Sir Richard Phillips

by in P-T 16/02/2014

Sir Richard Phillips by James Saxon, painting,1806

Sir Richard Phillips

Sir Richard Phillips (13 December 1767 – 2 April 1840) was an English schoolteacher, author and publisher.

Phillips was born in London. Following some political difficulties in Leicester where he was a schoolteacher and bookseller, he returned to London, established premises in Paternoster Row, St. Paul’s Churchyard, and founded The Monthly Magazine in 1796; its editor was Dr. John Aikin, and among its early contributors were fellow radicals William Godwin and Thomas Holcroft. He built up a prominent fortune based on the speculative commission of newly revised textbooks and their publication, in a competitive market that had been freed by the House of Lords’ decision in 1777 to strike down the perpetual copyright asserted by a small group of London booksellers to standard introductory works. His Juvenile Library published in 1800–03 provided the steady returns of all successful children’s books. By 1807 he was in sufficient standing to serve as a Sheriff of London, at which time he was knighted on the occasion of presenting an address.

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