Singer, Samuel Weller (1783 -1858)
Samuel Weller Singer was the son of Thomas Singer, a feather and artificial flower maker, of Princes Street, Cavendish Square, and Elizabeth Weller. He received a basic education at a day school kept by a Frenchwoman, and after trying various occupations, opened a bookseller's shop and engaged in literary work. He was a friend of Francis Douce, and besides some original work, edited a number of reprints, particularly of French and Italian works. His most interesting work is probably his History of Playing Cards which came out in 1816. Singer was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in 1825, and was appointed Librarian of the Royal Institution in 1827, a post which he held until 1835, and which severely restricted his own literary efforts. In 1834, his friend Francis Douce died, and to his surprise left him a competency on which he retired to the country. He married, in 1808, Harriet Robinson, and they had a son, Alfred, and two daughters. His library was sold by auction by Evans 23 April 1818; autograph letters, manuscripts etc by Sotheby’s 3 August 1858; and the printed books also by Sotheby’s 20 February, 11 April, 16 May, 24 May and 8 November 1860.