Birdsall (Firm)

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Birdsall (Firm)

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Birdsall & Son, Northampton, was one of the main bookbinding firms in Great Britain from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. In 1792 William Birdsall ([c. 1750]-1826) bought the bookselling and bookbinding business of John Lacy & Son in Northampton. The business also included a stationery section, a post office and a circulating library. William Birdsall was followed in the business by his sons, Robert and James, and later by James's widow, Ann, who sold the business in 1844 to William's great-nephew, Anthony Birdsall the elder (1819-1893). The bookbinding side was expanded during this period, becoming the firm's main activity. Anthony Birdsall was succeeded by his son, Richard (1842-1909), under whose aegis the premises were twice enlarged and reorganised in 1882 and 1888. Of Richard Birdsall's three sons, it was Anthony Birdsall the younger (1877-1972) who was chiefly responsible for maintaining the family tradition of fine binding, especially following the early death of Herbert Birdsall in 1924. The company finally ceased trading in 1961.

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