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Hatchard’s, the UK’s oldest bookstore

Hatchard’s is a bookstore, now a branch of the Waterstones and supposedly the oldest bookstore in the UK, founded by John Hatchard in Piccadilly in 1797. It was always located in Piccadilly initially at #179 and in 1801 moved to #187 near it Fortnum & MasonAnother historic store in London. still in the same place.

The company was born with a collection of merchandise purchased by Simon Vandenberg, an 18th century bookseller.

Photo © Copyright Colin Smith And it’s licensed reuse under this CC license.

It is famous for attracting notable authors and holding three royal orders as it was the favorite library of Queen Charlotte, wife of King George III, the Mad King. It was also Oscar Wilde’s bookstore favourite, with the writer signing his books seated at the main table on the ground floor – now known as the Oscar’s Table.

Newspapers were scattered on a table by the fireplace, and outside were benches for customer servants. In all these years, I witnessed a lot of people go through as well as many events. In 1804, the inaugural meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society was held in the reading room behind the store, and William Wilberforce used the same room for anti-slavery meetings.

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