Saunders, Henry (c.1725–1787), publisher, printer, and bookseller, was probably born in Dublin; nothing else is known of his family background. He lived and worked in the city throughout his life. In the late 1740s he was a journeyman to the printer and newspaper proprietor James Esdall (qv). As a young apprentice Saunders would no doubt have worked on laying out and correcting the blocks for printing Esdall's News-Letter, one of the early Dublin newspapers. When Esdall fled to England in 1749 after being accused of seditious libel, Saunders stayed behind to look after the printing business along with Anne Esdall (qv). In 1752 Saunders was admitted to the stationer's Guild of St Luke and set up his own shop in the former premises of William Powell. He collaborated with other Dublin printers on a number of projects: between 1753 and 1758 he published the Universal Advertiser with John Exshaw (qv) and Matthew Wilkinson, and in 1753, along with Exshaw and Peter Wilson (qv), he published a pirated edition of Richardson's Sir Charles Grandison which led to a legal dispute with the copyright holder, George Faulkner (qv). Saunders printed and sold other popular authors such as Sterne (qv), Fielding, and Shakespeare.
After Esdall's death (1755) the copyright of Esdall's News-Letter was sold to Saunders. The newspaper, renamed Saunders's News-Letter, was originally published three times a week and comprised four large pages. The content very much suited those with commercial interests in Dublin. After a few short items on foreign news there were sections on Dublin announcements, particularly on criminal activity and theatre performances. But the largest part of the paper comprised of notices on lands to buy and rent, horses, and public auctions. The increase in the volume of commercial activity in Dublin in the 1750s and 1760s meant that notices had to be packed together in tight columns and printed with a very small font size. Though there was nothing particularly pioneering or distinctive about Saunders's News-Letter (it was in fact very similar to Faulkner's Journal) it survived for a remarkably long period and established a loyal following. The moderate and respectable tone of the News-Letter meant that Saunders avoided censorship and serious wrangles with the government. During the 1750s the circulation of Dublin newspapers was low (typically 500–800 copies sold of each edition) and many struggling proprietors closed down newspapers in order to get a better return from other publishing projects. But Saunders was an able businessman and published the News-Letter continuously for nineteen years before selling the title to James Potts (qv) in 1774. Saunders's News-Letter carried on under various owners till 1879.
Saunders sold his newspaper just before the introduction of the stamp act, which he vehemently opposed because it placed a duty on the imported paper used for printing newspapers. His disgruntlement with taxes may have coincided with a desire to semi-retire from business, as in the same year he sold the stock that was in his shop. He remained active in the Guild of St Luke and served as a warden (1774), treasurer (1776, 1778–83), member of the council (from 1776), and master (1778). In 1788 he was elected as a sheriff's peer in the city of Dublin. His selection as sheriff suggests that he had assets to the value of £2,000 (on appointment he paid 200 guineas (£210) towards the King's Hospital, Dublin). He worked at a number of addresses in Dublin including Blind Quay (1749–51), Christ Church Lane (1752–mid 1750s), Castle St. (1761–73) and Great Ship St. (1773–88). He married (his wife, whose name is unknown, died in 1754) and had at least one daughter, baptised in 1753. Saunders died in December 1787.