Robert Harding Evans

Last updated

Robert Harding Evans (1778–1857) was an English bookseller and auctioneer.


Robert Harding Evans, engraving by Samuel Freeman after William Behnes. Robert Harding Evans Behnes.jpg
Robert Harding Evans, engraving by Samuel Freeman after William Behnes.


Evans was the son of Thomas Evans (1742–1784). After an education at Westminster School he was apprenticed to Thomas Payne of the Mews Gate, and succeeded to the business of James Edwards, bookseller in Pall Mall, London. [1]

In 1812 Evans began a long career as auctioneer with the sale of the Duke of Roxburghe's library. Among other famous libraries dispersed by him were those of: [1]

Other sales were of: [1]

He also sold the White Knights library (of George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough), [2] those of James Bindley, John Dent, George Hibbert, Dudley Long North, and some portions of Richard Heber's (1836). [1]

Evans's own marked set of catalogues went to the British Museum, and between 1812 and 1847 the chief libraries sold in England went through his hands. He was in the habit of discoursing upon the books passing under his hammer; but his expertise as an auctioneer was not matched by ordinary business qualities, and he fell into money troubles. When re-established as a bookseller in Bond Street, in partnership with his two sons, he was again unsuccessful. [1]

Evans died in Edward Street, Hampstead Road, London, on 25 April 1857, in his eightieth year. His widow, Susanna, died in Stamford Road, Fulham, on 31 January 1861, aged 80. [1]


Some works bear Evans's imprint as publisher. The following were written or edited by him: [1]

Two political works are now attributed to Robert Harding Evans (1784–1821), who edited parliamentary reports: [3]

Related Research Articles

Robert Kerr (writer) Scottish scientific writer and translator

Dr Robert Kerr FRSE FAS FRCSE was a Scottish surgeon, writer on scientific and other subjects and translator.

William Nicholson (chemist) UK chemist (1753-1815)

William Nicholson was a renowned English chemist and writer on "natural philosophy" and chemistry, as well as a translator, journalist, publisher, scientist, inventor, patent agent and civil engineer.

Vicesimus Knox British writer

Vicesimus Knox (1752–1821) was an English essayist, headmaster and Anglican priest.

Robert Brownrigg British Army general

General Sir Robert Brownrigg, 1st Baronet, GCB was a British statesman and soldier. He brought the last part of Sri Lanka under British rule.

William Creech Scottish publisher, printer, bookseller and politician

William Creech FRSE was a Scottish publisher, printer, bookseller and politician. For 40 years Creech was the chief publisher in Edinburgh. He published the first Edinburgh edition of Robert Burns' poems, and Sir John Sinclair's influential "Statistical Accounts of Scotland". In publishing Creech often went under the pseudonym of Theophrastus.

Thomas Bayly Howell FRS was an English lawyer and writer who edited and lent his name to Howell's State Trials.

Surrey Institution

The Surrey Institution was an organisation devoted to scientific, literary and musical education and research, based in London. It was founded by private subscription in 1807, taking the Royal Institution, founded in 1799, as a model. The Institution lasted only until 1823, when it was dissolved.

George Nicol (bookseller) British bookseller and publisher

George Nicol was a bookseller and publisher in 18th-century London. In 1781, he became bookseller to George III, a position he held until 1820. In 1785, he published an improved edition of James Cook's third voyage. In 1786, he became involved with John Boydell's Shakespeare Gallery and bore responsibility for the letterpress. He and the others in the project wanted to create a type that would be both utilitarian and beautiful.

Joseph Haslewood was an English writer and antiquary. He was a founder of the Roxburghe Club.

James Edwards (1757–1816) was an English bookseller and bibliographer.

English county histories, in other words historical and topographical works concerned with individual ancient counties of England, were produced by antiquarians from the late 16th century onwards. The content was variable: some recorded archaeological sites, but others were heavily slanted towards the genealogies of county families and other biographical material, particularly relating to property and the descent of lordships of manors. The tradition continues with the series of Victoria County Histories.

<i>Edinburgh Encyclopædia</i>

The Edinburgh Encyclopædia was an encyclopaedia in 18 volumes, printed and published by William Blackwood and edited by David Brewster between 1808 and 1830. In competition with the Edinburgh-published Encyclopædia Britannica, the Edinburgh Encyclopædia is generally considered to be strongest on scientific topics, where many of the articles were written by the editor.

James Stanier Clarke English cleric and naval author

James Stanier Clarke (1766–1834) was an English cleric, naval author and man of letters. He became librarian in 1799 to George, Prince of Wales.

William Goode, the elder (1762–1816) was an English evangelical Anglican clergyman.

James Bennett (minister) British minister

James Bennett D.D. was an English congregational minister and college principal.

Craven Ord (1756–1832) was an English antiquarian. He was particularly noted for his brass rubbings.

<i>General View of Agriculture</i> county surveys British agricultural surveys of the Napoleonic Wars period

The General View series of county surveys was an initiative of the Board of Agriculture of Great Britain, of the early 1790s. Many of these works had second editions, in the 1810s.

Thomas Evans (1742–1784) was a London bookseller, one of two of the same name in the middle of the 18th century.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 "Evans, Robert Harding"  . Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  2. Lee, Stephen M. "Spencer, George". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/26123.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. McConnell, Anita. "Evans, Robert Harding". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/8977.(Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

Wikisource-logo.svg  This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain : "Evans, Robert Harding". Dictionary of National Biography . London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.