Abbreviated title
The new way of selling places at court. In a letter from a small courtier to a great stock-jobber
JSA Identification Number
Teerink/Scouten Number
[Woolley attrib.]
ESTC Number
Copy and its Location
CUL , Ddd.23.5 (3)
Publisher and Printer
The new way of selling places at Court. In a letter from a small courtier to a great stock-jobber, Vol. , pp .
London, Morphew, John, 1712.


Morphew entered this pamphlet to John Barber in the Stationers’ Register on 12 May 1712, so the printer and publisher are known. The identity of the writer is not. David Woolley has argued that the piece is Swift’s and on that basis it has been included in the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Jonathan Swift. The printing is for the most part professional and unremarkable, though the use of black letter for ‘Selling Places at Court’ on the title-page is typical of the way Swift uses it to mark out the strange in his titles.

John Barber (baptized 11 April 1675, died 2 January 1741) was the government printer while the Tories were in office: he printed the Votes of the House of Commons, The Examiner, and The Mercator and, in association with Benjamin Tooke, The London Gazette. He and Tooke were also Stationers to the Ordnance; together they were granted the reversion of Queen’s printer, but that was held by John Baskett and the assigns of Henry Hills and Thomas Newcomb until January 1740. Barber was also printer to the South Sea Company; Barber also had a successful career in London politics, becoming an alderman and serving as Lord Mayor in 1733-4. He had a large printing shop, employing two apprentices and seven journeymen, one of his compositors being John Wright, later the printer of Pope’s Dunciad Variorum and other of his later works. The output of Barber’s shop is generally very impressive in quality, and he showed considerable ingenuity in operating with reissues and cancels. Swift’s relations with Barber seem to have been good. They often dined together. Mrs Manley, who took over the writing of The Examiner from Swift, lived with Barber.

John Morphew was a trade publisher. He had been a journeyman in Edward Jones’s printing house and took on John Nutt’s business when Nutt took over Jones’s printing shop in 1706. He continued the publishing business until he died in 1720. He seems to have been the trade publisher the Tories preferred. His was a small business, employing only a woman and a boy.

References: Jonathan Swift, English Political Writings, 1711-1714, ed. Bertrand A. Goldgar and Ian Gadd (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press), pp. 402-9 (405-6); David Woolley, ‘The Canon of Swift’s Prose Pamphleteering, 1710-1714, and The New Way of Se lling Places at Court’, Swift Studies 3 (1988), 96-123 (and foldout endpaper); Charles A. Rivington, ‘Tyrant’: The Story of John Barber (York: William Sessions, 1989); Michael Treadwell, ‘Swift’s Relations with the London Book Trade to 1714’, in Author/Publisher Relations during the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Centuries, ed. Robin Myers and Michael Harris (Oxford: Oxford Polytechnic Press, 1983), pp. 1-36; Michael Treadwell, ‘London Trade Publishers, 1675-1750’, Library, 6th ser. 4 (1982), 99-134.