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The Cambridge History of English and American Literature in 18 Volumes (1907–21).
Volume XI. The Period of the French Revolution.

XIV. Book Production and Distribution, 1625–1800

§ 27. Other Localities; Westminster Hall

John Macky, in his Journey through England (1724), tells us that

  • The Booksellers of antient books in all languages are in Little Britain and Paternoster Row; those for Divinity and the Classics on the North side of St. Paul’s Cathedral; Law, History, and Plays about Temple Bar; and the French Booksellers in the Strand.
  • These were the chief quarters of the trade, but bookshops might be found in most quarters of the city; eastwards, along Cheapside, passing the shop of Thomas Cockerell “at the Three-legs in the Poultry, over against the Stocks Market,” and on to the Royal exchange, where, at the Bible under the Piazza, Ralph Smith carried on his business. In Cornhill, the sign of the Three Pigeons pointed out the house of Brabazon Aylmer, from whom Tonson purchased Paradise Lost; and, a little to the south, London bridge was a centre of some activity, though mostly in the less distinguished branches of the trade. Holborn too, had its booksellers, and in Gray’s inn gateway dwelt Thomas Osborne, an expert in all the tricks and arts of his trade. In the west, John Brindley was established in New Bond street, and Pall Mall was the scene of Dodsley’s operations. In Westminster hall, booksellers had plied their trade from at least 1640, and probably much earlier. Mistress Breach’s portly presence was, doubtless, a familiar figure there from 1649 to 1675; Matthew Gilliflower was equally well known in it during the last quarter of the century, and booksellers were still in occupation there at the end of the eighteenth century.