William Darton

(1755 - 1819)

The fine print publishing house of the Quaker Darton family, was particularly known for children’s publications: William Darton I set up as engraver, stationer, and printer in 1787 in White Lion Alley, Birchin Lane, London, moving to 55 Gracechurch Street in 1788, and in 1791 forming a partnership with Joseph Harvey (1764-1841); one son, Samuel Darton (1785-1840) became a partner in the firm in 1810; another son, William Darton II (1781-1854) set up on his own in Holborn Hill in 1804; his son John Maw Darton (1809-1881), became a partner in the Holborn Hill firm, and was in business on his own at Paternoster Row from 1866-76. Other partners included, at Gracechurch Street, Joseph Harvey’s son Robert Harvey from 1833-46; at Holborn Hill, Samuel Clark from 1836-45 and Frederick Hodge from 1862-63. Hodge continued the business alone at the Strand; Robert Yorke Clarke bought the Gracechurch Street business from Robert Harvey in 1846, and sold the remaining copyrights in 1852 to Arthur Hall, Virtue & Co.