Clowes, William (1807-1883) (DNB00)


CLOWES, WILLIAM, the younger (1807–1883), printer, eldest son of William Clowes the elder (1779–1847) [q. v.], was born 15 May 1807, and entered his father's business in 1823. The name of the firm was changed to William Clowes & Sons in 1846. They have long carried on one of the largest printing businesses in London, having also extensive premises at Beccles, Suffolk. The official catalogues of the exhibitions of 1851 and 1883 to 1886 were printed by them, as well as (since 1823) the exhibition catalogues of the Royal Academy. They introduced improvements in type-music printing and the Clowes type composing machine (Hooker's patent). They are also publishers of military and legal works (for the Council of Law Reporting), and of 'Hymns Ancient and Modern.' William Clowes the younger was much esteemed for his benevolent disposition and the active interest he took in the welfare of the operatives of his craft. In 1844 he was trustee, and in 1853 treasurer, of the Printers' Pension Corporation. He died on 19 May 1883, and was buried at Norwood cemetery. In 1881 the business was turned into a limited liability company. He married Emma Lett, daughter of Mr. Lett of Lambeth, by whom he had nine children. His eldest son, William, is at the present time one of the managing directors of the company.

[Information from Mr. W. C. K. Clowes and Mr. W. Clowes; Athenænum, 9 June 1883; Printers’ Register, 6 June 1883.]

H. R. T.