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The History of the University of OxfordVolume VII: Nineteenth-Century Oxford, Part 2$
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M. G. Brock and M. C. Curthoys

Print publication date: 2000

Print ISBN-13: 9780199510177

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199510177.001.0001

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The Oxford University Press

The Oxford University Press

(p.644) (p.645) 26 The Oxford University Press
The History of the University of Oxford

Peter Sutcliffe

Oxford University Press

Oxford University shared with Cambridge University and the King's Printer the exclusive privilege of printing the Authorized Version of the Bible and the Book of Common Prayer. For most of the 18th century, Oxford leased its privilege to master printers: the most successful of these was Thomas Baskett, a tycoon among Bible printers. Towards the end of the century, however, the market for Bibles was uncertain, partly because of the collapse of the American trade during the War of Independence. A compromise was reached in the form of a joint stock company: of forty-eight shares Oxford as owner partner would hold half. The rest were allocated to master printers or others experienced in the book trade. So began the partnership, a form of coexistence which worked effectively and lasted nearly a hundred years. The privilege survived. The first two partners were the local capitalist William Jackson and wealthy publisher Archibald Hamilton. The latter was to be responsible for the sale and distribution of Oxford Bibles.

Keywords:   Oxford University, Cambridge University, King's Printer, Oxford University Press, Bible, master printers, William Jackson, Archibald Hamilton

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