Thomas Hookham

Thomas HookhamCadsden House

The Hookham family were booksellers and publishers in London in the 18th-19th centuries. Thomas Hookham (born 1739 – to distinguish from subsequent Thomas Hookhams) issued works by Charlotte de Bournon, John Hassell, Pierre-Jean-Baptiste Nougaret, Anne Radcliffe, Clara Reeve, and others.

As part of his business he ran a circulating library, established in 1764 and by the 1800s one of “the two largest in London.” In addition, about 1794 he opened the Literary Assembly subscription reading rooms stocked with periodicals and reference books.

After the death of his first wife Thomas remarried to a Louisa Bonnet in 1775. The marriage had a somewhat difficult start as in February 1776 Thomas appears in a list of bankrupts. He re-appears in 1781 having revived the bookselling business.

His sons, Thomas Hookham, (1786-1867 – the one who lived in Cadsden House) and Edward T. Hookham also worked as publishers and booksellers in London. A third generation, Thomas Hookham and Henry Hookham, continued in the business into the mid 19th century. The library continued on Bond Street until it was acquired by Mudie’s ca.1871.

Source: My Dear Brother – The Letters of Thomas and Henry Hookham 1830 – 1899 by Sandy Macfarlane

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