Jacob Tonson the Younger (16821735; fl. 17001735)



  • Printer
  • Bookseller
  • Publisher
  • Book Binder
  • Stationer

Jacob Tonson the Younger, printer, bookseller, bookbinder, and stationer (1700–35); at Gray's Inn Gate; at Shakespeare's Head opposite St. Catherine's Street in the Strand.

A Dictionary of the Printers and Booksellers who were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1668 to 1725, by Henry Plomer (1922)

TONSON (JACOB) II, bookseller, bookbinder and printer in London, (i) Gray's Inn Gate; (2) Shakespeare's Head, opposite Catherine Street in the Strand, 1700 (?)–35. Nephew of Jacob Tonson I (q. v.), and probably son of Richard. He may have succeeded his father soon after 1689, but is first known as in partnership with his uncle after 1700. It was Jacob II who in 1712 bought half the rights in the Spectator, vols. i–vii, from Addison and Steele. In or about 1720 he succeeded his uncle, and continued to publish important literary works for Steele, Pope, Theobald, &c. From his will it appears that he was a bookbinder, a stationer and a printer, as well as a bookseller; his printing business was in partnership with John Watts, in Covent Garden they are given as "well-affected" by Negus in 1724. He died on December 2nd, 1735, and was succeeded by his son Jacob III. [D.N.B.; Nichols, Lit. Anecd. I. 295–7.]

Notes & Queries "London Booksellers Series" (1931–2)

TONSON, JACOB, I and II. In the account given of this uncle and nephew no allusion has been made to Jacob Tonson senior's connection with the famous Kit Cat Club. Mention might be made too of the fact that Jacob junior bought half the rights in the first seven volumes of the Spectator from Addison and Steele in 1712 and that the acquired the remaining half two years later.

—Ambrose Heal, 5 December 1931