I’ve been geering up for a talk I’m doing at Hatchard’s tomorrow with Dan Cruickshank (tickets are apparently still available) by reading up about Hatchard’s history. It was apparently founded in 1797 by John Hatchard, originally at 173, Piccadilly, then moving in 1801 to 189-190, and to no. 187 where it is now in 1810. Hatchard himself had been apprenticed to a ‘Mr. Ginger’, a bookseller and publisher based in Great College Street, Westminster, before moving on to work for another bookseller, Thomas Payne, in Castle Street, St. Martin’s He himself described in an autobiographical fragment how ‘I quitted the service of Mr. Thomas Payne 30th of June 1797, and commenced business for myself at No. 173 Piccadilly, where, thank God, things went on very well, till, my friends desiring me to take a larger shop, I then did so, I think June 1801, at No. 190 in the same street’. Hatchard, as one might guess from this account, was an evangelical and a tory. His bookshop was by no means alone in this part of Piccadilly: Debrett was at no. 178 (the numbering system is complicated); John Stockdale was at no. 181 on the corner of Duke Street; John Wright was at no.169, supplying books to members of Pitt’s government before going bust in 1802. The smart set went to their clubs in St. James’s and picked up a book en route, as some still do today.