Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
|Died||February 22, 1742
St. Paul's Churchyard, London, England
|Education||apprenticed to Matthews|
The eldest son of Thurston Rivington, Rivington was born at Chesterfield, Derbyshire, in 1688. Coming to London as apprentice to a bookseller, he took over in 1711 the publishing business of Richard Chiswell (1639–1711), and, at the sign of the Bible and the Crown in Paternoster Row, he carried on a business almost entirely connected with theological and educational literature. He published one of George Whitefield's earliest works, 'The Nature and Necessity of a new Birth in Christ' (1737) and brought out an edition of the Imitation of Christ. George Whitefield at that time was acknowledged as the leader of Methodism and he was preaching to thousands. He recounts how he was approached by Charles Rivington and had to be persuaded that this was the correct course. Rivington published A General History of the Pyrates in 1724, containing vivid biographies of contemporary English and Welsh pirates.
In 1736 Rivington with Bettesworth founded the company of booksellers who called themselves the "New Conger," in rivalry with the older association, the "Conger," dating from about 1700. In 1741 he published the first volume of Samuel Richardson's novel, Pamela.
After his death, Charles Rivington was succeeded by his two sons, John (1720–1792) and James (1724–1802). James emigrated to America, and pursued his trade in New York; John carried on the business of Rivington and Co. on the lines marked out by his father, and was the great Church of England publisher of the day.
- Septimus Rivington The House of Rivington (1894)
- The Publishers' Circular (January 15, 1885, June 2, 1890).
- "Rivington, Charles". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
- Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century: Comprising Biographical ... By John Nichols, Samuel Bentley 1812
- Pedlar in Divinity: George Whitefield and the Transatlantic Revivals, 1737–1770 By Frank Lambert
- A general history of the robberies & murders of the most notorious pirates. By Charles Johnson Introduction and commentary by David Cordingly. Conway Maritime Press (2002).