Cluer Dicey - Printer of Chapbooks

Cluer Dicey

Born ca. 1715
Died Oct 03, 1775 at Claybrooke Hall, Leicestershire


Son of William Dicey (1690-1756) and Mary Atkins (d. 1748). Married (1738) to Maria Nutshawe. Successful Bookseller and producer (with his father and later with Richard Marshall) of cheap print, i.e. a printer of low-cost litterature (chapbooks), with offices at Bow and Aldermary church-yards in London. The company were the first printers of the nursery rhyme Simple Simon (1764), which is known and popular even today. He died at Claybrooke Hall in Claybrooke Parva, Leicestershire, which he had bought in 1765. He was inherited by his only surviving son, Thomas Dicey (1742-1807).

An epitaph to the memory of Dicey was written by religious female writer Hannah More.1

Life with Boswell: 

Feeling somewhat nostalgic, on June 10, 1763 Boswell went to his shop in Bow Church-yard and bought "two dozen of the [children's] story-books and had them bound up with this title, Curious Productions." The volume "made" by Boswell, Curious Productions exists today at the Harvard College Library's Child Memorial Collection of chap books, with an inscription by Boswell.


Some biographical info from Burke's A Genealogical and Heraldic Dictionary of the Landed Gentry of Great Britain and Ireland.

Note 1: The epitaph was later published in "The Poetical Register and Repository of Fugitive Poetry for 1803"