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CONDER, JOSIAH (1789–1855), bookseller and author, was born in Falcon Street, Aldersgate, London, on 17 Sept. 1789. His father, Thomas Conder, a map engraver and bookseller, died in June 1831, aged 84. Josiah in 1796 was attacked by smallpox, and the severity of the disease entirely destroyed his right eye. He was educated under the Rev. Mr. Palmer at Hackney, and at the early age of ten contributed essays to the 'Monthly Preceptor,' and was rewarded with two silver medals for his papers. At thirteen he left school, and entered the bookselling business of his father, at 30 Bucklersbury, city of London, where in his leisure he carried out a system of self-education. To the eleventh number of the 'Athenæum' (1806), edited by Dr. Aikin, he contributed some lines entitled 'The Withered Oak,' and about this time he formed the acquaintance of James Montgomery and of Miss Ann Taylor. His poetical contributions to various periodicals being well received, he in 1810 published an anonymous volume, entitled 'The Associate Minstrels,' to which Ann and Jane Taylor and others contributed. It reached a second edition within three years. In the autumn of 1811 his father's health obliged him to retire from the business, to which the son then succeeded. On 8 Feb. 1816 he married Joan Elizabeth, second daughter of Roger Thomas of Southgate, Middlesex, and granddaughter on her mother's side of Louis Francis Roubillac, the sculptor. He brought his bride home to his new shop at 18 St. Paul's Churchyard, and here he resided until 1819, when he disposed of the business to B. J. Holdsworth. He had become proprietor of the 'Eclectic Review ' in 1814, and he retained the management of this periodical until 1837, when be transferred it to Dr. Thomas Price, having during his editorship rendered much service to the dissenting interest. He was a great letter writer, and kept up a correspondence with James Montgomery, Robert Southey, Rev. Robert Hall, Rev. John Foster, and other literary men of the day. In 1818 he brought out a work 'On Protestant Nonconformity,' in two volumes, of which a second edition appeared in 1822. In 1824 he entered into an engagement with James Duncan of Paternoster Row to edit the afterwards well-known series of the 'Modern Traveller,' undertaking in the first instance to furnish the volume on Palestine only. Ultimately he compiled the whole set, having assistance in but one or two volumes. This work is comprised in thirty volumes (1826-9), and, although written by a person who never left his native land, constitutes one of the most accurate, faithful, and laborious compilations ever published respecting nearly all parts of the world. On the establishment of the 'Patriot' newspaper in 1832, to represent the principles of evangelical nonconformity, Conder was induced to become the editor, an office which he held with honour for twenty-three years. The labours of his pen were uninterrupted until 9 Nov. 1856, when he had an attack of jaundice, from which he never recovered. He died at his residence, 28 Belsize Road, St. John's Wood, London, on 27 Dec 1866, and was buried in Abney Park cemetery on 3 Jan. 1866. He was one of the most industrious of men. Throughout his life he had daily to work long hours for the support of himself and his family, yet he found tune to act as a preacher, and to keep up an extensive correspondence on religious and literary topics. Besides the works already mentioned, he was the author, editor, or compiler of the following:

  1. 'Gloria in Excelsis Deo,' a poem, 1812.
  2. 'The Village Lecturer,' 1821.
  3. ' Thomas Johnson's Reasons for Dissent,' 1821.
  4. 'Memoirs of Pious Women, by Gibbons and Burder,' 1823.
  5. 'The Star in the East,' with other poems, 1824.
  6. 'Remarks on the Controversy respecting the Apocrypha,' 1826.
  7. 'The Law of the Sabbath; 1830, new edit. 1862.
  8. 'Italy,' 1881, 8 vols.
  9. 'Wages or the Whip,' an essay on free and slave labour, 1833.
  10. 'A Dictionary of Geography,' 1834.
  11. 'The Epistle to the Hebrews, a new translation, with notee,' 1834.
  12. 'The Evangelical Almanac,' 1834.
  13. 'The Congregational Hymn-book,' 1834, another edit. 1836.
  14. 'Narrative of a Residence in South Africa, by T. Pringle, with a sketch of the author,' 1836.
  15. 'Illustrations of the Pilgrim's Progress, with a Sketch of the Author,' 1836.
  16. 'The Choir and the Oratory, or Praise and Prayeryi 837.
  17. 'The Pilgrim's Progress, with a Life of the Author,' 1838.
  18. 'An Analytical Sketch of all Religions,' 1838.
  19. 'The Literary History of the New Testament,' 1846.
  20. 'The Harmony of History with Prophecy, an Explanation of the Apocalypse,' 1849.
  21. 'The Psalms of David imitated by I. Watts, revised by J. Conder,' 1861.
  22. 'The Poet of the Sanctuary, I. Watts,' 1861.
  23. 'Hymns of Prayer and Praise, by J. Conder, edited by Eustace R. Conder,' 1866.

[E. R. Conder's Josiah Conder, a memoir, 1857; The Divine Net, a Discourse on the Death of J. Conder, by J. Harris, D.D., 1866; Gent. Mag. February 1856, pp. 205-6; Eclectic Review, September 1867, p. 244.]

G. C. B.