[Ads-l] help wanted: information on a mid-18th C English dictionary

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Fri Oct 1 12:03:25 UTC 2021

Here's a bit more on one of the publishers, from british Museum:
John Fuller
primary name: primary name: Fuller, John
individual; British; Male
Other dates
1775- (fl. c.)
the Bible, Blowbladder Street (also known as Butcher Hall Lane and now King Edward Street) , between Cheapside and Newgate Street, London and at the Bible & Dove in Ave Maria Lane, London
Three trade cards in Heal Collection (Heal,17.54 and 56) advertise "John Fuller, Bookseller & Stationer at his circulating library...sells all sorts of books wholesale and retail at the lowest prices. Where gentlemen may be supplied with books, pamphlets, news papers, magazines & weekly numbers regularly as soon as published. Money for any library or parcel of books, or waste paper. Books for exportation. Also the greatest variety of paper hangings. Lottery office keeper and broker." Heal,17.55 advertises "John Fuller Bookseller...sells all sorts of Bibles & Common Prayers wholesale and retail. N.B. Books and paper for exportation. Paiste board warehouse."

From: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU> on behalf of ADSGarson O'Toole <adsgarsonotoole at GMAIL.COM>
Sent: Friday, October 1, 2021 6:53 AM
Subject: Re: help wanted: information on a mid-18th C English dictionary

SG pointed out that the British Newspaper Archive contained pertinent
snippets. Here is the information from an advertisement for the

Date: April 27, 1767
Newspaper: The Salisbury Journal
Newspaper Location: Wiltshire, England
Article: (Advertisement for General Dictionary)
Quote Page 4, Column 2
Database: British Newspaper Archive

[Begin excerpt - double check for typos]
On Saturday May 2, will be published.
Elegantly printed in quarto, (Price only 6d) Number I. Of

Compiled with the greatest Care from the best Authors and Dicti-
onaries extant,

In this work the derivation of words will be pointed out; the ac-
cents justly fixed; and their appellations, either at a substantive, ad-
jective, verb, &c. marked by proper initials; barbarous words will
be stigmatized with proper marks, either as obsolete, wanting autho-
rity, or seldom used; the spelling will be carefully attended to; and
the sense of each word explained with clearness, conciseness, and

London: printed for R. and J. Fuller, in Ave-mary-lane; and sold
by B. Collins, in Salisbury; Mrs. Ann Maynard, Devizes;
S. Gould, at Dorchester; J. Wise, at Newport, Isle of Wight;
J. Stuart, at Bradford; W. Simpson and J. Gale, at Chippenham;
W. Crouch, at Marlborough; T. Baldwin, at Andover; K. Wool-
ridge, at Shaftesbury; P. Davies, at Warminster; J. Whiting, at
Romsey; R. Carr, at Portsmouth; J. Linden, in Southampton; J.
Braffett, in Poole; J. Clench, in Blandford; and W. Tory, at

I. That this work shall be printed in quarto, on superfine demy
paper, and with an entire new letter.

II. The whole to be comprised in 45 numbers, at 6d. each; and if
it should exceed 50, the overplus to be given gratis.

III. The first number shall be published on May 2, 1767, and the
succeeding numbers regularly every Saturday till the whole is com-

IV. After the etymological part is finished, it is proposed to give
in the latter numbers an account of the lives the most eminent
men, and a geographical description of the several cities and market
towns in the kingdom, in a manner as full as the nature of the sub-
ject and room allowed will admit.

V. No care or pains shall be wanting to render this book worthy
the attention of the tradesman, the scholar, or the gentleman; as
the explications will be plain and natural, without the affectation of
pedantry or careless remissness; and the printing and the paper neat
and elegant.

Proposals at large may be had of the printer of this paper.
[End excerpt]


On Wed, Sep 29, 2021 at 2:52 PM ADSGarson O'Toole
<adsgarsonotoole at gmail.com> wrote:
> Google Books has a digital copy in full view of the dictionary that
> was scanned from a copy at the British Library. GAT is looking for
> reviews of the dictionary, and this reply does not point to reviews.
> Nevertheless it may be helpful to people who want to look at scans of
> the dictionary with the baseball definition.
> https://urldefense.com/v3/__https://books.google.com/books?id=DQMaLg65mo0C&q=baseball*v=snippet&__;Iw!!OToaGQ!97UNOTlnqBCkqzpjQkhSpAQFmczHx0gFHxx4ouc87s5VY7K0OMJEbiKxBssMWu_k$
> Year: 1768 MDCCLXVIII
> Title: A General Dictionary of the English Language: Compiled with the
> Greatest Care from the Best Authors and Dictionaries Now Extant. By a
> Society of Gentlemen
> Publication Info: Printed for J. and R. Fuller, in Ave-Maria-Lane; and
> Sold by All Other Booksellers in Great-Britain
> Original from: The British Library
> Digitized: Oct 4, 2016
> Length: 728 pages
> The scanned pages at the beginning mention Elizabeth Wortley and
> Benjamin Wortley
> Garson
> On Tue, Sep 28, 2021 at 12:40 PM George Thompson
> <george.thompson at nyu.edu> wrote:
> >
> > David Block, who has done remarkable research into the prehistory of
> > baseball, posted this to another site:
> > "BASEBALL, (From base and ball) A rural game in which the person striking
> > the ball must run to his base or goal."
> > Additionally, the dictionary lists the following as one of its definitions
> > for the word "base":
> > BASE "A rural play, also called baseball."
> >
> > These entries come from a dictionary entitled "A General Dictionary of the
> > English Language, Compiled with the Greatest Care from the Best Authors and
> > Dictionaries Now Extant." Its authors are "A Society of Gentlemen" and it
> > was published in London in 1768.
> >
> > It of course would be nice to know something about this book.  It seems to
> > have fallen with a thud when published.  It has been microfilmed as part of
> > the immense collection of 18th C books in English, and from that has been
> > digitized in ECCO, but there are danged few paper copies kicking around.  I
> > have searched 2 files of 18th C English journals, and have not found
> > anything resembling a review, nor even an announcement from the publisher
> > that it had been issued.
> >
> > Is there a stupefyingly thorough history of 18th C dictionaries that might
> > have a page on it?  Or any other ideas?
> >
> > GAT
> > --
> > George A. Thompson
> > Author of A Documentary History of "The African Theatre", Northwestern
> > Univ. Pr., 1998, but nothing much since then.
> >
> > ------------------------------------------------------------
> > The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!97UNOTlnqBCkqzpjQkhSpAQFmczHx0gFHxx4ouc87s5VY7K0OMJEbiKxBpD0Qon8$

The American Dialect Society - https://urldefense.com/v3/__http://www.americandialect.org__;!!OToaGQ!97UNOTlnqBCkqzpjQkhSpAQFmczHx0gFHxx4ouc87s5VY7K0OMJEbiKxBpD0Qon8$

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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