Apprenticeship document, stamped, part printed, part manuscript, signed "Will. Strahan".

[BOOK TRADE] William Strahan, Printer and Publisher
Publication details: 
[Stationers' Company, London], 6 May 1760
SKU: 4739

An indenture, one page, circa 7.5 x 5.5 ins, stained and other minor defects (of age), text clear and complete. It binds a "Samuel Bennet" as Apprentice to William Strahan, "Citizen and STATIONER of London", for seven years. under the usual terms (no drinking or dice). Bennet's father has paid £40 for this privilege. The document is also signed by John Partridge, Clerk to the Stationers' Company (signature faint but readable) and "Jacob Tonson Esq" appears also as the Master who oversaw the agreement. Bennet's apprenticeship is the only relevant information recorded by the British Book Trade Index - other Samuel Bennets listed flourished too late. "Dr. Thomas Somerville (1741-1830) [q.v.] went to dine with him in New Street in 1769, and met at his house David Hume, Sir John Pringle, Benjamin Franklin, and Mrs. Thrale. The publisher recommended him to stay in London, and gave him 300l. for his ‘History of William III.’ Besides Hume, Strahan was publisher, and either banker and agent or confidential adviser, to Adam Smith, Dr. Johnson, Gibbon, Robertson, Blackstone, Blair, and many other writers. In the case of Gibbon's ‘Decline and Fall,’ which had been refused elsewhere, when Gibbon and Cadell thought that five hundred would probably be enough for a first impression, ‘the number was doubled by the prophetic taste of Mr. Strahan.’ Other notable ventures of the firm were Cook's ‘Voyages’ and Mackenzie's ‘Man of Feeling.’ Strahan made large sums out of the histories of Robertson and Hume, and set up a coach, which Johnson denominated ‘a credit to literature.’" (DNB).