Cluer Dicey - Printer of Chapbooks

Personal data
Cluer Dicey
Date of birth (prefix)
Born 1715
Died October 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 literature (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

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