Jørgen Wright Cappelen

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Jørgen Wright Cappelen (10 August 1805 – 6 October 1878) was a Norwegian bookseller and publisher.

Personal life[edit]

Jørgen Wright Cappelen was born in Porsgrund in 1805 as the ninth and last child of ship-owner Ulrich Fredrich von Cappelen (1770–1820) and his wife Benedicte Henrikke, née Aall (1772–1812).[1] His maternal grandfather was Nicolai Benjamin Aall, and as such his group of uncles included Constitutional founding fathers Niels, Jacob and Jørgen Aall. When Jørgen reached 15 years of age, he had lost both parents and the family business was bankrupt, however, his uncles Niels Aall and Didrich von Cappelen took over as trustees.[2]

His oldest brothers Nicolai Benjamin and Ulrik Frederik became jurists and members of the national parliament. The third brother, Wittus Juel, became a merchant in Drammen. The oldest sisters Didricha and Louise were married consecutively to bishop and politician Jens Lauritz Arup. The fourth sister Benedicte married their cousin Hans Blom Cappelen; from this marriage, Jørgen got a nephew Didrik who became a member of parliament, and a niece Marie who married Fritz Trampe Flood of the notable Flood ship-owner family.[1]

Jørgen married actress Fredrikke Helene Schwirtz. She was a Danish citizen.[3]


Jørgen Wright Cappelen started theological studies in Basel, but abandoned these. He instead moved to Kristiania and founded J.W. Cappelens Forlag, a publishing house and bookshop,[1] in 1829. The publications were largely centered on religious topics. In the second half of the nineteenth century, they rather concentrated on school books.[4]

Cappelen was the first chairman of the Norwegian Booksellers Association, serving in that capacity from 1851 to 1870.[2]

After his death the business was taken over by his son Jørgen Wright Cappelen, Jr.[4] The publishing house and bookshop was split into two stock companies in 1957. The bookshop company was liquidated in 1973,[4] but the publishing house still exists.


  1. ^ a b c Frednesalléen 1, by in Eidanger–Porsgrund, by Finn C. Knudsen (1932). Hosted by Porsgrunn public library.
  2. ^ a b Cappelensvei, by Harald Bache Bystrøm. Hosted by Porsgrunn public library.
  3. ^ Opptegnelser fra det gamle Porsgrunn, by Inga Friis. Hosted by Porsgrunn public library.
  4. ^ a b c History of J.W. Cappelens Forlag