William Godwin's Diary


Thomas Hodgkins who managed Godwin’s shop in Hanway Street remained the manager after the move. Locke and St Clair suggest that he was detected in some irregularities and Godwin dismissed him. The diary records certainly suggest unreliability, which may account for Godwin arriving early. Then, in August, there are several entries that suggest that Godwin has had to change the locks on Skinner Street, and that he has involved the law (7 August – ‘TT, Barret, constable, 3 Hodgkinses’). He also seems to have arranged for people to sleep over at Skinner Street, probably to protect the property. There are also references to Bow Street on 10,11 and 12 August, and to consulting Knapp, a barrister. The reference to Jo Hodgkins being ‘in possession’ (August) may refer to material taken from Skinner Street. Surprisingly, Hodgkins name is still used in advertising the bookshop as late as 21 January 1808 in the Morning Chronicle, but is missing from the Morning Chronicle of 3 February 1808. The first advertisement identified featuring M. J. Godwin as the proprietor is in the Morning Chronicle for 26 November 1808