1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ames, Joseph

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AMES, JOSEPH (1689-1759), English author, was born at Yarmouth on the 23rd of January 1689. He wrote an account of printing in England from 1471 to 1600, Typographical Antiquities (1749). Ames sent out circular letters with a list of two hundred and fifteen English printers with whose works he intended to deal, asking for any available information. He earned the gratitude of subsequent bibliographers by disregarding printed lists and consulting the title-pages of the books themselves. An interleaved copy of the work with many notes in the author's hand is now in the British Museum. Editions of his works were published with added information by William Herbert (3 vols., 1785-1790), and T. F. Dibdin (4 vols., 1810-1819). Ames's occupation is variously given. It is uncertain whether he was a ship-chandler, a patten-maker, a plane-iron maker or an ironmonger; but he led a prosperous life at Wapping, and amassed valuable collections of antiquities. He died on the 7th of October 1759. His other works are catalogues of English printers, of the collection of coins which belonged to the earl of Pembroke, of some two thousand English portraits, and Parentalia (1750), a memoir of the Wrens, undertaken in conjunction with Sir Christopher Wren's grandson, Stephen Wren. Part of his correspondence in bibliography is included in Nichols's Literary Anecdotes and Illustrations.