Friday, November 28, 2014

T. Paine of Holywell Street

[1] Richard Carlile (Senior).

by Robert J. Kirkpatrick

THE NAME of T. Paine will be familiar to students of the penny blood for the handful of serials he published in 1840-41 from his premises at 20 Holywell Street, Strand. But he has hitherto been forgotten and overlooked, probably because his career as a publisher was so short. So who, exactly, was he?

He was born Thomas Paine Carlile, the fourth son of Richard Carlile, the radical publisher and champion of the philosopher and political theorist Thomas Paine (1737-1809), author of Rights of Man (1791) and The Age of Reason (1794-1807).

RICHARD CARLILE, born in Ashburton, Devon, on 8 December 1790, spent many years as an itinerant tinworker before marrying Jane Cousins (1791-1843) in 1813, and settling in London. They went on to have five children: Richard (b.1814), Alfred (b.1816), Thomas Paine (born 1818, and died the year after), a second Thomas Paine (b.1819), and Hypatia (born 1822, and died within three years, in 1825).

In 1817, fired by political zeal, Richard Carlile became a seller of pamphlets and journals, and later a writer and publisher, focussing on radical and other causes — which led to several terms of imprisonment. He went into partnership with the printer William Sherwin and together they published Sherwin’s Political Register. In February 1819 he established himself as a bookseller and publisher at 55 Fleet Street, but a few months after this found himself beginning a six year prison sentence in Dorchester Prison (originally three years, but extended to six following his refusal to pay a fine of £1,500) for seditious libel, for selling Thomas Paine’s works and for having published his own account of the Peterloo Massacre (in which 15 people were killed when soldiers attacked a crowd of people demanding the reform of parliamentary representation in Manchester on 16 August 1819) in his Political Register. When his shop was raided and his stock of newspapers and pamphlets (which included works by Thomas Paine) seized by the authorities, he re-launched his periodical as The Republican, only to be arrested after the first number had been issued.

During his incarceration his business was carried on by his wife, and he continued issuing new periodicals, most notable The Newgate Monthly Magazine, launched on 1 September 1824 and produced by some of Carlile’s shopmen who had also been imprisoned. After his release in 1825 he opened new premises at 62 Fleet Street, and turned his attention to birth control, and rethinking his earlier anti-religion philosophy, thereby damaging his reputation. In 1827 he embarked on what became a lengthy series of lectures, and in 1831 he was sentenced to another term in prison for seditious libel, published in his short-lived periodical The Prompster, during which he formed a relationship with Eliza Sharples, an advocate of women’s rights — he and his wife Jane subsequently separated, Jane setting up in business as a bookseller on her own, and in April 1833 Carlile and Sharples had their first child, Julian, born out of wedlock and thereby damaging Carlile’s reputation even further. Several more short-lived periodicals followed, including The Political Soldier, The London Star, Phoenix, The Church and Carlile’s Political Register, none of which lasted for more than a handful of issues. At the time of the 1841 census, he was living in Old Road, Enfield, with Eliza and their children Richard, Hypatia (b.1836), and Theophila (b.1837). He continued to lecture, but financially he was insecure, and he even became estranged from Eliza, who moved to Devon with their children in 1842.

In January 1843 he moved from Enfield to an address in Bouverie Street, Fleet street (probably No 1, the home of his son Alfred), and launched The Christian Warrior, a weekly periodical which reflected his atheism, a position he had slowly come to adopt over the previous ten or so years. He only saw three numbers off the press, however, as he died on 10 February 1843. His death received a lot of publicity, with some newspapers describing him as “an extraordinary man” and others as “a notorious infidel”. He had bequeathed his body to St. Thomas’s Hospital, where it was subsequently taken and used for an anatomy lecture before being dissected by students.

FUNERAL SERVICE. His funeral took place on 26 February 1843, and this, too, attracted a lot of publicity, albeit for an unusual reason. After a delay of an hour, the cortege, consisting of a hearse and five coaches, left Bouverie Street and made its way to Kensal Green Cemetery, in Willesden, arriving at just before five o’clock after a two-hour journey. When the Rev. Josiah Twigger was about to start reading the burial service, Alfred Carlile stepped forward and on behalf of the family objected: “Sir, we protest against the performance of this ceremony. Our late father lived and died in opposition to priestcraft of every description, and we, therefore, protest in his name against the service being read” (as reported in several local newspapers). The clergyman insisted that he had to carry out his duty, and after Richard Carlile jnr. pointed out that the grave had been bought for the family and they did not want the funeral service to be read, Thomas Paine Carlile urged everyone to leave, which they did, leaving the Rev. Twigger to conduct the service in front of the sexton and two other people.

[2] Theophila’s book, 1899.
Richard Carlile was a vigorous campaigner for a free press, and he tried to pass on his passion to his sons, but with little success. It is known that Carlile helped his sons in their careers through a biography written by his daughter Theophila and published in 1899. In it, she wrote:
“It cannot be said that any of these sons followed in their father’s footsteps. Though they were associated with him, by turns, in the practical part of the publishing business, they seemed not to have inherited either their mother’s thrift or their father’s talents, and were the source of much uneasiness to him … Carlile set them up in business several times, but always with unpleasant results; the unpopularity of the name Carlile at that time may have had much to do with their non-success, but not all.” — from The Battle of the Press as told in the story of the life of Richard Carlile, by Theophila Carlile Campbell, London: A. & H.B. Bonner, 1899, pp.18-19

HIS SON RICHARD. His first son, Richard Carlile jnr., was born on 25 March 1813, and worked as both a publisher and a newsagent, although he published very little on his own account. In December 1833, operating out of 26 Bride Lane, Fleet Street, he joined forces with R.E. Lee, of 31 Marylebone Lane, to publish The Man: A Rational Advocate, which had been launched in July 1833 and which ran until August 1834. In 1834 Richard Carlile jnr. published a reissue of Defensive Instructions for the People, containing the new and improved combination of arms, called Foot Lancers; miscellaneous instructions on the subject of small arms and ammunition, street and house fighting, written by Francis Macerone and originally published in 1832.

In 1836, operating out of 137 Fleet Street, he began issuing a threehalfpenny weekly Library of Romance, or Journal of Fiction, which comprised pirated works by authors such as Sir Walter Scott, Mrs S.C. Hall, Leigh Hunt and G.P.R. James. It was later reprinted, or continued, by Orlando Hodgson of 111 Fleet Street, under a slightly different title.

At the time of the 1841 census Richard Carlile jnr. was living in Belgrave Terrace, Shoreditch, described as a newsagent, with a wife (Maria, born in Ireland around 1816) and three children. In 1842 he was listed in the Post Office Directory as a newsagent at 2 Water Lane, Fleet Street (presumably with his mother — his younger brother Alfred had also been living and working from there, although he appears to have given up his business), and a year later at 2 Paul’s Court, Huggin Lane (in the City of London), again as a newsagent. According to Theophila Carlile, he inherited his father’s business and stock of books on his father’s death, alongside a small annuity, while Eliza Sharples inherited only his furniture and personal possessions. He emigrated to America after a while, and settled in Winsconsin, where he was elected to state’s House of Assembly. He died in New York in 1855 of “ship fever” (i.e. epidemic typhus) which he had contracted during his return to America after making a trip to London, leaving a widow and nine children.

His second son, Alfred Carlile was born on 26 February 1816, and baptised a month later in the parish of St. George, Bloomsbury, at the same time as his elder brother Richard. He became a publisher, printer and wholesale newsagent, seemingly beginning in business at 183 Fleet Street in 1836, from where he published An Introduction to the Science of the Modern Mysteries of Masonry, Christianity and Judaism, copied for non-Masonic readers, written by his father. (He went on to publish, and print, a few more of his father’s works.)

In 1837 he moved to 137 Fleet Street, from where he issued The Phoenix, or The Christian Advocate of Equal Knowledge, a short-lived periodical which ran from 5 February to 5 March 1837, and Mirabaud’s System of Nature. In 1838 he moved to 2 Water Lane, Fleet Street, from where he published a reissue of his father’s Every Woman’s Book, or What is Love?, an early tract on birth control. He also issued the short-lived Carlile’s Political Register, which ran from 19 October to 14 December 1839.

Also in or around 1839, from 1 Water Lane, he issued, in partnership with his brother Thomas Paine Carlile, who was working in Manchester, A Dictionary of Some of the Names in the Sacred Scriptures Translated into the English Language, written by Richard Carlile and based on writings by Eliza Sharples. He also advertised as a newspaper agent supplying bulk copies of all London periodicals and newspapers at a much lower price than his competitors, charging a commission of just 5% on top of the actual wholesale price. He was still at 2 Water Lane at the time of the 1841 census, living with his mother.

At some point he became the proprietor of City Hall, 110 Chancery Lane, which was used for lectures and public meetings, but in May 1842, having given up his publishing business, he found himself in a debtors’ prison (London Gazette, 27 May 1842). After appearing in the Court for the Relief of Insolvent Debtors in July, he was discharged from his bankruptcy on 15 August 1842.

The following year he was back in business at 1 Bouverie Street, publishing another short-lived weekly, The Royal Album of Literature and Art. By 1845 he had apparently opened a shop at 103 Strand, where he sold books and prints under the name of “Ward”, and it was his activities here that led to him being tried at the Old Bailey on 15 September 1845 for selling obscene prints. As was often the case in the mid-19th century, the prosecution was brought about by the Society for the Suppression of Vice, whose representative visited his shop in July 1845 and bought three French prints, shown to him in a back room, which were adjudged to be obscene. Two witnesses were called by his defence to testify as to his good character, one of whom told the court that he used the name Ward as “he did not like the name of Carlile on account of his father’s notoriety” (Old Bailey transcript). Despite his good character, he was found guilty, and detained in custody in Newgate Prison until he was formally sentenced in October 1845 to six months in prison. He died two years later.

SOMETHING STRANGE. Rather strangely, the day after The Times had reported his trial at the Old Bailey (16 September 1845), a letter was published in the same newspaper:

“Sir, Will you allow me to correct an error in your report of the proceedings at the Central Criminal Court, which appeared in Tuesday’s paper, and in which one Alfred Carlile, a son of the late Richard Carlile, is said to have appeared on a charge of misdemeanour? I being the only Alfred Carlile in the family of the late Richard Carlile, shall be subjected to much inconvenience and annoyance if the report referred to is not contradicted.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant, ALFRED CARLILE

Prince’s-street, Leicester-Square, late of the Haymarket.”
The explanation for this lies in the activities of Richard Carlile’s third son.

HIS SON THOMAS PAINE. His third surviving son, Thomas Paine Carlile was born on 30 November 1819, and baptised in the parish of St. George, Bloomsbury, on 16 February 1820. He seems to have begun his career as a bookseller in Manchester — it was from premises at the Catholic Chapel, New George Street, Shudehill, Manchester, that he jointly published his father’s A Dictionary of Some of the Names in the Sacred Scriptures with his brother Alfred, and it was also in Manchester that he married his first wife, Charlotte Ward, a year younger than him and the daughter of Samuel Ward, a coachman, in the Chapel of Hulme, on 11 December 1838. His address at the time was 42 Bradshaw Steet, Hulme. They had a son, Richard, born in October 1839, after which they moved to London, where Thomas began working as a publisher and wholesale newsagent at 22 Bride Lane, Fleet Street. His first work from this address appears to have been a 16-page pamphlet on political reform written by his father, issued under the imprint of “T. Paine Carlile”. As T. Paine he began issuing a number of periodicals and serials — The Book of Gems, The Renowned History of the Seven Champions of Christendom, and The Life and Adventures of Bampfylde Moore Carew. King of the Beggars (in 12 weekly parts). From his Bride Lane premises he also advertised as a supplier of London periodicals and newspapers to country agents, at the same time as his brother Alfred, which suggests they may have been no love lost between them.

[3] T. Paine advertisement, 1840.

In June 1840 he began issuing, in penny weekly parts, Fatherless Fanny and The Children of the Abbey, followed by Parley’s Penny Magazine for Youth (presumably very short-lived, as no copies appear to have survived), and, in July 1840, St. Clair of the Isles, or The Outlaws of Barra; The Beggar Girl, or The Child of Fate; and The Farmer of Inglewood Forest. In September 1840 he advertised the first number of Angela the Orphan, or The Bandit Monk of Italy. All his advertising was in The Odd Fellow, a weekly published by H. Hetherington at 126 Strand, and, indeed, it is only through his advertisements that many of his publications are known, as very few have survived.

In late October 1840 Thomas moved to 20 Holywell Street, Strand, from where he issued a handful of other penny-part serials, including William Tell, the Hero of Switzerland; The Black Forest, or The Solitary of the Hut: A Legend of Hornby Castle; and Love and Crime, or The Mystery of the Convent. Other works issued by Thomas from Holywell Street include Paine’s Handbook to the Ball-room; The Keepsake, or Friendship’s Offering (another very short-lived weekly), and a series of lithographed plates, threepence plain and sixpence coloured, of The Drunkard’s Progress.

He appears to have stopped advertising in early July 1841, and certainly nothing else bearing his imprint appears to have been published after 1841. At the time of the 1841 census he was recorded, as Thomas Carlile, at Holywell Street, described as a bookseller and living with his wife and first son. They had a second child, Charlotte Jane, born in September 1841. 

[4] The Sacred Scriptures, ca. 1839.
Thomas continued working as a bookseller, and in 1843 he was listed in the Post Office Directory as a newsvendor and bookseller at 1 Bouverie Street. But in 1846 he was declared bankrupt, and therein lies the solution to the mystery of Alfred Carlile’s letter to The Times in September the previous year. The London Gazette (13 November 1846) gave the following description:
“Thomas Paine Carlile, also known and sued by the name of Thomas Ward, and also known as Thomas Paine, of No. 103, Strand, in the county of Middlesex, Bookseller, and occupying lodgings at No. 3, Fountain Court, Strand…”
It therefore appears that it was Thomas Paine Carlile who was selling indecent prints from his shop in the Strand, and that he gave the police and the court the name of his brother. He was later listed in the 1847 Post Office Directory as “Thomas Ward, Importer of French Prints”, at 103 Strand, but whether or not he was still in business is open to doubt. It was, presumably, Thomas who was taken to Newgate and subsequently spent six months in prison, and not Alfred.

NO TRACE. There is no trace of Thomas, Charlotte or their children in the 1851 census, although in the same year a Thomas Ward & Co., booksellers and publishers, was listed in the Post Office Directory at 27 Paternoster Row. Charlotte died in September 1852, and Thomas married for a second time on 14 January 1854, at All Hallows Church, Tottenham. His wife was Fanny Wright, born in 1835 and the daughter of William Wright, a licensed victualler from Tottenham. They went on to have three children: Fanny (b.1857 in Bedford Square, Bloomsbury), Thomas (b.1858 in Lambeth), and Charles Alfred (b.1859 in Camberwell). 

“THOMAS PAYNE”. At the time of his second marriage, Thomas was described as an Agent — in the 1861 census, he was living in Southwark as Thomas Payne (differently spelled), and described as an accountant’s clerk, with Fanny and his son Charles. His other two children were living with his wife’s father in Camberwell.

In 1871 he was still living as Thomas Payne, at 43 Primrose Hill, St. Bride’s, working as an Agent to a Joint Stock Company. He died in London in October 1878, apparently intestate. His wife died in Islington in 1908.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for linking to this post on VICTORIA! Fascinating - I've done some research on Holywell-street publisher's advertisements (mostly W. Dugdale) and have been wanting to find out more about T. Ward for some time - this was very illuminating!