Capturing Cambridge
  • search
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
Gustav David, bookseller and his stall on Market Hill

16, St Edward Passage, G David Bookseller

History of 16 St Edward Passage

Gustave David started a market stall selling books in 1896. At one time David ran several shops in St Edward Passage. Whilst continuing selling at the market stall, G David also opened a shop which is still (2016) managed by his great grandson.

6/6/1925: Very many residents of Cambridge who in their leisure moments wander round the Market Place to see what literary treasure may there be picked up will be interested in a movement set on foot by prominent members of the University to do honour to Mr G. David, the well-known bookseller, who has had a stall there for close on thirty years. A luncheon will be given in the Old Combination Room, Trinity College in appreciation of the conspicuous service he has rendered to the cause of humane letters. (Cam.News)

28/5/1930 The bookshops of Cambridge are a special feature of the town; no visitor can possibly miss David’s stall on the Market Place where the book-lover may pick up a bargain. He came to Cambridge in 1896 and started his career at this stall; in 1906 he took a shop in St Edward’s Passage, which is full of interesting old books and though often locked can be viewed at leisure in the window. In such esteem is he held that a luncheon was held in the Hall of Trinity College and a lithograph cartoon by Mr William Nicholson presented to him. (Cam.News)

20/11/1936 Gustave David, known as ‘David’ to generations of undergraduates has died hours after returning by the midnight train having attended a London auction. He came to Cambridge forty years ago, opening his now-famous stall on Market Hill. Later he opened a shop in Green Street before moving to St Edward’s Passage. He was the first man in Cambridge to sell rare and old books at low prices. So appreciative were University men of his services that in 1925 a number of distinguished members entertained him to lunch at Trinity in recognition of the ‘conspicuous services he has rendered the cause of humane letters’. (Cam.News)

See Mill Road Cemetery entry


Do you have any information about the people or places in this article? If so, then please let us know using the Contact page or by emailing

Dear Visitor,


Thank you for exploring historical Cambridgeshire! We hope you enjoy your visit.


Did you know that we are a small, independent Museum and that we rely on donations from people like you to survive?


If you love Capturing Cambridge, and you are able to, we’d appreciate your support today.


Every donation makes a world of difference.


Thank you,

The Museum of Cambridge