by George J. Dance

William Briggs

William Briggs (1836-1922). Courtesy Dictionary of Canadian Biography.

William Briggs (September 9, 1836 - November 5, 1922) was the book steward (general manager) of the Methodist Book and Publishing House in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (later Ryerson Press) for over 40 years, from 1879 to 1919. During his tenure, his name "became a household word wherever books were read in Canada."[1]


Briggs initiated a policy of using the revenue from foreign trade books to publish Canadian authors like William Wilfred Campbell, Sir Charles G.D. Roberts, and Catharine Parr Traill.[2]

Since its founding it had been MBPH policy to use the book steward's name as the publisher of its secular works.[3] In consequence Briggs's name appears on many Canadian books of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

See alsoEdit


  1. Danielle Hamelin, "Briggs, William," Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online, Web, Dec. 11, 2011.
  2. James Marsh, "Ryerson Press, The", Canadian Encyclopedia (Edmonton: Hurtig, 1988), 1905. Print.
  3. Janet Friskney, "The Birth of The Ryerson Press Imprint," Historical Perspectives on Canadian Publishing,, Web, June 19, 2011.

External linksEdit

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