Constable, David (1795 -1857)

David Constable was the eldest son of the Edinburgh publisher Archibald Constable and his first wife, Mary, daughter of David Willison, printer, of Edinburgh. Born on 4 October 1795, ‘Bibliomania was inherited and congenital with him, and when only three years old he had already acquired the sobriquet of Wee Davy Books.’ He went to Edinburgh High School until he was 13, when he went to Great Marlowe to live in the family of Professor William Wallace and attend the college. In September 1809 he entered Hyde Abbey School at Winchester. In 1811 he was articled to White and Cochrane in London to learn the antiquarian bookselling trade. When they went bankrupt early in 1815, he spent a year with Longman in Pater Noster Row. In 1816 his father sent David on a continental tour to Germany, and in 1817 decided that he should be a barrister. After attending law classes at Edinburgh University he became a member of the Faculty of Advocates, he collected a truly remarkable library principally of Scottish history and literature. The firm of Constable were ruined when their London agents, Hurst Robinson & Co., went bankrupt in 1826, and David Constable's library was sold in two parts, the first anonymously at auction in London by S. Sotheby 16 January 1827 as `a curious collection of books in general history and literature etc.' and the second by D. Speare of 80 Prince's Street, Edinburgh 19 November 1828. In 1828 he married Helen Fosbery, and in 1829 retired with his wife and infant son to Brussels. When his wife died in 1835, but already there had been some traces of mental problems, and died quietly at his brother’s house on 4 January 1866. Stamp 2 also appears also on the records of the firm of Archibald Constable.

Library Auction Details: Sotheby's, D. Speare (Edinburgh) (16 January 1827), (19 November 1828)
Stamp(s) Stamp Information
Constable, David (1795 - 1857) (Stamp 1) Motto: Impeger et fidus
, Motto: Patria cara carior libertas
Crest: A greyhound passant collared
Arms: Quarterly gules and vair a bend or
Heraldic Charges: bend, Heraldic Charges: greyhound
Constable, David (1795 - 1857) (Stamp 2) Motto: Impeger et fidus
, Motto: Patria cara carior libertas
Crest: A greyhound passant collared
Arms: Quarterly gules and vair a bend or
Heraldic Charges: bend, Heraldic Charges: greyhound
Constable, David (1795 - 1857) (Stamp 3) Motto: Impeger et fidus
Crest: A greyhound passant collared
Arms: Quarterly gules and vair a bend or
Heraldic Charges: bend, Heraldic Charges: greyhound
Constable, David (1795 - 1857) (Stamp 4) Motto: Impeger et fidus
Crest: A greyhound passant collared
Arms: Quarterly gules and vair a bend or
Heraldic Charges: bend, Heraldic Charges: greyhound
Constable, David (1795 - 1857) (Stamp 5) Motto: Impeger et fidus
Crest: A greyhound passant collared
Arms: Quarterly gules and vair a bend or
Heraldic Charges: bend, Heraldic Charges: greyhound
Motto: Impeger et fidus
Crest: A greyhound passant collared
Arms: Quarterly gules and vair a bend or
Heraldic Charges: bend, Heraldic Charges: greyhound