Friday, February 25, 2011

Bacon and Shake-Speare's publishers/printers - Part 1 of 4

Bacon's Connection to the Printers of the 1623 Shakespeare Folio
In the latter part of Bacon's life, the steward of his estates was William Tottel. He is also described as "A Six Clerk in Chancery."

This William Totell was the son of the famous Elizabethan printer, Richard Totell, who was master of the Stationers' Company in 1579. Richard had a patent for the printing of law books, and also published, among other works, the famous Tottel's Miscellany, or Songes and Sonnets written by Henry Howard, late Earle of Surrey, and others (1557). He took as apprentice John Jaggard. Richard died in 1594. When Richard Tottel retired, John Jaggard took over his shop at the Hand and Star in Fleet Street. After his father retired, William Tottell, in 1591, was acting as "dealer for his father," presumably in the capacity of liquidator.

William Jaggard (c. 1568 – November 1623) was an Elizabethan and Jacobean printer and publisher, best known for his connection with the texts of William Shakespeare, most notably the First Folio of Shakespeare's plays. William Jaggard's brother John Jaggard was also a printer and publisher, and held the rights to print the Essays of Sir Francis Bacon. John published editions of the Essays (1606, 1612, 1613) that were printed by his brother William.

John Jaggard entered into partnership with his brother William. William had published, for his brother John, the first edition of Bacon's Essays in 1597.

John Jaggard’s shop was quite close to Bacon’s house, and his old master’s son (William Tottell, son of Richard) was a steward of Bacon. In 1618, Bacon interested himself in a petition which John Jaggard presented, partly on behalf of poor stationers of London, and partly on behalf of himself. See A Printer of Shakespeare by Edwin Eliott Willoughby, 1934.

And keep in mind, for later, that in 1612 John Beale and William Hall were also allowed to register a copy of Bacon’s essays and to print an edition.

The Shakespeare Folio of 1623 was "printed by Isaac Jaggard and Edward Blount." Isaac was the eldest son of William Jaggard. We have thus a connection between the Tottels, the Jaggards, Bacon and the works of Shakespeare's First Folio. William Jaggard also published The Passionate Pilgrim by W. Shakespeare, 1599.

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