Tallis set up as a publisher with Frederick Tallis in Cripplegate in 1842; the business moved to Smithfield in 1846, and was dissolved in 1849. From 1851 to 1854 Tallis operated as John Tallis and Company. He started The illustrated news of the world and national portrait gallery of eminent personages in 1858, selling it for £1,370 in 1861; it folded in 1863.
He lived in New Cross, South East London. His house on New Cross Road is listed as a Building of Special Architectural or Historic Interest, grade II. It has a blue plaque on the wall to signal the event.
- John Tallis’s London street views, 1838-1840, c2002: p. 19 (born at Stourbridge, Worcestershire, on 7 Nov. 1817); p. 35 (died 25 May 1876)
- Boase, F., Modern English biography, 6 vols, 1892-1921
- Historical plaques about John Tallis
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