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Nichols, John, 1745–1826

Accounts of John Nichols with the engraver Barak Longmate.

London, England, 1807-1816.
Physical Description:
1 v. ([24] p., with blanks) ; 35 cm.
Unable to reach service. Holdings currently not available
Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Archives & Manuscripts
John Nichols (1745-1826) was one of the most prominent London printers of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. As his business grew, he also became a respected editor, biographer, and antiquary. His most notable works include the Gentleman's Magazine, Bibliotheca Topographica Britannica, The Literary Anecdotes of the 18th Century, and a number of county histories, including the acclaimed History and Antiquities of the County of Leicester. A number of engravings in this final title were executed by Barak Longmate the younger (1768-1836), who was a longtime friend and assistant to Nichols. Longmate shared Nichols' interest in antiquarian subjects and specialized in the engraving of coats of arms.
Bound in later half calf.
Manuscript account book kept by the London printer John Nichols, recording services rendered by the engraver Barak Longmate, from 1807 to 1816. The accounts are kept in pen and brown ink throughout, perhaps in a single hand, on paper of varying sizes. One short account of 1811 is recorded on paper with an engraved letterhead reading: "To B. Longmate, engraver in its various branches ...". Also present are small slips of paper bearing Longmate's signed receipt of payment. Affixed to the front endpapers is an engraved silhouette portrait of John Nichols.
The accounts give a chronological record of Longmate's work for Nichols. The varied work includes the engraving of portraits, views, plans, and many coats of arms, as well as engraved writing, "pipe writing", and "paging". Longmate is also credited for reworking engravings, here described as "taking out", "cleaning", and "alteration". For each service, the date, activity, and cost is recorded. Example entries for 1807 include: "May 18: Writing to small view of Leicester, 4s"; and "Nov. 10: 2 View of Assembly House & four Houses at Leicester, £6 14s". At the conclusion of each batch of work, the accounts are totaled. There follows an affixed slip of paper bearing Longmate's signed receipt of payment.
Nichols does not explicitly record the publications for which Longmate's engraving is done. From 1807 to 1811, his work was partly, or perhaps entirely, for inclusion in vol. 4 of Nichols' History and antiquities of the county of Leicester, published in two parts, 1810-11. Much of Longmate's subsequent engraving concerns the area of Dorset, and was probably used in John Hutchins' History and antiquities of Sherbourne, in the county of Dorset, published by Nichols in 1815. Later work is extremely varied, and difficult to pin to any given work, although some of the engravings are probably for county histories of Durham and Derby.
The accounts record over 300 pieces of engraving work by Longmate, for which Nichols paid about £325. The single most expensive piece appears to be plate 98 of vol. 4 of the Leicester history, in which Longmate engraved 4 monuments, 16 small coats of arms, and 12 large coats of arms, at a cost of £9 18s.
Subject Terms:
Book industries and trade -- Great Britain.
Engravers -- Great Britain.
Engraving -- Great Britain.
Engraving -- Specimens -- 1807-1816.
Hutchins, John, 1698-1773. History and antiquities of Sherbourne, in the county of Dorset.
Illustration of books -- Great Britain.
Longmate, Barak, 1768-1836.
Nichols, John, 1745-1826.
Nichols, John, 1745-1826. History and antiquities of the county of Leicester.
Printers -- Great Britain.
Account books.
Longmate, Barak, 1768-1836.

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