William Clowes and Sons

Official printer to the Royal Academy of Arts.

Traded as: William Clowes from 1803-1834; William Clowes & Sons from 1835-1879 and Willimas Clowes Ltd from 1888.

William Clowes, (born Chichester, 1779 - died, Marylebone, 1847), moved to London in 1803 and in October that year founded his own printing business at 22 Villiers Street with just one employee. Through his wife's cousin, William Winchester, Clowes was able to gain access to government printing work which enabled the firm to develop rapidly; moving to Northumberland Court in 1807.In 1823 Clowes installed a steam-powered printing press designed by Augustus Applegarth (1788-1871) and Edward Shickle Cowper (1790-1852). In 1826 or 1827 the firm took over premises in Duke Street, Blackfriars which had previously been occupied by Applegarth and Cowper. The site became the world's largest printing works, employing over 500 workers. Three of his sons, William (the Younger, 1807-1883), Winchester and George, ran the business which had become William Clowes and Sons in 1835.

In 1873, William Clowes the younger's eldest son, William Archibald Clowes (1843-1904), and his nephew William Charles Knight Clowes (1838-1917) entered a partnership with William Moore, who operated the Caxton Press in Beccles, Suffolk. Although Moore suddenly disappeared, leaving a considerable debt, the firm survived and was re-established as Clowes and Clowes. It grew from operating four presses to 15 in just three years. In 1880, Clowes and Clowes merged with William Clowes & Sons to form William Clowes and Sons Ltd.

The company continued operating into the 20th century, but suffered a setback during World War II, when the Blitz destroyed its Duke Street offices. Following the war, the firm decided to concentrate on expanding its presses in Beccles. The company sold its old Beccles premises in 2003 and moved to a new, custom-built factory at Ellough on the outskirts of Beccles in 2004.
Works of Art: 0
Books: 29
Archives: 0
Chantrey, Francis, R.A.   Extract from the Will of Sir Francis Chantrey, R.A., D.C.L., copied from the original document and printed by Order of the Council of the Royal Academy for distribution to the Academicians. The Will is dated December 21, 1840, and was proved December 15, 1841 - London [n.d.]   
Royal Academy of Arts (London)   Abstract Of The Constitution and Laws Of The Royal Academy of Arts In London. - Established December 10, 1768. - London: 1860   
Flaxman, John, R.A.   Lectures On Sculpture, As Delivered Before The President And Members Of The Royal Academy. By John Flaxman, Esq., R.A., Professor Of Sculpture In The Royal Academy Of Great Britain, Member Of The Academies Of St. Luke, Rome, Florence, Carrara, Etc. With An Introductory Lecture, And Two Addresses To The Royal Academy, On The Death Of Thomas Banks, In 1805, And Of Antonio Canova, In 1822, And An Address On The Death Of Flaxman, By Sir Richard Westmacott, R.A. With Fifty-Three Plates. New Edition. - London: 1865.   
Planché, James Robinson   History Of British Costume, From The Earliest Period To The Close Of The Eighteenth Century. By J.R. Planché, Esq., F.S.A. - With Numerous Illustrations. - New Edition. Corrected And Enlarged. - London: 1847.   
Wilton, Mary Margaret Stanley Egerton, Countess of   The Art Of Needle-Work, From The Earliest Ages; Including Some Notice Of The Ancient Historical Tapestries. - Edited By The Right Honourable The Countess Of Wilton. - [Epigraph] - London: 1840.   
Royal Academy of Arts (London). Library   A Catalogue Of Books In The Library Of The Royal Academy Of Arts, London. - London: 1877.   
Royal Academy of Arts (London). Library   A Catalogue Of The Library Of The Royal Academy Of Arts, London. - - London: 1864.   
Royal Academy of Arts (London). Library   A Catalogue Of The Library In The Royal Academy, London. - - London: 1841.   
Robert Dalby And His Troubles: Being The Early Days Of A Connoisseur.   - London: [1865]   
Story, William Wetmore   The Proportions Of The Human Figure, According to a New Canon, For Practical Use; With A Critical Notice Of The Canon Of Polycletus, And Of The Principal Ancient And Modern Systems. Illustrated By Plates. By William W. Story. - London: 1866.   
Darwin, Charles Robert   The Expression Of The Emotions In Man And Animals. By Charles Darwin, M.A., F.R.S., &c. With Photographic And Other Illustrations. - London: 1872. The right of Translation is reserved.   
Leslie, Charles Robert, R.A.   Life And Times Of Sir Joshua Reynolds: With Notices Of Some Of His Cotemporaries. Commenced By Charles Robert Leslie, R.A. Continued And Concluded By Tom Taylor, M.A. In Two Volumes. - Vol. I. (II.) With Portraits And Illustrations. - London: 1865. The right of Translation is reserved.   
Kugler, Franz Theodor   [Kugler's Hand-Book Of Painting.] - The Schools Of Painting In Italy. Translated, From The German Of Kugler, By A Lady. Edited, With Notes, By Sir Charles L. Eastlake, P.R.A., F.R.S. With Upwards Of One Hundred Illustrations, Drawn On Wood, By George Scharf, Jun., From The Works Of The Old Masters Mentioned In This Book, Engraved By John Thompson And Samuel Williams. Second Edition, Thoroughly Revised, With Much Additional Matter. In Two Parts. - Part I. (II.) - London: 1851.   
Burges, William, A.R.A.   Architectural Drawings. By W. Burges, Architect. - London: 1870.   
Wornum, Ralph Nicholson   Some Account Of The Life And Works Of Hans Holbein, Painter, of Augsburg. With Numerous Illustrations. By Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Keeper And Secretary National Gallery. - London: 1867. (The Right of Translation is reserved.)   
Grote, Harriet   Memoir Of The Life Of Ary Scheffer. By Mrs. Grote. Second Edition. - London: 1860.   
Barry, Alfred   Dr. Barry's Reply To Mr. E. Pugin. - Postscript To Second Edition. - (London: (1868.)   
Barry, Alfred   The Architect Of The New Palace At Westminster. - A Reply To A Pamphlet By E. Pugin, Esq., Entitled "Who Was The Art-Architect Of The Houses Of Parliament?" By Alfred Barry, D.D., Principal Of Cheltenham College. Second Edition. - London: 1868.   
Christie's (London)   The Illustrated Catalogue Of The Valuable Collection Of Pictures, And Other Works Of Art Of The Egyptian, Greek, Roman, And Mediæval Periods; Also, A Choice Collection Of Coins, And Medals, Of that eminent Connoisseur, John Watkins Brett, Esq., Of Hanover Square, Deceased: Which Will be Sold by Auction, by Messrs. Christie, Manson & Woods, At Their Great Rooms, 8, King Street, St. James's Square, On Tuesday, April 5, 1864, And Nine following Days; On Monday, April 18, 1864, At One O'Clock Precisely. - May be viewed Friday, Saturday, and Monday preceding, and Catalogues had, at Messrs. Christie, Manson and Wood's Offices, 8, King Street, St. James's Square, S.W. Price Five Shillings. - [London: 1864.]   
Jameson, Anna Brownell   A Handbook To The Public Galleries Of Art In And Near London. With Catalogues of the Pictures, Accompanied By Critical, Historical, And Biographical Notices, And Copious Indexes To Facilitate Reference. By Mrs. Jameson. In Two Parts. Part I. Containing Introduction. National Gallery. Windsor Castle. (Part II. Containing Hampton Court. Dulwich Gallery. Barry's Pictures. Soane's Museum.) - London: 1842.   
Waagen, Gustav Friedrich   Works Of Art And Artists In England. By G.F. Waagen, Director Of The Royal Gallery At Berlin. Three Volumes. Volume I. The British Museum. Windsor Castle. The National Gallery. Devonshire House. Mr. Wilkins. Duke Of Devonshire's Villa, Chiswick. (- Volume III. ...) - London: [1838]   
Original Treatises, Dating From The XIIth To The XVIIIth Centuries On The Arts Of Painting, In Oil, Miniature, Mosaic, And On Glass; Of Gilding, Dyeing, And The Preparation Of Colours And Artificial Gems; Preceded By A General Introduction; With Translations, Prefaces, And Notes. By Mrs. Merrifield, Honorary Member Of The Academy of Fine Arts At Bologna, Translator Of The Treatise On Painting Of Cennino Cennini, And Authoress Of 'The Art Of Fresco-Painting.' In Two Volumes. - Vol. I. (II.)   - London: 1849.   
Christie's (London)   Catalogue Of The Celebrated Collection Of Works Of Art, From The Byzantine Period to that of Louis Seize, Of That Distinguished Collector, Ralph Bernal, Esq., Deceased; Also, Of The Beautiful Decorative Furniture And Service Of Plate: Which (By Order Of The Executors) Will be Sold by Auction, by Messrs. Christie & Manson, At The Mansion, No. 93, Eaton Square, Commencing On Monday, March the 5th, 1855, At One O'Clock Precisely. - The Collection may be publicly viewed on Thursday, March 1st, and two following Days, from 10 to 4 o'clock, with Catalogues only, price Eight Shillings, to admit Three Persons. - [London: 1855.]   
Wornum, Ralph Nicholson   The Epochs Of Painting. A Biographical and Critical Essay On Painting And Painters Of All Times And Many Places. By Ralph Nicholson Wornum, Keeper And Secretary, National Gallery. - London: [1864]   
Shee, Martin Archer, P.R.A.   A Letter To Lord John Russell, Her Majesty's Principal Secretary Of State For The Home Department, On The Alleged Claim Of The Public To Be Admitted Gratis To The Exhibition Of The Royal Academy. By Sir Martin Archer Shee, President Of The Royal Academy, F.R.S. - London: 1837.   
Leighton, Lord, P.R.A.   Discourse Delivered To The Students Of The Royal Academy; On The Distribution of the Prizes, December 10, 1879. (-1893.) By Sir Frederick Leighton, P.R.A. - London: 1879. (-1893.)   
Eastlake, Charles Lock, P.R.A.   Discourse Delivered To the Students Of The Royal Academy; On The Distribution Of The Prizes, December 10, 1851. (-1863.) By Sir Charles Lock Eastlake, Knt., President. - London: [1852.(-1864.)]   
Shee, Martin Archer, P.R.A.   Address To The Students Of The Royal Academy, Delivered Before The General Assembly, On The Distribution Of The Gold Medals, 10th December, 1831. (1833, 1835, 1837, 1839, 1841, 1845.) By Sir Martin Archer Shee, Knt. President. - London: [1832(-1847)]   
Hawkins, B. Waterhouse   A Comparative View Of The Human And Animal Frame. By B. Waterhouse Hawkins, F.L.S., F.G.S. Author Of "Popular Comparative Anatomy," "Elements Of Form," "Animals And Their Uses;" And Restorer Of The Forms Of The Extinct Animals In The Crystal Palace Park, Sydenham. - London: 1860.