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In 1794 Robert Thorne had purchased the foundry of Thomas Cottrell, a former employee of William Caslon, which had been founded in 1757 when Cottrell and Joseph Jackson were fired in a wage dispute. Upon Thorne’s death in 1820 the foundry was purchased at auction by William Thorowgood using money he had won in a lottery. Though he was never involved in the type founding business before this Thorowgood made the foundry initially successful by publicizing Thorne's typefaces. Many of the types identified as Thorowgood's are actually the designs of Robert Thorne. Thorowgood went on to issue new specimens and added more typefaces including Frakturs, Greeks, and Russian types which he obtained from the Breitkopf and Härtel foundry of Leipzig, Germany. In 1828 he also purchased the Edmund Fry foundry which had a large collection of foreign language types as well. Robert Besley became a partner in the firm in 1828, and on Thorowgood's retirement in 1849 Besley took over the foundry.