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Richard Taylor (1781–1858) was an English naturalist and publisher of scientific journals.
1781 May 18th. Born at Norwich, the second son of John Taylor.
He was educated in a day school in that town by the Rev. John Houghton.
He was then apprenticed, on the recommendation of Sir James Edward Smith, to a printer named Davis, of Chancery Lane, London. He studied the classics, medieval Latin and Italian poets, and modern languages.
On the expiration of his apprenticeship, for a short time he carried on a printing business in partnership with a Mr. Wilks in Chancery Lane; but on 18 May 1803 he established himself in partnership with his father in Blackhorse Court, Fleet Street, subsequently removing to Shoe Lane, and finally to Red Lion Court, Fleet Street, where the firm ultimately developed into Taylor and Francis. His younger brother Arthur was his partner from 1814 to 1823, and his nephew, John Edward Taylor, joined him from 1837 to 1851. Dr. William Francis, subsequently head of the firm, became his partner in the following year. Taylor and his partners produced major works in natural history, as well as fine editions of the classics.
1807 Became a fellow of the Linnean Society
1810 was elected secretary of the Linnean Society. He was also a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and of the Astronomical and Philological societies, and was an original member of the British Association.
1822 Joined Alexander Tilloch as editor of the Philosophical Magazine, subsequently the "London, Edinburgh, and Dublin Philosophical Magazine."
1826 his father died, leaving the family with great financial burdens
For thirty-five years Taylor represented the ward of Farringdon Without on the council of the City of London. He took an active part in matters of education, and assisted in founding the City of London School and the corporation library, while he promoted the establishment of the London University (later University College, London).
1838 He established the "Annals of Natural History", with which the "Magazine of Natural History" was incorporated in 1841, and the two were carried on as the "Annals and Magazine of Natural History".
He edited and published Scientific Memoirs, Selected from the Transactions of Foreign Academies of Science from 1837 to 1852.
1852 his health gave way, and he retired to Richmond, Surrey. His son, the chemist, Dr William Francis, joined him as a partner, the publishing firm becoming Taylor and Francis.
1858 December 1st. Died at Richmond
Taylor also edited and issued five volumes between 1837 and 1852 of ‘Scientific Memoirs selected from the Transactions of foreign Academies of Science,’ as well as an edition of Thomas Warton's ‘History of English Poetry,’ 1840. In addition, he edited Joseph Priestley's ‘Lectures on History,’ 1826, John Horne Tooke's Ἐπεα πτερόεντα, 1829 and 1840, and contributed to Jonathan Boucher's ‘Glossary of Archaic and Provincial Words,’ 1832.