Chandler, Richard (d.1744) (DNB00)

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CHANDLER, RICHARD (d. 1744), printer and bookseller in partnership with Cæsar Ward, carried on business in London (at the Ship, just without Temple Bar), in York (Coney Street), and in Scarborough. In 1737 they issued an octavo catalogue of twenty-two pages descriptive of books sold and published by them. The firm became the proprietors in 1739 of the printing business of Alexander Staples of Coney Street, and of the 'York Courant,' which was subsequently edited and published by Ward alone. Among the books printed by them at York were: 'The Trial of the Notorious Highwayman Richard Turpin at York Assizes, on the 22nd day of March 1739,' 1739, 8vo; 'Neuropathia, autore Milcolumbo Flemyng, M.D.' 1740, 8vo; 'Reliquiæ Eboracenses, per H[eneage] D[ering], Ripensem,' 1743, 8vo, and a few others. They also published : 'A General Dictionary, Historical and Critical,' 1734-41, 10 vols, folio; 'A New Abridgement of the State Trials to 1737,' folio; 'Jus Parliamentarium by Wm. Petyt,' 1739, folio, and other works of less importance.

While still in partnership with Ward, Chandler undertook, apparently as a private speculation, an extensive work, 'The History and Proceedings of the House of Commons from the Restoration to the present time [1743], containing the most remarkable motions, speeches, resolves, reports, and conferences to be met with in that interval,' 1742-4, 14 vols., the last volume printed by William Sandby, who was Chandler's successor. On the publication of the first eight volumes Chandler was admitted to an audience with Frederick, prince of Wales, who accepted the dedication. A companion work, sometimes erroneously ascribed to Chandler, was published by Ebenezer Timberland, also of Ship Yard, Temple Bar, 'The History and Proceedings of the House of Lords from the Restoration in 1600 to the Present Time,' 1742-3, 8 vols. 8vo, with the announcement that 'the general good reception which Mr. Chandler's edition' of the debates of the House of Commons met with had 'induc'd him to publish the debates of the House of Lords during the same period.'

At one time Ward and Chandler seem to have been in prosperous circumstances. Gent says 'they carried on abundance of business in the bookselling way' (Life, p. 191); the enterprise shown in opening shops at London, York, and Scarborough was unusual in those days. Gent also informs us that Chandler's 'Debates,' 'by the run they seemed to take, one would have imagined that he would have ascended to the apex of his desires; but, alas! his thoughts soared too high' (ib. 191 ). He fell into debt, and, to avoid the shame of a debtors' prison, Chandler blew his brains out in bed in the early part of the year 1744. His partner Ward struggled on until June 1745, when his name appeared in the 'London Gazette.'

[Life of Thomas Gent, printer, of York, by himself, 1832; R. Davies's Memoir of the York Press. 1868, pp. 242-8; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. v. 151.]

H. R. T.