Dartmouth Bookseller’s Book Label, 1763


T.N. Brushfield

Devon Notes & Queries, vol. I, (January 1900 to January 1901), p. 168.

Prepared by Michael Steer

The Note provides interesting information on the Printing business conducted in Dartmouth by William Craven in the middle of the 1700s. Craven as well as being a printer, book binder and gilder supplemented his income by vending a range of pharmacological items and mathematical instruments. The extract, from a copy of a rare and much sought-after journal can be downloaded from  the Internet Archive. Google has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. These books, on which copyright has expired, are available for free educational and research use, both as individual books and as full collections to aid researchers.

The Rev. J. I. Dredge's Devon Booksellers and Printers contain but few references to Booksellers in Dartmouth during the eighteenth century, of whom W. Craven seems to have been the principal. The earliest notice of him in this work is of 1703. The following is a transcript of his Book Label, penes me (5¼-in. by 3¼-in.), of interest for displaying a wider range of articles sold, than in the earlier Exeter example printed at page 18:
"Sold by William Craven in Dartmouth, who sells all Sorts of Books ; with every Article in the Stationary-way as cheap as in London. He also Binds Books, & Gilds and Letters in the neatest manner.
Likewise sells Greenough's Tinctures, for curing the Tooth Ach, & Preserving the Teeth. Superfine Blacking Balls for Shoes. Stoughton's, Daffy's, Bostock's, Radcliffe's, and Fraunces's ELIXIR. Bateman's drops, JAMES'S Fever Powders, Scots' & Hooper's Pills, Turlington's Balsam : Plain & Golden Spirits of Scurvy grass, Balsam of honey, Stomachic Lozenges, Jesuits Drops, Liquid shell, Godfrey's Cordial, British OIL, Cephalic snuff, Corn salve ; Curious Liquids for taking out Grease and Iron-moulds, without the least hurt or detriment to either Linnen or woollen.
Infallible new Invented Powder, for killing the RATS, which Cats & Dogs will not touch. FINE Durham Mustard, either by the Ounce or bottle ; Pomatum, Rhubard, Sulphur, Gauls, Gum, Ivory black, Japan Ink : The greatest Variety of Mathematical Instruments; & Cheaper than at any shop, in the west of ENGLAND.
Books bought of me are Repair'd Gratis.
He has just receiv'd from LONDON, the most Curious and beautiful Assortment of Papers for beds, or hanging of ROOMS, ever Expos'd to the Public in this Country, and very Cheap. He gives the most ready money for any Library or parcel of Books; Exchanges Books; And lends out Second hand Books to read."          T.N.B.