Friday, November 8, 2013

The Hoyle Copyright in Hoyle's Lifetime (revisited)

I thought I had said everything I had to say about the early ownership of the Hoyle copyright in an earlier essay "The Hoyle Copyright in Hoyle's Lifetime". There was always a little something that nagged me about the information there, and I have finally resolved the nit to my satisfaction.

The chart above, modified from the essay "A Database for the Hoyle Copyright," shows which booksellers owned shares of the copyright from 1745 to 1767. The data is based on imprints (which you can find pictured in the earlier essay) and transactions from the booksellers trade sales. What seemed odd to me was that Stanley Crowder is on the imprint for the "12th" and "14th" editions, but not the "13th". It is possible that he sold his interest in the Hoyle copyright and reinvested later, but that seems strained.

Let us look more closely at the three relevant trade sales: 
  • James Hodges lived until 1795, but left the book trade in roughly 1757. At least his name last shows up in imprints of books printed that year according to ESTC. His stock was sold in a trade sale on July 14, 1757. The surviving catalogue is titled in letterpress A Catalogue of Books in Quires, Being the stock of Mr James Hodges... I hadn't focused on the fact that the sale was for books only, and not copyrights. His inventory of 350 copies of Hoyle's Games went unsold.
  • At another trade sale on April 21, 1763, bookseller Henry Woodfall bought two lots of 1/6 shares in Hoyle, the first for £30, the second for £32 10s., making the full copyright worth £187 10s. The catalogue does not indicate the seller, either in letterpress or, as is often the case, in handwritten annotations. I had assumed that Crowder must have been the seller, as he appeared on the Hoyle imprint in 1760, but not in late 1763. 
  • Thomas Osborne left the trade in 1767, selling his stock and copyrights at a sale on July 28.  His 1/3 share of the Hoyle copyright was broken into four 1/12 shares. John Wilkie bought one for £21, Henry Woodfall one for £22, and Stanley Crowder two for £22 each. In all, Osborne's one-third share sold for £87, making the value of the copyright £261. 
I have now spent more time with the 1763 sale and have concluded that the copyrights offered there belonged to James Hodges. Most of the copyrights listed at the sale were never printed for Crowder and most of the books printed for Crowder in, say, 1762 do not appear at the sale. Most importantly, Crowder was a major purchaser at the sale. The sale must have been of copyrights belonging to Hodges, not Crowder, so that Hodges continued to own the Hoyle copyright until 1763. It also means that even though his name appeared on the imprint of the 1760 "12th" edition of Hoyle, Crowder did not own a share of the copyright.

What was the relationship between Hodges and Crowder that allowed Crowder to republish Hodges' books? It turns out that Crowder was apprenticed to Hodges, and freed in 1755. From 1757 Crowder carried on the business from Hodges' premises at the sign of the Looking Glass near London Bridge. This suggests some economic relationship between the two under which Crowder carried on the business even as Hodges continued to own the copyrights.

With Hoyle, we see a pattern of imprints supporting the view that for a short time Crowder published books owned by Hodges:
  • printed for three booksellers including Hodges in 1756 (ESTC T87520)
  • printed for three booksellers including Crowder, but not Hodges in 1760 (ESTC T88035)
  • Hodges share sold to Woodfall in April 1763
  • Woodfall appears on imprint instead of Crowder in December 1763 (ESTC N4079)
It takes some patience to find other examples. First, you must be able to identify the book in ESTC from the shorthand title given in the trade sale catalogue. Second, you have to find a copyright that actually sold at the trade sale. Third, the book must have been printed at least three times: once for Hodges, once for Crowder between 1757 and 1763, and a third time after the copyright sale. Finally, it is easiest to look at books where Hodges owned a large share of the copyright. Where the copyright traded in shares of 1/36 or 1/48, there can be so many names on the imprint that it is hard to track what's going on.

Here are two more examples. First Ken's A Manual of Prayers:
  • printed for three booksellers including Hodges in 1755 (ESTC T133227)
  • printed for four booksellers including Crowder, but not Hodges in 1761 (ESTC T133221)
  • Hodges copyright sold in 1763
  • printed for six booksellers not including Crowder in 1770 (ESTC T133220)
Second, Martin, Philosophia Britannica:
  • printed for three booksellers including Hodges in 1752 (ESTC N39108)
  • printed for six booksellers including Crowder, but not Hodges in 1759 (ESTC N12262)
  • Hodges share sold in 1763
  • Crowder off imprint in 1771 (ESTC T25345)
I will look for more information about the dealings between Hodges and Crowder. In the mean time, I have convinced myself that despite his appearnce on the imprint of the the "12th" edition, Crowder did not own a share of the Hoyle copyright until the "14th". That leaves my chart simpler and clearer as follows:

Interestingly, the imprint of the "14th" edition of Hoyle's Games published in December 1767, did not reflect the results of the Osborne sale of April. As I noted here, the imprint states the book is printed for Osborne, Woodfall, and Baldwin, but contemporary newspaper advertisements are correct::
Printed by assignment from T. Osborne, for H. Woodfall, R. Baldwin, and S. Crowder, in Patern-noster-row, and J Wilkie, No 71, in St. Paul's Church Yard.
These two examples of imprecise imprints show provide a caveat to my discussion in "Researching Copyright."

I am delighted to have eliminated a little nag that has bothered me for some time.

No comments:

Post a Comment