Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John Spottiswoode

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John Spottiswoode (1780-1866), printer

1779 John Spottiswoode, Senior, married Margaret Penelope the daughter of William Strahan, master printer in London, who had held a one-third share in the patent of King’s printer since 1770.

1784/5 John Spottiswoode, Senior, also became a partner in the private business of his brother-in-law (Andrew Strahan) .

John had six sons: of these, William, the second, died, aged 17, and Henry, the youngest, died, aged 13.

1805 John's eldest son, also John (1780-1866), succeeded his father.

By his will, William Strahan had provided £5,000 for the benefit of the existing and future children of his daughter Margaret, who died in 1794. This was used to set up a fund of £6,802, under the management of his trustees Andrew Strahan and Thomas Cadell. From this Andrew Spottiswoode, John’s third surviving son, obtained £2,871 when he came of age in 1808. After schooling in Edinburgh, he began work in his uncle’s private printing house, and eventually went into partnership with him.

1819 Andrew and his youngest surviving brother Robert took over from Strahan the active management of the concern, which became known as A. and R. Spottiswoode. They installed steam printing and acquired and rebuilt additional premises in the area of New Street Square and Shoe Lane.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • [1] History of Parliament