He is remembered as the bookseller who helped break the infamous "Ring" who colluded to close off open competition in auctions, "taking bread from the mouths of the widows and orphans" of Oxford scholars.
Sir Basil was knighted in 1956 by Queen Elizabeth - the only bookseller ever knighted. The same year he was given the honorary Freedom of the City of Oxford. In 1959 he was elected to an honorary Fellowship at Merton. In 1979 he was awarded a Doctorate of Civil Law honoris causa at the Oxford Encaenia.