I. Thomas, an English publisher, born in Bristol in 1699, died in London, June 18, 1755. In 1716 he was apprenticed to John Osborn, a stationer and bookseller of London, with whom he entered into partnership in 1725. in Paternoster row, in the place still occupied in the same business by his successors. The chief publications in which he was concerned were Chambers's "Cyclopedia of Arts and Sciences," the precursor of the different cyclopaedias which have since appeared in Europe and America, and Johnson's "Dictionary," of which latter work he was one of the six original proprietors.
II. Thomas, nephew of the preceding, born in London in 1731, died at Hampstead, Feb. 5, 1797. He was taken into partnership by his uncle in 1754, and subsequently entered into partnership with Mr. Rees, with whom he published a new edition of the " Cyclopaedia." He was one of the first to export books to America.
III. Thomas Norton, son of the preceding, born in London in 1771, died at Hampstead, Aug. 28, 1842. He became a partner with his father about 1792, the firm being then one of the largest in the city, both as publishers and booksellers, and during the 50 years that he remained connected with it greatly extended its operations and enhanced its reputation. Various partners were from time to time admitted into the house, but during nearly the whole of the period above indicated Thomas Norton Longman remained at its head. At the commencement of the present century the Longmans were the proprietors of the valuable copyright of Lindley Murray's "English Grammar," and issued some of the first poems of Wordsworth, Coleridge, and Southey. They also published Scott's "Lay of the Last Minstrel" and several of the Waver-ley novels, and subsequent to 1811 were the exclusive publishers of Thomas Moore's works, with the exception of his "Life of Lord Byron," the works of Herschel, Mackintosh, Mac-aulay, McCulloch, and others.
In 1826 they became part proprietors of the "Edinburgh Review," and between 1829 and 1846 published the 133 volumes of Lardner's "Cabinet Cyclopaedia." Another important enterprise of the house was the reconstruction of the old Chambers's "Cyclopaedia," which, under the editorship of Dr. Abraham Rees, was expanded into a work in 39 vols. 4to, with 6 vols, of plates, and styled "Rees's Cyclopaedia" (1802-'19). Mr. Longman's sons, Thomas and William, succeeded him in the firm, which is now, under the style of Longmans, Green, Reader, and Dyer, one of the largest publishing houses in England.