William Hone Papers, 1816-1842

Overview of the Collection

Hone, William, 1780-1842.
William Hone Papers
1816-1842 (inclusive)
1.5 Linear feet of shelf space, (3 Boxes), (Approximately 237 items)
Collection Number
Cage 136 (collection)
The papers of William Hone (1780-1842), political pamphleteer and antiquarian, consist of letters, articles, and illustrations sent to Hone as editor of the Every-Day Book, as well as Hone’s drafts of portions of the compilation and a few of his letters.
Washington State University Libraries' Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections (MASC)
Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
Terrell Library Suite 12
Pullman, WA
Telephone: 509-335-6691
Access Restrictions

This collection is open and available for research use.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

William Hone was born June 3, 1780, in Bath, England, the son of William and Frances Maria Stawell Hone. At the age of twenty he married Miss Sarah Johnson, started a family which was to include ten children, and opened a small circulating library, stationery and book store in Lambeth Walk. Rather than paying attention to his growing family and failing business, Hone became involved in the radical politics of the era. His humanitarian upbringing clashed with the repressiveness of the government and in about 1810 his radicalism found vent in publication. Pamphlets and broadsides streamed out under his imprint, many anonymously; Hone wrote many of them but he published even more. In 1817 he was tried three times for blasphemy because he had published satires on the government which were parodies of the catechism, the Ten Commandments, the Lord’s Prayer, the church litany and the Athanasian Creed. Hone’s successful defense at each of the three trials was based on his research and explication of the history of parody as a literary form. The blasphemy charge was, of course, a cover for the damage he had inflicted on the government though the excellence of his satires.

Resolving to develop his researches into a major work on parody, Hone slowly turned from political activism to antiquarianism. Although his projected parodic history was never completed, he had to sell his reference library during his third or fourth bankruptcy, his research culminated in the publication of the Every-Day Book.

The Every-Day Book was part almanac, part anthology, and part literary weekly. It was published in weekly numbers, cumulated monthly and then annually with an extensive index. Hone published the Every-Day Book in 1825 and 1826, continued it with the Table Book in 1827, and then, after a break of five years began again with the Year Book. The Every-Day Book, under all its titles, was a magnificent production full of curious facts, anecdotes, bits of historical interest and excellent engravings. This work brought Hone into contact with a new world of authors, poets, engravers, illustrators, and antiquarians of all sorts. For, after initiating the publication, Hone became more editor than author as persons all over Great Britain began submitting contributions.

Unfortunately, even the great popular success of the Every-Day Book failed to deter Hone’s ineptness in fiscal matters and, in fact, large portions were completely edited by Hone while technically confined to debtor’s prison. Following his release, his friends had installed him as keeper of a coffee house in the hopes that it would rescue his always declining fortunes. Unfortunately this did not remedy his financial problems.

On New Year’s Day of 1832, Hone suffered a religious conversion which caused him to retract many of his earlier radical stands, and by 1835 he was sub-editor of a religious newspaper. By June of 1840 his deteriorating health caused him to retire from all of his activities and in November of 1842 he died at the age of sixty-two.

The Every-Day Book lived on, however, as the publisher continued to reprint the four volume work, once in monthly parts again, several times before the turn of the century. His papers and personal library were passed down in his family and then came into the possession of George T. Lawley.

Biographical NoteReturn to Top

George Lawley was an antiquarian bookdealer in Wolverhampton who was the author of a history of Bilston, County of Stafford (1868, revised 1893) and a bibliography of Wolverhampton (1890). He apparently received the books and papers from Mrs. Joseph S. Soul, Hone’s daughter, after 1900.

Lawley’s ownership had several important consequences for the Hone papers. First, he made them available to "his old friend" Frederick William Hackwood, author of Hone’s biography (William Hone, his life and times, by Frederick Wm. Hackwood. London: 1912. This was reprinted by Burt Franklin, New York, in the 1970s as #143 in the Burt Franklin Research and Source Works Series and as #4 in the Selected Essays in History and Social Science Series. See Hackwood’s acknowledgement of Lawley"s assistance, page 6.) Second, he subsequently attempted to enlarge upon Hackwood’s treatment of Hone’s literary efforts using the correspondence in his possession as the major source. This resulted in a manuscript entitled: "The purely literary productions and correspondence of William Hone and his friends. With an account of the origin and production of his Every-Day Book, Year Book and Table Book from manuscripts and letters in the possession of the author."

Thirdly, he attempted to extra-illustrate Hone’s works with the relevant letters in his possession. The four volumes of the Every-Day Book were rebound with blank pages inserted and stubs to which the letters could be attached. Many of the letters, however, appear to have been previously attached and it may have been that Hone’s family had started this practice. At any event, by 1927 when the volumes were acquired by Washington State University Library someone had begun to remove the letters from the books. The present processing continued that process to minimize the damage to the severely folded letters.

Lawley had also begun a draft account of the origin of the Every-Day Book into the bound-in blank pages. He noted: "These additions make the set as valuable as it is unique." It is impossible to determine if he realized that value or not, but by 1927 the four volumes were sold to Washington State University for $65.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

The papers of William Hone are arranged in two main series: Hone’s notes and correspondence and the four volumes of the Every-Day Book. Lawley’s manuscript on Hone, which is similarly bound, is filed with the Every-Day Book.

Hone’s papers consist of letters, articles, and illustrations sent to Hone as editor of the Every-Day Book~ as well as Hone’s drafts of portions of the compilation and a few of his letters. Also included are clippings and illustrations which were apparently added by Lawley as part of his extra-illustrating.

Among the correspondents are: George Cruikshank (1792-1878) illustrator for many of Hone’s works; John Evans (1767-1827) author and divine; Henry L. Hunt, Leigh Hunt's nephew; Charles Lamb (1775-1834) another frequent contributor (although none of Lamb's letters are extant in this collection); and Francis Place (1771-1854) a leading radical.

Also included is a partial list of loose manuscripts made after the arrival of the papers in 1927. A list of those manuscripts present in the four volumes of the Every-Day Book prior to this processing was compiled in preparation for their removal.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Restrictions on Use

Copyright restrictions may apply.

Preferred Citation

[Item description]

William Hone Papers, 1816-1842 (Cage 136)

Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections, Washington State University Libraries, Pullman, WA.

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


To facilitate access to the correspondence, it was arranged in chronological order with a name index. Not indexed are those undated and unidentified letters which are filed in a separate folder. In addition, the notes and other manuscript items still remaining in the four volumes of the Every-Day Book and the loose illustrations have not been indexed.

Acquisition Information

The papers of William Hone were acquired by Washington State University in 1927, from George T. Lawley, for $65.

Processing Note

This collection was reprocessed by Terry Abraham during December 1975 and January 1976.

Separated Materials

Along with the four volumes of the Every-Day Book several other works once part of Hone’s library were acquired by the Washington State University Library, each with Lawley’s note identifying the volume as once belonging to Hone. These Hone publications are in the rare book collection in MASC. They are: Hone’s Apocryphal New Testament (1820), A Slap at Slop (1819), The Appearance of an Apparition to James Sympson (1816), The Political Showman - At Home! (1821); and Robert Southey's Wat Tyler (published by Hone in 1817). One item received with the collection is missing: V. Knox's The Spirit of Despotism (3rd ed., published by Hone in 1821). Retained with the papers is his Dropt Clauses out of the Bill, against the Queen (ca. 1819).

Related Materials

Not all of Hone’s correspondence was received by the WSU Library. An examination of Lawley’s transcriptions of Hone’s correspondence in the manuscript account of the origin of the Every-Day Book fills in several voids in the extant correspondence. Some of these letters may presently be located in the Bath Public Library (see P. Hepworth Select Bibliographic Sources: The Library Association Manuscript Survey, 1971).


Adams, P. William 21 August 1826
Allport, Douglas 10 January 1827
B., T. T. 16 December 1827
Baws, G. No date
Behnes, William, (1794-1864.) 7 January 1826
Bennock, Archibald 9 September, 1826; 1 December 1826
Bittlestow, John 7 September 1825; 17 August 1825
Brandon, Henry undated, February 1826; July 1826; 30 August 1826; 28 September 1826
B[ray], W[illiam] 9 October 1826; 26 February 1827
Breveridge, James 12 July 1827
Bridgeford, James 10 November 1827
Brown, William 4 December 1826
Browne, T. H. 5 August 1826
Bunce, John 16 July 1827
Burgess, L. 1 March 1827
Burn, E. H. 24 October 1827
Byron, George Gordon Noel (transcribed letter; see G. Baws) 1788-1824, No date
Chapman, E. 26 June 1826
Childs, John, (1783-1853.) (from WH) 19 April 1821; 22 January 1833
Christie, Alexander, (1807-1860.) 1 July 1825; 20 April 1826
Cleghorn, John 22 June 1826
Clipsham, D. C. 28 September 1827
Coote, David No date
Crito-Galen No date
Cruikshank, George 1792-1878. No date
Cull, W. No date
Curwen, D. B. 25 February 1825; 14 April 1825; 22 December 1825
D., J. 11 August 1827
Darlington, Earl of (from WH) 9 March 1827
Davies, John Henry 8 June 1825
Denham, Michael Aislabie, (d. 1859.) (2) 24 April 1827
Depear, Matthew 21 November 1826
Dewhurst, Henry William undated; 23 May 1826; 5 July 1826; 15 April 1827
Dick's Son, Dick 3 October 1831
Dixon, Henry 6 March 1827; 12 March 1827
Dixon, J. H. 8 January 1827; 22 October 1827; 8 December 1827
Downes, T. 17 August 1825
Dunelm, D. H. No date
Edwards, John 29 November 1825
Evans, John 1767-1827. 24 May 1826; 29 May 1826
Ewing, William C. 3 April 1826; 17 March 1827
F., E. S. 1 July 1826
Farthing, John (2) undated; 20 May 1825; 21 December 1825; 17 March 1826; 3 May 1826; 19 May 1826; 30 July 1826
Fergusen, Robert No date
Flack, Thomas 14 August 1825
Ford, Richard Wilbraham 9 November 1816
G., D. January 1826
Gifford, William, 1756-1826. (2) No date
Goldsmith, Anne 2 January 1827
Gould, N. 28 June 1827
Graham, Andrew M. No date
Gregory, Samuel 9 October 1826
Grimes, J. A. No date; May 1819 [i.e. 1825]
H., J. No date
Harjette, Thomas 20 October 1825
Harrison, H. I. January 1827
Hasbury, Luke 30 November 1826
Haynes, W. H. (4) No date; 1827; 4 January 1827; 5 February 1827; 20 March 1827; 2 April 1827
Henshaw, John 6 March 1827
Hill, D. No date
Hone, William, (1780-1842.) (9) No date; 25 December 1819; 19 April 1821; 8 January 1825; May 1825; 5 May 1826; 9 March 1827; 27 September 1831; 22 January 1833; 12 October 1835; (obituary) 1842
Hooper, E. J. May 1827; 26 June 1827
Horn, William December 1825
Howitt, William, (1792-1879.) [January 1826]
Hunt, Henry L. 28 December [1828?]
Hunt, John No date
Hurwood, William 21 July 1827
I., H. 7 January 1826
J., L. R. No date
Jibb, Joseph 6 June 1825; 17 October 1825
Johnson, Goddard 10 February 1823
K. No date
K., J. J. No date; 3 March 1827
Kinle, Rich February 1838
Lamb, Charles, (1775-1834.) (from WH) May 1825; 5 May 1826
Lander, H. M. (3) No date; 28 August 1826; 3 September 1826; 7 September 1826; 19 June 1827; 5 July 1827; 9 March 1831
McCreery, J. S March 1827
Neville, Joseph 12 December 1825
P., ** 17 February 1827
P., R. No date
Payne, T. 21 January 1818
Place, Francis, (1771-1854.) 24 July 1826
Prior, J. R. November 1826
Rixon, R. 28 October 1825; 10 May 1826
Salopian, A. No date
Sam's Sons, Sam 8 October 1827
Saunders, Rich 5 May 1826
Schroder, William 26 June 1826
Scratchard, Norrison (2) No date
Seton, Robert 23 February 1827
Simonds, T. R. 17 May 1826
Simpson, Francis, Jr. 24 June 1827
Simpson, G. 1 August 1825
Sinclair A. No date
Skinner, S. P. 17 March 1825
Slaters 15 January 1827
Smith, Balpett 14 September 1841
Stancliff, J. 13 May 1826
Stillman, James No date
Stubbs, J. 12 September 1827
[T., M.] [January 1826]
Taylor, William 24 July 1826
Thomas, J. S. 2 June 1826
Thompson, W. No date
Thoms, William John (1803-1885.) [1826]
Thornhill, Frederick 1 November 1825
Timms, A. W. 5 November 1825
Tipton, Lord 9 November [1817]
Tomlinson, Charles, (1808-1897.) 27 May 1826; 19 September 1826; 2 January 1827; (2) 4 January 1827; 18 April 1827
Towers, Isabella Jane 15 July 1827
Ward, Thomas No date; September 1827
Wardham, Ralph 28 February 1838
Williams, Samuel, (1788-1853.) No date
Wrangham, Francis, (1769-1842.) 10 March 1824; 19 July [1828]
Wright, John Masey, (1777-1866.) 7 January 1831; (2) 10 July 1831

^ Return to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:Correspondence 1816-1842Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 1
No date. G. Baws-Sam Williams
37 items.
1 2
No date. William Hone
9 items.
1 3
No date. Unidentified
11 items.
1 4
6 items.
1 5
4 items.
1 6
January-June, 1825
9 items.
1 7
July-December, 1825
16 items.
1 8
January-June, 1826
23 items.
1 9
July-September, 1826
17 items.
1 10
October-December, 1826
7 items.
1 11
January-February, 1827
14 items.
1 12
March-April, 1827
14 items.
1 13
May-June, 1827
5 items.
1 14
July-December, 1827
16 items.
1 15
8 items.
1 16
6 items.

Series 2: Papers 1826-1976Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 17
18 items.
1 18
Loose Notes from Lawley's "Purely literary productions and correspondence of William Hone." Includes: M. Soul, postcard, July 14, 1914, Clapton, to G. T. Lawley, Wolverhampton, extending thanks for being allowed to read the manuscript.
7 items.
1 19
List of Hone's correspondence transcribed or mentioned in Lawley's manuscript, which were once in his possession. 1976. 4 1. typescrypt
1 20
"Pieces laid in Wm. Hone's personal copy of the Every-Day Book. Owned by the State College of Washington Library." July 6, 1927.
4 p. typescript.
1 21
[Pieces laid in Wm. Hone's personal copy of the Every-Day Book. December, 1975]
10 p. typescript.

Series 3: Publications Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
1 22
Hone, William, 1780-1842. In Parliament. Dropt clauses out of the bill, against the Queen... W. Hone, solicitor for said clauses. [London, circa 1819]
6 pages.
2 23
Hone, William, 1780-1842. The Every-day book, and table book; or, everlasting calendar of popular amusement, sports, pastimes, ceremonies, manners, customs, and events, incident to each of the three hundred and sixty-five days, in past and present times; forming a complete history of the year, months, and seasons, and a perpetual key to the almanac ... by William Hone.
With four hundred and thirty six engravings. In three volumes. Vol. 1. London, Printed for William Tegg and Co., [1847?] 1720 double columns, illus. This volume of the Every-day book was originally published weekly from January-December 1825. Flyleaf inscription: This set of Hone's Works (4 vols) contains a number of original autograph contributions to the various volumes & letters relating thereto, purchased by me from William Hone's collection of MSS belonging to Miss Soul, Hone's grand daughter, G. T. Lawley, Priestfield House nr Wolverhampton Also an original draft sketch of a descriptive article by Wm Hone (see next leaf). I have also written an account of the origin, design, and execution of the work, from letters and papers of the Hone family, now in my possession. These additions make the set as valuable as it is unique. G.T.L
2 24
Hone, William, 1780-1842. The Every-day book, and table book by William Hone.
With four hundred and thirty-six engravings. In three volumes. Vol. II. London, Printed for William Tegg and Co., [1847?] 1712 double columns, illus. This volume of the Every-day book was originally published weekly from January-December 1826
3 25
Hone, William, 1780-1842. The Every-day book, and Table book by William Hone.
With Four hundred and thirty-six engravings. In three volumes. Vol. III. London, Printed for William Tegg and Co. 1847. 860, 888 double columns, illus. The Table book: 2 vols., originally published weekly from January 1827 to January 1828 (55 numbers including indexes, in 2 vols.) here forms one volume (vol. 3). Spine title: Wm. Hone's Year Book Vol III. Lawley's account of the circumstances of the Table Book inserted in between cols. 28 and 29.
3 26
Hone, William, 1780-1842. The Year book of daily recreation and information; concerning remarkable men and manners, times and seasons, solemnities and merry-makings, antiquities and novelties, on the plan of the Every-day Book and Table Book ... by William Hone.
With one hundred and fourteen engravings. London, Printed for William Tegg and Co. 1848. 1648 double columns, illus. Spine title: Wm. Hone's Table Book Vol. IV. Flyleaf inscription: This volume contains an original draft of a poem, addressed to Robert Leaper Resey of Camden Town by William Hone; also several original letters from contributors to the book purchased from the Hone Collection. G. T. Lawley

Series 4: George T. Lawley Return to Top

Container(s) Description
Box Folder
3 27
Lawley, George T. The purely literary prodictions and correspondence of William Hone and his friends.
With an account of the origin and production of his Every-Day Book, Year Book & Table Book from manuscripts and letters in the possession of the Author.[ca. 1913] G. T. Lawley Priestfield House Nr Wolverhampton 182 1. holograph. Spine title: Wm. Hone & His Correspondence

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

Subject Terms

  • Authors, English -- 19th century -- Correspondence

Personal Names

  • Hone, William, 1780-1842 -- Archives

Other Creators

  • Personal Names
    • Cruikshank, George, 1792-1878 (creator)
    • Evans, John, 1767-1827 (creator)
    • Lamb, Charles, 1775-1834 (creator)
    • Lawley, George T. (creator)
    • Place, Francis, 1771-1854 (creator)