The names W. Bridekirk, simply Bridekirk or Bridekirk Jr (possibly to distinguish him from his uncle, William Bridekirk, with whom he had arrived in Cape Town), also occur frequently as reference to his printing and publishing business.
Born William Storey Bridekirk in South Shield Durham on 19th October, he came to South Africa on the SS Gertrude from Gravesend in 1817, arriving in Table Bay on 30th July, 1817.
He (or his uncle?) possibly resided at 20 Buitengracht Street and he seems to have up his "Stationer's Shop" and printing and publishing business, under the name W. Bridekirk, at 31 Heerengracht Street, adjoining George's Hotel. For a while he published the The Cape of Good Hope Government Gazette from his offices, and the shop was thus also referred to as the "Government Gazette Office" in some adverts for ticket sales and the like.
He died in Cape Town on the 8th September, 1843.
Contribution to South African theatre
The company printed and/or published numerous works, including Thomas Pringle and John Fairbairn's South African Journal, William Gorrie's The Cape Cyclopaedia (1835), The South African Chronicle and Mercantile Advertiser (1824-1826), The Colonist (1827-8), Frederick Brooks's quarterly tract South Africa Grins, or The Quizzical Depot of General Humbug (1825-6), Joseph Suasso de Lima's journal De Versamelaar/The Gleaner (1827-1835), as well as De Lima's plays.
Bridekirk's offices frequently also served as one of the ticket sales point for plays put on in Cape Town.
Archie L. Dick. 2015 "Copying and Circulation in South Africa's Reading Cultures" in C. Davis and D. Johnson. 2015. The Book in Africa: Critical Debates. Springer
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