Open main menu


GILBERT, RICHARD (1794–1852), printer and compiler, was born in St. John's Square, Clerkenwell, London, in 1794. His father, Robert Gilbert, who died 10 Jan. 1815, aged 51, was a printer, and a partner in the firm of Law & Gilbert of St. John's Square, the successors to a very old-established house. The son, Richard, commenced life as an accountant of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge in Bartlett's Buildings, but on the death of his father joined his brother Robert, who died in 1818, as a printer at St. John's Square. His business became much enlarged after his marriage, 11 Sept. 1823, with Anne, only daughter of the Rev. George Whittaker of Northfleet, and sister of George Byrom Whittaker, bookseller and publisher, and sheriff of London in 1823. On the death of his brother-in-law, 13 Dec. 1847, Gilbert and his family acquired a very considerable fortune, and his only son, Robert Gilbert, succeeded to his uncle's share in the business as a wholesale bookseller and publisher. In 1830 Richard Gilbert, who had since his brother's death carried on the printing business alone, took into partnership William Rivington, youngest son of Charles Rivington, bookseller, Waterloo Place, and under the style of Gilbert & Rivington continued the establishment until his death. He wrote and published in 1829 the ‘Liber Scholasticus: an Account of Fellowships, Scholarships, and Exhibitions at Oxford and Cambridge, and of Colleges and Schools having University advantages attached to them or in their patronage.’ A second edition of this book appeared, which was entitled ‘The Parent's School and College Guide,’ 1843. He compiled and edited ‘The Clerical Guide or Ecclesiastical Directory,’ 1817; second edition, 1822; third edition, 1829; fourth and last edition, 1836. The compiler's name appears on the title-page of the third edition. This work gives a complete account of the prelates and beneficed clergy in England and Wales, and was the predecessor of the annual ‘Clergy List,’ which made its appearance in 1841. He also projected and edited ‘The Clergyman's Almanack,’ 1818, and ‘Gilbert's Clergyman's Almanack and Churchman's Miscellany,’ 1835, both published by the Company of Stationers. He was attached to the church of England, and was mainly instrumental in the erection of St. Philip's and St. Mark's churches in the neighbourhood of Clerkenwell. In 1841 he was elected one of the stockkeepers of the Company of Stationers. He was for many years one of the general committee, and finally one of the auditors, of the Royal Literary Fund for the Relief of Authors, and was an active governor of Christ's and St. Bartholomew's Hospitals. He died at 70 Euston Square, London, 26 Feb. 1852, aged 58, and was buried in the vaults of St. John's Church, Clerkenwell, on 4 March.

[Gent. Mag. May 1852, pp. 525–6; Pink's Clerkenwell (1881), pp. 330, 691, 693.]

G. C. B.