THOMASON, GEORGE (d. 1666), English book and tract collector, was a London bookseller, whose life contains few items of interest save the fact that he was concerned in a royalist plot in 1651. He is famous, however, as the man who brought together the great collection of books and tracts published during the time of the Civil War and the Commonwealth; this was formerly called the " King's Pamphlets," but is now known as the " Thomason Collection." During the years just before the outbreak of war a great number of writings covering every phase of the questions in dispute between king and people were issued, and in 1641 Thomason began to collect these. Working diligently at his task for about twenty years, he possessed nearly 23,000 separate publications in 1662, and having arranged these in chronological order he had them bound in 1983 volumes. After many vicissitudes the collection was bought in 1761 from his descendants by George III., who presented it to the British Museum, where it now is (see NEWSPAPERS). Thomason died in London in April (1666).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)