John Bowles (Biographical details)

John Bowles (publisher/printer; British; Male; 1701? - 1779)

Also known as

Bowles, John; John Bowles & Son


Mercers' Hall, Cheapside, London Black Horse, Cornhill, London (this address may have been identical with the premises described on some prints as "over against the Stocks Market"; the Stocks Market closed in 1737 to make way for the building of the Mansion House) 13 Cornhill, London (from 1768)


Print publisher, younger son of Thomas Bowles I, and brother of Thomas Bowles II (q.v.). While Thomas II took on the family business, John set up his separate print shop c.1723 at Mercers' Hall, Cheapside, London. By 1733 was trading (also?) at the sign of the Black Horse, Cornhill. John's career can be followed through eight catalogues that he published between 1728 and 1768. The last is no less than 167 pages long.
In 1752 or 1753 his son Carington Bowles (q.v.) became a partner and for about ten years until 1764 they traded as John Bowles & Son. Carington then left to take on the business of Thomas Bowles II, his uncle, leaving John to continue the existing business, dropping the '& Son'. John Bowles died a rich man in 1779 and his remaining stock was bought by Robert Wilkinson.
A second son of John Bowles was another John, who became a barrister and loyalist pamphleteer. He was disgraced after a fraud case in 1809 (see Vic Gatrell, 'City of Laughter', 2006, p.454)
Title page of catalogue in Heal Collection (Heal,82.1) states "To Mr. John Bowles & Son, Print Sellers, London. A Catalogue of Maps, Prints, Copy-Books, &c. From off Copper-Plates, Printed for John Bowles and Son At the Black-Horse in Cornhill, London. Where Merchants, Gentlemen, City and Country Shop-keepers, and Chapmen, may be furnished with the newest and best Variety, at the lowest Prices." Heal,100.19 is identical to above but does not include "& Son".


Catalogues: 1728; 1731; 1753
T. Clayton, 'The English Print' 1688-1802;