The Eyre Brothers:
Publishers with a Westcountry Interest
Eyre Brothers’ Post Office Plymouth District Directory
which later became
Eyre’s Post Office Plymouth and Devonport District Directory
Revised 1st October 2021
Note: Click on the main headings to go directly to relevant section.
1. Introduction (below)
2. Publishing History
2.5.1 W H Hood
2.5.2 J G Hammond
2.5.3 Theophilus Creber
2.6.1 George Philip & Son
2.6.2 W H Maddock
2.6.3 Brendon & Son
2.6.4 John Smith
2.6.5 Theophilus Creber
3. Locations of Their Works
4. Further Illustrations
NOTE on COPYRIGHT: The inclusion of illustrations has only been made possible by the assistance of various institutions who made images available. The inclusion of an illustration in my work does not allow the reproduction of this illustration by a third party and permission must be obtained from the owner.
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My main interest is Devon mapping, especially county and town maps. The
Eyre Brothers did not publish many works but, of these, many were related to
Plymouth (a trade directory) or the tourist trade generally and most included
maps, hence my interest in the company. This
monograph is an attempt to collate all known information about the publishing
company of Eyre Brothers to date and provide a sketch outline for others to
follow up. The author has five Eyre volumes and this was the basis of the
research presented here.
The Eyre Brothers were London publishers who flourished for a brief period in the last quarter of the 19th century with premises first (from 1877) at 10, later from 26 & 27, Paternoster Square, Paternoster Row (until c.1889). Their output seems to have been limited to a number of trade and town directories and a few guides to the hotels and typical watering places of England and Wales. Apart from one complete set of their Plymouth directory (1880-1905) there are comparatively few examples of their works and many are known through a single copy. Most of what we know about their output has to be gleaned from the few extant works and the adverts they published within. Many volumes were promised but it may turn out that more were intended than saw publication.
Nothing is known about the identity of the brothers, but despite this, their name persisted for many years on the covers of a Plymouth directory and other ephemeral works. The first two recorded works attributed to the Eyre Brothers are a guide to The Watering Places of the South of England (Figs.1. & 2.) and a Coal Trades´ Directory both published in 1877.
I am grateful to all those institutions (i.e. the staff) for answering my many questions and helping to compile this list of their works and their locations. Another researcher able to visit all the libraries will certainly add to (and correct) the information presented here.