A Dictionary of the Booksellers and Printers who Were at Work in England, Scotland and Ireland from 1641 to 1667/Newcombe, or Newcomb (Thomas)

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NEWCOMBE, or NEWCOMB (THOMAS), printer in London, (1) Parish of St. Bennet, Paul's Wharf, Thames Street; (2) The kings printing house in the Savoy. 1649-81. Son of Thomas Newcomb of Dunchurch, co. Warwick. Apprentice to Gregory Dexter for eight years from November 8th, 1641. [Register of Apprenticeships, Stationers' Hall.] At the expiration of his time in 1649 be married Ruth, the widow of John Raworth, printer, and succeeded to the business. In the same year, on September 1st, the Council of State ordered his committal to Newgate for printing Lilburne's Outcry of the Young Men and Apprentices of London, and he remained a prisoner for three weeks. [Domestic State Papers, 1649-50, vol. ii., Proc. of the Council of State.] After this he appears to have made his peace with the Government. He printed John Milton's Pro populo Anglicano Defensio secunda in 1654, and in the pamphlet entitled The London Printers Lamentation or the Press Opprest and overprest, he was bitterly assailed as the printer of much of the Commonwealth literature. At the Restoration he continued in favour and was associated with J. Macock in printing the public journals Mercurius Publicus and the Parliamentary Intelligencer. He also held a sixth part in the King's Printing House, and became the printer of the Oxford and London Gazettes. In 1664 he was a Common Councillor of the City, and presented a book of homilies to the Church of St. Bennet, Paul's Wharf. [Guildhall MSS., 877/1.] In the survey taken on July 29th, 1668, he was returned as having three presses and a proof press, one apprentice, seven compositors and five pressmen, in other words, his was one of the largest printing houses in London at that time. [Domestic State Papers, Charles II, vol. 243, p. 181.] Some interesting notes about Newcombe at a later date will be found in the Appendix to the 9th Report of the Hist. MSS. Commissioners. His death took place between December 22nd, 1681, and January 11th, 168 1/2, when his will was proved in the Prerogative Court of Canterbury [7 Cottle.] His share in the King's Printing Office he left in trust to pay annuities to ten poor and aged workmen printers or their widows, the residue to go to his son Thomas. He bequeathed the Company of Stationers a piece of plate value £20, and left sums for the poor of Dunchurch, co. Warwick, and those of St. Bennet's, Paul's Wharf. Amongst others mentioned in the will were Henry Herringman, of St. Martin's-in-the-Fields, gent., and Henry Hills, St. Anne's, Blackfryar's, gent.