skelton p.244), 55 single larger plates and sets of prints, and 64 small plates. He also sold blank forms for bonds, bills, bills of lading and indentures, and advertised imported Dutch prints.
Much information about him can be deduced from his will drawn up in 1666, in which he bequeathed £400 to his wife, and the residue divided between her and his sister's three children. He bequeathed 20s. to John Garrett, 'desiring his care and assistance for the good and benefit of my wife'. It was Garrett, together with John Overton, who drew up a probate inventory of his estate in 1674. His property was valued at £312 16s 9d, and included 117 hundredweight of old copper plates valued at 2s 8d per pound. His debtors included Overton and Robert Walton. (The will is about to be published by Giles Mandlebrote). The business and shop were acquired by John Garrett (see Tyacke p.118).
- Catalogue, 1662
J.H.Astington, in 'The Bookshop of the World', 2001, pp.169-77 on his emblems and their models