William Dicey (Biographical details)

William Dicey (publisher/printer; British; Male; fl. 1720 - 1756)

Also known as

Dicey, William

Address

Market Hill, Northampton (house purchased in 1733) The Maidenhead, Bow Churchyard, London

Biography

Print, chapbook and newpaper publisher, and part-proprietor of Dr Bateman's Pectoral Drops. In 1720 moved from London to Northampton where he set up a printing office with Robert Raikes and began publication of the 'Northampton Mercury'. From the 1730s he traded in partnership with his son, Cluer Dicey (q.v.). In 1736 he acquired the business of his late brother-in-law, John Cluer (q.v.), at the Maidenhead, Bow Churchyard, London.
Trade card in Heal Collection (Heal,59.56) and photograph of an identical card in Banks Collection (Banks,99.12+) advertise "At the Maiden-head in Bow-church-Yard London: Shop-keepers Bills are curiously Engrav'd On Copper-Plates By Wm. and Cluer Dicey. Likewise All manner of Business Printed with the greatest Expedition at the Lowest Rates. Heal's annotations on mount: "Plate XXIX in 'L.T.C.'. In Hilton-Price's 'Signs of Cheapside' in L.T.R. Vol. iv pp:34. 50 & 51, he gives in 1724 Cluer's Printing Office at 'The Maidenhead' in Bow Churchyard & quotes at length an advertisement in London Journal of that year. Also illustrates another advertisement. Another advertisement is given in full announcing the death of John Cluer & giving notice that the business is carried on by his widow Elizabeth Cluer [no date] & concludes with 'Likewise Mr. Handel's Opera's...are there engraved, printed & sold'. Compare an advertisement dated 1724 from 'Cluer's Printing Office at the Sign of the MAIDENHEAD behind Bow Church in Cheapside 'advertising the sale of Daffy's 'Elixer Salutis'. Also other advertisements of 'New Musical Cards for the Violin, Hautboy & Flute' dated 1724 & also 'Twelve new Songs' & 'Mr. Handel's Opera of SIROE published this day,' dated 1728. 'London Evening Post' 11. Nov. 1736. - 'At the MAIDENHEAD in Bow Church Yard, Cheapside: Thomas Cobb, printer and engraver, who married the widow of the late Henry (?) Cluer, has assigned the business to his brother-in-law William Dicey and his son, Cluer Dicey'. John Cluer & T.Cobb were in partnership in 1728 - see advertisement. 1777 Directory gives: - Dicey, Benyon & Co, medicine warehouse Bow Church Yard. 1793 Directory gives: - Dicey, Benyon & Wye, medicine warehouse, Bow Church Yard. Dr. Philip Norman writes to me August 1927 that he has a glass bottle that has on it in relief 'True Daffy Elixir Dicey & Co. No.10 Bow Church Yard & further that the firm in 1797 was Dicey & Sutton - possibly predecessors of William Sutton & Co., Patent Warehouse, 76 Chiswell St., still existing.

Bibliography

Catalogues: 1754, 1764
V. E. Neuberg, The Diceys and the Chapbook Trade, in The Library, 5th series, XXIV, 1969, pp. 219-31
V.E. Neuberg, Popular Literature: a history and guide, 1977