Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Combe, Thomas

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COMBE, THOMAS (1797–1872), director of the Clarendon Press, the son of a bookseller in Leicester, was born in 1797. His connection with the Clarendon Press began about 1837. As chief manager he displayed some enterprise and much financial ability. On the determination of the monopoly which the press possessed in the matter of printing bibles he took at his own risk a paper mill at Wolvercott in order to enable the press to meet the increased competition with greater ease. The venture proved successful. He supplied the funds for the addition of a chapel to the infirmary and the erection of the church, St. Barnabas, in the low quarter lying between Worcester College and Port Meadow. He gave Mr. Millais in 1852 the commission for the 'Return of the Dove to the Ark.' He was also the owner of Mr. Holman Hunt's 'Light of the World and Persecution of Christian Missionaries by the Druids.' He was an honorary M.A. of the university of Oxford. He died suddenly on 30 June 1872 at the Clarendon Press.

[Athenaeum, 9 Nov. 1872.]

J. M. R.