John Drewry Robert Drewry John Drewry William Drewry Joshua Drewry Mary Drewry Edward Drewry Mary Barnes Mini tree diagram

Samuel Drewry

1705 - 7th Aug 1769

Life History


Born in Lincoln


Christened in St Peter at Gowts, Lincoln


Freeman of Lincoln

7th Aug 1769

Died in Derby





"Another Derby printer, Ald. Samuel Drewry (died 1769), whose house and printing works were in the building on the corner of Iron Gate and Sadler Gate now occupied by Lloyd's Bank in Derby, announced a new paper on 23rd March 1732, Drewry's Derby Mercury, later just the Derby Mercury. It was announced

'to the Gentlemen, Tradesmen and Others of the Borough of Derby to which this Journal is humbly inscrib'd and presented Gratis to furnish a newspaper of more local Interest than is usually the Case'

- a commendable piece of salesmanship, as all subsequent editions had to be paid for at 2d per issue then of but four pages. The first edition (Vol. I No. 1) was published on Thursday 30th March and came out thereafter every Thursday evening to be 'immediately sent to the houses of subscribers.' It later became daily and lasted until competition from the Derby Daily Telegraph killed it and it was taken over by the Derbyshire Advertiser in 1930."

From the History of the Printing Press in Derbyshire (p. 151)

"From this list we leam that the Drewrys were not enrolled Burgesses, their names not appearing upon the roll. ..."

"Samuel Drewry died in 1769. The event is thus recorded in the Derby Mercury ...

'Early on Monday morning last died, much lamented by his friends, Mr. Samuel Drewry, upwards of 38 years Printer of this Paper. The Business will be carried on as usual at the same place by his nephew [son of Joshua], Mr. John Drewry, who has had the principal management of it for some years past.'"


"Mickleover Hall was the home of Samuel Drewry in 1732; he was the founder of the Derby Mercury Newspaper."


"The 'Derby Mercury' was, at the time, Derby's only newspaper and had been founded in 1730 by John Drewry's uncle, Samuel Drewry. It was printed and published from premises on the corner of Irongate and Sadlergate. The ground floor was a shop. It sold medicines and books, as well as being the front office for the newspaper. Many of the books Drewry sold were printed in London, but he also printed and sold poll books, sermons and last minute confessions of murderers. The floors above were his residence."

From Derby - Its rise and Progress

Samuel_Drewry_ printer_burial_1769.jpg"On August 7th, 1769, Samuel Drewry, who for thirty seven years constituted himself the local historian, died at the age of sixty-four, leaving the conduct of the Mercury to John Drewry, his nephew."
[See John Drewry]

Samuel_Drewry_Grave_1769.jpgFrom John Titford

"Samuel Drewry's will, made barely a week before he died in August 1769, made his intentions plain enough. He wished his body to be 'decently interr'd in the parish church or churchyard where I have always lived, & attended by a few of my most particular acquaintances & friends'. Ten years previously he been appointed churchwarden at All Saints, Derby, and it was here that he was laid to rest on 9th August. His will was proved at Lichfield ten days later."

Samuel Drewry's Grave

Ronald Ellis of Derby sent this picture of Samuel Drewry's gravestone in what was the graveyard of All Saints, now Derby Cathedral.

The Cathedral staff told Ronald that despite the words on the stone the actual body is almost certainly in the crypt of the Cathedral.

Two of Samuel's Apprentices

In 1744, Samuel took on John Bilby as an apprentice and in 1768, Christopher Peat. It may be that there were other apprentices in the intervening years.