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John Timbs (/tɪmz/; 17 August 1801 – 6 March 1875) was an English author and antiquary.[1] Some of his work was published under the pseudonym of Horace Welby.

John Timbs
John Timbs.jpg
Born(1801-08-17)August 17, 1801
DiedMarch 6, 1875(1875-03-06) (aged 73)
Other namesHorace Welby
OccupationAuthor, Editor, Antiquary
Years activec.1820-1874


Timbs was born in 1801 in Clerkenwell, London. He was educated at a private school at Hemel Hempstead. In his sixteenth year he was apprenticed to a druggist and printer at Dorking. He had early shown literary capacity, and when nineteen began to write for the Monthly Magazine. A year later he became secretary to Sir Richard Phillips, its proprietor, and permanently adopted literature as a profession.

He was successively editor of the Mirror of Literature, the Harlequin, The Literary World, and sub-editor of the Illustrated London News. He was also founder and first editor of Year-Book of Science and Art. His published works amounted to more than one hundred and fifty volumes. In 1834 he was elected a fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Timbs died on 6 March 1875 and is buried in the churchyard of St Peter and St Paul, Edenbridge, Kent.


Some of these were published under the pseudonym, Horace Welby. His work continued to be re-edited and republished well after his death, .[2]


  1. ^ Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Timbs, John" . Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
  2. ^ Library of Congress catalog
  3. ^ Curiosities of London (1855),, accessed 10 March 2009
  4. ^ Ross, Greg (8 March 2013). "'How to Roast a Pound of Butter'". Futility Closet.
  5. ^ "Timbs, John" . Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.

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