Longman was a publishing company founded in London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

, England in 1724. It is now an imprint
In the publishing industry, an imprint can mean several different things:* As a piece of bibliographic information about a book, it refers to the name and address of the book's publisher and its date of publication as given at the foot or on the verso of its title page.* It can mean a trade name...

 of Pearson Education
Pearson Education
Pearson Education is an international educational publishing and technology company providing textbooks and other educational material, such as multimedia learning tools...



The Longman company was founded by Thomas Longman (1699-1755), the son of Ezekiel Longman (d. 1708), a gentleman of Bristol
Bristol is a city, unitary authority area and ceremonial county in South West England, with an estimated population of 433,100 for the unitary authority in 2009, and a surrounding Larger Urban Zone with an estimated 1,070,000 residents in 2007...

. Thomas was apprenticed in 1716 to John Osborn, a London bookseller, and at the expiration of his apprenticeship married Osborn's daughter. In August 1724, he purchased the stock and household goods of William Taylor, the first publisher of Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe
Robinson Crusoe is a novel by Daniel Defoe that was first published in 1719. Epistolary, confessional, and didactic in form, the book is a fictional autobiography of the title character—a castaway who spends 28 years on a remote tropical island near Trinidad, encountering cannibals, captives, and...

, for £2282 9s 6d. Taylor’s two shops in Paternoster Row
Paternoster Row
Paternoster Row was a London street in which clergy of the medieval St Paul's Cathedral would walk, chanting the Lord's Prayer . It was devastated by aerial bombardment in The Blitz during World War II. Prior to this destruction the area had been a centre of the London publishing trade , with...

, London, were known respectively as the Black Swan and the Ship, and became the publishing house premises.

Longman entered into partnership with his father-in-law, Osborn, who held one-sixth of the shares in Ephraim Chambers
Ephraim Chambers
Ephraim Chambers was an English writer and encyclopaedist, who is primarily known for producing the Cyclopaedia, or a Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences.-Early life:...

's Cyclopaedia
Cyclopaedia, or Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences
Cyclopaedia: or, An Universal Dictionary of Arts and Sciences was an encyclopedia published by Ephraim Chambers in London in 1728, and reprinted in numerous editions in the eighteenth century...

(1728). Longman himself was one of the six booksellers who undertook the responsibility of Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson
Samuel Johnson , often referred to as Dr. Johnson, was an English author who made lasting contributions to English literature as a poet, essayist, moralist, literary critic, biographer, editor and lexicographer...

's Dictionary
A Dictionary of the English Language
Published on 15 April 1755 and written by Samuel Johnson, A Dictionary of the English Language, sometimes published as Johnson's Dictionary, is among the most influential dictionaries in the history of the English language....


Second and third generations

In 1754, Longman took into partnership his nephew, Thomas Longman (1730-1797), and the title of the firm became T. and T. Longman. Upon the death of his uncle in 1755, Longman became sole proprietor. He greatly extended the colonial trade of the firm. In 1794 he took Owen Rees as a partner; in the same year, Thomas Brown (c. 1777–1869) entered the house as an apprentice.

Longman had three sons. Of these, Thomas Norton Longman (1771-1842) succeeded to the business. In 1804 two more partners were admitted, and the former apprentice Brown became a partner in 1811; in 1824 the title of the firm was changed to Longman, Hurst, Rees, Orme, Brown & Green.

In 1799 Longman purchased the copyright of Lindley Murray
Lindley Murray
Lindley Murray , grammarian, was born in a house near his father's mill, just north of Harper Tavern in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, 18 miles northeast of Harrisburg. He was the eldest son of Robert Murray, the Quaker merchant, and Mary Lindley Murray, whose home was on a hill in Manhattan on what...

's English Grammar, which had an annual sale of about 50,000 copies. About 1800 he also purchased the copyright of Southey
Robert Southey
Robert Southey was an English poet of the Romantic school, one of the so-called "Lake Poets", and Poet Laureate for 30 years from 1813 to his death in 1843...

's Joan of Arc
Joan of Arc (poem)
Joan of Arc is a 1796 epic poem composed by Robert Southey. The idea for the story came from a discussion between Southey and Grosvenor Bedford, when Southey realized that the story would be suitable for an epic...

and Wordsworth
William Wordsworth
William Wordsworth was a major English Romantic poet who, with Samuel Taylor Coleridge, helped to launch the Romantic Age in English literature with the 1798 joint publication Lyrical Ballads....

's Lyrical Ballads
Lyrical Ballads
Lyrical Ballads, with a Few Other Poems is a collection of poems by William Wordsworth and Samuel Taylor Coleridge, first published in 1798 and generally considered to have marked the beginning of the English Romantic movement in literature...

, from Joseph Cottle of Bristol. He published the works of Wordsworth, Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
Samuel Taylor Coleridge was an English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher who, with his friend William Wordsworth, was a founder of the Romantic Movement in England and a member of the Lake Poets. He is probably best known for his poems The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and Kubla...

, Southey and Scott, and acted as London agent for the Edinburgh Review
Edinburgh Review
The Edinburgh Review, founded in 1802, was one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century. It ceased publication in 1929. The magazine took its Latin motto judex damnatur ubi nocens absolvitur from Publilius Syrus.In 1984, the Scottish cultural magazine New Edinburgh Review,...

, which was started in 1802.

In 1814 arrangements were made with Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore
Thomas Moore was an Irish poet, singer, songwriter, and entertainer, now best remembered for the lyrics of The Minstrel Boy and The Last Rose of Summer. He was responsible, with John Murray, for burning Lord Byron's memoirs after his death...

 for the publication of Laila Rookh, for which he was paid £3000; and when Archibald Constable
Archibald Constable
Archibald Constable was a Scottish publisher, bookseller and stationer.He was born at Carnbee, Fife, as the son of the land steward to the Earl of Kellie. In 1788 Archibald was apprenticed to Peter Hill, an Edinburgh bookseller, but in 1795 he started in business for himself as a dealer in rare...

 failed in 1826, Longmans became the proprietors of the Edinburgh Review
Edinburgh Review
The Edinburgh Review, founded in 1802, was one of the most influential British magazines of the 19th century. It ceased publication in 1929. The magazine took its Latin motto judex damnatur ubi nocens absolvitur from Publilius Syrus.In 1984, the Scottish cultural magazine New Edinburgh Review,...

. They issued in 1829 Lardner
Dionysius Lardner
Dionysius Lardner , was an Irish scientific writer who popularised science and technology, and edited the 133-volume Cabinet Cyclopedia.-Early life in Dublin:...

’s Cabinet Encyclopaedia, and in 1832 McCulloch
John Ramsay McCulloch
John Ramsey McCulloch , a Scottish economist, author and editor, is widely regarded as the leader of the Ricardian school of economists after the death of David Ricardo in 1823. He was appointed the first professor of political economy at University College London in 1828...

's Commercial Dictionary.

Fourth and fifth generations

Thomas Norton Longman died on August 29, 1842, leaving his two sons, Thomas (1804-1879) and William Longman (1813-1877), in control of the business in Paternoster Row. Their first success was the publication of Macaulay's Lays of Ancient Rome, which was followed in 1841 by the issue of the first two volumes of his History of England, which in a few years had a sale of 40,000 copies.

The two brothers were well known for their literary talent. Thomas Longman edited a beautifully illustrated edition of the New Testament
New Testament
The New Testament is the second major division of the Christian biblical canon, the first such division being the much longer Old Testament....

, and William Longman was the author of several important books, among them a History of the Three Cathedrals dedicated to St Paul (1869) and a work on the History of the Life and Times of Edward III (1873). In 1863 the firm took over the business of Mr JW Parker, and with it Fraser's Magazine
Fraser's Magazine
Fraser's Magazine for Town and Country was a general and literary journal published in London from 1830 to 1882, which initially took a strong Tory line in politics. It was founded by Hugh Fraser and William Maginn in 1830 and loosely directed by Maginn under the name Oliver Yorke until about 1840...

, and the publication of the works of John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill
John Stuart Mill was a British philosopher, economist and civil servant. An influential contributor to social theory, political theory, and political economy, his conception of liberty justified the freedom of the individual in opposition to unlimited state control. He was a proponent of...

 and JA Froude
James Anthony Froude
James Anthony Froude , 23 April 1818–20 October 1894, was an English historian, novelist, biographer, and editor of Fraser's Magazine. From his upbringing amidst the Anglo-Catholic Oxford Movement, Froude intended to become a clergyman, but doubts about the doctrines of the Anglican church,...

; while in 1890 they incorporated with their own all the publications of the old firm of Rivington
Charles Rivington
Charles Rivington , British publisher, eldest son of Thurston Rivington, was born at Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in 1688....

, established in 1711. The family control of the firm (later Longmans, Green & Co.) was continued by Thomas Norton Longman, son of Thomas Longman.

1900 onwards

In December 1940, Longman's Paternoster Row offices were destroyed in The Blitz
The Blitz
The Blitz was the sustained strategic bombing of Britain by Nazi Germany between 7 September 1940 and 10 May 1941, during the Second World War. The city of London was bombed by the Luftwaffe for 76 consecutive nights and many towns and cities across the country followed...

, along with most of the company's stock. The company survived this crisis, however, and became a public company in 1948. Longman was acquired by the media conglomerate Pearson
Pearson PLC
Pearson plc is a global media and education company headquartered in London, United Kingdom. It is both the largest education company and the largest book publisher in the world, with consumer imprints including Penguin, Dorling Kindersley and Ladybird...

 in 1968. In 1972, Mark Longman, last of the Longman family to run the company, died.

Longman continues to exist as an imprint of Pearson Education
Pearson Education
Pearson Education is an international educational publishing and technology company providing textbooks and other educational material, such as multimedia learning tools...

, under the name Pearson Longman. Pearson Longman specializes in English, including English as a second or foreign language, history, economics, philosophy, political science, and religion.

External links

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