John Hunt (publisher)

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John Hunt (1775 – 7 September 1848) was an English printer, publisher, and occasional political writer. He was an elder brother of the poet and essayist Leigh Hunt and a brother of the critic Robert Hunt.

Born in Philadelphia[1] to Isaac Hunt and Mary Hunt, he was taken to London as a child. There he was apprenticed as a young man to the printer Henry Reynell. Known as a staunch, outspoken, and uncompromising radical, Hunt was more than once imprisoned for his publication of items that were considered libelous, even seditious.

John Hunt was responsible for various periodicals over the years, all of them politically left-leaning, includingThe News, The Reflector, the Yellow Dwarf, The Liberal, and, the most famous and influential, The Examiner, edited by his brother Leigh Hunt.

He was also known for publishing radical or controversial works no one else would touch. Among the miscellany, including one book by Jeremy Bentham, there were others more obviously incendiary or scandalous, such as some of Byron's later works, including The Vision of Judgment, Hazlitt's Liber Amoris, and writings of both Percy and Mary Shelley.

Although Hunt was closely attached to, and a frequent collaborator with, his younger brother Leigh, there was a period of many years, beginning in 1825, during which the brothers were not on speaking terms. They were finally reconciled in 1840.[2] Hunt and his wife Sarah[3] had at least two sons, one of whom, Henry Leigh Hunt, eventually took over many publishing and editing responsibilities from his father.

John Hunt spent his last decades retired to Upper Chaddon near Taunton, Somerset. After many years in poor health, he died in Brompton, Middlesex, on 7 September 1848.


  1. This is not entirely certain. Webb 2008.
  2. Wu 2008, p. 365.
  3. Not certain to be her name. Webb 2008.


  • Webb, Timothy. "Hunt, John (1775–1848)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004. (Online edition, 2008; accessed 5 September 2013.)
  • Wu, Duncan. William Hazlitt: The First Modern Man. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2008.