Bookselling

From An Illustrated History of Ireland by Margaret Anne Cusack

« start... Chapter XXXII. ...continued

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In medieval cities the castle was the centre round which the town extended itself. Dublin was no exception to this rule, and in this century we find High-street and Castle-street the fashionable resorts. The nobility came thither for society, the tradesmen for protection. Castle-street appears to have been the favourite haunt of the bookselling fraternity, and Eliphud Dobson (his name speaks for his religious views) was the most wealthy bookseller and publisher of his day. His house was called the Stationers' Arms, which flourished in the reign of James II. The Commonwealth was arbitrary in its requirements, and commanded that the printer (there was then only one) should submit any works he printed to the Clerk of the Council, to receive his imprimatur before publishing the same. The Williamites were equally tyrannical, for Malone was dismissed by them from the office of State Printer, and tried in the Queen's Bench, with John Dowling, in 1707, for publishing "A Manuall of Devout Prayers," for the use of Roman Catholics.[1]

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[1] Roman Catholics.—The noisy and violent opposition which was made to a Catholic if he attempted to enter either a trade or a profession, would scarcely he credited at the present day; yet it should be known and remembered by those who wish to estimate the social state of this country accurately and fairly. After the Revolution, the Protestant portion of the Guild of Tailors petitioned William III. to make their corporation exclusively Protestant, and their request was granted.


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