London, William (DNB00)

LONDON, WILLIAM (fl. 1658), bibliographer, was a bookseller of Newcastle-on-Tyne, and apparently undertook some publishing on his own account in partnership with London firms. In 1655 Hoole's 'Phraseologia Anglo-Latina' appeared, with the imprint 'London, printed by E. Coles for William London, bookseller, Newcastle.' London is best known by a very rare catalogue of English literature, which he drew up in 1658. Its title runs, 'A Catalogue of the most vendible Books in England orderly and alphabetically digested … the like Work never yet performed by any. Varietas Delectat,' London, 1658, 4to. The signature 'William London' attached to the dedication has been absurdly explained as that of William Juxon, bishop of London. Besides the dedication, addressed among others to the 'wise, learned, and studious in the Northern Counties of Northumberland, Bppk of Durham, Westmoreland, and Cumberland,' there is an 'Epistle to the most candid and ingenious reader,' and a very spirited and well-written 'Introduction to the Use of Books, or a short Essay upon the Value and Benefits of Learning and Knowledge.' London arranges his titles under the headings Divinity, History, Physic and Chirurgerie, Law, Romances, Poems, Plays, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin. A supplement of new books issued between August 1657 and June 1658 is appended. In 1660 he brought out 'A Catalogue of New Books by way of Supplement to the former, being such as have been printed from that time till Easter Term, 1660,' London, 31 May 1660, 4to.

A brief ‘Catalogue of Certaine Bookes,’ published between 1626 and 1631, was issued in the latter year, and in 1655 ‘A Catalogue of … Divinity Books … printed about twenty yeares past.’ But London's claim to have produced the earliest catalogue of any bibliographical pretensions is fully justified. His undertaking attracted attention. In 1663 Francis Hawkins [q. v.] the Jesuit issued a new edition of his ‘Youths Behaviour.’ and in an appended ‘table’ or glossary of scientific terms used in the volume he inserted the entry, ‘Catalogue: a roule of names,or register, a cataloging of Books which Mr. London, bookseller of Newcastle, hath published.’

[Dibdin's Bibliomania, 1811, pp. 397–8; More's Utopia, ed. Dibdin, ii. 260–4; Aikins's Athenæum, 1807, ii. 601–4; Notes and Queries, 1st ser. vi. 515, 592, vii. 390, 2nd ser. viii. 105, 183; London's Catalogues in Brit. Mus.]

S. L.