The Connoisseur

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by Mr. Town, pseud.

The Connoisseur is a newspaper published in 140 issues from January 31, 1754 to September 30, 1756.[1] It was published under the pseudonym “Mr. Town,” described in the text as:

“…a fair, black, middle-sized, very short man. He wears his own hair, and a perriwig. He is about thirty years of age, and not more than four and twenty. He is a Student of the Law, and a Bachelor of Physic. He was bred at the University of Oxford; where having taken no less than three degrees, he looks down on many learned Professors, his inferiors, &c.”[2]

This passage reflects the aims of the weekly to playfully satirize English society and reveal modern intellectuals as “stripped of their borrowed ornaments, we should in many see nothing but bare shelves and empty drawers.”[3]

It is thought to be written chiefly by George Colman and Bonnell Thornton. Colman was a successful writer and theater manager of the Haymarket Theatre who wrote many plays and critical essays[4]; Thornton an oddly disarrayed contemporary writer.[5]

Bibliographic Information

Author: Mr. Town, pseud.

Title: The Connoisseur

Publication Info: 3rd ed. London: Printed for R. Baldwin, 1757.


Evidence for Inclusion in Wythe's Library

Description of the Wolf Law Library's copy

Bound in full contemporary brown mottled calf, with gilt spines and black and red leather title labels. Includes the bookplate of Cecil E. Bewes and the signature of "Harticus Bewes E. coll. Exon Oxon."

External Links

Google Books


  1. Olive Baldwin, Thelma Wilson, “Colman, George, the elder (bap. 1732, d. 1794),” Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed October 10, 2013. All biographical information is from this source unless otherwise noted.
  2. George Colman and Bonnell Thornton, The Connoisseur, CXL, Sept. 30, 1756 (University of Michigan Library, 2011).
  3. Nandini Bhattacharya (quoting George Colman), “Family Jewels: George Colman’s ‘Inkle and Yarico’ and Connoisseurship,” Eighteenth-Century Studies, 34, No. 2 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2001), p. 210.
  4. Ibid.
  5. Paul Baines, “Thornton, Bonnell (1725-1768)”, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004), accessed October 17, 2013.