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In 1755 British writer Samuel Johnson published an acerbic letter to Lord Chesterfield rebuking his patron for neglect and declining further support. Johnson`s rejection of his patron`s belated assistance has often been identified as a key moment in the history of publishing, marking the end of the culture of patronage. However, patronage had been in decline for 50 years, yet would survive, in attenuated form, for another 50.Indeed, Johnson was in 1762 awarded a pension by the Crown-a subtle form of sponsorship, tantamount to state patronage. The importance of Johnson`s letter is not so much historical as emotional; it would become a touchstone for all who repudiated patrons and for all who embraced the laws of the marketplace.