University of Virginia Library

Ling's Shops

As described above, Ling sold editions at the West Door of St. Paul's and in St. Paul's Churchyard at the sign of the Mermaid during the first years of his career. Upon his return to London in 1590, he sold one edition (STC 18273) in St. Paul's Churchyard. Then he returned to the west end of Paul's, where he continued to sell editions into 1600. It is not clear how many shops


Page 213
he maintained in this vicinity. Imprints from editions of the 1590's locate him either at the West Door (STC 16657, 1591; STC 7214, 1594; STC 22971, 1595; STC 7232 and 22972, 1596), the West End (STC 18370 and 22664, 1591; and STC 17994, 1599), the Little West Door (STC 12504, 1598), or the Northwest Door (STC 18375, 1595). While some of these may be variations of one address, it does appear that more than one shop is involved. The Northwest Door apparently refers to a distinct shop, perhaps the one that Bynneman had maintained in the 1570's (see imprints in STC 6901 and STC 13602, 1572; and STC 15541, 1573.)[20] Unless several stationers were sharing premises, there must have been at least three shops or sheds clustered at the west end of Paul's in the 1590's. Ling, Humphrey Lownes, and Richard Smith were all selling editions with the West Door or West End addresses in the imprints at this time.[21]

Ling continued to use the West Door address into 1600 (imprints of STC 1891.5, 14923, and 17868). One imprint of that year, however, gives his location as St. Paul's Churchyard,[22] and another of 1601 also gives this address (STC 22736). In fact, however, he had opened a shop at St. Dunstan's-in-the-West in 1598. A Wardmote Inquest of that year cites "Nichas Linge Bookebynder for forestalling his neighbors and streghtynynge the Queenes highe waie by settinge vp a shopp borde into the Churche yarde."[23] The first imprint


Page 214
to give St. Dunstan's as his address occurs in 1602 (STC 7197). After this, all imprints which specify an address give the St. Dunstan's location (STC 22276 and 22737, 1604; STC 10457 and 11576, 1606; STC 22738 and STC 23669, 1607).