Anne Dutton's Printers and Booksellers:

John Hart, John Lewis, Ebenezer Gardner, and George Keith

The initial printers and sellers (1734-41) for the works of Anne Dutton were John Oswald (a member of the Independent congregation in New Broad Street) and Ebenezer Gardner (a member at that time of the Baptist congregation in Maze Pond, Southwark). Oswald appears on 4 imprints as printer and usually as seller as well. For the 9 titles prior to the advent of John Hart as printer for Dutton, it seems likely that Oswald was Dutton's printer for those titles, though he is named on only four of them. Gardner appears as seller on 7 titles between 1735 and 1742, three of them with Oswald as printer and four with Gardner as the lone seller, with the title page noting only “printed for the author” or “printed for” Gardner, most likely by Oswald, though the latter is not named on those titles.

In 1742, Anne Dutton used Samuel Mason as her printer for two of her publications that year. Mason was a member of the London Tabernacle Society at Moorfields under Whitefield , Howell Harris, and, at that time, John Cennick.  She also turned that year to the printer/seller John Hart, who operated in Bartholomew Close in 1732 alongside John Lewis before removing to Popping’s Court in Fleet Street in 1741. Hart printed all of Dutton’s works between 1742 and 1762, after which he was succeeded by his son, Harris Hart, who remained Dutton’s printer from the same location in Popping’s Court through the year of her death in 1765.  In 1769, a two-volume edition of new letters by Dutton was printed for George Keith, but whether that printer was Harris Hart is not known since the imprint appeared without a printer’s name.  Other printers/sellers who published posthumous editions of Dutton’s works include William Smith and Archibald Coubrough in Glasgow in 1778, J. Gemmill in Dalry in 1803, a “C. G.” who prepared an edition that was printed by Hensley and Son and sold by Richard Baynes in London in 1818 (it was reprinted in 1831 in Brighton), and an edition by J. A. Jones in 1833 published by John Bennett in London in 1833. John Hart appeared as printer on 40 imprints by Dutton, with John Lewis appearing as seller on 31 imprints (1743-54) (one imprint by Benjamin Dutton), Ebenezer Gardner on 29 imprints (1735-47) (one imprint by Benjamin Dutton), George Keith (Baptist) on 11 imprints (1757-69), and Samuel Mason (1742) on two imprints, with one imprint by J. Fuller, Edward Dilly (Independent), E. Mason, and Thomas Field (Independent).

John Hart (d. c. 1765)

Hart operated out of Bartholomew Close, 1732-1741, before moving to Poppings’ Court, Fleet Street, 1741-63. He was succeeded in 1764 by Harris Hart (most likely his son) at same address and later at Crane’s Court, where Harris Hart continued into the 1770s.  A total of 74 imprints appear for J. Hart, and 11 for H. Hart.  Hart combined for 38 titles with John Lewis between 1732 and 1754; 19 titles with Ebenezer Gardner; and 5 titles with George Keith. Hart printed 32 titles of Anne Dutton between 1742 and 1761, with Lewis the seller on 24 of the titles. Other writers printed or sold by Hart include John Eaton (1 title, 2 editions), Dennis De Coetlogon (1 title), John Cennick (6 titles, three sold by Lewis), William Cudworth (4 titles), Samuel Richardson (1 titles, 2 editions), Robert Pool Finch (2 titles), John Green, Thomas Hunter, and Robert Hay Drummond.


Plomer lists John Hart as working from Bartholomew Close, West Smithfield, and at Popping’s Court, Fleet Street, from 1737 to 1764. However, Hart collaborated with John Lewis in 1732 on an edition of Foxe’s Acts and Monuments and possibly an edition that same year (the title page is undated) of Augustine’s Whole Duty of a Christian, with the latter title page offering specific details about their location in Bartholomew Close: “London : printed and sold by J. Hart next door to the Black Horse, and J. Lewis next door to the White Bear, in Bartholomew-Close, near West-Smithfield.”   Plomer suggests that “sometime before 1746” Hart moved into Popping’s Court, but imprints reveal Hart already working from that location as early as 1741. Plomer also notes that in 1754 Hart printed a title by Anne Dutton for Keith and Lewis, though he seems unaware that he was her sole printer between 1742 and 1762. 

John Hart was joined about 1745 by Thomas Hart, his brother, who remained with him until 1765. Thomas Hart had previously been at Bury Court, Love Lane, Wood Street, where he would have worked for Samuel Mason in the early 1740s who sold two of Dutton’s pamphlets printed in 1742 by John Hart. Harris Hart, John Hart’s son, assumed the business in Popping’s Court in 1762 and remained there into the mid-1780s, when he removed to Crane Court where he continued to operate until his death in 1787. Plomer does not know his relation to John Hart, but McKenzie’s records on apprentices shows that he was his son. See H. R. Plomer, et. al., ed., Dictionaries of the Printers and Booksellers who were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland 1557-1775 (London: The Bibliographical Society, 1977). 117-18; D. F. McKenzie, Stationer's Company Apprentices 1701 to 1800 (Oxford: Oxford Bibliographical Society, 1978), 110-11, 162-63; and R. A. Austen Leigh, “William Strahan and his Ledgers,” Library, 4th Series, 3.4 (March 1923), 265-6), where he mentions “A Specimen of the Printing Letter, by T. Hart and W. Strahan, in Bury Court, Love Lane, Wood Street.”


John Lewis (1697-1755) 

Lewis was baptized on April 27, 1797, at Casgob, Radnorshire.  In November 1716 he became an apprentice to the printer Joseph Downing (d. 1734) in Bartholomew Close, where he served with another apprentice at that time, John Hart (d. c. 1765), who preceded Lewis at Downing’s by five months. After they gained their freedom (Hart in 1725 and Lewis in 1728), they established themselves close to Downing in Bartholomew Close. Between 1743 and 1747 they collaborated frequently with Ebenezer Gardner in Gracechurch Street (d. 1771), their former associate in Bartholomew Close (1735-37). Lewis’s first imprint appeared in 1731, an edition of the Book of Common Prayer, working from “the Black Boy in Bartholomew Close, near West-Smithfield.” The next year a new edition of John Foxe’s Book of Martyrs was “printed and sold by John Hart and John Lewis in Bartholomew Close near West-Smithfield, 1732.” It is unlikely the two men worked from the same establishment, for another imprint, The Whole Duty of a Christian (undated, but most likely c. 1732), places Hart “next door to the Black Horse, and J. Lewis next door to the White Bear, in Bartholomew-Close, near West-Smithfield.” 

The Gardners were gone by 1739 and Hart by 1741; Lewis would remain until 1749, when he relocated to 1 Paternoster Row. John Lewis married Mary Thorogood (she was originally from Wollaston, Northamptonshire) on July 3, 1726, at St. Dunstan in the West, and thereafter she would work with her husband in the print shop, succeeding him after his death in 1755 and becoming one of the most significant woman printers and booksellers in London in the last half of the eighteenth century. Though Anglicans, by 1737 the Lewises had joined the Methodist movement led by the Wesleys and George Whitefield, eventually siding with Whitefield as Calvinists and joining with him at the Tabernacle in Moorfields (he was Whitefield’s primary printer in 1741-42). By 1745, the Lewises had removed from the Tabernacle and were worshiping solely among the Moravians in Fetter Lane.

John Lewis appeared on at least 127 imprints between 1731 and 1755, nearly all of which, like those of his mentor Downing, were religious in nature. He also sold some 40 titles in his bookshop (according to periodical advertisements c. 1740-42) for which he may well have been the printer, though his name did not appear on the title pages, a good indicator of the nature of his work at that time as both a printer and bookseller. He sold seventeen works by Dutton, who was a friend and correspondent of Whitefield. All seventeen titles were printed by John Hart at Popping’s Court, Fleet Street, and also sold by their former colleague in Bartholomew Close, Ebenezer Gardner, at that time operating in Gracechurch Street. 

Besides Dutton’s writings, Lewis was the sole printer and seller of twelve titles by Cennick between 1741 and 1755. Besides Hart and Gardner, other sellers and printers who collaborated with Lewis include George Keith, a Baptist; James Hutton and John Syms, Moravians; and John Oswald and Richard Hett, Independents (Congregationalists). Through various levels of cooperation, these printers and sellers joined Lewis in disseminating the works of such British evangelical and dissenting (Calvinist) figures as Charles Bradbury, William Cudworth, Alexander Cruden, Benjamin Dutton, and Andrew Gifford, as well as two American ministers, Samuel Davies and Thomas Prince. For more on John and Mary Lewis and their important printing and selling career in London, see Timothy Whelan, “Mary Lewis and her Family of Printers and Booksellers, 1 Paternoster Row, 1749-1812, Publishing History 85 (2021): 31-67; see also

Ebenezer Gardner (c. 1710-71) 

Gardner was approved for baptism at the Baptist congregation at Maze Pond, Southwark, on 27 May 1730; the congregation received satisfaction concerning his moral conduct from two messengers on 24 June 1730. His future wife, Sarah Pullen, joined on 28 February 1737, and they married soon thereafter. In December 1743 Ebenezer Gardner notified the congregation of his desire to withdraw and join with another denomination (most likely an Independent congregation). He formally withdrew from Maze Pond in January 1744. The messengers to Gardner informed the church that “he was resolved never more to come near the Church & from the time of their being with him he should look upon himself no longer a member of the Church” (see 1722-43 book, entry for 19 December 1743). It does not appear that Gardner ever rejoined the church. Unlike her husband, Sarah did not leave Maze Pond in 1744, an unusual circumstance for a dissenting couple at that time to worship not only in two different congregations but also two different denominations. 

The Gardners opened their first bookshop in Bartholomew Close in 1735, close by the shop of John and Mary Lewis, as well as that of Thomas Gardner (c. 1712-65), who may have been Ebenezer's brother. Like John Lewis, Thomas had served his apprenticeship under Joseph Downing of Bartholomew Close (there is no record of Ebenezer's apprenticeship). Like Ebenezer Gardner, Thomas also opened his first shop in Bartholomew Close in 1735, relocating to the Strand in 1739 (opposite St. Clement's Church), where he enjoyed a prosperous business (some 152 imprints) until his death in 1765. He never sold any works by Dutton. Ebenezer and Sarah Gardner remained in Bartholomew Close until 1737, when they moved to Coleman Street near the Old Jewry, then to Milton’s Head, near Aldgate (1740-1746), The Ship in Lombard Street (1747-1750), Temple Bar (1751) (near the shop of Thomas Gardner), and finally to Gracechurch Street, near Cross Keys Inn (1752-1775). 

Ebenezer Gardner appeared on approximately 90 imprints prior to his death in 1771, including some 20 titles by Dutton which he sold with Lewis and Hart between 1743 and 1755. Despite his falling out with Maze Pond, he continued to print works by evangelicals and Baptists, even serving as the primary seller of sermons by his former pastor, Benjamin Wallin (1711-82). Sarah Gardner also operated as a bookseller, appearing on 31 imprints between 1760 and 1775. Her titles are almost exclusively works by dissenting writers, including nine titles by Wallin.  She sold those works almost exclusively with other evangelical dissenting booksellers, such as George Keith, Joseph Johnson (Keith's former apprentice), William Lepard, Benjamin Tomkins, and Joseph Dermer, all Baptists; Independents Thomas Field James Buckland, and Edward and Charles Dilly;, as well as John Payne (Johnson's partner for a short time), George Kearsley, and Reuben Bishop. For the accounts of the memberships at Maze Pond of Ebenezer and Sarah Gardner, see Maze Pond Church Books, 1722-43, p. 1, and 1744-83, pp. 184, 186, 456, Angus Library, Regent's Park College, Oxford. For more on Thomas Gardner, see Patrick Spedding, “Thomas, Lucy, and Henry Lasher Gardner, Opposite St. Clement’s Church in the Strand, 1739-1805,” Script & Print 39:1 (2015), pp. 21–58.


George Keith (d. 1782) 

Keith joined John Gill’s congregation at Carter Lane, Southwark, in 1756. He assumed the business of Richard Hett, another Dissenting bookseller, and set up as a bookseller and printer, first in Cheapside (1749-1753) and then at several locations in Gracechurch Street (1753-1782). He married John Gill’s daughter, and published many of Gill’s most important works as well as works by Anne Dutton in the 1750s and 60s. Among his apprentices were two important Dissenting figures in London in the last quarter of the eighteenth century: Joseph Johnson (1738-1809) and Joseph Gurney (1744-1815). In 1774 (after Gill’s death), Keith and Joshua Warne, his friend and fellow deacon, both holding High Calvinist views, left Carter Lane and its new pastor, John Rippon, and joined William Button’s new congregation in Dean Street, Southwark. See Horsleydown and Carter Lane Church Book, ff. 22, 27.

Item no. 6 in Keith's 1769 list of Dutton's works is listed as Occasional Letters on Spiritual Subjects, 14 vols, which suggests there was a 14th volume of Dutton's Letters, although it is possible his 1769 volume was intended to be the 14th volume, even though he does not put that on the title page. Keith list does not include dates of publication. Whitebrook's list of Dutton's works, which he says is taken from Dutton's monument, is identical to Keith's list recorded in 1769, all of which he either had published or was selling by 1769. It is likely that Keith's list formed the basis for the list of titles that later appeared on Dutton's monument at Great Gransden.