The London-based company Mitchell Beazley was founded in July 1969 by James Alexander Hugh Mitchell (born 20 July 1939 in Epping, England) and John Beazley. They were financed by the map and atlas publisher George Philip and presented themselves for the first time at the Frankfurt Book Fair in Germany in 1969 with Patrick Moore's Moonflight Atlas. First titles which were published in 1970 were the Mitchell Beazley Atlas of the Universe by Patrick Moore and Golden Sovereigns by Nicolas Bentley.
In 1976, Mitchell Beazley made a joint venture project with the publisher International Visual Resource from the Netherlands where the encyclopedia The Joy of Knowledge was published. In the same year Mitchell's companion John Beazley died from cancer at age 44. Successful books which were published by Mitchell Beazley were the The Joy of Sex by Alex Comfort and the Pocket Wine Book by wine expert Hugh Johnson. Johnson's first wine guide was published in 1977. Since then it is published annually. In May 1987, Mitchell Beazley became part of the Octopus Publishing Group.
- Who's Who in the World. 3, Part 4. Marquis Who's Who. 1976. p. 502. ISBN 083-791-103-6.
- The Bookseller, issues 3380-3393. Publishers' Association, Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland. J. Whitaker, 1970. p. 2054.
- The Bookseller, issues 3759-3761. Publishers' Association, Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland. J. Whitaker, 1978. p. 40.