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Cuthbert Burby
Birth: 1565
Bedfordshire, England
Death: Sep., 1607
London
City of London
Greater London, England

Publisher, Bookseller. Active in London from 1592 until his death, he brought out works by several important Elizabethan playwrights. These include early quarto editions of Shakespeare's "Love's Labour's Lost" (1598) and "Romeo and Juliet" (1599), and "Edward III" (1596), issued anonymously but now thought to have been written by Shakespeare and Thomas Kyd. Burby was born on a farm in Erlsey, Bedfordshire. From his late teens he apprenticed under stationer William Wright in the Poultry section of Cheapside, and went into business in the same area as a full member of the Stationers Company in 1592. His fortunes were founded on posthumous publications of Robert Greene, one of the best-selling authors of the period: the prose pamphlets "The Third and Last Part of Coney-Catching" and "The Repentance of Robert Greene" (both 1592), and the drama "Orlando Furioso" (1594). In time his catalog came to include Thomas Nashe's proto-novel "The Unfortunate Traveller" (1594), poetry by Edmund Spenser, plays and miscellanies by John Lyly, Thomas Dekker, Henry Chettle, Anthony Munday, and Robert Wilson, Francis Meres' anthology "Palladis Tamia" (1598) with its historically important information about Shakespeare and the contemporary theatre scene, and in a different field, "The Art of Stenography" (1602), the first practical method for shorthand. Burby seems to have had a special relationship with Nashe, who in 1597 went into hiding for his part in the banned comedy "The Isle of Dogs" and whose books were ordered seized and burned in 1599. Burby defied the authorities by publishing Nashe's final work, "Lenten Stuff" (1599), and acting as an agent for the printing of his only extant play, "Summer's Last Will and Testament" (written around 1592, published 1600). After 1600 he was prosperous enough to set up shop in the vicinity of St. Paul's Churchyard ("at the sign of the Swan"), the heart of London's book trade. Burby had discriminating taste in choice of authors and subjects, but he often employed second-rate printers and engaged in the same piratical tactics as his competitors. Stage companies preferred not to publish their repertories because they feared it would hurt audience attendance, and much Elizabethan drama we now have was preserved through unauthorized editions. Besides dealing in stolen actors' copies of playscripts, Burby acquired and may have commissioned clandestine shorthand recordings of plays in performance. Impresario Philip Henslowe once paid him off to not publish Dekker's "Patient Grissel" (1599). Burby died between August 24 and September 16, 1607, and at his request he was buried in the church of his old stomping grounds, St. Mildred Poultry, Cheapside. His widow ran the business for a couple of years before selling out and retiring. St. Mildred Poultry was destroyed in the 1666 London Fire, rebuilt by Christopher Wren in 1676, and demolished in 1872. Burby is sometimes confused with Cuthbert Burbage of the theatrical Burbage family. (bio by: Bobb Edwards) 
 
Burial:
St Mildred Poultry Church (Defunct)
London
City of London
Greater London, England
Plot: Below chancel. Church demolished 1872, remains moved to City Of London Cemetery, Ilford. Plaque marks site of church.
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Mark McManus
Record added: Jul 11, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 14894198
Cuthbert Burby
Added by: Anonymous
 
Cuthbert Burby
Cemetery Photo
Added by: Anonymous
 
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- quebecoise
 Added: May. 31, 2015
Rest in peace.
- Michael
 Added: Mar. 24, 2015

- Mellissa Lake Co. Illinois
 Added: Jul. 8, 2013
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