Bernard Lintot (16751736)



  • Printer
  • Stationer
  • Bookseller
  • Publisher


  • Bernard Lintott
  • Bernard Lintot
  • Barnaby Bernard Lintot

Biographical details

Note: the 19th- and early 20th-century biographies below preserve a historical record. We welcome submissions of new biographies that reflect 21st-century approaches to the subjects in question.

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

LINTOT, or LINTOTT (BARNABY BERNARD), bookseller in London, (1) Cross Keys in St. Martin's Lane, 1698; (2) Post Office, in the Middle Temple Gate in Fleet Street, 1701-4; (3) Cross Keys (and Crown), (a) between the two Temple Gates in Fleet Street, (b) next Nando's Coffee House, Temple Bar, 1709-36. 1698-1736. This eminent publisher was born at Southwater, Horsham, on December ist, 1675. He was the son of John Lintot yeoman and was probably a nephew of the Joshua Lintot who was printer to the House of Commons between 1708 and 1710. Bernard Lintot was bound apprentice to Thomas Lingard in December 1690, was afterwards turned over to John Harding, and became a freeman of the Company in March 1699. In 1698 his name appears on the imprints of Crowne's Caligula and Vanbrugh's Relapse. He married on October 13th, 1700. He very soon became noted as the publisher of poems and plays by Farquhar, Fenton, Gay, Parnell, Pope, Steele, and other famous authors. In 1712 he published Micellaneous Poems and Translations by several hands, in opposition to Tonson's Miscellany; it contained the first version of The Rape of the Lock. In 1713 Lintot was the highest bidder for the copyright of Pope's Iliad, and became proprietor. The first volume appeared on June 6th, 1715, the last in 1720. Owing to the appearance in Holland of a pirated duodecimo edition, Lintot was robbed of much of his expected profit, being compelled to issue a similar cheap edition in this country. For the Odyssey, which he published in 1725-6, Lintot agreed to pay Pope £600, and to supply free of charge copies for Pope's subscribers. Pope insisted that free copies should also be sent to the subscribers found by Broome. This led to a quarrel, and Pope pilloried Lintot in The Dunciad, and elsewhere. During the severe frost of 1715-16 Lintot was one of those who set up stalls on the frozen Thames. After the accession of George I he was appointed one of the printers of the Parliamentary votes, and kept this office until 1727. Lintot took his son Henry into business in 1730. He died on February 3rd, 1736, and his will, made in 1730, was proved on February 14th, by his son. Lintot served the office of renter warden of the Company of Stationers in 1715, and in 1729 and 1730 was under-warden. He is described by Swift as large and fair in person and character; Young says that he was choleric. Pope gives an amusing account [Letter cxx, ed. 1730] of Lintot's conversation, in which the latter reveals his arts in managing translators and correctors and critics of tongues unknown to himself. He was noted for posting up the titles of his new books, printed in red. [D.N.B., T.C., &c.]

Dictionary of National Biography (1885–1900)

LINTOT, BARNABY BERNARD (1675–1736), publisher, the son of John Lintott, yeoman, was born at Southwater, Horsham, Sussex, on 1 Dec. 1675. He was probably a nephew of the Joshua Lintot who was printer to the House of Commons between 1708 and 1710. He was bound apprentice at Stationers' Hall to Thomas Lingard in December 1690, was afterwards turned over to John Harding, and was made free of the company in March 1699. He rarely used the name Barnaby, and after some years spelt his surname with one 't.' In 1698 his name appears on the imprint of Crowne's 'Caligula' and Vanbrugh's 'Relapse' as 'at the Cross Keys in St. Martin's Lane;' but he afterwards moved to the Cross Keys and Crown, next Nando's Coffee-house, which was the first house east of Inner Temple Lane. On 13 Oct. 1700 Lintot was married at St. Bartholomew's, Smithfield, to one Katherine, who was born in January 1664. A son, Henry, was born in 1703. In 1702 he published 'Examen Miscellaneum, consisting of verse and prose,' and besides books on graver subjects he afterwards published poems and plays for Pope, Gay, Farquhar, William King, Fenton, Parnell, Steele, Rowe, &c. Farquhar received from 15 l. to 30 l. each for his plays, Gay 43 l. each for 'Trivia' and 'Three Hours after Marriage,' King 32 l. 5s. each for the 'Art of Cookery' and the 'Art of Love,' Rowe 50 l. 15s. for 'Jane Shore' and 75 l. 5s. for 'Lady Jane Grey,' and Steele 21 l. 10s. for the 'Lying Lovers.' In 1708 Lintot was called on by the Company of Stationers to take upon him their livery; in 1715 he was renter-warden, in 1722–3 he was elected into the court of assistants, and in 1729 and 1730 was under-warden. In 1709 he published Fenton's 'Oxford and Cambridge Miscellany Poems,' and in 1712 'Miscellaneous Poems and Translations, by several hands,' in opposition to 'Tonson's Miscellany.' In some verses which first appeared in this volume, but were afterwards enlarged, Swift said of Lintot,

His character's beyond compare, Like his own person, large and fair.

The last poem in the book was Pope's 'Rape of the Lock,' in its first form. In the following year, after the appearance of Addison's 'Cato,' Lintot published a piece by Dennis criticising the play, and Pope seized the opportunity of attacking Dennis in the well-known 'Narrative of Dr. Robert Norris,' in which Lintot was described as a friend in attendance on Dennis in his madness. Steele thereupon wrote to Lintot to say that Addison wholly disapproved of the way in which Dennis had been treated in this piece. In 1713 Pope put forth proposals for a translation of the 'Iliad,' in six quarto volumes, to be published by subscription. Lintot, the highest bidder among the booksellers, became proprietor, and articles of agreement were signed on 23 March 1713–14, by which he agreed that Pope should have two hundred guineas for each volume, and all the subscription money (Egerton Charters, Brit. Mus. 128). Subscriptions were received for 654 copies, and only 660 were printed. Pope therefore received, altogether, about 5,300 l., for Lintot supplied the subscription copies free of charge. The first volume appeared, after unavoidable delay, on 6 June 1715, and on 10 Feb. 1715–16 a new agreement was signed, by which Pope was to receive four hundred guineas in lieu of the subscription money for the second volume, then in the press (Egerton MSS. Brit. Mus. 1951, f. 2). The last volume appeared in 1720. Lintot hoped to recoup himself by the copies of the work which he printed in folio, in paper of two sizes; but owing to the appearance in Holland of a pirated duodecimo edition he was compelled at once to issue a similar but more convenient cheap edition. In a 'merry' letter to Lord Burlington, written about 1716, Pope describes a conversation which he had with Lintot while riding to Oxford, and explains how Lintot, who knew no languages himself, arranged for work to be done by translators and critics. During the severe frost of 1715–16 Lintot seems to have set up business on the Thames: 'In this place Boyer plies; there's Lintot's stand' (Nichols, Literary Anecdotes, i. 118). In 1717 he published a collection of 'Poems on several occasions,' by various hands, and an edition of Pope's 'Poems' (Egerton Charters, 129). After the accession of George I he was disappointed at not being made one of the stationers and booksellers to the king, and he subsequently wrote to Lord-justice Parker that he was pressing his interest to serve the prince and princess (Stowe MSS. No. 233). He was, however, appointed, with Tonson and William Taylor, to be one of the printers of the parliamentary votes, and he kept this office until 1727. In 1719 he paid 51 l. 5s. for a twentieth share in the 'Daily Courant,' and in 1722 Tonson assigned to him half of Steele's 'Conscious Lovers' for 70 l. On 6 Feb. 1718 Lintot had entered into a partnership agreement with Tonson for the purchase of plays during eighteen months following that date. For Pope's 'Odyssey,' for which Broome and Fenton were largely responsible, Lintot agreed, on 18 Feb. 1723–4, to pay Pope 600 l. for the five volumes, and to supply free of charge copies for Pope's subscribers (Egerton Charters, 130). The first volume appeared in April 1725, and the last in June 1726. A quarrel afterwards arose because Lintot objected to supply free copies not only to Pope's but to Broome's private subscribers, and Lintot threatened proceedings in chancery. Pope and Fenton called Lintot a scoundrel and wretch, but he cannot have made much by the 'Odyssey,' and Pope doubtless misled him as well as the public as to the amount of the translation that would be contributed by Broome. In 1728 Pope introduced Lintot into the 'Dunciad,' and in 1735 into the 'Prologue to the Satires;' but he made no more serious charges than that Lintot was stout and clumsy, and that he adorned his shop with 'rubric posts,' to which titles of books, in red letters, were affixed. Dr. Young says that Lintot was a 'great sputtering fellow,' liable to fits of rage (Spence, Anecdotes, and Love of Fame, Satire iv.) In 1726, having made additions to his father's property in Sussex, Lintot tried, without success, to ascertain his pedigree and arms. From 1730, when his son Henry was admitted to the freedom of the Company of Stationers, and obtained the livery, the business was carried on in the joint names of father and son, and Lintot probably spent most of the remaining years of his life at Horsham. Broome House, Fulham, is said to have been his residence, but was more probably that of his son (Thorne, Environs of London, p. 224). In November 1735 he was nominated high sheriff for Sussex, but he did not live to enjoy the honour, which was, however, at once bestowed upon his son. He died on 3 Feb. 1736, 'the next week after he came to town' (Pope to Broome, 25 March 1736), and his will, made in 1730, was proved on 14 Feb. by his son, the sole executor. Henry Lintot (1703–1758), son of the above, died in 1758. By his first wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Sir John Aubrey, bart., whom he married in 1730 (she died in 1734), he had a son Aubrey, who died young, and a daughter Catherine, who carried on business as a law printer in partnership with Richardson the novelist, made a fortune of 45,000 l., and married, in 1768, Captain Henry Fletcher. She died in 1816, and was buried in the church of Walton-on-Thames. By his second wife, who died in 1763, Henry Lintot had no children.

[Pope's Works, ed. Elwin and Courthope; Nichols's Literary Anecdotes, i. 13, 28, 61, 77–8, 81, 93, 109, 110, 118, 138, 187, 196–7, 241, 368, ii. 165, viii. 161–76, 293–304; Nichols's Lit. Illustr. ii. 707; Swift's Works; Spence's Anecdotes; Lower's Worthies of Sussex, p. 276; Sussex Archæological Collections, viii. 275–7; Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. iv. 149, 6th ser. i. 475, ii. 76, 293.]

by George Atherton Aitken

Encyclopædia Britannica 11th edition (1911)

LINTOT, BARNABY BERNARD (1675–1736), English publisher, was born at Southwater, Sussex, on the 1st of December 1675, and started business as a publisher in London about 1698. He published for many of the leading writers of the day, notably Vanbrugh, Steele, Gay and Pope. The latter’s Rape of the Lock in its original form was first published in Lintot’s Miscellany, and Lintot subsequently issued Pope’s translation of the Iliad and the joint translation of the Odyssey by Pope, Fenton and Broome. Pope quarrelled with Lintot with regard to the supply of free copies of the latter translation to the author’s subscribers, and in 1728 satirized the publisher in the Dunciad, and in 1735 in the Prologue to the Satires, though he does not appear to have had any serious grievance. Lintot died on the 3rd of February 1736.