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Richard Clay & Sons Printing

Richard Clay I (1789-1877) was born in Cambridge, England. His father was John Clay of Cambridge who died in 1841. He apprenticed to Richard Watts, then University Printer John Smith at the Pitt Press. He began his own business with various partners in 1817 at No. 9 Devonshire Street, Bishops-gate. The partnership of Samuel Burton, Richard Clay and Samuel Smith dissolved 1822. The partnership of Samuel Burton, Richard Clay, and Henry Batty dissolved in 1824. He then was “House of Richard Clay & Co. Ltd” at Devonshire, Bishops-gate. He moved to the Bread Street Hill address about 1830.

His son, Charles John Clay (1827-1905), Trinity College, set up in Cambridge as University Printer and Partner, C. J. Clay and Son Cambridge University Press.  Another son, Richard Clay II (1839-1890), was apprenticed to brother Charles.

Joseph Taylor became a partner in 1857. And it became R. Clay, Sons and Taylor. The Taylor partnership ceased in 1885. Richard II (and Taylor) purchased Childs & Son in Bungay in 1877, which started the Bungay business which exists to this day.

Printed for:

  • Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (SPCK)
  • Religious Tract Society
  • House of Richard Clay & Co. Ltd
  • Messrs. Clay & Sons, Limited


The Bookbinder, Vol. 4, London: Raithby, Lawernce and Co. LTD., 1891.