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MS Eng 1780

Cadell & Davies, recipient. Letters to Cadell & Davies, 1773-1841: 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 Eng 1780
Repository: Houghton Library, Harvard Library, Harvard University
Creator: Cadell & Davies, recipient.
Title: Letters to Cadell & Davies,
Date(s): 1773-1841.
Quantity: 1 collection (.25 linear feet (1 box)
Language of materials: Collection materials are in English.
Abstract: Letters sent to the London publishing firm of Cadell & Davies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition:

2015M-9. Purchase with the Endowment Fund for the Donald and Mary Hyde Collection; received: 2015 July 14.
See curatorial file for dealers' notes.

Processing Information:

Processed by: Bonnie B. Salt

Conditions Governing Access:

There are no restrictions on physical access to this material. Collection is open for research.

Preferred Citation for Publication:

Letters to Cadell & Davies, circa 1773-1841 (MS Eng 1780). 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.
See also: MS Hyde 69.

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 name of correspondent.

Scope and Contents

Includes letters from the archives of the London publishers Cadell & Davies including letters from: Sir John Dalrymple; William Courtenay, 10th Earl of Devon; Charles Dunster; Sir Henry Englefield; Jean-Thomas Hérissant Des Carrières; John Martin; and others.

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