John Diprose

DIPROSE, John (1814-1879) — London

Bookseller, bookbinder, printer, newsagent, author and publisher. Printed and published (with Mary Ann Bateman) Parish of St. Clement Danes for Diprose’s own “Some account of the parish of Saint Clement Danes” 1868. Diprose was a prolific publisher from the 1840s onwards, compiling his own song-books, joke-books, London guides, etc., as well as the history of the parish.

Born in Cripplegate 20 Nov 1814, John Diprose was the son of a London bookbinder of the same name and his wife Ann Frances Munting. He was baptised at St. Mary Newington 25 Oct 1818. He was apprenticed as a printer to William Marchant of Ingram Court in 1829. He opened a bookshop at Newington Butts in 1837 and married Elizabeth Coleman (1810-1878) 2 Sep 1838 at St. Peter Walworth. He reported a book-thief to the authorities in 1839, when he had a book-stall in the Piazzas, Covent Garden. He was imprisoned for debt in 1848, then described as “’John Diprose, formerly of No. 312, Strand, Middlesex, publisher and bookseller, then of the same place and business, and of No. 10, High-street, Bloomsbury, Middlesex, bookseller, then of No. 312, Strand aforesaid, publisher and bookseller, and of No. 2, Little Tower street, London, bookseller, then of No. 312, Strand aforesaid, bookseller’s shopman, and late of No. 14, Clement’s Lane, Strand, Middlesex, commission agent”. He was violently assaulted in the street by another newsagent in 1850 (Lloyd’s Weekly Newspaper, 26 May 1850). He was in partnership from 1858 initially with Mary Ann Bateman, née Smith (1816?-1904), widow of the Irish printer Rowland Bateman, and later with her daughter, also Mary Ann Bateman (1841-1820). By 1861 his sons John and Henry were apprenticed as bookbinder and printer respectively. He was employing eighteen men and eight boys in 1871. In 1875 he and Julian Larkman of Chelsea were granted a patent for “improvements in coffins”. The partnership with the younger Mary Ann Bateman was formally wound up in June 1878. He died 20 Jun 1879 at Kennington Park Road. Probate on his estate of under £4,000 was granted to his sons and the younger Mary Ann Bateman 9 Jul 1879. He was long active in local affairs and there is a handsome memorial to him in the church of St. Clement Dane.

The Piazzas, Covent Garden — 1839-1843
312 Strand — 1841-1846
10 High Street, Bloomsbury
2 Little Tower Street
14 Clements Lane, Strand — 1848
17 Hemmings Row — 1850
— 4 Manor Place, Newington (home) — 1851
5 Wine Office Court — 1855
16-17 Portugal Street, Lincolns Inn Fields — 1859-1864
— 9 Penton Place, Newington (home) — 1861
13 Portugal Street, Lincolns Inn Fields — 1870-1872
— 131 Kennington Park Road (home) — 1871-1879
9 & 10 Sheffield Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields — 1877-1879

BBTI. BNA. Census 1841-1871. COPAC. LG. NA. OB. Todd.