People on the Strand: John Nourse and Francis Wingrave, booksellers

Nowadays, tracking down out of print books involves a quick email or checking booksellers’ websites. Two or three centuries ago, anyone hunting rare volumes wrote to booksellers and other collectors although few examples of this correspondence survive. During the 18th century the Strand was a flourishing centre for London’s book trade and associated industries, including…

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People of the Strand: Jonathan Sisson (1692 – 1749)

Jonathan Sisson established a scientific instrument making business at the corner of Beaufort Buildings in the Strand, London. The attic rooms included an observatory, the exterior visible in a drawing by the freemason, Thomas Sandby.[1] Sandby was the architect of the first Freemasons’ Hall on Great Queen Street, which was completed in 1766. For many…

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True harmony and brotherhood

Excerpt from a reproduction of John Evans’ A new and accurate plan of the Cities of London and Westminster and Borough of Southwark etc 1799, annotated to indicate lodges meeting in premises identified as being sited in or around the Strand between 1725 and 1825. More than one lodge might have met at a single venue over time.

18th century freemasons meeting in and around the Strand The history of freemasonry as a secular, fraternal organisation in England dates from the late seventeenth century, when several private lodges are known to have existed before four London-based lodges formed the first Grand Lodge in 1717. Another group of masons formed a rival Grand Lodge…

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