Butterworth, Joseph (DNB00)

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BUTTERWORTH, JOSEPH (1770–1826), law bookseller, was son of the Rev. John Butterworth [q. v.], baptist minister of Coventry. He was born at Coventry in 1770. At an early age he went to London, where he learned the business of a law bookseller, and founded a large and lucrative establishment in Fleet Street, in which his nephew, Henry [q. v.], afterwards assisted him. His house became a resort of the leading philanthropists of the day. There Lords Liverpool and Teignmouth, William Wilberforce and the elder Macaulay discussed their benevolent schemes, and there the first meetings of the British and Foreign Bible Society were held. Butterworth liberally supported many philanthropic and christian institutions. He was M.P. for Coventry 1812–8, and for Dover 1820–6, and gave an independent support to the government of the day. In August 1819 he was appointed general treasurer of the Wesleyan Methodist Missionary Society, which office he retained until his death. For many years he was a loyal member of the Wesleyan community, but maintained a generous spirit towards all. He was author of ‘A General Catalogue of Law Books,’ with their dates and prices; a work of great value to members of the legal profession. He died at his house in Bedford Square, London, 30 June 1826, aged 56.

[Sermon by Rev. Richard Watson, 1826, in vol. ii. of Watson's Works; Minutes of the Methodist Conference.]

W. B. L.