The Irish Melodies in other British towns and cities
Publishers outside London and Dublin were obliged to wait for Longmans' copyright to expire before they had the chance to publish Moore's Irish Melodies. The first to venture forth was Thomas Knibb of Leamington, who renewed the presence of Nicholas Lee Torre's Latin translation (and in revised, expanded, versions) with editions of Cantus Hibernici in 1856, 1858, and 1859. Knibb is a shadowy figure; possibly he is the same Thomas Knibb who retired as a bookseller in Colchester in January 1846; equally, he may also be the Knibb of 'Edwards and Knibb', who were connected with three imprints issued by Longman and associates between 1819 and 1821.
The other major 'provincial' British contributor to the circulation of Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies was the Halifax-based firm of Milner and Sowerby, founded by William Milner in the early nineteenth century. This firm was known for its "Cottage Library", and the production of favorably-priced books for a mass clientele. While the firm started and ended the century with a London address, the bulk of its activity seems to have taken place in Halifax, Yorkshire. where books by such as George Gordon Lord Byron, Robert Burns, and Alexander Pope were issued. The firm first produced Moore -- in more than one edition -- in 1859, with further editions in 1865 and 1866. Any illustrations were undertaken by W. Banks & Son of Edinburgh, some of whose remaining output is available through the open-access image bank of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A sample of work from the London-based firm William Mackenzie is included here because of its branches in Dublin, Edinburgh, and Glasgow.
Moore's work circulated freely in the provinces through the activities of various booksellers, as is evidenced by the stamps found in many copies of the Moore collection at Queen's University Belfast (and doubtless copies held elsewhere). These are not, however, systematically documented in the current project.