Papers of Archibald Constable, 1774-1827, publisher

Scope and Content

Correspondence from Archibald Constable to John Bradfute: revealing that he has sent an index of list of debts still outstanding in affairs of Ross and Blackwood, and that he wishes to meet to consider Ross and Blackwood affair 1805.

Administrative / Biographical History

Archibald Constable (1774-1827 ), publisher, was born in Carnbee, Fife, the son of the factor to the Earl of Kellie. He started his bookseller's apprenticeship in 1788 with Peter Hill of Edinburgh and by  1795  he had opened his own business. In 1798 he began publishing books and in 1801 he bought the Scots Magazine. In  1802  he became the publisher for the Edinburgh Review and also acted as publisher for  Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832 ) and other distinguished authors of the time. In  1812  Constable bought the copyright of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The financial collapse in  1826  of his London agents, Hurst, Robinson and Co, brought about not only Constable's financial ruin but also the bankruptcy of Scott. He fought back with the publication of Constable's Miscellany (1827 ), but his financial troubles hastened his death.


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Custodial History




Related Material

Correspondence and business papers,1799-1827: National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections Reference: MSS 319-32, 668-83, 789-802, 7200, 8991; Letters (15) from Lord Brougham,1802-1818: London University: University College London (UCL) Manuscripts Room Reference: BROUGHAM BL, HB NRA 31344 Brougham; Correspondence with William Creech, 1810-1814: Private, Reference: NRA(S)1915, p8 NRA 22823 Blair-Oliphant; Correspondence with John Lee, 1817-1825: National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections Reference : MSS 3434-49 passim; Leeds University Library, Special Collections; Letters (11) from Amelia Opie, 1816-1820: see Location Register of English Literary MSS 18-19th cent 1995; Correspondence with Sir Walter Scott, 1805-1827: National Library of Scotland, Manuscript Collections Reference: MSS 742-745, 3875-3904 passim see Location Register of English Literary MSS C18-19th 1995; Letters to CK Sharpe (16), 1817-1821: Oxford University: Bodleian Library, Special Collections and Western Manuscripts Reference: MS Eng misc c40. For contact details of all repositories with a GB code, search the indexes of the  National Register of Archives, at the Historical Manuscripts Commission.

Location of Originals

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Additional Information

Scotland is the location of all place names in the administrative/biographical history element, unless otherwise stated.

Fonds level description compiled by H M Kemp and Alan Borthwick, Scottish Archive Network project, 10 May 2002.