He was educated at Henley grammar school, under the Review Doctor George Scobell. Churchill attended book sales and the sales of medical libraries all over the country, and issued an annual catalogue.
In 1816 Churchill was bound an apprentice for seven years to Elizabeth Cox & Son, medical booksellers, of 39 High Street, Southwark. Having served his time he became a freeman of the Stationers" Company, and then for about eighteen months was employed in the house of Longman & Company
The business increased, but not satisfactorily, owing to the new practice of "underselling" (discounting popular titles). Churchill therefore began to publish on his own accountant
In 1854 Churchill removed from Princes Street to New Burlington Street, gave up retail trade, and concentrated on publishing.
He built a house at Wimbledon in 1852. In 1861 he was made a county magistrate.
He finally settled in 1862 at Pembridge Square, Bayswater. Foreign many years Churchill was an invalid.
In July 1875 he went to Tunbridge Wells, where he died on 3 August He was buried in Brompton cemetery.
One of the earliest productions of his press was Robert Liston"s Practical Surgery, 1837, of which there were repeated editions. This book carried a caduceus as Churchill"s printer"s mark. lieutenant has been suggested that, particularly through editions of Churchill"s books in the United States, the caduceus was adopted by misprision as a symbol of medicine, in place of the rod of Asclepius.
A well-known series of manuals followed.
The first was Erasmus Wilson"s Anatomist"s Vade Mecum (1840), which was succeeded by Golding Bird"s Manual of Natural Philosophy, and Diagnosis of Urinary Deposits (1844), and by George Fownes"s Manual of Chemistry. He issued the anonymous Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844).
Churchill"s shrewd judgment meant few failures. In 1838 he became the publisher of the British and Foreign Medical Review, after its publisher William Sherwood had died.
John Forbes accepted Churchill"s offer to publish, and the periodical flourished.
From 1842 to 1847 Churchill was the publisher of The Lancet, and in 1850 he began the Medical Times, with which the Medical Gazette amalgamated in 1852, to form the prominent Medical Times and Gazette.