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MS Hyde 69

Cadell, T. (Thomas), 1742-1802, recipient. T. Cadell letters from others, 1766-1825: Guide.

Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University


Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138 USA

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Location: b
Call No.: MS Hyde 69
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Cadell, T. (Thomas), 1742-1802, recipient.
Title: T. Cadell letters from others,
Date(s): 1766-1825.
Quantity: 1 collection (.5 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Letters received by bookseller Thomas Cadell and the successor firm of Cadell & Davies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2003JM-58 (part) and2003JM-59 (6 items). Bequest of Mary Hyde Eccles, Four Oaks Farm, Somerville, New Jersey; received: 2004.


These papers arrived as a bequest from Mary Hyde Eccles in 2004. She had acquired them from a variety of sources. Most had been purchased by her from Sotheby's in 1950 as part of a set of Boswell's Life of Johnson extra-illustrated by A.B. Burney. They were removed from the Burney volumes in 1953, but are still mounted. A few other items were acquired as part of extra-illustrated sets from R.B. Adam. Most of the Hannah More letters were purchased from Emily Driscoll in 1964.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Rick Stattler

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

T. Cadell Letters from Others, 1766-1825 (MS Hyde 69). Houghton Library, Harvard University.

Related Materials

The original Cadell & Davies archive was broken up at an early date to feed the market for English literary autographs. Collector Sir Thomas Phillipps (1792-1871) owned at least one portion of the archive (presently at the University of Birmingham), and the whole was apparently broken up into many lots no later than 1934. Other substantial files of correspondence addressed to the firm are held at several archives in the United States and Great Britain, including the Huntington Library, Reading University, University of California at Los Angeles, and Yale University. Six letters from Samuel Johnson to Thomas Cadell dated 1778 to 1783 and undated can be found in the Samuel Johnson Letters at the Houghton Library (MS Hyde 1), item (15). Approximately thirty other letters addressed to Cadell can also be found interspersed through the Houghton Library's autograph file and other miscellaneous collections.

Biographical / Historical

Thomas Cadell (1742-1802) entered the London book trade in 1758 as an apprentice to Andrew Millar (1705-1768). He entered in partnership with Millar in 1765, and became the sole proprietor in 1767. He was perhaps the leading bookseller in London until his retirement in 1793. He was succeeded by the firm of Cadell & Davies, consisting of his son Thomas Cadell (1773-1836) and William Davies (d. 1820). Cadell Jr. acted as sole proprietor after the death of Davies, and the firm came to a conclusion with his own death in 1836.
See the introduction to Theodore Besterman's The Publishing Firm of Cadell & Davies: Select Correspondence and Accounts, 1793-1836 (London: Oxford University, 1938).


Arranged alphabetically by correspondent.

Scope and Contents

The bulk of these letters are addressed to Thomas Cadell the Elder from 1766 to 1795. Twenty-two letters are addressed to the successor firm of Cadell & Davies, with many of them extending an earlier correspondence with Hannah More.
Among the most significant letters are twelve from author Hannah More on a variety of topics, items (28) to (30); six from Hester Lynch Piozzi concerning her Anecdotes of the Late Samuel Johnson, item (34); and one from economist Adam Smith concerning his Wealth of Nations, item (39).

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