By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon

We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: A History of the Old English Letter Foundries - with Notes, Historical and Bibliographical, on the Rise - and Progress of English Typography.
Author: Reed, Talbot Baines
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "A History of the Old English Letter Foundries - with Notes, Historical and Bibliographical, on the Rise - and Progress of English Typography." ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



[Illustration: _A_ true & exact _Repreſentation_ of the _Art_ of
_Caſting_ & _Preparing_ Letters _for_ Printing.

_Engrav’d for the Universal Magazine 1750 for I. Hinton at the Kings
Arms in S^t. Pauls Church Yard LONDON._

58. Interior of Caslon’s Foundry in 1750. From the _Universal
Magazine_. (The mould is described, p. 108).]


 Historical and Bibliographical,






In this age of progress, when the fine arts are rapidly becoming
trades, and the machine is on every side superseding that labour of
head and hand which our fathers called Handicraft, we are in danger of
losing sight of, or, at least, of undervaluing the genius of those who,
with none of our mechanical advantages, established and made famous in
our land those arts and handicrafts of which we are now the heritors.

The Art of Letter Founding hesitated long before yielding to the
revolutionary impulses of modern progress. While kindred arts—and
notably that art which preserves all others—were advancing by leaps and
bounds, the founder, as late as half a century ago, was pursuing the
even tenor of his ways by paths which had been trodden by De Worde and
Day and Moxon. But the inevitable revolution came, and Letter Founding
to-day bids fair to break all her old ties and take new departures
undreamed of by those heroes of the punch and matrix and mould who made
her what we found her.

At such a time, it seems not undutiful to attempt to gather together
into a connected form the numerous records of the Old English Letter
Founders scattered throughout our literary and {vi} typographical
history, with a view to preserve the memory of those to whose labours
English Printing is indebted for so much of its glory.

The present work represents the labour of several years in what may
be considered some of the untrodden by-paths of English typographical

The curious _Dissertation on English Typographical Founders and
Founderies_ by the learned Edward Rowe Mores, published in 1778, is,
in fact, the only work in the language purporting to treat of Letter
Founding as distinct from the art which it fosters. This quaint and
crabbed sketch, full of valuable but half-digested information, was
intended to accompany a specimen of the types of John James, whose
foundry had gradually absorbed all the minor English foundries, and,
after the death of its owner, had become the property of Mores himself.
The enthusiasm of the Oxford antiquary infused new life into the dry
bones of this decayed collection. Working backwards, he restored
in imagination the old foundries of the seventeenth and eighteenth
centuries, as they had been before they became absorbed in his own. He
tracked back a few famous historical types to their fountain-head, and
even bridged over the mysterious gulf which divided the early sixteenth
from the early seventeenth centuries of English letter-founding.

Mores’ _Dissertation_ has necessarily formed the basis of my
investigations, and is, indeed, almost wholly incorporated in the
present volume. Of the additional and more anecdotal notes on the
later founders, preserved by Nichols and Hansard, I have also freely
made use; although in every case it has been my endeavour to take
nothing on report which it has been possible to verify by reference to
original sources. This effort has been rewarded by several interesting
discoveries which it is hoped may be found to throw considerable fresh
light on the history of our national typography.

The first century of English letter-founding is a period of great
obscurity, to master which it is absolutely essential to have {vii}
unlimited access to all the works of all the printers whose books were
the only type specimens of their day. Such access it has been beyond
my power fully to secure, and in this portion of my work I am bound to
admit that I can lay claim to little originality of research. I have,
however, endeavoured to examine as many of the specimens of these early
presses as possible, and to satisfy myself that the observations of
others, of which I have availed myself, are such as I can assent to.

In detailing the rise and progress of the various English Letter
Foundries, it has been my endeavour to treat the subject, as far as
possible, bibliographically—that is, to regard as type-specimens not
merely the stated advertisements of the founder, but also the works for
which his types were created and in which they were used. The _Catena
on Job_, Walton’s _Polyglot_, Boyle’s _Irish Testament_, Bowyer’s
_Selden_, thus rank as type specimens quite as interesting as, and
far more valuable than, the ordinary letter founders’ catalogues.
Proceeding on this principle, moreover, this History will be found
to embody a pretty complete bibliography of works not only relating
to, but illustrative of, English Letter Founding. At the same time,
the particular bibliography of the subject has been kept distinct, by
appending to each chapter a chronological list of the Specimen Books
issued by the foundry to which it relates.

The introductory chapter on the Types and Type Founding of the First
Printers may be considered somewhat foreign to the scope of this
History. The importance, however, of a practical acquaintance with the
processes and appliances of the Art of Letter Founding as a foundation
to any complete study of typographical history—as well as the numerous
misconceptions existing on the part even of accepted authorities on the
subject—suggested the attempt to examine the various accounts of the
Invention of Printing from a letter founder’s point of view, in the
hope, if not of arriving at any very definite conclusions, at least of
clearing the question of a few prevalent fallacies.

The two chapters on Type Bodies and Type Faces, although also
{viii} to some extent foreign, are considered important by way of
introduction to the history of English Letter Founding in which the
“foreign and learned” characters have so conspicuously figured.

If this book—the imperfections of which are apparent to no one as
painfully as they are to the writer—should in any way encourage the
study of our national Typography, with a view to profit by the history
of the past in an endeavour to promote its excellence in the future,
the labour here concluded will be amply repaid.

       *       *       *       *       *

The agreeable task remains of thanking the numerous friends to whose
aid and encouragement this book is indebted for much of whatever value
it may possess.

My foremost thanks are due to my honoured and valued friend, Mr.
William Blades, to whom I am indebted for far more than unlimited
access to his valuable typographical library, and the ungrudging
use of his special knowledge on all subjects connected with English
typography. These I have enjoyed, and what was of equal value his
kindly advice and sympathy during the whole progress of a work which,
but for his encouragement from the outset, might never have been

Another friend who, brief as was our acquaintance, had taken a genuine
interest in the progress of this History, and had enriched it by more
than one valuable communication, has been snatched away by the hand
of Death before the thanks he never coveted but constantly incurred
can reach him. In Henry Bradshaw the world of books has lost a
distinguished ornament, and this little book has lost a hearty friend.

To Mr. F. Madan, of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, I owe much valuable
information as to early printing at that University; while to the
kindness of Mr. Horace Hart, Controller of the University Press, I
am indebted for full access to the highly interesting collection of
typographical antiquities preserved at that Press, as well as for the
specimens I am here enabled to show of some of the most interesting
relics of the oldest Foundry in the country. {ix}

Mr. T. W. Smith has kindly given me similar facilities as regards the
archives and historical specimens of the venerable Caslon Foundry.

Mr. Sam. Timmins most generously placed at my disposal much of the
information embodied in my chapter on Baskerville, including the
extracts from the letters forming part of his unique collection
relating to that celebrated typographer.

To Mr. James Figgins I am obliged for many particulars relating to
the early association of founders at the commencement of the present
century; also for a specimen of one of the most noted founts of his
distinguished ancestor.

Mr. Charles R. Rivington I have to thank for one or two valuable
extracts from the _Minutes_ of the Court of the Stationers’ Company,
relating to Letter Founders.

To Messrs. Enschedé and Sons, of Haarlem, my thanks are also specially
due for giving me specimens of some of their most curious and ancient

It is also my pleasure, as well as my duty, to thank the Secretary of
the American Antiquarian Society for information regarding specimens
in his possession; my friend, Dr. Wright, of the British and Foreign
Bible Society, for free access to the highly interesting Library under
his care; Messrs. Tuer, Bremner, Gill, and others for the kind loan
of Specimens; the Librarian of the London Institution for permission
to facsimile portions of the rare specimen of James’ Foundry in that
Library; and the numerous other friends, who, by reading proofs and in
other ways, have generously assisted me in my labours.

I also take this opportunity of thanking Mr. Prætorius and Mr. Manning
for the care they have bestowed on the preparation of facsimiles for
this work; and of expressing my obligations to the officials of the
British Museum and Record Office for their invariable courtesy on all
occasions on which their assistance has been invoked.

LONDON, _January 1st, 1887_.



   FIRST PRINTERS                                                        1

 Chap. 1. THE ENGLISH TYPE BODIES AND FACES                             31





 〃  6.  THE OXFORD UNIVERSITY FOUNDRY                                 137


 〃  8.  JOSEPH MOXON                                                  180

 〃  9.  THE LATER FOUNDERS OF THE 17TH CENTURY                        193

 〃  10.  THOMAS AND JOHN JAMES                                        212

 〃  11.  WILLIAM CASLON                                               232

 〃  12.  ALEXANDER WILSON                                             257

 〃  13.  JOHN BASKERVILLE                                             268

 〃  14.  THOMAS COTTRELL                                              288

 〃  15.  JOSEPH AND EDMUND FRY                                        298

 〃  16.  JOSEPH JACKSON                                               315

 〃  17.  WILLIAM MARTIN                                               330

 〃  18.  VINCENT FIGGINS                                              335

 〃  19.  THE MINOR FOUNDERS OF THE 18TH CENTURY                       345

 〃  20.  WILLIAM MILLER                                               355

 〃  21.  THE MINOR FOUNDERS FROM 1800 TO 1830                         357



 1.—Types cast from leaden matrices, _circ._ 1500                     16

 2.—Specimen illustrating the variations in the face of type,
 produced by bad casting                                              18

 3.—Type mould of Claude Garamond. Paris, 1540. From Duverger         23

 4.—Profile tracings from M. Claudin’s 15th century types             21

 5.—A 15th century type. From M. Madden’s _Lettres d’un
 Bibliographe_                                                        24

 6.—A 15th century type. From _Liber de Laudibus...Mariæ_,
 _circ._ 1468                                                         24

 7.—Roman letter. From the _Sophologium_, Wiedenbach? 1465–70?        42

 8.—Roman and Black letter intermixed. From Traheron’s
 _Exposition of St. John_, 1552                                       45

 9.—Robijn Italic, cut by Chr. van Dijk. From the original
 matrices                                                             52

 10.—Gothic Type or Lettre de Forme, _circ._ 1480. From the
 original matrices                                                    53

 11.—Philosophie Flamand engraved by Fleischman, 1743. From
 the original matrices                                                54

 12.—Lettre de Civilité, cut by Ameet Tavernier for Plantin,
 _circ._ 1570. From the original matrices                             56

 13.—Blooming Initials. Oxford, _circ._ 1700                          80

 14.—Pierced Initial. Oxford, _ante_ 1700                             81

 15.—Caxton’s Advertisement, in his Type 3                     _face_ 88

 16.—Caxton’s Type 4.* From the _Golden Legend_                _face_ 88

 17.—Black letter, supposed to be De Worde’s. From
 Palmer’s _History of Printing_                                       90

 18.—Pynson’s Roman letter. From the _Oratio in Pace
 Nuperrimâ_, 1518                                                     92

 18_a_.—Berthelet’s Black letter and Secretary type. From
 the _Boke named the Governour_, 1531                                 95

 19.—Portrait of John Day, 1562. From Peter Martir’s
 _Commentaries_, 1568                                                 99

 20, 21, 22.—Day’s Saxon, Roman, and Italic. From the
 _Ælfredi Res Gestæ_, 1574                                     _face_ 96

 23.—Letter Founding in Frankfort in 1568. From Jost
 Amman’s _Stände und Handwerker_                                     104

 24.—Letter Founding and Printing _circ._ 1548. From the
 Harleian MSS.                                                       105

 25.—Letter Founding in 1683. From Moxon’s _Mechanick
 Exercises_                                                          109

 26.—Letter Founding in France in 1718. From Thiboust’s
 _Typographiæ Excellentia_                                           115

 27.—Colophon of the _Lyndewode_, Oxford, _n.d._ Showing
 types [c], [d], [e], [f]                                     _face_ 138

 28.—Greek fount of the Eton _Chrysostom_, 1613               _face_ 140

 29.—Greeks, Roman and Italic. From the _Catena on Job_,
 1637                                                         _face_ 140

 30.—The Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford. From an old wood-block          153

 31.—The Clarendon Press, Oxford. From an old wood-block             156

 32.—Pica Roman and Italic, presented to Oxford by Dr.
 Fell, 1667                                                          152

 33.—Pica Roman and Italic, bought by Oxford University in
 1692                                                                152

 34, 35, 36, 37, 38.—Hebrew, large and small, Coptic,
 Arabic, and Syriac, presented to Oxford by Dr. Fell, 1667.
 From the original matrices                                          147

 39.—Ethiopic, bought by Oxford University in 1692. From
 the original matrices                                               154

 40.—Ethiopic of Walton’s _Polyglot_, 1657. From the
 original matrices                                                   174

 41.—Syriac of Walton’s _Polyglot_, 1657. From the
 original matrices                                                   174

 42.—Samaritan of Walton’s _Polyglot_, 1657. From the
 original matrices                                                   174

 43.—Specimen of Nicholas Nicholls, 1665. From the
 original                                                     _face_ 178

 44.—Portrait of Joseph Moxon. From the _Tutor to
 Astronomy and Geography_, 4th ed., 1686,                     _face_ 180

 45.—Moxon’s Irish type, 1680. From the original matrices            189

 46.—Dutch Initial Letters. From the original matrices                80

 47.—Nonpareil Rabbinical Hebrew in Andrews’ Foundry. From
 the original matrices                                               194

 48.—Saxon, cut by R. Andrews for Miss Elstob’s _Grammar_,
 1715. From the original matrices                                    196

 49.—Old Dutch Blacks in R. Andrews’ Foundry. From the
 original matrices                                                   194

 50.—Alexandrian Greek in Grover’s Foundry. From the
 Catalogue of James’ Sale, 1782                                      200

 51.—Scriptorial in Grover’s Foundry. From the original
 matrices                                                            204

 52.—Court Hand in Grover’s Foundry. From the original
 matrices                                                            204

 53.—Union Pearl in Grover’s Foundry. From the original
 matrices                                                            204

 54.—Walpergen’s Music type. Oxford, _circ._ 1675. From
 the original matrices                                               208

 55.—Pictorial pierced Initial. From an 18th century
 newspaper                                                            81

 56.—Title-page of the Catalogue and Specimen of
 James’ Foundry, 1782. From the original                             226

 57.—Portrait of William Caslon. From Hansard                 _face_ 232

 58.—View of the Interior of Caslon’s Foundry in 1750.
 From the _Universal Magazine_                            _Frontispiece_

 59.—Pica Roman and Italic, cut by Caslon, 1720. From the
 original matrices                                                   236

 60.—Black letter, cut by Caslon. From the original
 matrices                                                            239

 61.—Arabic, cut by Caslon, 1720. From the original
 matrices                                                            235

 62.—Coptic, cut by Caslon, _ante_ 1731. From the original
 matrices                                                            236

 63.—Armenian, cut by Caslon, _ante_ 1736. From the
 original matrices                                                   239

 64.—Etruscan, cut by Caslon, 1738. From the original
 matrices                                                            240

 65.—Gothic, cut by Caslon, _ante_ 1734. From the original
 matrices                                                            239

 66.—Ethiopic, cut by Caslon. From the original matrices             240

 67.—Syriac, cut by Caslon II, _circ._ 1768. From the
 original matrices                                                   246

 68.—Portrait of Alexander Wilson. From Hansard               _face_ 258

 69.—Greek, cut by Alex. Wilson, _ante_ 1768. From the
 Glasgow _Homer_, 1768                                               262

 70.—Portrait of John Baskerville. From Hansard               _face_ 268

 71.—Greek, cut by Baskerville for Oxford. From the Oxford
 _Specimen_, 1768–70                                          _face_ 274

 72.—Roman and Italic, cut by Baskerville, 1758. From the
 _Milton_, Birmingham, 1758                                   _face_ 276

 73.—Engrossing, cut by Cottrell, _circ._ 1768. From the
 original matrices                                                   289

 73a.—Silhouette Portraits of Joseph and Edmund Fry. From
 the originals                                                _face_ 298

 74.—Alexandrian Greek (formerly Grover’s), rejustified by
 Dr. Fry. From the original matrices                                 304

 74a.—Hebrew, cut by Dr. Fry, _circ._ 1785. From the
 original matrices                                                   304

 75.—Portrait of Joseph Jackson. From Nichols’ _Literary
 Anecdotes_                                                   _face_ 316

 76.—Portrait of William Caslon III. From Hansard             _face_ 326

 77.—Two-line English Roman, cut by Vincent Figgins, 1792.
 From the original matrices                                          337

 78.—Samaritan, cut by Dummers for Caslon, _circ._ 1734.
 From the original matrices                                          345






For four centuries the noise of controversy has raged round the cradle
of Typography. Volumes have been written, lives have been spent,
fortunes have been wasted, communities have been stirred, societies
have been organised, a literature has been developed, to find an answer
to the famous triple question: “When, where, and by whom was found out
the unspeakably useful art of printing books?” And yet the world to-day
is little nearer a finite answer to the question than it was when Ulric
Zel indited his memorable narrative to the _Cologne Chronicle_ in 1499.
Indeed, the dust of battle has added to, rather than diminished, the
mysterious clouds which envelope the problem, and we are tempted to
seek refuge in an agnosticism which almost refuses to believe that
printing ever had an inventor.

It would be neither suitable nor profitable to encumber an
investigation of that part of the History of Typography which relates
to the types and type-making of the fifteenth century by any attempt
to discuss the vexed question of the Invention of the Art. The man
who invented Typography was doubtless the man who invented movable
types. Where the one is discovered, we have also found the other. But,
meanwhile, it is possible to avail ourselves of whatever evidence
exists as to the nature of the types he and his successors used, and as
to the methods by which those types were produced, and possibly to {2}
arrive at some conclusions respecting the earliest practices of the
Art of Typefounding in the land and in the age in which it first saw
the light.

No one has done more to clear the way for a free investigation of all
questions relating to the origin of printing than Dr. Van der Linde,
in his able essay, _The Haarlem Legend_,[1] which, while disposing
ruthlessly of the fiction of Coster’s invention, lays down the
important principle, too often neglected by writers on the subject,
that the essence of Typography consists in the mobility of the types,
and that, therefore, it is not a development of the long practised art
of printing from fixed blocks, but an entirely distinct invention.

The principle is so important, and Dr. Van der Linde’s words are so
emphatic, that we make no apology for quoting them:―

“I cannot repeat often enough that, when we speak of Typography and
its invention, nothing is meant, or rather nothing must be meant, but
printing with _loose_ (separate, moveable) types (be they letters,
musical notes, or other figures), which therefore, in distinction
from letters cut on wooden or metal plates, may be put together or
separated according to inclination. One thing therefore is certain:
he who did not invent printing with moveable types, did, as far as
Typography goes, invent nothing. What material was used first of all
in this invention; of what metal the first letters, the patrices
(engraved punches) and matrices were made; by whom and when the leaden
matrices and brass patrices were replaced by brass matrices and steel
patrices; . . . . . all this belongs to the secondary question of the
technical execution of the principal idea: multiplication of books by
means of multiplication of letters, multiplication of letters by means
of their durability, and repeated use of the same letters, _i.e._,
by means of the independence (looseness) of each individual letter
(moveableness).”—P. 19.

If this principle be adopted—and we can hardly imagine it questioned—it
will be obvious that a large class of works which usually occupy a
prominent place in inquiries into the origin of Printing, have but
slight bearing on the history of Typography. The block books of the
fifteenth century had little direct connection with the art that
followed and eclipsed them.[2] In the one respect of marking the early
use of printing for the instruction of mankind, the block books and
the first works of Typography proper claim an equal interest; but, as
regards their mechanical production, the one feature they possess in
common is a quality shared also by the playing-cards, pictures, seals,
stamps, {3} brands, and all the other applications of the principle
of impression which had existed in one form or another from time

It is reasonable to suppose that the first idea of movable type may
have been suggested to the mind of the inventor by a study of the
works of a xylographic printer, and an observation of the cumbrous and
wearisome method by which his books were produced. The toil involved
in first painfully tracing the characters and figures, reversed, on
the wood, then of engraving them, and, finally, of printing them with
the frotton, would appear—in the case, at any rate, of the small
school-books, for the production of which this process was largely
resorted to—scarcely less tedious than copying the required number
by the deft pen of a scribe. And even if, at a later period, the
bookmakers so far facilitated their labours as to write their text in
the ordinary manner on prepared paper, or with prepared ink, and so
transfer their copy, after the manner of the Chinese, on to the wood,
the labour expended in proportion to the result, and the uselessness
of the blocks when once their work was done, would doubtless impress
an inventive genius with a sense of dissatisfaction and impatience.
We can imagine him examining the first page of an _Abecedarium_, on
which would be engraved, in three lines, with a clear space between
each character, the letters of the alphabet, and speculating, as Cicero
had speculated centuries before,[3] on the possibilities presented by
the combination in indefinite variety of those twenty-five symbols.
Being a practical man as well as a theorist, we may suppose he would
attempt to experiment on the little wood block in his hand, and by
sawing off first the lines, and then some of the letters in the lines,
attempt to arrange his little types into a few short words. A momentous
experiment, and fraught with the greatest revolution the world has ever

       *       *       *       *       *

No question has aroused more interest, or excited keener discussion in
the history of printing, than that of the use of movable wooden types
as a first stage in the passage from Xylography to Typography. Those
who write on the affirmative side of the question profess to see in the
earlier typographical works, as well as in the historical statements
handed down by the old authorities, the {4} clearest evidence that
wooden types were used, and that several of the most famous works of
the first printers were executed by their means.

As regards the latter source of their confidence, it is at least
remarkable that no single writer of the fifteenth century makes the
slightest allusion to the use of wooden types. Indeed, it was not
till Bibliander, in 1548,[4] first mentioned and described them, that
anything professing to be a record on the subject existed. “First they
cut their letters,” he says, “on wood blocks the size of an entire
page, but because the labour and cost of that way was so great, they
devised movable wooden types, perforated and joined one to the other by
a thread.”

The legend, once started, found no lack of sponsors, and the
typographical histories of the sixteenth century and onward abound with
testimonies confirmatory more or less of Bibliander’s statement. Of
these testimonies, those only are worthy of attention which profess to
be based on actual inspection of the alleged perforated wooden types.
Specklin[5] (who died in 1589) asserts that he saw some of these relics
at Strasburg. Angelo Roccha,[6] in 1591, vouches for the existence
of similar letters (though he does not say whether wood or metal) at
Venice. Paulus Pater,[7] in 1710, stated that he had once seen some
belonging to Fust at Mentz; Bodman, as late as 1781, saw the same types
in a worm-eaten condition at Mentz; while Fischer,[8] in 1802, stated
that these precious relics were used as a sort of token of honour to be
bestowed on worthy apprentices on the occasion of their finishing their

This testimony proves nothing beyond the fact that at Strasburg,
Venice, and Mentz there existed at some time or other certain
perforated wooden types which tradition ascribed to the first printers.
But on the question whether any book was ever printed with such type,
it is wholly inconclusive. It is possible to believe that certain early
printers, uninitiated into the mystery of the punch and matrix, may
have attempted to cut themselves wooden types, which, when they proved
untractable under the press, they perforated and strung together in
lines; {5} but it is beyond credit that any such rude experiment ever
resulted in the production of a work like the _Speculum_.

It is true that many writers have asserted it was so. Fournier, a
practical typographer, insists upon it from the fact that the letters
vary among themselves in a manner which would not be the case had they
been cast from a matrix in a mould. But, to be consistent, Fournier
is compelled (as Bernard points out) to postpone the use of cast type
till after the Gutenberg _Bible_ and Mentz _Psalter_, both of which
works display the same irregularities. And as the latest edition of
the _Psalter_, printed in the old types, appeared in 1516, it would
be necessary to suppose that movable wood type was in vogue up to
that date. No one has yet demonstrated, or attempted seriously to
demonstrate, the possibility of printing a book like the _Speculum_
in movable wooden type. All the experiments hitherto made, even by
the most ardent supporters of the theory, have been woful failures.
Laborde[9] admits that to cut the 3,000 separate letters required for
the _Letters of Indulgence_, engraved by him, would cost 450 francs;
and even he, with the aid of modern tools to cut up his wooden cubes,
can only show four widely spaced lines. Wetter[10] shows a page printed
from perforated and threaded wooden types[11]; but these, though of
large size, only prove by their {6} “naughty caprioles” the absurdity
of supposing that the “unleaded” _Speculum_, a quarternion of which
would require 40,000 distinct letters, could have been produced in 1440
by a method which even the modern cutting and modern presswork of 1836
failed to adapt to a single page of large-sized print.

John Enschedé, the famous Haarlem typefounder, though a strong
adherent to the Coster legend, was compelled to admit the practical
impossibility, in his day at any rate, of producing a single wood type
which would stand the test of being mathematically square; nor would it
be possible to square it after being cut. “No engraver,” he remarks,
“is able to cut separate letters in wood in such a manner that they
retain their quadrature (for that is the main thing of the line in
type-casting).”[12] Admitting for a moment that some printer may have
succeeded in putting together a page of these wooden types, without the
aid of leads, into a chase: how can it be supposed that after their
exposure to the warping influences of the sloppy ink and tight pressure
during the impression, they could ever have survived to be distributed
and recomposed into another forme?[13]

The claims set up on behalf of movable wood types as the means by which
the _Speculum_ or any other of the earliest books was printed, are
not only historically unsupported, but the whole weight of practical
evidence rejects them.

Dismissing them, therefore, from our consideration, a new theory
confronts us, which at first blush seems to supply, if not a more
probable, certainly a more possible, stepping-stone between Xylography
and Typography. We refer to what Meerman, the great champion of this
theory, calls the “sculpto-fusi” {7} characters: types, that is, the
shanks of which have been cast in a quadrilateral mould, and the
“faces” engraved by hand afterwards.

Meerman and those who agree with him engage a large array of testimony
on their side. In the reference of Celtis, in 1502, to Mentz as the
city “quæ prima sculpsit solidos ære characteres,” they see a clear
confirmation of their theory; as also in the frequent recurrence of the
same word “sculptus” in the colophons of the early printers. Meerman,
indeed, goes so far as to ingeniously explain the famous account of
the invention given by Trithemius in 1514,[14] in the light of his
theory, to mean that, after the rejection of the first wooden types,
“the inventors found out a method of casting the bodies only (fundendi
formas) of all the letters of the Latin alphabet from what they
called matrices, on which they cut the face of each letter; and from
the same kind of matrices a method was in time discovered of casting
the complete letters (æneos sive stanneos characteres) of sufficient
hardness for the pressure they had to bear, which letters before—that
is, when the bodies only were cast—they were obliged to cut.”[15]

After this bold flight of translation, it is not surprising to find
that Meerman claims that the _Speculum_ was printed in “sculpto-fusi”
types, although in the one page of which he gives a facsimile there are
nearly 1,700 separate types, of which 250 alone are _e_’s.

Schoepflin, claiming the same invention for the Strasburg printers,
believes that all the earliest books printed there were produced by
this means; and both Meerman and Schoepflin agree that engraved metal
types were in use for many years after the invention of the punch and
matrix, mentioning, among others so printed, the Mentz _Psalter_,
the _Catholicon_ of 1460, the Eggestein _Bible_ of 1468, and even
the _Nideri Præceptorium_, printed at Strasburg as late as 1476, as
“literis in ære sculptis.”

Almost the whole historical claim of the engraved metal types, indeed,
turns on the recurrence of the term “sculptus” in the colophons of the
early printers. Jenson, in 1471, calls himself a “cutter of books”
(librorum exsculptor). Sensenschmid, in 1475, says that the _Codex
Justinianus_ is “cut” (insculptus), and that he has “cut” (sculpsit)
the work of _Lombardus in Psalterium_. Husner of Strasburg, in 1472,
applies the term “printed with letters cut of metal” (exsculptis {8}
ære litteris) to the _Speculum Durandi_; and of the _Præceptorium
Nideri_, printed in 1476, he says it is “printed in letters cut of
metal by a very ingenious effort” (litteris exsculptis artificiali
certe conatu ex ære). As Dr. Van der Linde points out, the use of the
term in reference to all these books can mean nothing else than a
figurative allusion to the first process towards producing the types,
namely, the cutting of the punch[16]; just as when Schoeffer, in 1466,
makes his _Grammatica Vetus Rhythmica_ say, “I am cast at Mentz” (At
Moguntia sum fusus in urbe libellus), he means nothing more than a
figurative allusion to the casting of the types.

The theory of the sculpto-fusi types appears to have sprung up on no
firmer foundation than the difficulty of accounting for the marked
irregularities in the letters of the earliest printed books, and the
lack of a theory more feasible than that of movable wood type to
account for it. The method suggested by Meerman seemed to meet the
requirements of the case, and with the aid of the very free translation
of Trithemius’ story, and the very literal translation of certain
colophons, it managed to get a footing on the typographical records.

Mr. Skeen seriously applies himself to demonstrate how the shanks could
be cast in clay moulds stamped with a number of trough-like matrices
representing the various widths of the blanks required, and calculates
that at the rate of four a day, 6,000 of these blanks could be engraved
on the end by one man in five years, the whole weighing 100 lb. when
finished! “No wonder,” Mr. Skeen naïvely observes, “that Fust at last
grew impatient.” We must confess that there seems less ground for
believing in the use of “sculpto-fusi” types as the means by which any
of the early books were produced, than in the perforated wood types.
The enormous labour involved, in itself renders the idea improbable.
As M. Bernard says, “How can we suppose that intelligent men like
the first printers would not at once find out that they could easily
cast the face and body of their types together?”[17] But admitting
the possibility of producing type in this manner, and the possible
obtuseness which could allow an inventor of printing to spend five
years in laboriously engraving “shanks” enough for a single forme, the
lack of any satisfactory evidence that such types were ever used, even
experimentally, inclines us to deny them any place in the history of
the origin of typography.

       *       *       *       *       *

Putting aside, therefore, as improbable, and not proved, the two
theories of {9} engraved movable types, the question arises, Did
typography, like her patron goddess, spring fully armed from the brain
of her inventor? in other words, did men pass at a single stride from
xylography to the perfect typography of the punch, the matrix, and the
mould? or are we still to seek for an intermediate stage in some ruder
and more primitive process of production? To this question we cannot
offer a better reply than that contained in the following passage from
Mr. Blades’s admirable life of Caxton.[18] “The examination of many
specimens,” he observes, “has led me to conclude that two schools of
typography existed together . . . The ruder consisted of those printers
who practised their art in Holland and the Low Countries, . . . and
who, by degrees only, adopted the better and more perfect methods of
the . . . school founded in Germany by the celebrated trio, Gutenberg,
Fust, and Schoeffer.”

It is impossible, we think, to resist the conclusion that all the
earlier works of typography were the impression of cast metal types;
but that the methods of casting employed were not always those of
matured letter-founding, seems to us not only probable, but evident,
from a study of the works themselves.

Mr. Theo. De Vinne, in his able treatise on the invention of
printing,[19] speaking with the authority of a practical typographer,
insists that the key to that invention is to be found, not in the press
nor in the movable types, but in the adjustable type-mould, upon which,
he argues, the existence of typography depends. While not prepared to
go as far as Mr. De Vinne on this point, and still content to regard
the invention of movable types as the real key to the invention of
typography proper, we find in the mould not only the culminating
achievement of the inventor, but also the key to the distinction
between the two schools of early typography to which we have alluded.

The adjustable mould was undoubtedly the goal of the discovery, and
those who reached it at once were the advanced typographers of the
Mentz press. Those who groped after it through clumsy and tedious
by-ways were the rude artists of the _Donatus_ and _Speculum_.

In considering the primitive modes of type-casting, it must be frankly
admitted that the inquirer stands in a field of pure conjecture. He
has only negative evidence to assure him that such primitive modes
undoubtedly did exist, and he searches in vain for any direct clue as
to the nature and details of those methods.

We shall briefly refer to one or two theories which have been
propounded, all with more or less of plausibility.

Casting in sand was an art not unknown to the silversmiths and {10}
trinket-makers of the fifteenth century, and several writers have
suggested that some of the early printers applied this process to
typefounding. M. Bernard[20] considers that the types of the _Speculum_
were sand-cast, and accounts for the varieties observable in the shapes
of various letters, by explaining that several models would probably be
made of each letter, and that the types when cast would, as is usual
after sand-casting, require some touching up or finishing by hand. He
shows a specimen of a word cast by himself by this process, which, as
far as it goes, is a satisfactory proof of the possibility of casting
letters in this way.[21] There are, indeed, many points in this theory
which satisfactorily account for peculiarities in the appearance of
books printed by the earliest rude Dutch School. Not only are the
irregularities of the letters in body and line intelligible, but the
specks between the lines, so frequently observable, would be accounted
for by the roughness on the “shoulders” of the sand-cast bodies.[22]

An important difficulty to be overcome in type cast by this or any
other primitive method would be the absence of uniformity in what
letter founders term “height to paper.” Some types would stand higher
than others, and the low ones, unless raised, would not only miss the
ink, but would not appear at all in the impression. The comparative
rarity of faults of this kind in the _Speculum_, leads one to suppose
that if a process of sand-casting had been adopted, the difficulty
of uneven heights had been surmounted either by locking up the forme
face downwards, or by perforating the types either at the time of or
after casting, and by means of a thread or wire holding them in their
places. The uneven length of the lines favours such a supposition, and
to the same cause Mr. Ottley[23] attributes the numerous misprints of
the _Speculum_, to correct which in the type would have involved the
unthreading of every line in which an error occurred. And as a still
more striking proof that the lines were put into the forme one by one,
in a piece, he shows a curious printer’s blunder at the end of one
page, where the whole of the last reference-line is put in upside down,



A “turn” of this magnitude could hardly have occurred if the letters
had been set in the forme type by type.

Another suggested mode is that of casting in clay moulds, by a method
very similar to that used in the sand process, and resulting in similar
peculiarities and variations in the types. Mr. Ottley, who is the chief
exponent of this theory, suggests that the types were made by pouring
melted lead or other soft metal, into moulds of earth or plaster,
formed, while the earth or plaster was in a moist state, upon letters
cut by hand in wood or metal; in the ordinary manner used from time
immemorial in casting statues of bronze and other articles of metal,
whether for use or ornament. The mould thus formed could not be of long
duration; indeed, it could scarcely avail for a second casting, as it
would be scarcely possible to extract the type after casting without
breaking the clay, and even if that could be done, the shrinking of the
metal in cooling would be apt to warp the mould beyond the possibility
of further use.

Mr. Ottley thinks that the constant renewal of the moulds could be
effected by using old types cast out of them, after being touched up
by the graver, as models. And this he considers will account for the
varieties observable in the different letters.

In this last conjecture we think Mr. Ottley goes out of his way to
suggest an unnecessary difficulty. If, as he contends, the _Speculum_
was printed two pages at a time, with soft types cast by the clay
process and renewed from time to time by castings from fresh moulds
formed upon the old letters touched up by the graver, we should
witness a gradual deterioration and attenuation in the type, as the
work progressed, which would leave the face of the letter, at the end,
unrecognisable as that with which it began. It would be more reasonable
to suppose that one set of models would be reserved for the periodical
renewal of the moulds all through the work, and that the variations
in the types would be due, not to the gradual paring of the faces of
the models, but to the different skill and exactness with which the
successive moulds would be taken.[24] {12}

The chief objection urged against both the clay and sand methods as
above described is their tediousness. The time occupied after the first
engraving of the models in forming, drying and clearing the mould, in
casting, extracting, touching up, and possibly perforating, the types
would be little short of the expeditious performance of a practised
xylographer. Still there would be a clear gain in the possession of a
fount of movable types, which, even if the metal in which they were
cast were only soft lead or pewter, might yet do duty in more than
one forme, under a rough press, roughly handled. On the xylographic
block, moreover, only one hand, and that a skilled one, could labour.
Of the moulding and casting of these rude types, many hands could make
light work. M. Bernard states that the artist who produced for him
the few sand-cast types shown in his work, assured him that a workman
could easily produce a thousand of such letters a day. He also states
that though each letter required squaring after casting, there was no
need in any instance to touch up the faces. M. Bernard’s experience
may have been a specially fortunate one; still, making allowance for
the superior workmanship and expedition of a modern artist, it must
be admitted that, in point of time, cost and utility, a printer who
succeeded in furnishing himself with these primitive cast types was as
far ahead of the old engraver as the discoverer of the adjustable mould
was in his turn ahead of him.[25]

There remains yet another suggestion as to the method in which the
types of the rude school were produced. This may be described as a
system of what the founders of sixty years ago called “polytype.”
Lambinet, who is responsible for the suggestion, under cover of a new
translation of Trithemius’s wonderful narrative, explains this to mean
nothing less than an early adoption of stereotype. He imagines[26] that
the first printers may have discovered a way of moulding a page of some
work—an _Abecedarium_—in cooling metal, so as to get a matrix-plate
impression of the whole page. Upon this matrix they would pour a liquid
metal, and by the aid of a roller or cylinder, press the fused matter
evenly, so as to penetrate into all the hollows and corners of the
letters. This tablet of tin or lead, being easily lifted and detached
from the matrix, would then appear as a surface of metal in which the
letters of the alphabet stood out reversed and in relief. These letters
could easily be detached and rendered mobile by a knife or other sharp
instrument; and the operation could be repeated a hundred times a day.
The metal faces so produced would be fixed on wooden shanks, type high;
and the fount would then be complete. {13}

Such is Lambinet’s hypothesis. Were it not for the fact that it was
endorsed by the authority of M. Firmin Didot, the renowned typefounder
and printer of Lambinet’s day, we should hardly be disposed to admit
its claim to serious attention. The supposition that the Mentz
_Psalter_, which these writers point to as a specimen of this mode of
execution, is the impression, not of type at all, but of a collection
of “casts” mounted on wood, is too fanciful. M. Didot, it must be
remembered, was the enthusiastic French improver of Stereotype, and
his enthusiasm appears to have led him to see in his method not only a
revolution in the art of printing as it existed in his day, but also a
solution of the mystery which had shrouded the early history of that
art for upwards of three centuries.

It may be well, before quitting this subject, to take note of a certain
phrase which has given rise to a considerable amount of conjecture and
controversy in connection with the early methods of typography. The
expression “_getté en molle_” occurred as early as the year 1446, in a
record kept by Jean le Robert of Cambray, who stated that in January
of that year he paid 20 sous for a printed _Doctrinale_, “_getté en
molle_.” Bernard has assumed this expression to refer to the use of
types cast from a mould, and cites a large number of instances where,
being used in contradistinction to writing by hand, it is taken to
signify typography.[27]

Dr. Van der Linde,[28] on the other hand, considers the term to
mean, printed from a wooden form, _i.e._, a xylographic production,
and nothing more, quoting similar instances of the use of the words
to support his opinion; and Dr. Van Meurs, whose remarks are quoted
in full in Mr. Hessel’s introduction to Dr. Van der Linde’s _Coster
Legend_,[29] declines to apply the phrase to the methods by which the
_Doctrinale_ was printed at all; but dwelling on the distinction drawn
in various documents between “en molle” and “en papier,” concludes that
the reference is to the binding of the book, and nothing more; a bound
book being “brought together in a form or binding,” while an unbound
one is “in paper.” {14}

It is difficult to reconcile these conflicting interpretations,
to which may be added as a fourth that of Mr. Skeen, who considers
the phrase to refer to the indented appearance of the paper of a
book after being printed. In the three last cases the expression is
valueless as regards our present inquiry; but if we accept M. Bernard’s
interpretation, which seems at least to have the weight of simplicity
and reasonable testimony on its side, then it would be necessary to
conclude that type-casting, either by a primitive or a finished process
(but having regard to the date and the place, almost certainly the
former), was practised in Flanders prior to January 1446. None of the
illustrations, however, which M. Bernard cites points definitely to
the use of cast type, but to printing in the abstract, irrespective of
method or process. “Moulées par ordre de l’Assemblée” might equally
well apply to a set of playing-cards or a broadside proclamation;
“mettre en molle” does not necessarily mean anything more than put into
“print”; while the recurring expressions “en molle” and “à la main,”
point to nothing beyond the general distinction between manuscript
and printed matter. In fact, the lack of definiteness in all the
quotations given by M. Bernard weakens his own argument: for if we are
to translate the word _moulé_ throughout in the narrow sense in which
he reads it, we must then believe that in every instance he cites,
figurative language was employed where conventional would have answered
equally well, and that the natural antithesis to the general term, “by
hand,” must in all cases be assumed to be the particular term, “printed
in cast metal types.” For ourselves, we see no justification for taxing
the phrase beyond its broad interpretation of “print”; and in this
light it appears possible to reconcile most of the conjectures to which
the words have given rise.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning now from the conjectured primitive processes of the ruder
school of early Typography, we come to consider the practice of that
more mature school which, as has already been said, appears to have
arrived at once at the secret of the punch, matrix and adjustable
mould. We should be loth to assert that they arrived at once at the
most perfect mechanism of these appliances; indeed, an examination of
the earliest productions of the Mentz press, beautiful as they are,
convinces one that the first printers were not finished typefounders.
But even if their first punches were wood or copper, their first
matrices lead, and their first mould no more than a clumsy adaptation
of the composing-stick, they yet had the secret of the art; to perfect
it was a mere matter of time.

Experiments have proved conclusively that the face of a wood-cut type
may be without injury impressed into lead in a state of semi-fusion,
and thus produce _in creux_ an inverted image of itself in the matrix.
It has also been shown that a lead matrix so formed is capable, after
being squared and justified, {15} of being adapted to a mould,
and producing a certain number of types in soft lead or pewter
before yielding to the heat of the operation.[30] It has also been
demonstrated that similar matrices formed in clay or plaster, by the
application of the wood or metal models[31] while the substance is
moist, are capable of similar use.

Dr. Franklin, in a well-known passage of his Autobiography, gives
the following account of his experiences as a casual letter-founder
in 1727. “Our press,” he says, “was frequently in want of the
necessary quantity of letter; and there was no such trade as that of
letter-founder in America. I had seen the practice of this art at the
house of James, in London; but had at the time paid it very little
attention. I, however, contrived to fabricate a mould. I made use of
such letters as we had for punches, founded new letters of lead in
matrices of clay, and thus supplied in a tolerable manner the wants
that were most pressing.”[32] M. Bernard states that in his day the
Chinese characters in the Imperial printing-office in Paris were cast
by a somewhat similar process. The original wooden letters were moulded
in plaster. Into the plaster mould types of a hard metal were cast, and
these hard-metal types served as punches to strike matrices with in a
softer metal.[33]

In the Enschedé foundry at Haarlem there exists to this day a set of
matrices said to be nearly four hundred years old, which are described
as leaden matrices from punches of copper, “suivant l’habitude
des anciens fondeurs dans les premiers temps après l’invention de
l’imprimerie.”[34] By {16} the kindness of Messrs. Enschedé, we are
able to show a few letters from types cast in these venerable matrices.

[Illustration: 1. Types cast from leaden matrices (_circ._ 1500?) now
in the Enschedé foundry, Haarlem.]

Lead matrices are frequently mentioned as having been in regular use in
some of the early foundries of this country. A set of them in four-line
pica was sold at the breaking up of James’s foundry in 1782, and in the
oldest of the existing foundries to this day may be found relics of the
same practice.

At Lubeck, Smith informs us in 1755,[35] a printer cast for his own
use, “not only large-sized letters for titles, but also a sufficient
quantity of two-lined English, after a peculiar manner, by cutting his
punches on wood, and sinking them afterwards into leaden matrices; yet
were the letters cast in them deeper than the French generally are.”

When, therefore, the printer of the _Catholicon_, in 1460, says of
his book, “non calami styli aut pennæ suffragio, sed mirâ patronarum
formarumque concordiâ proportione ac modulo impressus atque confectus
est,” we have not necessarily to conclude that the types were produced
in the modern way from copper matrices struck by steel punches. Indeed,
probability seems to point to a gradual progress in the durability of
the materials employed. In the first instance, the punches may have
been of wood, and the matrices soft lead or clay[36]; then the attempt
might be made to strike hard lead into soft; that failing, copper
punches[37] might be used to form leaden matrices; then, when the
necessity for a more durable substance than lead for the letter became
urgent, copper would be used for the matrix, and brass, and finally
steel, for the punch.

Of whatever substance the matrices were made, the first printers appear
early to have mastered the art of justifying them, so that when cast
in the mould they should not only stand, each letter true in itself,
but all true to one another. Nothing amazes one more in examining these
earliest printed works than the wonderful regularity of the type in
body, height, and line; and if anything could be considered as evidence
that those types were produced from matrices in {17} moulds, and not
by the rude method of casting from matrices which comprehended body
and face in the same moulding, this feature alone is conclusive. We
may go further, and assert that not only must the matrices have been
harmoniously justified, but the mould employed, whatever its form,
must have had its adjustable parts finished with a near approach to
mathematical accuracy, which left little to be accomplished in the way
of further improvement.

Respecting this mould we have scarcely more material for conjecture
than with regard to the first punches and matrices. The principle of
the bipartite mould was, of course, well known already. The importance
of absolute squareness in the body and height of the type would demand
an appliance of greater precision than the uncertain hollowed cube of
sand or clay; the heat of the molten lead would point to the use of
a hard metal like iron or steel; and the varying widths of the sunk
letters in the matrices would suggest the adoption of some system of
slides whereby the mould could be expanded or contracted laterally,
without prejudice to the invariable regularity of its body and height.
By what crude methods the first typefounder contrived to combine these
essential qualities, we have no means of judging[38]; but were they
ever so crude, to him is due the honour of the culminating achievement
of the invention of typography. “His type mould,” Mr. De Vinne
remarks, “was not merely the first; it is the only practical mechanism
for making types. For more than four hundred years this mould has been
under critical examination, and many {18} attempts have been made to
supplant it. . . . But in principle, and in all the more important
features, the modern mould may be regarded as the mould of Gutenberg.”

[Illustration: 2. Specimens illustrating the variations in the face of
type produced by bad casting.]

It may be asked, if the matrices were so truly justified, and the
mould so accurately adjusted, how comes it that in the first books
of these Mentz printers we still discover irregularites among the
letters—fewer, indeed, but of the same kind as are to be found in
books printed by the artists of the ruder school? To this we reply,
that these irregularities are for the most part attributable neither
to varieties in the original models, nor to defects in the matrix or
the mould, but to the worn or unworn condition of the type, and to the
skill or want of skill of the caster. Anyone versed in the practice
of type-casting in hand-moulds, is aware that the manual exercise of
casting a type is peculiar and difficult. With the same mould and the
same matrix, one clever workman may turn out nineteen perfect types out
of twenty; while a clumsy caster will scarcely succeed in producing
a single perfect type out of the number. Different letters require
different contortions to “coax” the metal into all the interstices
of the matrix; and it is quite possible for the same workman to vary
so in his work as to be as “lucky” one day as he is unprofitable the
next. In modern times, of course, none but the perfect types ever
find their way into the printer’s hands, but in the early days, when,
with a perishable matrix, every type cast was of consequence, the
censorship would be less severe,[39] and types would be allowed to
{19} pass into use which differed as much from their original model
as they did from one another. Let any inexperienced reader attempt to
cast twenty Black-letter types from one mould and matrix, and let him
take a proof of the types so produced in juxtaposition. The result of
such an experiment would lead him to cease once and for all to wonder
at irregularities observable in the Gutenberg _Bible_, or the Mentz
_Psalter_, or the _Catholicon_.

With regard to the metal in which the earliest types were cast, we have
more or less information afforded us in the colophons and statements
of the printers themselves; although it must be borne in mind that the
figurative language in which these artists were wont to describe their
own labours is apt occasionally to lead to confusion, as to whether the
expressions used refer to the punch, the matrix, or the cast types.
We meet almost promiscuously with the terms,—“ære notas,” “æneis
formulis,” “chalcographos,” “stanneis typis,” “stanneis formulis,”
“ahenis formis,” “tabulis ahenis,” “ære legere,” “notas de duro
orichalco,” etc. We look in vain for “plumbum,” the metal one would
most naturally expect to find mentioned. The word _æs_, though strictly
meaning bronze, is undoubtedly to be taken in its wider sense, already
familiar in the fifteenth century, of metal in the abstract, and to
include, at least, the lead, tin, or pewter in which the types were
almost certainly cast. The reference to copper and bronze might either
apply to the early punches or the later matrices; but in no case is it
probable that types were cast in either metal.

Padre Fineschi gives an interesting extract from the cost-book of the
Ripoli press, about 1480,[40] by which it appears that steel, brass,
copper, tin, lead, and iron wire were all used in the manufacture of
types at that period; the first two probably for the mould, the steel
also for the punches, the copper for the matrices, the lead and tin for
the types, and the iron wire for the mould, and possibly for stringing
together the perforated type-models.

It is probable that an alloy was early introduced; first by the
addition to the lead of tin and iron, and then gradually improved
upon, till the discovery of {20} antimony at the end of the fifteenth
century[41] supplied the ingredient requisite to render the types
at once tough and sharp enough for the ordeal of the press. There
is little doubt that at some time or other every known metal was
tried experimentally in the mixture; but, from the earliest days of
letter-casting, lead and tin have always been recognised as the staple
ingredients of the alloy; the hard substance being usually either iron,
bismuth, or antimony.

       *       *       *       *       *

Turning now from type-casting appliances to the early types themselves,
we are enabled, thanks to one or two recent discoveries, to form a
tolerably good idea as to their appearance and peculiarities. We have
already stated that, with regard to the traditional perforated wooden
types seen by certain old writers, the probability is that, if these
were the genuine relics they professed to be, they were model types
used for forming moulds upon, or for impressing into matrices of moist
clay or soft lead. We have also considered it possible, in regard to
types cast in the primitive sand or clay moulds of the rude school,
that to overcome the difficulties incident to irregular height to
paper, uneven bodies, and loose locking-up, the expedient may have been
attempted of perforating the types and passing a thread or wire through
each line, to hold the intractable letters in their place.

This, however, is mere conjecture, and whether such types existed or
not none of them have survived to our day. Their possessors, as they
slowly discovered the secret of the punch, matrix and mould, would
show little veneration, we imagine, for these clumsy relics of their
ignorance, and value them only as old lead, to be remelted and recast
by the newer and better method.

But though no relic of these primitive cast types remains, we are
happily not without means for forming a judgment respecting some of the
earliest types of the more finished school of printers. In 1878, in the
bed of the river Saône, near Lyons,[42] opposite the site of one of
the famous fifteenth century printing-houses of that city, a number of
old types were discovered which there seems reason to believe belonged
once to one of those presses, and were used by the early printers of
Lyons. They came into the hands of M. Claudin of Paris, {21} the
distinguished typographical antiquary, who, after careful examination
and inquiry, has satisfied himself as to their antiquity and value as
genuine relics of the infancy of the art of printing.

[Illustration: 4. _Profile tracings from M. Claudin’s Types. October

It has been our good fortune, by the kindness of M. Claudin, to have an
opportunity of inspecting these precious relics. The following outline
profile-sketches will give a good idea of the various forms and sizes
represented in the collection. There is little doubt that they were all
cast in a mould. The metal used is lead, slightly alloyed with some
harder substance, which in the case of a few of the types seems to be
iron. The chief point which strikes the observer is the variety in the
“height to paper” of the different founts. Taking the six specimens
shown in the illustration, it will be seen that no two of the types
correspond in this particular. No. 4 corresponds as nearly as possible
to our English standard height. No. 3 is considerably lower than an
ordinary space height. No. 2 approaches some of the continental heights
still to be met with, while Nos. 1, 5, and 6 are higher than any known
standard. It is easy to imagine that an early printer who cast his
own types would trouble himself very little as to the heights of his
neighbours’ and rivals’ moulds, so that in a city like Lyons there
might have been as many “heights to paper” as there were printers. It
is even possible that a printer using one style and size of letter
exclusively for one description of work, and another size and style for
another description, might not be particular to assimilate the heights
in his own office; and so, foreshadowing the improvidence of some of
his modern followers, lay in founts of letter which would not work with
any other, but which, as time went on, could hardly be dispensed with.
Then, when the days of the itinerant typesellers and the type-markets
began, he might still further add to his “heights” by the purchase of a
German fount from one merchant, a Dutch from another, and so on.

The type No. 3, though lower than all the rest, has yet a letter upon
its {22} end. But it seems likely that the old printers cut down their
worn-out letters for spaces, not by ploughing off the face, but by
shortening the type at the foot. So that No. 3 (presuming the bodies to
have corresponded) might stand as a space to No. 4, or No. 4 to No. 1.
At the same time, the collection includes a good number of plain spaces
and quadrats (the latter generally about a square body), which may
either have been cast as they now appear, or be old letters of which
the face and shoulder have been cut off.

The small hole appearing in the side of type No. 4 is a perforation,
and the collection contains several types, both letters and spaces,
having the same peculiarity. Whether this hole was formed at the
time of or after casting; whether the letters so perforated were
originally model-types only, or types in actual use; whether the hole
was intended for a thread or wire to hold the letters in their places
during impression; or whether, for want of a type-case, it was used
for stringing the types together for safety when not in use, it is as
easy to conjecture as it is impossible to determine. The perforated
types which we examined certainly did not appear to be older, and in
most cases appeared less old than those not perforated,—the outline of
type No. 4 itself shows it to be fairer and squarer than any of its

Another peculiarity to be noted is the “shamfer,” or cutting away of
one of the corners of the feet of types 2, 5, and 6. This appears to
have been intentional, and may have served the same purpose as our
nick, to guide the compositor in setting. None of the types have a
nick, and types 1 and 3 have no distinguishing mark whatever. The two
small indentations in the side of type 2 are air-holes produced in the

With regard to the faces of the types, there are traces in most of the
letters of the “shoulders” of the body having been tapered off by a
knife or graver after casting, so as to leave the letter quite clear on
the body. In most cases the letter stands in the centre of the body,
which is, as a rule, larger than the size of the character actually
requires. In point of thickness, however, the old printers appear
to have been very sparing; and a great many of the letters, though
possessing ample room “body-way,” actually overhang the sides, and
are what we should style in modern terminology “kerned” letters. The
difficulty, however, which would be experienced by printers to-day with
these overhanging sorts, was obviated to a large extent in the case of
the old printers by the numerous ligatures, contractions, and double
letters with which their founts abounded, and which gave almost all the
combinations in which an overhanging letter would be likely to clash
with its neighbour.

One last peculiarity to be observed is the absence of what is known
as the “break” at the foot of the type. The contrivance in the mould
whereby the {23} foot of the type is cast square, and the “jet,” or
superfluous metal left by the casting, is attached, not to the whole
of the foot, but to a narrow ridge across the centre, from which it
is easily detached, was probably unknown to the fifteenth century
typefounders. Their types appear to have come out of the mould with
a “jet” attaching to the entire foot, from which it could only be
detached by a saw or cutter. The “shamfer” already pointed out in types
2, 5, 6, if produced in the mould, may indicate an early attempt to
reduce the size of the jet, which, if attaching to the entire square
of the foot of a type the size of No. 2, would involve both time and
labour in removal. M. Duverger, in his clever essay to the invention of
printing,[43] gives an illustration of the manner in which he imagines
the old types would be detached from their jets; and considers that
in the three points only of the want of a breaking “jet,” the want of
a spring to hold the matrix to the mould, and the absence of a nick,
the mould of the first printer differed essentially from that of the
printer of his day.

[Illustration: 3. Type Mould of Claude Garamond. Paris, 1540. (From

_a._ The “body” in which the type is cast. _b_, _c_. The “jet,” or
mouthpiece, in which the fluid metal is poured. _d._ The type as cast.]

Such are some of the chief points of interest to be observed in these
venerable relics of the old typographers. It is to be hoped that M.
Claudin may before long favour the world with a full and detailed
account of their many peculiarities. Yet, curious as they are, they
prove that the types of the fifteenth century differed in no essential
particular from those of the nineteenth. Ruder and rougher, and less
durable they might be, but in substance and form, and in the mechanical
principles of their manufacture, they claim kinship with the newest
types of our most modern foundry. {24}

The old Lyonnaise relics are not the only guide we have as to the form
and nature of the fifteenth century types.

M. Madden, in 1875, made a most valuable discovery in a book printed by
Conrad Hamborch, at Cologne, in 1476, and entitled _La Lèpre Morale_,
by John Nider, of the accidental impression of a type, pulled up from
its place in the course of printing by the ink-ball, and laid at length
upon the face of the forme, thus leaving its exact profile indented
upon the page. We reproduce in facsimile M. Madden’s illustration
of this type, which accompanies his own interesting letter on the

[Illustration: 5. From M. Madden’s _Lettres d’un Bibliographe_. Ser.
iv, p. 231.]

[Illustration: 6. From _Liber de Laudibus ac Festis Gloriosæ Virginis_.
Cologne(?), 1468(?). Fol. 4 verso. (From the original.)]

A similar discovery, equally valuable and interesting, was made not
many months ago by the late Mr. Henry Bradshaw, of Cambridge, in a copy
of a work entitled _De Laudibus Gloriosæ Virginis Mariæ_, _sine notâ_,
but printed probably about 1468 at Cologne.[45] We are indebted to
Mr. Bradshaw for the present opportunity of presenting for the first
time the annexed facsimile of this curious relic, {25} photographed
direct from the page on which it occurs.[46] These two impressions
are particularly interesting in the light of the old Lyonnaise types
still in existence. Like them, it will be seen they are without nick,
and tapered off at the face. They are also without the jet-break.
The height of both types (which is identical) is above the English
standard, and more nearly approaches that of No. 2 of the Lyons
letters; and M. Madden points out as remarkable that this height (24
millimètres) is exactly that fixed as the standard “height to paper” by
the “réglement de la libraire” of 1723. The body of the types (assuming
the letter to be laid sideways, of which there can be little doubt) is
about the modern English, and so corresponds exactly to the body of the
text on which it lies.

The chief point of interest, however, is in the small circle appearing
in both near the top, which M. Madden (as regards the type of the
_Nider_) thus explains: “This circle, the contour of which is exactly
formed, shows that the letter was pierced laterally by a circular hole.
This hole did not penetrate the whole thickness of the letter, and
served, like the nick of our days, to enable the compositor to tell by
touch which way to set the letter in his stick, so as to be right in
the printed page. If the letter had been laid on its other side, the
existence of this little circle would have been lost to us for ever.”
It would, however, be quite possible for a perforated type, with the
end of the hole slightly clogged with ink, to present precisely the
same appearance as this, which M. Madden concludes was only slightly
pierced; and were it not for the fact that the pulling-up of the letter
from the forme is itself evidence that the line could not have been
threaded, we should hesitate to affirm that either of the types shown
was not perforated. The sharp edge of the circumference in the type of
the _De laudibus_, leaving, as it does, in the original page, a clearly
embossed circle in the paper, makes it evident that the depression was
not the result of a mere flaw in the casting, although it is possible
(as we have satisfied ourselves by experiment) for the surface of the
side of a roughly-cast type to be depressed by air-holes, some of which
assume a circular form, and may even perforate a thin type. Indeed, at
the present day it is next to impossible to cast by hand a type which
is not a little sunk on some part of its sides; and this roughness of
surface we can imagine to have been far more apparent on the types {26}
cast by the earliest printers. We doubt, therefore, whether, in types
liable to these accidental depressions of surface, a small artificial
hole thus easily simulated would be of any service as a guide to the
compositor. A more probable explanation of the appearance seems to be
that the head of a small screw or pin, used to fix the side-piece of
the mould, projecting slightly on the surface of the piece it fixed,
left its mark on the side of the types as they were cast, and thus
caused the circular depression observable in the illustrations.[47]

Before leaving this subject it may be remarked that the clear
impression of the printed matter, despite the laid-on types, which
must in either case have been a thin sort, is strong evidence of the
softness of the metal in which the fount was cast. The press appears to
have crushed the truant types down into the letters on which it lay,
and, unimpeded by the obstacle, to have taken as good an impression of
the remainder of the forme as if that obstacle had never existed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The quantity of type with which the earliest printers found it
necessary to provide themselves, turns, of course, upon the question,
did the first printers print only one page at a time, or more? M.
Bernard considers that the Gutenberg _Bible_, which is usually collated
in sections of five sheets, or twenty pages, containing about 2,688
types in a page, would require 60,000 types to print a single section;
and if sufficient type was cast to enable the compositors to set
one section while another was being worked, the fount would need to
consist of 120,000 letters. Others consider that two pages, requiring,
in the case of the Gutenberg _Bible_, only 6,000 types, were printed
at one time. But even this estimate has been shown to be opposed to
the evidence afforded by a considerable number of the incunabula,
respecting which it is evident only one page was printed at a time.
On this point we cannot do better than quote the words of Mr. Blades.
“The scribe,” he says, “necessarily wrote but one page at a time,
and, curiously enough, the early printers here also assimilated their
practice. Whether from want of sufficient type to set up the requisite
number of pages, or from the limited capability of the presses, there
is strong evidence of the early books from Caxton’s press having been
printed page by page. . . . . Instances are found of pages on the same
side of the sheet being out of parallel, which could not occur if two
pages were printed together. . . . A positive proof of the separate
printing of the pages may be seen in a copy of the _Recuyell of the
Histories of Troye_, in the Bodleian; {27} for the ninth recto of
the third quaternion has never been printed at all, while the second
verso (the page which must fall on the same side of the sheet) appears
properly printed.”[48]

What is true of Caxton’s early works is also true of a large number of
other fifteenth century printed books. Mr. Hessels, after quoting the
testimony of Mr. Bradshaw of Cambridge, and Mr. Winter Jones of the
British Museum, refers to a large number of incunabula in which he has
found evidence that this mode of printing was the common practice of
the early typographers.[49]

Assuming, then, that the first books were generally printed page by
page, it will be seen that the stock of type necessary to enable the
printer to proceed was but small. 2,700 letters would suffice for one
page of the forty-two-line _Bible_; and for the _Rationale Durandi_,
about 5,000 would be required. It is probable, however, that, as
Bernard suggests, the printers would cast enough to enable one forme
to be composed while the other was working, so that double these
quantities would possibly be provided. Nor must it be forgotten that
a “fount” of type in these days consisted not only of the ordinary
letters of the alphabet, but of a very large number of double letters,
abbreviations and contractions, which must have seriously complicated
the labour of composition, as well as reduced the individual number
of each type required to fill the typefounder’s “bill.” This feature,
doubtless attributable to the attempt on the part of the early printers
to imitate manuscript as closely as possible, as well as to the
exigencies of justification in composition, which, in the absence of a
variety of spaces, required various widths in the letters themselves,
was common to both schools of early typography. M. Bernard states that,
in the type of the forty-two-line _Bible_, each letter required at
least three or four varieties; while with regard to Caxton’s type 1,
which was designed and cast by Colard Mansion at Bruges, before 1472,
Mr. Blades points out that the fount contained upwards of 163 sorts,
and that there were only five letters of which there were not more
than one matrix, either as single letters or in combination. Speaking
of the _Speculum_, Mr. Skeen counts 1,430 types on one page, of which
22 are _a_, 61 _e_, 91 _i_, 73 _o_, 37 _u_, 22 _d_, 14 _h_, 30 _m_, 50
_n_, 42 _s_, and 41 _t_; besides which there are no less than ninety
duplicate and triplicate characters, comprising one variation of _a_,
15 of _c_, 7 of _d_, 3 of _e_, 9 of _f_, 10 of _g_, 3 of _i_, 7 of
_l_, 2 of _o_, 3 of _n_, 2 of _p_, 10 of _r_, 9 of _s_, 9 of _t_,
varying in the frequency of their occurrence from once to eleven times,
leaving but 541 other letters for the rest of the alphabet, including
the capitals; {28} and of these last, from three to twenty would be
the utmost of each required. Altogether, calculating 138 matrices
(_i.e._, two alphabets of twenty-four letters each, and ninety double
and treble letters) to be the least number of matrices required to
make a complete fount,[50] the highest number of types of any one
particular sort necessary to print a single page would be ninety-one.
The average number of the eleven chief letters specified above would be
about forty-four, while if we take into calculation the minor letters
of the alphabet and the double letters, this average would be reduced
to little more than ten. It will thus be seen that the founts of the
earliest printers consisted of a small quantity each of a large variety
of sorts. Mr. Astle, in his chapter on the Origin and Progress of
Printing,[51] is, we believe, the only writer who has dwelt upon the
difficulty which the first letter-founders would be likely to encounter
in the arrangement of their “bill.” This venerable compilation
was, he considers, made in the fifteenth century, probably by the
ordinary method of casting-off copy. If so, it must have experienced
considerable and frequent change during the time that the ligatures
were falling into disuse, and until the printer’s alphabet had reduced
itself to its present limits.

       *       *       *       *       *

Of the face of type used by the earliest printers we shall
have occasion to speak later on. Respecting the development of
letter-founding as an industry, there is little that can be gathered in
the history of the fifteenth century. At first the art of the inventor
was a mystery divulged to none. But the sack of Mentz, in 1462, and
the consequent dispersion of Gutenberg’s disciples, spread the secret
broadcast over Europe. Italy, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands,
Spain, England, in turn learned it, and after their fashion improved
it. Italy, especially, guided by the master-hands of her early artists,
brought it to rapid perfection. The migrations of Gutenberg’s types
among the early presses of Bamberg, Eltville, and elsewhere, have
led to the surmise that he may have sold matrices of his letter.[52]
In 1468, Schoeffer put forward what may be considered the first
advertisement in the annals of typography. “Every nation,” he says, in
{29} the colophon to _Justinian’s Institutes_, “can now procure its
own kind of letters, for he (_i.e._, Schoeffer himself) excels with
all-prevailing pencil” (_i.e._, in designing and engraving all kinds
of type).[53] For the most part printers were their own founders, and
each printer had his own types. But type depôts and markets, and the
wanderings of the itinerant typographers, as the demands of printing
yearly increased, brought the founts of various presses and nations
to various centres, and thus gave the first impulse to that gradual
divorce between printing and typefounding which in the following
century left the latter the distinct industry it still remains.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is a brief outline of the chief facts and opinions regarding the
processes, appliances and practices of the earliest typefounders. It
may be said that, after all, we know very little about the matter.
The facts are very few, and the conjectures, in many instances, so
contradictory, that it is impossible to erect a “system,” or draw any
but general conclusions. These conclusions we very briefly summarise as

Accepting as a fundamental principle that the essence of typography
is in the mobility of the types, we dismiss, as beyond the scope
of our inquiry, the xylographic works which preceded typography.
Passing in review the alleged stepping-stones between the two arts, we
fail to see in the evidence adduced as to the use of movable wooden
perforated types anything to justify the conclusion that the earliest
printers printed books by their means. Such types may have been cut
experimentally, but the practical impossibility of cutting them square
enough to be composed in a forme, and of producing a work of the size
and character of the _Speculum_, is fatal to their claims. With regard
to the sculpto-fusi types—types engraved on cast-metal bodies—the
evidence in their favour is of the most unsatisfactory character,
and, coupled with the practical difficulties of their production,
reduces their claims to a minimum. The marked difference of style and
excellence in the typography of certain of the earliest books leads us
to accept the theory that two schools of typography existed side by
side in the infancy of the art—one a rude school, which, not having
the secret of the more perfect appliances of the inventors, cast its
letters by some primitive method, probably using moulds of sand or
clay, in which the entire type had been moulded. Such types may have
been perforated and held together in lines by a wire. The suggestion
that the earliest types were produced by a system of polytype, and
that the face of each letter, sawn off a plate resembling a {30}
stereotype-plate, was separately mounted on loose wooden shanks, we
dismiss as purely fanciful.

Turning now to the processes adopted by the typographers of the more
advanced school, we consider that in the first instance, although
grasping the principle of the punch, the matrix and the adaptable
mould, they may have made use of inferior appliances—possibly by
forming their matrices in lead from wooden or leaden punches or
models—advancing thence by degrees to the use of steel punches, copper
matrices, and the bipartite iron mould. We hold that the variations
observable in the early works of this school are due mainly to uneven
casting and wear and tear of the types. As to the metal in which the
type was cast, we find mention made of almost every metal, several
of which, however, refer to the punches and matrices, leaving tin,
lead, and antimony as the staple ingredients of the type-metal. Of
the types themselves, we find these in most essential particulars to
be the same as those cast at a later date. We see, however, evidence
of perforated, mould-cast type, and, in the absence of a nick, a
“shamfer” at the foot, from which the jet appears to have been sawn or
cut, instead of being broken. We remark a great irregularity in the
heights of different founts, the average of which height is beyond any
modern English standard. The accidental impression of a type in two
early German books, proves that about the year 1476 types were made
differing only in the two points of the want of a nick and the want of
a jet-break from the types of to-day. The quantity of types required
by the earliest printers, we consider, would be small, since they
appear in most instances to have printed only one page at a time; but
the number of different sorts going to make up a fount would be very
considerable, by reason of the numerous contractions, double letters
and abbreviations used.

Finally, we consider that the art of letter-founding rapidly reached
maturity after the general diffusion of printing consequent on the
sack of Mentz; and that when the writer of the _Cologne Chronicle_, in
the last year of the 15th century, spoke of “the art as now generally
used,” he spoke of an art which, at the close of the 19th century, has
been able to improve in no essential principle on the processes first
made use of by the great inventors of Typography.






We have laid before the reader, in the Introductory Chapter, such facts
and conjectures as it is possible to gather together respecting the
processes and appliances adopted by the first letter-founders, and
shall, with a view to render the particular history of the English
Letter Foundries more intelligible, endeavour to present here, in as
concise a form as possible, a short historical sketch of the English
type bodies and faces, tracing particularly the rise and development
of the Roman, Italic, and Black letters before and subsequent to
their introduction into this country; adding, in a following chapter,
a similar notice of the types of the principal foreign and learned
languages which have figured conspicuously in English typography.


The origin of type-bodies and the nomenclature which has grown around
them, is a branch of typographical antiquity which has always been
shrouded in more or less obscurity. Imagining, as we do, that the
moulds of the first printers were of a primitive construction, and,
though conceived on true principles, were adjusted to the various sizes
of letter they had to cast more by eye than by rule, it is easy to
understand that founts would be cast on no other principle than that of
ranging in body and line and height in themselves, irrespective of the
body, height and line of other founts used in the same press. When two
or more {32} founts were required to mix in the same work, then the
necessity of a uniform standard of height would become apparent. When
two or more founts were required to mix in the same line, a uniformity
in body, and if possible in alignment, would be found necessary. When
initials or marginal notes required to be incorporated with the text,
then the advantage of a mathematical proportion between one body and
another would suggest itself.

At first, doubtless, the printer would name his sizes of type according
to the works for which they were used. His Canon type would be the
large character in which he printed the canon of the Mass. His Cicero
type would be the letter used in his editions of that classical author.
His Saint Augustin, his Primer, his Brevier, his Philosophie, his
Pica type, would be the names by which he would describe the sizes of
letter he used for printing the works whose names they bore. It may
also be assumed with tolerable certainty that in most of these cases,
originally, the names described not only the body, but the “face” of
their respective founts. At what period this confused and haphazard
system of nomenclature resolved itself into the definite printer’s
terminology it is difficult to determine. The process was probably a
gradual one, and was not perfected until typefounding became a distinct
and separate trade.

The earliest writers on the form and proportion of letters,—Dürer[54]
in 1525, Tory[55] in 1529, and Ycair[56] in 1548,—though using terms
to distinguish the different faces of letter, were apparently unaware
of any distinguishing names for the bodies of types. Tory, indeed,
mentions Canon and Bourgeoise; but in both cases he refers to the face
of the letter; and Ycair’s distinction of “teste y glosa” applies
generally to the large and small type used for the text and notes
respectively of the same work.[57]

In England, type-bodies do not appear to have been reduced to a
definite scale much before the end of the sixteenth century. Mores[58]
failed to trace them further back than 1647; but in a Regulation of the
Stationers’ Company, dated 1598,[59] Pica, English, Long Primer, and
Brevier are mentioned by name as apparently well-established bodies at
that time; and in a petition to the same Company in 1635,[60] Nonpareil
and “two-line letters” are mentioned as equally familiar.

Moxon, our first writer on the subject, in his _Mechanick Exercises_,
in 1683, {33} described ten regular bodies in common use in his day,
and added to his list the number of types of each body that went to a
foot, viz.:―

 Pearl          184     to a foot
 Nonpareil      150         〃
 Brevier        112         〃
 Long Primer     92         〃
 Pica            75         〃
 English         66         〃
 Great Primer    50         〃
 Double Pica     38         〃
 2-line English  33         〃
 French Canon    17 1/2     〃

“We have one body more,” he adds, “which is sometimes used in England;
that is, a Small Pica: but I account it no great discretion in a
master-printer to provide it, because it differs so little from the
Pica, that unless the workmen be carefuller than they sometimes are, it
may be mingled with the Pica, and so the beauty of both founts may be

In this sentence we have the first record of the introduction of
irregular bodies into English typography, an innovation destined very
speedily to expand, and within half a century increase the number of
English bodies by the seven following additions:

 Minion               132     to a foot
 Bourgeois            100         〃
 Small Pica            76         〃
 Paragon               46         〃
 2-line Pica           37 1/2     〃
 2-line Great Primer   25         〃
 2-line Double Pica    19         〃

The origin of these irregular bodies it is easy to explain. Between
Moxon’s time and 1720 the country was flooded with Dutch type. The
English founders were beaten out of the field in their own market,
and James, in self-defence, had to furnish his foundry entirely with
Dutch moulds and matrices. Thus we had the typefounding of two nations
carried on side by side. An English printer furnished with a Dutch
fount would require additions to it to be cast to the Dutch standard,
which might be smaller or larger than that laid down for English type
by Moxon, and yet so near that even if it lost or gained a few types
in the foot, it would still be called by its English name, which would
thenceforth represent two different bodies. If, on the other hand,
a new fount were imported, or cut by an ill-regulated artist here,
which when finished was found to be as much too large for one regular
body as it was too small for another, a body would be found to fit it
between the two, and christened by a new name. In this manner, Minion,
Bourgeois, Small Pica, Paragon, and two-line Pica insinuated themselves
into the list of English bodies, and in this manner arose that
ancient anomaly, the various body-standards of the English foundries.
For a founder who was constantly called upon to alter his mould to
accommodate a printer requiring a special body, would be likely to cast
a quantity of the letter in excess of what was immediately ordered; and
this store, if not sold in due time to the person for whom it was cast,
would be disposed of to the first {34} comer who, requiring a new
fount, and not particular as to body, provided the additions afterwards
to be had were of the same gauge, would take it off the founder’s
hands. _Facilis descensus Averni!_ Having taken the one downward step,
the founder would be called upon constantly to repeat it, his moulds
would remain set, some to the right, some to the wrong standard,
and every type he cast would make it more impossible for him or his
posterity to recover the simple standard from which he had erred.

Such we imagine to have been the origin of the irregular and ununiform
bodies. Even in 1755, when Smith published his _Printer’s Grammar_, the
mischief was beyond recall. In no single instance were the standards
given by him identical with those of 1683. Indeed, where each founder
had two or three variations of each body in his own foundry it is
impossible to speak of a standard at all. Smith points out that, in
the case of English and Pica alone, Caslon had four varieties of the
former, and the Dutch two; while of the latter, Caslon had three, and
James two. Nevertheless, he gives a scale of the bodies commonly in use
in his day, which it will be interesting to compare with Moxon’s on the
one hand, and the standard of the English foundries in 1841 as given by
Savage, on the other.

 │                   │MOXON,│    SMITH,    │CASLON,│FIGGINS,│THOROWGOOD,│WILSON,│
 │                   │1683. │    1755.     │ 1841. │ 1841.  │   1841.   │ 1841. │
 │Canon              │17 1/2│ 18 and G. P. │ 18    │ 18     │  18       │ 18    │
 │2-line Double Pica │  —   │    20 3/4    │ 20 3/4│ 20 3/4 │  20 1/2   │ 20 3/4│
 │2-line Great Primer│  —   │    25 1/2    │ 25 1/2│ 25 1/2 │  26       │ 25 1/2│
 │2-line English     │  33  │    32        │ 32    │ 32     │  32 1/4   │ 32    │
 │2-line Pica        │  —   │    35 3/4    │ 36    │ 36     │  36       │ 36    │
 │Double Pica        │  38  │    41 1/2    │ 41 1/2│ 41 1/2 │  41       │ 41 1/2│
 │Paragon            │  —   │    44 1/2    │ 44 1/2│ 44 1/2 │  —        │ 44 1/2│
 │Great Primer       │  50  │ 51 and an r. │ 51    │ 51     │  52       │ 51    │
 │English            │  66  │    64        │ 64    │ 64     │  64 1/2   │ 64    │
 │Pica               │  75  │    71 1/2    │ 72    │ 72 1/2 │  72       │ 72    │
 │Small Pica         │  —   │    83        │ 83    │ 82     │  82       │ 83    │
 │Long Primer        │  92  │    89        │ 89    │ 90     │  92       │ 89    │
 │Bourgeois          │  —   │102 and space.│102    │101 1/2 │ 103       │102    │
 │Brevier            │ 112  │   112 1/2    │111    │107     │ 112       │111    │
 │Minion             │  —   │   128        │122    │122     │ 122       │122    │
 │Nonpareil          │ 150  │   143        │144    │144     │ 144       │144    │
 │Pearl              │ 184  │   178        │178    │180     │ 184       │178    │
 │Diamond            │  —   │    —         │204    │205     │ 210       │204    │

This list does not include Trafalgar, Emerald, and Ruby, which,
however, were in use before 1841. The first named has disappeared in
England, as also has Paragon. The _Printer’s Grammar_ of 1787 mentions
a body in use at that time named “Primer,” between Great Primer and

It is not our purpose to pursue this comparison further or more
minutely; nor does it come within the scope of this work to enter into
a technical {35} examination of the various schemes which have been
carried out abroad, and attempted in this country, to do away with the
anomalies in type-bodies, and restore a uniform invariable standard.
The above table will suffice as a brief historical note of the growth
of these anomalies.

As early as 1725, in France, an attempt was made to regulate by a
public decree, not only the standard height of a type, but the scale
of bodies. But the system adopted was clumsy, and only added to the
confusion it was designed to remove. Fournier, in 1737, invented his
typographical points, the first successful attempt at a mathematical
systematisation of type-bodies, which has since, with the alternative
system of Didot, done much in simplifying French typography. England,
Germany, and Holland have been more conservative, and therefore less
fortunate. Attempts were made by Fergusson in 1824,[61] and by Bower
of Sheffield about 1840,[62] and others, to arrive at a standard of
uniformity; but their schemes were not warmly taken up, and failed.

Before proceeding to a brief historical notice of the different
English type-bodies, we shall trouble the reader with a further
table, compiled from specimen-books of the 18th century, showing what
have been the names of the corresponding bodies in the foundries of
other nations,—premising, however, that these names must be taken as
representing the approximate, rather than the actual, equivalent in
each case[63]:―

 │        ENGLISH.        │       FRENCH.        │     GERMAN.      │       DUTCH.       │   ITALIAN.    │  SPANISH.   │
 │ 1. French Canon.       │Double Canon.         │Kleine Missal.    │Parys Kanon.        │Reale.         │    ....     │
 │ 2. 2-line Double Pica. │Gros Canon.           │Große Canon.      │Groote Kanon.       │Corale.        │Canon Grande.│
 │ 3. 2-line Great Primer.│Trismegiste.          │Kleine Canon.     │Kanon.              │Canone.        │Canon.       │
 │ 4. 2-line English.     │Petit Canon.          │Doppel Mittel.    │Dubbelde Augustyn.  │Sopracanoncino.│Peticano.    │
 │ 5. 2-line Pica.        │Palestine.            │Roman.            │Dubbelde Mediaan.   │Canoncino.     │    ....     │
 │ 6. Double Pica.        │Gros Parangon.        │Text or Secunda.  │Dubbelde Descendiaan│Ascendonica.   │Misal.       │
 │                        │                      │                  │ (or Ascendonica).  │               │             │
 │ 7. Paragon.            │Petit Parangon.       │Parangon.         │Parangon.           │Parangone.     │Parangona.   │
 │ 8. Great Primer.       │Gros Romain.          │Tertia.           │Text.               │Testo.         │Texto.       │
 │ 9. (Large English.)    │Gros Texte.           │Große Mittel.     │        ....        │Soprasilvio.   │    ....     │
 │ 9. English.            │St. Augustin.         │Kleine Mittel.    │Augustyn.           │Silvio.        │Atanasia.    │
 │10. Pica.               │Cicero.               │Cicero.           │Mediaan.            │Lettura.       │Lectura.     │
 │11. Small Pica.         │Philosophie.          │Brevier.          │Descendiaan.        │(Filosofia.)   │    ....     │
 │12. Long Primer.        │Petit Romain.         │Corpus or Garmond.│Garmond.            │Garamone.      │Entredos.    │
 │13. Bourgeois.          │Gaillarde.            │(Borgis.)         │Burgeois or Galjart.│Garamoncino.   │    ....     │
 │14. Brevier.            │Petit Texte.          │Petit or Jungfer. │Brevier.            │Testino.       │Breviario.   │
 │15. Minion.             │Mignone.              │Colonel.          │Colonel.            │Mignona.       │Glosilla.    │
 │16. Nonpareil.          │Nonpareille.          │Nonpareille.      │Nonparel.           │Nompariglia.   │Nompareli.   │
 │17.│ Pearl.             │Parisienne or Sedan.  │Perl.             │Joly.               │Parmigianina.  │    ....     │
 │   │                    │Perle.                │                  │Peerl.              │               │             │
 +   +────────────────────+──────────────────────+──────────────────+────────────────────+───────────────+─────────────+
 │   │ (Diamond.)         │Diamant.              │Diamant.          │Robijn.             │               │             │
 │   │                    │                      │                  │Diamand.            │     ....      │    ....     │


A few notes on the origin of the names of English type-bodies will
conclude our observations on this subject.

CANON.—The Canon of the Mass was, in the service-books of the Church,
printed in a large letter, and it is generally supposed that, this size
of letter being ordinarily employed in the large Missals, the type-body
took its name accordingly: a supposition which is strengthened by its
German name of Missal. Mores, however (who objects equally to the
epithets of Great or French as unnecessary and delusive), considers
this derivation to be incorrect, and quotes the authority of Tory, who
uses the term Canon to apply to letter cut according to rule—_lettres
de forme_—as distinguished from letters not so cut, which he terms
_lettres bastardes_. So that the _lettre qu’on dict Canon_ was
originally a generic term, embracing all the regular bodies; and
subsequently came to be confined to the largest size in that category.
The theory is ingenious and interesting; but it seems more reasonable
to lay greater stress on the actual meaning of a word than on its
equivocal interpretation. In other countries two-line Great Primer was
commonly called Canon, and our French Canon was called by the Dutch
Parys Kanon; by which it would seem that both England and Holland
originally received the body from the French. In modern letter-founding
the name Canon applies only to the size of the face of a letter which
is a three-line Pica cast on a four-line Pica body.

Passing the next four bodies, which with us are merely
reduplications,[64] we note that―

DOUBLE PICA, which at present is Double Small Pica, was in Moxon’s
day, what its name denotes, a two-line Pica. When the irregular Small
Pica was introduced, Double Pica was the name given to the double of
the interloper, the double of the Pica being styled two-line Pica.
In Germany, Double Pica was called Text or Secunda—the former name
probably denoting the use of this size in the text of Holy Writ, while
the latter indicates that the body was one of a series, the Doppel
Mittel, corresponding to our two-line English, being probably the Prima.

PARAGON, the double of Long Primer, though a body unnamed in Moxon’s
day, was a size of really old institution; it having been a favourite
body with many of the earliest printers, and particularly affected
by Caxton in this country. Its name points to a French origin; and,
like most of the other fanciful names, proves that the appellation had
reference in the first instance, not to the depth of its shank, but
to the supposed beauty of the letter which was cut upon it. It was a
body which did not take deep root in this country, and for the most
part {37} disappeared with the first quarter of the present century.
It is noteworthy that Paragon and Nonpareil are the only bodies which
have preserved their names in all the countries in which they have been

GREAT PRIMER.—For this body, Mores claims an indisputable English
origin. He considers it possible that it may date back to before the
Reformation, and that it was the body on which were printed the large
Primers of the early Church.[65] This derivation[66] would be more
satisfactory were it found that these works, or the school primers of a
later date, were, as a rule, printed in type of this size.[67] But this
is not the case. _Primers_, _Pyes_, and _Breviaries_ occur printed in
almost all the regular bodies. Great Primer was a favourite body with
the old printers, and having been adopted by many of the first Bible
printers, was sometimes called Bible Text. The French called it Gros
Romain; and the “Great Romaine letter for the titles,” mentioned in
Pynson’s indenture in 1519, may possibly refer to an already recognised
type-body of this size. In Germany it was called Tertia, being the
third of the regular bodies above the Mittel. In Holland, Italy, and
Spain it was called Text.

ENGLISH is also a body which undoubtedly belongs to us. Until the end
of last century the name served not only to denote a body, but the face
of the English Black-letter; and many of the old founts used in the law
books and Acts of Parliament were English both in body and face. As in
Germany, where it is called Mittel, English was the middle size of the
seven regular bodies in use among us: the Great Primer, Double Pica,
and two-line English (the Tertia, Secunda, and Prima of the Germans)
being on the ascending side, and Pica, Long Primer, and Brevier on the
descending. The French call it St. Augustin,[68] and the Spaniards
Atanasia, apparently from its use in printing the works of these
Christian Fathers. Although the middle body, its standard has been
subject to much variation, particularly in France and Germany, where
large and small English are two distinct bodies. {38}

PICA.—This important body, now the standard body in English typography,
presumably owes its name to its use in printing the ordinal of the
services of the early Church, and is coeval with Great Primer. “The
Pie,” says Mores, of which this is the Latin name, “was a table showing
the course of the service in the Church in the times of darkness.[69]
It was called the Pie because it was written in letters of black and
red; as the Friars de _Pica_ were so named from their party-coloured
raiment, black and white, the plumage of a magpie.” “The number and
hardness of the rules of this Pie” is referred to in the preface
to our Prayer-book; and it will be remembered that Caxton’s famous
advertisement related to “Pyes of Salisbury use.” But as a larger
type-body than Pica was generally used to print these, it is possible
the name may refer to nothing more than the piebald or black-and-white
appearance of a printed page. Some authorities derive Pica from the
Greek πίναξ, a writing tablet, and, hence, an index. The name was, in
fact, applied to the alphabetical catalogue of the names and things in
rolls and records. In France and Germany the body was called Cicero, on
account of the frequent editions of Cicero’s Epistles printed in this
size of letter.[70] It was the Mediaan body of the Dutch.

SMALL PICA, as already stated, was an innovation in Moxon’s day, and
was probably cast in the first instance to accommodate a foreign-cut
letter, too small for pica and too large for long-primer. It
subsequently came into very general use, one of the first important
works in which it appeared being Chambers’s _Cyclopædia_, in 1728. The
French called it Philosophie, and appear to have used it as a smaller
body on which to cast the Cicero face. The Germans called it Brevier,
the Dutch (it being one body below the Mediaan) called it Descendiaan,
and the Italians, when they had it, followed the French, and called it

LONG PRIMER, Mores suggests, was another of the old English bodies
employed in liturgical works. He explains the use of the word Long to
mean that Primers in this size of type were printed either in long
lines instead of double columns, or that the length of the page was
disproportionate to the width, or more probably, that they contained
the service at full length a long, or without contraction.[71] These
_Primers_, however, are rarely to be met with in this body. The French
named the body Petit Romain, preserving a similar {39} relationship
between it and their Gros Romain, as we did between our Long Primer
and Great Primer. The other countries evidently attributed the body
to France, and named it after Claude Garamond, the famous French
letter-cutter, pupil of Tory, one of whose Greek founts, cut for the
Royal Typography of Paris, was on this body. The Germans, however, also
called the body Corpus, on account of their _Corpus Juris_ being first
printed in this size.

BOURGEOIS.—This irregular body betrays its nationality in its name,
which, however, is probably derived, not from the fact that it was used
by the bourgeois printers of France, but from the name of the city
of Bourges, which was the birthplace of the illustrious typographer,
Geofroy Tory, about the year 1485. Tory originally applied the term
_bourgeoise_ to the _lettre de somme_, irrespective of size,[72]
as distinguished from the _lettre Canon_. The French call the body
Gaillarde, probably after the printer of that name,[73] although it is
equally possible the name, like Mignon or Nonpareille, may be fanciful.
As a type-body, Bourgeois did not appear in England till about 1748,
and Smith informs us that it was originally used as a large body on
which to cast Brevier or Petit.

BREVIER.—The smallest of the English regular bodies claims equal
antiquity with Great Primer, Pica, and Long Primer. The conjecture that
it was commonly used in the _Breviaries_ of the early Church is not
borne out by an examination of these works, most of which are printed
in a considerably larger size.[74] The name, like the French and German
“Petit,” may mean that, being the smallest body, it was used for
getting the most matter into a brief space. The Germans, when they cut
smaller-sized letters, called the Petit Jungfer, or the Maiden-letter.

MINION, a body unknown to Moxon, was used in England before 1730;
and, like the other small fancifully named bodies, appears to have
originated in France. The Dutch and Germans call it Colonel, and the
Spaniards Glosilla.

NONPAREIL, now an indispensable body, because the half of Pica, was
introduced as a peerless curiosity long before Moxon’s day, and has
preserved its name in all the countries where it has gone. It is said
first to have been cut by Garamond about the year 1560. Mores supposes
that, because the Dutch founders of Moxon’s day called it “Englese
Nonpareil” in their specimens, the {40} body was first used in this
country. The Dutch name, however, evidently refers to the face of the
letter, cut in imitation of an English face, or adapted to suit English
purchasers. Paulus Pater[75] says that on account of its wonderful
smallness and clearness, the Dutch Nonpareil was called by many the
“silver letter,” and was supposed to have been cast in that metal.

PEARL, though an English body in Moxon’s day, appears to have been
known both in France and Holland at an earlier date. In the former
country it was celebrated as the body on which the famous tiny editions
at Sedan were printed. The Dutch Joly corresponded more nearly to our
modern Ruby than to Pearl. But Luce, in 1740, cut the size for France,
and provoked Firmin Didot’s severe criticism on his performance—“Among
the characters, generally bad, which Luce has engraved, . . . is one
which cannot be seen.”

DIAMOND was unknown in England until the close of last century, when
Dr. Fry cut a fount which he claimed to be the smallest ever used, and
to get in “more even than the famous Dutch Diamond.” This Dutch fount
was of some antiquity, having been cut by Voskens about 1700. Previous
to this, Van Dijk had cut a letter on a body below Pearl, called
Robijn, a specimen of which appears on Daniel Elzevir’s sheet in 1681.
M. Henri Didot, however, eclipsed all these minute-bodied founts by a
Semi-nonpareil in 1827.

       *       *       *       *       *

It now remains to trace briefly the origin and development of the
leading type-faces used in English Typography.


To trace the history of the Roman character would almost require a
_résumé_ of the works of all the greatest printers in each country
of Europe. It must suffice to point out very briefly the changes it
underwent before and after reaching England.

ITALY.—The Italian scribes of the fifteenth century were famous for
their beautiful manuscripts, written in a hand entirely different
from the Gothic of the Germans, or the Secretary of the French and
Netherlands calligraphers. It was only natural that the first Italian
printers, when they set up their press at Subiaco, should form their
letters upon the best model of the national scribes. The _Cicero de
Oratore_ of 1465[76] is claimed by some as the first book {41} printed
in Roman type, although the character shows that the German artists who
printed it had been unable wholly to shake off the traditions of the
pointed Gothic school of typography in which they had learned their
craft. The type of the _Lactantius_, and the improved type of the works
subsequently printed by Sweynheim and Pannartz at Rome, as well as
those of Ulric Hahn, were, in fact, Gothic-Romans; and it was not till
Nicholas Jenson, a Frenchman, in 1470, printed his _Eusebii Præparatio_
at Venice, that the true Roman appeared in Italy, which was destined to
become the ruling character in European Typography. Fournier and others
have considered that Jenson derived his Roman letter from a mixture
of alphabets of various countries;[77] but it is only necessary to
compare the _Eusebius_ with the Italian manuscripts of the period, to
see that no such elaborate selection of models was necessary or likely.
The claims of Italy in the matter of Roman type have of late years
been somewhat seriously challenged by the researches of M. Madden, who
in a series of remarkable studies on the typographical labours of the
Frères de la Vie Commune at Wiedenbach, near Cologne, contends that the
Roman type known as the fount of the “[symb] bizarre,” on account of
the peculiar form of that capital letter, was used in that monastery
in 1465[78]; and that among the typographical fugitives from Mentz at
that time dwelling in Cologne, there is little doubt that Jenson was
here initiated into the art which he subsequently made famous. The
close resemblance between the Roman of the Wiedenbach monks and that of
the _Eusebius_ is, M. Madden considers, clear evidence that the same
hand had trained itself on the one for the marvellous perfection of
the other.[79] Jenson’s fount is on a body corresponding to English.
The form is round and clear, and differing in fashion only from its
future progeny. The capital alphabet consists of twenty-three letters
(J, U, and W not being yet in use); the “lower-case” alphabet is the
same, except that the “u” is substituted for the “v,” and in addition
there is a long ſ, and the diphthongs æ and œ. To complete the fount,
there are fifteen contractions, six double letters, and three points,
the . : ? making seventy-three punches in all.[80] Jenson’s Roman
letter fell after his death into the hands of a “firm” of which Andrea
Torresani was head. Aldus Manutius subsequently associated himself {42}
with Torresani, and, becoming his son-in-law and heir, eventually
inherited his punches, matrices, and types. The Roman founts of Aldus
were eclipsed by his Italic and Greek, but he cut several very fine
alphabets. Renouard[81] mentions eight distinct founts between 1494 and

GERMANY.—Whether the fount of the Wiedenbach monks was the progenitor
of the Venetian Roman, or whether each can claim an independent origin,
there seems little doubt that the fount of the “[symb] bizarre” is
entitled to rank as the first Roman letter in Germany. The accompanying
facsimile from the _Sophologium_ will give a good idea of the form and
size of this most interesting fount, and will at the same time show how
slightly the form of the Roman alphabet has changed since its first
introduction into Typography.

[Illustration: 7. From the _Sophologium_ “à l’[symb] bizarre.”
Wiedenbach (?), 1465–70.]

Roman type was adopted before 1473 by Mentelin of Strasburg, whose
beautiful letter placed him in the front rank of German printers.
Gunther Zainer, who settled at Augsburg in 1469, after printing some
works in the round Gothic, also adopted, in 1472, the Roman of the
Venetian School, founts of which he is said to have brought direct from
Italy. The German name of Antiqua, applied to the Roman character, has
generally been supposed to imply a reluctance to admit the claim of
Italy to the credit of introducing this style of letter. As, however,
the Italians themselves called the letter the “Lettera Antiqua tonda,”
the imputation against Germany is unfounded.[82] The French, Dutch, and
English called it “Roman” from the first. {43}

FRANCE.—The French received printing and the Roman character at the
same time, the first work of the Sorbonne press in 1470 being in
a handsome Roman letter about Great Primer in size, with a slight
suggestion of Gothic in some of the characters. Gering, a German
himself, and his associates, had learned their art at Basle; but cut,
and probably designed, their own letter on the best available models.
Their fount is rudely cast, so that several of their words appear
only half-printed in the impression, and have been finished by hand.
It has been stated erroneously, by several writers, on the authority
of Chevillier, that their fount was without capitals. The fount is
complete in that respect, and Chevillier’s expression, “lettres
capitales,” as he himself explains, refers to the initial letters for
which blank spaces were left to be filled in by hand. Besides the
ordinary capital and “lower-case” alphabets, the fount abounds in
abbreviations. This letter was used in all the works of the Sorbonne
press, but when Gering left the Sorbonne and established himself at
the “Soleil d’Or,” in 1473, he made use of a Gothic letter. In his
later works, however, new and greatly improved founts of the Roman
appear. Jodocus Badius, who by some is erroneously supposed to have
been the first who brought the Roman letters from Italy to France,
did not establish his famous “Prelum Ascensianum” in Paris till about
1500, when he printed in Roman types—not, however, before one or two
other French printers had already distinguished themselves in the same

NETHERLANDS.—The Roman was introduced into the Netherlands by Johannes
de Westfalia, who, it is said, brought it direct from Italy about
the year 1472. He settled at Louvain, and after several works in
semi-Gothic, published in 1483 an edition of _Æneas Silvius_ in the
Italian letter. His fount is elegant, and rather a lighter face than
most of the early Roman founts of other countries. This printer
appears to have been the only one in the Low Countries who used this
type during the fifteenth century; nor was it till Plantin, in 1555,
established his famous press at Antwerp, that the Roman attained to
any degree of excellence. But Plantin, and after him the Elzevirs,
were destined to eclipse all other artists in their execution of this
letter, which in their hands became a model for the typography of all
civilisation. It should be mentioned, however, that the Elzevirs are
not supposed to have cut their own punches. The Roman types which
they made famous, and which are known by their name, were cut by {44}
Christopher Van Dijk,[83] the form of whose letter was subsequently
adopted by the English printers.

SWITZERLAND early distinguished itself by the Roman letter of Amerbach
of Basle, and still more so by the beautiful founts used by Froben of
the same city, who between 1491 and 1527 printed some of the finest
books then known in Europe. His Roman was very bold and regular.
Christopher Froschouer of Zurich, about 1545, made use of a peculiar
and not unpicturesque form of the Roman letter, in which the round
sorts were thickened, after the Gothic fashion, at their opposite
corners, instead of at their opposite sides.

ENGLAND.—The Roman did not make its appearance in England till 1518,
when Richard Pynson printed Pace’s _Oratio in Pace Nuperrimâ_, in a
handsome letter, of which we show a facsimile at p. 93. This printer’s
Norman birth, and his close relationship with the typographers
of Rouen, as well as his supposed intimacy with the famous Basle
typographer Froben, make it highly probable that he procured his letter
abroad, or modelled it on that of some of the celebrated foreign
printers of his day. The fount is about Great Primer in body, and
though generally neat and bold in appearance, displays considerable
irregularity in the casting, and, like most of the early Roman founts,
contains numerous contractions.[84]

[Illustration: 8. From Traheron’s _Exposition of St. John_. Wesel (?),
1557. Showing Roman and Black-letter intermixed.]

The Roman made its way rapidly in English typography during the first
half of the sixteenth century, and in the hands of such artists as
Faques, Rastell, Wyer, Berthelet, and Day, maintained an average
excellence. But it rapidly degenerated, and while other countries were
dazzling Europe by the brilliancy of their impressions, the English
Roman letter went from good to bad, and from bad to worse. No type is
more beautiful than a beautiful Roman; and with equal truth it may be
said, no type is more unsightly than an ill-fashioned and ill-worked
Roman. While Claude Garamond[85] in France was carrying out into noble
practice the theories of the form and proportion of letters set out
by his master, Geofroy Tory; while the Estiennes at Paris, Sebastian
Gryphe at Lyons, Froben at Basle, Froschouer at Zurich, and Christopher
Plantin at Antwerp, were moulding and refining their alphabets into
models which were to become {45} classical, English printers, manacled
body and soul by their patents and monopolies and state persecutions,
achieved nothing with the Roman type that was not retrograde. For a
time a struggle appears to have existed between the Black-letter and
the Roman for the mastery of the English press, and at one period the
curious spectacle was presented of mixed founts of the two. We present
our readers with a specimen of English printing at a foreign press in
this transition period, as illustrative not only of the compromise
between the two rival characters, but of the average unappetising
appearance of the typography {46} of the day. Always impressionable
and unoriginal, our national Roman letter, in the midst of many
admirable models, chose the Dutch for its pattern, and tried to imitate
Plantin and Elzevir, but with very little of the spirit of those
great artists. No English work of the time, printed in English Roman
type, reproduces within measurable distance the elegant _embonpoint_,
the harmony, the symmetry of the types of the famous Dutch printers.
The seeker after the beautiful looks almost in vain for anything to
satisfy his eye in the English Roman-printed works of the sixteenth and
seventeenth centuries. A few exceptions there are[86]; and when the
English printers, giving up the attempt to cut Roman for themselves,
went to Holland to buy it; or when, as in the case of Oxford and Thomas
James, the English foundries became furnished with Dutch matrices, our
country was able to produce a few books the appearance of which does
not call forth a blush.

The first _English Bible_ printed in Roman type was Bassendyne’s
edition in Edinburgh, in 1576. We have it on the authority of
Watson[87] that, from the earliest days of Scotch typography, a
constant trade in type and labour was maintained between Holland and
Scotland; and he exhibited in his specimen pages the Dutch Romans which
at that day were the most approved letters in use in his country.

Utilitarian motives brought about one important departure from the
first models of the Roman letter in the different countries where
it flourished. The early printers were generous in their ideas,
and cut their letters with a single eye to artistic beauty. But as
printing gradually ceased to be an art, and became a trade, economical
considerations suggested a distortion or cramping of these beautiful
models, with a view to “getting more in.” In some cases the variation
was made gracefully and inoffensively. The slender or compressed Roman
letters of the French, Italian, and in some cases the Dutch printers,
though not comparable with the round ones, are yet regular and neat;
but in other cases, ours among them, there was little of either
delicacy or skill in the innovation. The early part of the seventeenth
century witnessed the creation abroad of some very small Roman faces,
foremost among which were those of the beautiful little Sedan editions
of Jannon,[88] which gave their name to the body of the microscopic
letter {47} in which they were printed. Van Dijk cut a still smaller
letter for the Dutch in Black-letter, and afterwards in Roman; and
for many years the Dutch Diamond held the palm as the smallest fount
in Europe. England followed the general tendency towards the minute,
and though it is doubtful whether either Pearl or Diamond were cut by
English founders before 1700, an English printer, Field, accomplished
in 1653 the feat of printing a 32mo Bible in Pearl.[89] Among English
printers in the seventeenth century who did credit to their profession,
Roycroft is conspicuous, especially for the handsome large Romans in
which he printed Ogilby’s _Virgil_,[90] and other works. Yet Roycroft’s
handsomest letter—that in which he printed the Royal Dedication to
the _Polyglot_ of 1657—was the fount used nearly a century before by
Day,[91] whose productions few English printers of the seventeenth
century could equal, and none, certainly, could excel. Of Moxon’s
attempt in 1683 to regenerate the Roman letter in England, we shall
have occasion to speak elsewhere. His theories, as put into practice
by himself, were eminently unsuccessful; and though the sign-boards of
the day may have profited by his rules, it is doubtful if typography
did. His enthusiastic praise of the Dutch letter of Van Dijk may have
stimulated the trade between England and Holland; but at home his
precepts fell flat for lack of an artist to carry them out.

That artist was forthcoming in William Caslon in 1720, and from the
time he cut his first fount of pica, the Roman letter in England
entered on a career of honour. Caslon went back to the Elzevirs for
his models, and throwing into his labour the genius of an enlightened
artistic taste, he reproduced their letters with a precision and
uniformity hitherto unknown among us, preserving at the same time that
freedom and grace of form which had made them of all others the most
beautiful types in Europe. Caslon’s Roman became the fashion, and
English typography was loyal to it for nearly 80 years. Baskerville’s
exquisite letters were, as he himself acknowledged, inspired by those
of Caslon. They were sharper and more delicate in outline, and when
finely printed, as they always were, were more attractive to the
eye.[92] But what they gained in brilliance they missed in sterling
dignity; they dazzled the eye and fatigued it, and the fashion of the
{48} national taste was not seriously diverted. Still less was it
diverted by the experiments of a “nouvelle typographie,” which Luce,
Fournier, and others were trying to introduce into France. The stiff,
narrow, cramped Roman which these artists produced scarcely finds a
place in any English work of the eighteenth century. The Dutch type was
now no longer looked at. Wilson, whose letter adorned the works of the
Foulis press, and Jackson, whose exquisite founts helped to make the
fame of Bensley, as those of his successor Figgins helped to continue
it, all adhered to the Caslon models. And all these artists, with
Cottrell, Fry, and others, contributed to a scarcely less important
reform in English letter-founding, namely, the production by each
founder of his own uniform series of Roman sizes,—a feature wofully
absent in the odd collections of the old founders before 1720. Towards
the close of the century the Roman underwent a violent revolution.
The few founders who had begun about 1760 in avowed imitation of
Baskerville, had found it in their interest before 1780 to revert to
the models of Caslon; and scarcely had they done so, when about 1790
the genius of Didot of Paris and Bodoni of Parma took the English
press by storm, and brought about that complete abandonment of the
Caslon-Elzevir models which marked, and in some cases disfigured, the
last years of the eighteenth century. The famous presses of Bensley and
Bulmer introduced the modern Roman under the most favourable auspices.
The new letter was honest, businesslike, and trim; but in its stiff
angles, its rigid geometrical precision, long hair-seriffs, and sharp
contrasts of shade, there is little place for the luxuriant elegance
of the old style.[93] In France, the new fashion, even with so able an
exponent as Didot, had a competitor in the Baskerville type, which,
rejected by us, was welcomed by the French _literati_. Nor was this the
only instance in which the fashion went from England to France, for in
1818 the Imprimerie Royale itself, in want of a new _typographie_ of
the then fashionable Roman, came to London for the punches.

The typographical taste of the first quarter of the present century
suffered a distinct vulgarisation in the unsightly heavy-faced Roman
letters, which were not only offered by the founders, but extensively
used by the printers; and the date at which we quit this brief
survey is not a glorious one. The simple uniformity of faces which
characterised the specimens of Caslon and his disciples had been
corrupted by new fancies and fashions, demanded by the printer and
conceded by the founder,—fashions which, as Mr. Hansard {49} neatly
observed in 1825, “have left the specimen of a British letter-founder a
heterogeneous compound, made up of fat-faces and lean-faces, wide-set
and close-set, proportioned and disproportioned, all at once crying
“Quousque tandem abutêre patientia nostra?”

Some of the coarsest of the new fashions were happily short-lived; and
it is worth transgressing our limit to record the fact that in 1844 the
beautiful old-face of Caslon was, in response to a demand from outside,
revived, and has since, in rejuvenated forms, regained both at home and
abroad much of its old popularity.

It will not be out of place to add a word, before leaving the Roman,
in reference to letter-founders’ specimens. When printers were their
own founders, the productions of their presses were naturally also the
published specimens of their type. They might, like Schoeffer, in the
colophon to the _Justinian_ in 1468, call attention to their skill
in cutting types; or, like Caxton, print a special advertisement in
a special type; or, like Aldus, put forward a specimen of the types
of a forthcoming work.[94] But none of these are letter-founders’
specimens; nor was it till letter-founding became a distinct trade
that such documents became necessary. England was probably behind
other nations when, in 1665, the tiny specimen of Nicholas Nicholls
was laid under the Royal notice. It is doubtful whether any founder
before Moxon issued a full specimen of his types. He used the sheet
as a means of advertising not only his types, but his trade as a
mathematical instrument maker; and his specimen, taken in connection
with his rules for the formation of letters, is a sorry performance,
and not comparable to the Oxford University specimen, which that press
published in 1693, exhibiting the gifts of Dr. Fell and Junius. Of the
other English founders before 1720, no type specimen has come down to
us; that shown by Watson in his _History of the Art of Printing_ being
merely a specimen of bought Dutch types. Caslon’s sheet, in 1734,
marked a new departure. It displayed at a glance the entire contents
of the new foundry; and by printing the same passage in each size of
Roman, gave the printer an opportunity of judging how one body compared
with another for capacity. Caslon was the first to adopt the since
familiar “Quousque tandem” for his Roman specimens. The Latin certainly
tends to show off the Roman letter to best advantage; but it gives
an inadequate idea of its appearance in any other tongue. “The Latin
language,” says Dibdin, “presents to the eye a great uniformity or
evenness of effect. The _m_ and _n_, like the solid sirloin upon our
table, have a substantial appearance; no garnishing with useless {50}
herbs . . to disguise its real character. Now, in our own tongue, by
the side of the _m_ or _n_, or at no great distance from it, comes a
crooked, long-tailed _g_, or a _th_, or some gawkishly ascending or
descending letter of meagre form, which are the very flankings, herbs,
or dressings of the aforesaid typographical dish, _m_ or _n_. In short,
the number of ascending or descending letters in our own language—the
_p_’s, _l_’s, _th_’s, and sundry others of perpetual recurrence—render
the effect of printing much less uniform and beautiful than in the
Latin language. Caslon, therefore, and Messrs. Fry and Co. after
him,”—and he might have added all the other founders of the eighteenth
century,—“should have presented their specimens of printing-types in
the _English_ language; and then, as no disappointment could have
ensued, so no imputation of deception would have attached.”[95] Several
founders followed Caslon’s example by issuing their specimens on a
broadside sheet, which could be hung up in a printing-office, or inset
in a cyclopædia. Baskerville appears to have issued only specimens of
this kind; but Caslon, Cottrell, Wilson and Fry, who all began with
sheets, found it necessary to adopt the book form. These books were
generally executed by a well-known printer, and are examples not only
of good types, but of fine printing. Bodoni’s splendid specimens roused
the emulation of our founders, and the small octavo volumes of the
eighteenth century gave place at the commencement of the nineteenth to
quarto, often elaborately, sometimes sumptuously got up. Mr. Figgins
was the first to break through the traditional “Quousque tandem,”
by adding, side by side with the Latin extract, a passage in the
same-sized letter in English. But it has not been till comparatively
recent years that the venerable Ciceronian denunciation has finally
disappeared from English letter-founders’ specimens.


The ITALIC letter, which is now an accessory of the Roman, claims
an origin wholly independent of that character. It is said to be
an imitation of the handwriting of Petrarch, and was introduced by
Aldus Manutius of Venice, for the purpose of printing his projected
small editions of the classics, which, either in the Roman or Gothic
character, would have required bulky volumes. Chevillier informs
us that a further object was to prevent the excessive number of
contractions then in use, a feature which rendered the typography of
the day often unintelligible, and always unsightly.[96] The execution
of the Aldine Italic was entrusted {51} to Francesco da Bologna,[97]
who, says Renouard, had already designed and cut the other characters
of Aldus’ press. The fount is a “lower-case” only, the capitals being
Roman in form. It contains a large number of tied letters, to imitate
handwriting, but is quite free from contractions and ligatures. It
was first used in the _Virgil_ of 1501, and rapidly became famous
throughout Europe. Aldus produced six different sizes between 1501–58.
It was counterfeited almost immediately in Lyons and elsewhere. The
Junta press at Florence produced editions scarcely distinguishable
from those of Venice. Simon de Colines cut an Italic bolder and larger
than that of Aldus, and introduced the character into France about
1521, prior to which date Froben of Basel had already made use of it
at his famous press. Plantin used a large Italic in his _Polyglot_,
but, like many other Italics of the period, it was defaced by a strange
irregularity in the slopes of the letters. The character was originally
called Venetian or Aldine, but subsequently took the name of Italic
in all the countries into which it travelled, except Germany, which,
acting with the same independence as had been displayed towards the
Roman, called it “Cursiv.” The Italians also adopted the Latin name,
“Characteres cursivos seu cancellarios.”

The Italic was at first intended and used for the entire text of a
classical work. Subsequently, as it became more general, it was used to
distinguish portions of a book not properly belonging to the work, such
as introductions, prefaces, indexes, and notes; the text itself being
in Roman. Later, it was used in the text for quotations; and finally
served the double part of emphasising certain words[98] in some works,
and in others, chiefly the translations of the Bible, of marking words
not rightly forming a part of the text.

In England it was first used by De Worde, in _Wakefield’s Oratio_,
in 1524. Day, about 1567, carried it to a high state of perfection;
so much so, that his Italic remained in use for several generations.
Vautrollier, also, in his _New Testaments_, made use of a beautiful
small Italic, which, however, was probably of foreign cut. Like the
Roman, the Italic suffered debasement during the century which followed
Day, and the Dutch models were generally preferred {52} by English
printers. These were carried down to a minute size, the “Robijn Italic”
of Christopher Van Dijk being in its day the smallest in Europe.

[Illustration: 9. Robijn Italic, cut by Chr. van Dijk. (From the
matrices in the Enschedé foundry.)]

It is not easy to fix the period at which the Roman and Italic became
united and interdependent. Very few English works occur printed wholly
in Italic, and there seems little doubt that before the close of the
sixteenth century the founders cast Roman and Italic together as one
fount. The Italic has undergone fewer marked changes than the Roman.
Indeed, in many of the early foundries, and till a later date, one face
of Italic served for two or more Romans of the same body. We find the
same Italic side by side with a broad-faced Roman in one book, and a
lean-faced in another. Frequently the same face is made to serve not
only for its correct body, but for the bodies next above or below it,
so that we may find an Italic of the Brevier face cast respectively
on Brevier, Bourgeois, and Minion bodies. These irregularities were
the more noticeable from the constant admixture in seventeenth and
eighteenth century books of Roman and Italic in the same lines; the
latter being commonly used for all proper names, as well as for
emphatic words. The chief variations in form have been in the capital
letters, and the long-tailed letters of the lower-case. The tendency
to flourish these gradually diminished on the cessation of the Dutch
influence, and led the way to the formal, tidy Italics of Caslon
and the founders of the eighteenth century, some of whom, however,
consoled themselves for their loss of liberty in regard to most of
their letters, by more or less extravagance in the tail of the [*Q]
which commenced the _Quousque tandem_ of their specimens. As in the
case of the Roman, Caslon cut a uniform series of Italics, having due
relation, in the case of each body, to the size and proportions of the
corresponding Roman. The extensive, and sometimes indiscriminate, use
of Italic gradually corrected itself during the eighteenth century; and
on the abandonment, both in Roman and Italic, of the long ſ and its
combinations,[99] English books were left less disfigured than they
used to be. {53}


[Illustration: 10. Gothic type, or “Lettre de Forme,” said to have been
engraved _circa_ 1480.

(From the original matrices in the Enschedé foundry.)]

The Gothic letter employed by the inventors of printing for the
_Bible_, _Psalter_, and other sacred works, was an imitation of the
formal hand of the German scribes, chiefly monastic, who supplied
the clergy of the day with their books of devotion. This letter,
as a typographical character, took the name of LETTRE DE FORME, as
distinguished from the rounder and less regular manuscript-hand of the
Germans of the fifteenth century, which was adopted by Schoeffer in
the _Rationale_, the _Catholicon_, and other works, and which became
known as LETTRE DE SOMME. The pointed Gothic, or LETTRE DE FORME, a
name[100] generally supposed to have reference to the precision in the
figure of the old ecclesiastical character (although some authorities
have considered it to be a corrupt, rather than a standard form of
handwriting), preserved its character with but little variation in
all the countries to which it travelled. It is scarcely necessary to
detail its first appearance at the various great centres of European
typography, except to notice that in Italy and France it came later
than the Roman.[101] In England it appears first in Caxton’s type No.
3,[102] and figures largely in nearly all the presses of our early
printers. De Worde was, in all probability, the first to cut punches
of it in this country, and to produce the letter which henceforth
took the name of “English,” as being the national character of our
early typography. De Worde’s English, or as it was subsequently
styled, Black-letter, was for two centuries and a half looked upon
as the model for all his successors in the art; indeed, to this day,
a Black-letter {54} is held to be excellent, as it resembles most
closely the character used by our earliest printers. The Black being
employed in England to a late date, not only for Bibles, but for
law books and royal proclamations and Acts of Parliament, has never
wholly fallen into disuse among us. The most beautiful typography of
which we as a nation can boast during the sixteenth and seventeenth
centuries, is to be found in the Black-letter impressions of our
printers. The Old English was classed with the Roman and Italic by
Moxon as one of the three orders of printing-letter; and in this
particular our obligations to the Dutch are much less apparent than in
any other branch of the printing art. Indeed, the English Black assumed
characteristics of its own which distinguished it from the LETTRE
FLAMAND of the Dutch on the one hand, and the FRACTUR of the Germans
on the other. It has occasionally suffered compression in form, and
very occasionally expansion; but till 1800 its form was not seriously
tampered with. Caslon was praised for his faithful reproduction of the
genuine Old English; other founders, like Baskerville, did not even
attempt the letter; the old Blacks were looked upon as the most useful
and interesting portion of James’s foundry at its sale[103]; and the
Roxburgh Club, those Black-letter heroes of the early years of this
century, dismissed all the new-fangled founts of modern founders in
favour of the most venerable relics of the early English typographers.
Of these newfangled Blacks, it will suffice to recall Dibdin’s outburst
of righteous indignation—“Why does he (_i.e._, Mr. Whittingham), and
many other hardly less distinguished printers, adopt that frightful,
gouty, disproportionate, eye-distracting and taste-revolting form of
Black-letter, too frequently visible on the frontispieces of his books?
It is contrary to all classical precedent, and outrageously repulsive
in itself. Let the ghost of Wynkin de Worde haunt him till he abandon

[Illustration: 11. Philosophie Flamand, engraved by Fleischman, 1743.
(From the matrices in the Enschedé foundry.)]

The LETTRE DE SOMME of the Germans, which, as we have seen, was adopted
by Schoeffer in 1459, became in the hands of the fifteenth century
printers a rival to the Gothic. Whether, as some state, it was derived
from the Gothic, or was a distinct hand used by the lay scribes, we
need not here discuss. Its name has been generally supposed to owe
its origin to the fact that among the earliest works printed in this
character was the _Summa fratris S. Thomas de Aquino_.[105] {55}
Others derive the name from the carelessly formed letters used in
books of account. This letter developed in considerable variety among
the early presses of the fifteenth century. Its main characteristics
being that of a round Gothic,[106] or at least of a Gothic shorn of
its angles, it lent itself readily to the influence of the Roman,
and we find it, as in the case of the first Italian books, merging
into that character; while in the case of many of the German and
Netherlands presses we find it occasionally absorbing that character,
adopting its form frequently in the capitals, and “Gothicising” it in
the lower-case. But to arrive at an accurate idea of the changes and
varieties of the LETTRE DE SOMME, it is necessary to study carefully
the productions of the various presses and schools of typography in
which it was used. In England it appeared, as might be expected, in
some of the early works of the first Oxford press,[107] whither it
was brought from Cologne. But it never took root in the country, and
was speedily rejected for the national Gothic, only to reappear as an
exotic or a curiosity.


The SECRETARY, or GROS-BÂTARDE, was the manuscript-hand employed by
the English and Burgundian scribes in the fifteenth century. It was,
therefore, only natural that Caxton, like his typographical tutor,
Colard Mansion of Bruges, should adopt this character for his earliest
works, in preference to the less familiar Gothic, Semi-Gothic, or Roman
letter. The French possessed a similar character, which, according to
Fournier, was first cut by a German named Heilman, resident in Paris
about 1490. But several years before 1490 the Gros-Bâtarde was in use
in France; in some cases the resemblance between the French and English
types being remarkable. The Rouen printers, who executed some of the
great law books for the London printers early in the sixteenth century,
used a particularly neat small-sized letter of this character. Like
the Semi-Gothic, the Secretary, after figuring in several of the early
London and provincial presses, yielded to the English Black-letter, and
after about 1534 did not reappear in English typography. It developed,
however, several curious variations; the chief of which were what Rowe
Mores describes as the SET-COURT, the BASE SECRETARY, and the RUNNING
SECRETARY. Of the first named, James’s foundry in 1778 possessed two
founts, come down from Grover’s[108]; but as the old deformed Norman
law hand which they represented was abolished by law in 1733, the
matrices, which at no time appear to have been much used, {56} became
valueless. The name COURT HAND has since been appropriated for one of
the modern scripts. Its place was taken in law work by the ENGROSSING
hand, which Mores denominates as Base Secretary. Of this character,
the only fount in England appears to have been that cut by Cottrell
about 1760.[109] The RUNNING SECRETARY was another law hand, described
by Mores as the law Cursive of Queen Elizabeth’s reign. It was similar
to the French Cursive, of which Nicolas Granjon in 1556 cut the first
punches at Lyons. Granjon’s letter at first was called after its
author, but subsequently became known as LETTRE DE CIVILITÉ, on account
of its use, so Fournier informs us, in a work entitled _la Civilité
puerile et honnête_, to teach children how to write. Plantin possessed
a similar character in more than one size, which he made use of in
dedications and other prefatory matter. The English fount in Grover’s
foundry appears to have been the only one in this country.

[Illustration: 12. Lettre de Civilité, cut by Ameet Tavernier for
Plantin, _circa_ 1570. (From the matrices in the Enschedé foundry.)]

The SCRIPT, by which is meant the conventional copy-book writing hand,
as distinguished from the Italic on the one hand and the law hand on
the other, is another form of the Bâtarde, and is supposed to have
originated with Pierre Moreau of Paris, whose widow in 1648 published
a very curious _Virgil_, the first volume of which is printed in this
character, in four or five sizes. The Dutch founders copied it, and the
curious founts in Grover’s foundry were probably most of them of Dutch
origin.[110] About 1760 Cottrell and Jackson both cut improved founts
of this character. The Script, which the French have called LETTRE
undergone a good many changes, especially during the present century.
M. Didot in 1815 introduced a series of ligatures, or connectors, which
had the effect of making the letters in each word join continuously;
and at the same time cast his letters on an inclined body, so as to
fit closely together, and be self-supporting. His system, however,
involved a large number of combination-letters and ligatures, which
rendered it generally impracticable; and it was eventually replaced
by a square-bodied Script, contrived to unite all the advantages, and
obviate all the disadvantages, of his ingenious system.







Greek type first occurs in the _Cicero de Officiis_, printed at
Mentz in 1465, at the press of Fust and Schoeffer. The fount used is
exceedingly rude and imperfect, many of the letters being ordinary
Latin.[111] In the same year Sweynheim and Pannartz at Subiaco used a
good Greek letter for some of the quotations occurring in _Lactantius_;
but the supply being short, the larger quotations were left blank, to
be filled in by hand. The first book wholly printed in Greek was the
_Grammar of Lascaris_, by Paravisinus, in Milan, in 1476, in types
stated to be cut and cast by Demetrius of Crete. The fount (about
a Great Primer in body) is a curious one, and contains breathings,
accents and a few abbreviations. The headings to the chapters are
wholly in capitals, which are very bold.[112] It is to the glory
of Milan that not only was the first Greek book printed within its
walls, but also the first Greek classic and the first portion of the
Greek Scriptures. The former was the _Æsop_, printed, it is supposed,
in 1480, but without printer’s name. The resemblance, however, {58}
between the fount of this work and that of the _Lactantius_ is so
close that there seems much reason for crediting Paravisinus with the
performance. The Greek of the _Psalter_ of 1481 is very different, the
lower-case being larger, and remarkably bold and compact in appearance.
The capitals generally resemble the _Lactantius_ fount.

Jenson, at Venice, appears to have cut Greek type as early as
about 1470. In 1486 two Cretan printers produced respectively
a Greek _Psalter_, with accents and breathings, and Homer’s
_Batrachomyomachia_. It was, however, reserved to Florence to boast
of the first complete edition of _Homer_, which was printed in that
city in 1488. This work, one of the most glorious monuments of
the typographic art, appears in a beautiful Great Primer type, of
remarkable elegance and neatness, with few abbreviations. The printer
was Demetrius of Crete.

But it was at Venice that Greek printing was destined to reach its
greatest excellence in the fifteenth century, at the press of Aldus,
who in 1495 produced his famous _Aristotle_, in a beautiful letter
which eclipsed all its predecessors. His fount was about a Double Pica
in body, and much bolder and more imposing than any which had yet
appeared, as well as being better cast and justified. The splendid
Greek impressions of the elder Aldus are too well known to need further
notice here. Renouard mentions nine separate founts used at this press.

The fame of the Italian Greek presses early roused emulation in France.
Among the first printers of Paris, however, the Greek quotations and
words introduced in their works were scanty and indifferent. Gering
used but a very few letters, and Jodocus Badius, in 1505, excused the
poverty of his _Annotationes in Nov. Testamentum_, by pleading the
paucity of his types. The early works of the first Henri Estienne
were similarly defective. In 1507, however, Greek punches were cut
and matrices struck by Gilles de Gourmont, and the first wholly Greek
work was printed at his press in this year, being a Greek _Alphabet_,
with rules for pronunciation and reading. In the same year he also
printed the _Batrachomyomachia_. Greek printing, once started in Paris,
made rapid progress. Jodocus Badius, Vidouvé, Colinæus, and Christian
Wechel, all distinguished themselves. Geofroy Tory contributed largely
to the improvement in the form of the character. But it was not till
Robert Estienne, with the title of “Regius in Græcis Typographus,”[113]
commenced his career, that Greek printing reached its greatest
perfection in France. On the establishment of an Imprimerie Royale
by Francis I,[114] Claude Garamond, the first typographical artist
of his day, {59} was entrusted with the care of engraving punches
and preparing matrices for three founts of Greek, about an English,
Long Primer, and Double Pica in body, which henceforth became famous
throughout Europe as the “Characteres Regii.”[115] These characters,
modelled as to their capitals on the alphabet of Lascaris, and as
to their “lower-case” and abbreviations from the beautiful Greek
calligraphy of Angelus Vergetius of Candia, first appeared in the
_Eusebius_, printed, in 1544,[116] by Robert Estienne, to whom the
use of the types was, by virtue of his office, conceded, and who
employed them in the production of some of the most brilliant Greek
impressions Europe has ever seen.[117] During the seventeenth century
the Royal Greek punches and matrices lay for the most part idle; but
in 1691, Anisson, Director of the Imprimerie Royale, rescued them from
obscurity, and caused new punches to be cut and matrices struck, to
supply what were missing, by Grandjean, the famous Parisian founder.

In the Low Countries, as early as 1501, Thierry Martens, at Louvain,
had Greek types with which he printed occasional words. He produced
an edition of _Æsop_ in 1513, and in 1516 a _Grammar_ of Theodore
de Gaza’s, and a little book of _Hours_, in Greek. The latter is
considered an excellent piece of typography. Greek printing attained
to considerable celebrity in the Low Countries. The Greek fount used
in Plantin’s _Polyglot_, in 1569–72, is said to have been cut by the
famous French founder and engraver, Le Bé.

Spain claims a prominent place in the history of early Greek
printing in Europe, as it was at Alcala in that country that the
famous _Complutensian Polyglot_ of Cardinal Ximenes was printed in
1514–17,[118] including the entire text of the Bible in Greek. The
fount employed in the New Testament is very grand and imposing, and is
said to have been cut specially for the work on the models of Greek
manuscripts of the eleventh or twelfth century.

Before the completion of this great work, Germany had secured the
honour of producing the first entire _Greek Testament_ at the press
of Froben of Basle. Froben’s Greek is somewhat cramped and stiff.
Oporinus, who printed in the {60} same city in 1551, besides using a
fount identical with that of Froben, introduced a smaller and much
neater letter at the same time. Numerous printers produced Greek works
in Germany at this period, perhaps the most famous being Andrew Wechel,
who began at Paris with types inherited from his father, but in 1573
established himself at Frankfort, where he printed several very fine
works in a new and most elegant Greek, said to have been acquired from
the Estiennes, to whose letter it bears the closest resemblance.

The first appearance of Greek type in England is observed in De Worde’s
edition of _Whitintoni Grammatices_, printed in 1519, where a few words
are introduced cut in wood. Cast types were used at Cambridge in a book
entitled _Galenus de Temperamentis_, translated by Linacre, and printed
by Siberch in 1521. Siberch styles himself the first Greek printer in
England; but the quotations in the _Galenus_ are very sparse, and he
is not known to have printed any entire book in Greek. In 1524, Pynson
also used some Greek words and lines, without accents or breathings,
in Linacre’s _De emendatâ structurâ Latini sermonis_; but added an
apology for the imperfections of the characters, which he said were but
lately cast, and in a small quantity. The first printer who possessed
Greek types in any quantity was Reginald Wolfe, who held a royal patent
as printer in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, and printed, in 1543, _Two
Homilies of Chrysostom_, edited by Sir John Cheke, the first Greek
Lecturer at Cambridge. Eight years later, in the first volume of Dr.
Turner’s _Herbal_, printed at Mierdman’s press in London, the Greek
words were given in Black, and quotations in Italic. In Edinburgh, in
1563, and as late as 1579, the space for Greek words was left blank
in printing, to be filled in by hand. The Oxford University press,
re-established in 1585, was well supplied with Greek types, which were
used in the _Chrysostom_ of 1586, and the _Herodotus_ of 1591. The
beautiful Greek fount used in the Eton _Chrysostom_[119] in 1610–12—a
work which takes rank with the finest Greek impressions in Europe—is
supposed to have been obtained from abroad, probably from Paris or
Frankfort. Its similarity to the Greek of the Estiennes is remarkable.
Indeed, the “characteres regii” of France were at that time, and for
long afterwards, the envy and models for all Europe. The Eton Greek
types, of which probably the matrices were not in England, were
acquired by the Oxford University, to which body, in 1632, application
was made by Cambridge for the loan of a Greek fount to print a _Greek
Testament_, the sister University possessing no Greek types of her
own. A Greek press was established in London in 1637, under peculiar
circumstances, which are detailed in our account of the Oxford press.
There is every reason to suppose that of the handsome Greek letter
provided {61} for this press,[120] not only the types, but the
matrices were acquired. After this, Greek printing became general in
London and Oxford. The various typefounders all provided themselves
with a good variety of sizes, some of which were very small and neat.
There was a very fine Brevier Greek in Grover’s foundry in 1700, and a
Nonpareil in that of Andrews in 1706; but for minute Greek printing,
England could produce nothing to equal the Sedan _Greek Testament_,
printed by Jannon in 1628.

As was the case with the Roman letter, many of our printers at the
close of the seventeenth century preferred the Dutch Greeks, which
at that time were good, particularly those cut by the Wetsteins.
Thomas James, in 1710, brought over the matrices of four founts from
Vosken’s foundry at Amsterdam. In 1700, Cambridge University, still
badly off for Greek, made an offer for the purchase of a fount of the
King’s Greek at Paris; but withdrew on the French Academy insisting
as a condition that every work printed should bear the imprint,
“Characteribus Græcis e Typographeo Regio Parisiensi.” The large number
of ligatures and abbreviations in the Greek of that day made the
production of a fount a serious business. The Oxford Augustin Greek
comprised no fewer than 354 matrices, and the Great Primer as many as
456, and the Pica 508; Fournier, however, went beyond all these, and
showed a fount containing 776 different sorts! The impracticability of
such enormous founts brought about a gradual reduction of the Greek
typographical ligatures—a reform for which the Dutch founders, under
the guidance of Leusden, deserve the chief credit. Fournier, in 1764,
stated that for some years previously, in Holland, Greek printing had
been carried on with the simple letters of the alphabet. Wilson’s
beautiful Double Pica Greek,[121] used in the Glasgow _Homer_ of 1756,
was in its day the finest Greek fount our country had ever seen. A
new departure, however, was initiated by the production, in 1763, of
Baskerville’s Greek fount[122] for the Oxford _New Testament_. The
letter is neat, but stiff and cramped, and apparently formed on an
arbitrary estimate of conventional taste, and without reference to
any accepted model. The fount was praised, and provoked imitation.
Baskerville’s apprentice, Martin, produced a letter still less Greek
than his master’s, and the general tendency was countenanced by the
form of Bodoni’s types, which were so much admired in this country
at the close of the century. A reaction, however, had begun before
Bodoni’s time. The Glasgow Greek kept its place in Wilson’s specimens;
and Jackson, encouraged by the younger Bowyer’s remark, that the Greek
types in common use “were no more Greek {62} than they were English,”
cut a beautiful Pica about 1785 for his rising foundry. Early in the
nineteenth century, a new fashion of Greek, for which Porson was
sponsor and furnished the drawings, came into vogue, and has remained
the prevailing form to this day. It may be doubted if the Porsonian
letter would be recognised by an ancient Greek scribe as the character
of his native land; but at any rate it is neat, elegant, and legible,
and dispenses with all useless contractions and ligatures. In taking
leave of this subject, it would be an omission not to mention the most
beautiful little fount in which Pickering printed his _Homer_, in 1831.
Probably no finer masterpiece of minute Greek printing exists anywhere.


The first Hebrew types are generally supposed to have appeared in 1475,
in a work printed by Conrad Fyner, at Esslingen in Wirtemburg, entitled
_Tractatus contra perfidos Judæos_. In Pheibia, in Austrian Italy,
also in 1475, a Hebrew work in four folio volumes, entitled the _Arba
Turim of Rabbi Jacob ben Ascher_, is stated by De Rossi[123] to have
been printed; while in the same year, a few months earlier, at Reggio
in Italy, appeared Salamon Jarchi’s _Commentary on the Pentateuch_,
by Abraham ben Garton ben Isaac. The type of this last-named work
(which Schwab[124] considers without doubt to be the first Hebrew book
printed) is in the Rabbinical character, somewhat rudely cut, but neat.
Numerous other Hebrew works followed, earlier than 1488, at which date
the first entire Hebrew _Bible_ was printed at Soncino, by a family
of German Jews. This rare Bible is printed with points, and is neat
and regular in appearance. The volume itself is highly decorative, and
shows a considerable amount of typographical skill on the part of its
Jewish printers.

Hebrew printing did not spread very rapidly. De Rossi mentions several
works printed at Constantinople during the fifteenth century, as also
in the Italian towns to which the family of Soncino printers carried
the art. Aldus was possessed of some rude Hebrew characters; but it was
Bomberg, who established his Hebrew press in Venice in 1517, who raised
the fame of that already famous city by the excellence of his types
and workmanship. But as late as 1520, at Naples, in a treatise on the
Hebrew, Greek, and Latin letters, by De Falco, the Hebrew words, for
lack of types, were written in by hand.

In Western Europe, France was next to Italy in producing Hebrew type.
Mention is made of an _Alphabetum Hebraicum et Græcum_, printed by
Gilles de Gourmont in 1507; and in 1508 that able typographer, whose
distinction as {63} the first cutter of Greek type in France we have
already noticed, produced, under the conduct of his patron, Tissard,
a Hebrew _Grammar_, together with the _Oratio Dominica_, and other
passages in the sacred language. The types made use of were ill-formed
and imperfect. Although thus early initiated, Hebrew printing made
little or no progress for some years. Jodocus Badius showed a few
lines in 1511; and in 1516 Gourmont printed an _Alphabetum Hebraicum
et Græcum_. In 1519, Augustino Giustiniani, a native of Genoa, who
had already distinguished himself by superintending the production of
Porrus’ _Polyglot Psalter_ at that city in 1516, being invited to Paris
by the King, caused new punches and matrices of the Hebrew to be made
by Gourmont. The work took a year and a half to complete; when, in
1520, was published the _Grammar_ of the Rabbi Moses Kimhi, the first
wholly printed Hebrew work produced in Paris. From this time Hebrew
printing made steady progress in France. Most of the printers possessed
types, the Wechels and the Estiennes being the most distinguished in
their use of them.

In Spain the printers of the _Complutensian Polyglot_ made use of a
fine Hebrew fount in 1514–17.

In Germany, as early as 1501, in a book supposed to have been printed
at Erfurt, Hebrew letters occur, cut rudely on wood; and at Basle,
Strasburg, and Augsburg a similar primitive method was adopted, as it
was also in the case of the _Hebrew Grammar_ printed at Leipsic in
1520. In 1512, however, at Tübingen in Wirtemburg, the _Septem psalmi
pœnitentiales_ were printed in cast metal type. In 1534, at Basle,
the first _Hebrew Bible_ printed by a Gentile was produced at the
press of Bebel. Froben’s _Bible_, in the same town, in 1536, is in a
type inferior to that of Bomberg. The running titles are all in the
Rabbinical character. In 1587, Elias Hutter printed at Hamburg a Hebrew
_Bible_ in large type, in which the “radical” letters appear black in
the usual way, and the “serviles” are open, or in outline, while the
“quiescents” are in smaller solid letters placed above the line. This
Bible was reprinted in 1603, and is a typographical curiosity.

In the Low Countries, Hebrew words, probably cut in wood, occur in
the _Epistola apologetica Pauli de Middleburgo_, printed at Louvain
in 1488; and Gand[125] gives 1506 as the probable date of a _Hebrew
Dictionary, sine notâ_, but attributed to Martens. This, however,
appears doubtful, as in 1518 Martens first announced his intention
to print in Hebrew. His first-dated Hebrew work was a _Grammar_, in
1528; though Schwab considers that the Dictionary above referred to
properly belongs to the year 1520. Martens’ earliest founts were a
large Hebrew with vowel points, and a small, without. Hebrew printing
was also practised at {64} Leyden in 1520. The splendid type cut by
Le Bé, the Frenchman, for Plantin’s _Polyglot_, printed at Antwerp in
1569–72, placed the Netherlands in the front rank of Hebrew typography.
Amsterdam, during the seventeenth century, excelled all other cities in
its Hebrew printing. Abraham and Bonaventura Elzevir printed here in
Hebrew about 1630, and the Hebrew _Bibles_ of Janson in 1639, Athias in
1667, and Van der Hooght in 1705, are justly regarded as masterpieces
of Hebrew typography.

The first specimen of Hebrew printing in England occurs in Wakefield’s
_Oratio de laudibus et utilitate trium linguarum_, printed by De
Worde in 1524, where a few words appear, rudely cut on wood. In the
same work the author complained that he was compelled to omit a third
part, because the printer had no Hebrew types. Hebrew words cut in
wood are also used in Humfrey’s _Life of Bishop Jewell_, printed by
John Day in 1573; and Todd, in his _Life of Walton_, mentions a work
of Dr. Peter Baro on _Jonah_, printed at the same press in 1579, in
the preface to which occur several verses of Hebrew. As late as 1603
Dibdin points out that in a poem, published at Oxford, composed by
Dr. Thorne, Regius Professor of Hebrew at that University, a phrase
in Hebrew is added, with the remark, “Interserenda hoc in loco . . .
sed enim Typographo deerant characteres.” Todd, however, mentions a
work printed at Oxford in 1597, in which Hebrew type is used, while
a translation from _S. Chrysostom_, of John Willoughbie, printed by
Barnes in 1602, shows two distinct founts in use. The first English
book in which any quantity of Hebrew type was made use of was Dr.
Rhys’s _Cambro-brytannicæ Cymræcæve linguæ institutiones_, printed
by Thomas Orwin in 1592. Minsheu’s _Ductor in Linguas_, in 1617,
printed by John Browne, shows Hebrew which serves not only for its own
language, but also for the Syriac. And in 1621 John Bill used a newer
and better letter for printing Dr. Davies’s _Antiquæ linguæ Britannicæ
. . rudimenta_. The Hebrew fount made use of in Walton’s _Polyglot_
in 1657 was probably the first important fount cut and cast in this
country; and, as we shall have occasion to notice, was found fault with
by the critics of that great undertaking. Oxford received a great and
small Hebrew[126] among the matrices presented to her by Dr. Fell; and
both there and in London several Hebrew works were printed at the close
of the seventeenth century, although none of striking importance. It
is significant of the superior reputation of the Oxford Hebrew, that
the Hebrew and Chaldæan versions in the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700 were
among the versions printed for the London publisher of that work in the
University types. Thomas James, although he visited Amsterdam in 1710,
at that time the centre of the best {65} Hebrew printing in Europe,
failed to secure any matrices; and most of those which subsequently
were added to his foundry appear to have been cut by English founders.
Among them were four founts of Rabbinical Hebrew,[127] for which
character there existed no matrices in England in Walton’s time, as he
was compelled to cut the alphabet shown in his Prolegomena in wood.
Mores counted as many as twenty-three different founts in James’s
foundry in his day, eight of which were with points, the remainder
without. For those without points it was early the practice to cast
points on a minute body, to be worked in a separate line below the
letter. Caslon cut several good founts of Hebrew (one of which was of
the open or outline description first introduced by Hutter); and during
the eighteenth century the character became a necessary part of the
stock of every founder. It would be difficult, however, to point to
any striking achievement in Hebrew typography earlier than Bagster’s
_Polyglot_ in 1817–21, in which the Hebrew text is printed in a very
small and beautiful type cut by Vincent Figgins, which in its day had
the reputation of being the smallest Hebrew with points in England, and
of equalling in size and exceeding in beauty even the elegant letter of
Jansson of Amsterdam, two centuries before.


The first book printed in Arabic types is supposed to be a _Diurnale
græcorum Arabum_, printed at Fano in Italy, in 1514. Two years later,
Porrus’ _Polyglot Psalter_, comprising the Arabic version, was printed
at Genoa; and two years later still, a _Koran_ in Arabic is said to
have been printed at Venice. Thus, says De Rossi, while no Arabic types
were to be found in any other part of Europe, three towns of Italy
possessed, and were making use of them at the same moment.

In 1505 an _Arabic Vocabulary_ at Granada had the words printed in
Gothic letter with the Arabic points placed over them; and in other
presses where there were no Arabic types, the language was expressed in
Hebrew letters or cut in wood. De Guignes and others mention a fount
of Arabic used by Gromors in Paris, in 1539–40, to print Postel’s
_Grammar_, and add that the fount subsequently disappeared and was
lost; and as late as 1596, in a book printed at Paris, the Arabic words
had to be rendered in Hebrew. In 1591 the Vatican press had a fine
fount of Arabic, a specimen of which is given by Angelo Roccha in his
_Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana_, printed at that press. The Medicean
and Borromean presses also had founts; and at Leyden, Raphlengius and
Erpenius {66} were both celebrated for their Arabic letter. In 1636
the foundry of the Propaganda showed specimens of Arabic, previous to
which date Savary de Brèves had had cut in Constantinople, and finished
by Le Bé of Paris, the famous Arabic founts which were used to print
the _Psalter_ at Rome in 1614, and subsequently were purchased by Vitré
for the French king,[128] and used in Le Jay’s magnificent _Paris
Polyglot_ of 1645. The punches and matrices of these founts still
exist. Cotton mentions an Arabic press in Upsala in 1640.

In England it was not till early in the seventeenth century that Arabic
printing began to be practised. In Wakefield’s _Oratio de laudibus . .
trium linguarum, Arabicæ, Chaldaicæ et Hebraicæ_, printed by De Worde
in 1524, a few rude Arabic letters are introduced, cut in wood. In
Minsheu’s _Ductor in Linguas_, 1617, the Arabic words are printed in
Italic characters. Laud’s gift of Oriental MSS. to Oxford in 1635, and
the appointment of an Arabic lecturer, was the first real incentive
to the cultivation of the language by English scholars. Previous to
this, it is stated that the Raphlengius Arabic press at Leyden had been
purchased by the English Orientalist, William Bedwell; but if brought
to this country, it does not appear that it was immediately made use
of.[129] The Arabic words in Thomas Greave’s oration, _De Linguæ
Arabicæ Utilitate_, printed at Oxford in 1639, were written in by hand;
and the same author, when publishing his _Elementa Linguæ Persicæ_ at
the press of James Flesher at London, in 1649, explained in his preface
that his work had been ready for publication nine years before, but
having no types with which to print it, it had been delayed. A year
earlier, in 1648, Miles Flesher, predecessor to James and one of the
Star Chamber printers, had published in the same type, and at the same
press, a work entitled _De Siglis Arabum et Persarum Astronomis_. James
Flesher was the printer who printed in his own types the original
specimen-page of the London _Polyglot_ in 1652. His Arabic, however,
is a smaller character than that subsequently made use of by Roycroft
for this grand work. Dr. Fell’s gift of matrices to Oxford in 1667
included a fount of Arabic,[130] which appeared in the specimen of the
foundry, and was used also in the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700. Prior to
this, however, Pocock’s _Carmen Tograi_ was printed at Oxford by Hall
in 1661, “Typis Arabicis Academicis,” in a letter differing both from
Flesher’s {67} and Dr. Fell’s. In 1721, William Caslon cut for the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge the fount of Arabic for the
_Psalter_ of 1725, and the _Testament_ of 1727. This fount,[131] with
those of Oxford and the _Polyglot_, shared among them nearly all the
Arabic printing in England for about a century later, when new faces
began to be cut or imported. The _Polyglot_ Arabics passed through
Grover’s foundry into that of Thomas James, at the sale of which, in
1782, they were bought in an imperfect state by Dr. Edmund Fry for
the Type Street foundry. Mores mentions three other Arabic founts cut
by English founders, but includes them among the lost matrices in his


Syriac type, probably cut in wood, first appeared in Postel’s
_Linguarum xii Alphabeta_, printed in Paris in 1538; but the characters
are so rude in form and execution as to be scarcely legible. In 1555,
however, Postel assisted in cutting the punches for the famous Syriac
Peshito _New Testament_, printed at Vienna, in two vols. 4to, the first
portion of the Scriptures, and apparently the first book printed in
that language. In 1569–72 Plantin at Antwerp included the Syriac New
Testament in his _Polyglot_, and reissued it in separate form in 1574.
The Vatican press had a good fount in 1591, which appears in Roccha’s
_Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana_. Mores mentions a _Nomenclature_
by Ferrarius at Rome in 1622 with Syriac type. In 1636 the press
of the Propaganda issued a specimen of the Estranghelo and Syriac
alphabets, and in the same year Kircher’s _Prodromus Coptus_, published
at the same press, contained passages in both these characters, and
in Heraclean. A Syriac _Testament_ was printed at Cothon, in Upper
Saxony, in 1621, and at Hamburg in 1663; and later, Gutbier printed
the same work in several editions. In France, after the disappearance
of Postel’s types, there was no Syriac printing for nearly a century.
Henri Estienne printed his Syriac _New Testament_ in 1539, in Hebrew
characters; and in Cajetan’s _Paradigmata de iv lingis_, which appeared
in 1596, the Syriac character was cut on wood, and longer passages
expressed in Hebrew type. In 1614 Savary de Brèves brought Syriac
matrices along with those of other Oriental characters to Paris, and
these were made use of by Vitré, in 1625, to print a _Syriac and Latin
Psalter_, and appeared subsequently in the great _Polyglot_ of Le Jay.

Syriac did not make its appearance in England till the middle of
the seventeenth century. The language was usually expressed in the
earlier works in Hebrew characters. A letter of Bishop Usher’s, in
1637, mentions a project to {68} purchase Syriac type abroad, and
negotiations appear to have been made both in Paris (where the Bishop’s
correspondent informed him there were at that time three or four
founts) and at Geneva, with a view to procuring the characters.[132]
But it was not till the prospectus and preliminary specimen of Walton’s
_Polyglot_ were issued in 1652 that we find Syriac type in use in this
country. The _Polyglot_ contains the entire Bible in Syriac. In 1661
there was a fount at Oxford, which appears in Pocock’s _Carmen Tograi_,
and differs from the fount subsequently presented by Dr. Fell,[133]
which was used in the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700, and other Oriental
publications of the University. The _Polyglot_ fount[134] found its
way to Caslon’s foundry, who added two new founts of his own cutting.
In 1778 Mores noted six founts altogether in the country. A fresh
interest was taken in Syriac printing by the exertions of Dr. Claudius
Buchanan, who, in 1815, had the _Gospels and Acts_ printed in types cut
and cast under his supervision by Vincent Figgins. After his death,
his work fell into the hands of Dr. Lee to complete, who, objecting to
the omission of the vowel points, printed the entire _New Testament_
in 1816. In 1825 Dr. Fry produced the beautiful Nonpareil Syriac
for _Bagster’s Polyglot_, and in 1829 Mr. Watts cast the fount of
Estranghelo for the edition of the _Bible_ published that year, which
at the time was the only Syriac Bible in Nestorian characters printed
in this country.


The press of the Vatican at Rome possessed a good fount of this
character in 1591, when Angelo Roccha showed a specimen in his
_Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana_. Previous to this a _Psalter_ is
said to have been printed at Rome in 1565, and Rowe Mores mentions
doubtfully a _Liturgy_ printed at Cracow in 1549. In 1662 the Armenian
Bishops applied to France for assistance in printing an Armenian Bible,
but being refused, although Armenian printing had been practised in
Paris in 1633, went to Rome, where, as early as 1636, the press of
the Propaganda had published a specimen of its Armenian matrices.
The Patriarch, after fifteen months’ residence in Rome, removed to
Amsterdam, where he established an Armenian press, and printed the
_Bible_ in 1666, followed, in 1668, by a separate edition of the _New
Testament_. In 1669 the press was set up at Marseilles, where it
continued for a time, and was ultimately removed to Constantinople.

In England the first Armenian types were those presented by Dr. Fell
to {69} Oxford in 1667. In the Prolegomena of Walton’s _Polyglot_, the
alphabet there given had been cut in wood. In 1736 Caslon cut a neat
Armenian[135] for Whiston’s edition of _Moses Chorenensis_, and these
two were the only founts in England before 1820.


The earliest type of this language appeared in Potken’s _Psalter and
Song of Solomon_, printed at Rome in 1513. The work was reprinted at
Cologne in 1518, in Potken’s polyglot _Psalter_. In 1548 the _New
Testament_ was printed at Rome by some Abyssinian priests. The press
of the Propaganda issued a specimen of its fount in 1631, and again
in Kircher’s _Prodromus Coptus_ in 1636. Erpenius at Leyden had an
Ethiopic fount, which in 1626 was acquired by the Elzevirs. Usher
attempted to procure the fount for this country, but his attempt
failing, punches were cut, and matrices prepared by the London founders
for the _London Polyglot_, which showed the Psalms, Canticles, and
New Testament in the Ethiopic version. Various portions of Scripture
were printed at Leyden and Frankfort about the same time, of which the
most important work was the _Psalter_, etc., of Ludolfus, printed at
the latter place in 1701, in a letter bolder and larger than either
the Vatican or London fount. The Oxford press possessed a fount of
Ethiopic[136] prior to 1693, which appears, with the other Oxford
Orientals, in the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700 and 1713—the Amharic being
in the same character. Chamberlayne’s _Oratio Dominica_, printed at
Amsterdam in 1715, shows these versions in copperplate. Mores mentions
a second English fount in his list of the matrices of the “Anonymous”
foundry, besides the fount cut by Caslon[137] for his foundry. There
were thus four founts in England in 1778. The Polyglot fount[138] and
that of the anonymous founder came into the possession of James, and at
the sale of his matrices in 1782, were acquired by Dr. Fry. The reprint
of Ludolfus’ _Psalter_ by the Bible Society in 1815 was in the latter
type. But the Ethiopic _Gospels_ printed by the same society in 1826
were in a fount of types cast from the matrices presented by Ludolfus
to the Frankfort Library in 1700. No new fount of Ethiopic in England
had been added to the four already named, when Hansard wrote in 1825.


Of this character the press of the Propaganda possessed a fount, of
which a specimen was issued in 1636, in which year also Kircher’s
_Prodromus Coptus_ {70} appeared at the same press. No fount, however,
appeared in England till 1667—the alphabets shown in the Introduction
and Prolegomena to the London _Polyglot_ in 1655 and 1657 being cut on
wood. In 1667 Dr. Fell presented Coptic matrices[139] to Oxford, and
it was from these that the types were cast for David Wilkins’ edition
of the _New Testament_, printed in 1716. In 1731 the same scholar
published an edition of the _Pentateuch_, this time at the press of
Bowyer, in types specially cut by William Caslon.[140] Mores further
mentions a Coptic fount cut by Voskens of Amsterdam; and abroad,
besides the fount at Rome, there was one (or more) at Paris. A specimen
is shown in Fournier; and in 1808, in Quatremère’s work on the Language
and Literature of Europe, considerable portions of Scripture in Coptic
were included. In our own country the Oxford and Caslon founts were the
only two in 1778, when Mores wrote, nor had the number been increased
when Hansard compiled his list of foreign founts in 1825.


Samaritan type appears to have followed closely on the purchase of
the celebrated MS. of the Samaritan Pentateuch, which was deposited
in the Oratory at Paris in 1623. The press of the Propaganda had a
fount in 1636, and the Paris Polyglot, completed in 1645, contained
the entire _Pentateuch_ in type of which the punches and matrices had
been specially prepared under Le Jay’s direction. The fount used in the
London _Polyglot_ in 1657 is admitted to be an English production,[141]
and was probably cut under the supervision of Usher, who between 1620
and 1630 was most active in procuring Samaritan MSS. for this country.
Samaritan type was used in Scaliger’s _De emendatione temporum_,
printed at Geneva in 1629; also in Leusden’s _Schola Syriaca_, at
Utrecht, in 1672; besides which, Mores mentions a fount neatly cut by
Voskens of Amsterdam. Another fount was included in Dr. Fell’s gift
to Oxford in 1667, and this appears in the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700.
The Polyglot Samaritan passed into Grover’s hands, thence to James,
at whose sale it was bought, together with another fount of the same
character, by Dr. Fry. The Leusdenian fount belonging to Andrews
also came to James’s foundry, but was there lost. Caslon had a fount
cut by Dummers,[142] which, with those of James and Oxford, were the
only founts in the country in 1778.[143] In Hansard’s list of learned
founts in 1825, these four founts were still the only Samaritans in the
country. {71}


Types in this character existed at an early date, a _Psalter_ having
been printed at Cracow in 1491, and reprinted at Montenegro in 1495.
In 1512 the _Gospels_ were printed at Ugrovallachia, and again in
1552 at Belgrade, and in 1562 at Montenegro. There was, in 1553, a
Sclavonic press established by the Czar Ivan Vasilievitch at Moscow,
whence, in 1564, appeared the _Acts and Epistles_, a volume which has
the distinction of being the first book printed in Russia. The type and
material for this press are said to have been brought from Copenhagen.
The first Russian printers were persecuted, but succeeded in producing
several other works in Sclavonic type. In 1581 the first _Bible_ in
that language was printed at Ostrog, and after that printing became
more general. The second Moscow press, established in 1644, was famous
for its excellent typography; the second edition of the _Bible_, in
1663, is a splendid performance. Sclavonic printing appears to have
been but little practised out of Russia, yet we find matrices with
Voskens of Amsterdam about 1690; from which, probably, the improved
types introduced into the Moscow press in 1707 were cast.

The only Sclavonic fount in England was that given by Dr. Fell to
Oxford, and this, Mores states, was replaced in 1695 by a fount of
the more modern Russian character, purchased probably at Amsterdam.
The _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700 gives a specimen of this fount, but
renders the Hieronymian version in copperplate. Chamberlayne’s _Oratio
Dominica_ at Amsterdam in 1715 does the same; but the Cyrillian type
differs from that of Oxford. The press of the Propaganda showed founts
both of Cyrillian and Hieronymian in 1753, and founts occur in nearly
all the Polyglot specimens of the chief European foundries.

The MODERN SCLAVONIC, better known to us as RUSSIAN, is said to have
appeared first in portions of the _Old Testament_, printed at Prague in
1517–19. Ten years later there was Russian type in Venice. A Russian
press was established at Stockholm in 1625, by order of Gustavus
Adolphus, and in 1696 there were matrices in Amsterdam, from which came
the types used in Ludolph’s _Grammatica Russica_, printed at Oxford in
that year, and whence also, it is said, the types were procured which
furnished the first St. Petersburg press, established in 1711 by Peter
the Great. At Amsterdam, also, a second attempt to translate and print
the _Bible_ into Russian, begun about 1698, was frustrated by the loss
of the MSS. and library of Ernest Gluck, the editor and translator,
at the siege of Marienburg, in 1702. The presses at St. Petersburg
increased, and it is probable that on the establishment of the press in
connection with the Academy of Sciences, in 1727, Russian types were
cast in that city. Breitkopf of Leipsic {72} had matrices prior to
1787; Fournier, at Paris, in 1766, showed a specimen of a fount in his
foundry; Marcel, in his _Oratio Dominica_, 1805, showed another; and
Bodoni of Parma, in his _Manuale Tipografico_, 1818, had no less than
twenty-one sizes.

The Emperor Alexander, in 1813, promoted the publication of a Bible
by the Russian Bible Society, which resulted in the printing of the
_Gospels_ in 1819, and of the entire _New Testament_ in 1823.

In England, Mores notes that in 1778 there was no Russian type in
the country, but that Cottrell was at that time engaged in preparing
a fount. It does not appear that this project was carried out, and
the earliest Russian we had was cut by Dr. Fry from alphabets in the
_Vocabularia_, collected and published for the Empress of Russia in
1786–9. This fount appeared in the _Pantographia_ in 1799. About 1820
Thorowgood procured matrices in two sizes from Breitkopf, and these
three founts were the only ones enumerated by Hansard in 1825.


The fount of this character cut by William Caslon[144] about 1733 for
Mr. Swinton of Oxford was apparently the first produced. Fournier,
in 1766, showed an alphabet engraved in metal or wood. In 1771 the
Propaganda published a specimen of their fount, and Bodoni of Parma, in
1806, exhibited a third in his _Oratio Dominica_. The character is one
rarely used, and prior to 1820 it is doubtful whether there were more
than the three founts above mentioned in existence.


Types of this character were first used at Stockholm in a Runic and
Swedish _Alphabetarium_, printed in 1611. The fount, which was cast at
the expense of the king, was afterwards acquired by the University.
About the same time Runic type was used at Upsala and at Copenhagen.
Voskens, at Amsterdam, had matrices about the end of the century,
and it was from Holland that Junius is supposed to have procured the
matrices which in 1677 he presented to Oxford. This fount appears in
the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700, and in Hickes’ _Thesaurus_, 1703–5.
Mores mentions a second fount, incomplete, in James’s foundry, which,
however, was lost; so that the Oxford fount remained the only one in
the country. Fournier and Fry show the alphabet engraved. {73}


Matrices of this language were presented to Oxford by Junius in 1677.
There appear to have been other matrices in Holland, as the neat Gothic
type used in Chamberlayne’s _Oratio Dominica_ at Amsterdam in 1715
differs from the Oxford fount which had appeared in the edition of
1700, as well as in Hickes’ _Thesaurus_. Mores speaks of another fount
in James’s foundry, whither it had come from the “Anonymous” foundry.
But the matrices were lost. Caslon, however, cut a fount,[145] which
appeared in his first specimen in 1734. This and the Oxford fount were
the only two in England in 1820.


Founts of these characters were also included in Junius’ gift to
Oxford in 1677, and were probably specially prepared in Holland. The
first-named is shown in the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700, and in Hickes’
_Thesaurus_. Printing had been practised in Iceland since 1531, when a
_Breviary_ was printed at Hoolum, in types rudely cut, it is alleged,
in wood. In 1574, however, metal types were provided, and several
works were produced. After a period of decline, printing was revived
in 1773; and in 1810 Sir George McKenzie reported that the Hoolum
press possessed eight founts of type, of which two were Roman, and the
remainder of the common Icelandic character, which, like the Danish and
Swedish, bears a close resemblance to the German.


The first type for this language was cut by John Day in 1567, under
the direction of Archbishop Parker, and appeared in _Ælfric’s
Paschal Homily_ in that year, and in the _Ælfredi Res Gestæ of Asser
Menevensis_, published in 1574. Parker, in his preface to the latter
work, makes mention of Day as the first who had cut Saxon characters.
This interesting fount[146] is rather less than a Great Primer in body,
and in general appearance is handsomer than many of its successors.
Day used the type in several other works, and added another fount on
Pica body. Saxon type was used by Browne in 1617, in Minsheu’s _Ductor
in Linguas_; and Haviland, who printed the second edition of that work
in 1626, had in 1623 already made use of the character in Lisle’s
edition of _Ælfric’s Homily_. Another fount was used by Badger in 1640
for Spelman’s _Saxon Psalter_, {74} so that, as Mores points out, at
that date there were already four founts in the country. Hodgkinson,
one of the Star Chamber printers, had a Pica Saxon, which was used
in _Dugdale’s Monasticon_, 1655; and Mores mentions two founts, a
Great Primer and a Pica, in use at Cambridge in 1644, in Wheelock’s
edition of _Bede_. In 1654 Francis Junius had a fount of Saxon “cut,
matriculated, and cast,” at Amsterdam, which, after printing _Cædmon’s
Paraphrase of Genesis_ in 1655, and some other works in that town, he
brought over to England, and in 1677 presented to the University of
Oxford. As early as 1659 the University had possessed a Saxon fount,
and a second had been included among the purchases made, probably,
about the year 1672. Junius’ fount was used in Hickes’ _Thesaurus_,
1705, and his Saxon _Grammar_ in 1711, but was not employed by the
printer of the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1700, where a different fount
appears—the same, apparently, which in 1709 Bowyer used to print
Miss Elstob’s _Homily on the Birthday of St. Gregory_. The Amsterdam
printers of the _Oratio Dominica_ of 1715 used a handsome fount of
their own. The great interest taken in the study of the Northern
languages at this period in England produced many Saxon works, and
some of our scholars devoted themselves to the study of the most
beautiful of the old manuscripts, with a view to the improvement of the
character in print. But the failure of the typefounder Robert Andrews
to do justice to Humphrey Wanley’s drawings, in cutting the punches
for Bowyer’s new fount in 1715,[147] apparently discouraged further
endeavours. Miss Elstob’s _Anglo-Saxon Grammar_ was printed in that
year in the new type, the matrices of which were subsequently presented
to Oxford, where they still remain.

Voskens, the Dutch founder, had Anglo-Saxon matrices at the beginning
of the eighteenth century, but, except in England and Holland, the
character was not used. Caslon and most of his successors cut Saxon
founts. Mores noted eleven different founts existing in England in
1778. This number was afterwards increased by numerous new founts cut
by Fry, Figgins, and Wilson; and Hansard enumerated twenty-three in

The Anglo-Norman Saxon character in which the _Domesday Book_ was
written, was twice imitated in type during the eighteenth century,
once by Cottrell, whose attempt was not wholly successful, and again
by Joseph Jackson, under the supervision of Abraham Farley, in 1783.
Jackson’s types were used in the facsimile printed by Nichols in that
year, and the matrices, it is stated, were deposited with the British
Museum. {75}


The first fount of this character was that presented by Queen Elizabeth
to O’Kearney in 1571, and used to print the _Catechism_, which appeared
in that year in Dublin, at the press of Franckton. The fount, which is
on English body, is only partially Irish, many of the letters being
ordinary Roman or Italic. Its general appearance is, however, neat. It
was used in several works during the early years of the seventeenth
century, notably in the Daniel’s _New Testament_, printed by Franckton
in 1602, and the _Common Prayer_, issued from the same press in 1608.
This interesting fount was stated by some to have been secured by the
Jesuits, and transferred by them to one of their seminaries abroad;
but there appears to be no foundation for such a statement. As late as
1652 it was used in Godfrey Daniels’ _Christian Doctrine_, printed in
Dublin; and still later occasional words mark its gradual extinction.
The Irish seminaries abroad, meanwhile, were better supplied with Irish
type than our countrymen. At Antwerp, in 1611, O’Hussey’s _Catechism_
was printed in an Irish fount, which subsequently reappeared in 1616 at
Louvain, and was afterwards used to print a number of works published
by the Irish College in that place. In 1645 a second and larger Irish
fount appeared at Louvain, in Colgan’s _Acta Sanctorum Hiberniæ_. In
1676 the press of the Propaganda at Rome published Molloy’s _Lucerna
Fidelium_ in a handsome and bold character, Great Primer in body,
which was used again in the following year in Molloy’s _Grammar_, and
in 1707 for the _Catechism_ of O’Hussey. Previous to this, however,
Irish printing had revived in England, and Moxon, in 1680, had cut
the curious fount of Small Pica Irish,[148] used in Boyle’s _New
Testament_, printed by Robert Everingham in 1681, followed by Bedell’s
_Old Testament_ in 1685, and in several further publications from
the same press. Until the year 1800 this fount was the only Irish in
this country. Abroad, a new fount appeared at Paris in 1732, where
it was used in McCuirtin’s _Dictionary_, and in 1742 in Donlevey’s
_Catechism_, printed by Jas. Guerin. The matrices for this fount appear
to have been held, if not prepared, by Fournier, as in the _Manuale
Typographique_ (ii, p. 196), issued by him in 1766, a specimen of it
appears among the foreign founts of his foundry. The fate of this fount
is a matter of uncertainty. After 1742 a general cessation of Irish
typography at home and abroad took place; and the few Irish works which
appeared between that date and 1800 were for the most part in Roman
type (like O’Brien’s _Dictionary_, Paris, 1768), or with the Irish
{76} characters in copperplate (like Vallancey’s _Grammar_). In 1804,
however, a revival took place, beginning in Paris, where Marcel, being
at that time in possession of several of the founts belonging to the
press of the Propaganda, which Napoleon had impounded for the use of
the press of the Republic, repaired and re-cast the Irish founts of
the _Lucerna Fidelium_, and issued a short sketch of the character and
language, illustrated with readings in this type. In his beautiful
_Oratio Dominica_, printed in 1805 in presence of Napoleon, the same
type is used. “Strikes” of these founts were retained in Paris, and
the letter has reappeared in specimens issued in 1819 and 1840. The
matrices probably remain part of the stock of the Imprimerie Nationale
to this day. The revival in our kingdom was more rapid. Moxon’s fount,
which had passed through the hands of Robert Andrews, came in 1733
into the foundry of Thomas James, at the sale of which, in 1782, the
punches and matrices were purchased in a somewhat defective condition
by Dr. Fry. A specimen was shown in Dr. Fry’s specimen of 1794, and in
his _Pantographia_, 1799, after which the fount occasionally reappeared
until 1820, when it was last seen in O’Reilly’s _Catalogue of Irish
Writers_, printed in Dublin in that year. By this time, however, there
were some six new founts in the country. _Neilson’s Grammar_, printed
at Dublin in 1808, appeared in a type apparently privately cut, as
it is not found in the specimens of any of the British founders.
Vincent Figgins cut an elegant fount after the copperplate models
in _Vallancey’s Grammar_; Dr. Fry, under the inspection of Thaddeus
Conellan, cut a Long Primer, Small Pica, and Pica, and Watts shortly
afterwards added three others.


The earliest specimen of music-type occurs in Higden’s _Polychronicon_,
printed by De Worde at Westminster in 1495. The square notes appear to
have been formed of ordinary quadrats, and the staff-lines of metal
rules imperfectly joined. In Caxton’s edition of the same work in 1482
the space had been left blank, to be filled up by the illuminator or
scribe. In other countries music was occasionally shown, but not in
type. The plain chant in the _Mentz Psalter_ of 1490, printed in two
colours, was probably cut on wood. Hans Froschauer of Augsburg printed
music from wooden blocks in 1473, and the notes in Burtius’ _Opusculum
Musices_, printed at Bologna in 1487, appear to have been produced in
the same manner[149]; while at Lyons, the _Missal_ printed by Matthias
Hus in 1485 had the staff only printed, the notes being intended to
be filled in by hand, {77} either with a pen or by means of an inked
stamp or punch. About 1500 a musical press was established at Venice
by Ottavio Petrucci, at which were produced a series of _Mass-books_.
In 1513 he removed to Fossombrone, and obtained a patent from Leo X
for his invention of types for the sole printing of figurative song
(_cantus figuratus_). Petrucci’s notes were lozenge-shaped, and each
was cast complete, with its correspondent proportion of staff-lines.
Before 1550 several European presses followed Petrucci’s example,
and music-type, among other places, was used at Augsburg in 1506 and
1511, Parma in 1526, Lyons in 1532, and Nuremburg in 1549. In 1525
Pierre Hautin cut punches of lozenge-shaped music at Paris. Round
notes were used at Avignon in 1532, and Granjon cut this kind at Paris
about 1559. In 1552, Adrian Leroy, musician to Henri II of France, and
Robert Ballard were appointed King’s printers for music. Their types
are said to have been engraved by Le Bé. In England, after its first
use, music-printing did not become general till 1550, when Grafton
printed Marbecke’s _Book of Common Prayer_, “noted” in movable type;
the four staff lines being printed in red, and the notes in black.
There are only four different sorts of notes used,—three square and
one lozenge. The appearance of the music is very bold and distinct.
Day, Vautrollier, and East, all printed with music-type, which was
of the kind generally used during the sixteenth century in Italy,
Germany and France. Vautrollier was the printer for Tallis and Bird,
who obtained a patent from Elizabeth for the sole printing of music.
After the expiration of their patent, and another granted to Morley
in 1598, music-printing was exercised (as Sir John Hawkins states) by
every printer who chose it. A larger variety of founts appeared, and
in some works two or more founts of music appear mixed in the same
work. About 1660 the detached notes hitherto used began to give place
to the “new tyed note,” by which the heads of sets of quavers could
be joined. But at the close of the seventeenth century music-printing
from type became less common, on account of the introduction of
stamping and engraving plates for the purpose. There was music-type in
Aberdeen in 1666 at the press of Forbes. Oxford University possessed
music matrices, some apparently presented by Dr. Fell about 1667, and
others cut by Walpergen. The punches and matrices of the latter are
still preserved,[150] and are very curious; many of the matrices being
without sides in the copper, and justified so that the mould shall
supply the side, and the lines thus be cast so as to join continuously
in the composition. Grover’s foundry also had a Great Primer music,
and Andrews had matrices of several sizes of the square-headed or
plain chant character. Caslon possessed a set {78} of round-headed
matrices in two sizes, which came to him from Mitchell’s foundry. In
1764 Breitkopf of Leipsic succeeded in casting a music-type, in which
the notes were composed of several pieces, which were “built up” by
the compositor. Fleischman cut an improved music on the same principle
for the Enschedés at Haarlem. Rosart of Brussels, and Fournier of
Paris, succeeded in reducing the number of pieces of a fount to three
hundred and one hundred, respectively. Henry Fought, in our own country
in 1767, invented sectional types, which divided so as to admit the
staff lines. The principal improvements after Fought’s time aimed at
overcoming the hiatus caused by the joining of the lines. Attempts
were made to cast the notes separately from the lines, or to adopt a
logographic system of casting several notes in one piece. After the
beginning of the present century the production of music-type was left
in the hands of specialists, amongst whom Mr. Hughes, as late as 1841,
had the reputation of possessing the best founts in the trade. Of the
plain chant and psalm music, both Dr. Fry and Hughes had matrices in
several sizes.


Printing for the blind was first introduced in 1784, by Valentin Haüy,
the founder of the Asylum for Blind Children in Paris. He made use of a
large script character, from which impressions were taken on a prepared
paper, the impressions so deeply sunk as to leave their marks in strong
relief, and legible to the touch. Haüy’s pupils not only read in this
way, but executed their own typography, and in 1786 printed an _Essai_
giving an account of their institution and labours, as a specimen of
their press.[151]

The first School for the Blind in England was opened in Liverpool
in 1791, but printing in raised characters was not successfully
accomplished till 1827, when Mr. Gall, of the Edinburgh Asylum, printed
the Gospel of St. John from angular types. Mr. Alston, the Treasurer of
the Glasgow Asylum, introduced the ordinary Roman capitals in relief,
and this system was subsequently improved upon by the addition of the
“lower-case” letters by Dr. Fry, the type-founder, whose specimen
gained the prize of the Edinburgh Society of Arts in 1837.

A considerable number of rival systems have competed in this country
for adoption, greatly to the prejudice of the cause of education among
the blind. The most important of these we here briefly summarize: {79}

1. LUCAS SYSTEM. The letters were represented by curves and lines,
having no connection with the form of the characters they denoted. In
this type the Scriptures occupied about 36 volumes.

2. FRERE’S SYSTEM. Wholly phonetic, the sounds being represented by
circles, angles, and lines. These symbols were cut in copper wire, and
soldered upon sheets of tin. From this form a stereotype-plate was

3. MOON’S SYSTEM. Based upon the two preceding, but professed to be
alphabetic. Nearly each symbol represents the form of a portion of the
Roman letter it denotes. The plates were prepared by Frere’s method.

4. BRAILLE’S SYSTEM. A series of dots in various combinations, designed
as a universal system. This system was introduced in the “Institution
pour les jeunes aveugles” in Paris, in place of the alphabetical system
which had prevailed since Haüy’s time.

5. CARTON’S SYSTEM. Also arbitrary, though following somewhat the form
of the lower-case alphabet.

6. ALSTON’S SYSTEM. This great improvement consisted in the rejection
of all arbitrary symbols, and the adoption of the plain Roman alphabet
of capitals. In addition to the simplicity both to the teacher and
the scholar, its adaptability to typography was obvious. Instead of
soldering the wire outlines on to tin, the letters were now cut and
cast by the ordinary process of typefounding.

The subsequent alphabetical systems have all been modifications of or
attempted improvements on that of Alston, as perfected by Dr. Fry,
and there seems every probability that this system will eventually
become the recognised method of printing for the blind in all European


[Illustration: 46. Dutch Initial Letters used in Boyle’s Irish
_Testament_, 1681. From the original matrices in the Enschedé foundry,

[Illustration: 13. Blooming Initials, at the Oxford University Press.
_Circa_ 1700.]

In the earliest printed books, with the exception of the _Mentz
Psalter_, where engraved letters are undoubtedly used, a blank space
was left for initial letters, which were inserted by hand. A small
index-letter, indicating what the letter was to be, was generally
printed or written in the space by the printer before handing the
work over to the illuminator. The trouble and cost involved by this
system early suggested the use of wood-cut initials, and Erhard
Ratdolt of Venice, about 1475, is generally supposed to have been the
first printer to introduce the “Literæ florentes,” which eventually
superseded the hand-painted initials. These ornamental initials, called
also _lettres tourneures_, or sometimes _typi tornatissimi_, were
not generally adopted till the close of the century, by which time,
however, they had found their way to England, where, in 1484, Caxton
had introduced one or two kinds. The more elaborate initials, such as
{80} that used in the _Mentz Psalter_, and the later beautiful letters
used by Aldus at Venice, by Schoeffer at Mentz in 1518, by Tory and
the Estiennes at Paris, by Froben at Basle, and by the other great
printers of their day, were known as _lettres grises_. Besides these,
the ordinary “two-line letters,” or large plain capitals, came into
use; and these were generally cast—the ornamental letters being for the
most part engraved on wood or metal, and shifted about from one forme
to another. The general debasement of artistic taste in the latter
half of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries is very apparent in
the initial letters, particularly in England. Large black-letters were
frequently used as initials to books in Roman type, the large plain
caps appear to have been most rudely cut and cast, and when pictorial
letters were made use of, the effect was not infrequently grotesque.
Dutch initials found their way into this country in large numbers. They
were, as a rule, heavy and indistinct, and lacked the elegance of the
letters which, even as late as 1650, characterised some of the best
printing in France. The best initial letters we had were those used at
Oxford, and these were for the most part copperplate, and engraved by
an artist specially retained by the University for the purpose. The
“Dutch Bloomers” shown by Watson in 1711 probably represented the _ne
plus ultra_ of typographical ornament at that day. With Bible printers
it was not uncommon to use appropriate pictorial {81} letters, and
we frequently find in their works, both sacred and profane, the
initial “I” of Genesis representing the Creation, the “D” representing
David playing on his harp, the “P” representing the conversion of
St. Paul, and so on. Armorial initials were also occasionally used,
and sometimes letters embodying portraits or landscapes. About the
beginning of the seventeenth century, pierced initial ornaments—that
is, wood block devices, in which a space is pierced out to admit of
any letter—came into use. The great letter-founders of the revival,
Caslon, Baskerville, and their immediate successors, confined their
attention to the large plain initials, uniform in shape and design with
their Roman letters; and it was not till a taste for fancy type arose,
early in the present century, that founders cut punches for and cast
ornamental initials. {82}

[Illustration: 14. Pierced Initial, at the Oxford University Press.
_Ante_ 1700.]

[Illustration: 55. Pierced Initial. London, _circa_ 1700.]


These began, like the initials, with the illuminators, and were
afterwards cut on wood. The first printed ornament or vignette is
supposed to be that in the _Lactantius_, at Subiaco, in 1465. Caxton,
in 1490, used ornamental pieces to form the border for his _Fifteen
O’s_. The Paris printers at the same time engraved still more elaborate
border pieces. At Venice we find the entire frame engraved in one
piece; while Aldus, as early as 1495, used tasteful head-pieces, cut in
artistic harmony with his _lettres grises_. Of the elaborate woodcut
borders and vignettes of succeeding printers we need not here speak. As
a rule, they kept pace with the initial letters, and degenerated with
them. Early in the sixteenth century we observe detached ornaments and
flourishes, which have evidently been cast from a matrix, and the idea
of combining these pieces into a continuous border or head-piece was
probably early conceived.[152] Mores states that ornaments of this kind
were common before wood-engraved borders were adopted, and Moxon speaks
of them in his day as old-fashioned. In Holland, France, Germany and
England, however, these “type-flowers” were in very common use during
the eighteenth century, and almost every foundry was supplied with a
considerable number of designs cast on the regular bodies. Some of the
type-specimens exhibit most elaborate figures constructed out of these
flowers, and as late as 1820 these ornaments continued to engross a
considerable space in the specimen of every English founder.






In taking a brief survey of that early period of English Typography
when printers are assumed to have been their own letter-founders,
we shall attempt no more than to gather together, as concisely as
possible, any facts which may throw light on the first days of English
letter-founding, leaving it to the historian of Printing to describe
the productions which, as we have already stated, must be regarded, not
only as the works of our earliest printers, but as the specimen-books
of our earliest letter-founders. Mores and other chroniclers are, as
we conceive, misleading, when they single out half a dozen names from
the long list of printers between Caxton and Day, as if they only had
been concerned in the development of the art of letter-cutting and
founding. It is true that these names are the most distinguished; but
it is necessary to bear in mind that the most obscure printer of that
day, unless he succeeded in purchasing his founts from abroad, or in
obtaining the reversion of the worn types of another printer, probably
cast his letter in his own moulds, and from his own matrices.

Respecting many of our early printers, our information especially with
regard to their mechanical operations, is extremely meagre. But the
researches of Mr. William Blades[153] have thrown a stream of light
upon the typography of {84} Caxton and his contemporaries, of which we
gladly avail ourselves in recording the following facts and conjectures
as to the letter-founding of the period in which they flourished.
Adopting as a fundamental rule “that the bibliographer should make
such an accurate and methodical study of the _types_ used and _habits
of printing_ observable at different presses, as to enable him to
observe and be guided by these characteristics in settling the date of
a book which bears no date upon the surface,” Mr. Blades has succeeded
not only in establishing a precise chronology of the productions of
the first English printer, but an exhaustive catalogue of his several
types, such as has never before been successfully accomplished.

Previous writers, many of them practical printers, have all failed in
this particular. Most of them lacked the patience or the opportunity to
make a systematic study of the specimens of Caxton’s press, and have
been content to perpetuate the account of others who, like Bagford,
Ames, Herbert and Dibdin, had ample opportunity for such a study,
but failed to bring to bear upon their investigations that practical
experience which would have saved them from the inaccuracies with
which their descriptions abound. Among such writers few have been more
unfortunate than Rowe Mores, whose account of Caxton’s types (although
endorsed by the authority of his editor, John Nichols) is as misleading
as it is meagre.

As we are concerned with Caxton only in his capacity as letter-founder,
we must refer the reader for all details respecting his life and
literary industry to Mr. Blades’ admirable biography; merely stating
here that he made his first essay at printing in the year 1474–5, in
the office of Colard Mansion at Bruges; that in 1477, if not earlier,
he settled as printer at Westminster, where he remained an industrious
and prolific worker until the year of his death in 1491.

As we have already observed, the history of the introduction of
printing into England differs from that of its origin in most other
countries in this important particular, that whereas in Germany,
Italy, France and the Low Countries letter-founding is supposed to
have preceded printing, in our own country it followed it. Caxton had
already run through one fount of type before he reached this country,
and it appears to be quite certain that his Type No. 2, with which he
established his press at Westminster, was brought over by him from
Bruges, where it had been cast for him, and already made use of by
his preceptor, Colard Mansion. The English origin of his Type No. 3
is also open to question. There seems, however, reasonable ground for
supposing that Type No. 4 was both cut and cast in England; so that
Caxton had probably been at work for a year or two in this country
as a printer, before he became a letter-founder. It must be admitted
that any conclusion we may come to as to {85} Caxton’s operations as
a letter-founder are wholly conjectural. In none of his own works (in
several of which he discourses freely on his labour as a translator
and a printer) does he make the slightest allusion to the casting of
his types, nor does there remain any relic or contemporary record
calculated to throw light on so interesting a topic.

That Caxton made use of cast types, it is hardly needful here to
assert. Even admitting the possibility of a middle stage between
Xylography and Typography, the general identity of his letters, the
constant recurrence of certain flaws among his types, and the solidity
of his pages, may be taken as sufficient evidence that his types were
cast, and not separately engraved by hand.

It is scarcely likely that during his residence at Bruges, where, as he
himself states in the prologue to the third book of the _Recuyell_, “I
have practysed and lerned at my grete charge and dispense to ordeyne
this said book in prynte,” he would omit to make himself acquainted
with the methods used in the Low Countries for the production and
multiplication of types; and it is at least reasonable to suppose
that, once established in this country, and removed from the source
of his former supplies, he would put into practice this branch of his
knowledge, and produce for himself the remaining founts of which he
made use.

As to the particular process he employed, we have, as Mr. Blades points
out, only negative evidence on which to rely. The frequent unevenness
and irregularity of his lines, as well as the variations of the letters
themselves, lead to the conclusion that the method employed was a rude
one, inferior not only to that now in use, but even to that adopted
by the advanced German School of Typography of his own day. Rude,
however, as his method may have been, we are not disposed to allow
that Caxton could have produced the types he did without the use of
a matrix and an adjustable mould. Despite his rough workmanship, his
types are as superior to those of the _Speculum_ and _Donatus_ as they
are inferior to those of the _Mentz Bible_ and the _Catholicon_; and we
consider it out of the question that works like the _Dictes_, or the
_Polychronicon_, or the _Fifteen O’s_, could have been produced from
types cast by a clay or sand process, which we have elsewhere described
as possibly employed in the most primitive practice of the art.

It is more probable that both Colard Mansion and Caxton, possessing the
principle of the punch, matrix and adjustable mould, but ill-furnished
with the mechanical appliances for putting that principle into
practice, made use of rough and perishable materials in all three
branches of the manufacture. Some such rough appliances we have
already suggested in our introductory chapter. . His {86} punches,
as Mr. Blades has pointed out, were, in the case of at least two of
his founts, touched-up types of a fount previously in use. A matrix
formed from such a punch, either in soft lead or plaster, could not
be anything but rough and fragile; and such a matrix, when justified
and applied to a mould of which the adjustable parts may have lacked
mathematical finish and accuracy, could scarcely be expected to produce
types of faultless precision.

As we have freely admitted, it is impossible on this subject to go
beyond the regions of speculation, but we decidedly incline to the
opinion that the irregularities and defects of Caxton’s types may be
accounted for in the way here suggested, rather than by the assumption
that he made use of a method of casting differing wholly in principle
from that which was presently to become the universal practice.

We shall now briefly follow Mr. Blades’ chronological summary of
Caxton’s six types, with a view to point out such particulars
respecting them as may have special bearing on the object of this work.

TYPE 1.—This type, as already pointed out, was never used in England,
but appears in the works of the Bruges press between the years 1472 and
a date later than 1476. Bernard considers that it was modelled on the
handwriting of Colard Mansion. Although this type was chiefly used by
Mansion, Caxton appears to have used it in at least two English books
printed under Mansion’s roof, the _Recuyell_ and the _Chess Book_, the
former of which was the first book printed in the English language. The
body of the type corresponds to the present Great Primer; and a fount
comprised 163 sorts, of which a considerable number were varieties of
the same letters, “there being only five sorts for which there were not
more than one matrix, either as single letters or in combination.”

TYPE 2 was the fount with which Caxton printed, in 1477, at
Westminster, the _Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers_. Although
this is the first dated book printed in England, there is some reason
for supposing that the undated _Jason_, and possibly some of the small
quarto poems, printed in the same type may have preceded it. The
fount was cut probably by Colard Mansion, in imitation of the Gros
Bâtarde type already in use at his press, but in a smaller size; and
it is supposed that before Caxton brought it over to England it had
been used at Bruges to print _Les Quatre Derrenieres Choses_. Twenty
works in all are known to have been printed in Type 2, which is on a
body equal to two-line Long Primer, or “Paragon,” and consists of 217
sorts. The capital letters are extremely irregular, not only in size
but in design, some being of the simplest possible construction, while
others have spurs, lines and flourishes. It was used from 1477 to
1479, when, on its becoming worn out, selected letters were trimmed up
with a graver, new matrices formed, and a recasting made. {87} This
recasting, known as Type 2*, is the same body as Type 2, but in all
cases the letters are slightly thinner, while in the case of ascending
and descending types it is found that the process of trimming has
resulted in the amputation of certain portions of the letters. There
are also some thirty-seven sorts more in the second fount, consisting
largely of double and compound letters, which do not appear in the
first. To Type 2* belongs the honour of being in all probability the
first fount _cast_ in England. It was used from 1479 to 1481, and
nine books are known to have been printed in it, including the second
edition of the _Game and Play of the Chesse_, from which Mr. Vincent
Figgins[154] in 1855 took the models for his facsimile of the “Caxton

TYPE 3.—This handsome fount appears to have been used from about 1479
to 1483, chiefly for head-lines, although one or two small church
books, as well as Caxton’s _Advertisement_, were printed entirely in
it. The body is the same as that of Type 2, with which it is sometimes
used, to distinguish proper names. The fount consists of 194 sorts, of
which the points are remarkable as being smaller than those of Type
2. It is the first appearance of the “Lettre de Forme” in English
typography; although, as Mr. Blades has pointed out, this character
belongs only to the “lower-case” letters, the capitals partaking more
of the features of Mansion’s “Gros Bâtarde”. The fount possesses a
special interest in being the first letter put forward as an English
printer’s Type-specimen. In the _Advertisement_, which we reproduce
in facsimile (No. 15), Caxton calls attention to the fact that he is
prepared to sell cheap copies of the Pica or Ordinary of the Salisbury
service, printed in the same type as the specimen shown, to anyone,
spiritual or temporal, who may come to his shop at the Red Pale,
Westminster. There is nothing to show whether this fount was brought
by Caxton from Bruges, or whether it is entitled to the distinction of
being the first fount wholly cut and cast in this country. The German
cut of the “lower-case,” as well as the slight use which Caxton made
of it, would almost suggest that it was not the product of his own
genius. On the other hand, the frequent use which De Worde made of the
fount after his master’s death, seems to point to the existence of the
matrices, as well as the types, in this country.

TYPE 4.—This letter was in use by Caxton from 1480 to 1484, and there
is strong reason for believing that (whatever may have been the case
with Type 3) it was both cut and cast in this country. That Caxton
possessed punches of it {88} appears highly probable from the fact
that in the recasting of the fount as Type 4* we do not find the face
of the old letters to have been trimmed up, as was the case with Type
2*. On the contrary, as far as face is concerned, the two founts are
identical—a result which could hardly be expected had the matrices for
the second fount been produced by any means but a re-striking of the
original punches. The fount is smaller in size than Type 2, though the
design is similar. It consists of 194 sorts, of which seven were not
re-struck for 4*. Ten works were wholly printed in Type 4, and two
partly in 4 and 4*. The one difference between the first and second
fount is, that whereas Type 4 is very close to English body, Type
4* is cast on a body equal to two-lines Minion; or more precisely,
nineteen types of Type 4* are equivalent to twenty types of Type 4.
It appears, therefore, that, either purposely or accidentally, Caxton
shifted his mould between the two castings. It is easy to imagine that
his supply of moulds might be very limited; and even that it might be
limited to but one mould capable of being varied in “body,” as well
as in “thickness,” which he would adapt as necessity required to cast
any size of letter; so that if, for instance, after casting Type 4, he
had had occasion to “break” his mould in order to cast some additional
letters in Type 3, he might easily fail to readjust it to the precise
body of his former fount, particularly if he used a worn or foul type
by which to “set” it. The fact that in the _Confessio Amantis_, and
the _Knight of the Tower_, both castings are used, shows at least that
4* was intended to supplement, rather than replace its predecessor.
Besides the two partly printed works, sixteen entire works were printed
in Type 4* between 1483–85, from one of which, the _Golden Legend_, our
facsimile, No. 16, is taken.

TYPE 5.—In this fount the “Lettre de Forme,” first introduced with Type
3, reappears in a smaller, but very similar form. Eleven books were
printed in it between about 1487–91, the majority of which were Latin
works of devotion. The body is rather larger than two-line Brevier,
and the fount consists of only 153 sorts, there being very few double
letters. With this fount is a set of bold Lombardic capitals, cast full
on the body, and used as initials. These Caxton afterwards cut down for
quadrats, shortening them, as was usual at that time, at the foot-end
of the type, and so not destroying the face.

TYPE 6.—This fount was for the most part produced from matrices formed
from trimmed-up letters of Types 2 and 2*, supplemented by a few new
letters and some from other founts. The body on which it is cast is
considerably smaller than Type 2, being nearly a Great Primer as
against a two-line Long Primer. This reduction in size necessitated the
compression of a number of full-faced letters of the original founts,
some of which have been forcibly squeezed into the compass and others
truncated. The fount comprises only 141 sorts, {89} and has a set of
Lombardic capitals. It was used by Caxton between 1489 and the time of
his death in 1491, during which period eighteen works were printed in
it. In the _Treatise of Love_, printed in the same type, and supposed
to have been produced by De Worde after his master’s death, appears
an initial line in a new type, which might be reckoned as Type No. 7;
although, if the work was wholly posthumous, its claim to be included
as one of Caxton’s founts holds only as regards the cutting and
founding of it.

[Illustration: 15. Advertisement of William Caxton. Type 3.]

[Illustration: 16. From the _Golden Legend_. Westminster, 1482. Caxton
Type 4*.]

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is a brief summary of the types of our first printer. It would
be interesting, were it possible, to continue in an equally detailed
manner an examination of the types of all the early English printers.
But the rapid increase of printing which followed Caxton’s death would
render such a task one of great labour and difficulty. We shall content
ourselves with collecting such references to typefounding as may throw
general light on the progress of the art during the first century of
its existence.

We have elsewhere stated our reasons for supposing that the first
Oxford press was commenced with types brought from abroad. Of the St.
Alban’s printer and his contemporaries, Lettou and Machlinia, in the
city of London, we know very little. The types of both presses were
extremely rude, and might therefore suggest that an attempt was made to
produce them by untrained English artists, or, as is equally probable,
that the old and worn-out soft lead types of an earlier printer were
made use of.

       *       *       *       *       *

WYNKYN DE WORDE was the most brilliant, as he was the most prolific,
English printer of the fifteenth century. Inheriting some, if not all,
of his master Caxton’s matrices, he cut a large number of new letters
for himself, and appears in the execution of these founts to have
perfected the manual processes of the manufacture, so as to leave no
doubt that his types were produced in true adjustable moulds, out of
durable matrices, impressed with hard metal punches. His letters are
clear and regularly cast; indeed, his English or Black-letter was so
excellent that it became a model for all future letter-cutters, and was
closely imitated, not only in England, but, apparently, abroad. Some
writers have considered that De Worde supplied duplicate matrices of
his Black-letter to some of his contemporaries, or else cast founts
from his own matrices for the trade. The close resemblance between
some of his founts and those of other English printers of the period,
seems to give colour to such a suggestion, although the probability
is that his old discarded types occasionally found their way into the
provinces, where (as at the press of Goes of York) they appeared during
the lifetime of their original founder. Palmer (or Psalmanazar) makes
the following {90} note on this subject: “There is one circumstance,”
he says,[155] “that induces me to think he was his own letter-founder;
which is, that in some of his first printed books, the very letter he
made use of, is the same used by all the printers in London to this
day; and, I believe, were struck from his puncheons. The first is the
two lin’d Great Primmer Black, the next is the Great Primmer Black.”
Of each of these two founts he shows a specimen (a facsimile of which
is here given), which, as Rowe Mores explains, were taken from the
matrices at that time (1732) in Grover’s foundry, where they were
reputed at one time to have belonged to De Worde.[156]

[Illustration: 17. Black Letter, supposed to be from De Worde’s
matrices. (From Palmer’s _General History of Printing_.)]

This piece of evidence is not very convincing. It is more to the point
that some of his early types are not to be observed in books from the
press by any foreign printer at that time; which could scarcely have
been had he, along with other English printers, purchased founts from
some of the foreign founders at that time carrying on a brisk trade
with this country. It is, however, to be borne in mind that every
printer cut or provided himself with Black as regularly as with Roman
and Italic; and the Black-letter, especially in the large sizes,
being easy to imitate, the general resemblance among the founts of
that period may mean nothing more than that De Worde’s models were
faithfully copied by his imitators.

De Worde introduced a larger variety in body than Caxton, and in some
of {91} his works, as in the _Whitintoni Lucubrationes_, in 1527, used
a very small Black-letter, apparently, as Herbert remarks, because
he had no Roman or Italic small enough. In his Black founts he used
a large number of abbreviations, though not so many as were at that
time used by printers abroad. He has been erroneously credited by some
writers with having been the first to introduce the Roman letter into
this country. It appears, however, that he closely followed Pynson in
this innovation[157]; and, in his later works, made considerable use of
that character, both for printing entire books, and for distinguishing
remarkable words or quotations in his Black-letter text.

Although characterised as a better printer than scholar, he was the
first to introduce letters of some of the learned languages into his
books. In 1519, in _Whitintonus de concinitate grammatices_, he used
some Greek words, the first in England, cut in wood. Later, in 1524, in
_Wakefield’s Oratio_,[158] printed in Roman characters with marginal
notes in Italic,[159] he printed some Greek words in movable types, and
showed Arabic and Hebrew cut in wood, the first used in this country.
The Hebrew is Rabbinical, and the author complains that he has been
obliged to omit a third part, because the printer lacked Hebrew types.
As early as 1495, moreover, De Worde, as we have elsewhere noted, in
his edition of the _Polychronicon_, used the first music-types known in

He died in 1534, after printing upwards of 400 books.

       *       *       *       *       *

His contemporary, PYNSON, who also acknowledged Caxton as his
“Worshipful Master,” appears to have been in regular correspondence
with the typographers of Rouen, one of whom printed in his name.[160]
It is also supposed that he was on friendly terms with Froben of
Basle, whose woodcut designs occasionally figure in his works. It is,
therefore, probable he may have imported some of his founts, including
the Roman, which he had the honour of first introducing into England
in 1518, from abroad. His first types, which appeared in the _Dives
and Pauper_, printed by him in 1493, were extremely rude; but in this
particular he seems to have made rapid progress, and some of his
later {92} works are distinguished as fine specimens of typography.
Mores’ account of Pynson’s types is incomplete, and in one particular
at least, that of the Roman letter in 1499, incorrect. He says: “His
types in the year 1496 were Double Pica, Great Primer and Long Primer
English (_i.e._, Black-letter), all clear and good; a rude English
English, an English and a Long Primer Roman in 1499 (_sic_), an English
and a Pica Roman with which was printed Bishop Tonstal’s book, _De
Arte Supputandi_, in 1522. They are thick, but they stand well in line
. . . He had another and better fount of Great Primer English, with
which was printed the _Gallicantus_ of Bishop Alcock . . . in 1498.”
The pretty Secretary letter, which Mores mentions as having been used
in _Statham’s_ and _Fitzherbert’s Abridgments_ belonged to Le Tailleur,
the Rouen printer, whom Pynson employed to print several law books,
on account, it is supposed, of the greater correctness of the Norman
compositors in setting the law language of the day. “However,” says
Ames, “he had such helps afterwards that all statutes, etc., were
printed here at home.”

In 1518 he printed his first work in Roman type, the _Oratio in Pace
nuperrimâ_,[161] by Richard Pace. Only one fount is used throughout
this interesting little work, of which we here reproduce the colophon.

[Illustration: 18. From the _Oratio in Pace nuperrimâ_. Printed by
Pynson, 1518.]

A document still preserved in the Record Office, dated June 28, 1519,
contains an interesting mention of Pynson’s types. It is an indenture
between Wm. Horman, Clerk and Fellow of the King’s College at Eton,
and Pynson, for printing 800 copies of such _Vulgars_ as be contained
in the copy delivered to him, “in suffycient and suyng stuff of papyr,
after thre dyverse letters, on for the englysh, an other for the laten,
and a thyrde of great romayne letter for the tytyllys of the booke.”

In 1524 Pynson possessed a fount of Greek which he used in _Linacre’s
De Emendatâ Structurâ_.[162] This is of special interest, since the
preface contains the first distinct reference to letter-founding
which occurs in any English book. The Greek accents and breathings,
it appears, were not sufficient for the whole of the quotations in
the book, and their paucity is made the subject of the following
interesting apology: “Lectori. S. Pro tuo candore optime lector
æquo animo feras, si quæ literæ in exemplis Hellenissimi vel tonis
vel spiritibus vel affectionibus careant. Iis enim non satis erat
instructus typographus videlicet _recens ab eo fusis characteribus
græcis_, nec parata ea copia, quod ad hoc agendum opus est.”[163] The
_Linacre_ is printed in a good Great Primer Roman type, with which the
Greek ranges fairly. The letters of the latter character are cast wide,
so that each letter stands apart from the next, instead of joining

A further mention of Pynson’s types occurs in a Latin letter of his
own, printed at the end of the _Lytylton Tenures_ of 1527, in which he
thus inveighs against the piracy of his rival and contemporary, Robert
Redman: “Richard Pynson, the Royal printer, salutation to the Reader.
Behold, I now give to thee, candid Reader, a Lyttleton corrected (not
deceitfully), of the errors which occurred in him; I have been careful
that not my printing only should be amended, but also that with a more
elegant type it should go forth to the day: that which hath escaped
from the hands of Robert Redman, but more truly Rudeman, because he is
the rudest out of a thousand men, is not easily understood.”

The new fount here referred to must have been among the latest
productions of this printer’s industrious labours, as he ceased
printing in 1528, having issued upwards of 210 works.

       *       *       *       *       *

WILLIAM FAQUES, another contemporary of De Worde’s, who printed in
London between 1504 and 1511, appears to have had a more direct
connection with the Norman typographers than any of his fellow
printers. He learned his art at Rouen with Jean le Bourgeois, and
probably came over to this country furnished with types, if not with
matrices, from that market. He is praised with justice as an excellent
workman, and some of his Black-letter founts are described by Mores as
equalling in beauty any which were to be found in {94} England as late
as his day (1778). It is supposed that De Worde became possessed of
some of these letters after Faques’ death, which occurred in 1511.

       *       *       *       *       *

With Faques and Pynson early English Typography seems to have reached
for a time its high-water mark. A slow deterioration set in, probably
consequent on the withdrawal of the foreign trade in type, and the
necessity thereupon for every printer to become his own punch-cutter
and typefounder.

Mores, in passing, is careful to rescue a few names from reproach.
“COPLAND THE ELDER,” he says, “(who had been servant to De Worde) and
WYER and REDMAN, had founts of two-line Great Primer, the letter good
and beautiful. . . WILL. RASTEL used Italic in 1531. . . Redman[164]
used a Secretary type in the edition of _Rastell’s Grete Abridgement_,
printed in the year 1534, which Secretary is the last Secretary we
remember. BERTHELET had a fount of English Roman with a face as thick
as English” (Black-letter), “but pretty.”

[Illustration: 18A. From the _Boke named the Governour_. Printed by
Berthelet, 1531.]

We annex a specimen of the curious semi-Gothic fount used by this
last-named printer in 1531 for printing Sir Thomas Elyot’s _Boke named
the Governour_. The face is of rare occurrence in English typography,
and was probably procured {95} from abroad. The small Secretary type
mixed with it is doubtless English, and was one of the latest founts of
its kind used in the country.

There appears to be no special reason, as we have stated, why the names
and types of any particular printers at this period should be selected
to the exclusion of others who equally with them produced types for
their own use. We may, however, mention REYNOLD WOLFE, who in 1543 held
the first patent as printer to the king in Latin, Greek and Hebrew, and
printed the first entire Greek and Latin book in England, being Sir
John Cheke’s edition of _Chrysostom’s two Homilies_.[165] He appears,
however, to have printed nothing in Hebrew.

       *       *       *       *       *

JOHN DAY occupies an important place in the history of early English
letter-founding. What is mainly conjecture with regard to most of
his predecessors we are able to state on the authority of historical
records with regard to him, namely, that he was his own letter-founder;
and from his day English letter-founding may be said to have started on
a separate career.

He was born in 1522, and began business about 1546, in St. Sepulchre’s
parish. In 1549 he removed to Aldersgate, where he continued until
1572. The persecutions of Queen Mary’s reign caused him to seek refuge
abroad, but he returned in 1556, in which year he was the first person
admitted to the livery of the Stationers’ Company, newly incorporated
by the charter of Philip and Mary. On the accession of Queen Elizabeth
he became an important printer, and was chosen Warden of the Company in
1564 and three subsequent years, and Master in 1580.

Early in the Queen’s reign he found a generous patron in Archbishop
Parker, under whose auspices he cut some of his most famous founts. One
of the earliest of these was the fount of Saxon, which appeared first
in Ælfric’s Saxon Homily, edited by the Archbishop under the title of
_A Testimonie of Antiquitie_, and printed in 1567. It was used again in
Lambard’s _Archaionomia_ in the following year, in the _Saxon Gospels_,
printed in 1571, and subsequently in the Archbishop’s famous edition of
Asser Menevensis’ _Ælfredi Res Gestæ_ in 1574.[166]

This last-named work, which may be regarded as one of the first
historical monuments of English letter-founding, contained a preface
by Parker, in which {96} Day’s performance in cutting the punches is
thus particularly alluded to:—“Jam vero cum Dayus typographus primus
(et omnium certè quod sciam solus) has formas æri inciderit; facilè quæ
Saxonicis literis perscripta sunt, iisdem typis divulgabuntur.”[167]

The Saxon fount, as will be seen by the facsimile, is an English in
body, very clear and bold. Of the capitals, eight only, including two
diphthongs, are distinctively Saxon, the remaining eighteen letters
being ordinary Roman; while in the lower-case there are twelve Saxon
letters as against fifteen of the Roman. The accuracy and regularity
with which this fount was cut and cast is highly creditable to Day’s
excellence as a founder.[168] He subsequently cut a smaller size of
Saxon on Pica body.

The typography of the _Ælfredi_ is superior to that of almost any
other work of the period. Dibdin considered it one of the rarest and
most important volumes which issued from Day’s press. The Archbishop’s
preface is printed in a bold, flowing Double Pica Italic, and the Latin
preface of St. Gregory at the end in a Roman of the same body, worthy
of Plantin himself. It is at least a curious circumstance, pointing
to a community of founts among printers even at that day, that in
Binneman’s[169] edition of Walsingham’s _Historia_, bound up with Day’s
_Asser_ and the _Ypodigma Neustriæ_, this same large Roman and Italic
is made use of.

Respecting an Italic fount cut by Day in 1572, several interesting
particulars are preserved, which tend to throw further light on our
printer’s operations as a punch-cutter and letter-founder.

[Illustration: 20. Day’s Saxon Fount. (From the _Ælfredi Res Gestæ_,

[Illustration: 21. Day’s Double Pica Roman. (From the _Ælfredi Res
Gestæ_, 1574.)]

[Illustration: 22. Day’s Double Pica Italic. (From the _Ælfredi Res
Gestæ_, 1574.)

(The extract is Parker’s reference to Day as a letter-founder.)]

It appears that in that year, at the time when Day removed his shop
from {97} Aldersgate to St. Paul’s Churchyard, Archbishop Parker was
engaged in providing replies to a Popish polemic of Nicholas Sanders,
entitled _De Visibili Monarchia_. Dr. Clerke of Cambridge was selected
for the task, and his _Responsio_ was entrusted to Day to print. In a
letter to Lord Burleigh, dated December 13, 1572, the Archbishop thus
refers to the typography of the forthcoming work[170]:

“To the better accomplishment of this worke and other that shall
followe, I have spoken to Daie the printer to cast a new Italian
letter, which he is doinge, and it will cost him xl marks; and loth he
and other printers be to printe any Lattin booke, because they will
not heare be uttered and for that Bookes printed in Englande be in
suspition abroad.”

Strype, referring to the transaction, adds a note: “For our Black
English letter was not proper for the printing of a Latin Book; and
neither he (Day) nor any one else, as yet had printed any Latin
books.”[171] This misleading statement is corrected by Herbert,[172]
who points out that many Latin books had been printed, few of which,
after 1520, had been in Black-letter, and he believed none at all after
1530. Moreover, many English books had long before 1572 been printed
in Roman or Italic, and even such as had generally been printed in
Black-letter usually had the notes and quotations in Roman or Italic.

It is singular that, after this announcement by the Archbishop,
neither of the replies to Sanders was printed in Italic type. Clerke’s
_Responsio_,[173] in 1573, appeared in a new Great Primer Roman type,
with the quotations only in Italic, the headings being set in the
large Italic afterwards used in the _Asser_. Acworth’s _De Visibili
Romanarchia_,[174] another rejoinder, in the same year, was in an
English Roman, with a corresponding Italic and Greek. In Parker’s
great work, however, _De Antiquitate Britannicæ Ecclesiæ_,[175]
published the year before (1572), and supposed by some to have been
printed by Day at a private press of the Archbishop’s at Lambeth, the
entire text, consisting of 524 pages, was in the English Italic, which
Dibdin describes as “a full-sized, close, but flowing Italic letter.”
The preface only to this work was in Roman; the various titles and
sub-titles being in the larger founts of the _Responsio_ and _Asser_.

Day was among the first English printers who cut the Roman and Italic
to range as one and the same fount. Hitherto the two letters had
been but seldom {98} intermixed, and when they were, they frequently
exhibited a disparity in size and an irregularity in line which was
disfiguring.[176] Day, however, cut uniform founts.

In addition to the characters already mentioned, he greatly improved
the Greek letter of the day. The _Christianæ Pietatis Prima
Institutio_, printed by him in 1578, is in a beautiful type, which
is considered to be equal to that of the great Greek typographers of
Paris—the Estiennes.

Among his further enterprises in letter-cutting may be mentioned
the Hebrew words, cut in wood, which he used in Humphrey’s _Life of
Jewell_, in 1573, and in Baro’s _Readings on Jonah_, in 1579; and the
musical notes which he introduced into his editions of the metrical
_Psalter_. These notes are chiefly lozenge-shaped and hollow, differing
from those used by Grafton in 1550, in Merbecke’s _Booke of Common
Praier_, _noted_, which are mostly square and solid. He also, as he
himself stated in a book printed in 1582, “caused a new print of note
to be made, with letters to be joined to every note, whereby thou
mayest know how to call every note by its right name.” Besides these,
he made use of a considerable number of signs, mathematical and other,
not before cast in type; while his works abound with handsome woodcut
initials, vignettes and portraits, besides a considerable variety of
metal “flowers.” Of the disposal of Day’s punches and matrices after
his death we have no precise information, but the reappearance of
the beautiful Double Pica Roman and Italic of the _Ælfredi_, in the
_Bibles_ printed by the Barkers, in Young’s _Catena on Job_ in 1637,
in Walton’s _Polyglot_ in 1657, and other works, most of them executed
by the royal printers, suggests that these founts at any rate were
retained (probably under archiepiscopal control), and handed down for
the service of the privileged presses.

[Illustration: 19. Portrait of JOHN DAY, 1562. (From the Colophon to
Peter Martir’s _Commentaries on the Romans_, 1568.)]

In Strype’s _Life of Parker_, already quoted, is preserved an
interesting account of Day’s business, with which we close this short
notice: “And with the Archbishop’s engravers, we may joyn his
printer Day, who printed his _British Antiquities_ and divers other
books by his order . . . for whom the Archbishop had a particular
kindness . . . Day was more ingenious and industrious in his art and
probably richer too, than the rest, and so became envied by the rest of
his fraternity, who hindered, what they could, the sale of his books;
and he had in the year 1572, upon his hands, to the value of two or
three thousand pounds worth, a great summ in those days. But living
under Aldersgate, an obscure corner of the city, he wanted a good vent
for them. {101} Whereupon his friends, who were the learned, procured
him from the Dean and Chapter of St. Pauls, a lease of a little shop
to be set up in St. Pauls Churchyard. Whereupon he got framed a neat
handsome shop. It was but little and low, and flat-roofed and leaded
like a terrace, railed and posted, fit for men to stand upon in any
triumph or show; but could not in anywise hurt or deface the same.
This cost him forty or fifty pounds. But . . . his brethren the
booksellers envied him and by their interest got the mayor and aldermen
to forbid him setting it up, though they had nothing to do there, but
by power. Upon this the Archbishop brought his business before the Lord
Treasurer, and interceded for him, that he would move the Queen to set
her hand to certain letters that he had drawn up in the Queen’s name to
the city, in effect, that Day might be permitted to go forward with his
building. Whereby, he said, his honour would deserve well of Christ’s
Church, and of the prince and State.”—P. 541.

Day died in 1584, aged 62, and was buried at Bradley Parva. He
published about 250 works. “He seems indeed,” says Dibdin, “(if we
except Grafton) the Plantin of Old English Typographers; while his
character and reputation scarcely suffer diminution from a comparison
with those of his illustrious contemporary just mentioned.”






It will be convenient, now that we have reached a point at which
letter-founding enters upon a new stage as a distinct trade, to take
a brief survey of its progress as a mechanical industry; availing
ourselves of such records and illustrations as may be met with, to
trace its development and improved appliances during the period covered
by this narrative.

As has already been stated, the reticence of our first printers leaves
us almost entirely in the dark as to the particular processes by which
they produced their earliest types. Mr. Blades leans to the opinion
that Caxton, in his first attempts at typefounding, adopted the methods
of the rude Flemish or Dutch School, of whose conjectured appliances
we have spoken in the introductory chapter. “The English printers,”
he says, “whose practice seems to have been derived from the Flemish
School, were far behind their contemporaries in the art. Their types
show that a very rude process of founding was practised; and the use
. . . of old types as patterns for new, evinces more of commercial
expediency than of artistic ambition.”

At the same time, there seems reasonable ground for inferring, from
the peculiarities attending the re-casting of Caxton’s Type 4 as
4*, to which allusion has already been made, that at least as early
as 1480 Caxton was possessed of the secret of the punch, and matrix
and adjustable mould; while the {103} excellent works of De Worde
and his contemporaries demonstrate that, however rudely, the art may
have begun, England was, in the early years of the sixteenth century,
abreast of many of her rivals, both as to the design and workmanship of
her founts.

The frequent indications to be met with of the transmission of founts
from one printer to another, as well as the passing on of worn types
from the presses of the metropolis to those of the provinces, are
suggestive of the existence (very limited, indeed) of some sort of
home trade in type even at that early date. For a considerable time,
moreover, after the perfection of the art in England, the trade in
foreign types, which dated back as early as the establishment of
printing in Westminster and Oxford, continued to flourish. With
Normandy, especially, at the beginning of the sixteenth century, a
brisk commerce was maintained. Not only were many of the English
liturgical and law books printed abroad by Norman artists, but Norman
type found its way in considerable quantities into English presses.
M. Claudin, whose researches in the history of the early provincial
presses of France entitles him to be considered an authority on the
matter, states that Rouen, at the beginning of the sixteenth century,
was the great typographical market which furnished type not to England
only, but to other cities in France and to Switzerland. “It evidently
had special typographical foundries,” he observes. “Richard Pynson, a
London printer, was a Norman; Will Faques learned typography from J.
le Bourgeois, a printer at Rouen. These two printers had types cast
expressly for themselves in Normandy. Wynkyn de Worde must have bought
types in Normandy also, and very likely from Peter Olivier and Jean
de Lorraine, printers in partnership at Rouen.”[177] And with regard
to the first printer of Scotland, M. Claudin has no doubt that Myllar
learned his art in Normandy, and that the types with which his earliest
work was printed were those of the Rouen printer, Hostingue.

It is reasonable to suppose that English printers would endeavour,
if possible, to provide themselves, not with types merely, but with
matrices of the founts of their selections; and, indeed, we imagine
some explanation of the marked superiority of our national typography
at the close of the fifteenth century over that of half a century
later, is to be found in the fact that, whereas many of the first
printers used types wholly cut and cast for them by expert foreign
artists, their successors began first to cast for themselves from
hired or purchased matrices, and finally to cut their own punches and
justify their own matrices. Printing entered on a gloomy stage of its
career in England after Day’s time, {104} and as State restrictions
gradually hemmed it in, crushing by its monopolies healthy competition,
and by its jealousy foreign succour, every printer became his own
letter-founder, not because he would, but because he must, and the art
suffered in consequence.

[Illustration: 23. From Jost Amman’s _Stände und Handwerker_.
Frankfurt, 1568.]

[Illustration: 24. Letter-founding and Printing, _circa_ 1548. (From
the cut in the Harleian MSS.)]

Of the operations of a sixteenth century letter-foundry, we are
fortunately able to form some idea from the quaint engraving preserved
to us by Jost {105} Amman in his _Book of Trades_[178] in 1568, and
reproduced here. The picture represents the Frankfort founder seated at
his small brick furnace, casting type in a mould. This mould differs
from the modern hand-moulds in being pyramidical in shape, and holding
the matrix as a fixture in its interior. One of the moulds on the
shelf shows a hole in the side, into which the matrix was probably
inserted. From the manner in which the caster is grasping the mould,
it would seem that it was bipartite, and needed the two halves holding
together during casting. The cast types lying in the bowl have “breaks”
attached to them, which at that date were in all probability cast so
as to be easily detached. Behind the caster are some drawers, probably
intended to contain matrices, of which one or two lie on the top
waiting their turn for use. On the lower of the two shelves above the
furnace are some crucibles, in which the metals would be mixed before
filling up the casting-pan. On the upper shelf, besides three more
moulds, are some sieves, suggestive of the use of sand, either for
moulding large letters, or, as Mr. Blades suggests, for running the
small ingots of metal into for use in the melting-pot. The small room
in which this caster is operating in all probability formed part of a
printing-office; and another interesting engraving of perhaps a still
earlier date, which we here reproduce from the original in the British
Museum,[179] shows the two departments of the typographer’s art going
on in {106} adjoining apartments. In this case, as in the Frankfort
cut, the caster is sitting; but his mould, large as it is, appears
to be furnished with a spring at the bottom, more like the later

In the lines accompanying Amman’s picture the founder is made to say
that he casts types made of “Bismuth, Tin and Lead,” a statement which,
if correct, shows that the Frankfort types of that day must have been
cast in terribly soft metal, of about the substance and durability of
modern solder. The presence of the crucibles, however, points to the
use of some fourth metal, of sufficient hardness to require a violent
heat to fuse it. The founder also states that he can correctly justify
his letters, which may refer either to the dressing of the types after
casting, or the more important justification of the matrix to adapt it
to the mould.

Another interesting memorial of a sixteenth century foundry is to be
met with in a visit to the once famous printing-office of Christopher
Plantin at Antwerp.[180] The foundry of the great Netherlands
“Archi-typographus,” which is still preserved in its pristine
condition, was on the upper floor of his house, and consisted of two
rooms, one devoted wholly to the casting, the other being a store-room
for types awaiting use at the press. In the casting-room is still to
be seen a large brick furnace covered with an earthenware slab. To
the right of this is a smaller furnace, surmounted by the metal pot,
which even yet contains some of the old type-alloy. On the walls hang
tongs, ladles, knives and moulds. In a box are preserved small parcels
of pattern-types for setting the moulds by, among which the visitor is
shown three or four types of silver.[181] In another box are a {107}
large number of punches[182] and moulds of all sizes. A bench extends
along one side of the room, doubtless for the use of the dressers or

In all these points we recognise that even in Plantin’s day the
general appointments of a letter-foundry differed very little from
those of the modern foundry before the introduction of machinery.
Although we have no description of any English foundry before Moxon’s
time, we know that the processes in use among us boast a much earlier
origin. Moxon described no new method, but the old-established
practice which had obtained, if not from the infancy of the art, at
least from the commencement of that gradual divorce between printing
and letter-founding which led, about 1585, to the establishment of
foundries for the public use. We have no reason to suppose that the
foundries connected with the presses of Day, Wolfe and others differed
in practice from those of their Frankfort and Antwerp contemporaries,
or that when, in 1597, Benjamin Sympson, a letter-founder, gave bond to
the Stationers’ Company not to cast type for the printers without due
notice, he, or the founders who followed him, knew any other methods of
producing their type than those already familiar to every printer at
home and abroad.

Turning now to Moxon’s account of English letter-founding as it was
in his day, we find no lack of detail as to every branch of the art
and every appliance in use by the artist. It is not our purpose here
to follow these descriptions further than as they give a general idea
of the practice and method of letter-founding two centuries ago,—a
practice and method which, as we have said, existed long before his
day, and were destined to be in common use for nearly a century and
a half after. We shall best indicate the processes and appliances he
describes by giving a brief analysis of that portion of his book which
is {108} devoted to the mechanics of letter-founding,[183] reserving
for a later chapter a general summary of the complete work.

Naturally beginning with punch-cutting, he first describes in detail
the various tools made use of by the engraver, viz., the forge, the
using file, the flat gauge, the sliding gauges, the face gauges, the
Italic and other standing gauges, the liner, the flat table, the tach,
and other furniture of the bench. Every one of these tools is to be
found in the punch-cutter’s room of the present day, scarcely changed
in form or use from the woodcuts which illustrate Moxon’s description.

Turning from the tools to the workman, Moxon next proceeds to describe
his choice of steel for the punches; the making and striking of the
counter-punches on the polished face of the punch; the “graving and
sculping” of the insides of the letters; together with certain rules in
the use of the gravers, small files, etc., employed in this delicate

With regard to the process described as counter-punching, it is
necessary to admit that this constituted a refinement of the art of
punch-cutting apparently unknown to the first printers. The freedom
of their letters, consequent on the imitation of handwriting, which
served as their earliest models, makes it evident that they cut by eye,
rather than by mathematical rule. But as typography gradually made
models for itself, the best artists, particularly those who aimed at
producing regular Roman and Italic letters, discovered the utility and
expediency of arriving at uniformity in design and contour, by the use
of these counter-punches, which stamped on to the steel the impress of
the hollow portions of the letters they were about to cut, leaving it
to the hand of the engraver to cut round these hollows the form of the
required character.

The punches being cut, finished and hardened, Moxon next deals with the
various parts of the type-mould, describing in turn the “Making” of
the mould: The Carriage,[184] (a); the Body, (b); the Male Gauge, (c);
the Mouthpiece, (d e); the Register, (f i); the Female Gauge, (g); the
Hag, (h); the Bottom Plate, (_a_); the Wood, (_b_); the Mouth, (_c_);
the Throat, (_d_); the Pallat, (_e_ _d_); the Nick, (_f_); the Stool,
(_g_); the Spring, (_h_).

[Illustration: 25. Letter-founding in 1683. (From Moxon’s _Mechanick

A. Ladle. B. Leather mould-guard. _a, b, c, d._ Furnace-top. _e._ Pan.
_f._ Funnel. _g._ Stoke-hole. _i._ Air-hole. _k._ Ash-hole. ]

Here again we have described, with scarcely a difference, the mould in
which scores of men yet living have in their day cast types for the
trade. The {111} justification of the mould is then described; after
which the important operation of striking the steel punch into copper,
and forming and justifying the matrix, is treated of, with instructions
for “botching” matrices in the event of a mistake in the latter
process. The matrices being thus ready, the founder is instructed
how to adjust them to the mould in preparation for casting,—a solemn
process which may be best described in the writer’s own language:―

“Wherefore, placing the under-half of the Mold in his left hand, with
the Hook or Hag forward, he clutches the ends of its Wood between
the lower part of the Ball of his Thumb and his three hind-Fingers.
Then he lays the upper half of the Mold upon the under half, so as
the Male-Gages may fall into the Female Gages, and at the same time
the Foot of the Matrice place itself upon the Stool. And clasping his
left-hand Thumb strong over the upper half of the Mold, he nimbly
catches hold of the Bow or Spring with his right-hand Fingers at the
top of it, and his Thumb under it, and places the point of it against
the middle of the Notch in the backside of the Matrice, pressing
it as well forwards towards the Mold, as downwards by the Sholder
of the Notch close upon the Stool, while at the same time with his
hinder-Fingers as aforesaid, he draws the under half of the Mold
towards the Ball of his Thumb, and thrusts by the Ball of his Thumb the
upper part towards his Fingers, that both the Registers of the Mold
may press against both sides of the Matrice, and his Thumb and Fingers
press both Halves of the Mold close together. Then he takes the Handle
of the Ladle in his right Hand, and with the Boll of it gives a Stroak
two or three outwards upon the Surface of the Melted Mettal to scum or
cleer it from the Film or Dust that may swim upon it. Then he takes up
the Ladle full of Mettal, and having his Mold as aforesaid in his left
hand, he a little twists the left side of his Body from the Furnace,
and brings the Geat of his Ladle, (full of Mettal) to the Mouth of the
Mold, and twists the upper part of his right-hand towards him to turn
the Mettal into it, while at the same moment of Time he Jilts the Mold
in his left hand forwards to receive the Mettal with a strong Shake
(as it is call’d) not only into the Bodies of the Mold, but while the
Mettal is yet hot, running swift and strongly into the very Face of the
Matrice to receive its perfect Form there as well as in the Shanck.”

This done, the mould is opened, and the type released; Moxon adding
that a workman will ordinarily cast 4,000 such letters in a day.

Then follow rules to be observed in breaking off, rubbing, kerning,
setting-up and dressing, with descriptions of the dressing-sticks,
block-groove, hook, knife and “plow.” That these operations, as well
as the casting, had undergone no alteration nearly a century after
Moxon’s day, may be judged from the fact that Moxon’s descriptions are
used verbatim to accompany the view of the {112} interior of Caslon’s
foundry, shown in the _Universal Magazine_ of 1750, where all these
operations are exhibited in active progress.

With regard to the preparation of the type-metal, Moxon’s account is
minute and a trifle peculiar. This metal was, according to his account,
made of lead hardened with iron.[185] Stub-nails were chosen as the
best form of iron to melt, and the mixture was made with the assistance
of antimony, of which an equal amount with the iron was added to the
lead, in the proportion of 3 lb. of iron to 25 lb. of lead. The great
heat required to melt the iron necessitated open furnaces of brick,
built out of doors, in a broad, open place, well exposed to the wind,
into which the iron and antimony mixture was put in pots surrounded
with charcoal. After half an hour’s time the metal men were to “lay
their Ears near the Ground and listen to hear a Bubling in the Pots,”
which is the sign that the iron is melted. They then were to erect
another small furnace, “on that side from whence the Wind blows,” which
was to contain the large pot full of lead. The lead being melted, they
were to carry it at a great heat, with a “Labour would make Hercules
sweat,” to the open furnace, filling up the pots of iron and antimony
with the lead, and stirring at the same time. The open furnace was
to be then demolished, and the mixed metal left to cool in the pots.
And “now,” says Moxon, “(according to Custom), is Half a Pint of Sack
mingled with Sallad Oyl provided for each Workman to Drink; intended
for an Antidote against the Poysonous Fumes of the Antimony, and to
restore the Spirits that so Violent a Fire and Hard Labour may have

Such is a brief account of the practice of typefounding in Moxon’s
time. Of the trade customs of the day our author also presents us with
a curious picture, in his account of the Chapel.

“A Founding-House,” he says, “is also call’d a Chappel: but I suppose
the Title was originally assum’d by Founders to make a Competition with
Printers. The Customes used in a Founding-House are made as near as
maybe those of a Printing-House; but because the Matter they Work on
and the manner of their Working is different, therefore such different
Customes are in Use as are suitable to their Trade, as:―

     “First, To call Mettle Lead, a Forfeiture.

     “Secondly, A Workman to let fall his Mold, a Forfeiture.

     “Thirdly, A Workman to leave his Ladle in the Mettle Noon or
     Night, a Forfeiture.” {113}

We are given to understand that in the case of other offences, common
to both printing and typefounding, such as swearing, fighting,
drunkenness, abusive language, or giving the lie in the chapel, or
the equally heinous offence of leaving a candle burning at night, the
journeyman founder was liable to be “solaced” by his fellow-workmen,
in the same hearty and energetic way which characterised the
administration of justice among the printers.

After Moxon’s time we meet with numerous accounts of foundries and
their appointments. The interesting inventory of the Oxford foundry,
appended to the specimen of the press in 1695, gives a good idea of
the extent of that establishment. There were apparently two casters,
two rubbers, and two or three dressers, and the foundry possessed
twenty-eight moulds. The punches were sealed up in an earthen pot,
possibly to protect them from rust or injury; or possibly, because
having once served their purpose in striking the matrices, they were
put aside as of little or no use. The small value put upon punches
after striking is constantly apparent about this period. Very few
punches came down with the foundries which were absorbed by that of
John James; and of those that did, the greater portion were left
to take their chance among the waste as worthless. The small value
set upon the punches of Walpergen’s music, in the inventory of his
plant,[186] shows that they were considered the least important of his
belongings. Matrices did not wear out in the old days of hand-moulds
and soft metal, as they do now under steam machines and “extra hard”;
but the liability to loss or damage, and the importance of protecting
and preserving the steel originals of their types, can hardly have been
less with the founders of a century and a half ago than it is to-day.

The entertaining letters of Thomas James from Holland, in 1710,[187]
point to a curious practice in that country, which we believe has never
obtained in this. We refer to the habit of lending casters and matrices
by one founder to another. In each of the two foundries he visited
there were places for four casters; but in one case only one man was
at work, and in the other no one was to be found, for this reason.
This system of interchange is hardly consistent with the jealousy and
suspicion shown by the same Dutch founders towards their English rival
in his endeavours to procure sets of matrices from their punches. In
this endeavour, however, he succeeded, much to his own satisfaction.
He also purchased moulds, which, like all the other Dutch moulds he
saw, were made of brass. Voskens’ foundry, which he visited, appears
to have been “a great business, having five or six men constantly at
the furnace, besides boys to rub, and himself and a brother {114} to
do the other work.” He also found artists who, like Cupi and Rolij,
were punch-cutters only, not attached to any one foundry, but doing
work for founders generally. Van Dijk was a cutter only, who kept a
founder of his own named Bus, and this founder cast, not at his own
or Van Dijk’s house, but at the house of Athias, by whom probably he
was also engaged. The Voskens, who succeeded Van Dijk, did their own
casting, but their punches and matrices were supplied them by Rolij,
who, as an independent artist, was free to sell duplicate matrices of
his letters to James. This division of letter-founding into one or more
trades, though common abroad, was never a common practice in England,
where jealousy and lack of enterprise conspired to keep each founder’s
business a mystery known only to himself.[188]

In the course of this book we shall have constant occasion to point
out the intimate relations which existed at the beginning of the
eighteenth century between English printers and Dutch founders. There
was probably more Dutch type in England between 1700 and 1720 than
there was English. The Dutch artists appeared for the time to have the
secret of the true shape of the Roman letter; their punches were more
carefully finished, their matrices better justified, and their types of
better metal, and better dressed, than any of which our country could
boast. Nor was it till Caslon developed a native genius that English
typography ceased to be more than half Dutch.

Thiboust’s quaint Latin poem on the excellence of printing,[189]
though throwing little new light on the practice of the art, is
worth recording here, not only for the description it gives of
letter-founding in France at the time, but for the sake of the curious
woodcut which accompanies it. The latter represents a round furnace in
the centre of a room, surmounted by a metal pot, at which two casters
are standing, with ladle and mould in hand. The moulds, of which a
number are to be seen in a rack against the wall, are almost cubic in
shape, and apparently without the hooks shown in Moxon’s illustration.
One of the casters is holding his mould low, as in the act of casting.
A workman sitting on a stool is setting up in a stick the newly-cast
type from a box on the {115} floor—possibly breaking them off at the
same time. Beyond is a dresser grooving out the break in a stick of

[Illustration: 26. Letter-founding in France in 1718. (From Thiboust’s
_Typographiæ Excellentia_.)]

Of the portion of the poem devoted to letter-founding,[190] we venture
to give the following rough translation:― {116}

 “The founder see, whose molten metal glows
  Above the blazing furnace. From the pot
  His ladle nimbly feeds the curious mould,
  Whence straight the type in perfect fashion falls.
  The willing servant, he, of all the Schools,
  Whether in Latin they would write, or Greek,
  Or in the Hebrew tongue their minds disclose,
  Or in the German. He, for all prepared,
  Skilful, for each his character provides.
  See with what art the several types are cast,
  Each from its parent matrix; see how bright,
  Trimmed by the dresser’s cunning knife, they lie.
  He the redundant metal first breaks off,
  Then on the stick in order sets the type,
  And with his plane their equal height assures.
  Such is the founder’s craft, whose arduous round
  Of toil ’midst ardent heats is daily found.”

A still more satisfactory view of an eighteenth century foundry is
to be found in the _Universal Magazine_ of 1750. This engraving, of
which our frontispiece is a facsimile, represents the interior of
Caslon’s foundry, with the processes of casting, breaking-off, rubbing,
setting-up, and dressing, all in operation. The casting is specially
interesting, in the light of Moxon’s graphic account of the attitudes
and contortions of the caster. Unlike their French brethren, each of
Caslon’s casters stands partitioned off from his neighbour, with a
furnace and pan to himself. One of them is dipping his ladle in the pot
for a new cast; the next holds his mould lowered, at the commencement
of a “pour”; the third has evidently completed the upward jerk
necessary to force the metal into the matrix; and the fourth, with his
mould again lowered, is apparently throwing out the type and preparing
for the next casting.

A set of three views of the interior of a French foundry, from an
_Encyclopædia_[191] of about this date, presents a few interesting
points of contrast between foreign and English methods. In the first
view the process of punch-cutting is displayed.[192] One man is
finishing a punch with his file; another is striking a counter-punch
(with perhaps undue energy) into the steel face of a punch; while the
third, at a large forge, is hammering a piece of steel in readiness
for the engraver. The second view shows metal making, casting,
breaking-off, and {117} rubbing, in operation. There are two men at
the large furnace, one watching the melting of antimony in a crucible,
the other pouring off the mixed metal into ingots. At the small metal
pot with three divisions, in the centre of the room, are three casters,
one of whom is about to cast, another has finished his “throw,” and the
third is loosening his spring so as to open the mould. At the table in
the rear sit two girls, one breaking off, the other rubbing. The third
view represents a dressing-room, where a girl is setting up the rubbed
types on a stick. The dresser is ploughing the “break” from the foot of
a stick of types, which is placed in the blocks, not lengthways along
the bench, but across it. An apprentice sitting at the table completes
the dressing, holding one end of the stick tilted while he passes
his scraper over the front and back of the row of types. Drawings of
all the tools and parts of tools used in typefounding complete the

Fournier, the French Moxon, in 1764 devoted the latter part of vol. i
of his _Manuel Typographique_[193] to the appliances and instruments
used in type-casting. His work enters in detail into the form and use
of every tool used in every department of the trade, from the cutting
of the punch to the storage of the finished types, giving careful and
accurate woodcuts of each. Allowing for a few national peculiarities,
and certain improvements in casting, there is scarcely anything but
the date of the book to distinguish it from a mechanical handbook to
typefounding in the middle of the nineteenth century.

The operations of punch-cutting and justifying appear to have been
kept a mystery from the earliest days of the trade. To lay minds,
the one work of the founder was to cast types; but the preliminary
operations on which his whole reputation as a founder depended, were
little understood by any but the founder himself. And even he, as in
the case of the first two Caslons, carried on this part of the mystery
stealthily, and with closed doors even against his own apprentices. In
many cases, especially with the originators of the great foundries,
Caslon, Cottrell and Jackson, it was the master himself who designed
and cut his own punches. It was not till the unusual demand for
artists at the close of last century broke down this exclusiveness
that outsiders arose to work for the trade in general. And even these,
it was the policy and endeavour of each founder to attach to himself,
treating him as a gentleman at large, and free from the obligations
imposed on his other workmen.

_The Rules and Regulations of Thorne’s Foundry_, printed about the
year 1806, give an interesting glimpse into the internal economy of a
foundry of that period. After fixing the prices to be paid for work
(for casting, rubbing, and kerning were {118} all paid by “piece”),
they provide that the dressers shall have 25_s._ a week, “abiding by
the old custom of leaving work at four o’clock on Mondays. Each man
to dress after four casters.” The fines for “foot-ale” imposed on new
hands are ordered to be deposited with the master, who is to keep an
account of the same, and divide it equally among the men at Christmas.
The foundry hours are from six in the morning to eight in the evening
in summer, and from seven to eight in winter, “beginning when
candle-light commences.” The dressers are to work from seven to eight
in summer, and eight to eight in winter. Any man losing or damaging
a mould, matrix, or tool, to make good the loss on the following
Saturday. Any man leaving his lamp or candle alight after hours is to
pay 6_d._, and the master for a similar offence is to fine himself
1_s._ Rubbers must grind their stones once a fortnight, “if requested
to do so either by the master or foreman.” No work to be taken out of
the foundry. Casters and rubbers must take their turn at carrying in
metal. Breaking-off and setting-up boys shall earn 10_d._ a week for
each man they set-up after. Many of these customs are traditional, and
survive at the present time.

Conservatism, indeed, has been a marked feature in the history of
British letter-founding. Between 1637 and 1837 the number of important
foundries rarely exceeded the limit prescribed by the Star Chamber
decree of the former year. The methods and practice of the art, as
we have seen, remained virtually unchanged during the whole period.
The traditional customs, the trade _argot_, the relations of men
to men, and men to masters, even the tricks and gestures of the
caster, suffered nothing by the lapse of two centuries. The relations
of the founders among themselves during the period underwent more
vicissitudes. At all times jealous of their mystery, they mistrusted
in turn the printers and one another. As the new school of Caslon
and his apprentices rose up to oust the old Dutch school of James,
mutual antagonism was the order of the day. The literary duel between
the Caslons and the Frys was perhaps the least injurious outcome of
this spirit. This antagonism resolved itself, at the close of last
century, into a combination of London founders against their rising
Scotch competitors. An Association was formed in 1793, which continued
for three years. In 1799 it was re-formed, and this time lasted four
years; and again in 1809 it was revived and continued till 1820,
when it terminated. In the early days of this Association the lady
Caslons took a prominent part in its deliberations, which, however,
frequently consisted of little more than the imposition of fines for
non-attendance. The prices of type during this period, chiefly owing
to the fluctuations in the value of metals during the French war,
were constantly changing. Pica in 1793 was 1_s._ 1 1/2_d._ a pound,
in 1800 1_s._ 4_d._, in 1810 3_s._, and in 1816 (after the price of
antimony had gone down from £400 to £200 a {119} ton), 2_s._ The
Scotch founders, however, joined presently by the Sheffield houses,
continued to underbid the London founders in their own market; and at
one time a combination of all the English houses existed in opposition
to the unfortunate new foundry of the Frenchman, Pouchée.

       *       *       *       *       *

Our survey does not extend beyond the year 1830, but before concluding
this hasty outline of the progress of letter-founding as a mechanical
trade, it will be interesting to notice the gradual changes in the
process of casting which led to the final abandonment of the venerable
hand-mould in favour of machinery.

We cannot do better than give a brief summary from the Patent Book[194]
of the chief improvements proposed to be made in typefounding prior
to 1830, premising that many of the schemes advanced no further than
the proposal, and that some of the most important improvements which
actually did take place were not registered in the Patent Book at all.

     1790.—WILLIAM NICHOLSON proposed to cast type in the usual manner,
     except that instead of leaving a space in the mould for the stem
     of the letter only, several letters are cast at once in ordinary
     moulds, communicating by a common groove at the top. The types are
     also to be scraped in dressing, so as to render the tail of the
     letter gradually smaller the more remote it is from the face; thus
     enabling them to be set imposed upon a cylindrical surface.

     1790.—ROBERT BARCLAY. A method of making punches on broken steel,
     the irregular figures in the grain of which will effectually
     obviate counterfeit. Punches may be formed of steel broken as
     above, by cutting, drilling, punching, bending parts of the
     letters, and leaving the grain of the steel to form the lines or
     strokes; and in this way complex founts of type might be cast,
     every letter of which would vary in its lines from every other.

     1802.—PHILIP RUSHER.[195] Improvements in the form of printing
     types. Each capital letter, with few exceptions, should be
     comprised in the compass of an oval. Each small letter is to be
     without tail-piece or descender, and the metal (both in small
     letters and capitals) is to extend no lower than the body of the
     letter. The letters above the line have their heads shortened or
     lowered about one-third.

     1806.—ANTHONY FRANCIS BERTE. A machine for casting type. The
     casting is performed by applying the mould to one of several
     apertures in the side of the metal pot, through which, by the
     removal of a lock or valve, the metal is made suddenly to flow
     into the mould with a force proportionate to the height of the
     surface of the type-metal in the vessel.[196] {120}

     1806.—ELIHU WHITE. A machine for casting types; consisting of
     a matrix-box containing a certain number of matrices, which is
     applied to a complex mould having a similar number of apertures,
     through which the metal is poured, thus forming several types at
     one operation.

     1807.—ANTHONY FRANCIS BERTE. Improvements on his former patent.
     The metal is forced through the aperture by means of a plug
     or piston, and the machine is so contrived as to regulate the
     quantity of metal ejected at each application of the mould.

     Another improvement consists of making the body of the mould in
     four adjustable pieces instead of two, which will admit of changes
     in the body, as well as the thickness of the types. The moulds
     are without nicks,[197] and the type, when cast, is expelled by a
     punch or other tool, without opening the mould.

     1809.—JOHN PEEK. A machine for the more expeditious casting of
     types, by which three motions out of the five ordinarily made use
     of in casting, are saved. This consists in the addition of two
     parts to the ordinary hand-mould; that to the upper part being a
     plate with a socket in which the matrix is suspended on pivots,
     and that to the lower part being a bolt which presses the matrix
     to the mould, where it is kept by a spiral spring round the bolt,
     and by the withdrawal of which the matrix is tilted, another
     spiral spring keeping it in that position till the mould recloses.
     The bolt is worked by a lever.[198]

     1812.—WILLIAM CASLON. An improved printing type. The face or
     letter part of the type is made of the usual thickness, and
     in the usual way, “but the body, which is commonly made about
     seven-eighths of an inch, I make only three-sixteenths of an inch
     in thickness; and the front of the said body I make sloping or
     bevelling upwards from the outer side towards the face, as well
     as the opposite side or back, by which means the upper part of
     the body is about one-eighth of an inch narrower than the under
     part of the same.” These short types are raised to the requisite
     height to paper by stands of the necessary thickness. “Or the
     body may, without being bevelled, be fixed by nails or otherwise,
     upon blocks of wood of a proper width and height. Or the stands
     may be made of the whole width of the body of the type, with only
     one projecting part, the other being screwed on after the types
     are put on the stands. The advantage of these types is in economy
     of weight and space; the former being one-half, and the latter
     one-third to one-half of the ordinary types.”

     1814.—AMBROISE FIRMIN DIDOT. An improvement in the method of
     making types. In Roman text, running hand or any other hand
     consisting more or less in hair strokes or fine lines, from letter
     to letter, the projecting extremities of each letter are extended
     so as to form a join with the next. In the case of inclined
     letters “I do, by suitable alteration in my moulds, cast my
     types and the beards and shanks or tails thereof with the same
     or nearly the same inclination or slope of surface as aforesaid;
     and to prevent such types sliding upon each other {121} when set
     up, a protuberance or projecting part is cast on one face, and a
     cavity or indentation corresponding to it in the opposite one; or
     otherwise I do, by angular or curved deviations from, in, or as to
     the straight direction of the said surfaces, render it impossible
     that any sliding should take place between the same.”

     1816.—ROBERT CLAYTON. A new method of preparing metal . . . types.
     The specification mainly relates to plate-printing, but concludes:
     “Thirdly, I obtain what I shall term alto or high-relief, by
     producing metal castings from wooden moulds or matrices, punched
     in wood with a cross-grain, which has been previously slightly
     charred or baked.”[199] The metal is bismuth, tin and lead in
     equal parts, or tin (4), bismuth (4), lead (3), and antimony (1).

     1822.—WILLIAM CHURCH. Machine for casting the types and arranging
     them ready to be transferred to the composing machinery. A
     matrix-bar containing a series of matrices is applied to a
     mould-bar, with a corresponding number of moulds. At the time
     of casting the latter is applied to jets leading from the metal
     chest, which is supplied from a metal fountain connected with the
     metal pot, and furnished with a valve to prevent the return of the
     metal. After the casting, the mould-bar, drawn endways, cuts off
     communication with the metal, and brings the said types beneath a
     series of punches, which descend and force them out at the same
     time that the matrix-box is unlocked, and descends clear of the
     types . . . The mould-bar is kept cool during the process by a
     stream of water passing through it . . . The metal is injected by
     the descent of a plunger into the metal chest. The type, as cast,
     is carried direct into a composing machine, where it is set up by
     means of a mechanism worked by keys, resembling the notes of a

     1823.—LOUIS JOHN POUCHÉE[201] (communicated by Didot of Paris).
     Machine calculated to cast from 150 to 200 types at each
     operation, the operation being repeated twice or oftener in a
     minute. The moulds are composed of steel bars. The first has
     horizontal grooves at right angles to its length, and forms the
     body of the letter. The second is a matrix-bar, screwed to the
     bottom of the first. The third bar forms the fourth side of the
     type-body. The feet of the type are made by the fourth, a “break
     bar,” with orifices communicating with each type-mould. Two of
     these moulds are placed side by side so as to form a trough
     between them, in which the molten metal is poured, nearly as high
     as the orifices on the “break bar.” On pulling a trigger by a
     string, a plunger at the end of a lever falls into the trough, and
     injects the metal into the moulds. The lever is slightly raised
     after the casting, by a treadle, after which the workman raises it
     by hand until it passes a catch, which retains it until the string
     is pulled again. The mould is then unclamped, the mould-bars drawn
     asunder by wrenches, the types are found adhering to the break bar
     like the teeth of a comb, when they are broken off and dressed in
     the usual way.

     1823.—JOHN HENFREY AND AUGUSTUS APPLEGARTH. Certain machinery for
     casting types. The type is cast in a space between two flanges,
     set at right angles on a spindle, and pressed to and drawn from
     one another alternately by a spring and a peculiarly arranged
     eccentric piece. A piece of steel, called the “body,” adjustable
     to the thickness of the particular type, is screwed to one of the
     flanges. The matrix is on a carriage, and is run through holes in
     the flanges for the casting, and kept in its place by a spring.
     The metal is {122} injected by the descent of a plunger, which
     recovers itself by a spring. After the casting the spindle begins
     to revolve, immediately upon which the matrix is disengaged from
     the type and withdrawn clear of the flanges. The flanges are then
     opened, and the cast type pushed from the mould by the action
     of spring pins. A type is thus cast for each revolution of the
     spindle. The “break” is disengaged from the letter by two small
     pins, one of which protrudes from each jaw after the casting.[202]

     1828.—THOMAS ASPINWALL. An improved method of casting types, by
     means of a “Mechanical Type Caster.” The working parts of this
     machine are mounted on a table suspended so as to move to and from
     the melting-pot. The mould is in two parts, mounted on two sliding
     “carrier pieces” on the table, inclined to each other at a slight
     angle. The matrix is held during the casting by a spring. On the
     revolution of the crank shaft (by hand) a sliding rod on the table
     is made to move towards the melting-pot, and the carrier pieces
     being acted upon by a cross-bar attached to it by springs, are
     drawn forward so as to unite the two parts of the mould for the
     casting. By a further revolution of the crank shaft, a projecting
     piece on the end of the sliding rod, coming in contact with an
     adjusting screw on one end of a bent lever, causes it to turn on
     its centre, and by a friction roller at the other end forces down
     the plunger of a cylinder communicating with the metal pot, so as
     to inject the metal into a chamber, whence it ejects a portion
     previously there through a nozzle into the mould as it is moved
     forward by the forward motion of the table. The handle of the
     crank is then turned the reverse way, the table swings back from
     the metal pot, the plunger rises by a spring, the parts of the
     mould separate, the matrix is withdrawn from the cast type by a
     lever (which overcomes the force of the spring by which it is held
     during the casting), and the type itself loosened from the mould
     by coming in contact with an inclined plane.

We conclude these extracts with a proposal suggestive more of the
primitive experiments of the first printers than of nineteenth century

     1831.—JAMES THOMSON. Certain improvements in making or producing
     printing types. “My improvements consist in making printing types
     by casting or forming a cake of metal having letters formed and
     protruding on one side of it, and in afterwards sawing this cake
     directly or transversely, so as to divide it into single types.”
     The casting is effected in two ways. First by forming a mould
     from types set up, and immersing this within an iron box in a pot
     of melted type-metal, “as in making stereotype plates; with this
     difference, however, that in the present case, the plate must be
     as thick as the length of the intended type; and further, that
     in setting up the types for the cast, proper spaces must be made
     between each letter and between the lines, in order to allow for
     what will be taken away in the sawing.” The second mode is “by
     taking a plate of copper or other suitable metal, and making in
     it indentations or matrices with a punch having on it the letter
     for the intended type, taking care to make them in straight rows,
     direct and transverse. The plate being so indented, is put into
     an iron box and immersed in a pot of liquid type-metal, and kept
     there the proper depth and proper time, so as to enable the metal
     fully to enter into those indentations or matrices, that the
     letter may be well formed. The cake thus cast or formed, after
     being taken out and cooled, is sawed as before.”





Our Statute Books and Public Records do not throw any very important
light on the early history of English letter-founding. Although a
busy import trade in type appears to have been maintained by the
earliest printers, and although as early as the days of De Worde, as
we have seen, there were English printers who not only cast types
for themselves, but are supposed to have supplied them to others, we
search in vain for any definite reference to letter-founding in the
decrees and proclamations which, prior to 1637, had for their object
the regulation or repression of printing. It is true that the term
printing was at that period wide enough to cover all its tributary
arts, from paper-making to book-selling. At the same time, it is
noteworthy that, whereas in many of the early decrees paper-making,
book-binding and book-selling are distinctly mentioned, letter-founding
is invariably ignored. If any inference is to be drawn from this fact,
it is that type was one of the latest of the printer’s commodities to
go into the public market. A printer’s type was his own, and no one
else’s; and if occasionally one great printer was pleased to part with
founts of his letter to his brother craftsmen, either by favour or
for a consideration, it was not till late in the day—that is, not for
about a century after the introduction of printing into England—that
English-cast types became marketable ware in the country.

It is not our purpose here to review in detail the various decrees and
{124} proclamations which regulated printing in this country[203]; but
it will be interesting to notice such of them as appear to have special
reference to letter-founding.

The earliest Statute relating to printing was made in 1483, before the
art had well taken root in the country; and proclaimed free trade in
all printed matter imported from abroad. In 1533 this enactment was
repealed, on the ground that “at this day there be within this realm
a great number of cunning and expert in the said science or craft of

More direct control was assumed in 1556, when the charter was granted
to the Stationers’ Company, constituting that body the “Master and
Keepers, or Wardens and Commonalty, of the Mystery or Art of a
Stationer of the City of London.”[205] Under this comprehensive term,
there is little doubt, founders of type, had any at that time been
practising in London, would be included; and such being the case, it
would become necessary for them, as well as for paper-makers, printers,
binders, booksellers and others, to become members of the Stationers’
Company, and subsequently, in compliance with the enlarged powers
conferred on the Company in 1559 and 1556, to give surety to that body
for the due observance of the ordinances by virtue of which they held
their privileges.

The powers conferred on the Company by its charter related exclusively
to the publication of printed matter; and the rights of search granted
in the subsequent Acts confirming the charter appear to have been
directed rather against the possession of smuggled or illegally printed
books than against the possession of the materials necessary to produce

In 1582 was tried a celebrated lawsuit known as the Star Chamber
case of John Day _versus_ Roger Ward and William Holmes, for illegal
printing of an {125} _A B C_ and _Catechism_.[206] In the course
of the inquiry occurs an interesting reference to the practice of
printers as their own letter-founders, which we reproduce as being
one of the earliest direct notices of letter-founding in the Public
Records. Amongst the questions put to the recalcitrant Roger Ward[207]
the following three were intended to discover whether the illicit _A
B C_ was printed by him in his own type, or whether (with a view to
remove suspicion from himself) he had printed it in the type of another

     “QUESTION XIII. Did any person or personns Ayde help or assist you
     with paper letters (_type_) or other necessaries in this work?

     “ANSWER. He was not with paper letters (_type_) or other
     necessaryes in the said worke aidyd holpen or assistyd by any
     manner of personne or persons but that one Adam a Servant of
     Master Purfo(o)ttes dyd lend him some letters wherewith he
     imprinted the said boke.

     “QUESTION XVIII. Whether were the Letters wherewith you imprinted
     the sayd _A B C_ your owne yea or no? If not whose were they and
     by what meanse came you by them, And whether with the Consent
     of the owner or not? And whether have you redelivered them back
     againe and how long since, And what nomber of Reames did you
     imprint with the said letter?

     “ANSWER. That all the letters wherewith he impryntyd the said _A
     B C_ were not his owne for he dyd borrowe of one Adame, a man of
     one master Purfott all the Inglisshe (_i.e._, _Black_) Letters to
     the said worke and he borrowyd these letters without the consent
     of the said master Purfytt and hath the same as yet in this
     defendants custodye and have not Redelyvered of the same sithes
     he borrowyd the same as aforesaid and to his Remembrance he Did
     imprynt with the sayd letter the nomber of Twentie Reames of paper.

     “QUESTION XIX. Whether have you cast any new Letter of your owne
     since the first printinge of the said _A B C_, and what nomber of
     the same have you printed of that letter (_in that type_)?

     “ANSWER. He confessyth that he hath sythes the first imprintyng of
     the said _A B C_, cast a newe letter of his owne and yet he hath
     not pryntyd any of that letter (_in that type_).”

This testimony was generally corroborated by the other printers and
persons examined, to many of whom it appeared to be notorious that
Roger Ward had printed the book in a letter not his own, and that he
had since cast a new fount of type for his own use. The whole inquiry
throws a curious light on the methods of business of the printers of
the day. Composition then, as Mr. Arber points out, was not necessarily
done in the master-printer’s house where he kept {126} his press.
Of course that which was done by himself and his apprentices was
done there, but work given out to journeymen (who were generally
householders), was probably done in their houses and paid for by
piecework. “A custom which,” continues Mr. Arber, “was facilitated by
most of the books then printed being almost always in some one size of
type. Therefore there could not be so much control exercised over the
literature in respect to the guardianship of the type—however easy it
was for printers of that day to identify the printer of a book by its
typography—neither do we find any such attempted; but only in respect
to the custody of the hand printing press, which was doubtless well
secured every night as a dangerous instrument, lest secret nocturnal
printing should go on without the owner’s consent.”[208]

In the same year, 1582, Christopher Barker, the Queen’s printer, drew
up an able report on the condition of printing as it then existed, in
which, among other matters, he referred to the cost of making type,
and its consequent effect on publishers and printers. “In King Edward
the Sixt his Dayes,” he says, “Printers and printing began greatly to
increase; but the provision of letter, and many other thinges belonging
to printing was so exceeding chargeable, that most of those printers
were Dryven throughe necessitie, to compound before[hand] with the
booksellers at so low value, as the printers themselves were most tymes
small gayners and often loosers . . . The Bookesellers . . now (1582)
. . keepe no printing howse, neither beare any charge of letter, or
other furniture, but onlie paye for the workmanship . . . so that the
artificer printer, growing every Daye more and more unable to provide
letter[209] and other furniture . . . will in tyme be an occasion of
great discredit to the professours of the arte.”

The report goes on to mention that at that time (December 1582) “there
are twenty-two printing howses in London, where eight or ten at the
most would suffise for all England, yea, and Scotland too.”[210]

In May of the following year there were twenty-three printers with
fifty-three presses among them, and during the next two years the
number appears to have increased so considerably as to call for that
sweeping enactment, the Star Chamber decree of 1586. This famous
measure prohibits all presses out of London, except one each at the
two Universities, and “tyll the excessive {127} multytude of Prynters
havinge presses already sett up be abated,” permits no new press
whatsoever to be erected.[211] The Stationers’ Company have authority
to inspect all printing offices, “to search take and carry away all
presses, letters and other pryntinge instrumentes sett up, used or
employed . . contrary to the intent and meaninge hereof; . . . and
thereupon shall cause all suche printing presses, or other printing
instruments, to be Defaced, melted, sawed in peeces, broken, or
battered . . . and the stuffe of the same so defaced, shall redelyver
to the owners thereof againe within three monethes next after the
takinge or seizinge thereof as aforesayd.”[212]

The Company were not slow in making use of their enlarged powers, and
the refractory Roger Ward appears to have had considerable experience
of the rigours of the new decree. In October 1586 the wardens seized on
his premises “3 presses and divers other parcells of pryntinge stuffe,”
and ordered them to be defaced and rendered unserviceable, according to
the tenor of the decree. In 1590 they made a further visitation, and
discovered that “he did kepe and conceale a presse and other pryntinge
stuff in a Taylor’s house near adjoyninge to his owne, and did hide
his letters in a hen house near St. Sepulchure’s Churche, expressely
against the Decrees of the Star Chamber. All the whyche stuff were
brought to Stacioners Hall” and duly destroyed. But the dauntless Roger
Ward was not thus to be extinguished, and scarcely six months later, at
Hammersmith, another press, “with 5 formes of letters of Divers sortes
and 3 cases with other printing stuffe,” were impounded and rigorously

Nor was Ward the only victim. In a Secret Report presented in September
1589 to Lord Burleigh respecting the authors of the famous Marprelate
Tracts, it is stated that the printer of the first three of these,
“all beinge printed in a Dutch letter,” was Robert Waldegrave; and
“towchinge the printinge of the two last Lebells in a litle Romaine and
Italian letter,” the report states—once more showing how in those days
a printer was known by his types—“the letter that these be printed in
is the same that did printe the _Demonstration of Discipline_ aboute
Midsommer was twelve moneth (24 June, 1588), which was printed by
Waldegrave neere Kingston upon Thames, as is discovered. When his other
letters and presse were defaced about Easter was twelve moneth {128}
(7th April, 1588) he saved these lettres in a boxe under his Cloke, and
brought them to Mistris Cranes howse in London, as is allso confessed;
and they are knowen by printers to be Waldegrave’s letters; And it is
the same letter that was taken with Hodgkys. These two last Libells
came abroade in July (1589) last. Now it is confessed by the Carier
that John Hodgkys that is taken, did send from a gentlemans howse in
Woltonam in Warwikeshier unto Warrington immediatlye after whitsontyde
last (18 May 1589), a printinge presse, two boxes of letter, a barrell
of nicke (_incke ?_), a baskett and a brasse pott, which were delyvered
to him at Warrington,” etc.[213]

The Stationers’ Company, on the whole, had a busy time during the few
years following the Star Chamber decree, in hunting up and destroying
disorderly presses and the “stuffe” appertaining thereto. The numerous
monopolies and patents of which they were the appointed guardians
provoked a regular secret organisation of unprivileged printers,[214]
who pirated right and left, sometimes with impunity, sometimes at the
cost of losing their whole plant and stock-in-trade by a raid of the

These raids must have kept the typecasters of the day well occupied,
and it is even possible that the “stuffe” which from time to time fell
into the hands of the Company may have included punches, matrices and
moulds, which it would be far less easy to replace than presses, ink
and balls.

A printer liable to such visitations would prefer, if possible, to
procure his type out of doors, rather than maintain the valuable plant
requisite to make it himself; and it is probable that the outside
demand thus created may have been among the causes which led to the
establishment of one or two small foundries, unconnected with any one
printing office in particular, whose business it would be to supply any
purchaser with type from its matrices.

The Stationers’ Company, who from time to time supplemented the powers
conferred upon them by the Star Chamber with regulations of their own
on matters such as standing formes, apprentices and prices, would
naturally recognise a source of danger in a new foundry starting under
the circumstances described, and were prompt to assert their authority.

Accordingly we find the following entry in the Index to the Court Books
of the Company under date 1597:―

     “BENJAMIN SYMPSON, letter founder, to enter into a £40 bond not
     to cast any letters or characters, or to deliver them, without
     advertising the Master and Wardens in writing, with the names of
     the parties for whom they are intended.—1597.” {129}

Here we have the first historical record of letter-founding as a
distinct and recognised trade.[215] Of Benjamin Sympson and his types
nothing is known. His name does not occur in any of the lists of
printers of the period, nor does it appear that he was even a member of
the Stationers’ Company. Whether he was called upon at his own request
to qualify as a typefounder, or whether the resolution of the Court was
arrived at in consequence of his previous transactions with one or more
of the disorderly printers, is equally uncertain.

In 1598 the Stationers’ Company made a regulation respecting the price
of work, which is also of interest, as indicating the bodies of type at
that time most commonly in use for bookwork. It was as follows:―

     “No new copies without pictures to be printed at more than the
     following rates: those in pica Roman and Italic and in English
     (_i.e._, _Black letter_) with Roman and Italic at a penny for two
     sheets; those in brevier and long primer letters at a penny for
     one sheet and a half.”[216]

A further regulation regarding typefounders shows that in 1622 the
trade had more than one recognised representative:―

     “The Founders bound to the Company by bond, not to deliver
     any fount of new letters, without acquainting the Master and

The Act of 1586, despite the rigour with which, at first at any rate,
it was enforced, appears to have fallen into contempt, and to have been
openly {130} disregarded by the printers of the first quarter of the
seventeenth century. According to the account of the “London Printer,”
who wrote his _Lamentation_ in 1660, printing and printers, about 1637,
were grown to such “monstrous excess and exorbitant disorder” as to
call for the prompt and serious attention of the Court of Star Chamber,
who in that same year, because the former “Orders and Decrees have been
found by experience to be defective in some particulars; and divers
abuses have sithence arisen and been practiced by the craft and malice
of wicked and evill disposed persons,” put forward the famous Star
Chamber Decree of 1637.[217]

In this decree, the severity of which called forth from Milton his
noble protest, the _Areopagitica_,[218] letter-founding is formally
recognised as a distinct industry, and shares with printing the rigours
of the new restrictions. The following is the text of the clauses
relating to founders:―

     XXVII.—_Item_, The Court doth order and declare, that there
     shall be foure Founders of letters for printing allowed, and no
     more, and doth hereby nominate, allow, and admit these persons,
     whose names hereafter follow, to the number of foure, to be
     letter-Founders for the time being, (viz.) _John Grismand_,
     _Thomas Wright_, _Arthur Nichols_, _Alexander Fifield_. And
     further the Court doth Order and Decree, that it shall be lawfull
     for the Lord Arch-bishop of _Canterbury_, or the Lord Bishop of
     _London_ for the time being, taking unto him or them, six other
     high Commissioners, to supply the place or places of those who are
     now allowed Founders of letters by this Court, as they shall fall
     void by death, censure, or otherwise.

     Provided that they exceede not the number of foure, set down by
     this Court. And if any person or persons, not being an allowed
     Founder, shall notwithstanding take upon him, or them, to Found,
     or cast letters for printing, upon complaint and proofe made of
     such offence, or offences, he, or they so offending, shal suffer
     such punishment, as this Court, or the high Commission Court
     respectively, as the severall causes shall require, shall think
     fit to inflict upon them.

     XXVIII.—_Item_, That no Master-Founder whatsoever shall keepe
     above two Apprentices at one time, neither by Copartnership,
     binding at the Scriveners, nor any other way whatsoever, neither
     shall it be lawfull for any Master-Founder, when any Apprentice,
     or Apprentices shall run, or be put away, to take another
     Apprentice, or other Apprentices in his, or their place or places,
     unless the name or names of him, or them so gone away, be rased
     out of the Hall-booke of the Company, whereof the Master-Founder
     is free, and never admitted again, upon pain of such punishment,
     as by this Court, or the high Commission respectively, as the
     severall causes shall require, shall be thought fit to bee
     imposed. {131}

     XXIX.—_Item_, That all Journey-men-Founders be imployed by the
     Master-Founders of the said trade, and that idle Journey-men
     be compelled to worke after the same manner, and upon the same
     penalties, as in case of the Journey-men-Printers is before

     XXX.—_Item_, That no Master-Founder of letters, shall imploy any
     other person or persons in any worke belonging to the casting or
     founding of letters, than such only as are freemen or apprentices
     to the trade of founding letters, save only in the pulling off
     the knots of mettle hanging at the ends of the letters when they
     are first cast, in which work it shall be lawfull for every
     Master-Founder, to imploy one boy only that is not, nor hath beene
     bound to the trade of Founding letters, but not otherwise, upon
     pain of being for ever disabled to use or exercise that art, and
     such further punishment, as by this Court, or the high Commission
     Court respectively, as the severall causes shall require, be
     thought fit to be imposed.

     XIV.—_Item_, That no Joyner, or Carpenter, or other person, shall
     make any printing-Presse, no Smith shall forge any Iron-Worke
     for a printing Presse, and no Founder shall cast any Letters for
     any person or persons whatsoever, neither shall any person or
     persons bring, or cause to be brought in from any parts beyond the
     Seas, any Letters Founded or Cast, nor buy any such Letters for
     Printing, Unlesse he or they respectively shall first acquaint
     the said Master and Wardens, or some of them, for whom the same
     Presse, Iron-works, or Letters, are to be made, forged, or cast,
     upon paine of such fine and punishment, as this Court, or the
     high Commission Court respectively, as the severall causes shall
     require, shall thinke fit.

Respecting the four founders thus nominated, and their types, we shall
have occasion to speak in a following chapter. Continuing here our
cursory review of the Statutes which affected letter-founding, it is
necessary to remind the reader that this tremendous decree, which for
severity eclipsed all its predecessors, was short-lived.

On November 3, 1640, the Long Parliament assembled, and with it the
Star Chamber disappeared, and its decrees became dead letters. Then
for a season there was virtually free trade in printing, and advantage
was taken of the new condition of affairs to infringe existing rights
on every hand, the King’s Patent Printers (if we are to believe the
“London Printer,” above quoted) being the chief and most unscrupulous

Parliament was not slow to take up the mantle dropped by the late Star
Chamber, and in 1643 attempted to stem “the very grievous” liberty of
the press, reinvesting the Stationers’ Company with powers to search
and seize all unlicensed presses and books, and to apprehend the
“authors, printers and other persons whatsoever employed in compiling,
printing, stitching, binding, {132} publishing and dispersing the said
scandalous, unlicensed and unwarrantable papers, books and pamphlets.”

This ordinance, in which once more typefounders are conspicuous by
their absence, was strengthened by a further decree in 1647, and two
years later the Act of Sept. 20, 1649, virtually reimposed the old Star
Chamber regulations, requiring, among other provisions, that printers
should enter into a £300 bond not to print seditious or scandalous
matter; also that no house or room should be let to a printer, nor
implements made, press imported, or letters founded, without notice
to the Stationers’ Company. The penalties attached to a breach of
these orders were severe. This Act was renewed in 1652, but it failed
to remedy the abuses it was intended to meet. Private presses sprung
up on all hands; the art was degraded and prostituted to all manner
of base uses; workmen as well as master printers joined in their
complaints against disorders which were working their ruin. The number
of printers, restricted since 1586 to twenty, had grown to sixty; the
Royal printers themselves were interlopers, two of them not even being
practical printers, and all of them being political incendiaries.

Such being the condition of affairs, it is not surprising that in
1662 the remonstrances raised on all sides should result in an Act of
Parliament intended to dispose finally of the abuses complained of.

The Act of 1662 (13 and 14 Charles II, c. 33) reimposes the provisions
of the Star Chamber decree of 1637 with additional rigour.[220] It
enacts that no type is to be founded or cast, or brought from abroad,
without licence from the Stationers’ Company. The number of founders
is again limited to four, and all {133} vacancies in the number are
to be filled up by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Bishop of
London.[221] Masters of the Stationers’ Company, past and present,
may have three apprentices, liverymen two, and the commonalty only
one. Master founders must see that their journeymen are kept at work;
and these journeymen must be all Englishmen and freemen, or sons of
freemen. Founders working for the trade who offend are to be disabled
from following their craft for three years, and on a second offence to
be permanently disqualified, besides suffering punishment by fine or
imprisonment, or “other corporal punishment not extending to life and

This uncompromising Act was continued from time to time, with temporary
lapses, until 1693,[222] when, in the tide of liberty following the
Revolution, it disappeared. Despite its stern provisions, we find from
a petition entitled _The Case of the Free Workmen Printers_, presented
to the House about 1665, praying for its renewal, that the number of
printing-houses had already grown to seventy, with one hundred and
fifty apprentices; and in 1683 we have the evidence of Moxon that the
number of founders, as well as of printers, was grown “very many.” It
does not, however, appear that at any time during the continuance of
the Act, that the number of founders ever exceeded four. How far they
complied with the regulation requiring them to account to the Company
for all type cast, we are unable, in the absence of any register of
such accounts, to say; but that a register was duly kept is evident
from the following important minute of the Court in 1674:―

     “All the Letter-founders to give timely notice to the Master and
     Wardens, of all such quantities of letter as they shall cast
     for any person; which notice shall be entered by the Clerk in a
     register book to be provided for that purpose.—1674.”

In 1668, as will be seen in a subsequent chapter, the Company had, in
discharge of their authority, nominated Thomas Goring to the Archbishop
of Canterbury as “an honest and sufficient man” to be one of the four
founders allowed by the Act, there being then a vacancy in the number.
And that the penal clauses were not neglected is equally evident
from the resolution of the Court in 1685, withholding Godfrey Head’s
dividend until he should comply with the Act by giving an account to
the Company of what type he was casting. {134}

The latest minute on the Court Books relating to letter-founding was
in 1693—the year in which the Act expired—when the following order was

     “Printed papers to be delivered to all Founders, Press Makers and
     others concerned, requiring obedience to that Clause in the Act
     for preventing abuses in Printing, whereby all Letter Founders,
     Press Makers, Joiners, and others are commanded to acquaint the
     Master or Wardens what Presses or Letters they shall at any time
     make or cast.—1693.”

After 1693, letter-founding came from under all restraint. Laws of
copyright and patent still clung to printing,[223] but, except for a
proposal made about 1695 by one W. Mascall[224] that every printer,
letter-founder and press-maker should enter with a statement on oath
the number of his presses, the weight of his letter and the extent of
his other utensils, we find no reference to letter-founding in the
Public Records for upwards of a century.

Notwithstanding this liberty, the number of founders during the
eighteenth century appears rarely to have exceeded the figure
prescribed by the Star Chamber Decree of 1637, and occasionally to have
been less.

One more attempt was made in the closing days of the eighteenth century
to control the freedom of the press by law. There is something almost
grotesque in the efforts made by legislators in 1799 to refit, on a
full-grown and invincible press, the worn-out shackles by which the
Stuarts had tried to curtail the growth of its childhood; and the
Act of the 39th George III, cap. 79,[225] in so far as it deals with
printing, will always remain one of the surprises, as well as one of
the disgraces, of the Statute-book. Among its worst provisions, the
following affect letter-founders and letter-founding:―

Sec. 23 ordains that no one, under penalty of £20, shall be allowed
to possess or use a printing-press or types for printing, without
giving notice thereof to a Clerk of the Peace, and obtaining from him a
certificate to that effect.

Sec. 33 provides that any Justice of the Peace may issue a warrant
to search any premises, and seize and take away any press or
printing-types not duly certificated. {135}

The following sections we give in full:―

     Sec. 25. “That from and after the Expiration of Forty Days after
     the passing of this Act, every Person carrying on the Business
     of a Letter Founder or Maker or Seller of Types for Printing or
     of Printing Presses, shall cause Notice of his or her Intention
     to carry on such Business to be delivered to the Clerk of the
     Peace of the . . . Place where such Person shall propose to carry
     on such Business, or his Deputy in the Form prescribed in the
     Schedule of this Act annexed.[226] And such Clerk of the Peace
     or his Deputy shall, and he is hereby authorized and required
     thereupon to grant a Certificate in the Form also prescribed in
     the said Schedule,[227] for which such Clerk of the Peace or his
     Deputy shall receive a Fee of One Shilling and no more, and shall
     file such Notice and transmit an attested Copy thereof to one of
     his Majesty’s Principal Secretaries of State; and every Person
     who shall, after the expiration of the said Forty Days, carry on
     such Business, or make or sell any Type for Printing, or Printing
     Press, without having given such Notice, and obtained such
     Certificate, shall forfeit and lose the Sum of Twenty Pounds.”

     Sec. 26. “And be it further enacted, That every Person who shall
     sell Types for Printing, or Printing Presses as aforesaid, shall
     keep a Fair Account in Writing of all Persons to whom such Types
     or Presses shall be sold, and shall produce such Accounts to any
     Justice of the Peace who shall require the same; And if such
     Person shall neglect to keep such Account, or shall refuse to
     produce the same to any such Justice, on demand in Writing to
     inspect the same, such Person shall forfeit and lose, for such
     offence, the Sum of Twenty Pounds.”

Such was the law with regard to typefounding at the time when the
widows of the two Caslons were struggling to revive their then ancient
business, when Vincent Figgins was building up his new foundry, and
Edmund Fry, Caslon III and Wilson were busily occupied in cutting
their modern Romans to suit the new fashion. And such the law remained
nominally until the year 1869,[228] {136} just upon four centuries
after the introduction of the Art into this country. It is probable
that, during the first few disturbed years of its existence, the Act
may have been enforced, that certificates may have been registered,
and accounts dutifully furnished.[229] But its provisions appear very
soon to have fallen into contempt, and certainly, as far as we can
ascertain, failed to trouble the peace of any British letter-founder.

       *       *       *       *       *

Such is a hasty and very cursory review of the various laws which from
time to time have taken letter-founding under control. Whether they
succeeded in placing any real check on the progress of the art, it is
difficult to determine. But it is certain that the heaviest restrictive
measures have generally been accompanied not only by the most grievous
abuses in the spirit of the press, but by distinct degeneration in
the quality of the typographical work executed. A privileged printer,
sure of his monopoly and safe from competition, would have little
or no inducement to execute his work at more cost or pains than was
necessary. Old type would do as well as new, and bad type would do as
well as good. Free trade and open competition were the great evils to
be dreaded, because free trade and open competition would demand the
best paper, and type and workmanship. The typography of the entire
Stuart period is a disgrace to English art. Fine printing was an art
unknown; and only a few works like Walton’s _Polyglot_, which were
produced in an atmosphere untainted by mercenary considerations, stand
out to redeem the period from unqualified reproach.

On the other hand, the removal of the restrictions was the signal for a
revival which may be traced in almost every printed work of the early
eighteenth century. In the absence of any great English founder, the
best Dutch types came freely into the English market. Books came to be
legible, paper became white, ink black, and press-work respectable.
Caslon came in on the tide of the revival, as also did Bowyer, Watts,
Bettenham, and artists of their rank; and the emancipated press, among
them, made up the leeway of a wasted century, and, no longer in the
grip of faction, but the free servant of the great and wise of the
land, raised for itself monuments which will remain a lasting glory not
only to English scholarship and English eloquence, but also to English
typography, for which liberty has been, and always will be, the surest
road to achievement.






Printing was practised at Oxford within a year of the introduction
of the art into England. Setting aside the legend of Corsellis and
the “1468” _Exposicio Simboli_, we find that a printer, presumably
Theodoric Rood, from Cologne, was settled here in 1478, and issued
three works anonymously from his press during that and the following
year. Between 1480 and 1483, Rood printed eight works bearing his own
name, and in 1485 and 1486, in partnership with an Englishman named
Thomas Hunte, he produced six more.

Whether the first Oxford printer made his own type or procured it from
abroad, we have no information, but the distinctly Cologne character of
the two earliest founts favours the supposition that, like Caxton, he
brought at any rate his first types with him from the Continent. The
vague reference which Rood and Hunte make to their labours at the end
of the _Phalaridis Epistolæ_ in 1485,[230] does not throw much light on
the question, although the boast of an independent discovery of the art
of printing there recorded may possibly mean that towards the close of
their career they had arrived at a knowledge of the mystery of making
their own types.

Without attempting a detailed examination of the seventeen works of
the {138} first Oxford printers, we observe that during the eight
years in which they practised their art, they made use of seven
different kinds of type, which arrange themselves chronologically as
follows[231] :

 │ KNOWN │                                   │       │                      │
 │ DATE. │                 TITLE.            │ TYPE. │        GROUP.        │
 │“1468”†│_Exposicio Symboli_                │   a   │ Group I, “1468”-1479.│
 │ 1479  │_Aristotelis Ethica_               │   a   │ (No printer’s name.) │
 │ 1479  │_Ægidius de peccato originali_     │   a   │                      │
 │ ...   │_Cicero pro Milone_                │   b   │                      │
 │ ...   │_Latin Grammar in English_         │   b   │ Group II, 1481–82.   │
 │ 1481  │_Alexander de Ales. Expositio      │       │ (Theodoric Rood.)    │
 │       │   de Animâ._ Two Editions         │  b,c  │                      │
 │ 1482  │_Lattebury. Morales._ Two editions │  b,c  │                      │
 │ ...   │_Hampole. Explanationes_           │  d,e  │                      │
 │ ...   │_Swyneshed. Insolubilia_           │  d,e  │                      │
 │ ...   │_Anwykyll. Compendium._ 1st edition│d[e?]f │                      │
 │ ...   │_Anwykyll. Compendium._ 2nd edition│  d,f  │ Group III, 1483–86.  │
 │ ...   │_Lyndewode. Constitutiones_        │c,d,e,f│ (Rood and Hunte.)    │
 │ 1485  │_Phalaridis Epistolæ_              │  c,f  │                      │
 │ 1486  │_Liber Festivalis_                 │  f,g  │                      │
 │ ...   │_Textus Alexandri_                 │ d,f,g │                      │
 │ † Misprint for 1478.                                                     │

It will be noticed from the above list that type [a] was used solely
by the first anonymous Oxford printer, and disappeared entirely as
soon as Rood began to print in his own name. The letter is a Black of
similar character, as Mr. Bradshaw points out, to that used by Zell
and Guldenschaft at Cologne, and was probably brought thence to this
country. The body corresponds closely to the present “English.” One
peculiarity about type [a] is that in the mis-dated _Exposicio Simboli_
the capital [*Q] is always printed sideways ([*Q]), whereas in the two
following books it appears correctly.

During the two years that Rood printed under his own name alone, he
made use of a compressed Black-letter of English body, type [b], with
which, in the _Ales_ and _Lattebury_, he combined a larger Black, type
[c], on Double English body for chapter-headings or initials.

Type [b] disappeared entirely at the close of Rood’s solitary labours.
Type [c], however, was preserved; we find it used in single letters, or
very sparsely in two later works.

[Illustration: 27. Colophon of _Lyndewode’s Constitutiones_. Oxford,
1482 (?). Showing the types [c], [d], [e], [f].]

Rood and Hunte inaugurated their partnership by the introduction of
two {139} new founts of Black-letter, types [d] and [e], or rather
one fount having one size of capitals, and a small and large size of
“lower-case,” all cast on the same body, about a Pica, and capable
of being used interchangeably. Subsequently they used another double
fount, types [f] and [g], cast in the same manner, [f] being the small,
and [g] the large “lower-case,” with one size of capitals for both, all
cast on a body closely corresponding to Great Primer. The character
of this letter is decidedly Caxtonian, and suggests the possibility
that at this stage of their labours the printers may have learned the
art of making their own type. Type [f] had been in use for some time
in combination with [c], [d] and [e], before type [g] appeared. The
accompanying facsimile from the _Lyndewode_ shows types [c], [d], [e]
and [f].

We thus find that the seven early Oxford types reduce themselves to
four principal founts, and one fount of initial letter, of which the
following table will briefly sum up the typographical details :

 │TYPE.│                CHARACTER.            │ APPROXIMATE │         NOTES.           │
 │     │                                      │     BODY.   │
 │ a   │Cologne Black                         │English      │Used with no other        │
 │     │                                      │             │  type.                   │
 │ b   │Narrow Dutch Black                    │English      │Used alone or with [c]    │
 │     │                                      │             │  for headlines.          │
 │ c   │Heading and Initial Black             │2-line       │Used chiefly with [b],    │
 │     │                                      │ English     │  also with [d], [e], [f].│
 │ d   │Small lower-case Dutch     │With      │Pica         │Used chiefly with [e],    │
 │     │   Black                   │one       │             │  also with [f] and [g].  │
 +─────+───────────────────────────+set       +─────────────+──────────────────────────+
 │ e   │Large lower-case Dutch     │of        │Pica         │Used chiefly with [d],    │
 │     │   Black                   │Capitals. │             │  also with [f].          │
 │ f   │Small lower-case Caxtonian │With      │Great Primer.│Used chiefly with [g],    │
 │     │   Black                   │one       │             │  also with [d] and [e].  │
 +─────+───────────────────────────+set       +─────────────+──────────────────────────+
 │ g   │Large lower-case Caxtonian │of        │Great Primer.│Used chiefly with [f],    │
 │     │   Black                   │Capitals. │             │  also with [d].          │

The first Oxford press disappeared altogether in 1486, between which
date and 1517 no work is known to have issued. In 1517 John Scolar,
another German, printed a few small works very neatly in English and
Brevier black-letter, with a Great Primer for titles, and made use
of the University arms for the first time, either on his titles or
last pages. Scolar’s press, in turn, came to an abrupt standstill in
1519, after which, in common with the other provincial presses of the
country, printing at Oxford remained dormant for upwards of half a

It was not till the year 1585 that the art was actively resumed.
In that {140} year the Earl of Leicester presented a press, and
the University made a grant of £100. The Star Chamber Decree of
the following year formally allowed (with rigid restrictions) the
establishment of the new press, and under Joseph Barnes, the first
University printer, it rapidly rose to prominence. It appears from
the outset to have been well provided with types, many of them of
a beautiful cut, particularly those of the Greek character. The
_Chrysostomi Homiliæ_, printed by Barnes in 1586, and the _Herodotus_
of 1591, were both noticeable for the excellence of their letter. The
former is said to be the first Greek book printed at the University.

The reputation of the University for its Greek types was enhanced
some years afterwards by the acquisition of the letter in which the
magnificent edition of _St. Chrysostom_[233] had been printed at Eton
by John Norton in 1610–13, at the charge and under the direction of
Sir Henry Savile.[234] This work, one of the most splendid examples of
Greek printing in this country, is said to have cost its author £8,000.
Respecting the origin of the types, Bagford says, in one of his MSS.:
“Sir Henry Savile, meditating an edition of _St. Chrysostom_, prepared
a fount of curious Greek letters, which in those days were called the
_Silver letter_, not being cast of silver, but for the beauty of the
letter so called.” Beloe,[235] on the other hand, considers that the
types were procured from abroad. “They certainly resemble,” he says,
“those of Stephens, and the other Paris printers, as well as those of
the Wechels at Frankfort, at a subsequent period. From the Wechels
indeed they are said by some to have been procured, but this fact I
have not been able to ascertain. It appears beyond a doubt, from a
passage in one of the Epistles of Isaac Casaubon, that they were cast

The fine execution of this work obtained for Norton the distinction
accorded to Robert Estienne of Paris by Francis I, of “Regius in Græcis
Typographus.” Scarcely less high an honour had been paid to this
printer in 1594, when we are told Paul Estienne (son of Henri Estienne
II) visiting England, and appreciating his merit, permitted him to make
use of the device of the Estiennes.[237]

[Illustration: 28. Greek fount of the Eton _Chrysostom_, 1613.]

[Illustration: 29. From the _Catena on Job_. 1637.]

At what date these famous Greek types came into the possession of the
{141} Oxford University Press it is impossible to determine. It was
probably not till after some years of rough usage following Sir Henry
Savile’s death; as Evelyn,[238] in one of his letters, after lamenting
the loss of Sir Simon Fanshaw’s medals, says that “they were after
his decease thrown about the house for children to play at counter
with, as were those elegant types of Sir Henry Savill’s at Eton, which
that learned knight procured with great cost for his edition of _St.

The types, of which we give a specimen (No. 28), were of a Great
Primer body, very elegantly and regularly cut, with the usual numerous
ligatures and abbreviations which characterised the Greek typography of
that period.

During the early part of the seventeenth century the Oxford Greek types
do not appear to have been extensively used; and in 1632 we find it
recorded that Lord Pembroke, the then Chancellor of the University
of Cambridge,[239] applied for and obtained the loan of one of these
founts for the purpose of printing the _Greek Testament_,[240] which
was issued in that year by Buck, the University printer, and which,
says Beloe,[241] “has ever {142} been admired for the perspicuity of
its types as well as for the accuracy of its typography.”

The reason urged for this loan was, that the Oxford press made no
use of the Greek type itself. This reproach was, however, shortly
afterwards removed by the bounty and interest of Archbishop Laud, whose
generous encouragement of printing at Oxford must always entitle him to
an honourable mention in any record of the history of the art.

Laud, at that time Bishop of London, was appointed Chancellor of the
University in 1630, and in the same year projected, among other acts of
bounty, two important measures for the advancement of printing at that
Academy. These were:―

     “To procure a large Charter for Oxford, to confirm their Ancient
     Privileges, and obtain new for them, as large as those of
     Cambridge, which they had got since Henry the 8th and Oxford had

     “To set up a Greek press in London and Oxford, for printing the
     Library-Manuscripts, and to get both Letters and Matrices.”[242]

The former of these projects was carried out in 1632, when Charles
I granted a charter to Oxford, giving her equal privileges with the
sister University, authorising her to employ three printers, and
securing to her a right for a certain term over all books issued. In
forwarding this charter to the University, Laud mentioned by name two
of the printers—King and Motteshead, but urged Convocation as yet to
nominate no one as the third, in order, he said, “that you may get an
able man, if it be possible, for the printing of Greek when you shall
be ready for it.”[243]

This is clearly an allusion to the Bishop’s other project, which,
however, was only partially fulfilled during his lifetime.

A Greek press was established in London in 1632, under peculiar
circumstances, which, though not strictly bearing upon the history
of letter-founding at Oxford, we may here refer to as an interesting
episode in the history of English printing.

Robert Barker and Martin Lucas, the King’s printers in London, were
arraigned before the High Commission Court for a scandalous error in a
_Bible_[244] printed by them in 1631, whereby the seventh commandment
was made to read, “Thou shalt commit adultery.” For this grave
offence, the impression (which numbered 1,000 copies and was full of
typographical errors) was called in, and {143} the printers were
ordered to pay a fine of £300.[245] This sum of money Laud received the
royal authority to expend in the purchase of Greek types, according to
the terms of the following letter addressed to him by the King, dated
January 13, 1633:

     “Most reverend father in God, right trusty and right entirely
     beloved counsellor, we greet you well. Whereas our servant,
     Patrick Young, keeper of our library, hath lately with great
     industry and care published in print an epistle of Clemens
     Romanus[246] in Greek and Latin, which was never printed before,
     and has done this to the benefit of the church, and our great
     honour, the manuscript, by which he printed it, being in our
     library; and whereas we further understand that the right reverend
     father in God, Augustin,[247] now Bishop of Peterborough, and
     our said servant Patrick Young, are resolved for to make ready
     for the press one or more Greek copies every year, by such
     manuscripts as are either in our library or in the libraries of
     our universities of Oxford and Cambridge, or elsewhere, if there
     were Greek presses, matrices, and mony ready for the work which
     pains of theirs will tend to the great honour of our self, this
     church, and nation; we have thought good to give them all possible
     encouragement herein, and do therefore first require you, that
     the fine lately imposed by our high commissioners upon Robert
     Barker and Martin Lucas for base and corrupt printing of the
     Bible, being the sum of three hundred pounds, be converted to the
     present buying of such and so many Greek letters and matrices, as
     shall be by you thought fit for this great and honourable work.
     And our further will and pleasure is that the said Robert Barker
     and Martin Lucas, our patentees for printing, which either now
     are, or shall hereafter succeed them, being great gainers by that
     patent, which they hold under us, shall at their own proper costs
     and charges of ink, paper, and workmanship, print, or cause to be
     printed in Greek, or Greek and Latin, one such volume in a year,
     be it bigger or less, as the right reverend father aforesaid, or
     our servant Patrick Young or any other of our learned subjects
     shall provide and make ready for the press, and shall print such a
     number of each copy, as yourself, or your successors for the time
     being, shall think fit; and all this they shall perform, whether
     the said copy or copies be to be printed in London, Oxford, or
     Cambridge, which shall be left free to their judgments and desire,
     whose pains prepare the copy or copies for the press. And last
     of all, our further will and pleasure is, that the aforesaid
     patentees do without any delay procure such, and so many matrices
     and letters, as aforesaid, that no hindrance be put upon the work,
     and that they be at the charge of printing in the mean time with
     such letters, as are already in the kingdom. Of all which or any
     other necessary circumstances for the furtherance of this work,
     we shall not fail to call for a strict account from you; and
     therefore do look that you call for as strict a one from them:
     provided always, that it shall be, and remain in your power to
     mitigate their fine aforesaid, according as you shall see their
     diligence and care for the advancing of this work.”[248]

This letter Laud forwarded to the printers, who in reply, “accounted
it so {144} great a happiness” to receive the royal commands in the
matter, and stated that they were already labouring “to find out
the best fount and matrices, and to purchase the same at what cost

The new Greek press, thus furnished, was in due time settled in London,
at the King’s Printing House in Blackfriars, and from its types was
printed, in 1637, Patrick Young’s _Catena on Job_,[250] “in as curious
a letter,” says Bagford, “as any book extant.” In this interesting
work, from which we here give a facsimile, two Greek founts are used,
the larger being a handsome Double Pica,[251] not dissimilar to that in
which Estienne’s great folio _Greek Testament_ was printed in Paris.
The smaller fount, a Great Primer, bears so close a resemblance to the
fount used in the Eton _Chrysostom_, that it is probable it may have
been cast abroad from the same matrices. The Double Pica Roman and
Italic used in the work are the same as those employed by Day in the
preface to the _Ælfredi_ in 1574; the matrices having apparently been
secured by the Archbishop for the use of the Royal press.

Although Laud’s project for the establishment of a Greek press at
Oxford, similar to that in London, was not fully realised, his efforts
on behalf of the University and its press continued unabated. In
1635 he presented his fine collection of Oriental Manuscripts, and
established a Chair of Arabic, which greatly encouraged and promoted
the study and printing of works in that and other Eastern languages.
This favour he followed up with a gift of Oriental types, which is
alluded to in a letter from John Greaves to Dr. Peter Turner, dated
1637.[252] Greaves approves of the bargain formed by the proctor’s
brother, Mr. Browne, for the purchase at Leyden[253] of some printing
types, of probably an {145} Eastern language. The only danger is that
some are wanting. Mr. Bedwell, when he bought Raphelengius’s Arabic
press, found some characters defective, which he was never able to get
supplied. The writer hopes that, “now that Archbishop Laud has taken
such care for furnishing the University with all sorts of types, and
procuring so many choice MSS. of the Oriental languages, that some will
endeavour to make true use of his noble intentions, and publish some of
those incomparable pieces of the East, not inferior to the best of the
Greeks or Latins.”[254]

In a letter addressed May 5, 1637, to the Vice-Chancellor, the
Archbishop himself refers to these recent acquisitions in the following

     “You are now upon a very good way towards the setting up of a
     learned press; and I like your proposal well to keep your matrices
     and your letters you have gotten, safe, and in the mean time to
     provide all other necessaries, that so you may be ready for that

One of the last recorded services of Laud to the Oxford press was
the recovery, in 1639, of the Savile Greek Types, which had been
clandestinely abstracted by Turner, the University printer. His
letter on the subject is characteristic of the fatherly care which he
exercised over the interests of the Oxford Press:

     “I am informed,” he says, “that under pretence of printing a Greek
     _Chronologer_ . . . Turner, the printer . . . got into his hands
     all Sir H. Savil’s Greek letters amounting to a great number,
     some of them scarce worn. It was in Dr. Pink’s time. I pray speak
     with the Dr. about it and call Turner to an account before the
     heads what’s become of them. I doubt Turner’s poverty and knavery
     together hath made avoidance of them.” Oct. 18, 1639.

     “Feb 13th. Turner brought back the Greek letters, and delivered
     them by weight as he received them: there were not any wanting. He
     came very unwillingly to it.”[256]

This celebrated Greek fount does not appear to have been much used
after this, and no trace of it now remains at the University press.[257]

Unfortunately for the cause of learning at Oxford, as elsewhere, the
political troubles of the following years abruptly terminated Laud’s
services in that {146} direction, and suspended for a time all further
progress in the development of the press.[258]

A revival took place during the Commonwealth, on the appointment, in
1658, of Dr. Samuel Clarke, the learned Orientalist (who a short time
previously had assisted in the correction of Walton’s _Polyglot_), as
Archi-Typographus. This responsible functionary was “a person,” so the
University Statute ordained, “set over the printers, who shall be well
skilled in the Greek and Latin tongues, and in philological studies,
. . whose office is to supervise and look after the business of
Printing, and to provide at the University expence, all paper, presses,
types, etc., to prescribe the module of the letter, the quality of
the paper, and the size of the margins, when any book is printed at
the cost of the University, and also to correct the errors of the
press.”[259] This office was, by the same Statute, annexed to that of
superior law bedel, as having less business than the rest.

After the Restoration, printing at Oxford made still greater advances,
chiefly through the instrumentality and munificence of Dr. John Fell.

This eminent scholar and theologian was born in the year 1625. He
entered as a student of Christ Church at the age of eleven, and in 1643
bore arms in the civil wars for the king in the garrison of Oxford.
At the Restoration he received ecclesiastical promotion, and in 1666
became Vice-Chancellor of the University.[260] In this capacity he
exerted himself strenuously to continue the work begun by Laud for
the advancement of learning and encouragement of printing at the
University;[261] and about 1667 presented a complete typefoundry,
consisting of the punches and matrices of twenty founts of Roman,
Italic, Orientals, Saxons, Black and other letter, besides moulds and
all the apparatus and utensils necessary for a complete printing office.

[Illustration: 34, 35, _Hebrew._; 36, _Coptic._; 37, _Arabic._; 38,

34 to 38. Oriental Founts presented to the Oxford Press by Dr. Fell in
1667. (From the original matrices.)]

The extent of this noble gift, the importance of which can only be
estimated {148} by recalling the low condition of letter-founding
in England at the time, will best appear by the following Inventory,
published by the University in 1695:

_An Account of the Matrices, Puncheons, etc., given by Bishop Fell to
the University of Oxford_[262]:―


  1. Great Primer Roman                     121
  2. Double Pica Roman                      123
  3. Pica Greek                             513
  4. Augustin Greek                         353
  5. Long Primer Greek                      354
  6. Great Primer Greek                     456
  7. Long Primer Italic                     121
  8. Small Pica Italic                      142
  9. Long Primer Roman                      155
 10. Pica Roman                             156
 11. Brevier Roman                          156
 12. Great Brass Roman Caps.                 40
 13. Augustin Roman                         142
 14. English Black                           73
 15. Small Pica Roman                       142
 16. Coptick                                135
 17. Augustin Italic                        114
 18. Pica Italic                            130
 19. Nonpareil Italic                       121
 20. Nonpareil Roman                        134
 21. Paragon Greek                         │   │
 22. Paragon Greek                         │445│
 23. Syriac                                 121
 24. Double Pica Italic                      87
 25. Great Canon                            204
 26. Brevier Italic                         134
 27. Music                                   70
 28. [Pica Roman and Italic, bought by     │   │
       the University, an. 1692.] Roman,   │   │
       93; Italic, 78; Small Caps., not    │   │
       justified, 27; in all               │198│
 28.  Great Primer Italic                    87
 29. Astronomical Signs, Pica                25
 29. Samaritan, English                      30
 29. Mathematical Marks                      21
 29. Cancelled Figures, Pica                 10
 29. Brasses, Long Primer                    16
 29. Mathematical Marks, Small Pica          10
 30. Hebrew, Great and Small               │292│
 31. Hebrew, Great and Small               │254│
 31. Armenian                                 7
 32. Arabic, Syriac, and Hebrew             228
 32. Arabic Figures                          10
 33. Sclavonian, Great Primer               110
     A paper of Flower Matrices.
     A paper of Great Primer Roman and
       Italic, cut by Mr. Nichols—not good.
     New Music Puncheons and Matrices,
       cut by Peter Walpergen.


 For the Double Pica Roman and Italic, and some for the Double Pica Greek.
 For the Great Brass Roman Capitals.
 For the Black, English.
 For the Coptick.
 For the Syriack.
 For the Samaritan.
 For the Cannon Roman and Italic.
 For the Astronomical Signs and Figures.
 [For the Pica Roman and Italic.]
 [For the Sclavonian also there were 109 punches.]


   1 small anvil.
   4 hammers.
  28 moulds.
   1 engine to make brass rules with a plane.
   1 wyer sieve.
 332 dressing sticks. {149}
   2 great vices.
   2 hand vices.
  21 great files.
   1 pair of sheers.
   2 iron pots.
   4 dressing planes.
   3 dressing blocks.
   3 plyers.
   2 rubbing stones.
   1 grinding stone.
  26 copper borders.
  32 copper letters.
   7 printing presses, with all things belonging to them.
   2 rolling presses, with all things necessary to them.
 132 upper and lower cases.
   5 pair of capital cases.
   5 pair of fund cases.
  13 pair of Greek cases.
  50 chases.

Dr. Fell supplemented this gift by a further signal service, which is
thus recorded by Bagford:―

“The good Bishop provided from Holland the choicest Puncheons,[263]
Matrices, etc., with all manner of Types that could be had, as also
a Letter Founder, a Dutchman by Birth, who had Served the States in
the same quality at Batavia, in the East Indies. He was an excellent
workman, and succeeded by his son, who has been since succeeded by Mr.

The Dutchman here spoken of was Walpergen, who, as will be seen later
on, preceded Sylvester Andrews as typefounder in Oxford.

Fell was a zealous defender of the privileges enjoyed by his
University, and in 1679 drew up a report setting forth its claims in
the matter of printing.[265] In this report he mentions that, in the
year 1672, several members of the University, himself included, taking
into consideration the “low estate of the manufacture of printing” in
the kingdom, and particularly in the University, “took upon themselves
the charges of the press in the said University, and at the expence of
above four thousand pounds furnisht from Germany, France and Holland,
an Imprimery, with all the necessaries thereof, and pursued the
undertaking so vigorously, as in the short compass of time which hath
since intervened, to have printed many considerable books in Hebrew,
Greek and Latin, as well as in English; both for their matter and
elegance of paper and letter, very satisfactory to the learned abroad
and at home.”

It is probable that the transaction here recorded constituted a portion
of what became known as Dr. Fell’s gift to the University; a series
of benefactions which doubtless extended over several years—from
1667 to 1672—and included, when complete, the whole of the types and
implements named in the above Inventory. Mores, who is responsible for
the date, 1667, leads us to suppose {150} that the gift was completed
in that year; but he gives no authority; and the absence of any second
inventory of the acquisitions made in 1672, points strongly to the
conclusion that the two transactions were part of the same gift.

In 1675 Dr. Fell was created Bishop of Oxford, and continued his active
services to the cause of learning until the time of his death in 1686,
having, as Anthony à Wood remarks, “advanced the learned press, and
improved the manufacture of printing in Oxford in such manner as it
had been designed before by that public spirited person, Dr. Laud,
Archbishop of Canterbury.”[266]

In 1677 the University press was further enriched by another important
gift of type and matrices, presented by Mr. Francis Junius.

This learned scholar, whom Rowe Mores styles the restorer—if not more
than the restorer—of the knowledge of the Septentrional languages in
England, was a German, the son of Francis Junius, the theologist,
of Heidelberg. He resided for some time in England as librarian to
the Earl of Arundel, during which time he zealously prosecuted his
philological studies. In 1654, being then at Amsterdam, he furnished
himself with a set of Saxon punches and matrices, respecting which he
wrote as follows to Selden in that year[267]:―“In the meanwhile have I
here Anglo-Saxonic types (I know not whether you call them puncheons)
a cutting, and I hope they will be matriculated and cast within the
space of seven or eight weeks at the furthest. As soon as they come
I will send you some little specimen of them to the end I might know
how they will be liked in England.” In addition to this Saxon, Junius
also obtained founts of Gothic, Runic, Danish, Icelandic, Greek, Roman,
Italic, and a pretty Black, all cast on Pica body. These he brought
over with him to this country. Of the Gothic, Runic, Saxon, and Greek
he certainly brought punches and matrices as well as types, as these
are to this day preserved at Oxford, and there is reason to suppose all
his founts were similarly complete.[268]

Junius, who had spent much time in his younger years at Oxford for the
{151} sake of study, libraries, and conversation, and had visited it
frequently since, retired there at last in 1676, and executed a deed of
gift whereby he presented his books in the Northern language and his
punches and matrices to the University, the latter consisting of the
following founts:―

 Pica Runic.
 Pica Gothic.
 Pica Anglo-Saxon.
 Pica Icelandic.
 Pica Danish.
 Pica Black.
 Pica Greek.
 Pica Roman.
 Pica Italic.
 English Swedish.

Junius died the following year at Windsor, at the great age of ninety.
A quaint tribute to his memory exists in a note from Dr. (afterwards
Bishop) Nicolson, who, writing to Thwaites in May 1697, says, “My
acquaintance with that worthy personage was very short, and in his last
days, when he was near ninety . . . . alas! I can remember little more
of him than that he was very kind and communicative, very good, and
very old.”[269]

The custodians of his valuable gift scarcely appear at first to have
been impressed with an adequate sense of their responsibility, for we
find that the Junian punches and matrices disappeared shortly after
their presentation, and remained lost for a considerable period, when
they were discovered by chance under the circumstances thus humorously
narrated in a letter from Dr. (afterwards Bishop) Tanner, dated All
Souls College, Aug. 10, 1697, and addressed to Dr. Charlett:―

     “Mr. Thwaites and John Hall took the courage last week to go to
     Dr. Hyde about Junius’ matrices and punchions which he gave with
     his books to the University. These, nobody knew where they were,
     till Mr. Wanley discovered some of them in a hole in Dr. Hyde’s
     study. But, upon Mr. Hall’s asking, Dr. Hyde knew nothing of
     them; but at last told him he thought he had some punchions about
     his study, but did not know how they come there; and presently
     produces a small box-full, and taking out one, he pores upon
     it, and at last wisely tells them that these could not be what
     they looked after, for they were Ethiopic[270]: but Mr. Thwaites
     desiring a sight of them, found that which he looked on to be
     Gothic and Runic punchions, which they took away with them,
     and a whole oyster-barrel full of old Greek letter, which they
     discovered in another hole.”[271] {152}

[Illustration: 32. Pica Roman and Italic presented to the Oxford Press
by Dr. Fell, 1667.

33. Pica Roman and Italic bought by the University in 1692.

(From the _Specimen_ of 1692.)]


The combined gifts of Dr. Fell and Francis Junius laid the foundation
of the Oxford University foundry as it now exists. Even before the
close of the century it had been augmented by numerous small additions
and purchases. About the time of Fell’s gift the press received a
second fount of Coptic, presented by Witsen, the Burgomaster of
Amsterdam.[272] In 1694, Dr. Charlett, writing to Archbishop Tenison,
refers to the founts of Slavonic and Armenian types, “very elegantly
cut, which M. Ludolfus is bringing to Oxford from Holland.” The
University also purchased matrices of Pica-Roman and Italic in 1692,
besides adding to its stock some indifferent Great Primer matrices by
Nichols, and music cut by the Oxford founder, Walpergen.[273]

[Illustration: 30. The Sheldonian Theatre. (From an old wood block in
the Oxford University Press.)]

About the year 1669 the foundry, which, together with the press, had
been carried on in hired premises provided by Fell, was transferred
to the basement of the then new Sheldonian Theatre.[274] Here it was
that, in the year 1693, appeared the earliest known “_Specimen of the
several Sorts of Letter given to the University by Dr. John Fell, late
Lord Bishop of Oxford, to which is added the Letter given_ {154} _by
Mr. F. Junius_.” A manuscript note on the title-page of the Bodleian
copy of this interesting specimen adds “with puncheons and matrices
bought of others.” These additions, besides those already noted,
include an Ethiopic “bought of Dr. Bernard,” and some supplementary
Arabic sorts and Syriac vowels “bought by Dr. Hyde.” The _Specimen_
consists of eighteen leaves.

[Illustration: 39. Ethiopic, purchased by the Oxford Press in 1692.
(From the original matrices.)]

In 1695 a fuller specimen (of twenty-four leaves) appeared with the
same title, and included the Junian Danish, a few later acquisitions,
such as the new Slavonic, and a fount of spoon-shaped music cut
by Walpergen. To this document was also appended the inventory of
“utensils for printing,” already given in the account of Dr. Fell’s

Of the estimation in which this specimen was held at the time, the
following eulogium of Bagford may be taken as testimony. He says: “For
the satisfaction of the curious, I shall give a catalogue and specimen
of the letter presented by Dr. Fell, the like of which cannot be shown
by any of the great printing houses in Europe, which may be seen by
that printed in 1695, although it may fall into the hands of foreign
printers of Holland, Flanders, Italy, Germany and France, they must
confess that they had not seen the like, both for the great beauty and
goodness of the letters.”[275]

Apart from its value as a specimen of the Oxford foundry, considerable
interest attaches to the specimen of 1695, as being the first
polyglot production in this country in which a stated portion of the
Scripture—the Lord’s Prayer—appears in as many as forty-five different
forms and nineteen different languages. In this respect, however,
it was shortly afterward eclipsed by a polyglot _Oratio Dominica_,
published in London in 1700,[276] exhibiting the Lord’s Prayer in
upwards of one hundred versions. This may, to some extent, be regarded
as a specimen of the University press, as the two principal sheets
of the work were printed at Oxford containing the prayer in the
Hebrew, Samaritan, Chaldee, {155} Syriac, Coptic, Ethiopic, Amharic,
Arabic, Persic, Turkish, Tartaric, Malayan, Gothic, Runic, Icelandic
and Sclavonic, of the University foundry.[277] These constitute the
most interesting part of the collection, as the remaining versions,
requiring special characters, are produced chiefly in copperplate.[278]
Rowe Mores points with some pride to this specimen as showing how far
superior we were at that time to our neighbours abroad in the variety
of our metal types.[279]

Specimens of Dr. Fell’s and Junius’ gifts, and an account of the
foundry with its recent acquisitions, were frequently printed in
the early part of the eighteenth century. Rowe Mores mentions four
between 1695 and 1706. In the latter year the document had grown to
twenty-five leaves, and included a Great Primer and a two-line Great
Primer, purchased in 1701, and other additions. The inventory mentions
twenty-eight moulds as being the number still in use in the foundry,
and seven presses in the printing-house. It also distinguishes certain
types as being of the Dutch height, a discrepancy to which, in all
probability, may be traced that unfortunate anomaly of “Bible height”
and “Classical height,” which to this day hampers the operations of a
foundry where, in perpetuation of a blunder made two centuries ago,
types are still cast to two different heights, agreeing neither with
one another nor with any British standard.[280]

A later specimen, without date, was issued in broadside form, in which
the old title gave place to the more simple one of _A Specimen of the
several Sorts of Letters in the University Printing House, Oxford_. In
this specimen, while including all the recent acquisitions, several
of the older and less sightly founts comprised in Dr. Fell’s gift are
discarded. {156}

In the year 1712 the University press was removed from the Sheldonian
Theatre to occupy its new quarters in the Clarendon Printing House,
erected for its accommodation—a building considered at the time one of
the finest printing-houses in the world.[281]

[Illustration: 41. The Clarendon Press. (From an old wood block at the
Oxford University Press.)]

The encouragement given by Junius to the study of the Northern
languages resulted in the production of many important works in that
branch of literature at the University press during the early years
of the eighteenth century. Foremost among these was Dr. Hickes’
_Thesaurus_,[282] printed in 1703–5, a learned and elaborate work,
in which the types presented by Junius are many of them displayed to

Rowe Mores, for the honour of his University in general, and his own
college in particular, gives a list of the famous “Saxonists” of Dr.
Hickes’ time. Amongst these, not the least eminent was Miss Elizabeth
Elstob, who published in 1715 an Anglo-Saxon Grammar, printed in types,
which, as they subsequently found their way into the Oxford foundry,
call for a particular mention here.

William Bowyer the younger had printed in 1709 a work entitled _An
English-Saxon Homily on the Birth-Day of St. Gregory_, translated
by the Rev. William Elstob of Oxford and his sister, a young lady
of great industry and {157} learning, whom Mores describes as the
“indefessa comes” of her brother’s studies, and a female student of the
University.[283] In 1712, in the same types, was issued a specimen of
Miss Elstob’s _Anglo-Saxon Grammar_.

Before, however, this work could be completed, Bowyer’s printing-house
was destroyed by fire, and his types, including the Anglo-Saxon,
perished in the flames. This disastrous event was the occasion for
a remarkable display of sympathy on the part of Mr. Bowyer’s many
friends, both in and out of the profession, which found expression in
several forms,[284] one of the most practical of which was the offer of
Lord Chief Justice Parker (afterwards Earl of Macclesfield) to be at
the cost of cutting a new set of Anglo-Saxon types for Miss Elstob’s
Grammar. The drawings for the new types were made, at Lord Parker’s
request, by Humphrey Wanley,[285] the eminent Saxonist, and the cutting
of the punches entrusted to Robert Andrews the letter-founder, who,
however, proved unequal to the task. “I did what was required,” Mr.
Wanley wrote, “in the most exact and able manner that I could in all
respects. But it signified little; for when the alphabet came into the
hands of the workman (who was but a blunderer), he could not imitate
the fine and regular stroke of the pen; so that the letters are not
only clumsy, but unlike those that I drew. This appears by Mrs.
Elstob’s _Saxon Grammar_.”[286] {158}

Poor as the letter-founder’s performance was, the Grammar duly
appeared in the new letter in 1715,[287] and the punches, matrices and
types remained in the possession of Mr. Bowyer and his son, being used
occasionally in some of their subsequent works, though not in any other
of which Miss Elstob was the authoress.[288] In 1753 they were sent by
William Bowyer the younger, to Rowe Mores, with the following letter,
for presentation to the University of Oxford:―

     _4th December, 1753._

     “To EDWARD ROWE MORES, Esq., at Low Leyton.

     “Sir,—I make bold to transmit to Oxford, through your hands, the
     Saxon punches and matrices, which you were pleased to intimate
     would not be unacceptable to that learned body. It would be a
     great satisfaction to me, if I could by this means perpetuate the
     munificence of the noble donor, to whom I am originally indebted
     for them, the late Lord Chief Justice Parker, afterwards Earl of
     Macclesfield, who, among the numerous benefactors which my father
     met with, after his house was burned in 1712–13, was so good as
     to procure those types to be cut, to enable him to print Mrs.
     Elstob’s _Saxon Grammar_. England had not then the advantage of
     such an artist in letter cutting as has since arisen,[289] and it
     is to be lamented, that the execution of these is not equal to
     the intention of the noble donor, and, I now add, to the place in
     which they are to be reposited. However, I esteem it a peculiar
     happiness, that as my father received them from a great patron of
     learning, his son consigns them to the greatest seminary of it,
     and that he is, Sir, your most obliged friend, and humble Servant,

     “W. BOWYER.”

The adventures of this epistle and the gift which accompanied it,
before reaching their destination, are almost romantic. For some
reason which does not appear, Rowe Mores, on receipt of the punches
and matrices, instead of transmitting them to Oxford, took them to
Mr. Caslon’s foundry to be repaired and rendered more fit for use.
Mr. Caslon having kept them four or five years without touching them,
Mr. Bowyer removed them from his custody, and in 1758 entrusted them
to Mr. Cottrell, from whom in the same year he received them again,
carefully “fitted up” and ready for use, together with 15 lbs. of
letter cast {159} from the matrices. In this condition the whole was
again consigned by Mr. Bowyer to Rowe Mores, together with a copy of
Miss Elstob’s _Grammar_, for transmission to Oxford. On hearing, two
years later, that his gift had never reached the University, he made
inquiries of Mores, from whom he received a reply that “the punches
and matrices were very safe at his house,” awaiting an opportunity to
be forwarded to their destination. This opportunity does not appear
to have occurred for three years longer, when, in October, 1764, the
gift was finally deposited at Oxford. Its formal acknowledgment was,
however, delayed till August 1778, exactly a quarter of a century after
its presentation.[290]

The correspondence touching this transaction, amusing as it is, throws
a curious light on Rowe Mores’ character for exactitude, and it is
doubtful whether the publication of Mr. Bowyer’s first letter in the
_Dissertation_,[291] together with a few flattering compliments, was
an adequate atonement for the injury done to that gentleman by the
unwarrantable detention of his gift. Nor does the title under which the
gift was permitted to appear in the University specimen, suppressing
as it does all mention of the real donor’s name, and giving the entire
honour to the dilatory go-between, reflect any credit on the hero of
the transaction. The entry appears thus: “Characteres Anglo-Saxonici
per eruditam fœminam Eliz. Elstob ad fidem codd. mss. delineati; quorum
tam instrumentis cusoriis quam matricibus Univ. donari curavit E. R. M.
e Collegio Regin., A.M. 1753.

 “Cusoria majuscula 42 (desunt [*AT] et Þ)
  Matrices majusculæ 44.
  Cusoria minuscula 37 (desunt e et ⁊)
  Matrices minusculæ 39.”

It does not appear that these types were ever made use of at Oxford.
The punches and matrices remain in the University press to this

Between the Broadside sheet following the specimen of 1706, and 1768,
no specimen of the Oxford foundry occurs. There exists, however, in the
works issuing from the Press during that period ample testimony to its
activity. The proposal to print Dr. Mawer’s _Supplement to Walton’s
Polyglot_, with its types, is evidence of the continued reputation of
its “learned” founts; while such an admirable specimen of typography
as Blackstone’s _Charter of the Forest_, printed in 1759,[293] affords
proof that Oxford was not behindhand in that famous {160} revival
of printing which received such impetus from the taste and genius of

The Delegates of the Press had, indeed, so high an opinion of the
talents of this famous artist, that they employed him in 1758 to cut
a fount of Great Primer Greek type for a _Greek Testament_ shortly to
be issued.[294] The performance was pronounced unsuccessful, but the
Greek types duly appeared, together with numerous other acquisitions,
including a Long Primer Syriac purchased from Caslon, in the _Specimen_
of 1768–70.[295]

Of this specimen Rowe Mores (who informs us that it was printed at
the request of foreigners) falls foul as inaccurate. “The materials
from which this account (_i.e._, his summary of the contents of the
Foundry) is drawn,” he says, “are not so accurate as might have been
expected from an Archi-typographus and the Curators of the Sheldonian.
In excuse may be alleged that neither the Archi-typographus nor the
Curators are Letter-founders; certainly that the matter has not been
treated with that precision which in so learned a body should seem to
be requisite. For one instance among others, which might be produced,
take the Double Pica, Brevier and Nonpareil Hebrew, the only Hebrew
types the University then had. They are two-line English, English and
Long Primer. And this mistake has run through all the editions of the
Oxford specimen, and in the last of 1770, the leanest and the worst of
all, appears most glaringly. For this Brevier is placed immediately
under Caslon’s Long Primer, a diversity sufficient one would think to
show the blunder without the aid of a magnifier. The Nonpareil as it
is called is omitted in this last specimen, and so are many other sets
of matrices which have been given to the University, touching which
enquiry should be made out of respect (at least) to the memory of the
donors.”[296] {161}

Another specimen appeared in 1786, in which more of the old founts
are discarded in favour of more modern letters, among which are
noticeable several Roman founts cast on a large body, to obviate the
necessity of “leading”; including an English, cast for Mr. Richardson’s
_Dictionary_. Almost all the “learned” founts presented by Fell and
Junius are here shown, as well as a considerable number of borders and
ornamental initials.

In 1794 a still fuller specimen appeared, which included a Great Primer
Greek, cut by Caslon, and several new titling letters. To this specimen
is appended a detailed inventory, both of the punches and matrices at
that time in the possession of the University, and of the quantity of
type of various kinds in stock, with the utensils for printing.

The following is a summary of the foreign and “learned” punches and
matrices included in this catalogue:―


 Anglo-Saxon                           79
 Arabic                                33
 Armenian                              65
 Black, English                        72
 Coptic, Pica                         116
 Gothic                                25
 Greek, Great Primer                  114
 Greek, Great Primer (Baskerville’s)  148
 Greek, Double Pica                   190
 Greek, 2-line English                 10
 Hebrew, with points                   20
 Music                                220
 Runic                                 24
 Samaritan, English                    28
 Saxon                                 21
 Slavonian                            106
 Syriac, English                       90
 Turkish, Persian, Malayan             47


 Arabic, Syriac and Hebrew              228
 Arabic figures                          10
 Anglo-Saxon                             83
 Armenian                                77
 Armenian                                 7
 Armenian                                 7
 Black, English                          73
 Coptic                                 135
 Coptic                                  27
 Ethiopic                               224
 Greek, Augustin (or English)           351
 Greek, Great Primer                    493
 Greek, Great Primer (Baskerville’s)    167
 Greek, Double Pica (bad)               239
 Greek, Paragon (Double Pica)           432
 Greek, Long Primer                     352
 Greek, 2-line English                   11
 Hebrew, large and small                230
 Hebrew, large and small                250
 Music                                  228
 Music                                   70
 Runic, Dutch, Saxon, Gothic and Greek   89
 Samaritan                               30
 Saxon, Small Pica, Long Primer, Pica    20
 Slavonic                               110
 Syriac, English                        120
 Syriac, vowels                           5
 Turkish, Persian, Malayan               47
 Welch                                   10

Of the printing utensils, the following items will give an idea of the
extent of the press at that date:― {162}


 Common cases            267
 Single cases and boxes   44
 Fount cases              26
 Long Greek cases         34
 Frames                   30
 Chases                  129
 Letter boards            37
 Presses                   5
 Proof press               1

Of the presses, one is described as “mahogany, set up in the year
1793,” and another as “on the new constitution which works with a
lever, set up in 1793.”

We have now brought our account of letter-founding at Oxford to the
close of the last century. Its later history is of comparatively slight
interest. The foundry still remains a part of the Press, and the
reputation of the University for its oriental and learned founts has
been maintained by numerous additions to its punches and matrices. Of
such matters, however, in the absence of periodical general specimens,
it is impossible to give particulars. The list of matrices given by
Hansard in 1825 is entirely misleading, as he merely summarises the
list taken by Mores from the _Specimen_ of 1768–70.

We may, however, observe that at the present moment, under able
management, the foundry is in active operation, and that the University
Press possesses probably the largest collection of “Polyglot” matrices
of any foundry in the kingdom.

The famous gifts of Fell and Junius are now relegated to the relics of
this venerable yet still flourishing foundry, where, in company with
Baskerville’s Greek, Walpergen’s music and Miss Elstob’s Anglo-Saxon,
they rest from their labours, and remain to this day the most
interesting monuments our country possesses of the art and mystery of
its early letter-founders.

       *       *       *       *       *

Appended is a list of the various specimens issued by the Oxford press
from 1693 to 1794.―

     1693. A specimen of the Several sorts of Letter given to the
     University by Dr. John Fell, late Lord Bishop of Oxford. To which
     is added, the Letter given by Mr. F. Junius. Oxford, printed at
     the Theater, A.D. 1693. 8vo. . . . . (Bodl. C., i, 24, Art.)

     1695. A specimen of the Several sorts of Letter given to the
     University by Dr. John Fell, sometime Lord Bishop of Oxford. To
     which is added the Letter given by Mr. F. Junius. Oxford, Printed
     at the Theater, A.D. 1695. 8vo. . . . . (Bodl. Gough, Ox., 142; B.
     M. Harl. MS. 1529.)

     1706. A specimen of the Several sorts of Letters given to the
     University by Dr. John Fell, sometime Lord Bishop of Oxford. To
     which is added the Letter given by Mr. F. Junius, Oxford, Printed
     at the Theater, A.D. 1706, 8vo. . . . . (Bodl. Gough, Ox., 142.)

     No date. A specimen of the Several Sorts of Letters in the
     University Printing House. Oxford. Broadside. . . . . (Bodl. C.,
     i, 24, Art.)

     No date. Characteres Anglo-Saxonici per eruditam fœminam
     Eliz. Elstob ad fidem codd. {163} mss. delineati, quorum tam
     instrumentis cusoriis quam matricibus Univ. donari curavit E. R.
     M. e. collegio Regin. A.M. 1753. 8vo leaf. . . . . (W. B.)

     1768–70. A specimen of the Several sorts of Printing Types
     belonging to the University of Oxford at the Clarendon Printing
     House, 1768 (together with New Letters purchased in the years
     1768, 1769, 1770). Clarendon Press, Sept. 29, 1770. 8vo. . . . .
     (Univ. Pr.)

     1786. A specimen of the Several sorts of Printing Types belonging
     to the University of Oxford at the Clarendon Printing House, 1786.
     8vo. . . . . (Univ. Pr.)

     1794. A specimen of the Several Sorts of Printing Types belonging
     to the University of Oxford, at the Clarendon Printing House,
     1794. 8vo. . . . . (W. B.)






Prior to 1637, letter-founding is not specifically mentioned as a
distinct industry in any of the Public Documents. We are not on that
account however, (as we have endeavoured to point out), to assume
either that the restrictive provisions of previous enactments which
regulated printing did not apply to letter-founding, or that, as a
trade, it had no separate existence before that date. The divorce of
letter-founding from printing was in all probability a long and gradual
process; and although it would be difficult to fix any precise date to
the completion of that process, we may yet infer from the fact that the
Decree of 1586 (which includes by name almost every other branch of
industry connected with printing) makes no mention of letter-founding,
while the Decree of 1637 particularly names it, that between these two
dates printers ceased generally to be their own letter-founders.

As we have elsewhere noticed, the Stationers’ Company as early as 1597
took cognisance of letter-founding as a distinct trade, when it called
upon Benjamin Sympson to enter into a bond of £40 not to cast any
letters or characters, or to deliver them, without previous notice to
the master and wardens. And that there was a certain body of men known
in the trade as “founders” owning the authority of the Stationers’
Company in 1622, is evident {165} from the fact that in that year the
Court called upon “the founders” to give bond to the Company not to
deliver any fount of new letters without notice.

It would be erroneous, therefore, to imagine that the Star Chamber
Decree of 1637 in any sense created letter-founding as a distinct
trade. Its purpose, as in the case of printing, was to restrict the
number of those engaged in it, which had probably grown excessive under
the milder regime of the Decree of 1586.

In the curious little tract, to which allusion has already been made,
entitled _The London Printer, his Lamentation_,[297] the author,
writing in 1660, after highly commending the Decree of Elizabeth (23
June, 1586), limiting the number of printers, says that about 1637,
notwithstanding the above Decree, “printing and printers were grown to
monstrous excess and exorbitant riot,” and that the law was infringed
at all points. In this “monstrous excess and exorbitant riot,” it
is highly probable that the letter-founders of the day figured. And
it seems equally probable that John Grismand, Thomas Wright, Arthur
Nicholls (or Nichols[298]) and Alexander Fifield, who were appointed by
the Decree of 1637 as the four authorised founders, had already been
founding types for several years, with or without the sanction of the

In the Registers of the Stationers’ Company, the names both of John
Grismand and Thomas Wright occur as publishers of certain works,
the former in 1635, the latter in 1638; from which it would appear
that both before and after 1637 they may have combined the trade of
bookseller and printer with that of letter-founder.[299]

And in another curious document, preserved among the Bagford
collections, and entitled _The Brotherly Meeting of the Masters and
Workmen Printers, began November 5, 1621; the first Sermon being on
November 5, 1628_, {166} _and hath been continued by the Stewards,
whose names follow in this Catalogue to this present third of May
1681_,[300] the names of Thomas Wright, Arthur Nichols, and Alexander
Fifield all appear as having served their Stewardship, although
unfortunately the list does not assign dates to the respective terms of

In the lists of the Stationers’ Company, however, we find that the four
founders took up their freedom in the following order: John Grisman
(_sic_), December 2, 1616; Thomas Wright, May 7, 1627; Arthur Nicholls,
December 3, 1632; and Alexander Fifield, July 20, 1635.[302]

Respecting Wright and Fifield, after their nomination as Star Chamber
founders history records nothing. It is probable that they continued to
combine the callings of printer and founder, as John Grismand certainly
appears to have done, for we find him named in a State Paper in 1649 as
having on the 19th October of that year entered into a bond of £300,
and given two sureties, not to print any seditious work.[303]

Of Arthur Nicholls there remains a record of a more ample and
satisfactory nature, which we are glad to lay before the reader (as we
believe) for the first time, being undoubtedly one of the most valuable
and interesting memorials of early English letter-founding which we

It appears that Nicholls, at the time of his nomination as Star
Chamber founder in 1637, was also a candidate for the vacant place of
printer at Oxford, at that time at the disposal of Archbishop Laud,
who, as we have seen in the {167} preceding chapter, had been reserving
it for a printer well versed in the Greek language. Nicholls, being
unsuccessful in this matter, and driven by his straitened circumstances
to seek some addition to his slender pittance as letter-founder
thereupon made application to Laud to be admitted as a licensed
master-printer in London, that so he might make use of his own type.
His letter and the “Cause of Complaint” annexed are preserved among the
State Papers,[304] and are so important that we make no apology for
quoting them _in extenso_:

     “_To the Right Reverend Father in God_, WILLIAM, LORD ARCHBISHOP
     OF CANTERBURY, _his Grace, Primate and Metropolitane of all

     “The humble peticion of Arthur Nicholls. Showeth unto your grace:

     “That the said peticioner hath spent much tyme and paines in
     cuttinge and foundinge of letters for divers of the printers in
     London, and at this tyme hath greate store of letters ready cast
     lying upon his hands, they refusing to take them from him att any

     “Besides this his imployment of founding letters is of soe small
     gaine that alone it will not mainteyne him and his familie but
     that of necessitie hee must betake himself to some other course
     whereby to be freed from extreame povertie, and utterly to quitt
     himself of that, unless your Grace be pleased out of your wonted
     goodness to comiserate his case.

     “May it therefore please your Grace, since you have otherwise
     determined to dispose of the printers place att Oxford, to give
     him leave, for the better encouragement of that course wherein he
     hath so long exercised himself, to bee a printer here in London,
     That soe he may make use of his owne letters for the elegant
     performance whereof hee doth promise to use his best care and
     industry And ever to pray for your Grace’s honour and happinesse.”

The “Cause of Complaint” gives a lively picture of the tribulations of
letter-founders at that time:

     “_The Cause of Complaint of_ ARTHUR NICHOLLS” (endorsed “_Mr.
     Nicholls his reasons to be made printer_.”)

     “The Complainant being the cutter and founder of Letters for
     Printers is 3 quarter of a yeares time cuttinge the Punches and
     Matrices belonginge to the castinge of one sorte of letters, which
     are some 200 of a sorte, after which they are 6 weekes a castinge,
     that done some 2 monthes tyme is required for triall of every
     sorte, and then the Printers pay him what they themselves list;
     thus he is necessitated to lay out much money and forebeare a long
     tyme to little or noe benefitt.

     “Likewise for the Greeke the Printers came unto him promisinge him
     the doinge of all the common worke, which drewe him to doe 400
     Mattrices and Punches for 80 _l._ which weare truly worth 150 _l._:

     “Further they caused him to spend 5 weekes tyme in cutting the
     letters for the small Bible, it beinge finished was approved for
     the best in England, notwithstandinge they put him off aboute
     it from tyme to tyme for 15 weekes till (as they pretended) Mr.
     Patricke Yonge came out of the contry. {168}

     “All which tyme he kept his servants standinge still, in regard
     whereof he refused to doe it, except he might doe the common worke
     likewise, when for feare of the displeasure of my lord his Grace,
     they came to him agayne but told him that if they should lett him
     have worke enough, he would growe to ritch.

     “Albeit, of soe small benifitt hath his Art bine, that for 4
     yeares worke and practice he hath not taken above 48 _l._, and had
     it not bine for other imploymente he might have perrisht.

     “He seeinge himself soe slightly regarded by them, was the rather
     annimated to sell off the proffitablest of his worke thinking to
     take some other businesse in hand, whereby to free himselfe from
     want, being not able to subsist by workinge only for 2 or 3.

     “Notwithstandinge his longe tyme spent in that Art, wherein he
     hath brought up his sonne to bee soe expert and able that if it
     please God to call him, the other is able exactly to performe
     anythinge touchinge the same.

     “Wherefore he requesteth my lorde Grace not to confine him to
     these miserable uncertainties, but promiseth if he will bee
     pleased to grant his peticion, he shall see more done in one yeare
     than was ever done in England for all kindes of languages which he
     is assured will bee for the good of the commonwealth in general
     and his Graces particular content.”

Whether Nicholls’ application was successful or otherwise, is not
known. In the disastrous times which immediately followed the four
Star Chamber founders are lost sight of. It is scarcely likely,
judging from the dismal account given above of the trade in times of
peace, that they were able, any of them, to keep a business together
in times of civil war. Nor is there any certainty that when, in 1649,
the Commonwealth re-enacted the main provisions of the Star Chamber
Decree, that the four founders then appointed were the same who had
been licensed in 1637. Mores, however, leads us to suppose that they
were, and for the purpose of enumerating the Oriental and learned
matrices which about the year 1657 were in use in the country, treats
their four foundries as one. There is, however, no reason for supposing
that they worked in partnership, or that their business was in any way
connected. But in one great undertaking they were associated; and the
London _Polyglot_ of 1657 has generally been regarded as the product of
the types of some, if not all, of their number.

“By these or some of them,” observes Mores, “we may suppose to have
been cut the letter used in _The English Polyglott_: but as we cannot
assign to any of them their particular performances we shall till we
are better able to ascertain them, call their labours by the name
of the POLYGLOTT FOUNDERY, which, as nearly as that work and the
_Heptaglott_ which accompanies it instructs us, is described at the
bottom of the page.[305] But it is not to be doubted, considering
the elegance and simplicity of the assortment which we see, that the
foundery {169} was as completely furnished with that which we see not,
and which, for that reason we cannot mention.”[306]

       *       *       *       *       *

The _London Polyglot_ ranks deservedly as one of the most conspicuous
landmarks of English typography. Great works had gone before it,
and greater followed. But in few of these has the learning of the
scholar, the enterprise of the publisher, the industry of the editor,
the ability of the printer, and the skill of the letter-founder been
combined to so extraordinary a degree as in the production of this
_magnum opus_ of the Commonwealth press.

A brief sketch of the typographical history of this famous work may be
interesting, and not out of place here.

The _London Polyglot_ was the fourth great Bible of the kind which had
been given to the world.[307]

In 1517[308] the _Complutensian Polyglot_ had been printed at Alcala,
at the charges of Cardinal Ximenes, in six volumes, containing the
Sacred Text, in Hebrew, Latin, Greek and Chaldean, including an
“Apparatus” consisting of a Hebrew and Chaldee Lexicon, etc. This work
will always be famous, if for no other reason, for the grand, bold
Greek type in which the Septuagint and New Testament are printed.

In 1572 the _Antwerp Polyglot_ of Arias Montanus was printed, in eight
magnificent volumes, by Christopher Plantin. It comprises the whole
of the Complutensian texts, with the addition of the Syriac, and an
Apparatus containing Lexicons and Grammars of Hebrew, Chaldee, Syriac
and Greek.

In 1645 the _Paris Polyglot_, edited by Le Jay and others, was
published in ten sumptuous volumes. It comprises the whole of the texts
of the _Antwerp Polyglot_, with the addition of Arabic and Samaritan.
Owing to the abrupt completion of this work, no Apparatus was included
of any description. This work was seventeen years in the press.

The _London Polyglot_, as we shall observe, added to the languages
used in the _Paris Polyglot_, the Persian and Ethiopic, with an
Appendix containing additional Targums, also a complete “Apparatus”
and Prolegomena, with alphabetical tables of the various languages
employed, and others besides. {170}

The following table will show clearly the gradual advances made by the
four great _Polyglots_ in respect of the versions they comprise[309]:―

 │  │COMPLUTUM, 1520.│ ANTWERP, 1572. │  PARIS, 1645.   │    LONDON, 1657.    │
 │ 1│Old Test.,      │Old Test.,      │Old Test., _Heb._│Old Test., _Heb._    │
 │  │  _Heb._        │ _Heb._         │                 │                     │
 │ 2│Vulgate, _Lat._ │Vulgate, _Lat._ │Vulgate, _Lat._  │Vulgate, _Lat._      │
 │ 3│Septuagint,     │Septuag. _Gr._  │Septuag., _Gr._  │Septuag., _Gr._      │
 │  │ _Gr._ _Lat._   │  _Lat._        │  _Lat._         │  _Lat._             │
 │ 4│Pentat.,        │Old Test.,      │Old Test.,       │Old Test., _Chal._   │
 │  │ _Chal._ _Lat._ │ _Chal._ _Lat._ │ _Chal._ _Lat._  │  _Lat._             │
 │ 5│New Test.,      │New Test., _Gr._│New Test., _Gr._ │New Test., _Gr._     │
 │  │ _Gr._ _Lat._   │  _Lat._        │  _Lat._         │  _Lat._             │
 │ 6│      .....     │New Test.,      │New Test.,       │New Test., _Syriac_  │
 │  │                │ _Syriac_,      │ _Syriac_,       │                     │
 │  │                │ _Heb._ _Lat._  │ _Heb._ _Lat._   │                     │
 +──+────────────────+                │                 │                     │
 │ 7│      .....     │       .....    │Old Test.,       │Old Test., _Syriac_  │
 │  │                │                │ _Syriac_ _Lat._ │                     │
 │ 8│      .....     │       .....    │Bible, _Arab._   │Bible, _Arab._       │
 │  │                │                │  _Lat._         │                     │
 │ 9│      .....     │       .....    │Pentat., _Samar._│Pentat., _Samar._    │
 │  │                │                │  _Lat._         │                     │
 │10│      .....     │       .....    │       .....     │Pentat. Gospels,     │
 │  │                │                │                 │  _Per._ _Lat._      │
 │11│      .....     │       .....    │       .....     │Ps., Cant. New Test.,│
 │  │                │                │                 │  _Eth._ _Lat._      │
 │12│      .....     │       .....    │       .....     │Add. Targums         │
 │13│    Apparatus   │     Apparatus  │       .....     │Apparatus, Proleg.,  │
 │  │                │                │                 │  etc.               │

The first announcement of the _London Polyglot_ was made in 1652,
when Dr. Walton published _A Brief Description of an Edition of the
Bible in the Original Hebrew, Samaritan, and Greek, with the most
ancient Translations of the Jewish and Christian Churches, viz.
the Sept. Greek, Chaldee, Syriac, Ethiopic, Arabic, Persian, etc.,
and the Latin versions of them all; a new Apparatus, etc._[310]
{171} This Description, which set forth the various improvements in
the proposed _Polyglot_ on its predecessors, was accompanied by a
specimen-sheet[311] containing the first twelve verses of the first
chapter of Genesis in the following order: On one side, Hebrew with
interlinear Latin translation, Latin (Vulgate), Greek (Septuagint) with
Latin, Chaldean paraphrase with Latin, Hebrew-Samaritan, Samaritan. On
the other side, Syriac with Latin, Arabic with Latin, Latin translation
of the Samaritan, Persian with Latin. The imprint to this highly
interesting specimen (a copy of which is said to be in the Library of
Sydney College, Cambridge) was: _Londini, Typis Jacobi Flesher_; from
which it appears that James Flesher was the first possessor of some
of the types cast by the polyglot founders, and subsequently used by
Roycroft in this great work.[312]

Flesher’s _Specimen_, which we have unfortunately not been able to
discover, met with many critics. Amongst others was Dr. Boate, the
Dutch scholar (who had already found fault with the Hebrew character
used in the Paris _Polyglot_, which he described as “a very scurvy one,
and such as will greatly disgrace the work”), was very disparaging to
the new undertaking. It was probably in deference to this critic that
Dr. Walton added the following MS. note to the copy of the specimen
now at Sydney College, Cambridge: “Typos Hebr. et Syr. cum punctis
meliores, parabimus, etc.”

The time occupied in securing the co-operation and assistance of the
learned men of the day, in getting subscribers,[313] in arranging
copy, and finally in {172} providing the necessary types, delayed
the commencement of the undertaking till September 1653. Writing to
Usher on July the 18th of that year, Dr. Walton thus notes the near
completion of the preliminary arrangements: “I hope we shall shortly
begin the work; yet I doubt the _founders_ will make us stay a week
longer than we expected. . . . We have resolved to have a better paper
than that of 11_s._ a ream, viz., of 15_s._ a ream.”[314]

Towards the end of September 1653, the impression of the first volume
was begun at the press of Thomas Roycroft, in Bartholomew Close, whose
name will always be honourably associated with this famous work.

Very little is known of the actual manual labour employed in the
production, beyond the fact that two presses only were said to have
been kept at work, and that the types were supplied by more than one of
the four authorised founders.

Chevillier[315] speaks somewhat contemptuously of the typographical
execution (fabrique de l’Imprimerie) of the London as compared with
that of the Paris _Polyglot_. And if, as Le Long points out, “he means
by that term the beauty of the paper and the magnificence of the types,
it must be admitted that the Paris edition is superior; but if he means
the arrangement of the texts and versions, and the general disposition
of the entire work, then it is much inferior; for Walton has mapped out
his work so precisely that at a single opening of the book you see the
texts and versions all at a glance; thus giving a great facility for
comparison, wherein the chief usefulness of compilations of this sort

Not the least noticeable feature about the work is the fact that from
the time of its first going to press to its completion, the printing
barely occupied four years. The first volume was completed at the
beginning of September 1654. A month later, from the same press was
published Dr. Walton’s _Introductio ad Lectionem Linguarum Orientalium_
for the use of subscribers.[317] In 1655 the second volume of the Bible
was finished; in 1656 the third, and about {173} the close of 1657 the
remaining three.[318] “And thus,” says a contemporary,[319] “in about
four years was finished the English Polyglot Bible,[320] the glory of
that age, and of the English Church and Nation; a work vastly exceeding
all former attempts of the kind, and that came so near perfection as to
discourage all future ones.”

Apart altogether from the literary and scholastic value of the Bible,
the amount of labour and industry represented in its mere typographical
execution is astonishing. Each double page presents, when open,
some ten or more versions of the same passage divided into parallel
columns of varying width, but so set that each comprehends exactly
the same amount of text as the other. The regularity displayed in the
general arrangement, in the references and interpolations, in the
interlineations, and all the details of the composition and impression,
are worthy of the undertaking and a lasting glory to the typography of
the seventeenth century.[321]

With regard to the types, which concern us most, the following is the
list of the characters employed, as extracted by Rowe Mores:―

     _Hebrew_: Two-line English, Double Pica, English.
     _Samaritan_ (with the English face): English.*
     _Syriac_: Double Pica, Great Primer.*
     _Arabic_: Double Pica, Great Primer.

     _Ethiopic_: English or Pica.*

     _Greek_: Great Primer and Small Pica.
     _Roman and Italic_: Two-line English, Double Pica [Day’s],[322] Great
         Primer, English, Pica, Long Primer, Brevier, five-line Pica,
         two-line Great Primer, Small Pica.

     _English_ (Black): Pica.

     * Of the founts marked thus (*) in the present and following
     summarised lists of the contents of the English foundries, the
     matrices or punches, and in some cases both matrices and punches,
     still exist.



40. ETHIOPIC. From the original matrices.

41. SYRIAC. From the original matrices.

42. SAMARITAN. From the original matrices.]

The matrices of three of these founts, the Samaritan, the Ethiopic, and
the Syriac, have survived to the present day, and in the course of this
work we shall have occasion to trace their descent from the original
makers to the present owners. Meanwhile, it is with great satisfaction
that we are able here to show a specimen of types actually cast from
these venerable relics as they now exist.[323] Of the Arabic fount,
some of the punches and matrices also exist, but in too incomplete and
dilapidated a state to allow of their being used.

Of the Orientals, the Hebrew is, perhaps, the least good. The Syriac
and Arabic are fine bold characters. The Greek is neat, though somewhat
insignificant. The Ethiopic[324] and Samaritan[325] are both good and
elegant faces. The Italic is particularly neat. As might be expected
from founts procured from various foundries in that day, there is
a certain absence of uniformity in the {175} bodies on which the
different founts are cast. This only makes the more remarkable the
accuracy and precision with which the columns are arranged. In most
copies the columns are divided by red lines, ruled by hand—in itself an
enormous task.

Nine languages are used in the _Polyglot_, but no single book is
printed in so many. The following is the arrangement of texts according
to volumes:

 VOL. 1.—_Prolegomena._

          _Pentateuch._ Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic and

 VOL. 2.—_Joshua to Esther._ Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac and

 VOL. 3.—_Job to Malachi._ Hebrew, Greek, Latin, Syriac,
              Arabic, and _Psalms_ also in Ethiopic.

 VOL. 4.—_Apocrypha._ Greek, Latin, Syriac, Arabic (some of
              the books, however, have not the Arabic. _Tobit_ is in a
              two-fold Hebrew). An appendix to this volume contains two
              Chaldee Targums and a Persic _Pentateuch_.

 VOL. 5.—_New Testament_, _Gospels_ in Greek, Latin, Syriac,
              Arabic, Ethiopic and Persian; other books, Greek, Latin,
              Syriac, Arabic and Ethiopic.

 VOL. 6.—_Various readings._

It will thus be seen that the Greek, Latin, Syriac and Arabic texts run
throughout the work. The Chaldean text and Targums are all given in
Hebrew type. The Hebrew text is printed throughout masoretically.

In addition to the above fundamental characters used, the Prolegomena
show the following Alphabets cut in wood, viz.:—Rabbinical Hebrew,
Syriac duplices, Nestorian and Estrangelan, Armenian, Coptic, Illyrian,
both Cyrillian and Hieronymian, Iberian, Gothic, Chinese, and the
character of the Codex Alexandrinus. These are, for the most part,
rudely cut, and valuable only as curiosities.

From our point of view, the chief glory of the English _Polyglot_
is that it is wholly the impression of English type. It marks an
epoch in the history of our national letter-founding, as, before it
appeared, no work of importance had been printed in any of the learned
characters except Latin and Greek. The Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac,
Arabic and Ethiopic were probably cut expressly for the work, under
the supervision of its learned editors, and became thus the models or
prototypes of the numerous Oriental founts which during the eighteenth
century figured so largely in the works of English scholarship.

The original preface to the _Polyglot_ contained an honourable
reference to Cromwell, who had, from the first, encouraged the
undertaking and materially assisted it by remitting the tax on
the paper imported from abroad for the use of the work. But the
Protector’s death took place in the year after the publication; and
the Restoration, which followed two years later, was made the occasion
for a somewhat ignoble act of time-service on the part of Walton,
who cancelled {176} the last three leaves of the preface, and added
a Dedication to Charles II, in which, among other attacks on the
memory of his former patron, he referred to Cromwell as “Draco ille
magnus.”[326] The particular typographical interest of this Royal
Dedication is that it is printed in the handsome Double Pica Roman and
Italic used by Day in the _Ælfredi_ of 1574, and subsequently by Barker
and Lucas in Young’s _Catena on Job_, in 1637, and in other works. The
somewhat worn condition of the types leads Dibdin to condemn the founts
as inferior[327]; but in point of elegance and grandeur this venerable
letter remained still one of the best of which our national typography
could boast.

In recognition of his services, Charles made Walton his
chaplain-in-ordinary, and created him subsequently Bishop of Chester.
Nor was he the only worker to whom the completion of this great
enterprise brought honour. Roycroft, after what may be considered a
feat of rapid and skilful typography, was permitted to take the title
_Orientalium Typographus Regius_.[328]

The value of the English _Polyglot_ was vastly enhanced by the addition
to it of Dr. Edmund Castell’s Heptaglot _Lexicon_,[329] which, after
seventeen years of incessant labour, commencing with the first
announcement of the Polyglot, was printed, at Roycroft’s press, in
1669, in two volumes, uniform in size and style with the _Bible_, of
which henceforth it formed a necessary complement.

Respecting this famous work, there is little to add from a
typographical point of view to what has already been noted with regard
to the _Polyglot_. The {177} same types are, with few exceptions,
used in both. Mores considers, but wrongly, that the Amharic shown
in Castell’s work is metal, and the same as that used in the
_Oratio Dominica_ of 1713. This letter (which also appeared in the
first edition of the _Oratio Dominica_ in 1700) belonged to Oxford
University, who procured it in 1692, being the Ethiopic character with
additions. But the few letters shown in the _Heptaglot_ are evidently
engraved by hand, and not cast.

It is to be regretted that Castell’s work, which has been pronounced
one of the greatest and most perfect works of the kind ever performed
by human industry and learning, and which represented an amount of
heroic perseverance in the midst of adverse circumstances scarcely
credible, was almost the ruin of its author, both in constitution and
fortune. It sold slowly, and at the time of his death upwards of 500
copies were left on hand. The encouragement he received both from royal
and episcopal patronage was inadequate to cover the losses which the
undertaking had involved, and he died in comparative obscurity in 1685.

Roycroft’s office appears to have suffered severely by the Fire of
London in 1666, and a large number of copies of Castell’s _Lexicon_,
then in course of printing, were destroyed. To the same disastrous
event may also be attributed the disappearance of some of the founts of
the _Polyglot_ founders, after the completion of the _Lexicon_. Mores,
however, succeeds in tracing the most interesting of these; and the
fact that all the matrices did not go down to posterity as a single
property, is additional proof that they were not all the production of
one artist. The Arabic, larger Syriac, and Samaritan passed into the
foundry of the Grovers, and the Ethiopic into that of Robert Andrews,
who, it seems probable, also inherited the Hebrew and Black. The
smaller Syriac came into Mr. Caslon’s hands.

       *       *       *       *       *

NICHOLAS NICHOLLS.—This founder was son of Arthur Nicholls, the Star
Chamber founder, and, as appears by the mention of him in his father’s
petition to Archbishop Laud, already quoted, was brought up to the Art,
in which, as early as 1637, he was “so expert and able as to be able to
perform anything touching the same.” During the Civil Wars he appears
to have suffered in the royal cause, and, like many others, at the
Restoration to have looked for substantial reward at the hands of the
son of the Royal Martyr.

In 1665 he presented to the king a petition to be appointed His
Majesty’s Letter Founder. The original document is in the Record
Office,[330] and is as follows:― {178}

     “To the KINGE’S MOST EXCELLENT MAJESTIE. The humble peticion of
     Nicholas Nicholls. Most humbly sheweth

     “That the petitioner in the worst of tymes was a constant and
     loyall sufferer for the causes of your Majestie and that of your
     Royall ffather of glorious memory, and thereby reduced to greate

     “Now soe it is, That the peticioner by Industrie hath attained to
     a considerable skill in the Art of cutting and casting all kinds
     of Letters and faire Characters (as by the annexed may appeare)
     And your Majestie beinge the great encourager of good Literature

     “Your Majestie’s peticioner most humbly prays your Grace and
     ffavour to serve in the place of Letter Founder to your Majesties
     Presses That soe your Majesties presses may be supplyed with
     Characters in some measure worthy of your Royall Greatness. And
     the peticioner makes no question but he shall perform that service
     (with the blessing of God) to your Majestie’s full content and

     “And the peticioner (as in duty bound) shall alwaies pray for your
     Majesties long and prosperous Reigne over us.”

Attached to the petition, in the centre of a folio sheet, is the tiny
polyglot specimen, of which we here present our readers with an exact
facsimile. English typography possesses few relics more interesting
than this quaint little page—the earliest known type-founder’s specimen
in the country.

The execution, particularly of the Roman fount, is very poor, and one
wonders, in examining it and comparing it with the recently completed
_Polyglot_, at the artist’s claim “to considerable skill in cutting and
casting of faire characters.” It is possible, however, that the unusual
minuteness of the type may have been held to be a merit compensating
for defects in execution. And as none of the founts are known to have
been used in any other work of the time, it may be presumed the letters
were cut specially for this specimen. The Roman and Greek founts are
Pearl in body, and the Orientals Nonpareil, and display the text “Vivas
o rex in perpetuum” in Latin, Greek, Hebrew (with points), Syriac,
Samaritan, Ethiopic and Arabic. This loyal aspiration, effusively
dedicated as “the prayer of the devoted heart, and the specimen of
the Art of the least of the subjects of the greatest of the Kings,”
is surrounded by a neat flower-border (also Nonpareil in body), and
printed somewhat roughly on coarse paper. Despite its defects, it
appears to have found favour with the august personage to whom it was
offered, as we find, on January 29th, 1667, a minute of a “Warrant for
swearing Nicholas Nicholls, Letter Founder to His Majesty.”[331]

[Illustration: 43. Specimen of Nicholas Nicholls, 1665. (From the
original in the Record Office.)]

Of the subsequent operations of Nicholls we know very little.[332] He
probably inherited his father’s foundry, and cast from his matrices.
The NICHOLS whom {179} Mores mentions as having founded in
1690,[333] could hardly (if the date be correctly given) be the same
man who was a practised letter-founder in 1637.

To this last-named founder no doubt belongs the fount of Great Primer
Roman and Italic acquired by the Oxford University Press, which had the
unenviable distinction of being designated in their Specimen of 1695,
as “cut by Mr. Nichols—not good.”[334]

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is the only specimen we have to note in this place:―

     (1665). Specimen sheet of minute printing in several languages,
     addressed to the King by Nicholas Nicholls, Letter Founder.
     . . . . (_State Papers, Domestic_, 1665, vol. 142, No. 174.)






Joseph Moxon, whose distinction it is to have been the first practical
English writer on the mechanics of typography, was born at Wakefield,
in Yorkshire, on August 8, 1627, and appears to have been brought up as
a mathematical instrument maker, in which profession he showed himself
highly proficient. In the year 1659, being either already settled in
the metropolis, or having come thither for the purpose, he added to his
stated business that of a typefounder, in which, according to Mores, he
continued till 1683.

It is difficult to fix the precise condition of the laws relating to
typefounders in the last year of the Commonwealth. The Ordinances of
1647 and 1649, which reimposed the main provisions of the Star Chamber
Decree of 1637, remained nominally in force till the Restoration,
so that we are to suppose that Moxon, unless he practised his art
surreptitiously or _sub rosâ_, was formally installed into a vacancy in
the body of authorised founders on execution of the usual bond to the
Company of Stationers.

[Illustration: 44. From the _Tutor to Astronomy and Geography_, 4th
ed., 1686.]

If, as seems probable, he commenced operations with little or no
previous experience, and with no plant ready to his hand, the progress
of the new foundry must at first have been very slow, particularly as
he appears to have devoted much of his time to his other scientific
pursuits, to which in 1665 he added that of hydrographer to the king.
To this office a considerable salary was attached. In the same year,
Mores informs us, he lived at the sign of the “Atlas” on Ludgate Hill,
near Fleet Bridge, but the Fire of London in 1666 caused him to {181}
quit that abode for another of the same sign in Warwick Lane. From
Warwick Lane, where he was living in 1668, he appears to have removed
to Westminster, to the sign of the “Atlas” in Russell Street, whence
in 1669 was issued his famous specimen of types, the first complete
typefounders’ specimen known in England.[335]

In a passage in the _Mechanick Exercises_, published several years
later, Moxon speaks of the art of letter-cutting as a mystery, “kept so
conceal’d among the Artificers of it, that I cannot learn anyone hath
taught it any other, but every one that has used it, Learnt it of his
own Genuine Inclination.” If this be the writer’s own experience—though
his subsequent intimate acquaintance with the minutest details of the
art almost disproves it—his specimen must be taken as the production
of a self-taught typographer after ten years’ intermittent practice.
Viewed in this light, the exceedingly poor performance which the sheet
presents can to some extent be accounted for. It must also be borne
in mind that Moxon’s theoretical and mathematical studies of the
proportions and form of letters had not yet been begun, or, at least,
elaborated; so that in no sense is his Specimen to be assumed to be a
reduction into practice of those theories.

This specimen, which is entitled _Prooves of the Several Sorts of
Letters cast by Joseph Moxon_, is a folio sheet, showing in double

            Great Canon Romain.
 Double Pica Romain.        Pica Romain.
                            Pica Italica.

 Great Primmer Romain.      Long Primer Romain.
                            Long Primer Italica.

 English Romain.            Brevier Romain.
 English Italica.           Brevier Italica.

The imprint is, “_Westminster, printed by Joseph Moxon in Russell
Street, at the sign of the Atlas, 1669_.”

In all respects it is a sorry performance. Only one fount, the Pica,
has any pretensions to elegance or regularity. The others are so
clumsily cut, so badly cast, and so wretchedly printed, as here and
there to be almost undecipherable. Moxon’s proficiency in the processes
of the art does not appear as yet to have attained the pitch of
justifying his matrices to any regularity of line, or of casting his
types square in body. Some lines of the specimen curve and wave so as
to make it a marvel how others kept their places in the forme, and
the press-work {182} and ink are so bad that at a first glance the
beholder is tempted to mistake the larger letters with their sunken
faces for open instead of solid-faced Romans. The sheet was apparently
put forward not solely as a specimen of types. The matter of each
paragraph is an advertisement of Moxon’s business as a mathematical
instrument maker. In Great Canon Romain he calls attention to the
“Globes Celestial and Terrestrial of all sizes made by Joseph Moxon,
Hydrographer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, 1669.” In Double
Pica Romain he announces his Spheres; in Great Primer “a Large Map of
the World”; in Pica Italica, “a book called a Tutor to Astronomie and
Geographie,” and so on. To one or two of the founts, such as the Great
Canon, the Pica and the Brevier, he adds a line of accents or signs.

It would appear, from the imprint already quoted, that Moxon combined
printing with typefounding at Westminster. If so, he probably confined
his press to the printing of specimens and advertisements of his own
goods, as we cannot ascertain that any of his other works were printed
by himself, or that he printed anything for the public.

About 1670 he removed back to the sign of the Atlas, in Ludgate Hill.
Rowe Mores considers it probable that for some time he resided in
Holland, during which time he acquired a certain proficiency in the
Dutch language.[336] During the same period it is probable that he
may have come across, and been struck by specimens of the beautifully
proportioned Elzevir letters of Christoffel Van Dijk, which he admitted
were the inspiration of his _Regulæ Trium Ordinum_.

Of this curious work,[337] which was published in 1676, it will suffice
to say here, it is a work intended not so much for the letter-cutter as
for the sign-board and inscription painter. Taking the Van Dijk letters
as his models, the writer attempts to demonstrate that each letter
is a combination of geometrical figures, bearing regular proportions
one to another; and by sub-division of the square of each letter into
forty-two equal parts, he professes to be able to erect in any other
square, similarly sub-divided, the same letter in precise proportion
and harmony. This theory he illustrates by copper-plate figures of the
various letters {183} of the Roman, Italic and Black Alphabets, and
their sub-divisions. The result is not pleasing. The letters are stiff,
and in some cases distorted; although this we believe to be the fault
not so much of the theory itself as of the rules of proportion for
the different parts of each letter predicated in the first instance.
The book, as we have observed, is clearly not intended as a guide to
punch-cutting. We regard it rather as an interesting attempt to reduce
to precise mathematical rules a set of characters which never have and
never will yield themselves entirely to such treatment.[338]

At the conclusion of the section devoted to “the ordering of
Inscriptions”, Moxon says (p. 11), “But of this and several other
Observations of this Nature, I have written more at large in a book
I intend to publish on the whole Art of Printing.” From this it is
evident that, as early as 1676, his treatises on Typography, which
formed the second volume of the _Mechanick Exercises_ and were
published in 1683, were already written.

To this highly interesting work[339]—the first work on the mechanics
and practice of printing and letter-founding—we have already alluded
in a previous chapter. It is impossible here to give more than a brief
summary of its contents. Its publication commenced in 1677, with
a series of monthly “Exercises” devoted to the Smith’s, Joiner’s,
Carpenter’s and Turner’s trades. These formed the first volume. Moxon
himself informs us that their publication was interrupted by the
excitement of Oates’ plot, “which took off the minds of his few {184}
customers from buying them, as formerly.” It was not till 1683 that
the work was resumed. The second volume (which appeared in twenty-four
monthly parts), treating wholly of the Art of Printing, commences with
a brief account of the Invention of the Art (in which the reader is
left to decide between the titles of Haarlem and Mentz), and with a
claim on behalf of Typography equally with Architecture to be regarded
as a Mathematical Science.[340] “A scientifick man,” says Moxon, “was
doubtless he who was the first Inventor of Typographie; but I think
few have succeeded him in Science, though the number of Founders and
Printers be grown very many: Insomuch that for the more easie managing
of Typographie, the Operators have found it necessary to devide it
into several Trades. . . . The several devisions that are made are—1.
The Master Printer. 2. The Letter Cutter. 3. The Letter Caster. 4. The
Letter Dresser. 5. The Compositer. 6. The Correcter. 7. The Press Man.
8. The Inck-Maker. Besides several other Trades they take in to their
Assistance, as the Smith, the Joyner, etc.”

These divisions he proceeds to treat of seriatim and in detail. We
have elsewhere quoted freely from this work, with a view to illustrate
the condition of letter-founding as a mechanical trade in his
time.[341] But we notice here, that in the advice which he gives to the
Master Printer on the choice of letter for his office, he takes the
opportunity to reiterate his admiration of the Dutch form of letter,
particularly that adopted by Christoffel Van Dijk, and his conviction
that as the Roman letters were originally made to consist of circles,
arcs of circles and straight lines, the cutting of those letters
should invariably be according to strict mathematical rule of form and
proportion. His advice on the choice of letter is fourfold.

 1. “That the Letter have a true shape.”
 2. “That they be deep cut” (_i.e._, in the punch).
 3. “That they be deep sunck in the Matrices” (with a good “beard”).
 4. “That his Letter be cast upon good Mettal.”

He then proceeds to indicate the quantities of each body of letter
with which the printer should provide himself; and from that proceeds
to notice in turn every possible requisite for a well-ordered printing
office, from the “ball-nails” to the press.

His “Exercises on Letter Founding” may be best introduced in his own
language: “Having shown you the Master Printers Office,” he says,
“I account {185} it suitable to proper Method to let you know how
the Letter Founder Cuts the Punches, how the Molds are made, the
Matrices sunck, and the Letter Cast and Drest. . . . Wherefore the next
Exercises shall be (God willing) upon Cutting of Steel Punches.”

The minuteness with which he enters into every detail connected with
this mysterious art, and his familiarity with the terminology of the
craft, prove that Moxon, although he professed to have learned it
not from any master, but “of his own genuine inclination,” was an
experienced and even enthusiastic punch-cutter. He devotes considerable
attention to the tools and gauges necessary for the work, and returns
once more to the charge on behalf of geometry as the foundation of

Anyone acquainted with the modern practice of punch-cutting, cannot
but be struck, on reading the directions laid down in the _Mechanick
Exercises_, with the slightness of the change which the manual
processes of that art have undergone during the last two centuries.
Indeed, allowing for improvements in tools, and the greater variety
of gauges, we might almost assert that the punch-cutter of Moxon’s
day knew scarcely less than the punch-cutter of our day, with the
accumulated experience of two hundred years, could teach him.

Moxon’s observations, as in the _Regulæ Trium Ordinum_, apply only
to the Roman, Italic and Black-letter, and these he illustrates by a
series of plates devised on the same method as in his former work,
showing each letter in a magnified form on a square subdivided into
forty-two parts, with the proportions for the various parts of each
letter minutely laid down. He imagines an objection that it may be
deemed impossible in the case of a small letter to divide the square
of the body into forty-two equal parts. “But yet,” he says, “it is
possible with curious working,” and proceeds, evidently to his own
satisfaction, to demonstrate the fact in a very curious way, by
suggesting a series of graduations in the rubbing of spaces and points,
whereby a thin[342] space may be enlarged by sixths until a series of
42nd parts of each body is arrived at.

Impracticable as such a system appears, it is consistently carried out
in the enlarged letters which illustrate the _Exercises_. The result is
not more successful than that produced in the _Regulæ Trium Ordinum_;
and we venture to think that if any proof were needed that geometry is
not, and cannot be, the Alpha and Omega of typographical beauty, these
reductions into practice of Moxon’s ingenious theories will supply it.

Passing from letter-cutting, Moxon next describes with much minuteness
{186} the various parts of the mould and the method of putting them
together. Here the practical instrument maker is on familiar ground,
and the directions he gives remained the best authority on the subject,
until the venerable hand-mould which he describes began to give place,
a century and a quarter after his time, to the lever-mould from America.

Next to mould-making, the _Exercises_ deal with the important processes
of striking and justifying the matrices, operations which, like that
of punch-cutting, have undergone but little change since his day. Then
follow descriptions of the furnace, the alloy of the metal, and the
methods of casting and dressing the type, with the implements necessary
for these branches of the work; and this portion of the work closes
with a few highly interesting plates, amongst which that of the caster
at work[343] is the most curious and valuable.

The remainder of the book is devoted to various departments of the
letter-press printer’s trade, those of the compositor, the corrector,
the pressman, and the warehouse keeper. To this is added an Appendix,
describing the ancient customs of the “Chapel,” and a Dictionary of
typographical terms.

Such is a brief and meagre outline of the contents of this first
English book on printing and letter-founding. It is a work which no
one interested in English typography can omit to consult. For almost a
century it remained the only authority on the subject; subsequently it
formed the basis of numerous other treatises, both at home and abroad,
and to this day it is quoted and referred to, not only by the antiquary
who desires to learn what the art once was, but by the practical
printer, who may still on many subjects gather from it much advice and
information as to what it should still be.

       *       *       *       *       *

Reverting now to Mores’ description of the contents of Moxon’s foundry,
we meet with one fount which calls for particular mention here.

The Pica Irish was cut expressly for the purpose of printing the _Irish
New Testament_, published in 1681 at the cost of Robert Boyle, son of
the Earl of Cork, and is described by Mores as the only fount of purely
Irish type he had ever seen in the country. We may, perhaps, be excused
a slight digression in this place for the purpose of giving a sketch
of the efforts which before Moxon’s day had been made to propagate the
Irish language by means of typography.

The first fount of Irish type known was presented in 1571 by Queen
Elizabeth to John O’Kearney, treasurer of St. Patrick’s, with a view to
encourage the diffusion of the Scriptures in the Irish character.

By whom this character was prepared we are not informed. It is not the
{187} genuine Irish, but a hybrid fount, consisting chiefly of Roman
and Italic letters, to which the “discrepants,” or seven distinctively
Irish sorts, are added.[344] It is accompanied by a small and equally
neat letter for notes, which, however, appears to be Saxon.

The earliest specimen of this fount appears in a broadside _Poem on the
Last Judgment_,[345] printed in 1571, and sent over to the Archbishop
of Canterbury, apparently as a specimen of the type. This was followed
almost immediately by the _Church Catechism and Articles_, translated
by O’Kearney and Nicholas Walsh, afterwards Bishop of Ossery, and
printed in 1571 at the cost of John Ussher.[346]

The object of the royal donor was further realised in 1602, when there
appeared from the press of John Francke, William O’Donnell’s (or
Daniel’s) Irish _New Testament_,[347] the first version of that or any
portion of the Holy Scriptures in the native character. In dedicating
the translation to James I, Daniel thus refers to the royal origin
of the types:—“And notwithstanding that our late dreade Soveraigne
Elzabeth . . . provided the Irish characters and other instrumentes
for the presse in the hope that God in mercy would raise up some to
translate the Newe Testament into their native tongue, yet hath Sathan
hitherto prevailed, and still they remain _Lo-ruchama Lo-ammi_, etc.”

The type did further service in 1608, when Daniel’s _Common
Prayer_[348] was printed by Francke, a well-executed work, with
engraved title and beautiful {188} ornamented initials, each page
being enclosed in a rule border. After the appearance of this book
nearly a quarter of a century elapsed before the type reappeared in
Bishop Bedell’s _A B C_, or English and Irish _Catechism_, printed by
the Stationers’ Company at Dublin in 1631.[349] This _Catechism_, with
additional matter, was republished by Godfrey Daniel in 1652, also in
Dublin,[350] after which the Irish type of Queen Elizabeth disappeared
in Ireland, and reappeared only in occasional words occurring in Sir
James Ware’s books, printed in London by Tyler, in 1656 and 1658.

There seems no reason for believing, as some state, that it was secured
by the Jesuits and taken abroad.[351] Not only is it not to be found
in any Irish work printed abroad, but the Irish Seminary at Louvain
possessed a fount of its own, which, between 1616 and 1663, was in
constant use.

After 1602 no serious attempt had been made to complete the translation
of the Scriptures into Irish until Dr. Bedell, Bishop of Kilmore,
undertook the task about 1630. For this purpose, being then at the age
of 57, he devoted himself to the study of the language, and having
secured the assistance of Mr. King and the Rev. Denis Sheridan, both
eminent Irish scholars, the translation of the _Old Testament_ was
completed in 1640. Bedell, we are informed “determined to publish the
version immediately at his own expense and in his own house, and made
an agreement with a person who undertook to print it: the types were
even sent for to Holland.”[352] But the troubles and persecutions of
the ensuing year, followed closely by the death of the Bishop, hindered
the design, and the manuscript lay neglected for forty years.[353] {189}

In the year 1680, the _New Testament_ of 1602 being then entirely out
of print,[354] and no Irish types being available, the illustrious
Robert Boyle determined on republishing it at his own expense. To this
end he caused a fount of Irish type to be cut and cast in London, and
had an able printer instructed in the language for the purpose of
printing it.

Moxon was the founder selected to produce the types, and the result
was the curious Irish fount of which the matrices formed part of
his foundry. With this type Boyle is said to have had the _Church
Catechism_, with the _Elements of the Irish Language_, printed in
1680,[355] and in the following year was issued in London, with a
preface in Irish and English, the new edition of Daniel’s Irish _New

[Illustration: 45. Moxon’s Irish fount, from the original punches.]

“God hath raised up,” says this preface, “the generous Spirit of Robert
Boyle, Esq., son to the Right Honourable Richard, Earl of Cork, Lord
High Treasurer of Ireland, renowned for his Piety and Learning, who
hath caused the same Book of the New Testament to be Reprinted at his
proper Cost; And as well for that purpose, as for Printing the _Old
Testament_, and what other Pious Books shall be thought convenient to
be published in the Irish Tongue, has caused a New Set of fair Irish
Characters to be Cast in London, and an able Printer to be instructed
in the way of Printing this Language.”

The printer was Robert Everingham,[357] at the Seven Stars, in Ave
Maria Lane, who in 1685 was further employed by Boyle to print, in
the same Irish {190} types,[358] Bishop Bedell’s translation of the
_Old Testament_,[359] the manuscript of which had fortunately been
preserved. The whole _Bible_ being thus complete, it was issued in
two 4to volumes, and in 1690 was reprinted in Roman characters at
Everingham’s press for the use of the Highlanders.[360]

Our space forbids us to give here anything like a list of the different
works in which Moxon’s Irish type appeared after 1690. An interesting
note as to the early use of the fount in Ireland occurs in a petition
presented in 1709 to the Lord Lieutenant by several of the clergy
and gentry of Ireland for the printing of a new edition of the _New
Testament_ “in the Irish character and tongue, in order to which the
only set of characters now in Britain is bought already.”[361]

This petition does not appear to have been successful; but in 1712 a
_Book of Common Prayer_,[362] translated by Dr. John Richardson, Rector
of Annah (Chaplain to the Lord Lieutenant), with the assistance of
the Christian Knowledge Society, was printed by Elinor Everingham, at
the Seven Stars in Ave Maria Lane. Dr. Richardson also published some
_Irish Sermons_[363] at the same press, and a _History of the Attempts
. . . to Convert the Popish Natives of Ireland_.

In 1700, in the London _Oratio Dominica_, Moxon’s Irish type was used,
as also in the reprint in 1713, after which the fount frequently
reappeared until 1820, when it was used in the _Transactions of the
Iberno Celtic Society_, for printing the titles of E. O’Reilly’s
“Chronological Account of Irish Writers” there given.

The “punches and matrices”, said Mores, writing in 1778, “have ever
since continued in England. The Irish themselves have no letter of
this face, but are supplied with it by us from England; though it has
been said, but falsely, that {191} the University of Louvain have
lately procured a fount to be cut for the use of the Irish Seminary

We are glad to add to this statement that the punches of this
interesting fount are still in existence, and, indeed, that these
most curious relics of the handiwork of the author of the _Mechanick
Exercises_ lie before us as we write these words.

       *       *       *       *       *

Among the other peculiar characters cut by Moxon may be mentioned the
symbols used in Mr. George Adams’ scientific works, and the Philosophic
or “Real Character” designed by Bishop John Wilkins for his learned
_Essay towards a Universal Language_, printed in 1668.[365] The
correcting marks used in the _Mechanick Exercises_, as well as other
mathematical and astronomical symbols, were also the work of this
versatile artist, whose scientific genius appears to have had a special
bent towards the more curious by-paths of typography.

Moxon’s foundry descended to Robert Andrews, with whom it is possible
he was, during the close of his career, associated, either as a master
or a partner. Rowe Mores is unable to distinguish, beyond the peculiar
founts above noted, and the Canon Roman and Italic (which subsequently
came into Mr. Caslon’s hands), what were the precise contents of his
foundry. He therefore omits his usual list, and includes the whole in

The date of Moxon’s death is uncertain. A third edition of the
_Mechanick Exercises_, not including the typographical portion, was
issued in 1703. Unless this was a posthumous publication, Moxon must
have been seventy-six years old at the time.

Mores states that he founded in London from 1659 to 1683, from which
it would seem that he retired from the type business a considerable
time before his death. He was a voluminous writer on scientific and
mathematical subjects, and many of his works ran through several
editions. {192}

Mores describes him cordially as an admirable mechanic and an
excellent artist, and states that he was made a Fellow of the Royal
Society, 30th November 1678. He was succeeded in his office of
Hydrographer to the King by Mr. George Adams, whom Mores describes
as “our ingenious friend . . . and a successor to Mr. Moxon as well
in skilfulness and curiosity as well as office.”[366] Our portrait
of Moxon is taken from the frontispiece to the fourth edition of his
_Tutor of Astronomy and Geography_, 1686, printed by Samuel Roycroft
for the author.

It is doubtful whether his investigations and theories had any sensible
effect on the practice of English letter-founding. They may have tended
to encourage the favour with which Dutch letter was regarded at the
beginning of the eighteenth century; but it is not clear that his
attempt to confine to rule and compass the art of letter-cutting either
secured general adoption or was productive of any appreciable reform in
our national typography.

       *       *       *       *       *

The following is the title of the only specimen known to have been
issued by Moxon:―

     1669. Prooves of the Several Sorts of Letters cast by Joseph
     Moxon. Westminster, printed by Joseph Moxon in Russell Street, at
     the sign of the Atlas, 1669. Fo. . . . . (B. M., _Harl. MS._ 5915,
     fo. 160.)






THOMAS GORING, 1668.     JOSEPH LEE, 1669.

Of these two founders nothing is known beyond what is recorded in two
short entries on the books of the Stationers’ Company, viz.:―

     1668. The Master and Wardens requested to certify to the
     Archbishop of Canterbury that Thomas Goring, a member of this
     Company, is an honest and sufficient man, and fit to be one of the
     _four_ present founders; there being one now wanting, according to
     the Act of Parliament.

     1669. Mr. Joseph Lee and Mr. Goring to give at the next Court an
     account in writing, what sorts of letter they have made, and for
     whom, since the Act of Parliament in that case was provided.

The names of both these founders occur in the list, already referred
to, of former Stewards of the Brotherly Meeting of Masters and Workmen
Printers, issued in 1681.[367] {194}


This founder, who was born in 1650, succeeded Joseph Moxon, probably
about the year 1683,[368] and transferred his foundry to Charterhouse
Street, where he continued in business till 1733. His foundry, of
which, Mores informs us, Moxon’s matrices formed the most considerable
part, was, next to that of the Grovers, the most extensive of its day;
and it would appear that, for some time at any rate, these two shared
between them the whole of the English trade. Andrews’ foundry consisted
of a large variety of Roman letter and Titlings; and in “learned”
founts was specially rich in Hebrew, of which there were no less than
eleven founts, and five Rabbinical. Of peculiar sorts, he possessed the
matrices of Bishop Wilkins’ “Real Character,” also the correcting-marks
used by Moxon in his _Mechanick Exercises_, and other symbols, besides
three or four founts of square-headed music.

[Illustration: 47. Nonpareil Rabbinical Hebrew, from R. Andrews’
Foundry. (From the original matrices.)]

[Illustration: 49. Old Blacks from R. Andrews’ Foundry, 1706. (From the
original matrices.)]

He also possessed the Hebrews and the Ethiopic[369] used in Walton’s
_Polyglot_; the Irish cut by Moxon for Boyle’s _New Testament_, and a
curious alphabet of Great Primer Anglo-Norman; besides a fine specimen
of old Blacks (two of which are here shown), probably handed down
from some of the early English {195} printers, whose character they
strongly resemble. His son, Silvester Andrews, as we shall notice later
on, founded at Oxford, whither he appears to have taken matrices of
some of the Romans and one fount of Hebrew from his father’s foundry.

The following is the list of matrices in the foundry in 1706, as
given by Mores. Founts of which the punches or matrices are still in
existence are distinguished by an asterisk; those descended from the
_Polyglot_ foundry are marked [P.], and those from Moxon’s [M.]:―



     2-line English, 32. [P.?]
     Double Pica, 68. [P.?]
     Great Primer, 35.
     English (the common German face), 47.
     English, 73. [P.?]
     Pica, 65.
     Long Primer, 35.
     Brevier, 35.
     Small Pica, old, 42.
     Small Pica, another, 77.
     Small Pica, another, 73.
     Nonpareil, 35.

 _Rabbinical Hebrew._―
     English (German), 30.
     Rashi, Pica, 29.
     Rashi, Long Primer,* 30.
     Rashi, Brevier,* 29.
     Rashi, Nonpareil,* 29.
     Large face points, 42.
     Accents, 27.
     Small face points, 28.

     (Leusdenian), 21.

     Great Primer, 47; Points, 13.

     Great Primer, 104.
     English, 62.


     Great Primer,* 212. [P.]


     Long Primer.§
     Long Primer, 457.
     Brevier, 331.
     Nonpareil, 329.

         § “These three were purchased by Thos. James, 20th April 1724,
         ten years before the sale of the foundery.”

 _Roman and Italic._―
     2-line English full face caps, 31.
     2-line English Roman, 147.
     2-line English Italic, 108.
     Double Pica large face Roman, 122.
     Double Pica small face Roman, 115.
     Double Pica Italic, 107.
     Double Pica 2, Roman, 118.
     Double Pica 2, Italic, 66.
     Another, 126.
     Great Primer 1, Roman, 114.
     Great Primer 1, Italic, 102.
     Great Primer 2, Roman, 110.
     Great Primer 2, Italic, 66.
     English Roman and Italic, ...
     English 2, Roman, 92.
     English 3, Roman, 96.
     English Roman lower-case, 32.
     Pica Roman, 117.
     Pica Roman, lower-case, 27.
     Pica Roman, and Italic, long face, ...
     Long Primer Roman, 84.
     Long Primer Italic, 80.
     Long Primer Roman lower-case, 42.
     Long Primer Roman lower-case, another, 38.
     Long Primer Italic capitals and double-letters, 45.
     Brevier Roman lower-case, 57.
     Brevier Roman lower-case, another, 57.
     Brevier Italic, ...

 _Title Letters and Irregulars._―
     4-line Pica full face caps, 30.
     Canon Roman, 27. [M.]
     Canon Italic, 74. [M.]
     2-line Double Pica Roman, 127.
     2-line Great Primer full face caps, 31. {196}

 _Title Letters and Irregulars._―
     2-line Pica full face caps, 31.
     2-line Pica Roman lean face, 58.
     Paragon Roman, 122.
     Paragon Italic, 100.
     Small Pica Roman, 76.
     Small Pica Italic, 82.
     Small Pica Italic, another, 98.
     Small Pica Italic, another, 80.
     Small Pica Roman and Italic, ...
     Bourgeois Italic, 72.
     Nonpareil Roman, 80.
     Pearl Roman, 2 sets.


     Pica, 16.
     Pica, another, 21.

     Great Primer capitals, 24.

     Great Primer with law, 116.
     English* with law, 106.
     Pica with law, 125.
     Pica small face, 71.
     Long Primer,* 78.
     Brevier with law, 118.
     Small Pica* with law, 120.
     Small Pica,* 58.
     Nonpareil,* 43.

     Great Primer capitals, 15.

     Pica,* 60. [M.]
     Bishop Wilkins’ Real Character, English, 160. [M.]
     Mr. Adam’s symbols, 20. [M.]
     Mr. Moxon’s correcting marks, English, 16. [M.]
     Mathematical Characters, English and Small Pica, 42. [M.]
     Astronomical and Astrological, 31. [M.]

     2-line Great Primer,         54.
     Paragon, square-headed,      44.
     Large old square-headed,     61.
     Sundry old square-headed,   155.

[Illustration: _Elstob Saxon._

48. Saxon cut by R. Andrews for Miss Elstob’s _Grammar_, 1715. (From
the original matrices.)]

Although he accumulated a large quantity of matrices, Robert Andrews
does not appear to have been a good workman. The very indifferent
manner in which he cut the punches for Miss Elstob’s Saxon _Grammar_
has been elsewhere recorded,[370] and the fact that his apprentice,
Thomas James, after quitting his {197} service and setting up for
himself, furnished his new foundry entirely with foreign matrices,
speaks somewhat unfavourably for the merits of the English letter then
in common use.

Three of the Greek founts, however, James did subsequently purchase,
in 1724, for his own use; and nine years later, on Andrews’ retirement
from business, he purchased the whole of his foundry, and that of his
son, with the exception of the Canon Roman and Italic, which were
acquired by Mr. Caslon.

Robert Andrews was one of the Assistants of the Stationers’ Company. He
only survived his retirement two years, and died November 27th, 1735,
at the age of 80.

His name appears as a contributor of £5 5_s._ towards the subscription
raised by Mr. Bowyer’s friends in 1712, after the destruction by fire
of that eminent printer’s office.

JAMES GROVER, _circ._ 1675.     THOMAS GROVER, his son.[371]

This foundry, which, according to Rowe Mores, was supposed to include
founts formerly belonging to Wynkyn de Worde, was the most extensive,
and in many respects the most interesting of the later seventeenth
century foundries. It seems probable that James and Thomas Grover began
business in partnership, about the year 1674, in succession to one of
the “Polyglot” founders, whose matrices they appear to have acquired.
Their foundry was situated in Angel Alley, Aldersgate Street; and,
about 1700, at which date Rowe Mores fixes his summary, was evidently
of considerable extent.

Although many of the founts are of little importance, it is worthy
of note that among the Roman and Italic matrices is included, for
the first time, a Diamond; and that a Pica and Long Primer are
distinguished as “King’s House” founts, and were probably reserved
for the service of the Royal press at Blackfriars. The large-face
Double Pica Roman and Italic, there is reason to suppose, is the
famous fount cut by John Day about 1572, which had subsequently
been in the possession of one of the Polyglot founders.[372] In
Scriptorials, Cursives and other fancy letters, as well as in peculiar
and mathematical sorts, the foundry was unusually rich. The Great
Primer and 2-line Great Primer Black matrices are those reputed to have
belonged to De Worde; and from these {198} founts, says Mores, were
taken the two specimens shown on page 343 of Palmer’s _General History
of Printing_.[373]

Among the “learned” founts, the English Samaritan matrices were those
from which had been cast the type for Walton’s _Polyglot_, in 1657,
as were also those of the larger Syriac; while the Double Pica large
and small faced Greek claim a still earlier origin, being the founts
in which was printed Patrick Young’s _Catena on Job_, in 1637, the
matrices having been procured from the proceeds of the fine on the
King’s printers for their scandalous errors in the printing of the
“Wicked” _Bible_, as detailed in a former chapter.[374] The smaller
face, as we have noticed, bears the strongest resemblance to the Greek
of the Eton _Chrysostom_. Mores states that the Great Primer Arabic of
the _Polyglot_ was in this foundry, but omits to include the matrices
in his summary.[375]

The following is the full list of the matrices in the foundry, _circ._
1700, as given by Mores:―



     Great Primer, 30.
     Pica, 80.
     Long Primer, 60.
     Brevier, 130.

 _Samaritan_ (with English face).―
     English,* 32. [P.]

     Double Pica, 60. [P.]
     Pica, 80.

     Double Pica, 30. _Great Primer_, [P.?]


 _Coptic_ (the new hand),* 81.

       “This seems to be a mistake of the cataloguers, who had fallen
       upon something which they did not understand; we suppose the
       Alexandrian fount, which from the semblance they took to be
       Coptic; the number 81 was made up with something else they were
       strangers to; and so are we. But whatever it was (it is in the
       foundry) it is now in its proper place.”


     Double Pica large face, 183. [Royal.]
     Double Pica small face, ...  [Royal.]
     Great Primer, 144.
     English, 350.

     Pica, 380.
     Pica, another, 120.
     Long Primer, 120.
     Brevier, 426. Very fine.
     Brevier, another, imperfect.
     2-line full face capitals, 23.

 _Roman and Italic._―
     2-line English full face capitals, 31.
     2-line English Roman, 100.
     2-line English Italic, 77.
     Double Pica Roman large face, 120. [Day?] [P.?]
     Double Pica Italic, 98. [Day?] [P.?]
     Double Pica Roman small face, 126.
     Double Pica Italic, 98.
     Great Primer Roman large face, 102.
     Great Primer Italic, 105.
     Great Primer Roman small face, 153.
     Great Primer Italic, 105.
     Great Primer small capitals, 27.
     English Roman, 159.
     English Italic, 114. {199}

 _Roman and Italic._―
     Two other English Roman and Italic. (One called the _Old English_.)
     English small capitals, 27.
     Pica Roman broad face, 85.
     Pica Roman, 146. (Called _King’s House_.)
     Pica Roman and Italic, 292.
     Pica Italic, 42.
     Pica small capitals, 27.
     Long Primer Roman and Italic, 177.
     Long Primer another, 226. (Called _King’s House_.)
     Long Primer another, 219.
     Long Primer two others.
     Small capitals, 27.
     Brevier Roman large face, 96.
     Brevier Roman and Italic, 241.
     Brevier Roman and Italic, small face.
     Brevier Italic.

 _Title Letters and Irregulars._―
     5-line Pica full face capitals, 31.
     Canon Roman, 87.
     Canon Italic, 70.
     Canon Roman lean face capitals, 57.
     2-line Double Pica full face capitals, 26.
     2-line Great Primer full face capitals, 31.
     2-line Great Primer Roman, 86.
     2-line Great Primer Italic, 68.
     2-line Pica full face capitals, 31.
     2-line Pica Roman, 83.
     2-line Pica Italic, 77.
     2-line Small Pica full face capitals, 27.
     2-line Long Primer full face capitals, 31.
     2-line Brevier full face capitals, 21.
     Paragon Roman, 106.
     Paragon Italic, 38.
     Small Pica Roman and Italic, 175.
     Small Pica Roman and Italic, another, 233.
     Small Pica small capitals, 27.
     Minion Roman and Italic, 175.
     Nonpareil Roman and Italic, 174.
     Nonpareil Roman and Italic, another, 175.
     Pearl Roman and Italic, 167.
     Diamond Roman and Italic, 94.


     Great Primer, ...
     Pica, 30.

     Double Pica, 69.
     Great Primer, 66. [De Worde?]
     Great Primer, another, with law, 73.
     English, 82.
     English, another, with law, 128.
     Long Primer 1, 74.
     Long Primer 2, 89.
     Long Primer 3, 74.
     Brevier, 73.
     2-line Great Primer, 69. [De Worde?]
     Small Pica, 70.
     Nonpareil, 88.

     Double Pica Court, 80.
     English Court,* 100.
     Great Primer Secretary, 105.
     Double Pica Union Pearl,* 61.

     Double Pica, ...
     Great Primer, 69.
     English 1, 68.
     English 2, 57.
     Pica,* ...
     Long Primer, 68.

 Geometrical and Algebraical Symbols.

 Astronomical, Astrological, and Pharmaceutical Characters.―
     English, 55.

 Figures struck in circles and squares.―
     English, 22.

 Pica Astronomical Characters belonging to Pica _King’s House_, 22.

 Pica Algebraical and Pharmaceutical Marks, and cancelled figures, 3 sets.

 Long Primer Dominical Letters, Astronomical and Pharmaceutical Marks and

 Long Primer Fractions, 20.

     Great Primer, 176.

 Flowers, 200.

 Space Rules, Metal Rules, Braces, 150.

     Some for Pica, Long Primer and Nonpareil Greek.
     Long Primer and other Punches.

Respecting one of the founts in this foundry a special interest exists,
which calls for particular reference here. Among the “Meridionals” in
the list is included a “Coptic (the new hand) 81 matrices,” an entry
which Mores considers {200} to be “a mistake of the cataloguers,
who had fallen upon something they did not understand—we suppose the
Alexandrian fount, which from the semblance they took to be Coptic. The
number 81 was made up with something else which they were strangers
to, and so are we.”[376] Later on, in noting the various founts
missing in the collection of John James, he again refers to this “New
Coptic,” adding, “it certainly was the Alexandrian which they called
New Coptic”;[377] and a specimen of this Alexandrian Greek duly appears
in the catalogue of James’s foundry, prepared by Mores in 1778. This
fount, which we are thus enabled to trace back with tolerable certainty
to an earlier date than 1700, is interesting as being the first attempt
at facsimile reproduction by means of type. The history of its origin
is vague, but there seems reason to believe that it may have been in
existence at least half a century before coming into the hands of the

[Illustration: 50. Alexandrian Greek in Grover’s Foundry, _ante_, 1700.
(From the Catalogue of James’s Foundry, 1782, p. 10.)]

In the year 1628 Cyrillus Lucaris, a native of Crete and Patriarch
of Constantinople, sent to King Charles I, by the hand of Sir Thomas
Rowe,[378] English ambassador to the Grand Seignor, a manuscript of
the Bible in four volumes, written in Greek uncial or capital letters,
without accents or marks of aspiration, and supposed to be the work of
Thecla, a noble Egyptian lady who lived in the {201} sixth century.
This precious work was received by Charles I and deposited in the Royal
Library of St. James, of which at that time Patrick Young was the

Young applied himself with enthusiasm to the work of collating and
examining the Manuscript, with a view to putting forward a literal
transcript of its contents in print. Having published at Oxford, in
1633, an edition of the first epistle of _Clemens Romanus to the
Corinthians_, in Greek and Latin, the text of which is included in the
Alexandrian MS., he was encouraged to put forward, in 1637, his _Catena
on Job_, which contained the entire text of that book transcribed from
the same Codex. This book was printed in the Greek types of the Royal
printing office, purchased under the peculiar circumstances already
detailed.[379] After this, says Gough, Young “formed the design of
printing the entire text of the Codex in facsimile type, of which,
in 1643, he printed a _Specimen_, consisting of the first chapter of
_Genesis_, with notes, and left behind him scholia as far as to the
fifteenth chapter of _Numbers_.”[380]

Of this specimen, unfortunately, no copy can be discovered; although as
to the existence of such a document there is no lack of contemporary
evidence. In his Prolegomena to the _London Polyglot_ of 1657, Bishop
Walton, who had made a careful study of the Codex, and availed himself
freely of Young’s notes, distinctly states that he had seen the
specimen, and that the proposal to carry through the work had been
discouraged by the advice of Young’s friends.[381] Walton shows a few
words of the Alexandrian Greek, poorly cut in wood, among the specimens
in his Prolegomena: a circumstance which would suggest that in 1657 the
matrices used for Junius’ facsimile, if in existence, were not then

Walton’s statement was confirmed by Grabe, Mill, and others, who made
a study of the Codex and its history; and in 1707 Young’s biographer
and successor in the task of preparing the Codex for print, Dr. Thomas
Smith, repeated it with the authority of one who had also personally
inspected the Specimen.[382] {202}

It has been assumed by later writers that both Walton and Thomas Smith
made reference to a proposed _facsimile_ reprint of the Manuscript;
and Gough’s circumstantial statement, already quoted (which is adopted
by Nichols and copied by others, such as Horne, Edwards, etc.), leaves
little doubt that the chapter of _Genesis_ was actually put forward in
1643, in facsimile type, as a specimen of the forthcoming work. The
evidence as to the existence of the types receives further countenance
from the presence of these matrices in Grover’s foundry, certainly
before the year 1700.

Anthony à Wood states that Young’s project excited much curiosity
and expectation, and that in 1645 an ordinance was read for printing
and publishing the _Septuagint_, under the direction of Whitelock
and Selden. The troublous times which ensued, however, as well as
certain doubts as to the fidelity with which the original text was
being treated by the transcriber, led to the abandonment of the scheme
during Young’s tenure of office, which ceased in 1649. In that year
Bulstrode Whitelock became Library Keeper, and consequently custodian
of the MS. It would appear, however, from a sentence in one of Usher’s
letters,[383] that as late as 1651 Young retained his purpose of
publishing the Bible from the text of the Codex, but his death in the
following year finally stopped the enterprise.

What became of the specimen chapter of _Genesis_ it is impossible to
say. Bishop Walton, as he himself states, acquired possession of the
scholia to the end of _Numbers_ and the remainder of Young’s Greek
and Latin MSS., Wood informs us, came to the hands of Dr. Owen, Dean
of Christ Church, Oxford. Assuming the matrices to have existed,
their natural location would be either the Royal Printing Office, or
the foundry in which already had been deposited the Greek types and
matrices used in the _Catena on Job_. If, however, they remained in the
St. James’s Library, it is possible to conceive of their disappearance
for a considerable period, as Whitelock’s principal duties during his
term of office appear to have been to check the depredations which
in Young’s own time had already deprived the Library of many of its
treasures.[384] {203}

At the Restoration, the Keepership of the Library was bestowed
on Thomas Rosse, by whom was once more revived the suggestion of
reproducing the Alexandria Codex in facsimile, not this time by means
of type, but by copper-plate. This circumstance is thus related by
Aubrey in his inedited _Remains of Gentilism and Judaism_, preserved
among the Lansdowne MSS. in the British Museum.[385]

     “. . . . y^e Tecla MS. in S^t James Library . . . was sent as a
     Present to King Charles the First, from Cyrillus, Patriark of
     Constantinople: as a jewell of that antiquity not fit to be kept
     among Infidels. Mr. . . . Rosse (translator of Statius) was Tutor
     to y^e Duke of Monmouth who gott him the place (of) Library-Keeper
     at S^t James’s: he desired K. Cha. I (_sic_) to be at y^e chardge
     to have it engraven in copper-plates, and told him it would cost
     but £200; but his Ma^{ty} would not yeild to it. Mr. Ross sayd
     ‘that it would appeare glorious in History, after his Ma^{ty’s}
     death.’ ‘Pish,’ sayd he, ‘I care not what they say of me in
     History when I am dead.’ H. Grotius, J. G. Vossius, Heinsius,
     etc., have made Journeys into England purposely to correct their
     Greeke Testaments by this Copy in S^t James’s. S^r Chr. Wren sayd
     that he would rather have it engraved by an Engraver that could
     not understand or read Greek, than by one that did.”

The Manuscript was subsequently handed, in 1678, to Dr. Thomas Smith to
collate and edit, with a view to its reproduction; but once again the
scheme fell through, and (with the exception of Walton’s _Polyglot_) it
was not till Grabe, in 1707, published his _Octateuch_ (accompanying
his preface by a small copper-plate specimen of the MS.), that any
considerable portion of the Bible appeared from this ancient text.

Of the subsequent successful attempt to produce the entire Manuscript
in facsimile type we have spoken elsewhere.[386] Meanwhile, we find
from the facts here given, that in 1643 a specimen of a portion
of the text of the Codex is said to have been issued in facsimile
type; that constant efforts had been made during the latter half
of the seventeenth century to carry out Patrick Young’s purpose of
reproducing the entire Bible in this form; that in 1657 Bishop Walton
was presumably unaware of the existence of any matrices from which
to exhibit a specimen of the uncial Greek of the Codex; that Grabe,
similarly ignorant, made use of copper-plate in 1707 for a similar
purpose; but that prior to the year 1700, concealed under the erroneous
name of “Coptic—the new hand,” there existed in the foundry of the
Grovers (where already were deposited several of the “King’s House”
matrices, as well as those of the Greek fount used in Junius’ _Catena
on Job_ in 1637) a set of matrices consisting of a single alphabet of
the Alexandrian Greek, which apparently lay undetected until 1758, when
that foundry came into the hands of John {204} James, or more probably
until 1778, when Rowe Mores applied himself to the task of arranging
and cataloguing the various matrices of interest in that miscellaneous

[Illustration: 51. Scriptorial in Grover’s Foundry, 1700. (From the
original matrices.)]

[Illustration: 52. Court Hand in Grover’s Foundry, 1700. (From the
Catalogue of James’s Foundry, 1782, p. 16.)]

[Illustration: 53. Union Pearl in Grover’s Foundry, 1700. (From the
original matrices.)]

It may be added that the letters of this fount (like those of the old
Greek, Court Hand, Scriptorial and Union Pearl in the same foundry)
are struck inverted in the copper[387]; a peculiarity which may be
due either to their foreign execution, or to the ignorance of the
English striker, and which, in either case, goes far to account for the
confusion which existed respecting their identity.

Unfortunately, the link which might definitely connect these
Alexandrian matrices with the facsimile types of Patrick Young is,
in the absence of any copy of the specimen chapter of _Genesis_ of
1643, wanting. But, apart even {205} from this, the fount undoubtedly
claims the distinction of being the first attempt at facsimile by means
of type[388]; on which account this somewhat lengthy note as to its
history will, perhaps, be pardoned.

Thomas Grover had several daughters, one of whom, Cassandra, was the
wife of Mr. Meres[389]; and Mr. Meres’ daughter Elizabeth was the wife
of Mr. Richard Nutt.[390] On Thomas Grover’s death[391] his foundry
became the joint property of all his daughters, who attempted to
dispose of it by private contract in 1728, when it was appraised by
Thomas James and William Caslon. Mr. Caslon actually made an offer
for its purchase, but at so low a figure that it was not accepted.
The foundry therefore remained locked up in the house of Mr. Nutt,
who appears to have been a printer, and to have provided himself with
type for his own use during his tenure of the matrices. Finally, on
the death of all Grover’s daughters, the foundry became Mr. Nutt’s
absolutely, and was by him sold on the 14th September 1758 to John

GODFREY HEAD, 1685,[392]

was one of the authorised founders in 1685, when the following record
against him was entered on the Court minutes of the Stationers’

     “The next dividend of the Stock of Mr. Godfrey Head to be detained
     in the treasurer’s hand until further order, for his not giving a
     due account of the letter he is to cast, as the Act of Parliament

     “Godfrey Head’s dividend paid on his submission, and giving 20_s._
     to the poor’s box.” {206}

His foundry, Mores informs us, was in St. Bartholomew’s Close. Whether
Head succeeded to it or established it, we are unable to ascertain. Of
his productions, two founts only can be traced with any certainty, the
Pica Greek and the English Black, both of which subsequently passed
into Mr. Caslon’s foundry. He was succeeded by


who had formerly been servant to Mr. Grover. Mitchell removed the
foundry first to Jewin Street, and afterwards, says Mores, “lived over
Cripplegate, and afterwards in Paul’s Alley, between Aldersgate Street
and Red Cross Street. His foundry, containing nothing very curious,
unless it were the Blacks, was on the 26th July 1739 purchased by
William Caslon and John James jointly, and divided between them.”

The following is Mores’ summary of the contents of this foundry, at its




 _Roman and Italic._―
     4-line Pica§
     2-line Great Primer§
     2-line English§
     2-line Pica§
     and Great Primer, English, Long Primer, Brevier, and Nonpareil.

                                                §full-face capitals.

 _English_ (Black).―
     Great Primer, English, Pica, Long Primer, Brevier, Small Pica.

 The _Music_ matrices. The _Flower_ matrices.


 _Roman and Italic._―
     Canon, 2-line Great Primer, 2-line English, Double Pica (small
     faced), Great Primer (3 founts), English (large face), Pica,
     Brevier (3 founts), Small Pica, Minion, Pearl (2 founts).


 _Cancelled Figures._―

 _Almanac matrices._―
     Long Primer.


Over and above the foundries described by Mores as having been absorbed
by that of Thomas and John James, there remained in his possession a
certain number of matrices—some of them of some importance—of whose
former owners he was unable to give us an account. “These may be
considered as a distinct foundery,” he says, “and distinguished by the
title of ‘anonymous,’ for we know not whence they came. Our account of
Mr James’s purchases is accurate, and these are not included amongst
them, but at the end of our scrutiny remained unclaimed. Let them be
called ‘The Anonymous Foundry’.” {207} We do not presume to step in
where Rowe Mores fears to tread, and therefore leave the matrices, of
which the following is his list, still unappropriated:―



     Double Pica.



     Great Primer.

 _Roman and Italic._―
     Great Primer.
     Long Primer.
     2-line Double Pica full face capitals.
     2-line Great Primer full face capitals.
     2-line English full face capitals.
     2-line Pica full face capitals.
     Small Pica.




     Long Primer.
     Small Pica.

 (“of all of which a more full account will be given in the ensuing


PETER WALPERGEN, or Walberger, as we have stated in our account of the
Oxford Foundry, was doubtless the individual alluded to by Bagford
when, in recounting Fell’s services to Oxford, he says: “The good
Bishop provided from Holland . . . a Letter Founder, a Dutchman by
birth, who had served the States in the same quality at Batavia in the
East Indies.”[393] Bagford, it is true, does not name this founder, but
as there exists in the Bodleian Library a copy of a Portuguese version
of _Æsop’s Fables_, edited by Jo. Ferreira d’Almeida, and printed at
Batavia by Pedro Walberger in 1672,[394] we have no hesitation in
identifying our founder with this Dutch typographer, and in fixing his
settlement at Oxford somewhere about the above date, which, it will
be remembered, was the year in which Fell and others took upon them
the charge of the University Press, and furnished from abroad all the
necessaries for its use and advancement.

That he was well known at Oxford in 1683 is also apparent from a
casual reference to “Mr. Walberger of Oxford” in Moxon’s _Mechanick
Exercises_,[395] where the writer dwells with some minuteness on a
peculiar and elaborate tool, called the “Joynt-Flat-Gauge,” contrived
by this founder for polishing the faces of his punches after hardening
them, and before striking them into the copper. {208}

It was doubtless from this casual notice that Rowe Mores derived his
scant reference to Walpergen, of whom he knows nothing, save that he
founded at Oxford in 1683, was sometimes called Walperger, and by name
appears to have been a foreigner, therefore probably a “transient,” by
means of his countryman Michael Burghers, the University engraver.

Of Walpergen’s work little is known beyond the fact that he appears to
have devoted his attention chiefly to the production of Music type,
impressions of which appear in the University _Specimen_ of 1695. The
punches and matrices of this interesting fount are still preserved at
Oxford, and are singular relics of the old letter-founders’ art.[396]

[Illustration: 54. Music, cut by Walpergen, Oxford, _circ._ 1695. (From
the original matrices.)]

Although the Music was the only fount cut by Walpergen of which we
have any certain knowledge, it is probable that the experienced Dutch
artist, whom Bagford describes as an excellent workman, did not confine
his labours to that class of work. What were his exact relations with
the University Press is also a matter of conjecture. But it seems
probable, from the manner in which he is spoken of by Moxon, and in the
Oxford _Specimen_, that he practised as a letter-founder on his own
account, and not wholly as an official of the University.

He died in 1714.[397] Among the University archives is preserved an
inventory of his chattels, which, if a full account of his earthly
possessions, speaks {209} poorly for the profits of the profession of
letter-founding in those days. This highly interesting document runs as

_An inventory of the Chattels of Peter De Walpergen, deceased, taken
the tenth day of January 1714–5._

Being the Moiety of a Fount of Musick.

                                                               £  _s._  _d._
 Two hunderd and two pounds weight of Mettal (? cast type)
 at four pence per pound his part is                           1   13     8

 One hunderd fourty seven Matrices at one Shilling per
 piece his part is                                             3   13     6

 Nine quadrats at two pence per piece his part is              0    0     9

 Four moulds at two shillings six pence per piece his part     0    5     0

 Sixty three puncheons at five shillings (_i.e._, for the
 lot) his part                                                 0    2     6

 Four cases at four shillings his part                         0    2     0

 Two galleys at two shillings his part                         0    1     0

 A box at sixpence his part                                    0    0     3

 Appraised by us, LEONARD LICHFIELD.
                  RICHARD GREEN.

The extraordinarily low value of the punches is quite consistent with
the esteem in which these now precious steel originals were held at the
time, after once being struck.

Walpergen’s music matrices were secured by the University Press, in
whose _Specimens_ the type had already figured for some years; but we
have, so far, been unable to discover any important works in which the
character was used.

SYLVESTER ANDREWS, who succeeded to Walpergen’s foundry before the year
1714, was the son of Robert Andrews, the London founder. His foundry,
which, with the exception of one alphabet of Hebrew, consisted entirely
of Roman and Italic, was, Rowe Mores informs us, nothing compared
with that of his father, and was indeed a part of his father’s. The
following is the list of his matrices:―


     Brevier (at first 33)                 30

 _Roman and Italic._
     2-line English Capitals              ...
     Great Primer Roman, large face       125
     Great Primer Italic                   82
     English Roman                        148
     English Italic                        98
     Pica Roman, large face               153
     Pica Roman, small face               148
     Pica Italic                          110
     Pica Roman, lower case                27
     Long Primer Roman                    119
     Long Primer Italic                   102
     Brevier Roman, large face            130
     Brevier Roman, small face            135
     Brevier Italic (2 sets of Capitals)  105 {210}
     2-line Pica Italic                   ...
     Small Pica Roman                     146
     Small Pica Italic                     28
     Minion Roman and Italic              ...
     Nonpareil Roman, large face          140
     Nonpareil Italic                     105
     Nonpareil Roman, small face           94
     Pearl Roman                           98
     Pearl Italic                          38

Although his stock of matrices was limited, he appears to have done a
considerable business, not only with the University, in whose service
he was probably retained, but also with other printers practising in
Oxford, notably with John Baskett, the king’s printer, to whom, with
two others, the “Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University,”
leased their “privilege and interest in printing” for twenty-one years
from March 1713.

In the year 1719 Baskett, who had two years previously produced the
magnificent “Vinegar” _Bible_[399] at Oxford, mortgaged his stock and
privilege at the University to James Brooks, stationer, of London,
as security for a loan of £3,000. And in a schedule attached to an
indenture, dated May 23, 1720, having reference to this transaction,
occurs an inventory of the type at that time in the printer’s
possession, which is highly interesting, not only as throwing light on
Andrews’ business, but as indicating the contents of a large office of
the period, and the extent to which Dutch type at that time competed in
this country with English. The schedule is as follows:―

_An Account of the Letter Presses and other Stock and Implements of and
in the Printing house at Oxford belonging to John Baskett, Citizen and
Staconer of London_:―

 A Large ffount of Perle Letter Cast by Mr. Andrews.
 A Large ffount of Nonp^l Letter, New-Cast by ditto.
 Another ffount of Nonp^l Letter, Old, the whole standing and Sett up in
     a Com’on Prayer in 24mo Compleat.
 A large ffount of Min^n Letter, New-Cast by Mr. Andrews.
 Another Large ffount of Min^n Letter, New-Cast in Holland.
 The whole Testament standing in Brev^r and Min^n Letter, Old.
 A Large ffount of Brev^r Letter, New-Cast in Holland.
 A very Large ffount of Lo. Prim^r Letter, New-Cast by Mr. Andrews.
 A Large ffount of Pica Letter, very good, cast by ditto.
 Another Large ffount of ditto, never used, Cast in Holland.
 A small Quantity of English, New-Cast by Mr. Andrews.
 A small Quantity of Great Prim^r, New-Cast by ditto.
 A very Large ffount of Double Pica, New, the largest in England.[400] {211}
 A Quantity of Two Line English Letters.
 A Quantity of ffrench Cannon.
 Two line Letters of all Sorts and a Sett of Silver Initiall Letters.
 Cases, Stands, etc.
 ffive Printing Presses, very good, with other Appurtenances, etc.

The schedule is signed “Jno. Baskett.”[401]

In 1733 Sylvester Andrews’ foundry was purchased, at the same time
with that of his father, by Thomas James, and removed to London. His
epitaph remains, and gives an amusing glimpse of his character and the
reputation he bore at Oxford.

 _On a Letter-Founder at Oxford._

 “Underneath this stone lies honoured Syl
  Who died, though much against his will;
  Yet, in his fame he will survive―
  Learning shall keep his name alive;
  For he the parent was of letters,―
  He founded, to confound his betters;
  Though what those letters should contain
  Did never once disturb his brain.
  Since, therefore, reader, he is gone,
  Pray let him not be trod upon.”[402]






Thomas James was the son of the Rev. John James, vicar of
Basingstoke.[403] He served his apprenticeship to Robert Andrews,
but quitted his service prior to the year 1710, in order to start
business on his own account. Impressed, doubtless, with the present low
condition of the art in England, and lacking the skill to regenerate
it by his own labour, he determined to visit Holland and procure for
himself, from that famous typographical market, the matrices and moulds
necessary for establishing a successful foundry {213} in London. The
characteristic letters in which he describes this expedition to his
brother are given by Rowe Mores,[404] and present so instructive and
entertaining a picture of the Dutch type-founders of the day, that we
are tempted to copy them _in extenso_.

     “_Rotterdam, 22 June 1710._—I have been with all the Letter
     Founders in Amsterdam, and if I would have given —— for matrices,
     could not persuade any of ’em but the last I went to, to part with
     any. So far from it that it was with much ado I could get them to
     let me see their business. The Dutch letter founders are the most
     sly and jealous people that ever I saw in my life. However this
     last man (being as I perceived by the strong perfume of Geneva
     waters a most profound sot) offers to sell me all his house for
     about —— I mean the matrices: for the punchions with them he will
     not sell for any money. But there being about as much as he would
     have —— for, Hebrew and other Oriental languages such as Syrian,
     Samaritan and Russian characters, I would not consent to buy ’em.
     But the rest consisting of about 17 sets of Roman and Italic
     capitals and small letters, and about 5 sets of capital letters
     only, and 3 sets of Greek, besides a set or two of Black with
     other appurtenances, these I design to buy. He is not very fond
     of selling them because it will be a great while before he can
     furnish himself again. However I believe I shall have ’em for less
     than —— a matrice, which as he says is cheaper than ever they were
     his; but having most of the punches he can sink ’em again and so
     set himself to rights with little trouble and less charge.”

The next letter, dated Rotterdam, 14th July 1710, describes graphically
the difficulties which James encountered in driving his bargain to a

      “I took a place in the waggon for Tergoes and from thence in
     a scayte for Amsterdam, where I arrived at 5 o’clock on Monday
     morning 10 July. As soon as I thought the person I have dealt with
     was stirring I went to confer with him farther about his matrices;
     but instead of finding all things set in order for sale, I found
     him less provided than when I was with him before; for indeed he
     had lent about eight sets of matrices to another Letter Founder.
     I let him know my mind by an interpreter. He told me what a
     disposition his things were in, and said he had rather part with
     some particular sets than with all. In short, I found he had not
     a mind to part with any but those which he esteemed least, and
     those of which he had the puncheons by him to sink again when he
     pleased. I told him that I came expecting to make an end of the
     bargain, if he would part with all the sets I had seen in his
     proof for the price I had offered. The man hesitated a good while
     and at last told me he would advise about it. I told him I’d have
     him resolve presently, and showed him the bill . . . The sight
     of the bill made the man begin to be a little more serious than
     before; so after a few more words he told me he would send for his
     other sets in the afternoon. I told him _that_ he might do, but in
     the meantime I would survey those he had by him; so he had a table
     set and he fetched his matrices to me. The reason why I would not
     stir out of his house till I had taken a survey of his matrices
     was, because I was fearful that he might pick and cull (as we call
     it) a great {214} many things which are useful in printing besides
     just the alphabets; and indeed lest he might change some whole
     sets; though indeed the man declares he would not do a thing so
     ill for his life. However I having all the matrices brought into
     one room locked ’em up and took the key away with me, and went to
     dinner. In the afternoon I went again with my interpreter (being
     an Exchange Broker) where we sat all the afternoon viewing the
     matrices. At night I locked ’em up again and took the key with me,
     and on Tuesday morning presented my bill, which was accepted and
     paid immediately. But I should have told you that the afternoon
     before he sent his wife to speak to the people to send home the
     other sets; but she brought a note from the house and said the
     master who had the key and keeping of ’em was gone a great way out
     of town to the burial of his mother, and they did not expect him
     back till Wednesday. This news was very disagreeable to me; but
     not knowing how to help myself, on Tuesday, after having viewed
     all day those he had, I paid him ——, and took ’em along with me to
     my lodging when it was too late to send to you by the post from
     Amsterdam. On Wednesday I went again but could not find the man at
     home. He was gone for the other sets. So I tarried till yesterday
     and went again and received 3 of the 8 sets. The rest are not to
     be had yet, the man being not returned, only his wife who gave him
     those three sets. So there are wanting but five sets more which
     are all Greeks but one. I took ’em, molds and all, and packed them
     up in a box and sent ’em by an Amsterdam scayte appointed to carry
     goods for Rotterdam. This I did, fearing the _Catherine_ yacht
     might sail if I tarried for the rest. At 8 o’clock last night I
     took scayte for Tergoes, and arrived there this morning. From
     thence I came hither by waggon and arrived here before 9.”

The next letter, dated Rotterdam, 27th July 1710, describes his
purchase more in detail, and gives particulars as to the Dutch
foundries visited.

     “You are desirous to know whether the matrices I have bought excel
     those which are in the hands of the Letter Founders in England.
     The beauty of letter like that of faces is as people opine; but
     notwithstanding I had no choice, all the Romans excel what we
     have in England in my opinion, and I hope being well wrought, I
     mean cast, will gain the approbation of very handsome letters.
     The Italic I do not look upon to be unhandsome, though the Dutch
     are never very extraordinary in those. An account of the names
     that I think I shall give the sets I have bought is as follows:
     The largest size I shall distinguish by the name of _Four-line
     Pica_, the next by that of _French Canon_, the next by that of
     _Two-line Pica_; these three consist of Capitals only. The fourth
     size is a small _Canon Italic_, the fifth a _Two-line English_
     Roman and Italic, the sixth _Great Primer_ Roman, of which I
     have two sets, a great face and a small one, with one Italic to
     them both. The seventh size is an _English_ Roman and Italic;
     the eighth a _Pica_, of which I have three sets Roman, and one
     Italic; the ninth a _Small Pica_ Roman and Italic, the tenth
     _Long Primer_, three sets Roman and one Italic, the eleventh,
     _Brevier_ Roman and Italic. Besides these I have one set of _Great
     Primer Greek_, one of _English Greek_, one of _Pica Greek_, one
     of _Brevier Greek_, as also one set of _Pica Black_ and one of
     _Brevier Black_ together with matrices of divers sorts of flowers
     useful as ornaments in printing. To which I have 15 molds. All the
     sizes except the three first have Capitals, small letters, double
     letters, figures and points, as also all the accents, amounting
     in the whole to the number of about 3500 matrices. As for sets of
     Nonpareil and Pearl, I am informed nobody in {215} this country
     has any but the Jew whose name is Athias.[405] Him I was with
     first of all, who assured me he would part with none of any size
     whatever, as did likewise another man whose name is Foskins.[406]
     The next I went to was Cupi by name. He said he must consult a
     friend of his before he could give me my answer, which friend
     being gone out of town it would be two or three days before he
     could certify me. The next and last I went to the same day: his
     name was Rolij,[407] a German by birth. Him I soon perceived I
     should agree with, as afterwards I did. But before I went to him
     I called upon Cupi. He told me he would sell no matrices, but he
     would cast me as much letter as I would have as cheap as anybody.
     I went to him before I agreed with Rolij because I would see which
     would sell cheapest. But finding them all so inflexible I was
     obliged to agree with Rolij upon his own terms, who, however, did
     not know but I had come to him first, since himself and Cupi are
     the only letter-cutters in this country, and he did not imagine
     but that if he would not have sold me matrices Cupi would, as I
     found by him afterwards. When Cupi perceived that Rolij would sell
     me some matrices (as, indeed, then Rolij and I had agreed and he
     received 1700 gilders in part), he comes to the Exchange-Broker
     and told him he would sink his puncheons again and in half a
     year’s time deliver me all the matrices he has, perfect, after the
     rate of —— per matrice, but that except I would take all one with
     another, he would sell none at all.

     “His Roman letters are very handsome and his Italics ugly, but
     all printed upon a proof of the best paper; with all the care
     taken in composing and printing imaginable, which adds much to
     the lustre of his letter. In a book it is quite another thing;
     not {216} so handsome as Rolij’s, whose letter in the proofs I
     could see in matter looks much better than it does in his printed
     Specimen, which is done with all disadvantage, being wretchedly
     composed and worse printed off, upon very sorry paper. However I
     can see when letters are well proportioned. I have two specimens
     of his letter in matter which look very beautiful. Rolij says
     whatever matrices I want, whether great or small, he’ll cut ’em
     for me as soon as I give him orders, provided it happens before a
     peace. He told me likewise he would see if he could procure any
     Nonpareil and Pearl of the Jew, I allowing him a reasonable profit
     for his pains. Rolij says he was the man who made Foskins[408]
     father by the letter he cut for him. Foskins[408] is a man of great
     business, having five or six men constantly at the furnace,
     besides boys to rub, and himself and a brother to do the other
     work. How many men the Jew keeps at work I do not know, for he
     would not permit me to go up into his work-house. Foskins thought
     I wanted letter to be cast, but when he knew that I was a letter
     founder he looked very sly, and watched me as if I had been a
     thief, being I suppose very fearful that I should steal some of
     their art from them. Cupi was not very forward to let me see his
     work-house, and the first time avoided it by saying he could not
     stay for he was just going out, but the second time I did see it
     though he was as loth then as before, saying he believed there was
     nobody at work. But I told him the person who was with me wanted
     to see the trade, and he would oblige me by showing it. He had
     places for four to work, although there was but one casting. I did
     not ask Rolij to show me his work-house the first time I went to
     him, but the second time I went up and saw places for four men and
     nobody at work. I asked him where his men were; he told me they
     were gone to a fair at Harlem, but I believe he had lent them out
     as well as his matrices to some other letter founder. As I was
     going along the street with him, he told me there was an English
     gentleman that had lodged at such a house (pointing to it), for
     whom he had cast three hundred pounds worth of work not long ago,
     which if true must have been for Tonson.

     “I have bought of Rolij in all thirty sets of matrices, besides
     the box of flowers and 15 molds made of brass as almost all
     the Dutch molds I saw were. Mr. Cupi has in all but eighteen
     sets of matrices, but is continually, as I hear, cutting more,
     designing in time to set up printing and bookselling too. He is
     a very close and very civil fellow. I do not know but one time
     or other I may take another trip into this country for matrices,
     for there’s no trusting to anybody here to manage business for
     one. There’s hardly such a thing as an honest man to be found.
     They all live by buying and selling, and whatever they can bite
     anyone of, they count it fairly got in the way of trade. I hear
     but a very indifferent character of the young man, the broker,
     who interprets for me. He is very expert indeed at that, and I do
     not know what I should have done without him: but I am informed
     that if it lay in his power to come at any of my money, he would
     contrive some way or other to cozen me of it, or part of it at
     least; for which reason I took particular care. He stood very
     hard with me for a gilder per cent. for every hundred I laid out.
     The moulds and matrices together stand me in ——. I have enquired
     very diligently of abundance of Printers, Booksellers, and of Mr.
     Rolij whether there are any letter founders at Harlem, Leyden, The
     Hague, Delft or Utrecht. I was told by some they knew of none,
     and by others that there were none, and Rolij assured me there
     were none at any of those places; and I myself saw at Foskins[408]
     a box with letter in it, {217} directed for Utrecht; and it seems
     very probable there may be none at any of these places, because
     letter may be sent from Amsterdam to any of these places as cheap
     by water as a porter in London will carry a burthen half a mile.
     The box of molds and matrices which I bought was brought hither
     from Amsterdam for twelve stivers into the house, the distance
     about forty English miles. I am told there is one letter founder
     at Tergoes, but I can’t hear of one Englishman or English house in
     the whole town. However I’ll endeavour to find the founder before
     I leave the country. I have been through Tergoes three times, and
     as often through Harlem, Leyden and Delft, but never made any stay
     in any one of them. I have been twice to the Hague, but at such
     times that I could not see the States House. The town is very
     fine. One’s charges thither and back again are not above a gilder.
     ‘Tis very easy, and travelling would be very pleasant if one were
     not destitute of company.”

On his return to England with his purchases, James established his
foundry in Aldermanbury, and afterwards removed to the Town Ditch.

The following is Rowe Mores’ summary of his original matrices:



     Great Primer, 191; Pica, 161; Brevier, 141; Small Pica, 130.

 _Roman and Italic._―
     Two-line English Roman, 148; Italic, 90. Great Primer Roman, 111;
     another Roman, 101; Italic, 123. English Roman, 86; Italic, 78.
     Pica Roman, 109; another 80; another, 82; Italic, 95. Long Primer
     Roman, 140; another, 155; another, 141; Italic, 94. Brevier Roman,
     112; Italic, 97.

 _Titles and Irregulars._―
     Four-line Pica Roman, 35. Canon Roman (Two-line Great Primer it
     is), 33. Small Canon (Two-line English) _missing_. Two-line Pica
     Roman, 31. Small Pica Roman, 136; Italic, 73.


 _English (Blacks)._―
     Pica, 60. Brevier, 65.

 Mathematical Marks, Flowers, etc.

James’ business appears to have thriven for a time, owing doubtless to
the fact of his being possessed of the matrices of Dutch letter, which
at that time had quite superseded the home productions in the popular
favour. So much were they sought after, indeed, that we hear of a great
printer like Tonson making a special journey to Holland, and there
laying out as much as £300 on Dutch letter. The upper floor, on which
the work of the foundry was carried on in the house at the Town Ditch,
being insufficient in strength for the weight of his operations, he
removed to the foundry in Bartholomew Close, where he continued till
the time of his death. “This founding House,” says Rowe Mores, “is an
edifice disjoined from the dwelling-house, and seems to have been built
for Mr. James’ own purpose. The dwelling-house is an irregular rambling
place, formerly in the occupation of Mr. Roycroft, afterwards in that
of Mr. Houndeslow, afterwards in that of Mr. S. Palmer, author of the
_General History of Printing_, and lastly that of the two Mr. James’s,
and was a part of the Priory of St. Bartholomew. And in this house
wrought formerly as a journeyman {218} with Mr. Palmer, a gentleman
well known since in the philosophical world, Dr. Benj. Franklin of
Philadelphia.” Franklin worked here in 1725 for about a year, during
which time, as he himself states in the interesting note quoted from
his autobiography at page 15, he was an occasional visitor in James’s
typefoundry adjoining.

James’ later years were embittered by transactions which tended neither
to his credit nor his fortunes, and which one would be tempted to pass
by unnoticed, but that the history of English type-founding is closely
involved in the narration.

In the year 1725 a Scotch printer complained to William Ged, a
respectable goldsmith of Edinburgh, of the inconvenience of being
compelled to send to London or Holland for type, there being no
foundry in Scotland at the time, and urged him to undertake the
business of type-founder. Ged, in considering the matter, was struck
with the idea of producing plates from whole pages of composed type,
and after several experiments, satisfied himself that the idea was
practicable.[409] In 1727 he entered into a contract with an Edinburgh
printer to prosecute the invention, but the latter being intimidated
by the rumoured costliness of the process, withdrew from the bargain
at the end of two years. In 1729 Ged entered into a new partnership
with William Fenner, a London stationer, who offered, for one half of
the profits, to find the requisite capital and work the undertaking.
Fenner introduced him to Thomas James, the founder, and a company was
shortly afterwards formed, consisting of Ged, Fenner, Thomas James,
John James, his brother, an architect at Greenwich, and James Ged,
son of the inventor. Ged’s narrative, which is simple, and to all
appearances straightforward, represents Thomas James as having played
from the first a highly dishonourable part in the proceedings of the
new company. Being naturally selected to provide the necessary type, he
supplied worn and battered letter, which Ged was compelled to reject
as useless. Ged next applied to the King’s printers, who had recently
discarded James’s type in favour of the highly superior letter of
William Caslon, for permission to take plates from some formes of their
new letter. The printers consulted Mr. Caslon, who not only denied the
utility of {219} the invention, but asserted that he could, if he
chose, make as good plates as Ged.[410] A wager of £50 ensued. Each of
the disputants was furnished with a page of type, and allowed eight
days for producing the plate. At the end of a single day Ged produced
three plates to the umpire, who was bound to admit his success. This
feat becoming known, the partners applied for, and obtained a privilege
from the University of Cambridge in 1731, to print Bibles and Prayer
Books by the new method.

Ged was, however, again thwarted in every direction by the treachery
of his colleagues, especially of Thomas James, who continued to supply
imperfect type, and actively intrigued with the King’s printers for
the purpose of upsetting the University contract and discrediting
the invention. With wonderful courage and perseverance Ged struggled
against the opposition, and, it is said, completed two Prayer Books.
The printers engaged on the work, however, were influenced by James,
the compositors making malicious errors in the text, and the pressmen
damaging the formes with their ink balls. The complaint thus raised
against the type was the motive for sending James in 1732 to Holland,
to procure fresh letter. This second expedition lacked all the
interesting features of the first, and he returned after being absent
for two months and spending £160, with only one fount of type, far too
large for the requirements of the undertaking. Meanwhile, however, in
consequence of the persistent animosity of the printers, the books were
suppressed by authority, and the plates sent to the King’s printing
house, and thence to Caslon’s foundry to be broken up.[411] Ged,
shattered in health and fortune, returned to Edinburgh in 1733, where,
by the assistance of his friends, he was enabled, after some delay, to
finish his edition of Sallust.[412] He died in 1749.[413] {220}

The dishonourable part taken by James in this business reacted on
himself, for we find that he suffered considerably both in purse and
business, in consequence of his connection with the undertaking.
“The printers,” says Mores, “would not employ him, because the
block printing, had it succeeded, would have been prejudicial to
theirs.”[414] The rising fame of Caslon at this particular period
contributed also, and with equal force, to the ill-success of his later

Before his death, however, he added considerably to his foundry,
chiefly by the purchase of the foundries of his old master, Robert
Andrews, and of his son Sylvester at Oxford. By the former he acquired
not only a large number of Roman and Italics, but also several Oriental
and curious founts (some of which had formed the foundry of Moxon),
which constituted the nucleus of that large collection for which his
foundry subsequently became notorious. He died in 1736,[415] after a
long illness, during which his son John James managed the business.

The following circular, addressed to the printing trade at the time of
his death, is interesting, not only as notifying the fact, but as being
put forward as a specimen of the type of the foundry.


     “The death of Mr. Thomas James of Bartholomew Close, Letter
     Founder, having been industriously published in the Newspapers,
     without the least mention of any person to succeed in his
     business, it is become necessary for the widow James to give as
     public notice that she carries on the business of letter founding,
     to as great exactness as formerly, by her son John James, who
     had managed it during his father’s long illness; the letter this
     advertisement is printed on being his performance.[416] And he
     casts all other sorts from the largest to the smallest size. Also
     the Saxon, Greek, Hebrew, and all the Oriental types, of various
     sizes.” {221}

Although the above seems to indicate that John James was a practical
letter-cutter, he does not appear to have contributed much to the
increase of his foundry by his own handiwork. In 1739 he purchased,
jointly with William Caslon, the foundry of Robert Mitchell, and took
a half of the matrices.[417] A year later he bought Ilive’s foundry.
Of this purchase Rowe Mores mentions that the two founts of Nonpareil
Greek, though duly paid for, never came to James’s hands. The remaining
matrices, consisting of Roman and Italics and a few sundries, were
transferred to Bartholomew Close, where they lay, apparently unused, in
the boxes distinguished by the name of Jugge.

A far more important purchase was made some eighteen years later,
when Grover’s foundry, after having lain idle for thirty years in the
possession of his family, was finally sold to James by Mr. Nutt in
1758. By this purchase James became possessed of a stock of matrices,
the number of which nearly doubled his own foundry, and which included
many of the most interesting relics of the art.[418] At the same time,
he combined in one no fewer than nine of the old English foundries,
and remained, with Caslon and Baskerville, as one of only three
representatives of the trade in the country.[419]

The following table will present in a clear form the gradual absorption
of all the old foundries into that of James:―

 (_De Worde_)     (_Day_)
      │              │
      │        (_Privileged
      │         printers_)
      │              │
      │        The Polyglot
      │          Founders      Moxon    (Walpergen)
      │          1637–1667   1659–1683   1673–1714
      │              │           │           │
      +──────────────+───────────+           │
      │                          │           │
      │             +────────────+           │
      │             │                        │
 Jas. Grover    R. Andrews   (_Rolij_)  S. Andrews    Ilive       Head
 1680–1700      1683–1733      1710      1714–1733  1730–1740  1685–1700 (?)
      │             │            │           │          │          │
      │             +────────────+───────────+          │          │
      │                          │                      │          │
 Thos. Grover               Thos. James                 │       Mitchell
 1700–1758                   1710–1736                  │      1700–1739
      │                          │                      │          │
      │                          │                      │     +────+────+
      │                          │                      │     │         │
      +──────────────────────────+──────────────────────+─────+         │
                                 │                                      │
                             John James                              Caslon
            the last of the Old English Letter Founders.


With the exception of the circular already mentioned, nothing of the
nature of a specimen of this large foundry appeared during the lifetime
of its owner. As early as 1736, Rowe Mores informs us, a specimen was
begun, designed to show the variety of matrices with which the foundry
then abounded, and from which types could be supplied to the trade. But
although so early begun, and progressed with for several years, the
work was left incomplete at the time of James’s death in 1772.[420]

Two causes may be assigned for this fact, one being the frequent and
numerous additions to the foundry from time to time, which would
render any specimen undertaken at an early stage of its existence
incomplete; and the second and more cogent reason is to be found in
the fact that the excellence and growing popularity of Caslon’s founts
at this particular period tended rapidly to depreciate the productions
of the old founders, and, as Rowe Mores himself states, to render many
of their founts altogether useless in typography; so that a letter
which in 1736 might have commanded a tolerable sale, would in 1756 be
despised, and in 1770 scoffed at.

At John James’s death his foundry passed by purchase[421] into the
hands of Mr. Rowe Mores,[422] a learned and eccentric antiquary and
scholar, who had devoted himself, among other matters, to the study of
typographical antiquities, a pursuit in which he received no little
stimulus from the possession of a collection of punches and matrices,
some of which were supposed to be as old as the days of Wynkyn de Worde.

Whether any motive besides a pure antiquarian zeal prompted the
purchase, or whether he held the collection in the capacity of trustee,
is not known, but it {223} seems probable he had been intimately
acquainted with the foundry and its contents for some time before
James’s death. He speaks emphatically of it as “our” foundry, and his
disposition of its contents for sale is made with the authority of an
absolute proprietor. It does not appear, however, that during the six
years of his possession any steps were taken to extend or even continue
the old business, which we may assume to have died with its late owner.

Mr. Mores found himself the owner of a vast confused mass of matrices,
many of them unjustified, and others imperfect, which to an ordinary
observer might have been summarily condemned as rubbish, but which
he, with an enthusiasm quite remarkable, set himself to catalogue and
arrange in order, considering himself amply repaid for his pains by the
discovery of a few veritable relics of Wynkyn de Worde and other old
English printers.

The result of his labours he minutely relates in his
_Dissertation_,[423] a work written, as he himself says, “to preserve
the memory of this Foundry, the most ancient in the kingdom, and which
may now be dispersed,” and intended as an introduction to the completed
specimen of its contents. Despite its eccentric style and crabbed
diction, the work, by virtue of its learning and acuteness, will always
remain one of the most interesting contributions to the history of
English typography.

The condition of the foundry will be best described in its author’s own

After giving a list of matrices lost,[424] and quoting a catalogue
of the matrices of the learned languages in the foundry in 1767,
written by James himself (which varies considerably from the Catalogue
presented at the sale, to be given later on), he observes:

“The specimen will show that several of the matrices are unjustified.
This being but an accidental circumstance, does not in the least
affect the goodness of the type, though it affects its appearance in
_the casting_. The matrices were amassed at all events to augment the
collection, and the operation of the file was suspended till a call for
the type should make it necessary. So this defect is no more than a
proof that the matrices have not been impaired by use.

“Another circumstance it may be necessary to mention relating to the
difference in the number of matrices of the same face and body, which
may lead to a suspicion that those of a lesser number are imperfect.
But this is not the {224} fact. The difference arises from a difference
in the quantity of ligations, which have been always cut in a greater
or smaller number according to the humour or fancy of the artist. We
own ourselves admirers of ligatures, for they are certainly ornamental
and elegant, and it is to be wished that they could be used in
typography with the same ease as they are displayed in calligraphy. But
this is impossible; fusile types are not so tractable as the pen of a
ready writer, and we scruple not to call a fount complete though it be
destitute of every jugation. . . .

“A word or two must be added in relation to the Specimen. It was begun
by Mr. James in the year 1736, in which year, after the decease of his
father, he entered into business for himself, and was designed to show
the variety of matrices with which his foundery abounded. Therefore
it is a specimen only of the types which he could cast for those who
wanted; no reference being made to the situation of the matrices from
which he would have cast them. But notwithstanding the number of years
intermediate, the Specimen was left unfinished by Mr. James at the
time of his death, and that which was left has been mangled since his
decease. Not that there was any occasion for such references, for Mr.
James was possessed of the matrices, and consequently of the secret of
adapting them to his purpose. To supply this deficiency in a specimen
of the matrices (for as such the specimen is now to be considered) has
been attended with trouble incredible to anyone but one who upon a like
occasion shall attempt the same. And such an occasion we believe there
will never be.

“For the Specimen some apology is to be made; neither the form nor the
matter is so judicious as we could wish, but the greatest part of it
was composed long ago, and it was almost impossible now to alter it.
Incorrectness must be overlooked, because Letter Founders generally
compose their own specimens, and this might be sufficient to apologise
for deficiencies in the Composing part. But we must use another plea in
extenuation of enormities in this part unavoidable; the confinement of
large-bodied letters to a narrow measure; though for blemishes of this
sort the just allowance will be made by those of judgement. It shows
the letter, the common purpose of this kind of specimens.

“We have inserted specimens of several matrices which the great
improvements made in the art of letter-cutting have rendered altogether
useless in typography; but these specimens will be found of critical
use to an antiquary, for whose sake we have inserted them, regardless
of the charge that we deform our Specimen, or of another more material
accusation, that by multiplying particulars we endeavour to enhance the
value of our foundery. The latter we can easily refute; for the sets
we speak of, besides the rudeness of the workmanship, are imperfect,
and consequently unsaleable, and will probably be taken {225} from the
foundery before it is disposed of to prevent the trouble of a future
garbling,[425] and this consideration must extend to those objections
which may be made against things cast in haste without justification,
for the purpose only of shewing the faces.

“Hitherto we have spoken only of Matrices. The punches, though in order
they are first, must come last; and of them we have but little to say;
for these having performed their office by formation of the matrice are
generally like other useful instruments which have discharged their
duty, neglected, discarded and thrown away.

“The entire _loss_, the _waste_ and the _rubbish_ in our foundery in
this article are great. The _waste_ and _rubbish_ are in weight about
120 lbs., and were we to put down _tale_ instead of _weight_ (the
pusils which seem to make the greater part of this quantity not much
exceeding in largeness the little end of a poinctrel) the number would
be very great. But covetous of preserving the remembrance of everything
which in Mr. James’ Foundery was curious or uncommon, we have
re-scrutinized these, and have left behind us nothing but the Roman and
Italic in which is nothing either curious or uncommon.

“The same likewise have we done to the matrices, the waste of which now
remaining and disposed of in order is in number about 2,600,[426] the
rubbish in weight about 1/2 cwt.

“A work of some trouble but _virtù_ hath been gratified amongst the
rubbish of punches by some originals of Wynkyn de Worde, some punches
of the 2-line Great Primer English.[427] They are truly _vetustate
formâque et squalore venerabiles_, and we would not give a lower-case
letter in exchange for all the leaden cups of Haerlem.”[428]

[Illustration: 56. From the original in the Library of the London

Mr. Mores, unfortunately, did not live to see the publication of
his {227} _Dissertation_, or to complete the Specimen which was to
accompany it. He died in 1778, and four years elapsed before the
foundry was put up to auction, and the catalogue with its specimen
attached finally appeared.

Of this interesting document we need only observe that in point of
execution and printing it calls for all the apology which Mr. Mores
offers on its behalf;[429] for one could hardly imagine a specimen
doing less justice to the collection it represents. Yet, in spite of
its imperfections, it is a work of the highest importance to anyone
interested in the history of the old English letter-founders, and we
regret that space forbids quoting the Catalogue in full.

We shall, however, present our readers with an abstract of the Specimen
as far as it relates to the matrices of the “learned” languages in the
foundry; adding, as far as possible, the initials of the foundries
through which each fount had come into James’ hands.[430]

The specimens shown are as follows:―

 _Hebrew_ (Biblical).[431]―
     2-l. English Mod.                            [A.][432]
     2-line English No. 2.
     2-line English Ancient.                      [P.]
     Double Pica.                            [P.] [A.]
     Great Primer.                                [A.]
     English Antique.
     English Ancient, No. 2.                 [P.] [A.]
     English Ancient, No. 3.
     English Modern.
     Pica Ancient.                               [G.?]
     Pica Modern.                                 [A.]
     Small Pica Antique.                          [A.]
     Small Pica Antique. No. 2.                   [A.]

     Small Pica Modern.
     Long Primer.                                [G.?]
     Brevier.                                     [A.]
     Brevier. No. 2.                            [S.A.]
     Nonpareil.                                   [A.]

 _Hebrew_ (Rabbinical).―
     English German (a spurious Rashi).           [A.]
     Rashi Pica.                                  [A.]
     Rashi Long Primer.*                          [A.]
     Rashi Brevier.*                              [A.]
     Rashi Nonpareil.*                            [A.]

     Double Pica (Leusden’s).                     [A.]
     English* (with English face).           [P.] [G.] {228}

     Double Pica.                           [P.][G.]
     Great Primer.                              [A.]
     Pica.                                      [G.]

     Double Pica (Gt. Primer?)*            [P.?][G.]
     Great Primer.                              [A.]

     Gt. Primer or English*.                [P.][A.]
     English.                                [Anon.]

     Double Pica.[436]                     [Royal][G.]
     Great Primer.*                             [G.]
     Great Primer. No. 2.
     Great Primer. No. 3.                       [R.]
     English. No. 2.
     Pica.                                      [R.]
     Pica. No. 2.
     Small Pica.                                [P.]
     Small Pica. No. 2.                        [R.?]
     Small Pica. No. 3.                         [P.]
     Brevier.                                   [A.]
     Brevier. No. 2.                            [R.]
     Brevier. No. 3.[437]                         [G.]
     Nonpareil.                                 [A.]
     Pearl.                                    [N.?]
     English Alexandrian.*                      [G.]

     Pica.                                   [Anon.]

     Great Primer.                              [G.]
     Great Primer, No. 2.                       [G.]
     English (Pica).                            [A.]
     Long Primer.                              [A.?]

     Great Primer.                              [A.]
     English.                                [Anon.]


 _Court Hand._―
     Double Pica.                               [G.]
     English.*                                  [G.]
     _Union._—Double Pica.*                    [G.]

 _Scriptorial_ (_Cursive_).[440]―
     Double Pica.                               [G.]
     English.                                   [G.]
     English. No. 2.                            [G.]
     Pica.*                                     [G.]
     Small Pica.                                [G.]

     Great Primer.                              [G.]

     A Set.

     2-line Great Primer.            [De Worde?][G.]
     Great Primer.                   [De Worde?][G.]
     Great Primer. No. 2.                       [A.]
     English.                                [Anon.]
     English. No. 2*                            [A.]
     English. No. 4.                            [G.]
     Pica.                                      [A.]
     Pica. No. 2.                            [Anon.]
     Pica. No. 3.                              [R.?]
     Small Pica No. 2.                          [A.]
     Small Pica No. 3.                      [Anon.?]
     Small Pica No. 6.                          [A.]
     Small Pica No. 7.                         [A.?]
     Long Primer (Dutch cut).                  [G.?]
     Long Primer No. 2.                         [G.]
     Long Primer No. 3.                         [G.]
     Brevier.                                  [G.?]
     Brevier. No. 4.                           [R.?]
     Nonpareil.*                                [G.]

Of Roman capitals, eight founts were shown,[442] and of Roman and
Italic from {229} Canon to Diamond, there were thirty-nine founts in
specimen and a hundred and eight not shown.

In addition to the above, the specimen included ninety-seven varieties
of flowers, chiefly from the Grovers’ foundry; while other odd flowers,
with signs, rules, braces, and various imperfect founts (contained in
sixteen drawers) were also sold, though not shown. At the end of the
list of matrices came what was perhaps the most interesting feature of
the sale, viz., a set of punches contained in a press named “Caxton,”
consisting of twenty drawers. Of these the majority were Roman and
Italics, which we will not specify, as it is impossible to determine
whose handiwork they were in the first instance. We give, however, the
contents of drawers A E F and G, which contained the following punches
of the learned languages[443]:

 A.—Æthiopic          English*                            [P.] [A.]
    Samaritan         Pica* (English?)                    [P.] [G.]
    Samaritan         Long Primer
    Syriac            English (Pica?)                     [G.]
    Arabic            Great Primer                        [A.]
    Arabic            Pica (English?)                     [A.]
    Greek             Brevier
    Saxon             Pica                                [A.]
    Hibernian[444]      Pica*                               [M.] [A.]
 E.—Greek             Great Primer,* points and ligatures [G.]
 F. Greek             Pica, points and ligatures
 G. Greek             Nonpareil, points and ligatures     [A.]

It is at least remarkable that so few punches should have existed
in so large a foundry; but it is to be remembered that the wear and
tear of the matrices in those days was not so great as now, and the
necessity for a new set of strikes from the punches was consequently
less frequent. We may even suppose, from Mr. Mores’ own reference to
the subject, already quoted, that it was a common practice to discard a
set of punches as useless as soon as they had left their impression in
the matrices.

The concluding items of the Catalogue are “about 60 or 70 moulds, from
5-line Pica down to Nonpareil, some two, some three or more of a sort
which {230} will be lotted according to their bodies; also a parcel of
iron ladles; a vice, 33 lbs. weight, several gauges, dividers, blocks,
setting-up sticks, dressing sticks, etc.,”—a meagre list, which, if
it represents the working plant of the foundry, points to a rough and
ready practice of the art which, even in Moxon’s time, would have been
considered primitive.

A word must be added respecting the Catalogue. Whether it was taken
precisely as Mr. Mores left it, or whether Mr. Paterson, the auctioneer
(whose “talent at Cataloguing” Nichols, in his _Anecdotes_, approvingly
mentions),[445] completed it, we cannot say. It is as precise, perhaps,
as any catalogue of so confused a collection could be. An opening was,
however, left for a good deal of misapprehension, by the fact that the
nests of drawers in which the matrices were stored, instead of bearing
distinguishing numbers, bore the names of famous old printers, which
duly figured in the Catalogue.[446] Misled by this circumstance, it
seems more than likely that Paterson may have enhanced the importance
of his lots by dwelling on the fact that one fount was “De Worde’s”,
another “Cawood’s,” another “Pynson’s,” and so on. The absurdity of
this delusion becomes very apparent when we see the Alexandrian Greek
some years later puffed by its purchasers as the veritable production
of De Worde (who lived a century before the Alexandrian MS. came to
this country), and find Hansard, in 1825, ascribing seven founts of
Hebrew and a Pearl Greek to Bynneman.

What was the result of the sale financially we cannot ascertain. Of the
fate of its various lots we know very little either, except that Dr.
Fry secured most of the curious and “learned” matrices. How far the
other foundries of the day, at home and abroad, enriched themselves, or
how much of the collection fell into the hands of the coppersmiths, are
problems not likely to find solution.

With the sale, however, disappeared the last of the old English
foundries, and closed a chapter of English typography, which, though
not the most glorious, is certainly not the least instructive through
which it has passed.

       *       *       *       *       *

The only specimen of this foundry is that appended to the Catalogue of
the sale:―

     A CATALOGUE and Specimen of the large and extensive
     Printing-Type-Foundery of the late ingenious Mr. John James,
     Letter-founder, formerly of Bartholomew Close, London, deceased;
     including several other Founderies, English and Foreign. Improved
     {231} by the late Reverend (_sic_) and Learned Edward Rowe
     Mores, deceased. Comprehending a great variety of punches and
     matrices of the Hebrew, Samaritan, Syriac, Arabic, Æthiopic,
     Alexandrian, Greek, Roman, Italic, Saxon, Old English, Hibernian,
     Script, Secretary, Court-Hand, Mathematical, Musical, and other
     characters, Flowers and Ornaments: which will be sold by Auction
     by Mr. Paterson at his Great Room (No. 6) King Street, Covent
     Garden, London, on Wednesday, 5th June, 1782, and the Three
     following days. To begin exactly at 12 o’clock. To be viewed on
     Wednesday, May 29th, and to the Time of Sale. Catalogues, with
     Specimen of the Types, may be had at the Place of Sale. (Price One
     Shilling.) 8vo. . . . . (Lond. Inst.)






Printing had reached a low ebb in England in the early years of the
eighteenth century. A glance through any of the common public prints
of the day, such, for instance, as official broadsides, political
pamphlets, works of literature, or even Bibles,[447] points to a
depression and degeneration so marked that one is tempted to believe
that the art of Caxton and Pynson and Day was rapidly becoming lost in
a wilderness of what a contemporary satirist terms

 “Brown sheets and sorry letter.”

With the exception of Oxford University, no foundry of the day was
contributing anything towards the revival of good printing, or even
towards the maintenance of such a standard as did exist. And Oxford, as
we have said, owed its best founts to gifts procured, almost entirely,
from abroad. Grover and Andrews, the heritors of the old founders,
originated little or nothing; and where their efforts were put into
requisition (as in the case of Andrews’ attempt to cut the Anglo-Saxon
for Miss Elstob’s _Grammar_) they failed. Scarcely a work with any
{233} pretension to fine printing was the impression of honest
English type. Watson, the Scotch historian of printing, openly rebuked
his brethren of the craft for not stocking their cases with Dutch type.
Tonson, a king among English printers is said on one occasion to have
lodged in Amsterdam while a founder there was casting him £300 worth
of type; and James, the only English founder whose business showed any
vitality, owed his success chiefly, if not entirely, to the fact that
all his letter was the product of Dutch matrices; and even these, in
his hands, were so indifferently cast as to be often as bad as English

[Illustration: 57. From _Hansard_.]

What was the reason for this lamentable decline—how far it was
chargeable on the printer, how far on the founder, or how far both
were the victims of that system of Star Chamber decrees, monopolies,
patents, restraints and privileges which had characterised the
illiberal days of the Stuarts—this is not the place to inquire. Nor,
happily, are we called upon to speculate as to what would have been
the consequence to English Typography of an uninterrupted prolongation
of the malady under which it laboured. But it is necessary to remind
ourselves of the critical nature of that malady in order to appreciate
properly the providential circumstance which turned the attention of
William Caslon to typefounding, and thus served to avert from England
the disgrace which threatened her.

William Caslon[448] was born at Hales Owen in Shropshire in the year
1692. He served his apprenticeship to an engraver of gun-locks and
barrels in London, and at the expiration of his term followed his trade
in Vine Street, near the Minories.

The ability he displayed in his art was conspicuous, and by no means
confined to the mere ornamentation of gun-barrels—the chasing of
silver and the designing of tools for bookbinders frequently occupying
his attention. While thus engaged, some of his bookbinding punches
were noticed for their neatness and accuracy by Mr. Watts,[449] the
eminent printer, who, fully alive to the present degenerate state of
the typographical art in this country, was quick to recognise the
possibility of raising it once more to its proper position. He {234}
accordingly encouraged Mr. Caslon to persevere in letter-cutting,
promising him his personal support, and favouring him meanwhile with
introductions to some of the leading printers of the day.

About the same time, it is recorded that another great printer, the
elder Bowyer,[450] “accidentally saw in the shop of Mr. Daniel Browne,
bookseller, near Temple Bar, the lettering of a book, uncommonly neat;
and enquiring who the artist was by whom the letters were made, Mr.
Caslon was introduced to his acquaintance, and was taken by him to Mr.
James’s foundery in Bartholomew Close. Caslon had never before that
time seen any part of the business; and being asked by his friend if
he thought he could undertake to cut types, he requested a single day
to consider the matter, and then replied he had no doubt but he could.
From this answer, Mr. Bowyer lent him £200, Mr. Bettenham[451] (to
whom also he had been introduced) lent the same sum, and Mr. Watts

With this assistance Mr. Caslon established himself in a garret in
Helmet Row, Old Street, and devoted himself with ardour to his new
profession.[453] An opportunity for distinguishing himself presented
itself shortly afterwards.

In the year 1720 the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge,[454]
acting {235} on a suggestion made by Mr. Salomon Negri, a native of
Damascus, and a distinguished Oriental scholar, “deemed it expedient to
print for the Eastern Churches the _New Testament_ and _Psalter_ in the
Arabic language for the benefit of the poor Christians in Palestine,
Syria, Mesapotamia, Arabia and Egypt, the constitution of which
countries allowed of no printing.” A new Arabic fount being required
for the purpose, Mr. Caslon, whose reputation as a letter-cutter
appears already to have been known, was selected to cut it. This he did
to the full satisfaction of his patrons, producing the elegant English
Arabic which figures in his early specimens. The Society was, according
to Rowe Mores, already possessed of a fount of Arabic cast from the
Polyglot matrices in Grover’s foundry. But Caslon’s fount was preferred
for the text, and in it appeared, in due time, first the _Psalter_ in
1725,[455] and afterwards the _New Testament_ in 1727.[456]

[Illustration: 61. English Arabic, cut by Caslon in 1720. (From the
original matrices.)]

“Mr. Caslon, after he had finished his Arabic fount, cut the letters
of his own name in Pica Roman, and placed the name at the bottom of
a specimen of the Arabic[457]; and Mr. Palmer (the reputed author of
Psalmanazar’s _History of Printing_), seeing this name, advised Mr.
Caslon to complete the fount of Pica. Mr. Caslon did so; and as the
performance exceeded the letter of the other founders of the time,
Mr. Palmer—whose circumstances required credit with those who, by his
advice, were now obstructed (_i.e._, whose business was likely to {236}
suffer from this new rival)—repented having given the advice, and
discouraged Mr. Caslon from any further progress.

[Illustration: 59. Pica Roman and Italic, cut by William Caslon, 1720.
(From the original matrices.)]

“Mr. Caslon, disgusted,[458] applied to Mr. Bowyer, under whose
inspection he cut, in 1722, the beautiful fount of English (Roman)
which was used in printing the edition of _Selden’s Works_[459] in

Caslon’s excellent performance of this task may best be judged of by an
inspection of this noble work, which remains conspicuous not only as
the impression of the first letter cast at the Caslon foundry, but as
marking a distinct turning-point in the career of English typography,
which from that time forward entered on a course of brilliant
regeneration. The Hebrew letter used in the _Selden_ was also of
Caslon’s cutting, and must therefore share with the English Roman the
honour of a first place in the productions of his foundry.

[Illustration: 62. Pica Coptic, cut by Caslon, _ante_ 1731. (From the
original matrices.)]

His next performance was a fount of Pica Coptic for Dr. Wilkins’s[460]
edition {237} of the _Pentateuch_,[461] a letter which Rowe Mores
commends as superior to the Oxford Coptic in which Dr. Wilkins’ _New
Testament_ had been printed in 1716.[462] This fount Caslon also cut
under the direction of Mr. Bowyer, his generous patron, whom he always
acknowledged as his master from whom he had learned his art.

Caslon’s business, thus established, rapidly advanced in fame and
excellence. Although at the outset it depended mainly on the support of
his three chief patrons, it was soon able to stand alone and compete
with the best houses in the trade.

“It is difficult,” observes Mr. Hansard, “to appreciate the obstacles
which Mr. Caslon encountered at the commencement of his career. At
present the theory and practice of letter-founding are not, as in his
time, an ‘art and mystery,’ and efficient workmen in every branch are
easily procured. He had not only to excel his competitors in his own
particular branch of engraving the punches, which to him was probably
the easiest part of his task, but to raise an establishment and cause
his plans to be executed by ignorant and unpractised workmen. He had
also to acquire for himself a knowledge of the practical and mechanical
branches of the art, which require, indeed, little genius, but the
most minute and painful attention to conduct successfully. The wishes
and expectations of his patrons were fulfilled and exceeded by his
decided superiority over his domestic rivals and Batavian competitors.
The importation of foreign types ceased; his founts were, in fact, in
such estimation as to be frequently, in their turn, exported to the

In 1728 Mr. Caslon narrowly escaped committing an error which might
seriously have affected his after career. The foundry of the Grovers
being then in the market, he contracted for the purchase of it.[464]
Fortunately for English typography, the business fell through, and
Caslon was still left a free man to pursue his own method, unburdened
by the incubus of a large and useless stock of matrices, which, had
they been suffered to mingle with his own beautiful productions, would
have degraded his foundry to a patchwork establishment little better
than that of his competitors at home and abroad. As it was, he had
the advantage of completing his specimens after his own plan, and
impressing with the mark of his own genius every fount which bore his

His fame in 1730 was such, that (as Ged, in his narrative of the
invention of {238} Block-Printing, states) he had already eclipsed most
of his competitors, and had introduced his founts into some of the
chief printing houses of the metropolis, and even secured the custom
of the King’s printers to the exclusion of all others.[465] Although
Ged’s narrative goes to show that Caslon shared the scepticism of his
contemporaries with regard to the utility of stereotyping, and was
even ready to back his opinion with his money, it is satisfactory to
observe that he was no party to the discreditable persecution to which
that unfortunate inventor was subjected by other members of the craft.
Indeed, the only successful experiment made by Ged appears to have been
a cast from Caslon’s type.

That the success of the new foundry was not achieved wholly without
opposition is apparent from the following anecdote preserved by Mr.
Nichols, and told in connection with the account of Bishop Hare’s
_Hebrew Psalter_, published by Bowyer in 1733.[466]

This work, it appears, had been originally intended to be printed at
the press of Palmer, with whom Caslon, as we have seen, had already had
dealings of a not altogether satisfactory character.

“His Lordship, however,” says Nichols (quoting Psalmanazar’s account
of the transaction), “had excepted against Mr. Palmer’s Hebrew types
which were of Athias’ font,[467] and a little battered, and insisted
upon his having a new set from Mr. Caslon, which greatly exceeded them
in beauty. But Mr. Palmer was so deeply in debt to him (Caslon) that he
knew not how to procure it from him without ready money, which he was
not able to spare. The Bishop likewise insisted upon having some Roman
and Italic types cast with some distinguishing mark, to direct his
readers to the Hebrew letters they were designed to answer, and these
required a new set of punches and matrices before they could be cast;
and that would have delayed the work, which Mr. Palmer was in haste to
go about that he might the sooner finger some of his Lordship’s money.
This put him upon such an unfair stratagem as, when discovered, quite
disgusted his lordship against him; namely, representing Mr. Caslon
as an idle, dilatory workman, who would in all probability make them
wait several years for those few types, if ever he finished them. That
he was indeed the only Artist that could supply him with those types,
but that he hated work and was not to be depended upon; and therefore
advised his Lordship to make shift with some sort which he could
substitute and would answer the same purpose, rather than run the risk
of staying so long and being perhaps disappointed.

“The Bishop, however, being resolved, if possible, to have the
desired types, sent for Mr. Bowyer, and asked him whether he knew
a letter-founder that could {239} cast him such a set out of hand,
who immediately recommended Mr. Caslon; and being told what sad and
disadvantageous character he had heard of him, Mr. Bowyer not only
assured his Lordship that it was a very false and unjust one, but
engaged to get the above-mentioned types cast by him, and a new font
of his Hebrew ones, in as short a time as the thing could possibly be
done. Mr. Caslon was accordingly sent for by his Lordship, and having
made him sensible of the time the new ones would require to be made
ready for use, did produce them according to his promise, and the book
was soon after put to the press.”[468]

Among the other interesting founts cut by Caslon about this time,
may be mentioned the Pica Black, of which we show a specimen, and
which received special commendation for its faithful following of the
traditional Old English character first used by Wynkyn de Worde.

[Illustration: 60. Pica Black, cut by Caslon. (From the original

He also cut an Armenian for Whiston’s edition of _Moses
Choronensis_,[469] and an Etruscan for Mr. J. Swinton of Oxford,
the learned antiquary and philologist, who published his _De Linguâ
Etruriæ_[470] in 1738; as well as a Gothic and several other of the
foreign and learned characters.

[Illustration: 63. Pica Armenian, cut by Caslon, _ante_ 1736. (From the
original matrices.)]

[Illustration: 65. Pica Gothic, cut by Caslon, _ante_ 1734. (From the
original matrices.)]


[Illustration: 64. Pica Etruscan, cut by Caslon, 1738. (From the
original matrices.)]

[Illustration: 66. Pica Ethiopic, cut by Caslon. (From the original

All of these, with exception of the Etruscan and an Ethiopic cut still
later, were completed before 1734, in which year the first _Specimen_
of his foundry appeared.

This famous broadside, of which very few copies are now extant, dates
from Chiswell Street, to which address Mr. Caslon had transferred the
Helmet Row Foundry (after an intermediate sojourn in Ironmonger Row),
about the year 1734.

The sheet is arranged in four columns, and displays altogether
thirty-eight founts, namely:

     5-line Pica, 4-line Pica, 2-line Great Primer, 2-line English,
     2-line Pica, 2-line Long Primer, 2-line Brevier.

 _Roman_ and _Italic._―
     French Canon, 2-line Great Primer, 2-line English, Double Pica,
     Great Primer, English, Pica, Small Pica (2), Long Primer (2),
     Brevier, Nonpareil, and Pearl.

     Pica and Long Primer.

     Pica and Brevier.

 _Gothic_, _Coptic_, _Armenian_, _Samaritan_.―
     Pica of each.

 _Syriac_ and _Arabic_.―
     English of each.

     English, English with points, Brevier.

     English, Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     Seven designs.

Of these, all, with three exceptions, are Caslon’s own handiwork, and
represent the untiring industry of fourteen years. Of the excellence
of the performance it is sufficient to say that the Specimen placed
Caslon absolutely without rival at the head of his profession; “and,”
as Nichols says, “for clearness and uniformity, for the use of the
reader and student, it is doubtful whether it has been exceeded by any
subsequent production.”

The three founts referred to as not the product of Caslon’s hand, were
the Canon Roman, from Andrews’ foundry, formerly Moxon’s, and exhibited
in the {241} _Mechanick Exercises_[471]; the English Syriac, which is
from the matrices of the _Polyglot_[472]; and the Pica Samaritan, which
was cut by a Dutchman named Dummers.

Fame appears to have followed rapidly on the appearance of this
Specimen. The sheet was included as an inset plate in the second
edition of Ephraim Chambers’ _Cyclopædia_ in 1738,[473] with the
following flattering notice:—“The above were all cast in the foundery
of Mr. W. Caslon, a person who, though not bred to the art of
letter-founding, has, by dint of genius, arrived at an excellency in it
unknown hitherto in England, and which even surpasses anything of the
kind done in Holland or elsewhere.”

Caslon made a further addition to his stock of matrices in 1739
by the purchase of half of Mitchell’s foundry,[474] of which the
most interesting items were a Pica Greek, sets of Music and flower
matrices, and six sizes of Black. The remainder, consisting of Romans
and Italics, do not appear to have added much to the resources of the
Chiswell Street foundry.[475]

In the year 1742 Mr. Caslon’s eldest son, William—at that time
twenty-two years of age—entered the business, and in the Specimen of
the same year his name first appears in conjunction with his father’s.
Unfortunately, no copy of this Specimen (which had evidently been
seen by Nichols[476]) is known to be extant. Another Specimen, also
unfortunately missing, is mentioned by the same authority, who says,
“the abilities of the second Caslon appeared to great {242} advantage
in the specimen of the types of the learned languages in 1748.”[477] A
further Specimen was issued in the following year, in broadside form,
which displayed a large variety of letters, from Canon to Pearl, many
of them being the handiwork of Caslon the younger. It is possible
that this last sheet may have been sent, for the most part, abroad;
for while no copy of it is to be found in this country, we find one
mentioned with commendation by Fournier in 1766,[478] and another
preserved to this day in the Sohmian Collection at Stockholm, where,
along with several other rare English and foreign specimens, it has
been recently discovered by, the indefatigable Mr. William Blades.

In Ames’ _Typographical Antiquities_,[479] published in 1749, appears
a specimen of “Mr. Caslon’s Roman letter and the names of the sizes
now in use,” the introductory note to which affords the first definite
notice of the younger Caslon in connection with the foundry. “The
art,” says Ames, “seems to be carried to its greatest perfection by
Mr. William Caslon, and his son, who, besides the type of all manner
of living languages now by him, has offered to perform the same for
the dead, that can be recovered, to the satisfaction of any gentleman
desirous of the same.”

Another contemporary record of equal interest, which seems, moreover,
to allude to one or more of the three missing Specimens above
mentioned, is contained in a little essay on the _Original, Use, and
Excellency of Printing_, published in 1752[480]; in which the anonymous
writer, after dealing with the invention, remarks: “Altho’ the chief
honour is due to the Inventor, yet the perfection and beauty that
Printing is now arrived at is very much owing to them that came after.
Many in the present age have not a little contributed thereto. Among
whom I cannot but particularly mention Mr. William Caslon and his
Son, Letter Founders in Chiswell Street, who have very much by their
indefatigable labours promoted the honour of this Art, and who have
lately printed three broadsheet specimens of their curious types; one
of them consisting of all the common sorts of letter used in printing;
the second sheet is {243} divers sorts of their Orientals, Old-English,
and Saxon; and the third contains a great variety of curious Flowers
and Fancies for Ornamenting of Title Pages, Tickets, &c., also several
sorts of Titling letter of Roman, Old-English and Greek; and the whole,
for their master strokes and curious flourishes, outdo all that have
been cast in England, Holland or any other place before.”

The above is one of many compliments paid to Caslon at this period by
his contemporaries. Smith, in his _Printer’s Grammar_ in 1755, goes
out of his way more than once to commend the founder by whose genius
“letter is now in England of such a beautiful cut and shape as it
never was before.” Baskerville, in a passage quoted elsewhere,[481]
frankly acknowledges him as the greatest master of the art. Ames and
Chambers, as has been noticed, vie with one another in proclaiming his
pre-eminence; Mores himself styles him the Coryphæus of modern letter
founders, and Lemoine awards him the title of the English Elzevir.

In 1750 Mr. Caslon’s reputation was such that his Majesty George II.
placed him on the Commission of the Peace for Middlesex, which office
he sustained with honour to himself and advantage to the community till
the time of his death.

In June of the same year, the _Universal Magazine_[482] contained
an Article on Letter Founding, extracted chiefly from Moxon, and
accompanied by a view of the interior of Caslon’s Foundry, containing
portraits of six of his workmen. The view (of which our frontispiece
is a reproduction) represents four casters at work, one rubber (Joseph
Jackson), one dresser (Thomas Cottrell), and three boys breaking
off, etc. Considering the extent of the business at the time, it may
be doubted whether this represents the entire working staff of the
establishment, or whether the view is of a portion only, in which, for
the convenience of the artist, the four processes of the manufacture
are assembled. The processes of punch-cutting and justifying were
conducted in private by the Caslons themselves; yet not, as history
shows, in such secrecy as to prevent their two apprentices, Cottrell
and Jackson, from observing and learning the manual operation of that
part of the “art and mystery.”[483]

A movement among the workmen of the Foundry in 1757 for a higher
scale of wages, although decided in favour of the men, resulted in
the dismissal of the two ex-apprentices, who were supposed to have
been ringleaders in the {244} movement. With the experience acquired
during their term of service at Chiswell Street, both these men were
enabled to establish foundries of their own; and it is to the credit of
Cottrell’s good sense, if not of his good feeling, that he subsequently
supported his own claim to the patronage of the trade by announcing on
his specimens that he had “served his apprenticeship to William Caslon,

The active part taken by the Second Caslon in the operations of the
Foundry may be best judged of by a reference to the Specimen Book
of 1764.[484] In this book the number of founts which originally
appeared on the broadside of 1734 is more than doubled,[485] most of
the additions (with the exception of those which had formed part of
Mitchell’s Foundry) being the handiwork of Caslon II. The following
advertisement appears on the last page:―

     “This new Foundery was begun in the year 1720, and finish’d 1763;
     and will (with God’s leave) be carried on, improved and inlarged
     by William Caslon and Son, Letter-Founders in London.—Soli Deo

Rowe Mores, whose prejudice against the Second Caslon is undisguised,
waxes facetious on the head of this innocent declaration,[486] although
he can find but little to blame in the Specimen itself, “in which,” he
says, “is nothing censurable but the silly notion and silly fondness
of multiplying bodies”—the Specimen showed a long-bodied English and a
large-face Long Primer and Bourgeois—“as if the intrinsic of a foundery
consisted in the numerosity of the heads!” Such animadversions,
however, leave untouched the younger Caslon’s reputation as an able and
successful typefounder, which was, indeed, so well established that
during the later years of his father’s life he appears to have had the
sole management of the business.

Caslon I, having lived to see the result of his genius and industry
in the regeneration of the Art of Printing in England, retired,
universally respected, from the active management of the Foundry, and
took up his residence first in {245} a house opposite the Nag’s Head in
the Hackney Road, removing afterwards to Water Gruel Row, and finally
settling in what was then styled a country house at Bethnal Green,
where he resided till the time of his death.

“Mr. Caslon,” says Nichols, “was universally esteemed as a first-rate
artist, a tender master, and an honest, friendly, and benevolent
man.”[487] The following anecdote, preserved by Sir John Hawkins in his
_History of Music_, gives a pleasing glimpse into his private life, and
shows that in his devotion to the severer arts the gentler were not

“Mr. Caslon,” says Sir John, “settled in Ironmonger Row, in Old Street;
and being a great lover of music, had frequent concerts at his house,
which were resorted to by many eminent masters. To these he used to
invite his friends and those of his old acquaintance, the companions of
his youth. He afterwards removed to a large house in Chiswell Street,
and had an organ in his concert room.[488] After that, he had stated
monthly concerts, which, for the convenience of his friends, and that
they might walk home in safety when the performance was over, were
on that Thursday in the month which was nearest the full moon; from
which circumstance his guests were wont humourously to call themselves
‘Luna-tics.’ In the intervals of the performance the guests refreshed
themselves at a sideboard, which was amply furnished; and when it was
over, sitting down to a bottle of wine, and a decanter of excellent
ale, of Mr. Caslon’s own brewing, they concluded the evening’s
entertainment with a song or two of Purcell’s sung to the harpsicord,
or a few catches; and, about twelve, retired.”[489]

Mr. Caslon’s hospitalities were not confined to his musical friends
merely. His house was a resort of literary men of all classes, of whom
large parties frequently assembled to discuss interesting matters
relating to books and studies.[490]

Mr. Caslon was thrice married. His second and third wives were named
respectively Longman and Waters, and each had a good fortune. By his
first wife he had two sons and a daughter: William, who succeeded him
at Chiswell {246} Street; Thomas, who became an eminent bookseller in
Stationers’ Hall Court, where he died in 1783, after having in the
previous year served the office of Master of the Stationers’ Company;
and Mary, who married first Mr. Shewell, one of the original partners
in Whitbread’s brewery, and afterwards Mr. Hanbey, an ironmonger of
large fortune. A brother of Mr. Caslon, named Samuel, is mentioned by
Rowe Mores, and appears to have served at Chiswell Street for a short
time as mould maker, leaving there subsequently, on some dispute, to
work in the same capacity for Mr. Anderton of Birmingham.

Mr. Caslon died, much respected, at Bethnal Green, on Jan. 23rd, 1766,
aged 74, and was buried in the Churchyard of St. Luke’s, the parish
in which his three foundries were all situated. The monument to his
memory, kept in repair by bequest of his daughter, Mrs. Hanbey, is thus
briefly inscribed:―

 W. CASLON, Esq., ob. 23rd Jan., 1766, ætat 74.

A life-size portrait of him by Kyte is preserved at Chiswell Street,
representing him holding in his hand the famous Specimen Sheet of 1734.

William Caslon II issued in the year of his father’s death a Specimen
in small quarto, bearing his own name and containing the same founts
as those exhibited in the 1764 book.[491] This Specimen, consisting of
thirty-eight leaves, was again reprinted in 1770 by Luckombe in his
_History of Printing_,[492] of which work it occupies pages 134 to 173.

[Illustration: 67. Long Primer Syriac, cut by Caslon II, _circa_ 1768.
(From the original matrices.)]

About the year 1768 the Chiswell Street foundry was called upon to
supply a Syriac fount for the Oxford University Press, and Caslon
produced the Long Primer Syriac which occurs in his subsequent
specimens. He had previously supplied the University with a Long
Primer Hebrew, and the old ledgers of the foundry show that numerous
transactions of a similar kind took place during the latter half of
last century.

In 1770, besides the specimen of Luckombe, another indirect specimen
of the Caslon types was issued by a Mr. Cornish, printer, in
Blackfriars, in a very {247} small form—32mo—exhibiting a series of
Romans, two founts of Black, and three pages of flowers.

It was probably on the Specimen of 1766 that Rowe Mores founded
his summary of the contents of the Caslon foundry; and it will be
interesting to reproduce this list, as it presents a view of the state
of the foundry as it then existed, and, at the same time, distinguishes
the authors of the several founts with which it was supplied.

Rowe Mores seizes the opportunity afforded by this enumeration for
another sneer at Caslon II. “This is the best account,” he says, “we
can give of this capital and beautiful foundery, the possessor of which
refused to answer the natural questions, because, forsooth, ‘answering
would be of no advantage to us; if we wanted letter to be cast, he
would cast it.’ But this we can do ourselves.”[493]

The summary is as follows:―



     2-line English.                           [Caslon I]
     Double Pica.                             [Caslon II]
     Great Primer.                            [Caslon II]
     English.                                  [Caslon I]
     English open.[494]                        [Caslon I]
     Pica.                                    [Caslon II]
     Long Primer.[495]                        [Caslon II]
     Brevier.                                 [Caslon II]
     2-line Great Primer.                     [Caslon II]

     Pica.                                      [Dummers]

     English.                                  [Polyglot]

     English.                                  [Caslon I]

     Pica.                                     [Caslon I]


     Pica.                                     [Caslon I]

     Pica.                                     [Caslon I]


     Double Pica.                             [Caslon II]
     Great Primer.                            [Caslon II]
     English.[496]                            [Caslon II]
     Pica.[497]                         [Head]-[Mitchell]
     Long Primer.                              [Caslon I]
     Brevier.                                  [Caslon I]
     Small Pica.                              [Caslon II]
     Nonpareil.                               [Caslon II]

     English.                                  [Caslon I]

 _Roman and Italic._―
     All the regulars.

 _Irregulars and Titlings._―
     5-line.                                   [Caslon I]
     4-line.[496]                              [Caslon I]
     Canon.                             [Moxon]-[Andrews]
     2-line Double Pica.                      [Caslon II]
     2-line Great Primer.[496]                 [Caslon I]
     2-line English.[496]                      [Caslon I]
     2-line Pica full-face.                    [Mitchell] {248}

 _Irregulars and Titlings._―
     2-line Pica.                             [Caslon II]
     Paragon.                                 [Caslon II]
     Small Pica.                              [Caslon II]
     Bourgeois.                               [Caslon II]
     Minion.                                  [Caslon II]
     Nonpareil.                               [Caslon II]
     Pearl.[498]                              [Caslon II]

     20-line to 4-line.[499]                  [Caslon II]


     Pica.                                     [Caslon I]

     English.                                 [Caslon II]
     Pica.[500]                                [Caslon I]

     Long Primer.[500]                         [Caslon I]
     Brevier.                                 [Caslon II]

     Double Pica.                             [Caslon II]
     Great Primer.                            [Caslon II]
     English.                           [Head]-[Mitchell]
     English Modern.[501]                     [Caslon II]
     Pica.[501]                               [Caslon II]
     Long Primer.                             [Caslon II]
     Brevier.                                  [Caslon I]
     2-line Great Primer.                     [Caslon II]
     Small Pica.[502]                         [Caslon II]

     Round Head.                              [Caslon II]

 FLOWERS and the rest of the Apparatus.

Caslon II died in 1778, aged 58, and was buried in the family vault at
St. Luke’s, the following line being added to his father’s inscription:

     Also W. Caslon, Esq. (son of the above) ob. 17 Aug., 1778, ætat.
     58 years.

Of him, too, an excellent oil portrait is preserved at Chiswell
Street. He had married a Miss Elizabeth Cartlitch,[503] a lady of
beauty, understanding, and fortune, who, during the latter years of
her husband’s life, had taken an active share in the management of the

Mr. Caslon dying intestate, his property was divided equally
between his widow and her two sons, William and Henry, the chief
superintendence of the business devolving on William Caslon III, at
that time quite a young man. The chief event of the new _régime_ was
the issue of the admirable Specimen Book of 1785, a work which, for its
completeness and excellent execution, has received high approbation.
It consists of sixty sheets, twenty-one of which are devoted to Romans
and Italics, ten to “learned” letter[504] and Blacks, two to Music,
two to {249} Script, and no fewer than twenty-six to flowers arranged
in artistic combinations and designs. The volume is dedicated to King
George III, Mr. Caslon assuming the title allowed a century earlier to
Nicholas Nicholls, of “Letter Founder to His Majesty.”

The “Address to the Public,” which prefaces this Specimen, naturally
lays claim on behalf of the Caslon Foundry to the merit of having
rescued the type trade in England from the hands of foreigners. But it
also suggests, by the somewhat acrid tone in which it refers to its
“opponents,” that the competition of the newly-established foundries
of Cottrell, Fry, Wilson, and Jackson was already beginning to tell on
the temper of the third of the Caslons, who evidently did not regard
as flattery the avowed imitation of the Caslon models by some of his

The Specimen contains one new feature—a Double Pica Script—which,
however, is of no particular merit.

The year 1785 was prolific in Specimens of the Chiswell Street foundry.
In addition to the book above referred to, two folio Specimens, one an
8 pp. large post-folio, and another a 6 pp. foolscap-folio, appeared,
intended for use as {250} inset plates to Encyclopædias,[506] in
which the principal founts of the foundry, Roman and Oriental, were
displayed. In addition to this, there was issued a 2 pp. folio Specimen
of large letter[507] showing the sand-cast types of the foundry in
sizes from 19 to 7-line Pica.

In the preceding year Caslon III. had issued his specimen of
Cast Ornaments—the first of the kind exhibited by an English
Founder—displaying 65 designs of various size and merit at prices
ranging from 3d. to 7s. each. In his introductory note to the second
edition, dated July 20, 1786, he takes to himself the credit of an
invention “completed with infinite attention and at an inconceivable
expence,” whereby the trade is in future to be supplied with
typographic designs equal to copperplate and less costly than the
commonest wood-cuts. The process thus originated was that of sharply
impressing a wood block in cooling metal so as to form a lead matrix
from which to “dab” further impressions as required. The specimen of
1785 contained a few small ships of imposing appearance, but these were
produced by the usual method of punch and matrix.

It does not appear that the third Caslon’s connexion with the business
resulted in any large addition to its founts. As, however, no specimen
book of the Foundry is known between 1786 and 1805, it is difficult to
judge of its progress during that period.

In the year 1792 Mr. Caslon disposed of his interest in the Chiswell
Street business to his mother and sister-in-law. Henry Caslon had
died in 1788. He had married Miss Elizabeth Rowe, a lady of good
family,[508] between whom and their only son, Henry (at that time an
infant of two years), he left his share of the Foundry.

“It will not appear extraordinary,” says Hansard, “that a property so
divided, and under the management of two ladies, though both superior
and indeed extraordinary women, should be unable to maintain its ground
triumphantly against the active competition which had for some time
existed against it. In fact, the fame of the first William Caslon
was peculiarly disadvantageous to Mrs. Caslon, as she never could be
persuaded that any attempt to rival him could possibly be successful.”

Mrs. Caslon, sen., was an active member of the Association of
Typefounders {251} of her day, which first met in 1793. In this
capacity she gained the esteem of her fellow founders as well as of
the printers, and on one occasion formed one of a deputation of two to
confer with the latter on certain questions affecting the price of type.

She died from the effects of a paralytic stroke in October 1795.

The esteem in which she was held by all who knew her was amply
testified by numerous notices in the public prints of the day. “Her
merit and abilities,” says one, “in conducting a capital business
during the life of her husband and afterwards, till her son was capable
of managing it, can only be known to those who had dealings with the
manufactory. In quickness of understanding and activity of execution
she has left few equals among her sex.” And, in the same strain, the
_Freemason’s Magazine_ of March 1796, thus speaks of her: “The urbanity
of her manners, and her diligence and activity in the conduct of so
extensive a concern, attached to her interest all who had dealings with
her, and the steadiness of her friendship rendered her death highly
lamented by all who had the happiness of being in the extensive circle
of her acquaintance.” The latter notice is accompanied by a portrait of
this worthy lady.

Mrs. Caslon’s will becoming the object of some litigation, her estate
was thrown into Chancery, and in March 1799, the Foundry was, by order
of the Court, put up for auction and purchased by Mrs. Henry Caslon for
£520. The smallness of this figure is the more remarkable since only
seven years previously, on the retirement of Caslon III., a third share
of the concern had sold for £3000.

“On the decease of Mrs. Caslon,” writes Hansard, in 1825, “the
management of the Foundry devolved on Mrs. Henry Caslon, who,
possessing an excellent understanding, and being seconded by servants
of zeal and ability, was enabled, though suffering severely under
ill-health, in a great measure to retrieve its credit. Finding the
renown of William Caslon no longer efficacious in securing the sale
of his types, she resolved to have new founts cut. She commenced the
work of renovation with a new Canon, Double Pica and Pica, having the
good fortune to secure the services of Mr. John Isaac Drury, a very
able engraver, since deceased. The Pica, an improvement on the style of
Bodoni,[509] was particularly admired, and had a most extensive sale.
Finding {252} herself, however, from the impaired state of her health,
which suffered from pulmonary attacks, unable to sustain the exertions
required in conducting so extensive a concern, she resolved, after the
purchase of the Foundry, to take as an active partner Mr. Nathaniel
Catherwood, (a distant relation), who by his energy and knowledge of
business fully equalled her expectations. This connection gave a new
impetus to the improvements of the Foundry, which did not cease during
the lives of the partners, and their exertions were duly appreciated
and encouraged by the printers. In 1808 the character of the Foundry
may be considered as completely retrieved, but the proprietors did not
long live to enjoy their well-merited success. In 1799, Mrs. Henry
Caslon had married Mr. Strong, a medical gentleman, who died in 1802.
In the spring of 1808 she was afflicted with a serious renewal of her
pulmonary attack, in consequence of which she was advised to try the
effect of the air of Bristol Hotwells, which probably protracted her
life during a twelvemonth of extreme suffering, but could not eradicate
the fatal disease. Her fortitude and resignation under this long
continued, and helpless affliction could not be surpassed, and were
truly admirable. Her sufferings were terminated in March 1809, when
she was buried in the Cathedral of Bristol. The worthy and active Mr.
Nathaniel Catherwood did not long survive his associate, being seized
with a typhus fever which baffled the medical art. He died on the 6th
of June, ætat. 45, very generally regretted.”[510] A portrait of Mrs.
Strong is preserved at Chiswell Street.

In 1805 was published the first Specimen containing the new Romans of
Messrs. Caslon and Catherwood, among which, however, the Canon and
Double Pica referred to by Hansard are not included. The dates affixed
to the various specimens[511] show that most of them were completed
between 1802 and 1805, the {253} earliest being the Great Primer,
dated May 1802. The Specimen also contained the Caslon Orientals. In
1808 a further Specimen of the Romans, including a few additional
founts, appeared as a supplement to Stower’s _Printers’ Grammar_.[512]

These two Specimens, which are the only ones known to have been issued
during twenty-three years, indicate clearly the important revolution
through which the Chiswell Street Foundry, in common with all the
other foundries of the day, had passed in respect of the model of
its characters. All the once admired founts of the originator of the
Foundry have been discarded, and between the Specimen of 1785 and that
of 1808 there is absolutely no feature in common.[513]

On the death of his mother and her partner, Henry Caslon II assumed the
management of the business, and fully maintained its reputation. The
former name of the firm was retained, and a fresh specimen of Roman
letters and modern Blacks was issued about the year 1812.

In 1814 Mr. Caslon took into partnership Mr. John James
Catherwood,[514] brother to Mr. Nathaniel Catherwood, and in this
association proceeded vigorously with the improvement of the foundry.
The partnership continued until 1821, during which period, says
Hansard, “the additions and varieties made to the stock of the Foundry
have been immense. Nothing that perseverance in labour and unsparing
effort could effect, either to meet the fashion and evanescent whim
of the day, or with the superior view of permanent improvement, has
been wanted to keep the concern up to its long-established eminence,
and to enable it to rank high among the many able competitors of the
present age. The ancient stock can never be equalled—the modern never

Among the more important accessions to the stock of the Foundry
may {254} be mentioned the acquisition in 1817 of the Foundry of
Mr. William Martin of Duke Street, St. James’s, which, as elsewhere
stated,[516] included several good Roman and Oriental letters.

The partnership between Mr. Caslon and Mr. Catherwood being dissolved
in 1821 by the withdrawal of the latter,[517] Mr. Caslon admitted to
a share of the business Mr. Martin William Livermore, “who for many
years,” says Hansard, “had evinced ample talent, indefatigable zeal,
and obliging attention, as active foreman and manager of the mechanical

It is to be regretted that the absence of any specimen book between
1812 and 1830, prevents us from forming any accurate idea of the
development of the Foundry during that period. It may be interesting,
however, to quote the list given by Hansard, of matrices of the
“learned” languages in the Foundry at the time when he wrote, _i.e._






     Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     Double Pica,[518] Great Primer,[518] English, Pica, Small Pica, Long
     Primer, Bourgeois, Brevier, Nonpareil, Pearl, Diamond.[519]



     Two-line Great Primer, Two-line English, Double Pica, Great
     Primer; ditto, with points; English; ditto, with points; Pica;
     ditto, with points; Small Pica, Long Primer, Bourgeois, Brevier.



     English, Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     English (_Polyglot_) Long Primer.

     Large, Small.

     Two-line Great Primer, Double Pica, Great Primer, English, Pica,
     Small Pica, Long Primer, Brevier, Nonpareil.

Messrs. Caslon and Livermore issued specimens in 1830 and 1834, the
latter appearing exactly one hundred years after the first broadside
published by William Caslon I.

We do not propose to continue the particular history of this venerable
Foundry beyond this date. It may, however, be interesting to take a
rapid survey of its subsequent career. {255}

Numerous specimens followed the issue of 1834, that of 1839 bearing
the title of Caslon, Son, and Livermore, Letter-founders to Her
Majesty’s Board of Excise—the new partner being Mr. Caslon’s son, the
late Mr. Henry William Caslon. Shortly afterwards, Mr. Livermore’s
connexion with the business ceased, and the next few specimens bear the
name of Henry Caslon alone.

In 1843 a revival of the Caslon old-style letter took place under the
following circumstances, which, as they initiated a new fashion in
the trade generally, call for reference here. In the year 1843, Mr.
Whittingham of the Chiswick press, waited upon Mr. Caslon to ask his
aid in carrying out the then new idea of printing in appropriate type
_The Diary of Lady Willoughby_,[521] a work of fiction, the period and
diction of which were supposed to be of the reign of Charles I. The
original matrices of the first William Caslon having been fortunately
preserved, Mr. Caslon undertook to supply a small fount of Great
Primer. So well was Mr. Whittingham satisfied with the result of his
experiment, that he determined on printing other volumes in the same
style, and eventually he was supplied with the complete series of
all the old founts. Then followed a demand for old faces, which has
continued up to the present time.

An attempt to sell the Foundry in 1846,[522] not being successful, the
business, again took the style of Caslon and Son.

Mr. Henry Caslon died May 28, 1850, and in the same year the important
step was taken of uniting the London Branch of the Glasgow Letter
Foundry with that of Chiswell Street, which was now carried on under
the style of H. W. Caslon and Co., Mr. Alexander Wilson, of the Glasgow
Foundry, being for some time associated with Mr. H. W. Caslon in the

In 1873, Mr. Caslon, being in ill health, retired, and died in the
following year. He was the last of his race, and the Chiswell Street
Foundry, after an uninterrupted dynasty of five generations, covering
a period of nearly 160 years, was by his death left without a Caslon
to represent it. The management of the business devolved on Mr. T. W.
Smith, in whose hands it has since remained. {256}


     1734. A Specimen by William Caslon, Letter-founder in Chiswell
     Street, London. 1734. Large post broadside. . . . . (Caslon.)

     1738. A Specimen by William Caslon, Letter-founder in Chiswell
     Street, London. Large post broadside. . . . . (Chambers’ _Cycl._,

     1742. A Specimen by Caslon and Son, (referred to by Nichols, _Lit.
     Anec._, ii, 365). . . . . (_Lost._)

     1748. A Specimen by Caslon and Son (referred to by Nichols, _Lit.
     Anec._, ii, 721). . . . . (_Lost._)

     1749. A Specimen by William Caslon and Son, Letter-founders in
     Chiswell Street, London. 1749. Large Broadside. . . . . (Sohmian
     Coll., Stockholm.)

     1749. A Specimen of Mr. Caslon’s Roman Letter, and the names of
     the sizes now in use. . . . . (Ames’ _Typ. Antiq._, p. 571.)

     1763. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon and Son.
     Printed by Dryden Leach, London, 1763, 8vo. . . . . (Amer. Antiq.

     1764. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon and Son.
     Printed by Dryden Leach. London, 1764. 4to and 8vo. . . . . (T. B.

     1766. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon,
     Letter-founder, London. Printed by John Towers. 1766. Small 4to.
     . . . . (B.M. T, 320, [11].)

     1770. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon,
     Letter-founder, London. 8vo. . . . . (Luckombe’s _History of
     Printing_, pp. 134–147.)

     1770. A Specimen of Printing Types cast by Wiliam Caslon for the
     use of John Dixcey Cornish, at Number 4, in Printing-House-Yard,
     Blackfriars, London. 1770. 32mo. . . . . (Caslon.)

     1784. A Specimen of Cast Ornaments on a new plan by William Caslon
     and Son. London. 1784. 8vo. . . . . (Sohmian Coll., Stockholm.)

     1785. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon,
     Letter-founder to His Majesty. London. Printed by Galabin and
     Baker, 1785. 8vo. . . . . (B.M. 441, f. 14.)

     1785. A Specimen of Large letter by William Caslon, London, 1785.
     Two sheets folio. . . . . (B.M. 441, f. 14.)

     1785. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon,
     Letter-founder to His Majesty, 1785. Folio, 8 pp. . . . .
     (Chambers’ _Cycl._, 1784–6.)

     1786. A Specimen of Cast Ornaments on a new plan by William
     Caslon, Letter-founder to His Majesty. London. Printed by J. W.
     Galabin, 1786. 8vo. . . . . (B.M. 668, g. 17, [2].)

     1805. Specimen of Printing Types by Caslon and Catherwood,
     Letter-founders, Chiswell Street, London. T. Bensley, printer,
     London. 1805. 8vo. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1808. A Specimen of Caslon and Catherwood’s modern-cut Printing
     Types. London, 1808. 8vo. . . . . (Stower’s _Printers’ Grammar_.)

     n. d. Specimen of Printing Types by Caslon and Catherwood,
     Chiswell Street, London. T. Bensley, printer, London. 1812? 8vo.
     . . . . (Caslon.)

     1830. Specimen of Printing Types by Caslon and Livermore,
     Letter-founders, Chiswell Street, London. Bensley, Printer, 1830.
     8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel. 4411.)






In the early years of the 18th century, printing in Scotland was in
a condition even more depressed and unsatisfactory than in England.
Except in Glasgow and Edinburgh the art was almost wholly neglected;
and in those two cities the disadvantages at which printers were
placed, owing partly to restrictive patents and monopolies, partly
to jealousies among themselves, but chiefly to the absence of any
letter-foundry in their own country, were sufficient bar to all
prosperity, either as an industry or an art.

A graphic sketch of this lamentable state of affairs is given in James
Watson’s _History of Printing_, published in Edinburgh in 1713,[523]
a work which, while professing to give a general history of the
art, derives its chief interest from the brief account of printing
in Scotland given in the preface. That the art was derived in that
country from Holland the author entertains no doubt, {258} and that
it was indebted for its maintenance and any measure of excellence it
might claim to the same foreign source, he boldly asserts. It was the
intervention of Dutch workmen that mainly contributed to relieve the
deadlock into which the monopolies and patents of the 17th century had
brought the trade generally, and it was only by a continuous supply of
Dutch workmen, Dutch presses, and Dutch type that printing in Scotland
was to be raised from its present low condition. And, as a crowning
argument, he exhibits with some pride a selection of indifferent
Dutch types and “Bloomers,” with which his own office is provided,
as a suggestion of the excellence to which Scotch Typography might
yet attain.[524] This avowal of entire dependence on foreign labour
and workmanship is significant; and the absence of any suggestion for
remedying the evil by the establishment of a foundry in Scotland itself
only emphasises the helpless condition into which the art had sunk.

But although such a notion was too wild a dream for James Watson,
others of his countrymen were bold enough to entertain it, and we find
that in 1725 a Scotch printer clearly represented to William Ged the
disadvantage under which the country laboured from having no foundry
nearer than London or Holland, and urged him to undertake the business.
Of Ged’s career we have spoken elsewhere.[525] He failed, and Scotch
typography, despite the rising fame of Caslon, might have remained many
years longer in its depressed condition, but for the accident which
directed the genius of Alexander Wilson to letter-founding.

Born at St. Andrews in 1714, young Wilson was originally intended for
the medical profession, and it was with a view to push his fortunes in
that direction that he came up to London in 1737 and took employment
as assistant to a surgeon and apothecary in the great city. While
thus engaged he obtained an introduction to Dr. Stewart, physician
to Lord Isla, afterwards Duke of Argyle, and in this way came under
the notice of his lordship. A common interest in scientific pursuits,
particularly astronomy, served to interest Lord Isla in the young
doctor’s assistant, and during the term of his service in London Wilson
devoted much of his leisure to scientific study under the encouragement
and favour of his new patron.

[Illustration: 68. From _Hansard_.]

Of his first introduction to typography, we quote the following account
given by Hansard on the authority of Alexander Wilson’s son and
grandson:[526]― {259}

     “While he was thus passing his time in a manner which he
     considered comfortable for one at his first entrance upon the
     world, a circumstance accidentally occurred which gave a new
     direction to his genius, and which in the end led to an entire
     change of his profession. This was a chance visit made one day
     to a letter-foundry with a friend, who wanted to purchase some
     printing types. Having seen the implements and common operations
     of the workmen usually shown to strangers, he was much captivated
     by the curious contrivances made use of in prosecuting that art.
     Shortly afterwards, when reflecting upon what had been shown
     him in the letter-foundry, he was led to imagine that a certain
     great improvement in the process might be effected; and of a
     kind too, that, if successfully accomplished, promised to reward
     the inventor with considerable emolument. He presently imparted
     his idea on the subject to a friend named Baine, who had also
     come from St. Andrews, and who possessed a considerable share of
     ingenuity, constancy and enterprise. The consequence of this was,
     the resolution of both these young adventurers to relinquish, as
     soon as it could be done with propriety, all other pursuits, and
     to unite their exertions in prosecuting the business of Letter
     Founding, according to the plan which had been contemplated with a
     view to improvements. After some further deliberation, Mr. Wilson
     waited upon his patron, Lord Isla, to whom he communicated his
     views, and the design of embarking in this new scheme; and derived
     much satisfaction from his Lordship’s entire approbation and best
     wishes for his success.

     “Mr. Wilson and Mr. Baine then became partners in the project, and
     having taken convenient apartments, applied with great assiduity
     to the different preparatory steps of the business. At an early
     stage they had proofs of difficulties to an extent which had not
     been anticipated, and which, had their magnitude been foreseen,
     would probably have altogether deterred them from their attempt.
     But although they found their task grow more and more arduous as
     their experience improved, it may yet be mentioned, as a fact
     which bespeaks singular probity of mind, that they never once
     attempted to gain any insight whatever through the means of
     workmen employed in any of the London foundries, some of whom they
     understood could have proved of considerable service to them.”

Of the precise nature of the improved system of founding by which
the two young Scotchmen proposed to prosecute their undertaking, the
narrative given by Mr. Hansard affords no information. It has been
suggested by some that it was no other than that of stereotyping
by a method similar to, or better than, that attempted a few years
earlier by Ged. But whatever it may have been, further experiment
failed to justify the scheme as one of practical utility, and the two
partners, who had by this time quitted the metropolis and returned to
{260} St. Andrews, determined to abandon it and to fall back on the
ordinary method of manufacturing type. “In their attempt to prosecute
this speculation,” continues Mr. Hansard, still quoting the narrative
furnished him by Dr. Wilson’s successors, “they found themselves in a
more sure, though still in a difficult track, and in which they had
no guide whatever but their own talent of invention and mechanical
ability; and it was by the aid of these that they carried things
forward until, at length, they were enabled to cast a few founts of
Roman and Italic characters: after which they hired some workmen, whom
they instructed in the necessary operations, and at last opened their
infant letter-foundry at St. Andrews in the year 1742.”

The Scotch printers were not slow in showing their appreciation of
the convenience afforded them by the establishment of a foundry in
their midst, and from the first Messrs. Wilson and Baine appear to
have received liberal encouragement in their new venture. They added
steadily to the variety of their founts, and finding the demand for
their type on the increase, not only in Scotland, but in Ireland and
North America, they decided in 1744 to remove from St. Andrews to a
more convenient centre at Camlachie, a small village a mile eastward of

In 1747 the claims of their Irish business necessitated the residence
of one of the partners in Dublin.[527] Mr. Baine was selected by lot
for the duty, and accordingly departed for Ireland, leaving Mr. Wilson
at Camlachie. Two years later the partnership was dissolved by mutual
consent, and Mr. Baine quitted the business to make an independent
venture in type founding.[528] {261}

Left to himself, Mr. Wilson actively prosecuted his business, and
although no specimen of the foundry is known to exist, either during
the partnership between Wilson and Baine, or, indeed, during the entire
period of its location at Camlachie, its productions very shortly
attained some considerable celebrity.

“During his residence at Camlachie,” says Mr. Hansard, “Mr. Wilson had
contracted habits of intimacy and friendship with some of the most
respectable inhabitants and eminent characters in that quarter, among
whom may be particularly reckoned the professors of the University
of Glasgow and Messrs. Robert and Andrew Foulis, the University
printers.[529] The growing reputation of the University Press,
conducted by these latter gentlemen, afforded more and more scope to
Mr. Wilson to exercise his abilities in supplying their types; and
being now left entirely to his own judgment and taste, his talents as
an artist in the line to which he had become devoted became every year
more conspicuous.”

“When the design was formed by the gentlemen of the University,
together with the Messrs. Foulis, to print splendid editions of the
Greek classics, Mr. Wilson with great alacrity undertook to execute
new types, after a model highly approved. This he accomplished, at
an expense of time and labour which could not be recompensed by
any profits arising from the sale of the types themselves. Such
disinterested zeal for the honour of the University Press was, however,
upon this occasion, so well understood as to induce the University, in
the preface to their folio _Homer_,[530] to mention Mr. Wilson in terms
as honourable to him as they had been justly merited.”

Of this magnificent work—one of the finest monuments of Greek
typography {262} which our nation possesses—it is sufficient to say
that if the reputation of Alexander Wilson depended on no other
performance, it alone would give him a lasting title to the distinction
accorded to him in the preface, of “egregius ille typorum artifex.”[531]

[Illustration: 69. Double Pica Greek, cut by Alex. Wilson, 1756. (From
the Glasgow _Homer_ (Foulis) 1756–8.)]

In 1760 Mr. Wilson was honoured with the appointment of the Practical
Astronomy Professorship in the University of Glasgow, about two years
after which the foundry was removed to the more immediate vicinity
of the college. After this appointment the further enlargement and
improvement of the foundry {263} devolved upon his two eldest sons;
and he lived to witness its rise under their management to the highest

Among the later performances of Dr. Wilson, the most important was
the beautiful fount of Double Pica cut in 1768 for the 4to edition of
_Gray’s Poems_[532] published by the Brothers Foulis, who in their
preface made public acknowledgment of the excellence of the letter and
the expedition with which it had been provided.[533]

Another high compliment was paid to Dr. Wilson’s talents in 1775,
when Dr. Harwood, in the preface to his _View of the Greek and Roman
Classics_,[534] singled out, along with Baskerville’s types, the
“Glasgow Greek types which have not been used since the superb edition
of _Homer_ in 1757, and which are the most beautiful that modern times
have produced,” as fit to form the nucleus of a Royal typography for
England, dedicated to the improvement of the “noblest art which human
genius ever invented.”[535]

The first known specimen of the Glasgow Letter Foundry, as it was
now called, was published in 1772. It is at least remarkable that no
specimen of its types should have been issued during the first thirty
years of its successful career. But although Rowe Mores mentions with
approval a sheet by Baine, he had apparently seen none bearing the name
of Wilson.

The specimen of 1772, which dated from the College of Glasgow,
consisted of twenty-four 8vo leaves, and showed Roman and Italic only,
in sizes from 5-line to Pearl, there being several faces to most of the
bodies. Certain of these, it is stated, are “conformable to the London
types”; and the enterprising proprietors undertake “to cast to any body
and range, on receiving a few pattern types.”

In 1783, another specimen was issued in a broadside form, in four
columns, and is usually to be met with in copies of Ephraim Chambers’
_Cyclopædia_, enlarged by Rees, where it is inserted to illustrate
the article “Printing.” {264} It shows Roman and Italic from 6-line
to Pearl, with five sizes of Black, six of Hebrew, and five of Greek,
including the famous “Glasgow Homer” Double Pica.[536] The general
appearance of the sheet is good, and the founts compare favourably in
shape and finish with those of any other foundry of the day. A note
to the specimen intimates that the founts shown form a portion only
of the contents of the Foundry. A full specimen appeared in 1786, and
again in 1789, the latter being a small 4to volume of 50 pages, showing
very considerable advance on its predecessors.[537] A further specimen
appeared in 1815, showing the modern cut letters of the Foundry.

With almost a monopoly of the Scotch and Irish[538] trade, the Glasgow
Foundry became in course of time a formidable rival to the London
houses, whose productions it contrived to undersell even in the English
market. Its success, however, raised up competitors with itself in
Scotland, foremost among which was the foundry of Mr. Miller, a former
manager in the Glasgow Foundry.

In 1825 the proprietors of the Foundry were Messrs. Andrew and
Alexander Wilson, son and grandson to the originator. Hansard
summarises their foreign and learned founts at this date as follows:

     Double Pica (_Glasgow Homer_), Great Primer, English, Pica, Small
     Pica, Long Primer (“Elzevir”), Brevier, Nonpareil.

     2-line English, Double Pica, Great Primer, English,[539] Pica, Small
     Pica, Long Primer, Brevier, Minion, Nonpareil.

     English, Pica, Small Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     2-line Great Primer, Double Pica, Great Primer, English, Pica,
     Long Primer, Brevier, Nonpareil.

In 1828 another complete specimen appeared, showing the new series of
Romans from Double Pica to Diamond, Greek, and fifteen pages of flowers.

Mr. Andrew Wilson dying in 1830, the management of the business
devolved on his sons Alexander and Patrick, by whom it was decided, in
1832, to establish a branch house in Edinburgh. {265}

A handsome 4to specimen of the Roman letter of the Foundry was
published in 1833. This volume is interesting as being one of the
first to show the letter not only in the venerable “Quousque tandem”
paragraph, but also in an English garb.[540] It includes also five
pages of Greek, in which the Double Pica “Homer” is still prominent,
and two pages of Hebrew, but no other orientals.

In 1834 the important step was taken of transferring the Glasgow
Foundry to London, where, in premises at New Street, Gough Square, the
business was carried on.[541]

Briefly to trace the later vicissitudes of the Foundry we may add that,
about 1834, a further development of the business was completed by the
establishment of a Foundry at Two-Waters in Hertfordshire, where it was
expected the cost of production would be considerably reduced by the
cheaper labour attainable in the country. A strike occurring in 1837
among the London workmen, the Gough Square House was closed. In 1840
another branch was established at Dublin. Despite the activity of Mr.
Alex. Wilson and the continued excellence of his types, the business
declined. The latter years of his management were spent in fruitless
endeavours to supersede the old method of handcasting by machinery. The
various experiments made, however, (one of which was by the present Sir
Henry Bessemer, whose father[542] had been a type-founder) failed, and
tended further to diminish Mr. Wilson’s resources, until in 1845 be
became bankrupt.

The London and Two-Waters Foundries being offered for sale by auction,
the principal part of the matrices were purchased by the proprietors of
the Caslon Foundry in 1850, Mr. Wilson remaining for some time with Mr.
Caslon as joint manager.

The Edinburgh branch of the business, started in 1832, had continued
for {266} some time with Mr. Duncan Sinclair as managing partner. But
on the latter withdrawing from the concern and establishing himself as
an independent founder at Whiteford House, Edinburgh, about 1839, the
management was entrusted to Mr. John Gallie.

On the breaking up of the business, the plant of the Edinburgh and
Dublin branches was acquired by Dr. James Marr, who, in association
with Mr. Gallie, carried on the business under the firm of Marr,
Gallie, and Co. In 1853 it was James Marr and Co., with branches in
London, Edinburgh, and Dublin. Dr. James Marr died in 1866, from which
time till 1874, the business was carried on by his widow, with Mr. John
Blair as manager. In 1874 it was converted into a Limited Company under
the title of the Marr Typefounding Company, Limited, who removed the
business from the old premises in New Street, Edinburgh, to Whiteford
House, where it is still carried on.

Mr. Duncan Sinclair, between whose specimens and those of the Wilson
Foundry there was an obvious similarity, continued for some years at
Whiteford House, where his son, formerly manager at the Two-Waters
branch of the Glasgow Foundry, subsequently joined him. They published
specimens in 1840, 1842, and 1846 (which latter included a fount of
“Gem”). In 1861 the Whiteford House Foundry was in the hands of John
Milne and Co., who published a quarto specimen. In 1870 the contents
of this foundry were dispersed at public auction, and the premises, as
already stated, were shortly afterwards taken by the Marr Typefounding

SPECIMEN BOOKS, 1783–1834.

     1772. A Specimen of some of the Printing Types cast in the
     Foundery of Dr. A. Wilson and Sons, College of Glasgow (Glasgow,)
     1772. 8vo, 24 leaves. . . . . (B.M., B. 722, 8.)

     1783. A Specimen of Printing Types . . The above are some of the
     sizes cast in the Letter Foundery of Dr. Alex. Wilson and Sons,
     Glasgow. 1783. Broadside. . . . . (Chambers’ _Cyclopædia_, 1784–6.)

     1786. A Specimen of Printing Types cast in the Letter Foundry of
     Alex. Wilson and Sons, Glasgow, 1786. 8vo. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1789. A Specimen of Printing Types cast in the Letter Foundry of
     Alex. Wilson and Sons, Glasgow, 1789. Small 4to. . . . . (Caslon.)

     1812. A Specimen of Modern Cut Printing Types by Alex. Wilson and
     Sons, Letter Founders, Glasgow, 1812. 4to. . . . . (Caslon.)

     1815. A Specimen of Modern Cut Printing Types by Alex. Wilson and
     Sons, Letter Founders, Glasgow, 1815. 4to. . . . . (Caslon.)

     1823. A Specimen of Modern Printing Types by Alex. Wilson and
     Sons, Glasgow, 1823. 4to. . . . . (Caxt. Cel. 4402.) {267}

     1828. A Specimen of Modern Printing Types by Alex. Wilson and
     Sons, Letter Founders, Glasgow, 1828. 4to. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1833. A Specimen of Modern Printing Types cast at the Letter
     Foundry of Alex. Wilson and Sons, Glasgow, 1833. 4to. . . . . (T.
     B. R.)

     1833. A Specimen of Modern Printing Types cast at the Letter
     Foundry of Wilsons and Sinclair, New Street, Edinburgh, 1833. 4to.
     . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1834. A Selection from the Specimen Book of Alex. Wilson and Sons,
     Glasgow Letter Foundry, Great New Street, Gough Square, London,
     1834. 4to. . . . . (Caslon.)






JOHN BASKERVILLE was Born at Wolverley, in The county of
Worcestershire, in the year 1706. He began life as a footman to
a clergyman, and at the age of twenty became a writing-master in
Birmingham. This occupation he appears to have supplemented by, or
exchanged for, that of engraving inscriptions on tombstones and
memorials; a profession in which he is said to have shown much
talent.[543] In 1737 he was still engaged in teaching writing at a
school in the Bull-Ring, Birmingham, and is said to have written an
excellent hand. His artistic tastes led him afterwards to enter into
the japanning business, in which he prospered and became possessed of
considerable property. He purchased an estate on the outskirts of the
town, to which he gave the name of Easy Hill; and here built a handsome
house, in which he carried on his business, and lived in considerable

[Illustration: 70. From _Hansard_.]

About the year 1750 his inclination for letters induced him to turn
his {269} attention to typography, and to add to his business of a
japanner that of a printer.[545]

The condition of printing in England at this period was still anything
but satisfactory. Fine printing was an art unknown; and although
under the influence of Caslon’s genius the press was recovering from
the reproach under which it lay at the beginning of the century,
England was still very far behind her neighbours both in typographical
enterprise and achievement. Once more it was left to an outsider to
initiate the new departure; and as in 1720 the art of letter-founding
had been roused from its lethargy by the genius of a gunsmith’s
apprentice, so in 1750 the art of printing was destined to find its
deliverer in the person of an eccentric Birmingham japanner. Whatever
may be the judgment of posterity as to the merits of Baskerville’s
performances, to him is undoubtedly due the honour of the first real
stride towards a higher level of national typography; an example which
became the incentive to that outburst of enthusiasm—that “matrix and
puncheon mania,” as Dibdin terms it—which brought forth the series of
splendid typographical productions with which the eighteenth century
closed and the nineteenth opened.

Baskerville’s first essay in his new enterprise was deliberate, and
gave ample proof of the enthusiasm of the man. Six years elapsed
before any work issued from his press. During that period he is said
to have sunk upwards of £600[546] in the effort to produce a type
sufficiently perfect to satisfy his fastidious taste. He engaged the
best punch-cutters that could be had,[547] in addition to which he made
his own moulds, chases, ink, presses, and, indeed, almost the entire
apparatus of the art.

The following extracts from letters in the possession of Mr. S.
Timmins, to whose industrious researches the student of typography is
indebted for much new light on the history of Baskerville’s career,
and to whose courtesy we are indebted for the present opportunity
of placing them before our readers, will {270} best describe the
marvellous industry and enthusiasm which carried our printer to the
successful issue of his great enterprise. The letters form part of
a correspondence between Baskerville and his friend R. Dodsley, the
publisher, respecting the preparations for his earliest printing

     _Baskerville to R. Dodsley._ 2nd October 1752.

     “To remove in some measure your impatience, I have sent you an
     impression of fourteen punches of the Two-lines Great Primer,
     which have been begun and finished in nine days only, and contain
     all the letters Roman necessary in the Titles and Half-titles. I
     cannot forbear saying they please me, as I can make nothing more
     correct, nor shall you see anything of mine much less so. You’ll
     observe they strike the eye much more sensibly than the smaller
     characters, tho’ equally perfect, till the press shows them to
     more advantage. The press is creeping slowly towards perfection.
     I flatter myself with being able to print nearly as good a colour
     and smooth a stroke as the enclosed. I should esteem it a favour
     if you’d send me the Initial Letters of all the Cantos lest they
     should not be included in the said fourteen, and three or four
     pages of any part of the Poem from whence to form a Bill for the
     casting a suitable number of each letter. The R wants a few slight
     touches, and the Y half an hour’s correction. This day we have
     resolutely set about thirteen of the same siz’d Italic Capitals,
     which will not be at all inferior to the Roman, and I doubt not to
     complete them in a fortnight. You need, therefore, be in no pain
     about our being ready by the time appointed. Our best respects to
     Mrs. Dodsley and our friend, Mr. Beckett.”

     _Baskerville to R. Dodsley._ 19th October 1752.

     “As I proposed in my last, I have sent you impressions from a
     candle of twenty Two-lines Great Primer Italick, which were begun
     and finished in ten days only. We are now about the figures,
     which are in good forwardness, and changing a few of those
     letters we concluded finished. My next care will be to strike the
     punches into copper and justify them with all the care and skill
     I am master of. You may depend on my being ready by your time
     (Christmas), but if more time could be allowed, I should make
     use of it all in correcting and justifying. So much depends on
     appearing perfect on first starting . . .”

     _Baskerville to R. Dodsley._ 16th January 1754.

     “I have put the last hand to my Great Primer, and have corrected
     fourteen letters in the specimen you were so kind to approve, and
     have made a good progress in the English, and have formed a new
     alphabet of Two-line Double Pica and Two-line Small Pica capitals
     for Titles, not one of which I can mend with a wish, as they come
     up to the most perfect idea I have of letters.”

He then details his scheme for obtaining absolutely correct texts of
the works he is about to print, as follows:―

     “ ’Tis this. Two people must be concerned; the one must name
     every letter, capital, point, reference, accent, etc., that is,
     in English, must spell every part of every word distinctly, and
     note down every difference in a book prepared on purpose. Pray
     oblige me in making the experiment with Mr. James Dodsley in four
     or five lines of {271} any two editions of an author, and you’ll
     be convinced that it’s scarcely possible for the least difference,
     even of a point, to escape notice. I would recommend and practise
     the same method in an English author, where most people imagine
     themselves capable of correcting. Here’s another great advantage
     to me in this humble scheme; at the same time that a proof sheet
     is correcting, I shall find out the least imperfection in any of
     the Types that has escaped the founder’s notice. I have great
     encomiums on my Specimen from Scotland.”

The concluding sentence of this letter probably refers to the public
announcement of the forthcoming quarto _Virgil_,[548] put forward about
this time, together with a specimen of the type. This most interesting
document, a very few copies of which still exist, is in the form of a
quarto sheet, headed, “_A Specimen by John Baskerville, of Birmingham,
in the County of Warwick, Letter Founder and Printer_.” It displays the
Roman and Italic of the Great Primer fount, and is remarkable not only
as a piece of exquisite printing,[549] but as the first known specimen
of the famous Birmingham foundry.

The following letters refer principally to the progress and completion
of the _Virgil_:―

     _Baskerville to R. Dodsley._ Birmingham, 20th December 1756.

     “I shall have _Virgil_ out of the press by the latter end of
     January, and hope to produce the Volume as smooth as the best
     paper I have sent you. Pray, will it not be proper to advertize
     how near it is finishing, and beg the gentlemen who intend
     favouring me with their names, to send them by that time? When
     this is done, I can print nothing at home but another Classick
     (a specimen of which will be given with it) which I cannot
     forbear thinking a grievous hardship after the infinite pains and
     great expense I have been at. I have almost a mind to print a
     pocket Classick in one size larger than the old Elzevirs, as the
     difference will, on comparison, be obvious to every Scholar; nor
     should I be very sollicitous whether it paid me or not.”

     _R. Dodsley to Baskerville._ 10th February 1757.

     “The account you give me of the _Virgil_ pleases me much, and I
     hope you will in that have all the success your heart can wish.
     I beg if you have any objection, addition or alteration to make
     in the following Advertisement you will let me know by return of


     “ ‘TO THE PUBLIC.

     “ ‘John Baskerville of Birmingham thinks proper to give notice
     that having now finished his Edition of _Virgil_ in one Volume,
     Quarto, it will be published the latter end of next month, price
     one guinea in sheets. He therefore desires that such gentlemen who
     intend to favour him with their names, will be pleased to send
     them either to himself at Birmingham, or to R. and J. Dodsley in
     Pall Mall, in order that they may be inserted in the list of his
     encouragers.’ ”

_R. Dodsley to Baskerville._ April 7, 1757.

     “I am very sorry I advertised your _Virgil_ to be published last
     month as you have not enabled me to keep my word with the public;
     but I hope it will not be delayed any longer, as every day you
     lose now the season is so far advanced, is certainly a great
     loss to you. I hope I shall have the pleasure of seeing you and
     it together. However, if the delay is occasioned by your making
     corrections, I think that a point of so much consequence, that
     no consideration should induce you to publish till it is quite
     correct. As to the ornamented paper, I will lower the price since
     you think it proper, but am still of opinion that it will not sell
     at our end of the town, tho’ for what reason I cannot imagine.
     . . . I like exceedingly your specimen of a _Common Prayer_, and
     hope you are endeavouring to get leave to print one. There is an
     error in the Exhortation, _shall_ for _should_. Your small letter
     is extremely beautiful; I wish I could advise you what to print
     with it. What think you of some popular French book—_Gil Blas_,
     _Molière_, or _Telemaque_ ? In the specimen from _Melmoth_ I think
     you have used too many Capitals, which is generally thought to
     spoil the beauty of printing; but they should never be used to
     adjectives, verbs, or adverbs. My best compliments attend your
     whole family.”

At length, after repeated delays, caused mainly by the nervous
fastidiousness of the printer, who even corrected his work _currenti
prelo_ up to the last moment, the famous _Virgil_ appeared in
1757,[550] and with its publication Baskerville’s reputation was made.
Being the earliest performance of this press, the volume possesses
a peculiar interest among the productions of English typography.
Opinions may differ as to some of the eulogies pronounced on it
by bibliographers and bibliophiles,[551] but as a typographical
curiosity,[552] and as a pioneer of fine printing in our midst, it is a
work to be treasured and reverenced. {273}

From a letter-founder’s point of view its chief interest consists in
its being the earliest book printed in the type of the new Birmingham
foundry. The fount used is a Great Primer, slender and delicate in
form, combining, as Dibdin says, in a singularly happy manner, the
elegance of Plantin with the clearness of the Elzevirs. The Italic
letter was specially admired for its freedom and symmetry—qualities in
which it excelled even the beautiful founts of Aldus and Colinæus.

Baskerville’s merit met with prompt recognition in many quarters,
amongst others, by the Delegates of the Oxford Press, who, in 1758
(apparently on his own application), entrusted him with the cutting
and casting of a new Greek fount for their own use. A record of
this important transaction remains in the following Minutes of the

     “June 6, 1758.—Present (among others) Dr. (Sir W.) Blackstone.
     _Order’d_ that this Delegacy will at their next meeting take into
     consideration Mr. Baskerville’s Proposals for casting a Set of new
     Greek Types.

     “July 5, 1758.—_Ordered_ that Dr. Blackstone be empowered to agree
     with Mr. Baskerville of Birmingham to make a new set of Greek
     Puncheons, matrices and moulds, in Great Primer, for the Use of
     the University, and also to cast therein 300 Weight of Types, at
     the Price of 200 Guineas for the whole. And that he and Mr. Prince
     (Warehouse-keeper) do give proper Directions for that Purpose.

     “Jan. 31, 1759.—_Agreed_ that Mr. Musgrave have leave to print his
     _Euripides_ at the University Press on Mr. Baskerville’s Types as
     soon as they arrive.[553]

     “March 11, 1761.—_Ordered_, That a Greek Testament in Quarto and
     Octavo be printed on Baskerville’s Letter, and three or four
     Gentlemen of Learning and Accuracy be desired separately to
     correct the Proofs.

     “June 23, 1761.—500 copies in Quarto and 2,000 in Octavo ordered
     to be printed.”

In the accounts for 1761 the following entry records the conclusion of
the business:―

 “To Mr. Baskerville for Greek Types . . . . £210 0 0.”

Considerable expectation was aroused by this order, which was
considered of sufficient importance to deserve mention in the public
press, as the following extract from the _St. James’s Chronicle_ of
September 5, 1758, testifies:―

     “The University of Oxford have lately contracted with Mr.
     Baskerville of Birmingham for a complete Alphabet of Greek Types
     of the Great Primer size; and it is not doubted but that ingenious
     artist will excel in that Character, as he has already done in
     the Roman and Italic, in his elegant edition of _Virgil_, which
     has gained the applause and admiration of most of the literati of
     Europe, as well as procured him the esteem and patronage of such
     of his own countrymen as distinguish themselves by paying a due
     regard to merit.”

The anticipations thus expressed were destined to be disappointed; for
{274} Baskerville’s genius appears to have failed him in his efforts
to reproduce a foreign character. Even before the appearance of the
Oxford _Greek Testament_, which did not occur till 1763, rumours of the
failure of this undertaking had begun to circulate. Writing in 1763,
respecting a forthcoming _Greek Testament_ of his own, Bowyer says,
“Two or three quarto Editions on foot, one at Oxford, far advanced on
new types by Baskerville,—by the way, not good ones.”[554]

The appearance of the work in question[555] justified, to some extent,
the criticism. Regular as the Greek character is, it is stiff and
cramped, and, as Dibdin says, “like no Greek characters I have ever
seen.” Rowe Mores goes to the length of styling it “execrable”; and
Bowyer appears to have had it specially in mind when he said to Jackson
that the Greek letters commonly in use were no more like Greek than

Be this as it may, Baskerville made no further excursions into the
foreign and learned languages, and, fortunately (as we consider) for
his reputation, confined his talents to the execution of the characters
of his native tongue, a branch of the art in which he had no rival.

The punches, matrices and some of the types of this interesting fount
are still preserved at Oxford,[556] and are the only relics in this
country of Baskerville’s letter-foundry. We are particularly glad,
therefore, to be able to present here, in addition to the annexed
facsimile from the _Specimen_ of 1768–70, a line printed from the
actual type cast by Baskerville in 1761:―


[Illustration: 71. Baskerville’s Greek. (From the Oxford _Specimen_ of


Among the other important works which, says Mr. Nichols, “Baskerville
printed with more satisfaction to the literary world than emolument
to himself,” his _Paradise Lost_, in 4to, printed in 1758,[557] is of
signal merit and beauty. As a work of fine printing, it equals, if it
does not excel, the _Virgil_. “The type”, observes Hansard (who speaks
of it as a Pica instead of an English) “is manifestly an improvement
on the ‘slender and delicate’ mentioned by Mr. Dibdin; I should think
it, on the contrary, approaching to the _embonpoint_, and admirably
calculated by extending the size (if in exact proportion), for works of
the largest dimensions. The Italic possesses much room for admiration.
. . . This work will, in my opinion, bear a comparison, even to its
advantage, with those subsequently executed by the first typographer
of our age. There is a clearness, a soberness, a softness, and at the
same time a spirit, altogether harmonising, in Baskerville’s book,
that neither of the others with which I am comparing it, can, I think,
fairly claim.”[558]

In his preface to the _Paradise Lost_, Baskerville gives an interesting
account of his own labours and ambitions as a letter-founder. He says:―

     “Amongst the several mechanic Arts that have engaged my attention,
     there is no one which I have pursued with so much steadiness
     and pleasure as that of _Letter Founding_. Having been an early
     admirer of the beauty of Letters, I became insensibly desirous of
     contributing to the perfection of them. I formed to myself ideas
     of greater accuracy than had yet appeared, and have endeavoured to
     produce a _Sett_ of _Types_ according to what I conceived to be
     their true proportion.

     “_Mr. Caslon_ is an artist to whom the Republic of Learning has
     great obligations; his ingenuity has left a fairer copy for
     my emulation than any other master. In his great variety of
     _Characters_ I intend not to follow him; the _Roman_ and _Italic_
     are all I have hitherto attempted: if in these he has left room
     for improvement it is probably more owing to that variety which
     divided his attention, than to any other cause. I honour his merit
     and only wish to derive some small share of Reputation from an Art
     which proves accidentally to have been the object of our mutual

     “After having spent many years, and not a little of my fortune, in
     my endeavours to advance this art; I must own it gives me great
     satisfaction to find that my edition of _Virgil_ has been so
     favorably received . . .

     “It is not my desire to print many books; but such only as are
     _books_ of _Consequence_, of _intrinsic merit_, or _established
     Reputation_, and which the public may be pleased to see in an
     elegant dress, and to purchase at such a price as will repay the
     extraordinary care and expence that must necessarily be bestowed
     upon them . . . If {276} this performance (_i.e._, the _Milton_)
     shall appear to persons of judgment and penetration in the
     _Paper_, _Letter_, _Ink_, and _Workmanship_ to excel, I hope their
     approbation may contribute to procure for me, what would indeed
     be the extent of my Ambition, a power to print an Octavo _Prayer
     Book_, and a FOLIO BIBLE.”

Both these ambitions were in due time fulfilled. In 1758 Baskerville
had applied for the post of Printer to the University of Cambridge, an
office which he obtained, with permission to print the folio _Bible_,
and two editions of the _Common Prayer_ in three sizes. This learned
body, however, appear to have been influenced in the transaction more
by a wish to fill their own coffers than by a desire to promote the
interests of the Art; and the heavy premiums exacted from Baskerville
for the privilege thus accorded effectually deprived him of any
advantage whatever in the undertaking. He continued to hold this
unsatisfactory office till 1766.

Meanwhile he had laboured assiduously to complete his promised series
of the Roman and Italic faces. At the time of the publication of the
_Virgil_, he put forward a quarto sheet containing specimens of the
Great Primer, English, Pica, and Brevier Roman, and Great Primer
and Pica Italic, beautifully printed. This sheet, which is noted by
Renouard,[559] and which is occasionally found bound up with copies
of the _Virgil_, was very shortly followed, about the end of the year
1758, by a larger and more general specimen, consisting entirely of
Roman and Italic letter in eight sizes, viz.:—Double Pica, Great
Primer, English, Pica, Small Pica, Long Primer, Bourgeois and Brevier.
Of the two last, Roman only is shown. The whole is arranged in two
columns on a broadside sheet, with appropriate titlings, and forms a
beautiful display. Although the only copy we have seen is printed on
a greenish paper, somewhat coarse, the Specimen exceeds in elegance
and uniformity most, if not all, the productions of contemporary

[Illustration: 72. Baskerville’s English Roman and Italic. (From the
_Milton_, 1758.)]

It may be worth noting here that in point of body Baskerville appears
to {277} have followed an independent course; most of his bodies,
even the Pica, varying from the usual standards. The punches of the
Greek fount, preserved at Oxford, show marks of high finish, although
unnecessarily, as it seems to us, rounded in the stem. It is probable
that these and the other punches of his foundry were not his own
handiwork, but cut by skilled artists under his critical supervision.

Unfortunately, very little is known of the operations of the Birmingham
foundry as a trade undertaking. It is even doubtful whether, at first,
Baskerville supplied his types to any press but his own; indeed, the
activity of that press during the period when it was in the height
of its prosperity was such that it is unlikely its proprietor would
encumber himself with the duties of a letter-founder to the trade in

The magnificent works[561] which between 1759 and 1772 continued to
issue from his press not only confirmed him in his reputation, but
raised his name to an unique position among the modern improvers of the
art. The paper, the type and the general execution of his works were
such as English readers had not hitherto been accustomed to, while the
disinterested enthusiasm with which, regardless of profit, he pursued
his ideal, fully merited the eulogy of the printer-poet who wrote:―

 “O BASKERVILLE! the anxious wish was thine
  Utility with beauty to combine;
  To bid the o’erweening thirst of gain subside;
  Improvement all thy care and all thy pride;
  When BIRMINGHAM—for riots and for crimes
  Shall meet the long reproach of future times,
  Then shall she find amongst our honor’d race,
  One name to save her from entire disgrace.”[562]

Baskerville’s third specimen sheet, undated, but probably issued
in 1762, is an exquisitely printed large folio on highly glazed
white paper. It completes the series of Roman and Italic displayed
in the former sheet with a Nonpareil, and the whole is surrounded
by an elegant light border. It is incomparably the most beautiful
type-specimen of its day, although it must be admitted that not a
little of its beauty is due to the brilliancy of the ink and the gloss
of the paper.

Despite the applause bestowed on him, and the acknowledged excellence
of his work, Baskerville failed to make his new business a paying one.
His letter {278} to Horace Walpole in 1762 best details the history of
his struggles and disappointments:―

     “To the Hon’ble Horace Walpole, Esq., Member of Parliament, in
     Arlington Street, London, this:

     EASY HILL, BIRMINGHAM, 2 Nov. 1762.

     “SIR,—As the Patron and Encourager of Arts, and particularly
     that of Printing,[563] I have taken the Liberty of sending you a
     Specimen of Mine, begun ten Years ago at the age of forty-seven,
     and prosecuted ever since with the utmost Care and Attention, on
     the strongest Presumption, that if I could fairly excel in this
     divine Art, it would make my Affairs easy or at least give me
     Bread. But alas! in both I was mistaken. The Booksellers do not
     chuse to encourage Me, though I have offered them as low terms as
     I could possibly live by; nor dare I attempt an Old Copy till a
     Law Suit relating to that affair is determined.

     “The University of Cambridge have given me a Grant to print their
     8vo and 12mo _Common-Prayer Books_, but under such Shackles as
     greatly hurt me. I pay them for the former twenty and for the
     latter twelve pounds ten shillings the thousand; and to the
     Stationers’ Company thirty-two pound for their permission to print
     one edition of the _Psalms in Metre_ to the small _Prayer Book_;
     add to this the great expense of Double and treble carriage, and
     the inconvenience of a printing house an hundred Miles off. All
     this Summer I have had nothing to print at Home. My folio _Bible_
     is pretty far advanced at Cambridge, which will cost me near £2000
     all hired at 5 per cent. If this does not sell, I shall be obliged
     to sacrifice a small patrimony which brings me in £74 a year to
     this business of Printing, which I am heartily tired of and repent
     I ever attempted. It is surely a particular hardship, that I
     should not get Bread in my own country (and it is too late to go
     abroad) after having acquired the Reputation of excelling in the
     most useful Art known to mankind; while everyone who excels as a
     Player, Fiddler, Dancer, &c., not only lives in Affluence, but has
     it in their power to save a Fortune.

     “I have sent a few Specimens (same as the enclosed) to the Courts
     of Russia and Denmark, and shall endeavour to do the same to
     most of the Courts in Europe; in hopes of finding in some of
     them a purchaser of the whole scheme, on the Condition of never
     attempting another Type. I was saying this to a particular Friend,
     who reproached me with not giving my own Country the Preference,
     as it would (he was pleased to say) be a national Reproach to
     lose it: I told him nothing but the greatest Necessity would put
     me upon it; and even then I should resign it with the utmost
     reluctance. He observed the Parliament had given a handsome
     Premium for a great Medicine; and he doubted not, if My Affair
     were properly brought before the House of Commons, but some Regard
     would be Paid to it. I replied I durst not presume to Petition the
     House, unless encouraged by some of the Members, who might do me
     the honour to promote it; of which I saw not the least hopes or
     probability. Thus, Sir, I have taken the Liberty of laying before
     you my Affairs without the least Aggravation; and humbly hope your
     patronage: To whom can I apply for {279} Protection, but the
     Great who alone have it in their power to serve me? I rely on your
     candour as a Lover of the Arts and to excuse this Presumption in
     your most obedient and most humble servant


     “P.S.—The folding of the Specimens will be taken out by laying
     them for a short time between damped Papers. N.B.—The Ink,
     Presses, Chases, Moulds for Casting, and all the apparatus for
     Printing were made in my own shops.”[564]

The folio _Bible_[565] referred to in this letter has always been
regarded as Baskerville’s _magnum opus_, and is his most magnificent
as well as his most characteristic specimen. It duly appeared in
Cambridge in 1763, in a beautiful Great Primer type, fully meriting the
applause which it evoked. It had been preceded in 1760 by some very
elegant editions of the _Book of Common Prayer_,[566] all published at
Cambridge in his capacity of University printer.

After the publication of the _Bible_, Baskerville wearied of his
profession of printing, disheartened alike by the poor pecuniary
returns for his labours, and the unfriendly criticism pronounced
in various quarters upon his performances. Despite the splendid
appearance of his impressions, the ordinary English printers viewed
with something like suspicion the meretricious combination of sharp
type and hot-pressed paper which lent to his sheets their extraordinary
brilliancy.[567] They objected to the dazzling effect thus produced on
the eye; they found fault with the unevenness of tone and colour in
different parts of the same book, and even discovered an irregularity
and lack of symmetry in some of his types, which his glossy paper and
bright ink alike failed to disguise.

That these strictures were not wholly the result of prejudice and
jealousy, a careful examination of Baskerville’s printed works in the
light of the modern {280} canons of fine printing will prove. Even his
warmest admirers, like Fournier,[568] tempered their praise with some
reservation; while hostile critics, like Mores, summarily denied him a
place among letter-cutters at all.[569]

Of the prejudice rife against Baskerville at this time, an amusing
anecdote is preserved in a letter of Benjamin Franklin to our printer,
dated 1760:―


     “DEAR SIR,—Let me give you a pleasant instance of the prejudice
     some have entertained against your work. Soon after I returned,
     discoursing with a gentleman concerning the artists of Birmingham,
     he said you would be a means of blinding all the readers of the
     nation, for the strokes of your letters being too thin and narrow,
     hurt the eye, and he could never read a line of them without pain.
     ‘I thought,’ said I, ‘you were going to complain of the gloss of
     the paper some object to.’ ‘No, no,’ said he, ‘I have heard that
     mentioned, but it is not that; it is in the form and cut of the
     letters themselves, they have not that height and thickness of the
     stroke which makes the common printing so much more comfortable
     to the eye.’ You see this gentleman was a _connoisseur_. In vain
     I endeavoured to support your character against the charge; he
     knew what he felt, and could see the reason of it, and several
     other gentlemen among his friends had made the same observation,
     etc. Yesterday he called to visit me, when, mischievously bent
     to try his judgement, I stepped into my closet, tore off the
     top of Mr. Caslon’s specimen, and produced it to him as yours,
     brought with me from Birmingham, saying, I had been examining
     it, since he spoke to me, and could not for my life perceive the
     disproportion he mentioned, desiring him to point it out to me. He
     readily undertook it, and went over the several founts, showing
     me everywhere what he thought instances of that disproportion;
     and declared, that he could not then read the specimen, without
     feeling very strongly the pain he had mentioned to me. I spared
     him that time the confusion of being told, that these were the
     types he had been reading all his life, with so much ease to his
     eyes; the types his adored Newton is printed with, on which he has
     pored not a little; nay, the very types his own book is printed
     with (for he is himself an author), and yet never discovered this
     painful disproportion in them, till he thought they were yours.

     “I am, etc.,

     “B. FRANKLIN.”[570]

This occasion for the above interesting letter, was an application
made by {281} Baskerville in 1760 to his friend, Dr. Franklin, to
assist him in London to sound the literati there respecting the
purchase of his types. This attempt failing, a few years later Dr.
Franklin undertook a similar good office in Paris,[571] and with a
similar result. “The French,” he wrote in 1767, “reduced by the war
of 1756 were so far from being able to pursue schemes of taste, that
they were unable to repair their public buildings, and suffered the
scaffolding to rot before them.”

Having lost all spirit for the printing business, Baskerville, about
1766, declined to pursue it except through the medium of a confidential
agent, and the following notice, issued about this period, announced
this decision to the public:―

     “Robert Martin has agreed with Mr. Baskerville for the use of his
     whole printing apparatus, with whom he has wrought as a journeyman
     for ten years past. He therefore offers his services to print at
     Birmingham for Gentlemen or Booksellers, on the most moderate
     terms, who may depend on all possible care and elegance in the
     execution. Samples, if necessary, may be seen on sending a line to
     John Baskerville or Robert Martin.”[572]

After a retirement of three years, Baskerville resumed work in 1769,
completing between that period and the time of his death his fine
series of the 4to classics, which bear the marks of unabated genius
even in declining days; and suffice, had he printed nothing else, to
distinguish him as the first typographer of his time.

It would appear from a passage in a letter of Franklin’s in reference
to the fine edition of _Shaftesbury’s Characteristics_, published in
1773 (4to), that, in that year, Baskerville contemplated some further
development of his type-founding business.[573] His press, at any rate,
seems to have continued active till that date, and even later; although
it is doubtful whether the latest works bearing his imprint received
his personal oversight.

He died on January 8, 1775. Notwithstanding the poor success of his
printing enterprise, he left behind him a fortune of £12,000, which,
as he had no heir, went, together with the stock and goodwill of his
business, to his widow.[574] {282}

Of Baskerville’s personal character, a biographer observes: “In
private life, he was a humourist, idle in the extreme; but his
invention was the true Birmingham model, active. He could well design,
but procured others to execute; wherever he found merit, he caressed
it; he was remarkably polite to the stranger, fond of shew; a figure,
rather of the smaller size, and delighted to adorn that figure with
gold lace. Although constructed with the light timbers of a frigate,
his movement was stately as a ship of the line. During the twenty-five
last years of his life, though then in his decline, he retained the
singular traces of a handsome man. If he exhibited a peevish temper,
we may consider that good nature and intense thinking are not always
found together. Taste accompanied him through the different walks of
agriculture, architecture, and the fine arts. Whatever passed through
his fingers bore the living marks of John Baskerville.”[575]

A less pleasing sketch of his character is given by Mark Noble in his
_Biographical History of England_:—“I have very often”, he says, “been
with my father at his house, and found him ever a most profane wretch,
and ignorant of literature to a wonderful degree. I have seen many of
his letters, which like his will, were not written grammatically, nor
could he even spell well. In person he was a shrivelled old coxcomb.
His favourite dress was green, edged with narrow gold lace, a scarlet
waistcoat, with a very broad gold lace, and a small round hat, likewise
edged with gold lace. His wife was all that affectation can describe.
. . . She was originally a servant. Such a pair are rarely met with.
He had wit; but it was always at the expense of religion and decency,
particularly if in company with the clergy. I have often thought there
was much similarity in his person to Voltaire, whose sentiments he was
ever retailing.”[576]

Professing a total disbelief of the Christian religion, he ordered that
his remains should be buried in a tomb in his own grounds, prepared by
himself for the purpose, with an epitaph[577] expressing his contempt
for the superstition which {283} the bigoted called Religion. Here,
accordingly, his body was buried upright, and here it remained,
although the building that contained it was destroyed by the Birmingham
riots of 1791. About half a century after his death his body was
exhumed and exhibited for some time in a shop in Birmingham. Its final
resting-place is to this day a matter of debate.

There is a portrait of Baskerville by Exteth, in the possession
of the Messrs. Longman, and another in the possession of the Rev.
Dr. Caldecott. An engraving of the latter is given in Hansard’s
_Typographia_; and there is a copperplate from the same portrait
(unpublished), at the present time in the collection of Mr. Timmins of

Mrs. Baskerville[578], on succeeding to her husband’s property,
declined to continue the printing business, although continuing that of
letter-founding; and thus advertised her intention to the public:―

     “Mrs. Baskerville, being about to decline business as a printer,
     purposes disposing of the whole of her apparatus in that branch,
     comprehending, among other articles, all of them perfect in their
     kind, a large and full assortment of the most beautiful types,
     with the completest printing presses, hitherto known in England.
     She begs leave to inform the publick, at the same time, that she
     continues the business of Letter-founding, in all its parts, with
     the same care and accuracy that was formerly observed by Mr.
     Baskerville. Those gentlemen who are inclined to encourage so
     pleasing an improvement may, by favouring her with their commands,
     be now supplied with Baskerville’s elegant types at no higher
     expence than the prices already established in the trade.”[579]
     _April 6, 1775._

The following further advertisement intimates that two years later the
typefounding business was still carried on under the same management:―

     “The late Mr. Baskerville, having taken some pains to establish
     and perfect a Letter-foundry for the more readily casting of
     Printing-types for sale, and as the undertaking was finished
     but a little before his death, it is now become necessary for
     his widow, Mrs. Baskerville, to inform all Printers that she
     continues the same business, and has now ready for sale, a large
     stock of types, of most sizes, cast with all possible care, and
     dressed with the utmost accuracy. She hopes the acknowledged
     partiality of the world, in regard to the peculiar beauty of Mr.
     Baskerville’s types, in the works he has published, will render it
     quite unnecessary here to say anything to recommend them—only that
     she is determined to attend to the undertaking with all care and
     diligence; and to the end that so useful an improvement may become
     as extensive as possible, and notwithstanding the extraordinary
     hardness and durability of these types above all others, she
     will conform to sell them at the same prices with other Letter
     founders.” _Feb. 25, 1777._ {284}

Notwithstanding Mrs. Baskerville’s avowed intention of continuing the
business, many attempts had been made, and were still made, to dispose
of the foundry. It was offered to the Universities and declined;
and the London booksellers preferred the types of Caslon and his
apprentices.[580] The stock lay a dead weight till 1779, when the whole
was purchased by Beaumarchais for the Société Litteraire-Typographique,
for the sum of £3,700, and transferred to France.

Much blame and even contempt was bestowed at the time on the bad
taste and unpatriotic spirit of the English nation in thus allowing
the materials of this famous press to go out of the country.[581] _De
gustibus non est disputandum._ Deprived of the master-hand of their
designer, the types which startled the world into admiration in the
_Virgil_ of 1757, had lost their magic by 1779; and it seems hardly
reasonable to blame the printers of this country for preferring the
sterling types of Caslon and Jackson, in which works as beautiful were
being produced, and by far simpler methods than those employed by the
Birmingham genius. Nor does it appear that after the purchase by the
French there was any general feeling of regret in this country at the
opportunity missed. It is, however, a fact that for some important
works produced towards the close of the century—particularly those of
Bulmer’s press—it was considered an advantage to secure the services of
artists of the Birmingham school, both in the formation of the types
and the execution of the press-work. As the pioneer of fine printing
in England, Baskerville deserves, and will receive the grateful
approbation of all lovers of the art. But it would be idle to say that
he was not speedily matched and even surpassed by the performance of
others, or that his types, had they remained in this country, would
have been more valuable on account of their intrinsic excellence than
of their historical interest.

That the French were well satisfied with their bargain, may be gathered
from the following letter quoted by Nichols, dated Paris, August 8th,

     “The English language and learning are so cultivated in France,
     and so eagerly learned, that the best Authors of Great Britain are
     now reprinting in this Metropolis: Shakespeare, Addison, Pope,
     Johnson, Hume, and Robertson, are to be published here very soon.
     Baskerville’s types, which were bought it seems for a trifle, to
     the eternal disgrace of Englishmen, are to be made use of for the
     purpose of propagating the English Language in this country.”[582]

Nichols himself adds, after deploring the comparative failure of
Baskerville, to receive appreciation in his native land: “We must
admire, if we do not imitate the taste and economy of the French
nation, who, brought by the British arms in 1762 to the verge of ruin,
rising above distress, were able, in seventeen years, to purchase
Baskerville’s elegant types, refused by his own country, and to expend
an hundred thousand pounds in poisoning the principles of mankind by
printing the _Works of Voltaire_.”

This great work, for the express purpose of printing which
Baskerville’s types were procured, was thus announced to the English
public in 1782[583]:―

     “A complete edition of the _Works of Voltaire_, printed by
     subscription, with the types of Baskerville.

     “This work, the most extensive and magnificent that ever was
     printed, is now in the press at Fort Kehl, near Strasburgh, a
     free place, subject to no restraint or imprimatur, and will be
     published towards the close of the present year. It will never
     be on sale. Subscribers only can have copies. Each set is to be
     numbered, and a particular number appropriated to each subscriber
     at the time of subscribing. As the sets to be worked off are
     limited to a fixed and small number, considering the great demand
     of all Europe, those who wish to be possessed of so valuable a
     work must be early in their application, lest they be shut out by
     the subscriptions being previously filled. Voltaire’s Manuscripts
     and Port-Folios, besides his Works already published, cost 12,000
     guineas. This and other expenses attending the publication,
     will lay the Editors under an advance of £100,000 sterling. The
     public may from thence form a judgment of the extraordinary care
     that will be taken to make this edition a lasting monument of
     typographical elegance and grandeur,” etc. _June 4, 1782._

The “proposals” were accompanied by two pages of specimens of the type.

Of this famous edition of _Voltaire_ an interesting account is given in
Lomenie’s _Beaumarchais et ses Temps_.[584] The Society in whose name
Beaumarchais undertook the work consisted of himself alone. Besides
the Voltaire MSS. and the Baskerville types, he bought and set to work
three paper-mills in the Vosges, and after much difficulty secured
the old fort at Kehl as a neutral ground on which to establish in
security his vast typographical undertaking. The enterprise was one
involving labour, time and cost vastly beyond his expectations, and his
correspondence with his manager at Kehl presents an almost pathetic
picture of his efforts to grapple with the difficulties that beset his
task. “How can we promise,” he wrote in 1780, “in the early months
of {286} 1782 an edition which has neither hearth nor home in March
1780? The paper-mills have to be made, the type to be founded, the
printing press to be put up, and the establishment to be formed.” And
on another occasion he writes: “Here am I, obliged to learn my letters
at paper-making, printing and bookselling.”

It was not until 1784 that Volume One appeared; and the whole work in
two editions was not completed till 1790,[585] by which time France was
in the throes of the Revolution, and little likely to heed the literary
exploits even of one of her most talented sons. Of the 15,000 copies
printed, only 2,000 found subscribers; and after the dissolution of the
establishment at Kehl[586] (where, besides, he printed an edition of
_Rousseau_ and a few other works) all the benefit Beaumarchais received
from his enterprise was a mountain of waste-paper.

The final destination of Baskerville’s types is shrouded in mystery.
Most writers assert that the printing establishment at Kehl was
entirely destroyed at the commencement of the French Revolution,
and many suggest that the types performed their last service in the
shape of bullets. Plausible as this story is, it is disproved by the
existence of four works of Alfieri, all bearing the imprint, _dalla
Tipografia di Kehl, co’ caratteri di Baskerville_, and dated severally
1786, 1795, 1800 and 1809.[587] These works, to whose existence no
writer on Baskerville appears hitherto to have called attention, bear
the strongest internal evidence of the accuracy of their claims, and
thus enable us to trace the survival of these famous types to a date
twenty years later than that at which they are commonly supposed to
have perished. In England, some of Baskerville’s types are said to have
been in use in the office of Messrs. Harris, in Liverpool, in 1820; and
seven years later, we find a work printed by Thomas White, of Crane
Court, London, for Pickering, claiming to be “with the types of John
Baskerville”.[588] But though a fount or two of the types may have
survived, all search as to the ultimate fate of the punches or matrices
is baffled. They may still exist, {287} neglected, in the dusty
drawers of some foreign press or foundry.[589] If so, it is to be hoped
that their discovery may in due time reward the patience of those whose
ambition it is to recover for their native land these precious relics
of the most brilliant of all the English letter-founders.


     No date. A Specimen by John Baskerville, of Birmingham, in the
     county of Warwick, Letter Founder and Printer. 4to sheet. (1752?)
     . . . . (S. T.)

     No date. A Specimen by John Baskerville of Birmingham. 4to sheet.
     (1757?) . . . . (Althorp.)

     No date. A Specimen by John Baskerville of Birmingham, Letter
     Founder and Printer. (1758?). Broadside. . . . . (S. T.)

     No date. A Specimen by John Baskerville of Birmingham. (1762?).
     Folio. . . . . (S. T.)






Thomas Cottrell, described by Mores as _à primo proximus_ of modern
letter-founders, served his apprenticeship in the foundry of the first
Caslon. He was employed there as a dresser, and the portrait of him
which is to be seen in the _Universal Magazine_ of 1750,[590] among a
group of Caslon’s workmen, represents him as engaged in that branch of
the business.

It is not improbable that he joined with his friend and fellow
apprentice, Joseph Jackson, in clandestinely observing the operation of
punch-cutting, secretly practised by his master and his master’s son at
Chiswell Street; and being assisted by natural ability, and what Moxon
terms a “genuine inclination,” he contrived during his apprenticeship
to qualify himself not only in this, but in all the departments of the

In 1757 a question as to the price of work having arisen among Mr.
Caslon’s workmen, Cottrell and Jackson headed a deputation on the
subject to their employer, then a Commissioner of the Peace, residing
at Bethnal Green. The worthy justice taking this action in dudgeon, the
two ringleaders were dismissed from Chiswell Street, and thus thrown
unexpectedly on their own resources.

Cottrell, in partnership for a short time with Jackson, and (according
to Rowe Mores), assisted also by a Dutchman, one Baltus de Graff, a
former {289} apprentice of Voskens of Amsterdam, established his
foundry in Nevil’s Court, Fetter Lane. His first fount was an English
Roman, which, though it will compare neither with the performance of
his late master, nor with the then new faces of Baskerville, was yet a
production of considerable merit for a self-trained hand.

In 1758 an incidental record of Cottrell’s Foundry exists in the
history, elsewhere recorded, of Miss Elstob’s Saxon types, the punches
and matrices of which, after remaining untouched for several years at
Mr. Caslon’s, were brought to Cottrell by Mr. Bowyer, to be “fitted up”
ready for use. This task Cottrell performed punctually and apparently
to the satisfaction of his employer, returning them with a small fount
of the letter cast in his own mould, as a specimen of the improvement
made in them.[591]

In 1759 Jackson quitted the business to go to sea, and Cottrell, left
to himself, busily proceeded with the completion of his series of
Romans, which he carried as low as Brevier, a size “which,” says Rowe
Mores, “he thinks low enough to spoil the eyes.”[592]

He also cut a Two-line English Engrossing in imitation of the Law-Hand,
and several designs of flowers.

[Illustration: 73. Engrossing, cut by Cottrell, _circa_ 1768. (From the
original matrices.)]

The Engrossing, or as Mores styles it, the Base Secretary, was a
character designed to take the place of the lately abolished Court Hand
in legal documents, and appears to have been designed for Cottrell
by a law printer named Richardson. On the completion of the fount,
an impression of which we here give, Richardson issued a specimen of
it,[593] claiming the design, and representing its advantages as the
proper character for leases, agreements, {290} indentures, etc. The
matrices, however, remained with Cottrell, and the inclusion of the
fount in his general specimen shows that Richardson ceased to retain
any exclusive use of it. It was the only fount of the kind in England
when Mores wrote in 1778.

Cottrell’s first specimen was a broadside sheet, undated, but probably
issued about the year 1760. It shows the Roman founts, arranged in a
form very similar to that of Caslon’s broadside of 1749. The only copy
of this specimen known is that in the Sohmian Collection at Stockholm.

It was followed, a few years later, by an 8vo Specimen Book, which,
from its obvious resemblance to Caslon’s Book of 1764, we may judge to
have seen the light about 1766.[594] This Specimen exhibits the Roman
and Italic Founts from Five-line to Brevier, the Engrossing above
mentioned, and five pages of Small Pica Flowers elaborately arranged.
The general appearance is neat, each page being surrounded by a border.
The Romans are cut after the Caslon models, and are fairly good,
although a close inspection would suggest that Cottrell’s “genuine
inclination” did not extend to the justifying of his matrices with the
same success as to the cutting of the punches.

The following note at the foot of the Long Primer on Bourgeois specimen
is, perhaps, the most interesting feature of this book:―

     “This Foundery was begun in the Year 1757, and will (with God’s
     leave) be carried on, improved and enlarged, by Thomas Cottrell,
     Letter Founder, in London.

     “_N. B._ Served my apprenticeship to William Caslon, Esq.”

Fournier, in the second part of his _Manuel Typographique_, 1766,
mentions Cottrell’s Foundry, but in such a manner as to lead one to
suppose he had never seen his specimen, or heard of it except by the
vaguest hearsay. He mentions him as “Cottrell à Oxfort,” at the head of
his list of English Founders.[595] {291}

A more satisfactory contemporary record is contained in Luckombe’s
_History and Art of Printing_, 1770, where pages 169 to 174 are
occupied by specimens of the Engrossing and Flowers already exhibited
in the specimen book, and a fount of English Domesday.

This latter fount, which appears to have been completed subsequent to
the issue of the specimen book, Cottrell cut under the inspection of
Dr. Morton for the forthcoming issue of Domesday Book, begun in 1773,
and “which”, Rowe Mores sarcastically observes, “if the undertakers go
on as they have begun, will by domes-day hardly be finished.”

The work was, however, finished and printed, but not in Cottrell’s
type, his performance having been eclipsed by that of his old colleague
and partner Jackson, who, after returning from sea in 1763, had worked
for a short time at the Nevil’s Court Foundry, and then left to start
business for himself, taking with him two of Cottrell’s workmen.

Cottrell was at this period a private in the Life Guards; a position
considered highly respectable in those days, and not at all
incompatible with business pursuits. His military ardour evidently
had its effect in the Foundry, for we find that Robinson and Hickson,
his two workmen who left with Jackson, were also enlisted in the same

He does not appear to have extended his foundry very much as regards
its Roman letter. According to Rowe Mores, however, he produced “some
uncommon founts of proscription, or posting letter of great bulk and
dimensions as high as to the measure of twelve-line Pica.”[596] Of
these founts (which were no doubt cast, like Caslon’s, in sand), a
specimen is in existence, consisting of two broadside sheets, showing
about eleven sizes from two-line Double Pica to twelve-line Pica.

No specimen, however, is to be found of the Russian fount, which Mores,
writing in 1778, hopes Cottrell is about to cut “for a gentleman who
compiles a Russian Dictionary; the same gentleman who translated into
English, _The Grand Instructions of Her Imperial Majesty Catherine II,
for a new Code of Laws for the Russian Empire. London, 1768, 4to._, to
whom we wish success.”

Cottrell died in 1785. He is described as obliging, good-natured, and
friendly, rejecting nothing because it is out of the common way, and
expeditious in his performances. Nichols, in recording his death, says
“Mr. Cottrell died, I am sorry to add, not in affluent circumstances,
though to his profession of a letter-founder were superadded that of
a doctor for the toothache, which he cured by {292} burning the ear;
and had also the honour of serving in the Troop of His Majesty’s Life

The following is the summary of his foundry as gathered from his
specimen book, together with the additional founts cut subsequently:―


     5-line, 4-line, 2-line Double Pica, 2-line Great Primer, 2-line
     English, 2-line Small Pica, 2-line Long Primer.

 _Roman and Italic._―
     Canon, 2-line Great Primer, 2-line English, Double Pica, Great
     Primer, English, Pica 1, Pica 2, Small Pica, Long Primer 1, Long
     Primer 2, Bourgeois, Brevier.

     Small Pica, 29 varieties.

     2-line English.

     Double Pica.


 _Large letter._―
     From 4-line up to 12-line.

Of the history of the Foundry during the nine years following Mr.
Cottrell’s death, no record remains. In 1794 it became the property
of Robert Thorne, a former apprentice of Cottrell’s, who removed the
business from Nevil’s Court to No. 1, Barbican, whence he issued in
that year his first specimen and a price list announcing his new

The specimen book consists entirely of elegantly shaped large letters
cast in sand, from five-line up to nineteen-line, a then unprecedented
size. The bulk of these, comprising the sizes from five to twelve-line,
advancing by one pica em in body, it may be surmised, are from
Cottrell’s models; the thirteen, sixteen, and nineteen-line, being
added by Thorne. For his specimen of ordinary-sized letter, Thorne
probably made use at first of Cottrell’s book as it stood.[599]

But it is evident by the specimen published four years later, in 1798,
that if he ever was possessed of the matrices of these founts, he
entirely discarded them, in conformity with the passing fashion, in
favour of others more closely resembling the beautiful faces of Jackson
and Figgins. His specimen of 1798 is indeed one of the most elegant of
which that famous decade can boast. For {293} lightness, grace, and
uniformity, the series of Romans and Italics which are exhibited excels
that of almost all his competitors. The book, which contains not a
single fount which had previously appeared in Cottrell’s book, consists
of forty-eight leaves, of which thirty are devoted to Roman and Italic,
and the remainder to Titlings, Shaded letters, and Flowers, with one
fount of Double-Pica Script. A postscript to the specimen states
that four more founts were nearly ready, completing the series, the
preparation of which had evidently been the labour of many years.[600]
It is therefore the more to be regretted, that Thorne, in common with
all his contemporaries, was compelled almost immediately, by the sudden
change of public taste in favour of the new style of Roman, to abandon
the further prosecution of this excellent series, and devote himself to
the production of founts according to “modern” fashion.

In 1801 a revised price list was issued announcing a rise in the price
of type owing to the advanced cost of raw material and journeymen’s
wages[601]; and in 1803 appeared the specimen of the new Roman series,
representing the product of five years’ incessant toil and sacrifice.
It cannot be said that this specimen of “Improved Types”[602]—one of
the first completed in the trade—bears any comparison with the artistic
elegance of its predecessor.

It exhibits the new Roman and Italic in ten, seven, and five-line
Pica, Canon, two-line Great Primer (two faces), two-line English (two
faces), Double Pica (two faces), Great Primer (two faces), English,
Pica, Long Primer (two faces), Bourgeois, Brevier, and Minion.
Ornamenteds—two-line Pica (two faces), two-line Small Pica (two faces).
Shadeds—two-line Small Pica (two faces), two-line Nonpareil (three
faces). Script—Double Pica.

Thorne, indeed, having once abandoned the old style for the new,
appears in the van of the innovating fashion. Not sharing in the regret
expressed by his brethren in the art at the new departure, he still
further advanced upon it by the production of some exceedingly thick
and fat (and we may add unsightly) jobbing letters, which, though
subsequently followed and even exceeded by others, were at the time
unique for boldness and deformity. {294}

In Oriental and “learned” letters he appears to have achieved nothing;
as not a single fount, not even Cottrell’s Domesday, appears in this
specimen, or in the subsequent inventory of the Foundry.

A curious document entitled _Rules and Regulations of the
Letter-Foundry of Robert Thorne, London, Jan. 1806_, exists, and gives
an interesting glimpse into the order and customs of the Barbican
Foundry. To the general scope of these rules we have referred in
another place[603]; but as being personal to Thorne in his relations
with his men, we may mention here that he constituted himself Treasurer
of the fines for “Footale,” imposed by the men on all new workmen, with
an obligation to account for and distribute the sum every Christmas
Eve, and also made himself liable, equally with his men, to a fine of a
shilling if he left his light burning when quitting the Foundry for the

For some time (though the exact dates cannot be fixed), Mr. Thorne
had a partner in Mr. Hugh Hughes, an able engraver and designer of
music and other characters, who afterwards commenced a foundry in Dean
Street, Fetter Lane.[604] This association does not appear to have
lasted long, or to have involved any alteration in the style of the

About the year 1810 Mr. Thorne removed from Barbican to Fann Street,
Aldersgate,[605] where, in premises formerly occupied by a brewery, he
continued his business under the name, which it still bears, of the
Fann Street Foundry.

Considerable additions were made to the faces of the Foundry during the
next ten years. Two new Scripts were cut, the “Sanspareil” matrices
were adopted for the large letters, and a few new book founts appeared
with light faces, which contrasted agreeably with the fat style
generally predominating in Thorne’s specimens.

In 1817, declining health induced Mr. Thorne to attempt to dispose of
his business to his fellow-founders; but his offer being declined, he
resumed his labours and continued actively at work until the time of
his death, which occurred in 1820, at the age of sixty-six. He was
buried in Holloway Churchyard, where a tablet is erected to his memory.

No complete specimen of his type remains later than that of 1803;
although the numerous loose sheets which appeared after that date, and
the fact that as many as 132 pages of composed specimens were left in
type at the time of his death, show that one, if not several books had
been issued during the interval. {295}

On June 21st, 1820, the Foundry was put up to auction,[606] and
purchased entire by Mr. William Thorowgood.

This gentleman was previously unconnected with the typographical
profession,[607] having been engaged as London manager and agent to
a Patent Roller Pump business at Stone, in Staffordshire, of which
concern he was one of the principal proprietors.

With the proceeds, it is said, of a fortunate draw in one of the State
Lotteries,[608] he became possessor of the Fann Street Foundry, and
proceeded at once to throw himself into the new business with great
energy and no small success.

His first specimen book, issued in January 1821, a few months after
the purchase, may be taken as representing the contents of the Foundry
pretty much as Thorne left it; although even in this short space
of time some additions are apparent, which formed no part of his
predecessor’s stock.[609] {296}

In the following year Mr. Thorowgood was sworn Letter-Founder to His
Majesty, and put forth a specimen of a Greek fount of good cut, which,
at the time, was the sole representative of the “learned” languages
in his Foundry. Further progress was, however, made in this direction
during the next few years; as Hansard, writing in 1825, mentions three
sizes of German, two of Greek, one of Hebrew, and four of Russian, as
forming part of his stock. The Germans, and the Pica and Bourgeois
Russian, were procured from the Foundry of Breitkopf and Härtel of

A new specimen book was issued in 1828. In the same year, the
retirement of Dr. Fry presented Mr. Thorowgood with the opportunity of
making a most important addition to his business by the acquisition of
the Type Street Foundry. This purchase transferred to the Fann Street
Foundry not only the whole of Dr. Fry’s interesting collection of
oriental and “learned” founts, which included many relics of the old
foundries, but augmented his stock of book founts, Blacks, Titlings,
and Flowers, to almost double their former extent.

The transfer was completed in 1829, and early in the following year a
specimen of additions to the Foundry contained an announcement that
“a new edition of the Greeks, Hebrews, and foreign characters of the
Polyglot Foundry, late the property of Dr. Fry, is in preparation.”

This promised specimen duly appeared in 1830, the sheets still bearing
Dr. Fry’s imprint; and after this date frequent supplementary specimens
marked the development of the business of this now extensive foundry.

As the scope of this history does not extend beyond the period now
reached, it will suffice to state that about 1838, Mr. Thorowgood
admitted into partnership Mr. Robert Besley, who, since the year 1826,
had been in the service of the Foundry as traveller and in other
capacities. The firm then became known as Thorowgood and Co., or
more commonly Thorowgood and Besley. This partnership ceasing by the
withdrawal of Mr. Thorowgood in 1849, Mr. Benjamin Fox, a practical
punch cutter of much talent, joined Mr. Besley as Robert Besley and Co.
On the retirement of Alderman Besley in 1861, Mr. (afterwards, Sir)
Charles Reed, a printer, entered the business, which took the style
of Reed and Fox. Mr. Fox died in 1877, when the firm became Sir {297}
Charles Reed and Sons. Sir Charles Reed died in 1881, and the business
is now in the hands of his two sons.


     No date. A specimen by Thomas Cottrell. (1760?) Broadside. . . . .
     (Sohmian Coll. Stockholm.)

     No date. A specimen of Printing Types by Thomas Cottrell, Letter
     Founder, in Nevil’s Court, Fetter Lane, London. (1766?) 8vo.
     . . . . (T.B.R.)

     1770. A specimen of Cottrell’s Engrossing, Flowers, and Domesday
     Letters. 8vo. . . . . (Luckombe’s _History of Printing_, pp.

     No date. A specimen of Large Letters by Thomas Cottrell, in
     Nevil’s Court, Fetter Lane, London. (1785?) 2 sheets, Broadside.
     . . . . (Sohmian Coll. Stockholm.)

     1794. Specimen of Printing Types by R. Thorne, Letter Founder,
     No. 11, Barbican, London. Printed by W. Glindon, 1794. Sm. 4to.
     . . . . (T.B.R.)

     1798. Specimen of Printing Types by R. Thorne, Letter Founder,
     Barbican, London, Printed in the year 1798. Sm. 4to. . . . . (Ox.
     Univ. Pr.)

     1803. Thorne’s Specimen of Printing Types, 1803. 8vo. . . . .

     1821. Thorowgood’s New Specimen of Printing Types, late R.
     Thorne’s, No. 2, Fann Street, Aldersgate Street, London. 8vo.
     . . . . (T.B.R.)

     1822. A specimen sheet of Greek Type, W. Thorowgood, June, 1822.
     8vo. . . . . (T.B.R.)

     1828. Thorowgood’s, late Thorne’s, Specimen of Printing Types,
     1828. 8vo. . . . . (T.B.R.)

     1830. Additions to the Specimen of the Fann Street Letter Foundry,
     W. Thorowgood, Letter Founder to His Majesty, London, 1830. 8vo.
     . . . . (Caxt. Cel. 4418.)

     1830. Fann Street Letter Foundry, London. Thorowgood’s Specimens
     of Greeks, Hebrews, and Foreign Characters, late the property of
     Dr. Edmund Fry. 1830. 8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel. 4413.)






This foundry, first known as Fry and Pine’s, had its origin in Bristol
in the year 1764.

Mr. Joseph Fry, a prominent and enterprising Bristolian, was the son
of Mr. John Fry, and was born in the year 1728. He entered the medical
profession, where, says a biographer,[611] “his affable, courteous
manners and sound Christian principles soon secured to him a large
practice amongst the highest class of his fellow citizens. Possessing
uncommon energy and activity of mind, he was led to take a part in many
new scientific undertakings, actuated more by the desire to be useful
to society and advance the arts than by any hope of individual profit.”

This spirit of enterprise induced him, in the year 1764, to turn his
attention to letter-founding, which, though hardly to be called a new
scientific undertaking, was at least a novel industry for a provincial
city. The success of Baskerville’s foundry at Birmingham, at that time
in the height of its celebrity, was undoubtedly an incentive to the
adventurers of Bristol, whose first founts were avowedly cut in close
imitation of those famous models.

[Illustration: 73A. Joseph Fry and Dr. Edmund Fry. From Silhouettes in
the possession of Francis Fry, Esq., of Bristol.]

William Pine, Mr. Fry’s partner, was a practical printer of some note
in his native city. He was the first printer of the _Bristol Gazette_,
and carried on a considerable business at his premises in Wine
Street. The new foundry was {299} attached to his office, and its
productions may be traced in several works which issued from his press
between the years 1764 and 1770.[612] Messrs. Fry and Pine’s manager
was one Isaac Moore, who (Rowe Mores informs us) was originally an
ingenious whitesmith of Birmingham before he removed to Bristol. The
practical superintendence of the foundry, if not the actual cutting
of its punches, devolved on him; and his services appear to have been
acknowledged by his admission into the partnership at an early stage of
the undertaking, the business being carried on in his name.

Renouard mentions a _Specimen by Isaac Moore, Bristol_, in 1768,
of which he possessed a copy mounted on linen,[613] and which he
describes as displaying “caractères assez bien gravés, et imitant
ceux de Baskerville.” If this was, as it would appear from the title,
issued at Bristol, we must conclude that the removal of the foundry
to the metropolis took place in the same year, as there exists in the
Sohmian Collection at Stockholm, where it was recently discovered by
Mr. W. Blades, a broadside _Specimen by Isaac Moore and Co. in Queen
Street, near Upper Moorfields, London_, showing the Roman series from
five-line to Brevier, bearing the same date. Whether the two specimens
are the same or not, it is hardly likely that their contents could
have varied much during the brief interval. Two years later, however,
the progress of the undertaking was announced by the issue of a fresh
broadside sheet containing the complete series of Romans, cut after the
Baskerville models, from eight-line to Pearl, with Italics to most of
the founts, besides a fair display of flowers. The general appearance
of the letters is elegant, especially in the larger sizes.

Appended to the specimen, in the form of a postscript, is the following
address to the public (the first of a series of florid effusions which
characterised the specimens of this foundry), in which the proprietors
announce the principles on which their venture is to be conducted,
and refer with satisfaction to the success already achieved by their

      “The Proprietors of the above Foundery having nearly compleated
     all the Roman and Italic Founts, desire with great Deference, to
     lay this Specimen before the Trade; and intreat the Curious and
     critical, before any decisive Judgement be passed, on the Merits
     or Demerits of the Performance, to make a minute Examination
     and Comparison of the respective letters and founts of each
     Size, with the same Letters and Founts of the most respectable
     Founders in the Kingdom; For as all Letters, whether Roman or
     Italic, bear a great Similitude to each other, to apprehend the
     peculiar Beauty or Deformity of them are only to be discovered
     by such a Comparison. In making {300} which they hope the
     Candid and Judicious will set aside the Influence of Custom and
     Prejudice (those Great Barriers against Improvement) and attend
     to Propriety, Elegance and Mathematical Proportion. And as these
     have been objects particularly attended to in the Course of the
     Work, they apprehend it will appear on such a Disquisition, that
     all the above sizes bear a greater Likeness to each other, than
     those of any other Founder. They have been already favoured with
     the Encouragement and Approbation of several very respectable
     printers, who have wrought off many large Editions on their
     Founts, which have been Experienced to wear extremely well; owing
     to the Letter being clearly and deeply cut and to the Goodness of
     the Metal, which they make of an Extraordinary Composition; the
     Singular Advantage of which cannot but be obvious. Therefore hope
     that others will likewise make Trial of them, as they doubt not
     but they also will find it greatly to their Satisfaction.”[614]

It is doubtful whether the encouragement accorded to the new foundry on
its first establishment in the metropolis came up to the expectations
of the proprietors; and a circular issued shortly afterwards by two
of the partners, suggests that some fillip was deemed necessary to
awaken a more extended patronage of the concern. This curious document
is entitled _Proposals for discovering a very great Improvement which
William Pine, printer of Bristol, and Isaac Moore, Letter Founder,
in Queen Street, Upper Moorfields, London, have made in the Art of
Printing, both in the Construction of the Press and in the Manner of
Beating and Pulling_, and publicly offers the secret of the invention
(the precise nature of which is not apparent) to any customer of the
new foundry ordering type to the value of ten pounds and upwards.[615]

How far this ingenuous offer had the effect of stimulating the type
business is not recorded; but the proprietors were forced before long
to recognise the desirability of adopting other and surer methods for
gaining the popular favour.

Although Luckombe, writing in 1770,[616] mentions Moore along with
Caslon and Jackson, as one of the three London founders, the same
authority makes a decidedly disparaging reference to his types[617]; a
circumstance which may be accounted for by the then growing prejudice
amongst metropolitan printers against the Baskerville form of letter
adopted by the new foundry.

Representations of a similar nature having been made from several
influential quarters, it became evident to the proprietors that if
they were to retain public favour at all, it must be by adapting
themselves to public taste, and abandoning the formal, delicate models
of Baskerville for the more serviceable, dashing characters of Caslon.

This laborious task occupied several years in completion. Meanwhile the
original founts were not discarded.

The printing office connected with the foundry distinguished itself in
the interval by the production of two highly interesting _Bibles_, the
one a folio, published in 1774, and the other an 8vo, in five volumes,
published 1774–6.[618] Both are elegantly printed in the clear Great
Primer letter shown in the 1770 Specimen; the latter being in long
lines specially for the use of the aged. The general appearance of the
folio edition compares not unfavourably with the Baskerville _Bible_ of

In 1774, Pine printed at Bristol a very neat _Bible_ in the Pearl type
of the foundry, “being”, says the preface, “the smallest a Bible was
ever printed with, and made on purpose for this work.”[619] {302}

Moore’s connection with the business appears to have terminated in
1776, after which the style of the firm became J. Fry and Co., who in
the following year issued, in their own name, reprints of the folio
and octavo _Bibles_ above referred to.[620] No specimen-sheet of their
types appeared till seven years later, by which time Mr. Pine had also
withdrawn from the business.[621] He continued to print the _Bristol
Gazette_ in Wine Street, Bristol, till the time of his death, which
occurred in 1803, at the age of sixty-four years.

Left to himself, Mr. Fry, in the year 1782, admitted his sons Edmund
and Henry into partnership, under whose supervision the work of
re-cutting the Romans of the foundry made active progress.

Edmund Fry, probably the most learned letter-founder of his day, had,
like his father, been educated for the medical profession, and had
taken his doctor’s degree. But the infirmity of deafness prevented him
from following that walk in life, and he abandoned it for typefounding,
applying himself to that pursuit, not only with the enthusiasm of an
ardent philologist, but also with considerable natural ability for
conducting the practical operations of the art.

The year of his entry into the business (1782) was signalised by an
important event in the typefounding world—the sale of James’s foundry.
This event has been fully alluded to elsewhere,[622] but it is
interesting to note that the Frys were considerable purchasers on the
occasion, securing amongst other items the chief part of the “learned”
and foreign matrices, for which that collection was noted.

The following list of their purchases forms an interesting connecting
link between the old and the new letter-foundries; particularly as
either punches or matrices of all the founts (and in some cases both)
still exist, many of the latter being to this day in occasional use:―

     English                         [A.]
     Pica                            [A.]
     Small Pica                      [A.]
     Long Primer                     [A.]
     Brevier                         [G.]
     Nonpareil                       [G.]

     English                         [A?]
     Small Pica
     Long Primer (or Bourgeois)

 _Rabbinical Hebrew._―
     Small Pica                      [A.]
     Brevier                         [A.]
     Nonpareil                       [A.]

     Alexandrian                     [G.]
     Great Primer                    [G.]
     Another                         [R?]
     Pica                            [R?]

     Great Primer                    [A?]

     Small Pica                 [M.] [A.]

     English                    [P.] [A.]

     English                    [P.] [G.]
     Long Primer

     Pica                            [G.]
     English                         [G.]

 _Union Pearl._―
     Double Pica                     [G.]

 _Court Hand._―
     English                         [G.]

 _Flowers._—Nearly all

The business was shortly afterwards removed to Worship Street, hard by
the old premises; and here, in 1785, the first specimen-book of the
foundry was issued. This volume exhibits the greater part of the new
Caslon series of Romans, which the proprietors in their “Advertisement”
frankly admit to have been cut in the closest possible imitation of
that ingenious artist’s models.[624] It includes also two pages of
Hebrew type. Later in the same year appeared a large broadside sheet
printed both sides, containing an epitome of the specimen-book, and
displaying, besides the Arabic, Hebrews, Greek and Samaritan {304}
recently acquired at James’s sale,one or two fresh Hebrew founts
lately finished. Considerable variety is thrown into this and later
specimens by showing each size not only on its own body, but upon the
bodies next larger and next smaller,—short descending sorts being
specially cut for the latter. The broadside also includes a Diamond
Roman, the first in England, for which the founders claim that it is
“the smallest letter in the world,” adding subsequently that it “gets
in considerably more than the famous Dutch Diamond.”

[Illustration: 74. The Alexandrian Greek (formerly Grover’s),
rejustified by Dr. Fry, 1786. (From the original matrices.)

74A. Two-line Great Primer Hebrew, cut by Dr. Fry, _circa_ 1785. (From
the original matrices.)]

Another Specimen followed in 1786, showing several more of the new
founts, and including seven pages of Orientals. This volume is
dedicated to the Prince of Wales, and is prefaced by an address to
the public of the usual self-laudatory character, with a somewhat
aggressive reference to the rival foundry at Chiswell Street.[625]

In the following year Mr. Joseph Fry retired from the business.
Besides founding a chocolate business in his native city, and becoming
a considerable {305} partner in the new Bristol Porcelain Works,
he had added to his other enterprises that of a Chemical Works at
Battersea, and later still had established some important Soap Works in
partnership with Mr. Alderman Fripp of Bristol.

He did not long survive his retirement, and died, after a few days’
illness, on March 29, 1787, aged fifty-nine, greatly respected. He
was buried in the Friends’ burial-ground at the Friars, Bristol. A
silhouette portrait of him is to be seen in Mr. Hugh Owen’s _Two
Centuries of Ceramic Art in Bristol_, where also many interesting
details of his life are to be found.[626]

In 1787 was issued a _Specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry and
Co._—the first mention of the firm under its new title. This was
followed in the next year by a full specimen of the foundry, with
a preface and dedication similar to those of the 1786 edition, but
showing several fresh additions, particularly among the Orientals,
which occupy twelve pages. Of the latter, several founts had been cut
by Dr. Fry himself.

The specimen of 1787 was included in the _Printer’s Grammar_[627]
published in that year—a work which makes considerable reference
to the Frys’ foundry, whose specimens and standards are used in
illustration of the various subjects dealt with. The introductory note
to the specimen gives the following account of the then condition of
the foundry. It “was begun in 1764 and has been continued with great
perseverance and assiduity, at a very considerable expence. The plan
on which they first sat out, was an improvement of the Types of the
late Mr. Baskerville of Birmingham, eminent for his ingenuity in his
line, as also for his curious Printing, many proofs of which are extant
and much admired: But the shape of Mr. Caslon’s Type has since been
copied by them with such accuracy as not to be distinguished from
those of that celebrated Founder. They have at present Twenty-seven
complete Founts in punches and matrices of Roman and Italic, besides
many sizes of larger Letter cast in Sand; also an elegant assortment of
Blacks, with Hebrews and Greeks, and many other Orientals: They have
also a greater variety of Flowers than are to be met with in any other
Foundery in this Kingdom.”

The premises at Worship Street becoming inadequate for the type and
printing business combined, Dr. Fry took a plot of ground opposite
Bunhill Fields in Chiswell Street—then open fields—and there built
the foundry which gave its name to Type Street. To these premises the
business was removed in 1788; and the Specimen of that year dates from
the Type Street Foundry. {306}

Among many elegant works printed at this time in the types of this
foundry was the Rev. Mr. Homer’s fine edition of the classics,[628]
printed by Millar Ritchie,[629] in which the somewhat rare compliment
was paid the founder, of adding his name to the list of typographers
engaged on the work.

The printing business was about the same time dissociated from the
type-founding, and remained at Worship Street under the management of
Henry Fry, who styled his office the “Cicero Press.”[630]

In the year 1794 Dr. Fry took Mr. Isaac Steele into partnership, and
the specimen of this year, under the title of Edmund Fry and Isaac
Steele, Letter-Founders to the Prince of Wales, shows a marked advance
on its predecessors. Besides the additional Romans, it includes
the Irish fount originally cut by Moxon in 1680, and is further
supplemented by a considerable display of “Metal Cast Ornaments,
curiously adjusted to paper”, of which a specimen had already appeared
in the preceding year. Rude as many of these cuts now appear, they were
much affected at the time, while a few of their number bear evident
testimony to the wholesome revolution then being effected in the art of
engraving by Mr. Bewick. A distinct improvement in the same direction
may be traced in the series of “Head and Fable Cuts” for _Dilworth’s
Spelling Book_, a specimen of which was issued shortly afterwards.[631]

In 1798 Dr. Fry put forth proposals for publishing the important
philological work on which he had for sixteen years been engaged,
and which, in the following year, was issued under the title of
_Pantographia_, with a dedication to Sir Joseph Banks, President of the
Royal Society. {307}

This important work,[632] which displays great learning and research,
was favourably received. It exhibits upwards of 200 alphabets, amongst
which are 18 varieties of the Chaldee and no less than 39 of the Greek.
Many of the letters were cut by the author expressly for the work,
under the direction or with the advice of some of the most eminent
scholars of the day, and not a few subsequently found a place among the
specimens of the foundry.

In 1799 Mr. George Knowles was admitted into partnership, and the firm
became Fry, Steele and Co.

A new revolution in the public taste necessitated at this stage the
abandonment of the Caslon Old Style faces, and the adoption of the
modern cut Roman letter then coming into vogue; and the specimens
between 1800 and 1808 are interesting as marking the gradual
accomplishment of this task. The specimen of 1803 showed the first of
the new Romans, and in 1808 Stower’s _Printer’s Grammar_ contained the
series almost complete.[633]

The new style may have been considered an improvement at the time, but
a later judgment has endorsed the regret with which Dr. Fry and others
witnessed the then entire abandonment of the time-honoured and graceful
Elzevir-cut characters of the first Caslon.

Naturally conservative in most matters pertaining to his art, Dr. Fry
viewed with the utmost displeasure another innovation of the same
period, in the introduction of ornamental type; and to the end of
his career he strenuously resisted the “pernicious fashion,” as he
styled it; yielding only to the extent of one small series of flowered
titling-letters, which crept into his later specimens. But, although
opposed to ornaments in this form, the Type Street specimens show no
lack of flowers, and Stower’s book includes a profuse specimen of these
ornaments, arranged in fantastic designs by Mr. Hazard, the printer, of

Both Mr. Steele and Mr. Knowles appear to have retired about the
year 1808, when Dr. Fry assumed the sole management of the business.
In the specimen of 1816 he styles himself Letter Founder to the King
and Prince {308} Regent. Soon afterwards, his own health failing, he
admitted his son, Mr. Windover Fry, into partnership, and the firm
became Edmund Fry and Son.

The subsequent specimens of the foundry are not marked by any special
feature of interest, if we except the introduction of M. Firmin Didot’s
Great Primer Script in 1821, containing upwards of sixty lower-case
sorts, in a system of ligatures and connectors so elaborate as to
necessitate the printing of a scheme to facilitate their composition,
and the manufacture of special cases to hold them.

Dr. Fry’s philological studies had not ceased with the publication of
_Pantographia_, and he was constantly adding to the stock of punches
and matrices of the “learned” languages, in which his foundry was
already rich. His excellence as a cutter of Oriental punches led to
his selection by the University of Cambridge[635] to execute several
founts for that learned body; in addition to which he was employed to
produce types for the works of the British and Foreign Bible Society,
and similar biblical publications.

His most important effort in this direction was an English Syriac for
Bagster’s _Polyglot_, with the points cast on the body, the entire
fount consisting of nearly 400 matrices.

The specimen of 1824, which was issued both in octavo and (more
sumptuously) in quarto, for presentation, signalised the completion
of his efforts in this department, and at the same time notified that
the name of the foundry had been changed—not inappropriately—to the
Polyglot Foundry.

It is to be regretted that Dr. Fry’s energy in one particular branch
of his art, congenial as it was to his own tastes, did not turn out
lucrative from a business point of view; and the last few years of his
career as a type-founder were not prosperous. His latest specimen was a
broadside sheet of Newspaper founts in 1827.

In the same year he produced a raised type for the blind, under the
following circumstances:—The Scotch Society of Arts, anxious to promote
the welfare of the blind, and desirous to determine, among the many
systems at that time proposed, which was the most suitable method of
printing for their instruction, offered a gold medal of the value of
£20 for the best communication on the subject. Twenty designs were sent
in in 1833, of which Dr. Fry’s was the only one retaining the ordinary
alphabetical characters. His specimen consisted of large and small
square “sanseriff” capitals working in combination, with no deviation
from the regular form. The committee occupied four years in arriving
at a decision; employing the time in corresponding with and eliciting
{309} the opinion of all the chief persons interested and experienced
in the education of the blind, in reference to the various designs.
Amongst others they received a long communication from the Rev. W.
Taylor of York, who commended Dr. Fry’s system, approving specially of
the absence of a “lower-case” letter.[636] The report was published May
31st, 1837, awarding the medal to Dr. Fry, who, however, was at that
time no more, his death having occurred two years previously.

The following summary of the contents of the Polyglot Foundry, as
far as its foreign and rare founts were concerned, is taken from the
Specimen Book of 1824, and corresponds closely to the list given in
Hansard’s _Typographia_ in the following year. With the exception of
the founts purchased at James’ sale in 1782 (which are distinguished
by the initials), most of the characters were cut by, or under the
direction of, Dr. Fry himself.


     Great Primer                          [J?]
     Great Primer, No. 2.


     English                       [P.][A.][J.]
     English, No. 2.
     Pica.                                 [J.]

     Long Primer.

     Double Pica.
     Great Primer.
     Pica, No. 2.
     Small Pica.
     Long Primer.
     Long Primer, No. 2.

 _Greek Alexandrian._―
     Pica.                             [G.][J.]

     Great Primer.
     Long Primer.

     2-line Great Primer.
     2-line English.
     Double Pica with points.
     English with points.
     Small Pica.
     Long Primer.

 _Hebrew Rabbinical._―
     Small Pica    [A.][J.]
     Brevier                           [A.][J.]
     Nonpareil.                        [A.][J.]

     Small Pica                    [M.][A.][J.]
     Small Pica, No. 2.


     Double Pica.

     Pica                          [P.][G.][J.]
     Long Primer                           [J.]

     Double Pica.
     Great Primer.
     Small Pica.
     Long Primer.
     Brevier. {310}

     Long Primer.

     Large Plein Chant.
     Small Plein Chant.

     2-line Great Primer.
     2-line English.
     Double Pica.
     Great Primer.
     English, No. 1.                   [A.][J.]
     English, No. 2.
     Pica, No. 1.
     Pica, No. 2.                      [A.][J.]
     Small Pica.
     Long Primer.                      [A.][J.]

In 1828, being now of an advanced age, and after 46 years’ incessant
labour, Dr. Fry decided to dispose of his foundry; and a circular was
issued announcing the fact to the public. This document, throwing as
it does considerable light on the history of the Type Street Foundry,
is interesting enough to quote at length. After enumerating generally
the contents of the foundry and stating the conditions of sale, Dr. Fry

     “The Substructure of this Establishment was laid about the year
     1764; commencing with improved imitations of Baskerville’s founts,
     of which every size was completed, from the largest down to the
     Diamond: but they did not meet the encouraging approbation of the
     Printers, whose offices generally, throughout the kingdom, were
     stored from the London and Glasgow Founderies with Types of the
     form introduced by the celebrated William Caslon, early in the
     last century; chiefly from the admired Dutch models, which gained
     so much credit to the Elzevirs of Amsterdam, Leyden, &c.

     “By the recommendation, therefore, of several of the most
     respectable Printers of the Metropolis, Doctor Fry, the
     proprietor, commenced his imitation of the Chiswell Street
     Foundery, which he successfully finished throughout all it’s
     various sizes, at a vast expense, and with very satisfactory
     encouragement, during the completion of it. At which period a
     rude, pernicious, and most unclassical innovating System was
     commenced, which, in a short time was followed by the most
     injurious and desolating ravages on the property of every
     Letter Founder and Printer in the kingdom, by the introduction
     of fancy letters of various anomalous forms, with names as
     appropriate—disgraceful in a Profession, once held so _Sacred_,
     as to have it’s operations confined to consecrated Buildings, and
     those of the highest class.

     “The Baskerville and Caslon imitations, all completed with
     Accents, Fractions, &c., were, in consequence of this revolution,
     laid by for ever; and many thousand pounds weight of new letter
     in Founts, estimated on the average at selling prices, at 2_s._
     6_d._ per pound, were taken from the shelves, and carried to the
     melting-pot to be recast into Types, no doubt, in many instances,
     more beautiful; but no instance has occurred to the attentive
     observation of the Proprietor of this Foundery, where any Founts
     of book letter on the present system, have been found equal in
     service, or {311} really so agreeable to the reader, as the
     true _Caslon_-shaped Elzevir Types; and this is the undisguised
     sentiment of many judicious Printers.

     “When that eminent Printer, the late William Bowyer, gave
     instructions to Joseph Jackson to cut his beautiful Pica Greek, he
     used to say “Those in common use were no more Greek than they were
     English.” Were he now living, it is likely he would not have any
     reason to alter that opinion.

     “The Greeks of this Foundery were many of them made in Type
     Street, copied from those of the celebrated Foulis of Glasgow; and
     there are two, a Pica, and a Long Primer, on the Porsonian plan.
     The Codex Alexandrinus was purchased at James’ Sale in 1782.[638]

     “The Hebrews were also chiefly cut by Dr. Fry, subject to the
     direction and approbation of the most learned Hebraists.

     “The two Arabics,[639] Great Primer and English, were cut from
     the original drawings of, and under the personal direction of Dr.
     Wilkins, Oriental Librarian to the East India Company; and have no
     rival either in beauty or correctness.

     “The Syriac[640] has been made within the last two years, with all
     it’s vowel points, reduced to an English body, from the Double
     Pica of the eminent Assemann’s edition of Ludolph’s Testament.

     “The English, No. 1, and Pica Ethiopics—the Pica and Long Primer
     Samaritans, were purchased at James’s sale. The other Orientals,
     viz. two Malabarics—the Amharic—Ethiopic, No. 3, and Guzerattee,
     were all cut at this Foundery. As was the fine collection of
     Blacks, or pointed Gothics, except the English, No. 1,—Pica,
     No. 2,—Long Primer, No. 1,—and Brevier, which were collected by
     the late John James. There is good authority for believing that
     this Pica Black, No. 2, was once the property of {312} William
     Caxton[641]; Doctor Fry having recut for a reprint of a work
     published by the celebrated man, all the contractions and accented
     letters exhibited in the Specimen Book.

     “The Occidentals, as termed by Moxon, Mores, and others, viz. the
     Saxons, Hibernians,[642] German, and Russian, were also produced
     at this Foundery. As were the two Plein Chants, and the Psalm

     “The Great Primer Script, which, it must be acknowledged, is the
     _Ne plus ultra_ of every effort of the Letter Founder in imitation
     of writing, was made for the Proprietor by the celebrated Firmin
     Didot, at Paris; the Matrices are of Steel, and the impressions
     from the Punches sunk in _inlaid Silver !_[643]

     “In taking leave of a Profession, which has for many years
     engaged his whole attention, the Proprietor begs to convey,
     through this channel, the high sense of obligation he hopes to
     retain during his life, for the great encouragement with which
     he has been favoured for so long a period; as well as for the
     generous assistance and advice of many of his learned Friends, in
     the _getting up_, and accurate completion of various undertakings.
     It is also with much gratification, that he can look back and
     recall to recollection, that he has carefully followed their
     advices, in not admitting into {313} his Foundery any article
     degrading or disgraceful, or unbecoming the dignity of that Art,
     which deserves to be looked up to and revered as the ‘Head of the
     republic of letters:’—claiming Permission to recommend to his
     Successor and Contemporaries, the steady pursuit of that plan
     which will secure the reputation of the _once Sacred_ Profession,
     and restore to it the honourable Character it obtained several
     Centuries ago, of


     “_Polyglot Letter Foundery, 2nd month 14th, 1828._”

The foundry met with a purchaser in Mr. William Thorowgood, of Fann
Street, to whose premises the entire stock was removed in 1829, where
it now forms part of the Fann Street Foundry.

Dr. Fry retired to his residence at Stratford Green, and subsequently
removed to Dalby Terrace, City Road, where he died Dec. 22, 1835.[644]

He was an old Member of the Stationers’ Company. In private life he was
a man of genial disposition. A portrait of him, painted by Frederique
Boileau, was exhibited in the Caxton Exhibition of 1877 by his son, the
late Arthur Fry, and an excellent silhouette is also in possession of
the family of the late Mr. Francis Fry, F.S.A., of Bristol, to whom we
are indebted for our copy.


     1768. A specimen by Isaac Moore, Bristol, 1768. Broadside. . . . .
     (Renouard, _Cat._ ii, 310.)

     1768. A specimen of Printing Types by Isaac Moore & Co., Letter
     Founders, in Queen Street, near Upper Moorfields, London, 1768.
     Broadside. . . . . (Sohmian Coll., Stockholm.)

     1770. A specimen of Printing Types by Isaac Moore & Co., Letter
     Founders, of Queen Street, near Upper Moorfields, London, 1770.
     Broadside. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4371.)

     1785. A specimen of Printing Types made by Joseph Fry and Sons,
     Letter Founders and Marking Instrument Makers by the King’s Royal
     Letters Patent. London, Printed in the year 1785. 8vo. . . . . (B.
     M., 679, e. 16.)

     1785. A specimen of Printing Types by Joseph Fry & Sons, Letter
     Founders, Worship Street, Moorfields, London, 1785. Broadside.
     . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1786. A specimen of Printing Types by Joseph Fry & Sons, Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales. London, Printed in the year 1786.
     8vo. . . . . (W. B.)

     1787. A specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry & Co., 1787. 8vo.
     . . . . (_Printer’s Grammar_, pp. 273–316.)

     1788. A specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry & Co., Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales. London, Printed in the year 1788.
     8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1790. A specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry & Co., Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales. London, Printed in the year 1790.
     8vo. . . . . (Sohmian Coll., Stockholm.) {314}

     1793. Specimen of Metal Cast Ornaments, curiously adjusted to
     Paper by Edmund Fry & Co., Letter Founders to the Prince of Wales,
     Type Street, London. Printed by T. Rickaby, 1793. 8vo. . . . .
     (Amer. Antiq. Soc.)

     1794. A specimen of Printing Types by Fry & Steele, Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales, Type Street, London. Printed by
     T. Rickaby, 1794. 8vo. . . . . (B. M., 11899, i. 18.)

     1794. Specimen of Metal Cast Ornaments, curiously adjusted to
     paper by Edmund Fry and Isaac Steele, Letter Founders to the
     Prince of Wales, Type Street, London. Printed by T. Rickaby, 1794.
     8vo. . . . . (W. B.)

     1795. A specimen of Printing Types by Fry & Steele, Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales, Type Street, London. Printed by
     T. Rickaby, 1795. 8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1800. A specimen of Printing Types by Fry, Steele and Co., Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales, Type Street, London. Printed in
     the year 1800. 8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

                          Reprinted 1801 and 1803.

     1805. A specimen of Printing Types by Fry & Steele, Letter
     Founders to the Prince of Wales, Type Street, London. Printed in
     the year 1805. 8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1805. Specimen of Metal Cast Ornaments, curiously adjusted to
     paper by Fry and Steele, Letter Founders to the Prince of Wales,
     Type Street, London. Printed in the year 1805. 8vo. . . . . (W. B.)

     No date. Specimen sheet of Head and Fable Cuts for Dilworth’s
     Spelling Book, cast on hard metal, and curiously adjusted to paper
     on the best Turkey Box, by Fry and Steele, Letter Founders, Type
     Street, London. Price £4 4_s._ (1805?). Broadside. . . . . (Caxt.
     Cel., 4386.)

     1808. Specimens of Modern Cut Printing Types from the Foundry of
     Messrs. Fry and Steele; together with a Specimen of Flowers. 1808.
     8vo. . . . . (Stower’s _Printer’s Grammar_.)

     1816. A specimen of Printing Types by Edmund Fry, Letter Founder
     to the King and Prince Regent, Type Street, London, 1816. 8vo.
     . . . . (B. M., 11899, h. 11.)

     1820. Specimen of Modern Printing Types by Edmund Fry and Son,
     Letter Founders to the King, Type Street, London, 1820. 8vo.
     . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1824. Specimen of Modern Printing Types by Edmund Fry, Letter
     Founder to the King (Polyglot Foundry), Type Street, London. 1824.
     4to. and 8vo. . . . . (B. M., 11899, h. 12.)

     1825. A specimen of Diamond, by Edmund Fry, March 1825. 8vo.
     . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1827. Fry’s Newspaper Specimen, Type Street, 1827. Broadside.
     . . . . (J. F.)






Joseph Jackson, apprentice to Caslon I, was born in Old Street, London,
on Sept. 4, 1733. He was the first child baptised in St. Luke’s, and
received his education at a school in that neighbourhood, the gift of
a Mr. Fuller. During the term of his service at Chiswell Street, he
was, says Nichols,[645] exceedingly tractable in the common branches
of the business. Rowe Mores states that he was an “apprentice to the
whole art,”[646] but this term evidently does not comprehend the most
important branch of that art, namely the cutting of punches. This
was kept a profound secret at Chiswell Street, Mr. Caslon and his
son constantly locking themselves into the apartment in which they
practised it. Jackson, who had a great desire to learn the mystery,
bored a hole through the wainscot, and was thus, at different times,
able to watch his employers through the process, and to form some idea
how the whole was performed; and he afterwards applied himself at every
opportunity to the finishing of a punch. “When he had completed one to
his own mind, he presented it to his master, expecting to be rewarded
for his ingenuity: but the premium he received was a hard blow, with a
threat that he should be sent to Bridewell if he again made a similar
attempt. This circumstance being taken in dudgeon, his mother bought
him what tools were necessary, and he improved himself at her house
whenever he had an opportunity.” {316}

“He continued,” adds Nichols, “to work for Mr. Caslon after he came out
of his time,[647] till a quarrel arose in the foundery about the price
of work; and a memorial, which terminated in favour of the workmen,
being sent to the elder Caslon (who was then in the Commission of
the Peace, and had retired to Bethnal Green), young Jackson and Mr.
Cottrell were discharged, as supposed ringleaders.

“Compelled thus to seek employment, they united their slender stock in
a partnership, and went on prosperously till, Jackson’s mother dying,
he entered in 1759, on board the “Minerva” frigate, as armourer; and
in May 1761 was removed, with Capt. Alexander Hood, into the same
situation in the “Aurora”; and proved somewhat successful, having about
£40 prize money to receive at the Peace of 1763. During the time he was
at sea, he was visited by a severe fit of sickness, in which he vowed,
if he recovered, to lead in future a very penitent life; which promise
he punctually fulfilled.”

Quitting the navy, he returned to London and rejoined once more his old
comrade and partner, now a fully-established type-founder in Nevil’s
Court, Fetter Lane. He worked for some time under Cottrell, but at
length, at the instigation, it would appear, of two of his fellow
workmen, Robinson and Hickson (who shared with Cottrell the distinction
of serving as privates in the Life Guards), he determined to set up in
business for himself.

The necessary capital for the new concern was found by Robinson and
Hickson, who agreed to allow Jackson, as his salary for conducting the
business under the partnership, the sum of £62 8s. per annum, and to
supply money for carrying on the trade for two years.

A small house in Cock Lane was taken for the purpose, and such was the
modest beginning of this famous foundry.

The hazardous adventure succeeded, thanks to the genius of Jackson,
who was able soon to satisfy his partners that the business would be
productive before the time promised.

“When he had pursued his labours about six months, Mr. Bowyer
accidentally calling to inspect some of his punches (for he had no
specimen), approved them so much, that he promised to employ him;
adding, ‘My father was the means of old Mr. Caslon riding in his coach,
how do you know but I may be the means of your doing the same?’

[Illustration: 75. From _Nichols’ Literary Anecdotes_.]

“A short time after this, he put out a small specimen of one fount;
which his former young master carried to Bethnal Green with an air
of contempt. The good old justice treated it otherwise; and desired
his son ‘to take it home and {317} preserve it; and whenever he went
to cutting again to look well at it.’ It is but justice to the third
William Caslon to add that he always acknowledged the abilities of
Mr. Jackson; and though rivals in an art which requires the greatest
exertions of ingenuity, they lived in habits of reciprocal friendship.”

It is much to be regretted that no copy of Jackson’s first specimen
sheet (which we may assume to have been issued about 1665) is now to be

Business increasing, he removed from Cock Lane to more commodious
premises in Dorset Street, Salisbury Square, Fleet Street, and here his
foundry and reputation made rapid advances.

“About the year 1771”, Nichols relates, “he was applied to by the
Duke of Norfolk to make a mould to cast a hollow square. Telling the
Duke that he thought this was practicable, his Grace observed that he
had applied to all the skilful mechanicks in London, Mr. Caslon not
excepted, who declared it impossible. He soon convinced the Duke of his
abilities, and in the course of three months, producing what his Grace
had been years in search of, was ever after held in great estimation by
the Duke, who considered him as the first mechanick in the kingdom.”

In 1773, it would appear that Jackson issued a further specimen of his
now increasing foundry. Of this performance Rowe Mores makes flattering
mention in presenting his summary of the contents of the foundry as it
stood in that year:―

“Mr. Jackson,” he says, “lives in Salisbury Court in Fleet Street.
He is obliging and communicative, and his Specimen will, _adjuvante
numine_, have place amongst the literate specimens of English letter
cutters. The prognostics are these:―



     Double Pica.


     (or Modern Sanskrit), a corruption of the older characters of the
     Hindoos, the ancient inhabitants of Bengal.


     English, Long Primer, Brevier.

 _Roman and Italic._―
     _sicut et reliqui._


     2-line Great Primer.

     Double Pica, nearly finished.

“He has likewise Proscription letters beginning at 12-line Pica, the
same with those of Mr. Cottrell, the first who cut letters of this

With regard to the Bengalee letter, Rowe Mores states that this was
cut by Jackson “for Mr. William Bolts, Judge of the Mayor’s Court of
Calcutta, for a work in which he had been engaged at the time of his
sudden departure from England about 1774.”[648] {318}

The work here referred to was the _Grammar of the Bengal Language_,
projected by the East India Company as part of a scheme for the
dissemination of a knowledge of the Indian Languages in Europe. It
appears, however, that although Mr. Bolts was supposed to be in every
way competent for the fabrication of this intricate character, his
models, as copied by Jackson, failed to give satisfaction, and the
work was for the time abandoned;[649] to be revived and executed some
few years later in a more masterly and accurate manner by Mr. Charles
Wilkins,[650] then in the service of the East India Company in Bengal,
{319} who with an extraordinary combination of talents, succeeded, by
the work of his own hand, in designing, engraving, casting and printing
the _Grammar_ published at Hoogly in 1778.

Mr. Bolts’ failure in this particular reflects no discredit on
Jackson, who faithfully reproduced the models given him, and who
displayed his talent in the same direction shortly after by the
production of a fount of Deva Nagari, cut under the direction of
Captain William Kirkpatrick, of the East India Service, and Persian
Secretary to the Commander-in-Chief for India, for the purpose of
printing a _Grammar and Dictionary_ in that language.

Of this fount a specimen remains—the only specimen extant, we believe,
bearing Jackson’s name. It is a broadside, displaying in table form
the alphabet and combinations of the Sanscrit, and exhibits no small
delicacy of workmanship, not only in the Oriental character itself, but
in the few lines of Roman letter composing the title. There is no date
to the specimen.

Captain Kirkpatrick’s _Dictionary_ was never completed. One part only
appeared in 1785,[651] containing the Glossary of the Arabic and
Persian words incorporated with the Hindu, and in this no Nagari is
used. All the remaining parts of the work, as first projected, depended
on the new type; but as they never appeared, the object for which the
fount was cut was lost.

The next important undertaking which engaged Jackson’s talents was
one of national interest. The House of Lords had, in the year 1767,
determined upon printing the Journals and Parliamentary records, “a
work, which,” says {320} Nichols, “will ever reflect honour on the
good taste and munificence of the present reign” (George III). Jackson
had been employed to cut several varieties of letter for this work;
and he was now called upon to assist in a further outcome of the same
good taste and munificence, in the production of type for the splendid
facsimile of the _Domesday Book_, begun in 1773. This important work
was projected and carried through by Dr. Nichols himself, and a brief
account of the circumstances under which it saw the light may be
interesting and not out of place here.

The Lords, it appears, being petitioned to sanction the printing of
the _Domesday Book_, the most important of the Anglo-Saxon records,
as a matter of national importance, referred, through the Treasury
Board, to the Society of Antiquaries as to the mode in which it should
be published, whether by printing-types, or by having a copy of the
manuscript engraved in facsimile. By the examination of several
eminent printers, it was learned that according to the first plan
very many unavoidable errors would occur; a tracing of the record
was then proposed, to be transferred to copper plates. An estimate
of the expense of this was next ordered by the Treasury Board, which
amounted to £20,000 for the printing and engraving of 1250 copies,
each containing 1664 plates; but this sum, however proportionate, was
considered too large, and the first plan was again reverted to.

It was then proposed by the learned Dr. Morton that a fount of
facsimile types should be cut under his superintendence. This
undertaking, however, failed, and Dr. Morton received £500 for doing
little or nothing, and nearly £200 more for types that were of no use.
The founder to whom Dr. Morton applied was Thomas Cottrell, a specimen
of whose unsuccessful fount appeared shortly afterwards in Luckombe’s
_History of Printing_, 1770.

Dr. Morton’s plan being abandoned, on account of the difficulty of
producing in type letters which, in the manuscript, were constantly
differing in their forms, the work was entrusted to Mr. Abraham Farley,
F.R.S., a gentleman of great Record learning, and who had had access to
the ancient MSS. for upwards of forty years. His knowledge, however,
did not induce him to differ from his original in a single instance,
even when he found an apparent error; he preserved in his transcript
every interlineation and contraction, and his copy was ultimately
placed in Mr. Nichols’ hands. Jackson was then employed to cut the
types, and successfully accomplished the difficult undertaking.[652]
The work occupied ten {321} years in printing, and appeared in 1783,
in two folio volumes.[653] The type was destroyed in the fire which
consumed the printing-office of Mr. Nichols in 1808, previous to which,
however, it was used in Kelham’s Introduction and Glossary to the
_Domesday Book_ in 1788.[654]

It was Jackson’s success, no doubt, in his facsimile letter for the
_Domesday Book_, which led to his selection shortly afterwards by
Mr. Nichols to cut the type for Dr. Woide’s[655] facsimile of the
New Testament of the _Alexandrian Codex_ in the British Museum. To
the history of this priceless relic reference has been made once or
twice in the course of this work.[656] Only one attempt had previously
been made to reproduce its character in type,—that of Dr. Patrick
Young, in 1643, within a few years of the arrival of the manuscript
in this country. In this letter was printed a specimen containing
the first chapter of Genesis. But the project was abandoned, and
the matrices, there is reason to believe, subsequently passed into
Grover’s Foundry, and afterwards, through James, into the possession
of Dr. Fry in 1782.[657] That Mr. Nichols was acquainted with their
existence in 1778 is almost certain, since they are mentioned in Rowe
Mores’ _Dissertation_, which he himself edited and annotated. But
not being sufficiently exact for the purpose, and, at the same time,
it being decided that the facsimile should be produced through the
medium of type in preference to other process,[658] Mr. Jackson was
fixed on to cut a new set of punches from the transcript made by Dr.
Woide’s own hand. To this task he proved fully equal, and the work
issued from Mr. Nichols’ press in 1786[659]—a splendid folio edition,
worthy alike of {322} its subject and the artists who produced it. The
unusual compliment was, in this instance, paid to the letter-founder
of mentioning his name on the title-page as the author of the types
employed in the work.

The matrices were afterwards deposited in the British Museum, and
were again brought into requisition when, in 1812, Mr. Baber produced
his facsimile of the _Psalms_[660] from the Alexandrian MS., and
afterwards, in 1816–21, at the press of Messrs. R. and A. Taylor,
completed the entire _Old Testament_.[661] Thus concluded this great
enterprise, which has been justly characterised by the Abbé Jager as
“_opus plane aureum_.”

Jackson having now become famous for his skill in this particular
branch of his art, was called upon shortly before his death to
execute a work of scarcely less importance than the facsimile of the
Alexandrian Greek. This was to cut the punches for Dr. Kipling’s
facsimile of the celebrated _Codex Bezæ_ preserved at the University
of Cambridge. The character of this MS. differs considerably from
that of the Alexandrine; and, being less regular in its execution,
the difficulty of reproducing it in type is proportionately greater.
Jackson, however, accomplished his task faithfully and with marked
success. Unhappily his death in 1792 prevented him from seeing in
print the fruit of his labours, as the work did not appear till the
following year, when it was published at Cambridge in two beautiful
folio volumes,[662]—a work which, says its reviewer, “reflects honour
on the University of Cambridge, and its editor, and, we may add, on
the late excellent letter-founder, Mr. Jackson, who cut the types
for this handsome book, as well as for the Alexandrine MS. and for

Jackson’s reputation was not by any means wholly dependent on his
skill in expressing in type the character of ancient and difficult

During the time he was occupied in the works above described, he
made several useful additions to his foundry. Amongst others, he cut
a beautiful {323} fount of Pica Greek for Mr. Bowyer, “who,” says
Nichols,[664] “used to say that the types in common use were no more
Greek than they were English.”

“He had also, under the direction of Joseph Steele, the ingenious
author of _Prosodia Rationalis_,[665] augmented the number of musical
notes by such as represent the emphasis and cadence of prose.” This
curious work, designed to show how the recitation of Garrick and other
eminent speakers might be transmitted to posterity in score, was
printed by Nichols in 1779, being an amplified edition of a treatise
published four years previously,[666] in which Jackson’s “expression
symbols” were made use of.

The most important work of his later years was undoubtedly the splendid
fount of 2-line English Roman, cut for Mr. Bensley, about the year
1789, for Macklin’s _Bible_.[667] As in the case of the Bezæ _Gospels_,
he did not live to see the completion of his labours in the publication
of this grand edition, which did not appear till some years after his
death, and then in a type not wholly his own, but supplemented, in
close facsimile, by a fount cut by his former apprentice and manager,
Vincent Figgins.[668] Jackson’s grand letter is justly counted among
his greatest achievements, exhibiting, as Nichols observes, a pattern
of the most perfect symmetry to which the art had at that time

A crowning monument to the skill of this excellent artist is Robert
Bowyer’s sumptuous edition of Hume’s _History of England_, printed
by Bensley[670] in 1806, in a Double Pica type, on which Jackson was
engaged at the time of his death. On the execution of this fount
he appears to have staked his reputation; “Mr. Jackson,“ says his
biographer in the _Gentleman’s Magazine_,[671]” had been engaged to cut
the letter for the projected edition of Hume’s _History of England_,
which he declared should ‘be the most exquisite performance of the
kind in this or any other country.’ And accordingly he had, in a great
degree, accomplished his purpose, but his anxiety and application were
so intense that his health suffered and he fell a victim to the great
undertaking.” {324}

This circumstance was made the occasion of a curious and affecting
Elegy, of which we will venture to inflict a specimen on the reader,
not on account of its merit, but as being a rare instance of a
letter-founder becoming the object of a poetical tribute:―

 “Patrons of merit, heave the sadden’d sigh !
  Ye brilliant dewdrops, hang on Beauty’s eye !
  Let heavy hearts beat with the tolling bell,
  And mourn the fatal hour when _Jackson_ fell !
  His were the gifts the Gods alone impart―
  A _tow’ring genius_ and a _tender heart_ !
  A greatness equalled only by his skill―
  A goodness greater than his greatness still;
  An ardent zeal each purpose to _obtain_,
  Which Virtue and the Arts might entertain.
  But Fate in jealous fury snatched him hence
  The moment he accomplished excellence !
  _Tenax propositi_—his art he tried,
  Achieved perfection—and achieving died !” etc.

Although anxiety and overwork may have contributed to Jackson’s death,
the immediate cause was a severe attack of scarlet-fever, which carried
him off on January 14th, 1792, in the 59th year of his age. The last
few years of his life had been considerably troubled. In 1790 his
foundry was destroyed by a fire, in which his moulds and matrices were
seriously damaged. The shock of this calamity affected both his health
and his energy, and the management of his business was, during his
later years, left almost entirely in the hands of his trusted servant,
Mr. Vincent Figgins. The foundry was rebuilt, and the damaged materials
were, as far as possible (though not wholly), replaced at the time of
his death.

Mr. Jackson was twice married—first to Miss Elizabeth Tassell,
originally a whinster in Spitalfields, “a very worthy woman,” says
Nichols, “and an excellent wife, who greatly contributed by her
care and industry to his getting forward in his first entering into
business” She died in 1783, and, in the following year, Mr. Jackson
married Mrs. Pasham, widow of a well-known printer in Blackfriars,[672]
a union which materially assisted him in the means of carrying on his
{325} business. This lady died in 1791, her husband surviving his
bereavement only a few months. He was buried in the same grave with his
two wives in the ground of Spa Fields Chapel.

Of Jackson’s private character his contemporaries concur in speaking
very highly. “By the death of this ingenious artist and truly worthy
man,” says Nichols, “the poor lost a most excellent benefactor, his own
immediate connexions a steady friend, and the literary world a valuable
coadjutor in their labours.” He was a deacon at the Meeting-House in
Barbican, where a funeral sermon was preached by the Rev. Mr. Towers,
who also delivered a “neat funeral oration,” at the grave. He died
possessed of some considerable property. There is an oil portrait
of him in the possession of Mr. Blades, and an engraved portrait in
Nichols’ _Literary Anecdotes_, from which our copy is taken.

It is unfortunately impossible to ascertain in what condition his
foundry was left at the time of his death—how far it had recovered from
the consequences of the fire, or how far that calamity had destroyed,
beyond replacing, any of its contents.

It was offered for sale in 1792, and Mr. Figgins, the presumptive
successor to the business, not finding himself in a position to
become its purchaser, it was acquired by William Caslon III, who had
recently disposed of his share in the Chiswell Street Foundry, over
whose affairs he had for some years been presiding.[673] He removed
the Foundry from Dorset Street to Finsbury Square, where for a few
years it remained located; but presently transferred it back to its old
quarters, leaving the house in Finsbury Square to be converted by James
Lackington, the celebrated bookseller, into the “Temple of the Muses,”
one of the largest and most popular old book-shops of the day.

In the hands of Mr. Caslon, Jackson’s foundry was greatly enlarged
and improved. The specimen of 1798, dedicated to the King, exhibits
19 pages of Titlings and open letters, 1 of Ornamental, 35 of Roman
and Italic, 8 of foreign letter and Blacks, 1 of Script, 5 of sundry
specimens, and 12 of Flowers.”[674]

The book has many features in common with the Chiswell Street specimen
of 1785, many of the founts in which re-appear here. Indeed, it would
seem that on relinquishing his share in the parental business, William
Caslon III had provided himself with duplicate matrices of several of
the Chiswell Street founts, {326} particularly of the Foreign and
Oriental letters, which figure prominently in this and subsequent
specimens of the Salisbury Square Foundry.

Bound with the book is a specimen of Cast Ornaments, a species of a
typographical embellishment which Caslon III had had the merit of
introducing into this country in 1784, while still at Chiswell Street.
In this particular too, the Salisbury Square specimen is a reproduction
of that of the Chiswell Street house.

About the year 1803 Mr. Caslon took his son, the fourth William
Caslon, into partnership, and the firm became W. Caslon & Son. The
specimen of this year exhibits a slight increase on that of 1798,
the chief additions being in the modern-faced Romans, then becoming
fashionable. The learned and Oriental founts remain unaltered from the
1798 specimen, and as this is the last specimen of the foundry in which
these occupy a prominent place, it will be convenient to give the list

     Double Pica, Great Primer, English, English new, Pica, Small Pica,
     Long Primer, Brevier, Nonpareil.

     2-line Great Primer, 2-line English, Double Pica, Great Primer,
     ditto with points, English, ditto with points, Pica, ditto with
     points, Small Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     English, Long Primer.




     English, Pica, Brevier.

     2-line Great Primer, Double Pica, Great Primer, English 1, English
     2, Pica 1, Pica 2, Small Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

The whole of these founts, with the exception of the new English Greek,
are identical with those shown in the Chiswell Street Specimen of 1785.

The Specimen Book of 1803 appears to have served the foundry for
several years; as copies exist in which the date is altered by hand to
1807, and the name of the firm changed from “W. Caslon & Son” to “W.
Caslon, Junior.”

This last alteration was consequent on the retirement of William Caslon
III from the business in 1807. Although this gentleman’s connection
with type founding ceases here,[675] we cannot refrain from quoting the
few sentences in which Mr. Hansard, in 1825, describes his personal
character, while the subject of his notice was yet living:―

[Illustration: 76. From _Hansard_.]

“If his friends had not yet the pleasure of occasionally receiving his
lively salutations—of enjoying the gay and gentlemanlike converse,
the whim, the anecdote, and the agreeable bagatelle of William Caslon
aforesaid, I might be induced to amplify on these points . . . The
mention, however, of one thing must not be omitted. Some years ago he
was deprived of sight by the {327} formation of a cataract in each eye;
still his musical ear furnished the faculty of distinguishing persons
whom he knew by their voices; and his cheerful spirits enabled him to
sustain the calamity with a becoming temper of mind. At length, his
courage, in undergoing the operation of couching three several times,
was rewarded with the perfect restoration of his sight; and his friends
again experience the delight of hearing him truly say, ‘Ah! I’m happy
to see you, by ——.’ But although ever ready with anecdote and whim to
enliven, still more to his honour as a man, may it be added, that he
can at once turn the cheerful smile into serious solicitations, for
the assistance of a decayed old friend, his orphan, or his widow.” Mr.
Caslon died in 1833. The portrait here given is taken from that in
Hansard’s _Typographia_.

William Caslon IV, being left in sole possession of the foundry,
made considerable progress in extending the business, especially by
the addition of the new fashioned fat-faced types, at that period so
largely affected. His chief improvement, however, was the introduction
in 1810 of the Sanspareil matrices for large letters.[676] This
invention, which Hansard somewhat extravagantly describes as the
greatest improvement in the art of letter-founding that has taken place
in modern times, consisted in the substitution of pierced, or rather
built-up matrices, in place of the old sand moulds hitherto in use, and
it rapidly secured favour in the trade, and was as early as possible
adopted by the other founders.

In 1812, Mr. Caslon also took out a patent for a new form of type
for imposing on a cylinder, of a size from 1/3 to 1/7th that of
ordinary type, and cast wedge-shaped, or larger at the end containing
the face than at the foot; an attempt which reflected more credit on
the ingenuity of its author than upon his practical judgment, and which
was not proceeded with.[677]

Although no complete specimen book of Caslon IV has occurred to our
notice of a later date than that of 1807 (which is itself the 1803
book altered by pen and ink), the numerous sheets appearing from time
to time, and collected in the first specimen of his successors, prove
that one or more specimens of the foundry must have appeared during the

In 1819, Mr. Caslon, Junr. disposed of his foundry to Messrs. Blake,
Garnett & Co., of Sheffield, to which town the entire stock was removed.

After his retirement from type-founding, he devoted himself actively
to the {328} scheme for lighting London with coal-gas. For some of his
appliances in connection with this business—the sliding water-joints
for pendants and chandeliers amongst others—he received the medal
of the Society of Arts (his only reward, for he did not patent his
invention). In 1832 he went to reside at Henley, and ten years later
was afflicted with total blindness, an operation for cataract having
proved unsuccessful. In this state he continued for twenty-seven years,
“tired,” as he said, “of having been so long in the dark,” but serene
in temper, and his mind illuminated with Christian hope. He taught
himself to read the embossed printing for the blind, and was able to
write by the aid of a simple apparatus constructed for that purpose. He
lived, in spite of his affliction, to a cheerful old age, and died in
1869, aged 88. He left no son.

To estimate the complete revolution which had taken place in the
productions of this foundry during the interval between 1807 and 1819,
it is only necessary to glance through the first specimen book of
the new proprietors, issued in the latter year, which may be taken
to represent the state of the foundry pretty nearly as it was at the
time of its transfer to Sheffield. There is not a single fount in the
one book which reappears in the other. The modern fat-face Romans and
Egyptians[678] take the place of Jackson’s elegant old-style letters.
The Orientals have completely disappeared, and the general appearance
of the book reflects as much as any specimen of the period the
prevalent taste of a so-called improved art.

It was, apparently, highly esteemed in its day. “Mr. Caslon,” says
Hansard, writing only six years after the event, “transferred to the
Sheffield founders such a specimen of type and flowers as will ever
cause us printers to regret the loss of such a competitor for fame in
this difficult business.”

Messrs. Blake, Garnett & Co., a firm formed for the special purpose
of acquiring the type business, issued their first specimen, above
referred to, very shortly after the transfer of the business to its new
quarters. Their prefatory note is interesting, not only as recording
the transaction, but as intimating that the Oriental and Foreign
founts, which had formed so conspicuous a feature of the previous
specimens of the foundry, had also found their way to Sheffield:―

     “Blake, Garnett and Co. beg leave respectfully to inform the trade
     that they have purchased the whole of Mr. Caslon’s Foundery,
     which, in addition to the Specimens here offered to their
     inspection, contains founts of Greek, Hebrew, Syriac, Arabic,
     Saxon, German, etc. from Brevier to Double Pica, chiefly modern,
     also every kind of Accented letters, . . . . . . and a variety of
     other Sorts, of which Specimens are not yet printed.” {329}

The activity of the new proprietors resulted in a rapid increase in
the extent and business of the foundry. Supplementary specimens were
frequently issued between 1820 and 1830, when the style of the firm
became Blake and Stephenson. Mr. Stephenson was a man of great energy,
practical skill and artistic taste, and it is to his exertions that the
rapidly-achieved eminence of the house was chiefly due. In 1841, the
firm took its present style of Stephenson, Blake & Co. Mr. Stephenson
directed the operations of the Sheffield foundry until 1860, when the
management devolved on his son, Mr. Henry Stephenson, in whose hands it
still remains.


     No date. Jackson’s first Specimen of one fount. 1765? (Referred to
     by Nichols, _Lit. Anec._, ii, 360.) . . . . (_Lost._)

     1783. Jackson’s second Specimen (described by Mores, _Dissert._,
     p. 83.) . . . . (_Lost._)

     No date. Specimen of the Deo Nagri or Hindvi Type, cut for the
     purpose of printing a Grammar and Dictionary of that Language
     under the Direction of William Kirkpatrick, Captain in the Service
     of the Honourable East India Company, and Persian Secretary to the
     Commander in Chief in India. By Joseph Jackson, Letter Founder,
     Salisbury Court, Fleet Street. 1784? Broadside. . . . . (J. F.)

     1798. A Specimen of Printing Types by William Caslon, Letter
     Founder to the King, Salisbury Square, London. 1798. 8vo. . . . .
     (W. B.)

     1798. A Specimen of Cast Ornaments by William Caslon, Letter
     Founder to the King. London. Printed by C. Whittingham. 1798. 8vo.
     . . . . (W. B.)

     1803. A Specimen of Printing Types by W. Caslon and Son, Letter
     Founders to the King. London. Printed by C. Whittingham, Dean
     Street, Fetter Lane. 1803. 8vo. . . . . (Caslon.)

     1807. The above Specimen, with additions, and title, altered from
     “W. Caslon and Son, 1803,” to “W. Caslon, junr., 1807.” . . . .

     No date. A Specimen of Printing Types, etc., by Blake, Garnett and
     Co. (successors to Mr. W. Caslon, of London), Letter Founders,
     Sheffield. (1819.) 8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

     1826. Supplement to Blake, Garnett and Co.’s Specimen, 1826. 8vo.
     . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4405.)

     1827. Specimen of Printing Types by Blake, Garnett and Co.
     (successors to Mr. W. Caslon of London), Letter Founders, Allen
     Street, Sheffield. 1827. 8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4406.)

     1827–8. Supplements to Blake, Garnett and Co.’s Specimen, 1827 and
     1828. 8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4408.)

     1830. Select Specimen of Printing Types by Blake and Stephenson,
     Sheffield. 1830. 8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4414.)

     1831. Specimen of Printing Types by Blake and Stephenson
     (successors to Mr. W. Caslon of London), Letter Founders,
     Sheffield. 1831. 8vo. . . . . (S. B. & Co.)





William Martin was brother to Robert Martin,[679] Baskerville’s
apprentice and successor. He appears to have acquired his first
knowledge of the art at the Birmingham foundry, and about the year
1786 to have come to London and entered into the service of Mr. George
Nicol,[680] as a punch cutter. Mr. Nicol was at that time engaged in
maturing his plans for the production of a magnificent edition of
_Shakespeare_, and kept Martin at his own house “to cut sets of types
after approved models in imitation of the sharp and fine letter used by
the French and Italian printers.”

On the establishment of the famous “Shakespeare Press,”[681] by Messrs.
{331} Boydell and Nicol, in 1790, at Cleveland Row, St. James’s, with
William Bulmer as presiding genius, Martin was established in premises
hard by, in Duke Street; his foundry being a sort of private foundry in
connection with the Press. Here it was that he produced the founts in
which the magnificent works, issued during the next twenty years from
Bulmer’s Press, were printed.

The appearance of the first part of the _Shakespeare_[682] in 1791
at once established the fame of the printer and his types; and the
completion of the work, in nine volumes, in 1810, may be regarded as
marking an epoch in British typography. “No work of equal magnitude”,
says the enthusiastic Dibdin, “ever presented such complete accuracy
and uniform excellence of execution. There is scarcely one perceptible
shade of variation from the first page of the first volume, to the
last page of the work, either in the colour of the ink, the hue of the
paper, or the clearness and sharpness of the types.”[683]

The _Milton_,[684] which followed, is considered a still finer specimen
of typography. The enthusiasm animating all concerned in the new
undertaking was remarkable, and attracted universal attention. “The
nation,” says Dibdin, “appeared to be not less struck than astonished;
and our venerable monarch, George III, felt anxious not only to give
such a magnificent establishment every degree of royal support, but,
infected with the matrix and puncheon mania, he had even contemplated
the creation of a royal printing office within the walls of his own
palace.” One of the King’s great ambitions was for England to rival
Parma in the productions of Bodoni,[685] and Dibdin alludes to a story
current at the time of “his majesty being completely and joyfully taken
in, by bestowing upon the efforts of Mr. Bulmer’s press that eulogy
which he had supposed was due exclusively to Bodoni’s”.[686]

In the advertisement of his edition of the _Poems of Goldsmith
and Parnell_,[687] printed in 1795 and dedicated to the Messrs.
Boydell and Nicol, the founders of the Shakespeare Press, Bulmer
thus bears testimony to the talents of those who had contributed
to the performance:—“The present volume, in addition to {332} the
_Shakespeare_, the _Milton_, and many other valuable works of elegance
which have already been given to the world through the medium of the
Shakespeare Press, are (_sic_) particularly meant to combine the
various beauties of printing, type founding, engraving, and paper
making; as well as with a view to ascertain the near approach to
perfection which those arts have attained to (in) this country, as to
invite a fair competition with the typographical productions of other
nations. How far the different artists who have contributed their
exertions to this great object have succeeded in the attempt, the
public will now be fully able to judge.”

In all these encomiums, Martin claims a share; and, regarded simply
as type specimens, the productions of the Shakespeare Press justify
his reputation as a worthy disciple of his great master Baskerville.
His Roman and Italic types were cut in decided imitation of the famous
Birmingham models; although Hansard points out with disapproval that in
certain particulars he attempted unwisely to vary the design. “As to
the type”, he says, “the modern artist, Mr. Martin, has made an effort
to cut the ceriphs and hair strokes excessively sharp and fine; the
long ſ is discarded, and some trifling changes are introduced; but the
letter does not stand so true or well in line as Baskerville’s, and, as
to the Italic, the Birmingham artist will be found to far excel.”[688]

The Shakespeare Press, along with all the other presses of the land,
had to bow before the revolution which in the closing years of last
century swept aside the beautiful old-face Roman, and set up in its
stead the modern character; and Hansard’s strictures above-quoted
doubtless refer to Martin’s endeavour, while adhering to the
Baskerville form as his model, to modify it so as to conform to the new
fashion. We are among those who deplore the change thus inaugurated;
but at the same time it must be admitted that Martin succeeded as well
in the new departure as any of his contemporaries.

Nor did he confine himself to Roman and Italic. He produced several
founts of Greeks and Orientals, which eventually came to form the most
valuable part of his collection.[689] His Greek character, however,
like the Greeks attempted by Baskerville and Bodoni, was not a success;
and the otherwise beautiful edition of _Musæus_, printed in 1797,[690]
and bearing on the title-page his name as the cutter of the type, is
marred by the cramped and inelegant effect of that character. {333}

Although Martin’s foundry was entirely supported by, and, indeed,
belonged to, the Shakespeare Press, he appears occasionally to have
supplied his types to outsiders—amongst others to McCreery, the author
of the well-known poem on the _Press_, and himself a very elegant
printer. _The Press_,[691] was printed in 1803 from Martin’s type,
as a specimen of typography, and in his preface the author pays the
following tribute to that artist’s abilities:—“The extraordinary
efforts which have of late years been made to produce the finest models
of Printing Types, must be highly gratifying to those who have in any
measure interested themselves in raising the credit of the British
Press. The spirit for this species of beauty has long been gaining
an ascendancy, having received a strong impulse from the talents of
Baskerville, who endeavoured to combine sharpness and perfection of
impression with graceful types, giving to his works a finish which was
before unknown in this kingdom. Mr. Martin, whose abilities are so
conspicuously displayed in the productions of the Shakespeare Press, is
a pupil of that celebrated school. By the liberality of George Nicol,
Esq., I am enabled to boast of being the first who has participated
with Mr. Bulmer in the use of these types, a mark of kindness for which
my warmest acknowledgements are the least recompense he has a right to
expect.” Several of the other productions of McCreery’s press were also
printed from Martin’s type.

Among the finest specimens of the Shakespeare Press printed in Bulmer’s
time, the three great bibliographical works of Dibdin, viz., the
_Typographical Antiquities_,[692] the _Bibliotheca Spenceriana_,[693]
and the _Bibliographical Decameron_,[694] will always take a foremost
place. Martin, whose Roman type rarely appeared to greater advantage,
unfortunately did not live to see the completion of the whole of these
typographical masterpieces, as he died in the summer of 1815. He was
buried in St. James’s Church, Westminster.

After his death, the foundry (of which unfortunately no specimen-book
exists), appears to have been continued for a short time by Mr. Bulmer,
who, {334} between 1815 and 1819, when he himself retired, produced
several fine works.[695]

Prior to that event—in 1817—Mr. Nichols states that the foundry was
united with that of the Caslons.[696] There is, however, reason for
supposing that some of the matrices were retained for the use of the
Shakespeare Press, and that others went into the market and were
secured by other founders.[697]

The Shakespeare Press, under the supervision of Mr. W. Nicol, continued
in active operation till 1855, when he retired, and his printing
materials were sold; thus closing one of the most memorable chapters in
the history of British typographical enterprise.






This excellent letter-founder was bound apprentice to Joseph Jackson
in the year 1782, at the age of 16, and remained in his service till
Jackson’s death in 1792. During the last three years of his master’s
life, as has been already said, the entire management of the foundry
devolved on him; and the experience and connection so acquired fully
qualified him to succeed to and increase the business to whose success
he had materially contributed.

Contrary to expectation, however, Vincent Figgins found himself, on
Jackson’s death, left in the position of an ordinary outsider; and not
being able or willing to pay the sum demanded, which was in excess of
what he conscientiously considered the concern to be worth, he failed
in succeeding to the foundry, which was purchased by William Caslon III.

Left thus to his own resources, Mr. Figgins was constrained to enter
on an independent undertaking. Encouraged by the advice of Mr. John
Nichols, (who, as the intimate friend of Jackson, had had many
opportunities of observing the character and talent of his apprentice),
he determined to rear a foundry in his own name. “A large order,” says
Hansard, “for two founts, Great Primer and Pica, of each 2,000 lbs—even
before he had printed a single specimen—gave the young adventurer the
best heart to proceed; neither did his liberal patron suffer him to
want the sinews of trade as long as such assistance was required.”
Writing to Mr. Nichols, fifteen years afterwards, in reference to a
passage in {336} the _Literary Anecdotes_, Mr. Figgins thus gracefully
acknowledged the generosity which befriended him at the beginning of
his career:―

     “I am greatly obliged to you for the very flattering mention of
     my name, but you have not done yourself the justice to record
     your own kindness to me: that, on Mr. Jackson’s death, finding I
     had not the means to purchase the foundry, you encouraged me to
     make a beginning. You gave me large orders and assisted me with
     the means of executing them; and during a long and difficult
     struggle in pecuniary matters for fifteen years, you, my dear
     Sir, never refused me your assistance, without which I must have
     given it up. Do mention this—that, as the first Mr. Bowyer was
     the means of establishing Mr. Caslon—his son, Mr. Jackson—it may
     be known that Vincent Figgins owes his prosperity to Mr. Bowyer’s

Mr. Figgins established himself in Swan Yard, Holborn, and at the
outset of his undertaking an opportunity occurred which served as
largely as any other to establish his reputation as an excellent
artist. This was the completion of Macklin’s _Bible_, for which, as
has already been narrated, Mr. Jackson had, in 1789, cut the beautiful
2-line English Roman fount, in which the first part of the work is
printed. “When Mr. Bensley had proceeded some way in the work he wished
to renew the fount; but not choosing to purchase it of Mr. Caslon,
the then possessor of Jackson’s matrices, he applied to Mr. Figgins
to cut a fount to correspond with that he had begun upon. Mr. Figgins
undertook the task; and the fount, which was a perfect imitation of
the other, was put into use to begin _Deuteronomy_ about the year
1793.”[699] Of the excellence of this performance both as a facsimile
and as a work of art, a reference to the splendid _Bible_[700] itself
and the no less splendid edition of Thomson’s _Seasons_,[701] in which
the same type was used in 1797, is the most eloquent testimony. Mr.
Figgins received the honour of being named on the title-page of the
latter work, which still remains one of the finest achievements of
English typography.[702] His services were also employed in a similar
manner to complete the Double Pica fount for R. Bowyer’s edition of
_Hume_, which, it will be remembered, was in course of execution by
Jackson at the time of his death. The splendid types in which these
masterpieces of the typographic art were executed, established Mr.
Figgins at once in all the reputation he could desire. {337}

[Illustration: 77. Two-line English Roman cut by Vincent Figgins,
1792. (From the original matrices.)]

In 1792, he put forward a single-leaf specimen of the 2-line English
fount on its completion. In the following year, having added a
“long-bodied” English and a Pica, he issued his first Specimen Book.
This interesting document of five leaves (title, address, and three
specimens) was printed by Bensley, and contained the following
prefatory note, which will be read with interest as the first public
announcement of this Foundry:―

     “At a period when the Art of Printing has, perhaps, arrived to a
     degree of excellence hitherto unknown in the annals of literature,
     the improvement of Types will no doubt be generally considered
     an object worthy of attention. Vincent Figgins having had the
     advantage of ten years’ instruction and servitude under the late
     ingenious Mr. Joseph Jackson (great part of which time he had
     _the management of_ his Foundery), flatters himself he shall not
     be thought arrogant in soliciting the patronage of the Master
     Printers, and other Literary Gentlemen, when he has commenced an
     entire new Letter Foundery, every branch of which, with their
     support and encouragement, he hopes he shall be enabled to execute
     in the most accurate and satisfactory manner; assuring them that
     his best endeavours shall be exerted to complete so arduous an
     undertaking. Although as yet he has but few founts finished, he
     is anxious to submit a specimen for approbation. All orders he
     may be favoured with shall be duly attended to and punctually
     executed. . . The Italics of the following founts, with a Long
     Primer, Brevier and English, are in great forwardness—specimens of
     which shall be printed as soon as possible. _May 1793._”

One of the first public appearances of the English fount was in the
8vo edition of Milton’s _Paradise Lost_, begun in 1794 in monthly
parts, and published {338} by Parsons in 1796.[703] The announcement
accompanying Part I makes special reference to “a new and beautiful
Type cast on purpose for this work by Vincent Figgins.” The Italic of
this fount is specially elegant.

Mr. Figgins’ indefatigable industry enabled him to issue in the next
year an enlarged Specimen Book with the same title and address as
before, but containing twelve sheets of specimens, four of which were
dated 1794.

He met with further encouragement in his new undertaking by the
patronage of the Delegates of the Oxford Press, under whose direction
he completed a fount of Double Pica Greek, the progress of which had
been interrupted by the death of Mr. Jackson. In connection with
this circumstance, Mr. Vincent Figgins the younger, in the remarks
appended to his facsimile reprint of Caxton’s _Game of the Chesse_, has
preserved an anecdote, which it will be interesting to repeat here,
not only as having reference to Mr. Figgins’ early productions, but as
illustrating a curious phase of the mystery of type founding at that

“The mystery thrown over the operations of a Type foundry,” says Mr.
Vincent Figgins II in 1855, “within my own recollection (thirty-four
years), and the still greater secrecy which had existed in my father’s
experience, testifies that the art had been perpetuated by a kind
of Druidical or Masonic induction from the first. An anecdote of my
father’s early struggles may illustrate this. At the death of Mr.
Joseph Jackson, whom my father had served ten years as apprentice and
foreman, there was in progress for the University Press of Oxford a
new fount of Double Pica Greek, which had progressed under my father’s
entire management. The then delegates of that Press—the Rev. Dr.
Randolph and the Rev. W. Jackson—suggested that Mr. Figgins should
finish the fount himself. This, with other offers of support from those
who had previously known him, was the germ of his prosperity (which
was always gratefully acknowledged). But when he had undertaken this
work, the difficulty presented itself that he did not know where to
find the punch-cutter. No one knew his address; but he was supposed to
be a tall man, who came in a mysterious way occasionally, whose name
no one knew, but he went by the _sobriquet_ of ‘_The Black Man_.’ This
old gentleman, a very clever mechanic, lived to be a pensioner on my
father’s bounty—gratitude is, perhaps, the better word. I knew him, and
could never understand the origin of his _sobriquet_, unless Black was
meant for dark, mysterious, from the manner of his coming and going
from Mr. Jackson’s foundry.”

Shortly after the completion of the Greek fount, Mr. Figgins was called
upon {339} to execute a fount of Persian under the direction of the
eminent Orientalist, Sir William Ouseley.[704] This type was used in
Francis Gladwin’s _Persian Moonshee_[705] in 1801, and other works; and
was commended by Dr. Adam Clarke as a beautiful letter in the finest
form of the Nustaleek character.

About the same time, he cut a fount of English Télegú from a MS., for
the East India Company, in whose library, says Hansard, the “matrices
or moulds” were afterwards deposited. Of this fount he issued two
specimens about 1802, one a folio, the other a quarto; and about the
same time put forward a specimen of “Two-line letters” in the same form.

In the year 1800, Mr. Figgins was engaged by Messrs. Eyre and Strahan,
His Majesty’s Printers, to cut and cast an improved fount of Small Pica
Domesday; and, in 1805, a new Pica of the same character, expressly
for the purpose of printing the splendid and valuable publications
of the Commission of Enquiry into the State of the Records of the
Kingdom.[706] In the years 1807 and 1808, he was also employed by His
Majesty’s Printers in Scotland on three further {340} founts (Pica,
Long Primer, and Brevier) for the purpose of printing the Records of
that portion of the Empire.[707] This improved Domesday (a specimen of
which may be seen in Johnson’s _Typographia_), differs considerably
from that of Jackson, in which the _Domesday Book_ had been printed in
1783,[708] and became, subsequently, the uniform character adopted for
extracts from Domesday and other ancient Charters and Records quoted in
modern topographical works.

Mr. Figgins’ good fortune in the first results of his new business
was somewhat tempered by the fact that, within a few years of the
establishment of his foundry, the public taste with regard to the
ordinary Roman letter experienced a complete revolution, setting
aside the elegant models on which the punches of Jackson and his
contemporaries had been cut, in favour of the new fashion which came in
with the nineteenth century.

To accommodate himself to this fashion must have involved Mr. Figgins
in a considerable sacrifice of his early labour and industry, and the
circumstance may possibly account for the somewhat remarkable absence
of any specimen bearing his name for a lengthened period.

In the appendix to Stower’s _Printers’ Grammar_, 1808, which exhibits
the “modern faces” of Caslon and Fry, the compiler regrets not being
able to show specimens of the new cut types from Mr. Figgins’ foundry,
“but understands that in a few months Mr. F. will have fully completed
his specimens.”

These new founts appear in a specimen of 1815, a book which contains
24 pages of large letter from 16-line to 4-line; 35 pages of Roman
and Italic from French Canon to Pearl; together with Titlings, Black
Letter, and Flowers, and a few Orientals.

Two years later, Mr. Figgins put forward a specimen of Newspaper
founts, showing a series of eight sizes, on a broadside sheet,—the
first specimen of the kind, we believe, specially addressed to the
proprietors of the public press. The title of this sheet is printed
in the 5-line German Text, which Hansard describes as a typographical

Speaking of Mr. Figgins about 1812, Mr. Nichols remarks (in the passage
which called for the acknowledgment already quoted): “With an ample
portion of his kind instructor’s reputation, he inherits a considerable
share of his talents and industry, and has distinguished himself by the
many beautiful specimens he has produced, and particularly of Oriental
Types.”[709] {341}

The foundry had, in the year 1801, been removed from Swan Yard,
Holborn, to West Street, West Smithfield, where, besides the work of
completing the founts most commonly in use, several important and
interesting tasks of a special character had engaged Mr. Figgins’
attention. Among these may be mentioned the Small Pica Hebrew for
_Bagster’s Polyglot_,[710] in 1817, which had the distinction in its
day of being the smallest Hebrew with points in England. Dibdin, in
his _Bibliographical Decameron_ (ii, 408), while specially commending
the _Polyglot_, quotes a letter from Mr. Bagster in reference to the
Figgins Hebrew fount, which it will be interesting to repeat here.
Writing to Dibdin, Mr. Bagster remarks:

     “The difficulty to the compositor of the Hebrew with points far
     exceeds every other language. You are doubtless aware that every
     line is composed of three distinct lines; i.e., points and accents
     both above and below the line of letters. I wrote to the printer
     and letter founder to display these, and one of the letters (_that
     of Mr. Figgins which follows_) is enclosed as their accounts
     nearly agree. The difference between the fount with points, and
     that which is without them is very striking. The former requires
     25 points and accents and 136 mixed letters; whereas the latter
     has only 32 altogether and one stop—a difference between the
     founts of 132 characters—the first with points exceeding by so
     considerable a number, and some are so minute that one ounce is
     found to contain no less than 236.

     “When I embraced the design of this work, no suitable fount of
     Hebrew existed. It became therefore necessary to cut the steel
     punches and the brass (_sic_) matrices before the fount of letter
     could be cast; and thus our country is enriched by the _creation_
     of this new fount.

     “The Greek and Roman type I think will also be admired for the
     delicate neatness of their execution. The Hebrew and Greek types
     are of the neatest form, and the latter is that of Porson.” . . .

Mr. Figgins’ letter enclosed is as follows:―

     “The number of Hebrew matrices are 82; these are all first cast on
     a minion body, and 54 of them are again cast on a diamond body, to
     admit of marks and accents being put over them. The accents and
     points are 25 in number, of which there are, of the thinnest sort,
     about 240 to the ounce. The number of boxes required to contain
     the fount are:― {342}

 “Minion Hebrew                                    82
 Spaces (4), em and en quads (2), large quad (1)    7
 Diamond Hebrew                                    54
 Spaces same as Minion                              7
 Minikin accents and marks                         25
 Spaces, etc., same as Minion                       7

                                      “I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
 “West Street, London, 16th Oct., 1816.                     V. FIGGINS.”

The Syriac used in Bagster’s _Polyglot_[711] was not cut by Mr.
Figgins; but he had previously produced three sizes of this character,
viz.: a Double Pica, English, and Long Primer (two founts), under the
direction and partly at the expense of Dr. Claudius Buchanan, the
eminent Indian missionary and Orientalist, whose work on _Christian
Researches in Asia, with notices of translations of the Scriptures into
the Oriental Languages_, had been published at Cambridge, in 1811. At
the time of his death, in 1815, Dr. Buchanan was engaged in editing for
the British and Foreign Bible Society a Syriac _New Testament_, which
appeared in the following year, printed in Figgins’ type.[712]

The founts already specified—to which may be added a Small Pica
Irish, copied from the copper-plate engravings in Charles Vallancey’s
_Irish Grammar_, and some additional Greeks, cut under Porson’s
superintendence—constituted the chief features of Mr. Figgins’ foundry
in respect of the learned and foreign founts. With regard to its
progress in the characters of more general use, it will be sufficient
to quote Mr. Hansard’s note, written in 1825, and based doubtless on an
examination of the excellent, specimen of 1821, with its additions in
1822 and 1823:—“No foundry existing is better stocked with matrices for
those extraneous sorts which are cut more with a view to accommodation
than profit; such as astronomical, geometrical, algebraical, physical,
genealogical, and arithmetical sorts; and I feel it particularly
incumbent on me to add that, as his specimen bears equal rank with
any for the number and beauty of its founts, so he has strayed less
into the folly of fat-faced preposterous disproportions, than either
Thorne, Fry or Caslon. I consider his Five-line Pica German text a
typographical curiosity.”[713] {343}

The following is Hansard’s summary of the foreign and learned founts
contained in this foundry in 1825:―


     Pica, Small Pica.

 _German Text (Ornamental)._―
     Five-line Pica.

     Great Primer, English, Pica, Small Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     English with points, Pica, Small Pica, Ditto with points.[716]—Long
     Primer, Nonpareil.

     Small Pica.


     Pica, Small Pica, Long Primer, Brevier.

     Double Pica, English, Long Primer, Brevier.


     Double Pica, Great Primer, English, Pica, Long Primer.

Further specimens were issued in 1824 and 1826, each indicating the
rapid growth of the rising foundry between those dates. They were
followed in 1827 by a compact little 16mo volume; and from that date
specimens are frequent.

Mr. Figgins died at Peckham, Feb. 29th, 1844. He was for several years
Common Councillor for the Ward of Farringdon Without; “an amiable and
worthy character, “says Nichols,” and generally respected.“ He had
relinquished business in 1836, leaving it to his two sons, Vincent
Figgins II and James Figgins, who issued their first specimen book,
a handsome quarto, under the style of V. & J. Figgins, in 1838. Mr.
Vincent Figgins II died in 1860,[718] when the business was carried
on by Mr. James Figgins I and his son, Mr. James Figgins II. On the
retirement of the former, then Mr. Alderman Figgins, M.P., the entire
management devolved on his son, the present proprietor. The foundry was
removed from West Street, Smithfield, to Ray Street, Farringdon Road,
in 1865. {344}


     No date. A Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, Swan Yard, Holborn Bridge, London. (1792.) 4to, 2 pp.,
     . . . . (J. F.)

     No date. A Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, Swan Yard, Holborn Bridge, London. (1793.) 4to, 5 pp.
     . . . . (J. F.)

     1794. A Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, Swan Yard, Holborn Bridge, London. 1794. 4to. . . . . (W.

     1802. Specimen of a fount of Télegú Types cast by V. Figgins,
     London. 1802. folio. . . . . (J. F.)

     (Also in quarto.)

     No date. Specimen of 2-line Letters cast by Vincent Figgins, West
     Street, West Smithfield, London. Broadside. (1802.?) . . . . (J.

     1815. Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, West Street, West Smithfield, London, 1815. 8vo. . . . .
     (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1817. Newspaper Founts cast by Vincent Figgins, West Street, West
     Smithfield, London, 1817. Broadside. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1821. Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, West Street, West Smithfield, London, 1821. 8vo. . . . .
     (J. F.)

     (Re-issued with additions 1822 and 1823.)

     1824. Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, West Street, West Smithfield, London, 1824. 8vo. . . . .
     (Caxt. Cel. 4403.)

     1826. Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, West Street, West Smithfield, London, 1826. 8vo. . . . .
     (J. F.)

     1827. Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, London, 1827. 16mo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel. 4408.)

     1832. Specimen of Printing Types by Vincent Figgins, Letter
     Founder, West Street, West Smithfield, London, 1832. 8vo. . . . .
     (Caxt. Cel. 4417.)





SKINNER, _circ._ 1710.

This founder is mentioned by Mores as a contemporary of Robert Andrews
and Head. Nothing, however, is known of his types.

DUMMERS, _circ._ 1734.

Mores says he was a Dutchman who founded in this country, where he
cut the fount of Pica Samaritan which appears in Caslon’s Specimen of
1734.[719] He subsequently returned to his native country. Smith, in
his _Printers’ Grammar_, after referring to the genius of Van Dijk,
mentions Voskin and Dommer (_sic_) as having “been considered as
two Worthies, for their abilities in their profession.” We append a
specimen of the Samaritan fount:―

[Illustration: 78. Pica Samaritan, cut by Dummers for Caslon, _circ._
1734. (From the original Matrices.)]


JALLESON, _circ._ 1734.

This man appears to have served, in 1733, as punch cutter to Mr. R.
Wetstein of Amsterdam, for whom he produced, amongst other founts, the
accented Roman with which the Dutch East India Company printed their
Malay Edition of the _Bible_ in that year. He came to London, and lived
in the Old Bailey, where he attempted an economical way of multiplying
founts by casting six different bodies of letter from three sets of
punches, viz., Brevier and Long Primer from one set, Pica and English
from another, Great Primer and Double Pica from a third. “Accordingly,”
says Smith, “he charged his Brevier, Pica, and Great Primer with as
full a face as their respective bodies would admit of, and, in order
to make some alteration in the advancing founts, he designed to cut
the ascending and descending letters to such a length as should show
the extent of their different bodies. But though he had cast founts of
the three minor sorts of letters, he did not bring the rest here to

While in England, “he printed the greatest part of a Hebrew _Bible_
with letter of his own casting; but was, by adverse fortune, obliged to
finish the said work in Holland.” Jalleson’s system, though apparently
unsuccessful at the time, was eventually adopted, to a certain extent,
by English founders.

JACOB ILIVE, _circ._ 1730.

This eccentric individual was a connection of the James’s, his mother,
Elizabeth, being the daughter of Thomas James, the printer, and
consequently cousin to Thomas James, the founder.[721] His father was
a printer resident in Aldersgate Street,[722] and his two brothers,
Abraham and Isaac, also followed the same calling.

About the year 1730, he applied himself to letter-founding, and carried
on a foundry and printing house together in Aldersgate Street over
against Aldersgate Coffee-house, where he was resident in 1734.

“But, afterwards,” says Mores, “when _Calasio_[723] was to be
reprinted under the inspection of Mr. Romaine, or of Mr. Lutzena, a
Portuguese Jew who corrected the {347} Hebrew—as we ourselves did
sometimes another part of the work—he removed to London House (the
habitation of the late Dr. Rawlinson) on the opposite side of the way,
where he was employed by the publishers of that work. This was in the
year 1746.”

His foundry was only a small one, and does not appear to have received
much patronage or to have issued a specimen. The following is Mores’
summary of its contents:―



     Nonpareil, 200; another, 80 lb.

     2-line English, the small letters only, 27; Pica, similiter, 27;
     Brevier broadface, 54; Small Pica, 70; another, the small letters
     and double only, 39; Nonpareil cap. 27.

 _Roman and Italic._—
     Double Pica, 154; Great Primer, 212; English, 236; Pica, 214; Long
     Primer, 230; Brevier, 255; Sm. Pica, 248.

     Pica fractions, 20; Mercantile marks, Pica, 17.

 _Braces, Rules and Flowers_, 30.”

In 1740 (July 3) the foundry was purchased by John James, in whose
premises, says Mores, it lay in the boxes named _Jugge_, and underwent
very little alteration. With regard to the sets of Greek matrices,
Mores also states that though James paid for these they never came to
his hands.

Although abandoning type-founding early, Ilive continued to print
until the time of his death in 1763. Mores says he was an expeditious
compositor and knew the letters by touch. He was, however, less noted
for his typography than for his opinions.

Nichols tells us he was somewhat disordered in his mind. In 1733 he
published an _Oration_ proving the plurality of worlds, that this earth
is hell, that the souls of men are apostate angels, and that the fire
to punish those confined to this world at the day of judgment will be
immaterial. This discourse was composed in 1729, and spoken at Joiners’
Hall pursuant to the will of his mother, who died in 1733 and held the
same singular opinions in divinity as her son.[724] A second pamphlet,
entitled _A Dialogue between a Doctor of the Church of England and Mr.
Jacob Ilive upon the Subject of the Oration_, also appeared in 1733.
This strange _Oration_ is highly praised in Holwell’s third part of
_Interesting Events relating to Bengal_.[725]

In 1751 Ilive perpetrated a famous literary forgery in a pretended
{348} translation of the _Book of Jasher_,[726] said to have been made
by one Alcuin of Britain. “The account given of the translation,” says
Mores, “is full of glaring absurdities, but of the publication, this
we can say, from the information of the Only-One who is capable of
informing us, because the business was a secret between the Two: Mr.
Ilive in the night-time had constantly an Hebrew _Bible_ before him
(_sed qu. de hoc_) and cases in his closet. He produced the copy for
_Jasher_, and it was composed in private, and the forms worked off in
the night-time in a private press-room by these Two, after the men of
the Printing-house had left their work. Mr. Ilive was an expeditious
compositor, though he worked in a nightgown and swept the cases to
_pye_ with the sleeves.”[727]

In 1756, for publishing _Modest Remarks on the late Bishop Sherlock’s
Sermons_, Ilive was imprisoned in Clerkenwell Bridewell, where
he remained for two years, improving the occasion by writing and
publishing _Reasons offered for the Reformation of the House of
Correction in Clerkenwell_, in 1757. He also projected several other
reforming works.[728]

In the last year of his life, 1762, he once more became notorious
as the ringleader of a schism among the members of the Stationers’
Company, of which the following narrative (communicated by Mr. Bowyer)
is given by Gough:―

      “He called a meeting of the Company for Monday the 31st of May,
     being Whit-Monday, at the Dog Tavern, on Garlick Hill, ‘to rescue
     their liberties,’ and choose Master and Wardens. Ilive was chosen
     chairman for the day; and, standing on the upper table in the
     hall, he thanked the freemen for the honour they had done him—laid
     before them several clauses of their two charters—and proposed
     Mr. Christopher Norris and some one else to them for Master; the
     choice falling upon Mr. Norris. He then proposed, in like manner,
     John Lenthall, Esq., and John Wilcox, Gent., with two others for
     Wardens; when the two first nominated were elected. A Committee
     was then appointed by the votes of the Common Hall to meet the
     first Tuesday in each month at the Horn Tavern, in Doctors’
     Commons, to inquire into the state of the Company, which Committee
     consisted of twenty-one persons, five of whom (provided the Master
     and Wardens were of the number), were empowered to act as fully as
     if the whole of the Committee were present. July the 6th being the
     first Tuesday in the month, the newly-elected Master, about twelve
     o’clock, came into the Hall, and being seated at the upper end of
     it, the Clerk of the Hall was sent for and desired to swear Mr.
     Norris into his office; but he declined, and Mr. Ilive officiated
     as the Clerk in {349} administering the oath. A boy then offered
     himself to be bound; but no Warden being present, he was desired
     to defer until next month, when several were bound; some freemen
     made; and others admitted on the livery; one of whom, at least,
     has frequently polled at Guildhall in contested elections.”[729]

No particular notice appears to have been taken of the proceedings,
and the rebellion was short lived. Previous to its outbreak, Ilive
had published a pamphlet on _The Charter and Grants of the Company of
Stationers; with Observations and Remarks thereon_, in which he recited
various grievances and stated the opinion of counsel upon several
points. “I have a copy of this pamphlet,” says Mr. Hansard, “now
lying before me, the twentieth page of which concludes with the line,
‘Excudebat, edebat, donabat, Jacob Ilive, Anno 1762.’ ” Ilive died in
the following year.


Some founders of this name are mentioned by Ames; but Mores supposes
that Ames, “who,” he adds, “was an arrant blunderer,” has made
Englishmen of the Wetsteins of Amsterdam, who founded in that city
about 1733–43. The Wetsteins, though they doubtless had considerable
type dealings with this country, are not known at any time to have
practised type-founding in England.


After the dissolution of partnership between Wilson and Baine in
1749,[730] the latter appears to have come to London, where, Rowe Mores
informs us, “he published a specimen (very pretty) without a date. It
exhibits Great Primer and Pica Greek and (we take no notice of title
letters) the Roman and Italic regulars beginning at Great Primer; and
the bastard Small Pica. Mr. Baine left England and is now (1778), we
think, alive in Scotland.” He appears to have carried his foundry
with him, for we find in a specimen of types belonging to a printer,
John Reid, in Edinburgh, in 1768,[731] two founts, a Small Pica and a
Minion marked as having been supplied by him. In 1787 was published a
_Specimen by John Baine and Grandson in Co._ at Edinburgh, a copy of
which is in the Library of the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester,
Massachusetts. {350}

About the same date they established a foundry in Philadelphia, the
grandson having probably taken charge of the new venture before being
joined by his relative. Isaiah Thomas[732] speaks in high praise of
the mechanical ability of the elder Baine, and adds that his knowledge
of type-founding was the effect of his own industry; for he was
self-taught. Both, he says, were good workmen and had full employment.
They appear to have been moderately successful in America.[733] The
elder Baine died in 1790, aged 77. His grandson relinquished the
business soon after, and, says Mr. Thomas, died at Augusta in Georgia
about the year 1799.


     No date. Specimen by John Baine, London, 1756 (?). (Noted by
     Mores.) . . . . (_Lost._)

     1787. A Specimen of Printing Types by John Baine & Grandson in
     Co., Letter Founders, Edinburgh, 1787. . . . . (Amer. Ant. Soc.)


George Anderton, of Birmingham, appears to have been one of the
earliest of English provincial letter founders. Mores says he
“attempted” letter founding, and in the year 1753 printed a little
specimen of Great Primer Roman and Italic. Samuel Caslon, brother to
Caslon I, worked as a mould maker in this foundry after having left the
latter on account of some dispute.


     1753. A Specimen of Great Primer by George Anderton, Birmingham,
     1753. (Noted by Mores.) . . . . (_Lost._)

HENRY FOUGT, _circ._ 1766.

This man, a German, lived in St. Martin’s Lane about the year 1766,
and, in the following year, took out a patent for “Certain new and
curious types by me invented for the printing of music notes as neatly
and as well, in every respect, as hath usually been done by engraving.”
The Invention consisted in the use of sectional types “in many respects
similar to what in former ages was used in printing-offices and known
by the name of choral type.” An explanatory note, {351} setting forth
the details of his scheme, accompanies the specification.[734] Fougt
issued a specimen of his new type in 1768, and is said to have been the
only printer of music from type of his day who produced any good work.
Mores says that he returned to Germany, after selling his patent to one
Falconer, a disappointed harpsichord maker.


     1768. Specimen of a New Type for Music by H. Fougt. In Six Sonatas
     by Uttini. 3 vols. London, 1768. Folio. . . . . (Bibl. Pr. i, 226.)

JOSEPH FENWICK, _circ._ 1770.

Mores’ quaint account of this unlucky person is as follows:—“Mr.
Joseph Fenwick was a locksmith, and worked as a journeyman in David
Street in Oxford Road. Invited by an advertisement from Mr. Caslon for
a smith who could file smooth and make a good screw, he applied, and
is now mould-mender in ordinary to Mr. Caslon. But his ingenuity hath
prompted him to greater things than a good screw. He hath cut a fount
of Two-line Pica Scriptorial for a divine, the planner of the Statute
at Plaisterers’ Hall for demising and to farm letting servants of both
sexes and all services. Of him Mr. Caslon required an enormous sum
when he thought that nobody could do the work but himself. Mr. Fenwick
succeeded at a very moderate expence; for he has not been paid for his
labour. The plausible design of the fount was the relief and ease of
our rural vineyarders, and the service of those churches in which the
galleries overlook the pulpit.” In the synopsis of founts given at the
end of Mores’ book, Fenwick’s Scriptorial, or Cursive, is mentioned as
being at that time (1778) obtainable.

T. RICHARDS, 1778.

Mores says he lived near Hungerford Bridge, and called himself letter
founder and toyman; but appeared to be an instrument maker for marking
the shirts of soldiers “to prevent plunder in times of peace.” “But we
have seen no specimen,” he adds, “either on paper or on rags.”

McPHAIL, 1778.

Mores describes him as a Scotchman without address. “It is said
that he hath cut two full-faced founts, one of Two-line English, the
other of Two-line Small Pica; hath made the moulds, and casts the
letter his self. If this be true {352} (and we have reason to believe
it is not altogether false) he must travel like the circumforanean
printers of names from door to door soon after the invention of the
art, with all the apparatus in a pack upon his shoulders; for he is
a _nullibiquarian_, and we cannot find his founding house.” To this
account Hansard adds in 1825:—“I have reason to believe that, some
years ago, the foundry of McPhail, which Mores has commemorated by a
most humorous paragraph, was carried on either by the same individual
or a descendant; but it continues to be screened from observation by
the same cloud which obscured it from the curiosity of that illustrious
typographical historian.”

IMISSON, 1785.

Lemoine mentions an ingenious person of this name, “who, among other
pursuits, made some progress in the art of Letter Founding, and
actually printed several small popular novels at Manchester with
wood-cuts cut by himself. But other mechanical pursuits took him off,
and death removed him in 1791.”[735]


This provincial typographer was printer and proprietor of the
_Birmingham Chronicle_ in 1774, and appears to have commenced a letter
foundry shortly after the breaking up of Baskerville’s establishment.
His shops were in the High Street, Birmingham; and in Bisset’s
_Magnificent Directory_ (1800) a view of his premises is given,
including the Type Foundry. He is styled Letter Founder, Bookseller
and Printer, in the Directories of 1785, and subsequently added to his
other pursuits that of Medicine Vendor. In 1793 he was a member of
the Association of Founders at that time in existence; and, about the
year 1803, issued a neat Specimen Book of twenty pages, comprising a
series of Roman and Italic and a few Ornamented and Shaded letters.
The notice accorded to him in the _Magnificent Directory_ is very
complimentary:—“This useful Branch of the Typographic Art, immediately
on the demise of the late celebrated Baskerville, was resumed and is
now continued, with persevering industry and success, by Mr. Swinney,
whose elegant Specimens of Printing add celebrity to the other
manufactures of this Emporium of the Arts.” {353}

The _Poetic Survey round Birmingham_ accompanying the Directory,
immortalizes our founder in the following couplet:

 “The Gods at Swinney’s Foundry stood amaz’d,
  And at each curious Type and Letter gaz’d.”

Among his workmen was John Handy, a former punch cutter for
Baskerville.[736] Mr. Swinney died in 1812, aged 74; having been
printer and proprietor of the _Birmingham Chronicle_ for nearly fifty


     No date. Specimen of part of the Printing Types cast by Myles
     Swinney, of Birmingham. Swinney and Hawkins, Printers, Birmingham.
     (1802?) 8vo. . . . . (S.T.)


This short-lived foundry was established in the Savoy prior to 1789,
in which year it appears to have been known as Bell and Stephenson’s
British Letter Foundry, and to have issued a specimen. In 1793 the
style was altered to Simeon Stephenson & Co., and subsequently to
Simeon and Charles Stephenson, who removed the foundry to Bream’s
Buildings, Chancery Lane. Both the partners were members of the
Association of Founders existing at that time.

Of their foundry little is known beyond what may be gathered from
their elegant Specimen Book of Types and Ornaments issued in 1796. The
title-page of this volume states that their punches were cut by Richard
Austin; and the address to the trade[737] (which is dated 1797) refers
to the flattering encouragement hitherto received by the proprietors
from the public. The specimen exhibits ten pages of large titling
letters, fourteen pages of Roman and Italic, from Double Pica to
Minion, and the remainder chiefly ornaments. The types, especially in
the larger sizes as well as some of the ornaments, are very good. {354}

Despite the merit of its productions the British Foundry was not
successful, and in 1797 was put up for auction. Whether it was
purchased as a whole by some other founder, or whether it was
dispersed, we cannot say. It seems probable, however, that Austin
recovered some of the punches cut by him, and used them when starting
his own foundry in Worship Street.


     1789. A Specimen of Printing Types cast at Bell & Stephenson’s
     British Letter Foundry in the Savoy. London, 1789. 8vo. . . . .

     1796. First part of a specimen of Printing Types cast at the
     Foundry of S. & C. Stephenson, Bream’s Buildings, Chancery Lane.
     The punches cut by R. Austin. London, 1796. 8vo. . . . . (W. B.)

     1797. Catalogue of the Stock in Trade of S. & C. Stephenson, which
     will be sold by Auction by Mr. C. Heydinger. 1797. 8vo. . . . .
     (W. B.)






William Miller, the originator of this now great foundry, was for some
time a foreman in the Glasgow Letter Foundry. About the year 1809 he
left that service to begin a foundry of his own in Edinburgh under the
style of William Miller and Co. The first specimen is stated to have
been published in this year,[738] but no copy unfortunately has been
found still to exist.

A further specimen was issued in 1813, followed in the ensuing year by
another of 28 pages, consisting entirely of Roman and Italic letter,
of which there was a complete series from Double Pica to Pearl, with
2-line letters and one page of borders. As Hansard observes respecting
early founts of this foundry, the letters so much resemble those of
Messrs. Wilson as to require minute inspection to distinguish the one
from the other.[739]

The business, once started, made rapid progress, and in due time became
a formidable rival not only to the Glasgow foundry, but to the London
founders. The specimen of 1815 showed further additions to the founts,
some of which, we have it on Hansard’s authority, were cut by Mr.
Austin, of London.[740]

In 1822, the firm is described as William Miller only, Letter Founder
to His Majesty for Scotland. The energy and care displayed by Mr.
Miller in the {356} prosecution of his business rapidly brought his
foundry to the front rank, and secured for him the support not only of
English printers but of some of the most important newspapers of the
day, including _The Times_.

In 1832, Mr. Richard was admitted a partner; and the style of the firm
became once more William Miller and Co., and so continued until 1838,
when it became Miller and Richard.

Of the later history of this foundry it is beyond the scope of this
work to treat, further than to say that it was the first house
successfully to introduce machinery for the casting of type in this
country; and that on the revival of the old style fashion about 1844,
it took a prominent and successful part with its series of “Modern Old
Face” letter. For the Exhibition of 1851, the proprietors produced a
“Brilliant” type, the smallest then in England,[741] and subsequently
cut a “Gem” expressly for Mr. Bellows’ _French Dictionary_[742]—a book
which for clearness and minuteness combined ranks as a typographical

After the death of Mr. Miller in 1843, the business was carried on by
Mr. Richard and his son, until 1868; when, on the retirement of Mr.
Richard, senior, the active management of the Foundry (which since 1850
has had a branch house in London) devolved upon his sons, Mr. J. M.
Richard, and Mr. W. M. Richard, the present proprietors.


     [1809. Specimen of Printing Types by W. Miller and Co., Edinburgh,
     1809.] . . . . (B. P. ii, 42.)

     1813. Specimen of Printing Types by William Miller and Co.,
     Edinburgh, 1813. 4to. . . . . (B. P. ii, 42.)

     1814. Specimen of Printing Types by William Miller and Co., Letter
     Founders, Edinburgh. Edinburgh, printed by A. Balfour. 1814. 4to.
     . . . . (M. & R.)

     1815. Specimen of Printing Types by William Miller and Co., Letter
     Founders, Edinburgh. Printed at the Stanhope Press by R. Chapman.
     1815. 4to. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

     1822. Specimen of Printing Types by William Miller, Letter
     Founder to His Majesty for Scotland, Edinburgh. Printed by James
     Ballantyne and Co. 1822. 4to. . . . . (Caxt. Cel. 4401.)

     1833. Supplement to William Miller and Company’s Specimens of
     Printing Type, Edinburgh, 1833. 4to. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)





G. W. BOWER, _circ._ 1810.

This foundry was begun in Sheffield about the beginning of the
present century. In 1810, Mr. Bower issued a price list below those
of the London founders, whose founts he succeeded occasionally in
underselling. Hansard mentions the foundry in 1824, under the style of
Bower, Bacon and Bower. No specimen is known with an earlier date than
1837, when the firm was G. W. Bower, late Bower and Bacon.

A later specimen bears the name of Mr. G. W. Bower alone, and in 1841
the firm was Bower Brothers, who published _Proposals for establishing
a graduated scale of sizes for the bodies of Printing Types, and fixing
their height-to-paper, based upon Pica as the common standard_.[743]

After the death of Mr. G. W. Bower, the foundry was continued by Mr.
Henry Bower till his death about 1851, in September of which year the
plant and stock were sold by auction and dispersed among the other
founders. The Catalogue of this Sale contained about 50,000 punches and
matrices; many of them, however, being obsolete or of small value. {358}

BROWN, 1810.—LYNCH, 1810.

These two individuals are included among the Letter Founders whose
names are given in Mason’s _Printer’s Assistant_[744]—the former having
had his place of business in Green Street, Blackfriars, and the latter
in Featherstone Buildings. They do not appear to have continued long
in business, and their names are not included in the list of Letter
Founders given in Johnson’s _Typographia_ in 1824.

MATTHEWSON, _circ._ 1810.

This man was founding in Edinburgh in 1810, at which date he had some
correspondence with the Associated Founders respecting prices. Hansard
mentions him as an incipient founder even in 1825, and a competitor of
Mr. Miller’s. Nothing is known of the fate of his foundry; nor has any
Specimen of his types come under notice.


Anthony Bessemer was a man of remarkable inventive genius. In his
twentieth year he distinguished himself by the erection at Haarlem
in Holland of pumping-engines to drain the turf pits; and before he
had attained the age of twenty-five, he was elected a member of the
Académie at Paris for improvements in the microscope. He subsequently
turned his attention to letter founding, and established a foundry
at Charlton, near Hitchin. Of the exact date of this undertaking we
are uncertain; but, as his son, the present Sir Henry Bessemer, was
born at Charlton in 1813, it is evident that the father was already
settled there at that date. Hansard states[745] that “Mr. Bessimer” cut
the Caslon Diamond letter. If the person referred to is Mr. Anthony
Bessemer, as is probable, it would appear that during the early years
of his business as a founder, he placed his energies occasionally at
the disposal of his brethren in the art.

In 1821 he issued a specimen of Modern-cut Printing Types, and shortly
afterwards took into partnership Mr. J. J. Catherwood, formerly a
partner of Mr. Henry Caslon II, who, since his retirement from that
business, appears for a short time to have had a foundry of his own at
Charles Street, Hoxton.[746] Messrs. Bessemer {359} and Catherwood
issued a Specimen in 1825, on the title-page of which the new partner
styles himself “late of the Chiswell Street Foundry, London.”

Bessemer’s Romans were, in conformity with the fashion of the day,
somewhat heavy, but finely cut. His chief performance was a Diamond,
which was, as Hansard informs us, cut to eclipse the famous Diamond of
Henri Didot, of Paris, at that time the smallest known. The execution
of this feat, particularly in the Italic, was highly successful. The
partnership between Messrs. Bessemer and Catherwood was not of long
duration, and terminated either by the death or the retirement of the
latter prior to 1830. Mr. Bessemer then removed his foundry to London,
and established it at 54, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell, whence, in
1830, he issued his final specimen book, consisting almost entirely of
Roman founts.

In 1832 he retired from the business, and his foundry was put up to
auction and dispersed. The Catalogue of the Sale mentions that the
2,500 punches included in the plant had been collected at an expense of
£4,000, and that not a single strike had been taken from them but for
the proprietor’s own use. From a marked copy of the Catalogue in our
possession, it appears that several of the lots of punches and matrices
fetched high prices. The list of implements and utensils shows that the
foundry employed about seven casters and an equal number of rubbers and

Mr. Bessemer’s son, Henry, appears to have been for some time in
his father’s foundry, where he mastered the mechanics of the trade.
In 1838, being then twenty-five years old, he took out a patent for
improvements in type-founding machinery, embodying several ingenious
contrivances, some of which have since been adopted.


     1821. Specimen of the last modern cut Printing Types by A.
     Bessemer, Letter Founder, Hitchin, Herts. 1821. 8vo. . . . .
     (Caxt. Cel., 4400.)

     1825. Specimen of the last modern cut Printing Types by A.
     Bessemer & J. J. Catherwood, Letter Founders, Hitchin, Herts. (J.
     J. Catherwood, late of the Chiswell Street Foundry, London.) 1825.
     8vo. . . . . (W. B.)

     1830. Specimen of the last modern cut Printing Types by A.
     Bessemer, Letter Founder, 54, Red Lion Street, Clerkenwell,
     London. 1830. 8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

RICHARD AUSTIN, _circ._ 1815.

Richard Austin began business as a punch cutter in the employ of
Messrs. S. and C. Stephenson of the British Type Foundry, about the
year 1795. On the Title-page of the specimen issued by that foundry in
1796, his name is {360} mentioned as the cutter of the punches, and
the excellent specimen itself is no mean testimony to his abilities.

The activity prevailing throughout the trade generally at that period,
consequent on the transition of the Roman character from the old style
to the modern, brought the punch cutter’s services into much request,
and Hansard informs us that Mr. Austin executed most of the modern
founts both for Messrs. Wilson of Glasgow and Mr. Miller of Edinburgh.

Prior to the year 1819 he began a foundry of his own at Worship Street,
Finsbury, in which subsequently his son, George Austin, joined him;
and, in the year 1824, succeeded to the business. This foundry was
styled the Imperial Letter Foundry, and carried on under the style of
Austin & Sons. The earliest known specimen was issued in 1827. This
8vo volume is prefaced by a somewhat lengthy address to the Trade,
in which, after criticising the letter founding of the day, the
proprietors boldly claim to be the only letter founders in London who
cut their own punches, which they do in a peculiar manner so as to
insure perfect sharpness in outline. They also announce that they cast
their type in an extra hard metal.

Mr. Austin appears to have been a man of considerable force and
independence of character. It is related of him that once, on
receiving—what to any founder at that day must have been a momentous
mandate—an intimation that _The Times_ wanted to see him, he replied,
with an audacity which sends a shudder even through a later generation,
“that if _The Times_ wanted to see him, he supposed it knew where to
find him!”

On the death of Mr. Austin, his foundry was acquired by Mr. R. M.
Wood, who subsequently, in partnership with Messrs. Samuel and Thomas
Sharwood, transferred it to 120 Aldersgate Street, under the title of
the Austin Letter Foundry. Messrs. Wood and Sharwoods’ first specimen
was issued in 1839. In their preface, reference is again made to the
late Mr. Austin’s hard metal, the superiority of which, it is stated,
“was owing to one peculiar article being used in the mixture which is
unknown to our brethren in the Art.”

Mr. Wood died in 1845, and the firm subsequently became S. and T.
Sharwood, who, in 1854, published two specimens, one of Types, the
other of Polytyped Metal Ornaments.

This latter collection had been begun more than twenty years previously
by Vizitelly, Branston & Co.,[747] who, in 1832, had issued a specimen
of Cast Metal {361} Ornaments, “produced by a new improved method.”
This method appears to have consisted of the soldering of the casts
on metal mounts—at that time a novelty. The Sharwoods subsequently
acquired this collection of blocks and considerably increased it.

On the death of the two Sharwoods, which occurred about the same time
in 1856, the Austin Foundry was thrown into Chancery and put up for
auction, and its contents dispersed among the trade.


     1827. Specimens of Printing Types cast at Austin’s Imperial Letter
     Foundry, Worship Street, Shoreditch, London. 1827. 8vo. . . . .
     (Caxt. Cel., 4407.)

     1839. A Specimen Book of the Types cast at the Austin Letter
     Foundry, by Wood & Sharwoods. No. 120, Aldersgate Street, London.
     1839. 4to. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4429.)

       *       *       *       *       *

     1832. Specimen of Vizitelly, Branston & Co.’s Cast Metal Ornaments
     produced by a new and improved method, greater in number and
     variety, superior in design and execution, and considerably
     cheaper in price than any collection hitherto offered to the
     notice of printers. 76, Fleet Street, London, January 1832. 4to.
     . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4416.)

LOUIS JOHN POUCHÉE, _circ._ 1815.

This Frenchman started a foundry in Great Wild Street, Lincoln’s Inn.
He had probably been established a few years when his first specimen
was issued in 1819, the most interesting portion of which was a
somewhat lengthy address to the public, setting forth the principles
on which his “New Foundry” was to be conducted. He mentions that “only
four Type Foundries (exclusive of mine) are worked in London at this
time,” and declares his intention of breaking down the monopoly they
assumed. The specimen itself is not remarkable.

In 1823, he took out the patent for this country for Henri Didot’s
system of polymatype[748] which consisted of a machine capable of
casting from 150 to 200 types at each operation, each operation being
repeated twice a minute. This result was to be obtained by means of
a matrix bar which formed one side of a long trough mould into which
the metal was poured; and, when opened, “the types are found adhering
to the break bar like the teeth of a comb, when they are broken off
and dressed in the usual way.” Pouchée became agent in England for
this novel system of casting which, says the editor of the partial
reprint of Hansard’s _Typographia_, writing in 1869, was still used
successfully in France at that date. {362}

The attempt to introduce this system into England went far to ruin
Pouchée; and, according to the above authority, “on his failure to
sustain the competition of the associated founders,[749] Didot’s
machine and valuable tools were purchased by them through their agent,
Mr. Reed, Printer, King Street, Covent Garden, and destroyed on the
premises of Messrs. Caslon and Livermore.”

Despite this unfortunate speculation, Pouchée (who appears for some
time to have had a partner named Jennings),[750] issued another
Specimen Book in 1827, dated from Little Queen Street, London, in the
advertisement of which he again referred to the fact that there were
still only four letter-foundries in London (exclusive of his own), and
took credit to himself for bringing about a reduction of 12 per cent.
in the prices of his opponents. The specimen, which shows Titlings,
Roman and Italic, Egyptians, Blacks and Flowers, is of little merit and
is marked by a great preponderance of heavy faces.

About the same time,[751] he issued a price list of all kinds of
printers’ materials, styling himself “Type Founder and Stereotype
Caster.” In the beginning of 1830 he abandoned the business, which was
sold by auction. The Catalogue included a large quantity of stereotype
ornaments, as well as 20,000 matrices and punches, moulds, presses,
and 35 tons of Type. The lots were variously disposed of at low prices
among the other founders.


     1819. Specimen of Printing Types by L. J. Pouchée, at the New
     Foundry, Great Wild Street, Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London. 1819.
     8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4397.)

     1827. Specimens of Printing Types by Louis J. Pouchée, Little
     Queen Street, London. 1827. 8vo. . . . . (Ox. Univ. Pr.)

RICHARD WATTS, _circ._ 1815.

Richard Watts, a printer of Crown Court, Strand, who, from 1802–9,
had held the office of printer to Cambridge University, distinguished
himself towards the close of the first quarter of the present century
as a cutter and founder of Oriental and foreign characters, of which he
accumulated a considerable collection. His first printing office was at
Broxbourne, whence in 1816 he removed to Crown Court, Temple Bar, and
here, chiefly under the patronage of the Bible {363}

Society and the Mission Presses in India and elsewhere, he produced
the punches of a large number of languages hitherto unknown to English
typography. He received the assistance and advice of many eminent
scholars in his work, some of whom personally superintended the
execution of certain of the founts. His collection increased at a rapid
rate, and at the time of his death included almost every Oriental
language in which, at that time, the Scriptures had been printed. His
death occurred in 1844 at Edmonton, in which place his foundry appears
to have been for some time located.

He was succeeded in business by his son, Mr. William Mavor Watts, who
printed a broadside specimen of the founts, numbering 67 languages and
dialects, of which several were shown in different sizes of character.
This number was largely augmented during the following years, and,
in the specimen prepared by Mr. Watts for the Exhibition of 1862,
nearly 150 versions were exhibited. To this specimen was prefixed an
interesting note respecting the origin of many of the founts. The
collection was subsequently acquired by Messrs. Gilbert and Rivington,
in whose possession it still remains and increases.


This artist, described as a very able engraver, was for some time in
partnership with Robert Thorne at the Fann Street Foundry. In 1824, he
commenced a foundry of his own in Dean Street, Fetter Lane, whence he
published a specimen of Book and Newspaper type, without date, which,
besides Romans, Scripts, and Egyptians, included also Saxon, Greek,
Flowers, and Music.

He appears specially to have applied himself to the production of
this last-named character, and attained the reputation of being the
best music type cutter in the trade. Savage, in his _Dictionary of
Printing_, shows a specimen of Hughes music, observing that “the
English musical types have never to my knowledge undergone any
improvement till within a few years, when Mr. Hughes cut two new
founts,” (Nonpareil and Pearl), “which are looked upon as the best we
have and the largest of which I have used for this article (‘Music’).”
Hughes’ system appears to have been that originally introduced by
Breitkopf in 1764, and the scheme of a pair of cases by which his
specimen is accompanied shows that a complete fount comprised as many
as 238 distinct characters. Besides music of the modern notation,
Hughes had matrices for the Gregorian Plain Chant Music, of which a
specimen is also shown by Savage.

After the death of Mr. Hughes, which took place before 1841, the
punches and matrices of his different music founts, Gregorian and
modern, were purchased by Mr. C. Hancock, of Middle Row, Holborn, by
whom they were considerably {364} improved, and who, subsequently,
after his removal to Gloucester Street, Queen Square, issued a
specimen. Of the disposal of the other contents of Mr. Hughes’ foundry
we have no information.


     No date. A Specimen of Book and Newspaper Printing Types by Hugh
     Hughes, Letter Cutter and Founder, 23 Dean Street, Fetter Lane.
     8vo. . . . . (Caxt. Cel., 4398.)

     No date. Specimen Sheet of Modern Music Types by H. Hughes, 23
     Dean Street, Fetter Lane, together with a scheme of Music Cases.
     8vo. . . . . (T. B. R.)

BARTON, 1824.

Hansard states that this founder was early initiated in mechanical
science by Mr. Maudsley, the engineer; he was formerly in partnership
with Mr. Harvey, an engraver, by whom his founts were principally cut.
His foundry was in Stanhope Street, Clare Market, and is mentioned by
Johnson as one of the nine foundries carried on in London in the year
1824. No Specimen has come under observation.

HEAPHY, 1825; SIMMONS, 1825; BLACK, 1825.

To complete the list of minor founders prior to 1830, should be added
the names of these three individuals, who are mentioned by Hansard in
his _Typographia_ as distinct London letter founders in 1825.




 1665.     Nicholls                     179
 1669.     Moxon                        192
 1693.     Oxford                       162
 1695.     Oxford                       162
 1706.     Oxford                       162
 (1708?)   Oxford                       162
 1734.     Caslon                       256
 1749.     Caslon                       256
 1749.     Caslon and Son               256
 1749.     Caslon and Son               256
 (1752?)   Baskerville                  287
 1753.     Anderton                     350
 (1756?)   Baine                        350
 (1757?)   Baskerville                  287
 (1758?)   Baskerville                  287
 (1762?)   Baskerville                  287
 (1760?)   Cottrell                     297
 1763.     Caslon and Son               256
 1764.     Caslon and Son               256
 (1765?)   Jackson                      329
 1766.     Caslon                       256
 (1766?)   Cottrell                     313
 1768.     Moore (London)               313
 1768.     Fougt                        351
 1768–70.  Oxford                       163
 1770.     Caslon                       256
 1770.     Caslon                       256
 1770.     Cottrell                     297
 1770.     Moore                        313
 1772.     Wilson                       266
 (1778?)   Oxford                       163
 1782.     James                        230
 (1783?)   Jackson                      329
 1783.     Wilson                       266
 1784.     Caslon and Son               256
 1785.     Caslon                       256
 1785.     Caslon                       256
 1785.     Caslon                       297
 (1785?)   Cottrell                     297
 1785.     Fry and Sons                 313
 1785.     Fry and Sons                 313
 1786.     Oxford                       163
 1786.     Caslon                       256
 1786.     Wilson                       266
 1786.     Fry and Sons                 313
 1787.     E. Fry and Co.               313
 1787.     Baine                        350
 1788.     E. Fry and Co.               313
 1789.     Wilson                       266
 1789.     Bell and Stephenson          354
 1790.     Fry and Co                   313
 (1792)    Figgins                      344
 1793.     E. Fry and Co.               314
 (1793)    Figgins                      344
 1794.     Oxford                       163
 1794.     Thorne                       297
 1794.     Fry and Steele               314
 1794.     Fry and Steele               314
 1794.     Figgins                      344
 1795.     Fry and Steele               314
 1796.     S. and C. Stephenson         354
 1797.     S. and C. Stephenson         354
 1798.     Thorne                       297
 (1798?)   Jackson                      329
 1798.     Caslon III                   329
 1798.     Caslon III                   329
 1800.     Fry, Steele, and Co.         314
 1801.     Fry, Steele, and Co.         314
 1802.     Figgins                      344
 (1802?)   Figgins                      344
 1802.     Swinney                      353
 1803.     Fry, Steele, and Co.         314
 1803.     Thorne                       297
 1803.     Caslon III and Son           329
 1805.     Caslon & Catherwood          256
 1805.     Fry and Steele               314
 (1805?)   Fry and Steele               314
 1807.     Caslon IV                    329
 1808.     Caslon & Catherwood          256
 1808.     Fry and Steele               314
 (1809)    Miller                       356
 (1812?)   Caslon and Catherwood        256
 1812.     Wilson                       266
 1813.     Miller                       356
 1815.     Wilson                       266
 1815.     Figgins                      344
 1815.     Miller                       356
 1816.     Ed. Fry                      314
 1817.     Figgins                      344
 (1819)    Blake, Garnett               329
 1819.     Pouchée                      362
 1820.     Ed. Fry and Son              314
 1821.     Thorowgood                   297
 1821.     Figgins                      344
 1821.     Bessemer                     359
 1822.     Thorowgood                   297
 1822.     Miller                       356
 1823.     Wilson                       266
 1824.     Ed. Fry                      314
 1824.     Figgins                      344
 (1824?)   Hughes                       364
 1825.     Bessemer and Catherwood      359
 1826.     Blake, Garnett               329
 1826.     Figgins                      344
 1827.     Fry                          314
 1827.     Blake, Garnett               329
 1827.     Figgins                      344
 1827.     Austin                       361
 1827.     Pouchée                      362
 1828.     Wilson                       267
 1828.     Thorowgood                   297
 1828.     Blake, Garnett               329
 1830.     Caslon and Livermore         256
 1830.     Thorowgood                   297
 1830.     Thorowgood                   297
 1830.     Blake and Stephenson         329
 1830.     Bessemer                     359




     AMES (JOSEPH), Typographical Antiquities; being an Historical
     Account of Printing in England. London, 1749, 4to.

     AMES (JOSEPH), Typographical Antiquities; augmented by William
     Herbert. 3 vols. London, 1785–90, 4to.

     AMMAN (JOST.), Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände
     und...Handwerker. Frankfurt, 1568, 4to.

     ARBER (EDWARD), Transcripts of the Registers of the Stationers’
     Company. London, 1875–77, 4 vols. 4to.

     ASTLE (THOS.), The Origin and Progress of Writing. London, 1784,

     BELOE (W.), Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books, 6 vols.
     London, 1807–12, 8vo.

     BERJEAU, (J. PH.), Speculum Humanæ Salvationis: Reproduit en
     facsimile. Londres, 1861, 4to.

     BERNARD (A. J.), Antoine Vitré et les Caractères orientaux de la
     Bible Polyglotte de Paris. Paris, 1857, 8vo.

     BERNARD (A. J.), Les Estienne et les types grecs de Francis 1er.
     Paris, 1856, 8vo.

     BERNARD (A. J.), De l’Origine et des Débuts de l’Imprimerie en
     Europe, 2 vols. Paris, 1853, 8vo.

     BIBLIANDER (T.), In Commentatione de ratione communi omnium
     linguarum et literarum. Tiguri, 1548.

     BIGMORE and WYMAN, A Bibliography of Printing, 3 vols. London,
     1880–6, 4to.

     BLADES (WILLIAM), Life and Typography of William Caxton, 2 vols.
     London, 1861–3, 4to.

     BLADES (WILLIAM), Some Early Type Specimen Books of England,
     Holland, France, Italy and Germany. London, 1875, 8vo.

     BODONI (G.), Manuale Tipografico, 2 vols. Parma, 1818, 4to.

     BOWERS BROS., Proposals for Establishing a Graduated Scale of
     Sizes for the Bodies of Printing Types. Sheffield, 1841, 12mo.

     BRITISH MUSEUM, Catalogue of Early English Books to 1640, 3 vols.
     London, 1884, 8vo.

     BUTLER, (A. J.), Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt, 2 vols. Oxford,
     1884, 8vo.

     CAILLE (J. DE LA), Histoire de l’Imprimerie et de la Libraire.
     Paris, 1689, 4to.

     CAXTON CELEBRATION....Catalogue of the Loan Collection at South
     Kensington. London, 1877, 8vo.

     CHALMERS (ALEX.), The General Biographical Dictionary, 32 vols.
     London, 1812–17, 8vo.

     CHAMBERS (EPHRAIM), Cyclopœdia, 2 vols., 1728, folio (also
     editions, 1738 and 1784–6).

     CHEVILLIER (A.), L’Origine de l’Imprimerie de Paris. Paris, 1694,

     COTTON (HY.), A Typographical Gazetteer attempted. 1st series, 2nd
     ed., Oxford, 1831, 8vo; second series, 1866, 8vo.

     D’ANVERS (Mrs.), Academia, or the Humours of the University of
     Oxford, 1691.

     DAUNOU (P. C. F.), Analyse des opinions diverses sur l’Origine d
     l’Imprimerie. Paris, 1810, 8vo.

     DE GEORGE (LÉON), La Maison Plantin à Anvers. 2nd ed. Bruxelles,
     1878, 8vo.

     DE VINNE (THEODORE), The Invention of Printing. New York, 1877,

     DIBDIN (T. F.), The Bibliographical Decameron, 3 vols. London,
     1817, 8vo.

     DIBDIN (T. F.), Introduction to the Knowledge of the rare and
     valuable Editions of the Classics. 4th ed., 2 vols. London, 1827,

     DICKSON (R.), The Introduction of the Art of Printing into
     Scotland. Aberdeen, 1885, 8vo.

     DIDOT (PIERRE), Epitre sur les Progrès de l’Imprimerie. Paris,
     1784, 8vo.

     DUNTON (JNO.), The Life and Errors of. London, 1705, 8vo.

     DUPONT (PAUL), Histoire de l’Imprimerie, 2 vols. Paris, 1854, 8vo.

     DÜRER (ALB.), Unterweissung der Messung. Nuremburg, 1525, folio.

     [DUVERGER (E.)], Histoire de l’invention de l’Imprimerie par les
     Monuments. Paris, 1840, folio.

     EDWARDS (E.), Libraries and Founders of Libraries. London, 1865,

     [ENCYCLOPÆDIA], Article sur Fonderie en Caractères de
     l’Imprimerie. Paris, n. d., folio.

     ENSCHEDÉ, Specimen de Caractères Typographiques Anciens. Harlem,
     1867, 4to. {367}

     ESSAY on the Original, Use, and Excellency of the Noble Art and
     Mystery of Printing. London, 1752, 8vo.

     EVELYN (JNO.), Diary and Correspondence, 4 vols. London, 1850–2,

     FAULMAN (C.), Geschichte der Buchdruckerkunst. Vienna, 1882, 8vo.

     FIGGINS (V.), Facsimile of Caxton’s Game of the Chesse; with
     remarks. London, 1855, folio.

     FINESCHI (V.), Notizie Storiche sopra la Stamperia di Ripoli.
     Fiorenze, 1781, 8vo.

     FISCHER (G.), Essai sur les Monumens typographiques de Jean
     Gutenberg. Mayence, 1802, 4to.

     FOURNIER (P. S.), Manuel Typographique, utile aux gens de lettres,
     2 vols. Paris, 1764–66, 8vo.

     FRANKLIN (BENJ.), Works of, 2 vols., London, 1793, 8vo; also
     Bigelow’s edition, 3 vols. Philadelphia, 1875, 8vo.

     FREEMASON’S MAGAZINE. London, 1796, 8vo.

     FRY (EDMUND), Pantographia. London, 1799, 8vo.

     GAELIC SOCIETY OF DUBLIN: Transactions of, Dublin, 1808, 8vo.

     GAND (M. J.), Recherches Historiques et Critiques sur la Vie et
     les Editions de Thierry Martens. Alost, 1845, 8vo.

     GED (WILLIAM), Biographical Memoirs of. London, 1781, 8vo.

     GENTLEMAN’S MAGAZINE. Vols. for 1792, 1793, 1803, 1836.

     GOUGH (R.), British Topography, 2 vols. London, 1780, 4to.

     GRESWELL (W. P.), A View of the Early Parisian Greek Press, 2
     vols. Oxford, 1838, 8vo.

     GUIGNES (J. DE), Essai Historique sur la Typographie Orientale et
     Grecque de l’Imprimerie Royale. Paris, 1787, 4to.

     GUTCH (JNO.), Collectanea Curiosa, 2 vols. Oxford, 1781, 8vo.

     HANSARD (T. C.), Typographia. London, 1825, 8vo.

     [HANSARD (T. C.), the Younger.] Treatises on Printing and
     Type-founding (from the Encycl. Britan.). Edinburgh, 1841, 8vo.

     HARLEIAN MSS.—The Bagford Collections.

     HARLEIAN MISCELLANY, 8 vols. Lond., 1744–46, 4to. Vol. 3.

     HARWOOD (EDW.), A View of the Various Editions of the Greek and
     Roman Classics. Lond., 1775, 12mo.

     HAWKINS (SIR JOHN), A General History of the Science and Practice
     of Music. London, 1776, 4to. Vol. 5.

     HEARNE (THOS.), Reliquiæ Hernianæ. Oxford, 1869, 4to, Vol. 2.

     HODGSON (T.), An Essay on the Origin and Progress of Stereotype
     Printing. Newcastle, 1820, 8vo.

     IMPRIMERIE ROYALE (de Paris). Specimen: Ancienne Typographic.
     Paris, 1819, 4to.

     JAMES (JOHN), Catalogue and Specimen of the large and extensive
     Printing Type Foundry of. London, 1782, 8vo.

     LABORDE (LÉON), Débuts de l’Imprimerie â Strasbourg. Paris, 1840,

     LA CROIX, FOURNIER ET SERÉ, Histoire de l’Imprimerie, etc. Paris,
     1852, 4to.

     LAMBINET (PIERRE), Origine de l’Imprimerie, 2 vols. Paris, 1810,

     LANSDOWNE MSS., No. 231.

     LATHAM (H.), Oxford Bibles and Printing in Oxford. Oxford, 1870,

     LAUD (Arch.), Works of, 7 vols. Oxford, 1847–60, 8vo. Vol. 5.

     LEMOINE (HY.), Typographical Antiquities. London, 1797, 12mo.

     LINDE (M. A. VAN DER), The Haarlem Legend of the Invention of
     Printing by L. J. Coster, critically examined. Lond., 1871, 8vo.

     LOMÉNIE (L. DE), Beaumarchais et ses Temps. Edwards’ translation,
     4 vols. London, 1856, 8vo. Vol. 3.

     LONDON PRINTERS’ LAMENTATION. (London, 1660) 4to.

     LONG (J. LE), Discours Historique sur les principales editions des
     Bibles Polyglottes. Paris, 1713, 12mo.

     LUCE (L.), Essai d’une nouvelle typographie. Paris, 1771, 4to.

     [LUCKOMBE (P.)], A Concise History of the Origin and Progress of
     Printing. London, 1770, 8vo.

     MCCREERY (JNO.), The Press, a Poem. Published as a Specimen of
     Typography. Liverpool, 1803–27, 4to.

     MADDEN (J. P. A.), Lettres d’un Bibliographe, 5 vols. Paris,
     1868–78, 8vo.

     MASON (MONCK), Life of William Bedell, D.D. London, 1843, 8vo.

     MEERMAN (G.), Origines Typographicæ. 2 vols. Hagæ Com., 1765, 4to.

     MILTON (JOHN), Areopagitica. (Arber’s Reprint.) London, 1868, 8vo.

     MORES (E. ROWE), A Dissertation upon English Typographical
     Founders and Founderies. London, 1778, 8vo.

     MOXON (JOSEPH), Regulæ Trium Ordinum Literarum Typographicarum.
     London, 1676, 4to.

     MOXON (JOSEPH), Mechanick Exercises, or the Doctrine of
     Handy-Works, 2 vols. London, 1677–83, 4to.

     MOXON (JOSEPH), Tutor to Astronomy and Geography, 4th ed. London,
     1686, 4to.

     NICHOLS (JNO.), Biographical and Literary Anecdotes of William
     Bowyer, Printer, F.S.A. London, 1782, 4to. {368}

     NICHOLS (JNO.), Literary Anecdotes of the Eighteenth Century, 9
     vols. London, 1812–15, 8vo.

     NICHOLS (JNO.), Illustrations of the Literary History of the
     Eighteenth Century, 8 vols. London, 1817–58, 8vo.

     NOBLE (MARK), Continuation of Granger’s Biographical History of
     England, 3 vols. London, 1806, 8vo.

     OTTLEY (W. Y.), An Inquiry concerning the Invention of Printing.
     London, 1863, 4to.

     OWEN (HUGH), Two Centuries of Ceramic Art in Bristol. 1873, 8vo.

     PACIOLI (LUCA), De Divinâ Proportione. Venice, 1509, folio.

     PALMER (SAM.), A General History of Printing. London, 1732, 4to.

     PANIZZI (SIR A.), Chi era Francesco da Bologna? London, 1858, 16mo.

     PANZER (G. W.), Annales Typographici, 11 vols. Nuremberg,
     1793–1803, 4to.

     PARR (RICHD.), The Life of James Usher, Archbishop of Armagh.
     London, 1686, folio.

     PATENTS FOR INVENTIONS. Abridgments of Specifications relating to
     Printing (1617–1857). London, 1859, 8vo.

     PATER (PAULUS), De Germaniæ miraculo, optimo, maximo, Typis
     Literarum . . Dissertatio. Lipsisæ, 1710, 4to.

     PHILIPPE (J.), Origine de l’Imprimerie â Paris. Paris, 1885, 4to.

     PRINTER’S ASSISTANT, The. London, 1810. 12mo.

     PRINTER’S GRAMMAR, The. London, 1787, 8vo.

     PSALMANAZAR (GEO.), Memoirs of. London, 1765, 8vo.

     REID (JNO.), A Specimen of the Printing Types and Flowers
     belonging to. Edinburgh, 1768, 8vo.

     RENOUARD (A.), Annales de l’Imprimerie des Alde. 3 vols. Paris,
     1825, 8vo.

     RENOUARD (A.), Catalogue de la Bibliotheque d’un Amateur. 4 vols.
     Paris, 1819, 8vo.

     RICHARDSON (REV. J.), A History of the Attempts that have been
     made to convert the Popish Native of Ireland. 1712, 8vo.

     RICHARDSON (WM.), A Specimen of a New Printing Type, in Imitation
     of the Law-hand. London, n.d. broadside.

     RIVINGTON (C. R.), Records of the Company of Stationers. London,
     1883, 8vo.

     ROCCHA (ANGELO), Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana. Rome, 1591, 4to.

     ROSSI (J. B. DE), De Hebraicæ Typographiæ Origine ac Primitiis.
     Parma, 1776, 4to.

     RUSHWORTH’S Historical Collections, 8 vols. London, 1659–1701,
     folio. Vol. 2.

     SARDINI (G.), Storia Critica di Nicolao Jenson, 3 vols. Lucca,
     1796–98, folio.

     SAVAGE (WM.), A Dictionary of the Art of Printing. London, 1841,

     SAVAGE (WM.), Practical Hints on Decorative Printing. London,
     1822, 4to.

     SCHOEPFLIN (J. D.), Vindicisæ Typographiæ. Argentorati, 1760, 4to.

     SCHWAB (M.), Les Incunables Orientaux. Paris, 1883, 8vo.

     SHENSTONE (WM.), Works in Verse and Prose, 3 vols. London, 1791,

     SKEEN (W.), Early Typography. Colombo, 1872, 8vo.

     SMITH (JNO.), The Printer’s Grammar. London, 1755, 8vo.

     SMITH (THOS.), Vitæ quorundam eruditissimorum et illustrium
     Virorum. London, 1707, 4to.

     STAR-CHAMBER. A Decree of Starre Chambre concerning Printing (11
     June, 1637). London, 1637, 4to.

     STATE PAPERS, Domestic, Calendars of, Various years.

     STOWER (C.), The Printer’s Grammar. London, 1808, 8vo.

     STRYPE (JNO.), Life and Acts of Matthew Parker. London, 1711,

     THIBOUST (C. L.), De Typographiæ Excellentiâ; Carmen. Paris, 1718,

     THOMAS (ISAIAH), The History of Printing in America, (2nd ed.), 2
     vols., Albany, 1874, 8vo.

     TIMPERLEY (C.), Encyclopædia of Literary and Typographical
     Anecdote. London, 1842, 8vo.

     TIMPERLEY (C.), Songs of the Press, London, 1833, 8vo.

     TODD (H. J.), Memoirs of the Life and Writings of the Rt. Rev.
     Brian Walton, D.D., 2 vols. London, 1821, 8vo.

     TORY (GEOFROY), Champ-Fleury. Paris, 1529, sm. folio.

     TRITHEMIUS (JOH.), Annales Hirsaugienses, 2 vols. St. Gall, 1690,

     TWYN (JNO.), An Exact Narrative of the Tryal and Condemnation of.
     Lond., 1664, 4to.

     UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE, London, 1750, 8vo.

     [WATSON (JAMES)], The History of the Art of Printing. Edinburgh,
     1713, 8vo.

     WETTER (JOH.), Kritische Geschichte der Erfindung der
     Buchdruckerkunst. Mainz, 1836, 8vo., and atlas of plates.

     WILLEMS (A.), Les Elzevier; Histoire et Annales Typographiques.
     Bruxelles, 1880.

     WILKINS (DAVID), Concilia Magnæ Britanniæ et Hiberniæ. London,
     1737, folio. Vol. 4.

     WOOD (ANTHONY À), Athenæ Oxonienses, 2 vols. Lond., 1791–2, folio.

     YCAIR (J. DE), Orthographia Practica. Caragoça, 1548, 4to.




_Acta Apostolorum, Gr., Lat. (Laud. Codex)_, Oxford 1715; 321

_Acta Sanctorum Hiberniæ_, Louvain, 1645; 75

Adams (Geo.), successor to Moxon, 192

Advertisement of Caxton, 49, 87

_Ælfredi Res Gestæ_, Lond. 1574; 73, 95, 96, 98, 144, 176

_Ælfric’s Paschal Homily_, Lond. 1567; 73, 95: Lond. 1623; 73

_Æneas Silvius_, Louvain, 1483; 43

_Æsop’s Fables_, Milan, 1480; 57: Louvain, 1513; 59

Aldus Manutius, Specimen, 49, 169; ‘Silver type’, 106; Greek, 58;
Hebrew, 62; Initials, 80; Italic, 50; Ornaments, 82; Roman, 41

Alexandrian Greek, matrices, Grover, 198, 204, 321; James, 228, 303,
321; Fry, 303, 304, 311, 321; Jackson, 321, 322

_Alfieri, Works of_, Kehl, 1786–1809; 286

_Alphabet Irlandais_, Paris, 1804; 76, 191

_Alphabetarium Runic-Swed._, Stockholm, 1611; 72

_Alphabetum, Heb., Gr._, Paris 1507; 62: Paris 1516; 63

Amerbach, Roman type of, 43

America, first letter-founders in, 350

Ames (Jos.) on Caxton’s types, 84, 242; on Caslon’s, 242; inaccuracy
of, 349

Amharic, same as Ethiopic, 69, 177; Castell’s, 177; Oxford, 177; Fry,
309, 311

Amman (Jost), _Book of Trades_, 104

ANDERTON (GEO.) founder, 246, 350; specimen of, 350

ANDREWS (ROB.) 157, 166, 194–197; succeeds Moxon, 194; punches cut by,
74, 157, 196; summary of foundry, 195; foundry sold, 197

——— Matrices: Anglo-Norman, 196; Arabic, 195; Blacks, 194, 196, 312;
Ethiopic, 194, 193; Greek, 195, 197; Hebrew, 194, 195; Irish, 194, 196;
Music, 77, 196; Roman and Italic, 195, 197; Samaritan, 70, 195; Saxon,
74, 157, 196; Secretary, 196; Signs, etc., 196; Syriac, 195, 241

ANDREWS (SYL.) son of above, 149, 195, 209; supplies Baskett, 210;
foundry sold, 211; epitaph, 211

ANDREWS (SYL.) Matrices: Hebrew, 209; Roman and Italic, 209, 210


——— Matrices: Anglo-Norman, 207; Arabic, 207; Black, 207; Ethiopic,
207; Gothic, 207; Greek, 207; Roman, 207

Anglo-Norman Matrices: Andrews, 196; ‘Anon,’, 207; James, 223, 228

Anglo-Saxon; _see_ Saxon

_Anthologia, Gr._, Florence 1494; 57

Antimony, discovered, 20; use of in type metal, 20, 117; prices of, 118

Antiqua, German name for Roman, 42; Italian ditto, 42

_Antiques linguæ Brit, rudimenta_, Lond. 1621; 64

Applegarth (A.) type-casting machine of, 121

Apprentice-founders, regulation of, 130, 133; in France, 129

_Aquinas (St. Th.) Summa_, 1462; 54

Arabic, first types of, 65; printed in Black or Hebrew, 65; early in
Italy, 65, 66; Paris, 65; Leyden, 65, 141, 144; Upsala, 66

——— in England, first types, 66; printed in Italic, 66; written by
hand, 66; De Worde’s, 66, 91; Bedwell’s, 66, 145; none at Oxford, 1639,
66: Flesher’s, 66

——— Matrices: Oxford, 66, 147, 148, 155, 161; Polyglot, 66, 173, 174,
177, 198; Andrews, 195; Grover, 198, 235; ‘Anon,’ 207; James, 67, 223,
228, 303; Caslon, 67, 235, 240, 247, 254; Fry, 67, 303, 309, 311;
Caslon III, 326

——— Punches: James, 229

_Arabian Trudgman_, Lond. 1615; 66

_Arba Turim_, Pheibia, 1475; 62

Arber (E.) on early English printers, 125

_Archaionomia_, Lond. 1568; 95

_Areopagitica_ of Milton, 130

_Aristotle_, Venice, 1495; 58

Armenian, first types, 68; at Rome, 68; Paris, 68; Amsterdam, 68;
Marseilles, 68; Constantinople, 68

——— Matrices: Oxford, 62, 148, 153, 161; Caslon, 69, 239, 240, 247,
254; Caslon III, 326

Aspinwall (T.) type-casting machine of, 122

Astle (T.) on early type ‘bills,’ 28; on Day’s Saxon, 96

Atanasia, Spanish type body, 37

Athias (Jos.) Dutch founder, 114, 215; Hebrew type of, 64, 215, 238, 264

_Attempts to convert the Native Irish_, Lond., _n.d._, 190

Augustin, a type body, 32, 37

_Augustini, De Civitate Dei_, Rome, 1474; 37: Basle, 1506; 37

AUSTIN (RICHD.) letter founder, 359; cuts punches for Stephenson, 353,
359; Wilson, 360; and Miller, 355, 360; starts a foundry, 360; specimen
and advertisement, 360; anecdote of, 360; his successors, 360

——— Matrices, Roman and Italic, 360

Baber (H. H.) facs. of Alexandrian _Codex_, 322

Badius Ascensius, French printer, 20; device, 106; Greek, 58; Hebrew,
63; Roman, 43

Bagford (Jno.) notes on printing, 84, 139, 140, 144, 146, 165; on
Oxford Specimen, 154; on Oxford Printing House, 156

Bagster (S.), Polyglot _Bible_ of, 65, 308, 311, 341; Hebrew, cut for,
65, 341; Syriac, 308, 311, 342

BAINE (JNO.) partner with Wilson, 239, 260; begins a foundry in London,
349; in Edinburgh, 349; specimens, 263, 349, 350

Barclay (R.) patent punches of, 119

Barker (Chr.) report on printers, 1582: 126

Barker (F.) printer of ‘Wicked’ _Bible_, 142, 143

Barnes (Jos.) Oxford printer, 140

BARTON—letter founder, 364

Base-Secretary, peculiar type, 55, 56, 289

BASKERVILLE (JNO.) 268–87; early training, 268; first types cut by,
268, 269, 275; letters to Dodsley, 270–2; _Virgil_, 1757, 271, 272,
273; specimens, 271, 276, 277, 287; preface to _Milton_, 275; tribute
to Caslon, 243, 275; employed by Oxford Press, 160, 273, 274; dazzling
impressions of, 275, 279; relics of, at Oxford, 160, 162, 274;
privilege from Cambridge, 276, 278; type bodies, 276; punch-cutters
for, 269, 277, 353; letter to H. Walpole, 278; prejudice against, 278,
279, 280, 284; folio _Bible_, 1763, 279; tries to sell business, 278,
281, 284; correspondence with Franklin, 280, 281; various tributes
to, 263, 272, 277, 280, 284; retires from printing, 281, resumes 281;
death, 281; personal notices of, 282; epitaph and burial, 282, 283;
portrait, 283; his influence on English typography, 284, 299, 305, 310,
332, 333; destination of his types, 287, 286

——— Matrices: Roman, 47, 48, 263, 270, 271, 275, 276, 277, 279, 280,
284; Greek, 61, 160, 273, 274; Initials, 81, 270

Bakerville (Mrs.) notice of, 282, 283; her advertisements, 283; book
printed by, 238

Baskett (Jno.) printer at Oxford, 210; his ‘Vinegar’ _Bible_, 1717–16,
210; inventory of his types, 210; ‘silver initials’ of, 107, 211

Batarde, a class of type, 36, 53, 55

Bay (Jno.) early American founder, 350

Beaumarchais, purchases Baskerville’s foundry, 284; typographical
establishment at Kehl, 285; editions of _Voltaire_, 285, 286

_Beauties of the Poets_, Lond. 1788; 306

Bebel, Hebrew type of, 63

_Bede’s Works_, Camb. 1644; 74

Bedell (Bp.) _A B C. or Catechism_, Dublin, 1631, 188; Irish _Old
Testament_, Lond. 1685; 188

Bedwell (Wm.) buys Arabic abroad, 66, 145

BELL and STEPHENSON, letter founders, 353

_Bellows’ French Dictionary_, Edinburgh, 1873; 356

Bengalee matrices, Jackson, 317, 318; Wilkins, 318

Bensley (T.) printer, employs Figgins, 336

Bernard (A.) on sculpto-fusi types, 8; sand-cast type, 10, 12; ‘getté
en molle,’ 13; on early founts, 27

Berte (A. F.) type-casting machine of, 119, 120

Berthelet (T.) types of, 94; _Boke named the Governour_, 94

BESLEY (ROBT.) partner of Thorowgood, 296

BESSEMER (ANT.) letter founder, 254, 265, 358; starts at Charlton, 358;
joined, by J. J. Catherwood, 358; removes to London, 359; minute types
cut by, 358, 359; foundry sold, 359; specimens, 358, 359

——— Matrices:—Roman and Italic, 359

Bessemer (H.) son of above, type casting machine of, 265, 359

Bettenham (Jas.) printer, 234; assists Caslon, 234

Bewick (T.) wood-engraver, 306, 330, 331

_Bible_ (_Polyglot_), Complutum, 1514–17; 59, 63, 169, 170; Antwerp,
1569–72; 51, 59, 64, 169, 170; Heidelberg, 1586; 170; Hamburg, 1596;
170; Nuremburg, 1599; 170: Paris, 1645; 66, 67, 70, 169, 170, 171;
London, 1657; 47, 66, 68, 69, 70, 98, 136; account of, 168–176; London,
1817–28, &c., 65, 68, 308, 341

——— (_Hebrew_) Soncino, 1488; 62; Basle, 1534: 63; Hamburg, 1587
and 1603; 63, 247; Amsterdam, 1639; 64; Amsterdam, 1667; 64, 215;
Amsterdam, 1705; 64

_Bible_, (_Greek_) Alexandrian Codex, Lond. 1816–21; 322

——— (_Latin_) Mentz _n.d._, 26, 27, 53

——— (_English_) Lond. 1539 (Grafton’s) 124; Edinburgh 1576 (Bassendyne)
46; Lond. 1631 (Barker) 142, 198; Lond. 1653 (Field) 47; Oxford,
1717–16 (Baskett) 210; Cambridge 1763 (Baskerville) 279; Lond. 1774–6
(Moore) 301; Bristol, 1774 (Pine) 301; Lond. 1776 (Pasham) 324; Lond.
1777 (Fry) 302; Lond. 1800 (Macklin) 323, 336

——— (_Armenian_) Amsterdam, 1666; 68

——— (_Irish_) Lond. 1685; 75, 190; Lond. 1690; 190

——— (_Russian_) Prague, 1517–19; 71

——— (_Sclavonic_) Ostrog, 1581; 71: Moscow, 1663; 71

——— (_Syriac_) Lond. 1829; 68

Bible-height at Oxford, 155

Bible-printing, complaints of, 232

Bibliander, on wooden types, 4

_Bibliotheca Apostolica Vaticana_, Rome, 1591; 65, 67, 68

‘Bill’ of early founders, 28

Bill (Jno.) Hebrew type of, 64

Binneman (H.) types of, 96

BLACK, a founder, 364

Black letter, early use of in England, 54, 97; Caxton’s, 53, 87, 88,
89, 312, 343; De Worde’s, 53, 89, 90, 91, 197, 199, 225, 239; Faques’,
93; fashions in, 54; semi-gothic, 55, 94; mixed with Roman, 45, 80

——— Matrices:—Oxford, 148, 161; Polyglot, 173, 177; Andrews, 196, 312;
Grover, 197, 199, 225; Head, 206, 241; Mitchell, 206, 241; ‘Anon.’,
207; James, 54, 214, 217, 223, 228, 303; Caslon, 54, 239, 240, 248,
254; Wilson, 264; Fry, 303, 310, 311, 334; Thorne, 295; Caslon III,
326; Figgins, 340, 343

Blades (Wm.) on early schools of typography, 9; on page by page
printing, 26; _Life of Caxton_, 83; on early letter-founding, 102

BLAKE, GARNETT & CO., purchase Caslon IV’s foundry, 327; specimen, 328;
Orientals, 328

Blind type: Haüy’s, 78; Lucas, 79; Frere, 79; Moon, 79; Braille, 79;
Carton, 79; Alston, 78, 79, 309; Fry, 78, 79, 308, 309

Block books, not typographical, 2; latest printed, 2

Block-printing, _see_ Stereotype

Bodies, _see_ Type-bodies

Bodman on wooden types, 4

Bodoni (G. B.) notice of, 251, 252; specimens, 50, 252; influence on
English typography, 251, 331; _Manuale Tipografico_, 72, 252; Etruscan
letter of, 72; Greek, 61, 252, 332; Roman, 48, 251; Russian, 72

_Boëthius de Consolatione_, Oxon. 1698; 151

_Boke named the Governour_, Lond. 1531; 94

Bolts (W.) Bengalee type cut for, 317, 318, 319

Bomberg, Hebrew type of, 62

Bourgeoise, a class of type, 32

Bourgeois, an English type-body, 33, 39

Bourgeois (J. de) Rouen printer, 103

BOWER (G. W.) Sheffield founder, 357; specimen, 357; partners of, 357;
attempt to regulate type bodies, 35, 357; foundry sold, 357

Bowyer (Wm.) printer, account of, 234; Saxon type used by, 74, 157,
289; fire of his office, 157, 197, 205, 234; his aid to Caslon, 234,
236, 238, 316

Bowyer (Wm. II) his aid to Jackson, 315, 316, 323

Boydell (Jno.) founder of the Shakespeare press, 330

Boyle (R.) Irish type cut for, 189

Bradshaw (Henry) on the type of the _Mentz Psalter_, 11; on the first
Oxford types, 138

Branston, engraver and maker of cast ornaments, 360; his stereoplates
for music, 360

Breaking off, process in founding, 111, 115, 116, 117, 131

‘Breaks’ of early types, 22

Breitkopf (J. G.) Leipzig founder, 296; German type of, 296; Map type,
296; Music, 78, 296; Russian, 71, 72, 296

Brèves (Sav. de) Arabic cut for, 66; Syriac, 67

_Breviary_ (_Icelandic_), Hoolum, 1531; 73

Brevier, a type body, 32; English, 32, 33, 39, 129; German, 38

Brilliant, an English type body, 356

_British Theatre_, Lond. 1791–2; 52

Brotherly Meeting of Printers, 165, 166, 171, 178, 193, 194, 197, 205

BROWN, letter-founder, 358

Browne (J.) Hebrew used by, 64

Bruce (D.) type-casting machine of, 122

Buchanan (Cl.) Syriac cut for, 342

Buck (T.) Cambridge printer, 141

Buel (Abel) early American founder, 350

_Bullock’s Oratio_, Camb. 1521; 141

Bulmer (W.) fine printer, 330, 331, 333; employs Birmingham cutters,
284, 331; prints for Roxburghe club, 312, 334

Burghers (M.) Oxford University engraver, 151, 210

Bus (J.) Dutch founder, 114, 215

_Cædmon’s Paraphrase of Genesis_, Amsterdam, 1655; 74

_Calasio Concordantiæ_, Lond. 1747; 346

Cambridge University, early printing at, 139, 141; offer to buy the
Paris Greek, 61, 141; Greek types at, 60, 141; borrow type from Oxford,
61, 141; Saxon types of, 74; privilege to Ged for stereotype, 219; to
Baskerville, 276, 278; Orientals, cut by Fry for, 308

_Cambro-brytannicæ . . lingua Institutiones_, Lond. 1592; 64

Canon, a type body, 32, 36; Tory’s definition of, 32

_Carmen Tograi_, Oxon. 1661; 66, 68

Cartlitch (Miss), married Caslon II, 248

CASLON (WM.) the First, 233–246; gunsmith’s apprentice, 233; first
attempts at typography, 233–6; first foundry, 234; early patrons, 234;
Palmer’s conduct to, 235, 238; early difficulties, 237; offers for
Grover’s foundry, 237; reputation of, 237; first specimen, 240, 290;
view of his foundry, 108, 116, 243, 288, 316; specimens, 241, 242, 280;
various tributes to, 158, 241, 242, 243, 275; wager with Ged, 219, 238;
rival to James, 219, 222, 238; buys half Mitchell’s foundry, 206, 221,
241; made a Justice, 243; his workmen, 243, 288, 290, 315, 316, 350,
351; family, 245, 246; retires, 244; anecdote of private life, 245;
dies, 246; influence on English typography, 47, 249, 284, 301, 303, 305

——— Matrices: Armenian, 69, 239, 240, 247, 254; Arabic, 67, 235,
240, 247, 254, 311; Black, 54, 239, 240, 241, 248, 254; Coptic, 70,
236, 237, 240, 234; Ethiopic, 69, 240, 254; Etruscan, 72, 239, 240,
247,254; Flowers, 222, 240, 241, 248; Gothic, 73, 239, 240, 248, 254;
Greek, 240, 241, 247, 254; Hebrew, 65, 236, 240, 247, 254; Initials,
81; Music, 254; Roman and Italic, 47, 48, 52, 159, 197, 236, 240, 247,
254, 284; Samaritan, 70, 240, 241, 247, 254; Saxon, 74, 240, 248, 254;
Syriac, 68, 240, 241, 247, 254

CASLON (WM.) the Second, son of above, enters business, 241; specimens,
246; Mores’ prejudice against, 244, 247; anecdote of, 316; dies, 248;
wife and family of, 248

——— Matrices: Black, 248; Greek, 247; Hebrew, 247; Music, 248;
‘Proscription-type,’ 248; Saxon, 74, 248; Syriac, 246

CASLON (MRS. W.) wife of above, formerly Miss Cartlitch, 248; manages
for her husband, 248; succeeds to the business in 1792, 250; member of
trade Association, 250; death, 251; tributes to, 251; decline in value
of foundry under, 251

CASLON (WM.) the Third, son of W. Caslon II, succeeds to the business,
248; specimens, 248, 249, 250; founder to His Majesty, 249; altercation
with Frys, 249, 303, 304; large sand cast type of, 250; cast ornaments,
254, 326; leaves Chiswell Street, 250; relations with Jackson, 317, 325

——— Matrices (Chiswell Street): Script, 249

——— Buys Jackson’s foundry, 325; uses Chiswell Street Orientals
and Cast Ornaments, 325, 326; specimens, 325, 326; retirement and
character, 326, 327

——— Matrices (Salisbury Square): Arabic, 326; Armenian, 326; Black,
326; Greek, 326; Hebrew, 326; Samaritan, 326; Saxon, 326; Syriac, 326

CASLON (HENRY) the First, son of W. Caslon II, 248; joint heir to
foundry, 248; wife of, 250; death, 250

CASLON (Mrs. HENRY) wife of above, formerly Miss Rowe, 200, 250; joint
proprietor of foundry, 251, 252; sole proprietor, 251; regenerates
foundry, 251; cuts new founts, 251; her partner, 252; marries Mr.
Strong, 252; illness and death, 252; specimen, 252

——— Matrices: Roman and Italic, 251, 252, 253

CASLON (HENRY) the Second, son of above, 250; infant proprietor of
foundry, 251; sole proprietor, 253; partners of, 253, 254; additions to
foundry, 253, 254, 334; state of foundry in 1825, 234; revives the Old
Style, 255; death, 255

——— Matrices: German, 254; Greek, 254; Persian, 254; Diamond Roman,
358; Sanscrit, 254

CASLON (HY. WM.) son and partner of above, 235; unites Glasgow and
Caslon foundries, 253, 263; offers foundry for sale, 255; dies, the
last of his name, 255

CASLON (WM.) the Fourth, son and partner of Wm. Caslon III, 326;
succeeds to Salisbury Square Foundry, 327; improved types, 120, 327;
‘Sanspareil’ matrices, 327; sells foundry to Blake, 327; character, 328

Caslon (Saml.) mould-maker, brother to Wm. Caslon I. 246, 350

Caslon (Thos.) bookseller, son of Wm. Caslon I, 246

Caslon Foundry, type bodies in 1841, 34; changes in the value of, 251,
255; relics preserved at, 245

Cast Ornaments, introduced by W. Caslon III, 250, 326; Fry’s, 306;
Vizitelly, Branston’s, 360, 361

Castell (E.) his _Heptaglot Lexicon_, 176, 177

Casting, primitive methods of, 9; early irregularity of, 18, 25; in
sand, 9, 10, 12; in clay, 11, 12; Moxon’s account of, 111; improvements
in, 119–22

_Castle of Otranto_, Parma, 1791; 251

_Catechism and Articles in Irish_, Dublin, 1571; 75, 187

_Catechism in Irish_, Lond. 1680?; 189

_Catena on Job_, Lond. 1637; 98, 144, 176, 198, 201, 228

CATHERWOOD (NATL.) partner of Mrs. H. Caslon, 252

CATHERWOOD (J. J.) brother to above, 253; partner of Hy. Caslon II,
253; leaves Chiswell Street, 254; notice of, by Johnson, 254; starts a
foundry, 254, 358; joins A. Bessemer, 358; retires, 359

_Catholicon_, Mentz, 1460; 16

Caxton (Wm.) first English printer, 84; early training, 84, 85;
probable methods of type founding, 85, 86, 343; type cast by, 84, 85,
102; mould of, 88; types of, 86–9; Black, 53, 87, 88; Secretary, 55,
86, 87, 88; Initials, 79; type ornaments, 82; first books of, 86; his
advertisement, 49, 87; printed page by page, 26; translation of _Ovid’s
Metamorphoses_, by, 312; employs a foreign printer, 91; facsimiles of
his types, 343, 344

Celtis, his reference to cut types, 7

Certificate, letter founders’, form of, 135

‘Chalcographia,’ derivation of, 15

_Champfleury_, Paris, 1529; 32, 183

Chapel (a founders’), account of, 112, 166, 186

Chapman, prints with Baskerville’s types, 283

Charles II and the _London Polyglot_, 176; on the Alexandrian _Codex_
facsimile, 203

Chevillier (A.) on the _London Polyglot_, 172

Chinese type cast in plaster moulds, 15

_Christian Doctrine_, Dublin 1652; 75, 188

_Christianæ Pietatis prima Institutio_, Lond. 1578; 98

_Chronological account of Irish writers_, Dublin 1820; 190

_Chrysostomi Homiliæ_, Lond. 1543; 60, 95: _Opera_, Oxon. 1586; 60,
140; _Translations from_, Oxon. 1602; 64: _Opera_, Eton 1610–12; 60, 140

Church (W.) Type casting machine of, 121

Cicero’s suggestion of mobile types, 3

Cicero, a type body, 32, 38

_Cicero de Officiis_, Mentz 1465; 38, 57; Rome 1469; 38

——— _de Oratore_, Rome 1465; 40

Civilité, Lettre de, a French cursive, 56; Plantin’s, 56

Clarendon Printing House, Oxford, 156

Clarke (S.) Oxford architypographus, 146

Classical ‘height-to-paper’ at Oxford, 155, 274

Claudin (A.) old Lyonnaise types of, 20; on early type markets, 103

Clayton (Robt.) patent matrices, 16, 121

_Clemens Romanus ad Corinthios_, Oxon. 1633; 143, 201

_Codex Alexandrinus_, history of, 200; attempts to facsimile, 200–5,

_Codex Bezæ_, facsimile of, Camb. 1793; 322

_Collection of Hymns_, Bristol 1769; 299

Colonel, a Dutch and German type body, 39

_Commentary on the Pentateuch_, Reggio 1475; 62

_Common Prayer_, Lond. 1550; 77: Cambridge 1760–2; 279

——— (_Irish_) Dublin 1608; 75, 187; Lond. 1712; 190

Complutensian _Polyglot_, types of, 59, 63, 169

Copland (R.) printer, types of, 94

Coptic types of the Propaganda, 69; Voskens, 70; Fournier, 70

——— Matrices: Oxford, 70, 147, 148, 153, 155, 161; Grover, ‘new-hand,’
198, 200; Caslon, 70, 236, 237, 240, 247, 254

Cornish (J. D.) his specimen of Caslon’s types, 246

Corpus, a German type body, 39

Coster legend disposed of by Van der Linde, 2

COTTRELL (THOS.) 221, 288–92; apprentice to Caslon, 243, 288, 290, 316;
starts a foundry, 288, 316; his tribute to Caslon, 244, 290; specimens,
290, 291, 292; repairs the Elstob Saxon, 158, 289; Fournier’s notice
of, 290; private in the Guards, 290, 316; Nichols’ notice of, 291; his
foundry, 292

——— Matrices: Domesday, 74, 291, 292, 294, 320; Engrossing, 56, 289,
290, 291, 292, 295; Flowers, 290, 291, 292; “Proscription,” 291, 292,
317; Roman and Italic, 48, 289, 290, 291, 292; Russian, 72, 291

Court Hand, early English, 55, 289

——— Matrices: Grover, 199, 204; James, 228, 303; Fry, 303

Cromwell (Oliver), his aid to the London _Polyglot_, 172, 175

Cupi, a Dutch punch cutter, 114, 215, 216

Cursiv, a German name for Italic, 51

‘Cut matrices,’ a misnomer, 8

_Cyclopædia_, E. Chambers, Lond. 1728; 38: Lond. 1738; 241: Lond.
1784–6; 250, 203

Danish type at Oxford, 73, 151

Dawks (I.) Script type of, 173

Day (Jno.) printer, account of, 95–101; a letter-founder, 96; his Star
Chamber case _v._ Ward, 124. His types: Greek, 98; Hebrew, 64, 98;
Italic, 51, 96, 97, 98, 144; Music, 77, 98; Roman, 47, 96, 97, 98, 144;
Saxon, 73, 96

_De Antiquitate Britannicæ Ecclesiæ_, Lond. 1572; 97

_De Arte Supputandi_, Lond. 1522; 92

_De Divinâ Proportione_, Venice, 1509; 183

_De Emendatâ Structurâ_, Lond. 1524; 60, 93

_De Linguæ Arabicæ Utilitate_, Oxon, 1639; 66

_De Linguâ Etruriæ_, Oxon. 1735; 239

_De Siglis Arabum_, Lond. 1648; 66

De Vinne (Theo.) on early type moulds, 9, 17

_De Visibili Romanarchiâ_, Lond. 1573; 97

De Worde. _See_ Worde (W. de)

Demetrius of Crete, Greek types of, 57, 58

_Demetrius Phalereus_: Glasgow, 1743; 261

Descendiaen, a Dutch type body, 38

Deva Nagari matrices: Jackson, 319; Wilkins, 318

Diamond, an English type body, 40; a Dutch body, 40, 304; matrices in
Grover’s foundry, 197, 199; founts cut in by Wilson, 264; Fry, 304;
Bessemer, 358, 359

_Diary of Lady Willoughby_, Lond. 1844; 255

Dibdin (T. F.) on Black letter fashions, 54; on Caxton’s types, 84;
Bibliographical Works of, 333

_Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers_, Westminster, 1477; 86

Didot (A. F.) improved Script type, 56, 120, 308, 312.

Didot (F.) on Polytype printing, 13, 220

Didot (F. A.) typographical points of, 35; Roman type of, 48

Didot (H.) Semi-Nonpareil cut by, 40; Diamond, 359; Patent type-casting
machine, 121, 361

_Dilworth’s Spelling Book_, Lond. _n.d._ 306

_Dives et Pauper_, Lond. 1493; 91

_Diurnale Gr. Arab._ Fano, 1514; 65

_Doctrinale_, ‘getté en molle,’ 13

Domesday matrices:—Cottrell, 74, 291, 292, 294, 320; Jackson, 74, 291,
320, 321, 340; Figgins, 339, 340, 343

_Domesday Book_, Lond. 1783; 74, 320, 321, 340

_Domesday Book Illustrated_, Lond. 1788; 321

_Donlevey’s Irish Catechism_, Paris, 1742; 75

Double Pica, an English type body, 33, 36

Dressing, an operation in founding, 111, 115, 116

Drury (J. I.) letter cutter to Mrs. H. Caslon, 251

_Ductor in Linguas_, Lond. 1617; 64, 73, 171

DUMMERS, a letter founder, 345; Samaritan type cut for Caslon, 70, 241,

Dürer (A.) on the shape of letters, 32, 183

Dutch Founders, notices of, 113, 213–217; type of, in England, 46, 51,
61, 80, 114, 210, 233; in Scotland, 257, 238; cessation of trade with,
237, 249

Dutch ‘Bloomers,’ 80, 258

Duverger (E.) on early type moulds, 23

East (T.) Music type of, 77

East India Company, types cut for, 318, 319, 339

_Elementa Linguæ Persicæ_, Lond. 1649; 66

Elstob (Eliz.) Saxon works of, 74, 157; account of her, 157, 158: her
_Saxon Grammar_, 157, 158

Elzevirs, types of: Greek, 264; Hebrew, 64; Orientals, 66, 141; Roman,
44, 263

Emerald, an English type body, 34

English, an English type body, 32, 33, 37; a name for Black Letter, 37,

English Two-line, an English type body, 36

_English-Saxon Homily on St. Gregory’s Day_, Lond. 1709; 74, 156

Engrossing matrices; Cottrell, 56, 289, 290, 291, 292, 295

Enschedés, Dutch letter founders, 215; leaden matrices in their
foundry, 15; specimens of their old Italic, 52; Gothic, 53; Flamand,
54; Civilité, 56; Initials, 80

Enschedé (J.) on wooden types, 6

Erasmus at Cambridge, 141

Erpenius, Oriental matrices and types of, 65, 69, 144

_Essai sur l’Education des Aveugles_, Paris, 1786; 78

_Essay on the Original, Use and Excellency of Printing_, Lond. 1752; 242

_Essay towards a Real Character_, Lond. 1668; 191

_Essay on Melody of Speech_, Lond. 1775; 323

Estienne (H.) Greek types of, 58; flowers, 82

Estienne (P.) his compliment to Norton, 140

Estienne (R.) type of, Greek (Royal), 58, 262; Hebrew, 63; Initials, 80

Ethiopic, early founts at Rome, 69, 174; Leyden, 69; Frankfort, 69;
Amsterdam, 69

——— Matrices: Oxford, 69, 151, 154, 155, 161; Polyglot, 69, 173, 174,
177, 195; Andrews, 198; ‘Anon.’, 69, 207; James, 228, 303; Caslon, 69,
240, 247, 254; Fry, 303, 309, 311

——— Punches: James, 229

Eton, Greek printing at, 60, 140

Etruscan type at Rome, 72, Parma, 72

——— Matrices: Caslon, 72, 239, 240, 247

_Eusebii Præparatio_, Venice, 1470; 41

_Eusebius_, Paris, 1544; 59

Everingham (R.) printer in Irish, 189, 190; works printed by his widow,

_Exposicio Simboli_, Oxon. ‘1468’; 137, 138

_Exposition on St. John_, Wesel? 1557; 45

Facsimile types, the earliest, 200, 204

Faques (W.) printer, trained at Rouen, 93, 103; types of, 93; used by
De Worde, 94

Fann Street Foundry, 294, 295, 313

Farley (Abr.) Domesday type cut for, 320

Fell (Jno.) his services to Oxford Press, 146, 150; gift of matrices,
&c., 148; report on Oxford printing, 149; his printing house, 150;
Moxon’s compliment to, 150, 183

Fenner (W.) partner of Ged, 218, 219

FENWICK (Jos.) founder, account of, 351

——— Matrices:—Scriptorial, 351

Fergusson’s proposal for regulating type bodies, 35, 357

_Fidelis Servi Responsio_, Lond. 1573; 97

FIFIELD (Alex.) founder, nominated, 130, 165; account of, 166

_Fifteen O’s_, Westminster, 1490; 82, 85

FIGGINS (VINCENT) the First, apprentice and foreman to Jackson, 324,
335, 338; fails to succeed to that foundry, 325, 335; Nichols’ aid
to, 335, 336; his first foundry, 336, 341; facsimile Romans cut by,
336, 337; employed by Oxford Press, 338; cuts type for the Record
Commission, 339, 340; for Bagster, 341; various tributes to, 340, 342,

——— Matrices:—Black, 340, 343; Domesday, 339, 340, 343; German Text,
340, 342, 343; Greek, 338, 343; Hebrew, 65, 341, 342, 343; Irish, 76,
342, 343; Persian, 339, 343; Roman and Italic, 48, 336, 337, 340;
Saxon, 74, 343; Syriac, 68, 342, 343; Télegú, 339, 343

FIGGINS (VINCENT) the Second, son of above, enters business, 343; his
anecdote of a punch-cutter, 338; his facsimile of Caxton’s type, 87,
343; body-standards in his foundry in 1841, 34

FIGGINS (JAMES) the First, son of V. Figgins I, 343

FIGGINS (JAMES) the Second, son of above, 343

Filosofia, an Italian type body, 38

Finance (Lettre de) a Script letter, 56

Fischer (G.) on wooden types, 4

Flamand, a Dutch Black-letter, 54

Flemish school of typography, 102

Flesher (Jas.) printer, 171, 178; Arabic type of, 66; Polyglot specimen
of, 171

Flesher (Miles) printer, Arabic type of, 66

Flowers, early type-, 82; H. Estienne’s, 82; Day’s, 98

——— Matrices:—Oxford, 148; Grover, 199; James, 222, 303; Caslon, 222,
240; Cottrell, 290, 291, 292; Thorne, 293, 295; Fry, 303, 307

Forme, (Lettre de) Black-letter, 36, 53, 87, 88

FOUGT (H.) Founder of music type, 78, 350; Specimen, 350

——— Matrices:—Music, 350

Foulis (R. and A.) Scotch printers, 261; to Glasgow University,
261; employ Wilson, 261; their Glasgow _Homer_, 261, 262; beautiful
impressions of, 261; the poet Gray’s tribute to, 263

Foulis (Andrew), son of above Robert, 261; his patent for stereotype,
230, 261

Founts of early printers, size of, 26, 27

Fournier, (P. S.), on wooden types, 5; typographical points of, 35;
notes on English founders, 242, 290; account of founding in France,
117; his types; Coptic, 70; Etruscan, 72; Irish, 75, 191; Music, 78;
Roman, 48; Russian, 72

FOX (BENJ.) partner in Fann Street Foundry, 296

Fractur, a German Black-letter, 54

France, first Gothic type in, 53; Letter Founding in, 114, 116; control
of founders in, 129; typographical superiority of, 124

Francesco da Bologna, cut Aldine punches, 51

Frankfort, Letter founding at, in 1568, 105, 106

Franklin (Benj.), a journeyman in London, 218, 233, 235; experiments
in casting, 15; letters to Baskerville, 280, 281; starts foundry in
America, 350

Frères de la Vie Commune, Roman type of, 41, 42

Froben (J.) his supposed acquaintance with Pynson, 91; his types;
Greek, 59; Hebrew, 63; Initials, 80; Roman, 43

Froschouer (Chr.) Roman type of, 43;

Froschouer (Jno.) Music type of, 76

FRY (JOSEPH) begins a foundry in Bristol, 298; imitates Baskerville’s
Romans, 284, 299, 305, 310; first specimens, 299; removes to London,
299; _Bibles_ printed by, 301, 302; his partners, 299, 300, 302; adopts
Caslon models, 284, 301, 305, 310; purchases at James’ sale, 230, 302,
303; quarrel with Caslon III, 249, 304; retirement and death, 304, 305

——— Matrices: Roman, 48, 284, 299, 300, 301, 310

FRY (EDMUND) son and partner of above, 302; philological talents, 302;
specimens, 305, 306, 307, 308, 313; removes foundry to Type Street,
305; his types used by Millar Ritchie, 306; his _Pantographia_, 306,
307; his partners, 306, 307, 308; new Romans of, 307, 310; dislike
to ornamented type, 307 310; letter founder to the King, 307; cuts
Orientals for Cambridge, 308; contents of foundry, 309; retires, 310;
his Address to the Public, 310; sells foundry to Thorowgood, 296, 313

FRY (EDMUND) Matrices: Alexandrian Greek, 303, 304, 309, 311; Amharic,
309, 311; Arabic, 303, 309, 311; Black, 303, 310, 311; Blind, 78, 79,
308, 309; Cast Ornaments, 306; Ethiopic, 303, 309, 311; Flowers, 303,
307; German, 309, 312; Greek, 303, 309, 311; Guzerattee, 309, 311;
Hebrew, 303, 304, 309, 311; Irish, 76, 303, 306, 309, 312; Malabaric,
309, 311; Music, 78, 310; Roman, 303, 305, 306, 307, 310; Russian, 72,
309, 312; Samaritan, 70, 303, 309, 311; Saxon, 74, 309, 312; Script,
308, 312; Syriac, 68, 303, 308, 310, 311, 342

FRY (HENRY) brother and partner of above, 302; becomes a printer, 306

FRY (WINDOVER) son and partner of Edmund Fry, 308

Fust and Schoeffer, music types of, 76; Initials, 79, 80

‘Fusus,’ use of word in colophons, 8

Fyner (C.), Hebrew type of, 62

Gaillarde, a French type-body, 39

_Galenus de Temperamentis_, Camb. 1521; 141

_Gallicantus_, Lond. 1498; 92

Gallie (Jno.) manager to Wilson, 266; partner with Dr. Marr, 266

_Game and Play of the Chesse_ (facs.), Lond. 1855; 87, 343

Garamond (Cl.) mould of, 23; Roman cut by, 44; Greek, 58

Garmond, a foreign type body, 39

Ged (Wm.) inventor of Stereotype, 218, 219, 258; misfortunes and
failure of, 219, 238; _Biographical Memoirs of_, 219

Gem, an English type body, 356

Gering, first Paris printer, Greek type of, 58; Roman, 43

German matrices: Caslon, 254; Thorne, 295; Thorowgood, 296; Fry, 309,

German-Text matrices: Figgins, 340, 342, 343

Geschreven Schrift, a German Script, 56

‘Getté en molle’, signification of, 13, 14

Glasgow University; fine printing at, 261

Glosa, a class of type, 32

Glosilla, a Spanish type body, 32, 39

Goes (H.) York printer, used De Worde’s types, 89

_Golden Legend_, Westminster, _n. d._; 88

_Goldsmith and Parnell_, Lond. 1795; 331

GORING (THOS.) letter-founder, 193; nominated 133, 193; notice of, 166

Gothic letter, origin of, 53; Petrarch’s aversion to, 53; Prevost’s
eulogy of, 53

Gothic language; types of at Amsterdam, 73

——— Matrices: Oxford, 73, 150, 151, 155, 161; ‘Anon.’, 207; James, 73,
225, 228; Caslon, 73, 239, 240, 248, 254

Gough (Jno.) his anecdotes of Jackson, 321, 323; of Ilive, 348

Gourmont (G. de) Greek type of, 58; Hebrew, 62, 63

Graff (Baltus de), partner of Cottrell, 288

Grafton (Rd.) Bible printed by, 124; Music type of, 77; Dibdin’s
tribute to, 101

_Grammar of the Bengal Language_, Hoogly, 1778; 318

_Grammar of the Sanskrita Language_, Lond. 1808; 319

Granjon (N.) French, letter-cutter, Greek types of, 59; Music, 77;
“Civilité”, 56

_Gray’s Poems_, Glasgow, 1768; 263: Parma, 1793; 251

_Great Charter_, Oxford, 1759: 159

Great Primer, an English type body, 33, 37, 86

Greek: earliest, Schoeffer’s, 57; early founts, Italy, 57, 58;
France, 58, 59, 60, 61; Netherlands, 59, 61; Spain, 59; Germany, 60;
Switzerland, 59; Lascaris “litteræ majusculæ,” 57; French “Characteres
Regii,” 59, 60, 61, 141, 262

——— In England: De Worde’s, 60, 91; Siberch’s, 60, 141; Pynson’s, 60,
93; Day’s, 98; Wolfe’s, 60, 95; Mierdman’s, 60; Oxford, 60, 140, 141;
Eton, 60, 140, 145; Royal founts, 60, 142, 144, 167, 201, 202; borrowed
by Cambridge from Oxford, 60, 141; Dutch founts in England, 61;
Cambridge offers for Paris Greek, 61, 141; large number of ligatures,
61; minute sizes, 61, 62, 254; fashions in, 61, 274; Porson’s
improvement in, 62, 342

——— Matrices: Oxford, 61, 148, 160, 161, 273, 274; Polyglot, 173, 174;
Andrews, 61, 195, 197; Grover, 61, 198, 200; Head, 206; Mitchell, 206,
241; “Anon.”, 207: James, 195, 197, 213, 214, 217, 221, 223, 228,
303; Caslon, 240, 241, 247, 254; Wilson, 61, 261, 262, 263, 264, 265;
Baskerville, 61, 160, 273, 274; Thorowgood, 296; Fry, 303, 307, 309,
311; Jackson, 61, 311, 317, 321, 322; Caslon III, 326; Martin, 61, 332;
Figgins, 338, 343; Ilive, 347

——— Punches: James, 229

Greek, Alexandrian; _see_ Alexandrian Greek

Grierson (G.) Irish printer, his patent, 260; establishes
letter-founding, 261

Grierson (Boulter), son of above, his petition, 260

GRISMAND (JOHN) Star Chamber founder, 130, 165; notices of, 165, 166

Gromors, Arabic types of, 65

Gros Bâtarde, a French Secretary type, 55; Colard Mansion’s, 55, 86, 87

Gros Romain, a French type body, 37

GROVER (JAS.) letter-founder, 166, 197

GROVER (THOS.) son of above, letter-founder, 157, 166, 197–205; Royal
founts in his foundry, 197, 203; Caslon offers for foundry, 205, 237;
disposal of it, 205

——— Matrices: Alexandrian Greek, 198–205; Arabic, 198; Blacks, 197,
109, 225; Cursives, 199; Greek, 198; Hebrew, 198; Music, 77, 199;
Roman and Italic, 197, 198, 199; Samaritan, 70, 198; Saxon, 199;
Scriptorials, 199; Signs, 199; Syriac, 198, 241

Gutenberg’s types, migrations of, 28

Guzerattee matrices: Fry, 309, 311

Hahn (Ul.) Roman type of, 41; his _Cicero_, 38; his _St. Augustine_, 37

Halhed (N. B.) his _Bengal Grammar_, 318; his account of C. Wilkins, 318

Hanbey (Mr.) son-in-law of Caslon I, 246

Hancock (C.) buys Hughes’ Music matrices, 363

Handy (J.) a punch-cutter employed by Baskerville, 269, 353

Hansard (T. C.) on type fashions, 48; notices of founders from his
_Typographia_, 251, 253, 254, 258, 264, 296, 309, 310, 312, 326, 328,
332, 336, 342, 343, 352, 355, 361, 364

Hare (Bp.) transactions with Caslon, 238

Harris (Messrs.) use Baskerville’s types, 286

Hautin, Music type of, 77

Haüy, Blind type of, 78

Hawkins (Sir J.) his anecdote of Caslon, 245

Hazard, Bath printer, notice of, 307

HEAD (GODFREY) letter founder, 133, 166, 205

——— Matrices: Black, 206; Greek, 206

HEAPHY, letter founder, 364

Hebrew type, first use of, 62; early founts in Italy, 62; France, 62,
63; Spain, 63; Germany, 63; Netherlands, 63, 64, 65

——— in England: De Worde’s, 64, 91; Day’s, 64, 98; at Oxford, 64;
London, 64

——— Matrices: Oxford, 64, 147, 148, 154, 160, 161; Polyglot, 64, 171,
173, 174, 177, 194; Andrews, 195; Grover, 198; James, 64, 65, 223, 227,
303; Caslon, 65, 236, 238, 240, 246, 247, 254; Wilson, 264, 265; Fry,
303, 304, 309, 311; Jackson, 317; Caslon III, 326; Figgins, 65, 341,
342, 343; Thorowgood, 296; Jalleson, 346

_Hebrew Dictionary_, Louvain, 1520? 63

_Hebrew Grammar_, Paris, 1508; 63; Leipsic, 1520, 63; Paris, 1520; 63:
Louvain, 1528; 63

Height-to-paper of sand-cast types, 10; of old Lyons types, 21; of old
Cologne types, 25; varieties of at Oxford, 155

Heilman, Gros Bâtarde type of, 55

Henfrey (J.) type-casting machine of, 121

Herbert (W.) his account of Caxton’s types, 84; on early use of Roman
and Italic, 91, 97

_Herodotus_, Oxford, 1590; 60, 140

Hibernian type, _see_ Irish

_Hickes’ Thesaurus_, Oxon. 1703–5; 72, 73, 74, 150, 156

——— _Saxon Grammar_, Oxon. 1711; 74

_History of England_ (Hume’s) Lond. 1806; 323, 336

Hogarth and Baskerville’s types, 47

_Homeri Opera_, Florence, 1488; 58: Glasgow, 1756–58; 62, 261, 262:
Parma, 1808; 251: Lond. 1831; 62, 254

——— _Batrachomyomachia_, Venice, 1486; 58: Paris, 1507; 58

Hooght (Van der) Hebrew types of, 64

_Horæ_ (_Greek_), Louvain, 1516; 59

_Horatii Opera_, Sedan, 1627; 46: Glasgow, 1744; 261: Birmingham, 1762;

Horman (W.) his indenture with Pynson, 92

Hostingue, a Rouen printer, 103

HUGHES (HUGH) partner with Thorne, 294, 363; starts a foundry, 363;
specimen, 363; his music type, 363

——— Matrices: music, 78, 363

Hunte (Thos.) early Oxford printer, 137, 138

Hutter, curious Hebrew type of, 63, 247; his Polyglot _Bible_, 170

_Iberno-Celtic Society’s Transactions_, Dublin, 1820; 190

Iceland, early printing in, 73

Icelandic matrices at Oxford, 73, 151, 155

ILIVE (JACOB) letter founder, 346–9; his eccentricities, 347, 348;
forged _Book of Jasher_, 348; heads schism in Stationers’ Company, 348;
his foundry bought by James, 221, 347

——— Matrices: Greek, 221, 347; Roman, 347

IMISSON, letter founder, 352

Imprimerie Royale, Paris, establishment of, 58; Greek type of, 58, 59,
60, 61; Roman, 44, 48

Initials of Mentz _Psalter_, 79; early cutters of, 79, 80; Caxton’s,
79; Day’s, 98; ‘Two-line letters,’ 80; Pictorial, 80; Dutch, 80; Bible,
80; Armorial, 80; pierced, 81; Oxford copperplate, 80, 159; fashions
in, 81; Baskett’s ‘Silver initials,’ 107, 211

_Introductio ad Lectionem Ling. Oriental._ London, 1655; 172

Ireland, letter foundry in, 260, 265; printing patent for, 260; Scotch
and English type supplied to, 260, 265. Vernacular printing in, 75, 76,
186, 187, 188

Irish type in Dublin, 75, 186, 187; Antwerp, 75; Louvain, 75, 188, 191;
Rome, 75, 191; Paris, 75, 76, 191; revival of Irish printing, 76, 191

——— Matrices: Moxon, 75, 76, 155, 186, 189, 190, 194, 306; Andrews,
194, 196; James, 229, 303; Fry, 229, 303, 306, 309, 312; Figgins, 342,

——— Punches: James, 229

Iron, an ingredient in type metal, 21, 112

Irregular type bodies, origin of, 33

Isla (Lord) patron of Wilson, 258

Italic, first cut by Aldus, 50; early foreign founts, 51; Van Dijk’s,
52; various uses for, 52

——— In England, fashions in, 52; De Worde’s, 52, 91; Day, 52, 96,
97, 98, 144, 176; Vautrollier, 51, 98; James, 214, 217; Caslon, 52;
Baskerville, 275

——— See also _s.v._ Roman and Italic

Italy, first Roman type in, 40; first Gothic type in, 53

JACKSON (JOS.) apprentice to Caslon I, 243, 288, 315; first punch
cut by, 315; dismissed, 243, 288, 316; partner with Cottrell, 288,
291, 316; goes to sea, 289, 316; starts a foundry, 291, 316; first
specimens, 316, 317; Bowyer’s aid to 317, 323; removes to Salisbury
Square, 317; makes a hollow square, 317; his foundry, 317; employed by
Nichols, 320, 321; Bensley, 323; Oxford Press, 338; fire of foundry,
324; elegy on, 324; death and tributes to, 324, 325; portraits of, 288,
316, 325

——— Matrices: Alexandrian Greek, 321; Bengalee, 317; Black, 317;
Codex-Bezæ Greek, 322; Deva Nagari, 319; Domesday, 74, 320, 321, 340;
Greek, 61, 311, 317, 323; Hebrew, 317; Music symbols, 323; Persian,
317; ‘Proscription’ letter, 317; Roman, 48, 317, 323; Script, 56, 317

JALLESON, letter founder, 346; his system of type bodies, 346; Hebrew
type, 346

JAMES (THOS.) letter founder, 157, 212–220; his family, 212; apprentice
to R. Andrews, 196, 212; his letters from Holland, 113, 213–17; his
foundry, 217; buys Greek of Grover, 195, 197; rivalry with Caslon, 218,
220; transactions with Ged, 218, 219; second visit to Holland, 219;
decline of his business, 220; buys Andrews’ foundry, 197, 211, 220;
death, 220; advertisement by his widow, 220

JAMES (THOS.) Matrices: Black, 214, 217; Greek, 213, 214, 217: Roman
and Italic, 46, 213, 214, 217

JAMES (JNO.) son and successor of above, 220; buys half Mitchell’s
foundry, 206, 221; Ilive’s, 221, 347; Grover’s, 205, 221; his projected
specimen, 222, 224; dies, 222; last of the Old English Founders, 221,

——— Matrices and Punches: Anglo-Norman, 228; Arabic, 67, 228, 229, 303;
Black, 91, 228. 303; Court Hand, 228, 303; Ethiopic, 228, 229, 303;
Flowers, 229, 303; Gothic, 73, 228; Greek, 220, 228, 229, 303; Hebrew,
65, 220, 227, 303; Irish, 229, 303; Runic, 72, 228; Samaritan, 70, 227,
229, 303; Saxon, 220, 228; 229; Scriptorial, 228, 303; Secretary, 228;
Syriac, 228, 229, 241

James (Dr. T.) first Bodleian Librarian, 212

James (Elianor) aunt of Thos. James the founder, 212

James (George) son of above, City Printer, 212

James (Jno.) architect, brother of Thos. James the founder, 212;
partner with Ged, 218

James’ Foundry acquired by Mores, 222; arranged for sale, 223;
catalogue and specimen, 226–30, 303; matrices lost,223, 227, 228;
punches lost, 229; obsolete founts, 224, 225; leaden matrices, 16, 228;
moulds, &c., 229, 230; sale of, 230, 302

Jannon, Sedan printer, Roman type of, 46, Greek, 61

Jansson, Hebrew type of, 64, 65

_Jasher, Book of_, Lond. 1751; 348

_Jason_, Westminster (1477), 86

Jenson, Greek type of, 58; Roman, 41

Jerome’s suggestion of mobile types, 3

Joly, a Dutch type body, 40

Journeyman founders, regulation of, 131, 133

Jungfer, a German type body, 39

Junius (Fr.) his gift to Oxford, 150, 151; Dr. Nicholson’s note on,
151; portrait of, 151

Junius (Pat.) _see_ Young (Pat.)

Jurisson, _see_ Imisson

Justifying of matrices, 10, 111, 186; a secret operation, 117

_Justinian_, Mentz, 1468; 49

Kehl, typographical establishment at, 285, 286; _Voltaire’s Works_,
printed at, 285, 286; Works by _Alfieri_ at, 286

Kerning, a process in founding, 22, 111

‘King’s House,’ Roman types, 197, 199, 203

Kipling (T.) his facsimile of _Codex Bezæ_, 322

Kirkpatrick (W.) Sanscrit type cut for, 319

KNOWLES (G.) a partner of Ed. Fry, 307

_Koran_, Venice, 1518; 65

Laborde (Leon) on wooden types, 5

Lackington (Jas.) bookseller, 325

_Lactantius_, Subiaco, 1465; 40, 57

_La Lèpre morale_, Cologne, 1476; 24

Lambinet (P.) on early polytype printing, 12

_Lascaris Anthologia_ (in Greek Capitals), Florence, 1494; 57: _Greek
Grammar_, Milan, 1476; 57

_Last Judgment_, Irish poem on, Dublin, 1571; 187

Laud (Archbp.) his services to Oxford press, 142–5, 166; letter to,
from King Charles I, 143

Le Bé (G.) cuts punches for Plantin, 107; his Arabic, 64; Hebrew, 59;
Music, 77

LEE (JOS.) letter founder, 166, 193

Lee (Dr. S.) Orientals cut for by Dr. Fry, 308

L’Estrange (R.) Surveyor of Imprimery, 132

Le Tailleur, Rouen printer for Pynson, 92

Letter-cutting by eye, not by rule, 184

Letter Founders, one named in 1597, 128, 164; regulations of, in
1622, 129, 164; in 1637, 130; in 1662, 132; in 1674, 133; in 1693,
134; called to account, 133, 134, 193, 205; petition and ‘Cause of
Complaint’ of one, in 1637, 167; To His Majesty, 178, 249, 296, 307,
329, 356; limited number of, 118, 134; Association of, 118, 250, 352,
353, 358

Letter Founding of the first printers, 9, 12, 14, 18; early secrecy of,
28; spread of, 28

——— In France: State control of, 129; Thiboust’s account of, 114; views
of in _Encyclopædia_, 116; Fournier’s account of, 117

——— In Germany: at Frankfort, in 1568, 105

——— In Netherlands: Plantin’s Foundry, 106; James’ account of Dutch
founders, 113, 213–7

——— In England: came after printing, 84; earliest record of, 93;
early practice of, 103; curious cut in the Bagford MSS., 105; divorce
from printing, 164; practised by Day, 96; early unlicensed, 128; the
London _Polyglot_ a land-mark of, 175; Moxon’s account of, 1683,
107–13, 183–6; at Oxford, in 1695, 113; custom of lending casters and
matrices, 113, 216; division of trades in, 114, 184; trade jealousies
in, 114, 118; _Universal Magazine_, 1750, account in, 108, 116; secret
operations in, 117, 288, 315, 338; rules of Thorne’s Foundry, 1806,
117, 294; conservatism of, 118; competition in, 118; State-control of,
123–136; liberty of, 134; final emancipation of, 135

Lettres Tourneures, initials, 79

Lettres de Forme, 36, 53, 87, 88

Lettres de Somme, 53, 54

Lettou and Machlinia, types of, 89

Leusden, simplified Greek types of, 61

Lever-mould, introduced, 120

_Lexicon Heptaglotton_, Lond. 1669; 176

_Liber de laudibus Mariæ_, Cologne? 1478? 24

_Life of Jewell_, Lond. 1573; 64, 98

Ligatures in old founts, 10, 27, 41, 50, 224

_Liguarum XII AIphabeta_, Paris, 1538; 67

Linde (A. Van der) on the essence of typography, 2; on ‘getté en
molle,’ 13

Literæ Florentes, initials, 79

_Littleton Tenures_ (Pynson’s), Lond. 1527; 93; (Redman’s), Lond. _n.
d._, 94

LIVERMORE (MARTIN) partner to Henry Caslon II, 254; retires from
Chiswell Street, 255

_Logique d’Okam_, 1488, contractions in, 51

_London Printer’s Lamentation_, 1660: 127, 130, 165

Long Primer, an English type-body, 32, 33, 38

Long ſ, disappearance of, 52

Louvain, Irish type at, 75, 188, 191

Lübeck, leaden matrices at, 16

Lucas (M.) printer of the ‘Wicked’ _Bible_, 142, 143

Luce (L.) Roman type of, 40, 48

_Lucerna Fidelium_, Rome, 1676; 75

Luckombe (P.) his _History of Printing_, Lond. 1770; 246, 291, 301

Ludolf, Ethiopic type used by, 69

_Ludolph’s Grammatica Russica_, Oxon. 1696; 71

LYNCH, letter founder, 358

_Lyndewode Constitutiones_, Oxon. _n.d._; 139

Lyons, early printing at, 20; fifteenth century types at, 20; nicks
used at, 120

Lyons (Israel) Hebrew type cut for, 247

_McCuirtin’s Irish Dictionary_, Paris, 1732; 75

McCreery (J.) prints with Martin’s types, 333, his poem on _The Press_,
277, 333

Machine for type casting, first, 122, 265

Machlinia and Lettou, types of, 89

McPHAIL, letter founder, 351

Madden (J. P. A.) on 15th Century type, 24; on the Wiedenbach
typographers, 41

Malabaric matrices:—Fry, 309, 311

Mansion (Colard) Caxton’s master, 84, 85, 86, 87, Gros Bâtarde type of,
55, 86, 87

Marcel (J. J.) his _Oratio Dominica_, 72, 76; his _Alphabet Irlandais_,
76, 191; Russian type of, 72; Irish, 76

_Marprelate Tracts_, types of, 127

MARR (DR. J.) acquires part of Glasgow Foundry, 266

Martens (Th.) Greek type of, 59; Hebrew, 63

Martin (Robert) agent and manager for Baskerville, 281, 330; works
printed by, 281

MARTIN (WM.) brother to above, 330; cuts punches in London, 330; starts
foundry, 330; employed by Shakespeare Press, 331–3; tributes to, 331,
332, 333; supplies McCreery, 333; foundry sold to Caslon, 254, 334;
Orientals of, 332

——— Matrices:—Greek, 332; Roman and Italic, 332, 333

Mascall (W.) proposal to register founders, 134

Mathematical signs in type, 98, 148, 191, 196, 199, 217, 342

Matrices, early forms of, 14; of lead, 14, 15, 16, 228; of clay, 15;
of wood, 16, 121; justification of, 16; struck inverted, 204; without
sides, 208; of steel, 312; ‘Sanspareil,’ 327

MATTHEWSON, letter founder in Edinburgh, 358

Maynyal, Paris printer for Caxton, 91

Mediaan, a Dutch type body, 38

Meerman on sculpto-fusi types, 7

Mentelin, Roman type of, 42

Mentz, Sack of, 28; school of typography of, 9

Meres (Jno.) son-in-law of T. Grover, 205

Metals used in type alloy, 19, 106, 112, 121; softness of, in early
types, 26; Moxon’s directions for mixing, 112

Meurs (Dr. Van) on ‘getté en molle,’ 13

Mierdman, Greek types of, 60

Miller (Peter) American printer, anecdote of, 17

MILLER (WM.) manager for Wilson, 264, 355; starts foundry, 355; his
early founts, 355; employed by the _Times_, 356; specimens, 355, 356;
partner and successors of, 356

——— Matrices:—Roman and Italic, 355, 356

MILNE & Co., founders, 266

Milton (Jno.) _Areopagitica_, 130; _Works_, Birmingham, 1758; 275;
Lond. 1794–7; 331; _Paradise Lost_, Lond. 1796; 337, 338

Minion, an English type body, 33, 39, 210; a foreign body, 39

Minsheu’s _Ductor in Linguas_, Lond. 1617; 64, 73, 171

Missal, a German type body, 36

_Missal_, printed at Lyons, 1485; 76

MITCHELL (ROBT.) founder, 206; partition of his foundry, 206, 221, 241

——— Matrices; Black, 206, 241; Greek, 206, 241; Music, 78, 206, 241;
Roman and Italic, 206; Signs, 206

Mitchelson, first American founder, 350

Mittel, a German type body, 37

Model types for clay or sand moulds, 11; as punches for lead or clay
matrices, 15, 16

Moderne, Italian name for Black letter, 43

Molloy’s _Lucerna Fidelium_, Rome, 1676; 75: _Irish Grammar_, Rome,
1677; 75

_Monasticon_, Lond. 1655; 74

MOORE (ISAAC) manager and partner of Fry and Pine, 299; specimens of,
299; inventions of, 300; retires, 302

Moreau, Script type of, 56

Mores (Ed. Rowe) account of, 222; possessor of James’ foundry, 222,
223; his _Dissertation_, 222, 223; account of early printers by, 84,
90, 92, 94; of Miss Elstob, 157; his correspondence as to her Saxon
matrices, 158, 159; his account of James’ foundry, 223; strictures on
Oxford specimen, 160; allusion to Coster, 225; prejudice against Caslon
II; 244, 247; against Baskerville, 274, 280; notice of Fry’s specimen,
300; as a compositor, 347

Morton (Dr.) Domesday type cut for, 291, 320

_Moses Choronensis_, Lond. 1736; 69, 239

Motteroz (M.) ideal Roman letter of, 48

Mould, _see_ Type-mould

MOXON (JOS.) letter founder, 180–192; specimen, 181; a printer, 182;
his offices, 181, 182; his _Regulæ Trium Ordinum_, 182; his _Mechanick
Exercises_, 107–112, 183–186; his standards of type bodies, 33, 34;
employed by Boyle, 189

——— Matrices: Irish, 75, 76, 186–191; Roman and Italic, 47, 181

_Musæus, Hero and Leander_, Lond. 1797; 332

Music; De Worde’s, 76,91; early printing abroad, 76, 77; improvements
in, 78; Grafton’s, 77; Day’s, 77, 98; Vautrollier’s, 77; East’s, 77;
‘new-tyed note’, 77; at Aberdeen, 77

——— Matrices: Oxford, 77, 148, 161; Walpergen, 77, 148, 153, 208;
Andrews, 77, 196; Grover, 77, 199; Mitchell, 78, 206, 241; Caslon, 77,
241, 248; Fry, 78, 310, 312; Fougt, 78, 350; Branston’s (stereo), 360;
Hughes, 78, 363; Jackson’s symbols, 323

Myllar (A.) Scotch printer, types of, 103

Negus (S.) list of printers by, 346

_Neilson’s Irish Grammar_, Dublin, 1808; 76, 191

_New Testament_ (_Greek_), Basle, 1516; 59: Sedan, 1628; 61: Cambridge,
1632; 60, 141: Oxford, 1763; 61, 160, 273, 274: Lond. 1786 (_Codex
Alex._); 321

——— (_Latin_), Lond. 1574; 46, 51

——— (_Arabic_), Lond. 1727; 67, 235

——— (_Coptic_), Oxon. 1716; 70, 237

——— (_Ethiopic_), Rome, 1548; 69: Lond. 1826 (_Gospels_); 69

——— (_Irish_), Dublin, 1602; 75, 187; Lond. 1681; 75, 189

——— (_Russian_), St. Petersburg, 1819–23; 72

——— (_Saxon_), Lond. 1571 (Gospels), 95

——— (_Sclavonic_), Ugrovallachia, 1512 (_Gospels_), 71: Moscow, 1564
(_Acts and Epistles_), 71

——— (_Syriac_), Paris, 1539; 67: Vienna, 1555; 67: Cothon, 1621; 67:
Hamburg, 1663; 67: Lond. 1816; 68, 342

——— (_Tamulic_), Tranquebar, 1714–19; 234

NICHOLLS (ARTHUR) letter founder, nominated, 130, 165; petition to
Archbishop Laud, 166, 167; ‘Cause of Complaint,’ 167

NICHOLLS (NICHOLAS) son of above, letter founder, 166, 177; his
father’s account of, 168; his petition to the king, 178; his specimen,
178, 181; letter founder to the king, 178

NICHOLS, an Oxford letter founder, 148, 178

Nichols (Jno.) his _Anecdotes of Bowyer_, 233; _Domesday_, facsimile
of, 320, 321; assists Figgins, 335, 336

Nicholson (W.) patent for type casting, 119, 327

Nicks, origin of, 120; early substitutes for, 22

Nicol (Geo.) founder of the Shakespeare Press, 330; employs W. Martin,

Nicol (W.) son of above, succeeds to the Shakespeare Press, 330

_Nomenclator Syriacus_, Rome, 1622; 67

Nonpareil, an English type body, 32, 33, 39, 129; a foreign body, 39

Norfolk (Duke of) employs Jackson, 317

Norton (J.) printer of the Eton _Chrysostom_, 60, 140; distinctions
conferred on, 140

Nutt (Richd.) successor to Grover’s foundry, 203

_O’Brien’s Irish Dictionary_, Paris, 1768; 75

Ogilby (Jno.) Roman letter of, 47

_O’Hussey’s Irish Catechism_, Antwerp, 1611; 75: Rome; 1707, 75

_O’Kearney’s Irish Catechism_, Dublin; 1571; 75, 187

Oporinus, Greek type of, 59

_Opusculum Musices_, Bologna, 1487; 76

_Oratio Dominica_, Lond. 1700; 64, 66, 68, 69, 70, 71, 73, 74, 154,
177, 190: Lond. 1713; 69, 155, 177, 190: Amsterdam, 1715; 69, 71, 73,
74, 154, 236: Paris, 1805; 72, 76: Parma; 1806, 72

_Oratio in pace nuperrimâ_, Lond. 1518; 44, 92

_Oratio trium linguarum_, Lond. 1524; 51, 64, 66, 91

_Oriental Collections_, Lond. 1797–1800; 339

Ornamental type, introduced, 307, 310

Ornaments, _see_ Type ornaments

_Orthographia Practica_, Saragossa, 1548; 32, 183

Orwin, Arabic type of, 64

Ottley (W. Y.) on early clay moulds, 11

Ouseley (Sir W.) Persian type cut for, 339

_Ovid’s Metamorphoses_, Lond. 1819; 312

Oxford University Press, first printing at 137–9; types of the early
press, 55, 137, 138; Scolar’s press, 139; revival of printing, 140;
early Greek founts, 60, 61, 140, 141, 145; lends Greek type to
Cambridge, 141; Laud’s services to, 142–5, 166; charter in 1632, 142;
early Oriental types, 64, 66, 144: Archi-typographus appointed, 146;
Fell’s services to, 146–150; loyalty of, 146; large purchases in 1672,
149; Junius’ gift to, 150, 151; fine printing at, 159

——— Foundry established, 153; state of, in 1665, 113; matrices lost at,
151; removed to Sheldonian Theatre, 153; first specimen, 153; types
used in the _Oratio Dominica_, 1700, 154; heights to paper in, 155;
removed to Clarendon Building, 156; gift of Elstob Saxon to, 158, 159;
Greek cut for, by Baskerville, 160, 273, 274; specimens, 160, 162;
types cut for, by Caslon, 160, 161, 246; by Figgins, 338; inventory of,
in 1794, 161, 162; relics at, 150, 159, 160, 162, 274

——— Matrices: Amharic, 177; Arabic, 66, 147, 148, 155, 161; Armenian,
69, 148, 153, 161; Coptic, 70, 147, 148, 149, 153, 155, 161; Danish,
73, 151; Ethiopic, 69, 151, 154, 155, 161, 177; Gothic, 73, 151, 155,
161; Greek, 148, 160, 161, 273, 274, 338; Hebrew, 64, 147, 148, 154,
161; Icelandic, 73, 151, 155; Initials, 80; Music, 77, 148, 153,
154, 161, 209; Roman and Italic, 150, 152, 179; Runic, 72, 151, 155,
161; Russian, 71; Samaritan, 70, 148, 154, 161; Saxon, 74, 151, 161;
Sclavonic, 71, 148, 153, 155, 161; Swedish, 73, 151; Syriac, 68, 147,
148, 155, 161

Pacioli (L.) on the shape of letters, 183

Palmer (S.) his note on De Worde, 90; his printing-house, 217; _History
of Printing_, 90, 235, 236; projected account of letter-founding, 114;
discreditable conduct to Caslon, 235, 238

_Pantographia_, Lond. 1799; 72, 76, 306, 307, 308

_Paradigmata de IV Linguis_, Paris, 1596; 67

Paragon, an English Type body, 33, 36, 86, 343; a foreign body, 36

Parker (Archp. M.) patron of Day, 95; Saxon cut for, 95; Roman and
Italic for, 96, 97, 98

Patents relating to letter-founding, 119–122

Pater (Paulus) on wooden types, 4

Paterson, the auctioneer, notice of, 230, 311

_Pauli de Middleburgo Epistola_, Louvain, 1488; 63

Pearl an English type body, 33, 40

Peek (Jno.) type-casting machine of, 120

_Pentateuch_ (Polyglot) Constantinople, 1546; 170

——— (_Coptic_) Lond. 1731; 70, 237

——— (_Irish_) Lond. 1819 (_Gen. and Exod._), 312

Perforated wooden types, 4, 5; sand-cast types, 10; mould-cast types,
22, 25

Perle, a French type body, 40

Persian Matrices: Caslon, 254; Jackson, 317; Figgins, 339, 343

_Persian Moonshee_, Lond. 1801; 339

Petit, a French and German type body, 39

Petit Romain, a French type body, 38

Petrucci, music type of, 77

_Phalaridis Epistolæ_, Oxon. 1485; 137, 138

Philosophie, a French type body, 32, 38

Pica, an English type body, 32, 33, 38

_Picas_ or _Pies_, of the early Church, 38, 87

Pickering (W.) minute Greek used by, 62, 254; book printed for, in
Baskerville’s types, 286

PINE (WM.) Bristol printer and founder; partner with Fry, 298; his
inventions, 300; _Bible_ printed by, 301; retires from founding, 302

Plantin (Chr.) his foundry, 106; supposed silver type of, 106; Types:
Greek, 59; Hebrew, 64; Italic, 51; Lettre de Civilité, 56; Roman, 43;
Syriac, 67

_Plinii Secundi Epistolæ_, Lond. 1790; 306

Ploos van Amstel, Dutch founders, 215

_Polychronicon_, Westminster, 1495; 76, 91

Polyglot _Bibles_, account of, 169

——— the London, _see Bible_ (_Polyglot_) Lond. 1657

POLYGLOT FOUNDRY Matrices: Arabic, 66, 173, 177; Black, 173, 177;
Ethiopic, 69, 173, 174, 177; Greek, 173, 174; Hebrew, 64, 173, 177;
Roman and Italic, 173, 176; Samaritan, 70, 173, 174, 177; Syriac, 68,
173, 174, 177, 241

Polytype, supposed early system of, 12; later attempts at, 122, 220

Porson’s improvement in Greek letter, 62, 342

Postel’s _Arabic Grammar_, Paris 1539–40, 65; Syriac type used by, 67

POUCHEE (L. J.) Letter Founder, starts a foundry, 361; agent for
Didot’s ‘polymatype,’ 121, 361; specimen, 362; abandons business, 362;
dispersion of his foundry, 362

_Practical Sermons_ (Irish) Lond. 1711; 190

_Press, The, a Poem_; Liverpool, 1803; 277, 333

Primer, an English type body, 32, 34; derivation of, 37

_Primers_ of the Early Church, 37, 38

Printing, invention of, 1; degeneration of, in England, 44, 136, 232,
269; comprehensiveness of the early trade of, 123; statutes relating
to, 124–136; rise of fine printing, 269, 272

Printers, their own founders, 88, 102, 103, 123, 125; number of, in
London, 126, 130, 132, 133, 134

_Prodromus Coptus_, Rome, 1636; 67, 69, 236

Propaganda Press, specimens, 66, 67, 69, 70; Types of:—Arabic, 66;
Coptic, 69; Ethiopic, 69; Irish, 75, 191; Samaritan, 70; Sclavonic, 71;
Syriac, 67

‘Proscription’ letter, Matrices:—Caslon, 248; Cottrell, 291, 292, 317;
Thorne, 292, 293; Jackson, 317

_Prosodia Rationalis_, Lond. 1779; 323

Psalmanazar (G.) anecdotes of Palmer by, 114, 238

_Psalms_ (_Polyglot_) Paris, 1513; 82: Genoa, 1516; 63, 65, 170:
Cologne, 1518; 69, 170

——— (_Hebrew_) Tübingen, 1512, (_Septem pœnit._), 63

——— (_Heb. Lat._) Lond. 1736; 238, 239

——— (_Greek_) Milan, 1481; 58: Venice, 1486, 58: Lond. 1812 (_Cod.
Alex._) 322

——— (_Latin_) Mentz, 1457; 11, 13, 53: Mentz, 1490; 76

_Psalms_ (_Arabic_) Rome, 1614; 66: Lond. 1725; 67, 235

——— (_Armenian_) Rome, 1565; 68

——— (_Ethiopic_) Rome, 1513; 69: Frankfort, 1701; 69

——— (_Saxon_) Lond. 1640; 73

——— (_Sclavonic_) Cracow, 1491; 71

——— (_Syriac-Lat._) Paris, 1625; 67

Pump for type-casting machine, 119

Punches, probable earliest, 14; of copper, 15, 16; of wood, 14, 15,
16; small value put on, 113, 209, 225, 229; defects of French, 116;
Barclay’s patent, 119

Punch-cutting, account of, 108, 185; a distinct trade in Holland, 114;
independent artists in England, 117, 338, 358, 360; secrecy of 117,
243, 288, 315, 338

Pynson (R.) servant to Caxton, 91; correspondence with Rouen printers,
91, 92, 103; types of, 91, 92, 93; his Roman, the first in England, 37,
44, 92; his indenture with Horman, 37, 92; Greek types cast by, 93;
apology for, 93

Quatremère, Coptic type used by, 70

Quintilian’s suggestion of mobile types, 3

‘Quousque tandem,’ formula for type specimens, 49, 52

Rabbinical Hebrew, Matrices:—Andrews, 194, 195; James, 65, 227, 303;
Fry, 303

Raphelengius, Arabic type of, 66, 145

Ratdolt, initials of, 79

_Rasselas_, Banbury, 1804; 119

Rastell (W.) types of, 94

_Rastell’s Grete Abridgement_, Lond. 1534; 94

_Readings on Jonah_, Lond. 1579; 64, 98

Record Commission, types cut for, 339, 340

——— _Reports_, Lond. 1800–19; 339: Edinburgh, 1811–16; 340

‘Real Character,’ Moxon’s, cut for Wilkins, 191, 196, 310

_Recuyell of the Histories of Troye_, Bruges, 1474; 86

Redman (R.) Pynson’s quarrel with, 93; types of, 94

REED (CHARLES) partner in the Fann Street Foundry, 296

Registration of founders, 133, 135

_Regulæ Trium Ordinum_, Lond. 1676; 182, 185

_Reliques of Irish Poetry_, Dublin, 1789; 191

RICHARD (MR.) partner of Mr. Miller, 356

RICHARD (J. M.) son of above, 356; ‘Brilliant’ type of, 356; ‘Gem’ type
of 356

RICHARD (W. M.) brother of above, 356

RICHARDS (T.) a letter founder, 351

Richardson (Rev. J.) Irish works of, 190

Richardson (W.) Engrossing type cut for, 289, 290

Ripoli Press, metals used in the foundry of, 19; matrices bought by, 28

Ritchie (Millar), fine printer, 306

Robijn, a Dutch type body, 40, 52

Roccha (Ang.) on early perforated types, 4; his _Bibliotheca Apostolica
Vaticana_, 65, 67, 68

Rolij (or Rolu), Dutch letter cutter, 114, 215, 216

Roman letter, origin of, 40; early founts in Italy, 40, 41; Germany,
42; France, 43, 44; Netherlands, 43, 44, 47; Switzerland, 44

Roman letter, in England: introduction of, 44, 91; Pynson’s, 44; 92; De
Worde’s, 91; Redman’s, 94; Day’s, 47, 96, 97, 98, 144; Vautrollier’s,
46, 98; degeneration of, 44, 232; called ‘White letter,’ 91; mixed
with Black, 45, 97; followed Dutch models, 46; first _Bible_ in, 46;
in Scotland, 46; Roycroft’s, 47, 173, 176; Ogilby’s, 47; Field’s, 47;
Moxon’s rules for, 47, 182, 184, 185; Caslon’s influence on, 47, 249,
284, 301, 303, 305; narrow faces, 46; Baskerville’s influence on, 47,
284, 299, 305, 332, 333; French influence on, 48; Bodoni’s influence
on, 48, 331; revolutions in, 48, 251, 253, 301, 328, 332, 340; French
obligations to, 48; heavy faced, 48; revival of the Old Face, 49;
Rusher’s improved, 119; Motteroz ideal, 48

——— and Italic matrices: Oxford, 148, 152; Polyglot, 173, 176; Moxon,
181; Andrews, 195; Grover, 198, 199; Mitchell, 206; ‘Anon,’ 207; James,
213, 214, 217, 223; Caslon, 47, 159, 235, 240, 247, 251, 252, 253;
Wilson, 48, 260, 263, 264, 265; Baskerville, 47, 48, 263, 270, 271,
275, 276, 277, 279, 280, 284; Cottrell, 48, 289, 290, 291, 292; Fry,
48, 299, 300, 301, 303, 305, 306, 310; Jackson, 48, 317, 323; Figgins,
48, 336, 337, 340; Thorne, 291, 293, 295; Thorowgood, 295; Martin, 332,
333; Ilive, 347; Stephenson (S. and C.), 353; Miller, 355, 356

Rood (Theo.) Oxford printer, 137, 138

Rosart, music type of, 78

Rouen, an early type market, 91, 93, 103

Rowe (Sir T.) family of, 200

Rowe (Eliz.) married H. Caslon, 200, 250

Roxburghe Club, works printed for, 312, 334

Royal Typography in England, proposal for a, 263

Roycroft (Thos.) printer of the London _Polyglot_, 171, 172;
distinction conferred on, 176; printing house of, 217; fire of his
office, 177; epitaph, 176; types used by, 47, 64, 66, 173–177

Rubbing, a process in founding, 111, 116, 117

Ruby, an English type body, 34

Runic, early foreign founts of, 72

——— Matrices: Oxford, 72, 150, 151, 155, 161; James, 72, 225, 228

Running Secretary, a French Cursiv, 56

Rusher (Ph.) his improved types, 119; his _Rasselas_, 119

Russian type, chief foreign founts, 71, 72; none in England in 1778; 72

——— Matrices: Cottrell, 72, 291; Fry, 72, 309, 312; Thorowgood, 72, 296

St. Alban’s, printing at, 89, 139

St. Augustin, a French type body, 32, 37

_Sallust_, Edinburgh, 1739; 219

Samaritan type, chief founts abroad, 70, 174

——— Matrices: Oxford, 70, 148, 154, 161; Polyglot, 70, 173, 174, 177,
198; Andrews, 70, 195; Grover, 70, 198; James, 70, 223, 225, 227, 303;
Caslon, 70, 240, 241, 247, 254; Caslon III, 326; Fry, 70, 303, 309,
311; Dummers, 70, 241, 345

——— Punches: James, 229 Sand moulds, early use of, 16

Sanscrit matrices: Caslon, 254; Jackson, 319; Wilkins, 318, 319

‘Sanspareil’ matrices invented, 327

Savile (Sir H.) his Eton _Chrysostom_, 60, 140

Saxon, early types of, in England, 73, 74; in Amsterdam, 74

——— Matrices: Day, 73, 95, 96; Oxford, 74, 150, 151, 158, 161; Andrews
(for Elstob), 74, 156, 157, 158, 196, 289; Grover, 199; James, 223,
228; Caslon, 74, 240, 248; Caslon III, 326; Wilson, 74, 264; Fry, 74,
309, 312; Figgins, 74, 343

——— Punches: James, 229

Schoeffer (P.) advertisement of, 28, 49; his Lettre de Somme, 54;
Greek, 57; Initials, 79

Schoepflin on sculpto-fusi types, 7

_Schola Syriaca_, Utrecht, 1672; 70, 174

_Scholar’s Instructor_, Camb. 1735; 247

Sclavonic, various founts abroad, 71

——— Matrices: Oxford, 71, 148, 153, 155, 161

——— modern: _see_ Russian

Scolar (J.) early Oxford printer, 139

Scoloker, Ipswich printer, device of, 106

Scotland, first types in, 103; early use of Dutch types in, 46, 257,
258; condition of printing in, before 1720, 257; no foundry in 1725,
218, 257, 258

Script type, origin of, 56, 204; Dutch, 56; French and German, 56;
Moreau’s, 56; Didot’s, 56, 120, 308, 312; Dawks’, 173

——— Matrices: Caslon, 249; Cottrell, 56, 290, 292; Fry, 308, 312;
Jackson, 56, 317; Thorne, 293, 294, 295

Scriptorial matrices: Grover, 199, 204; James, 228, 303; Fry, 303;
Fenwick, 351

‘Sculpto-fusi’ types, theory of, 7, 8

‘Sculptus,’ use of the word in colophons, 7

Secretary type, early, at Paris, 55; Rouen, 55, 92; Caxton’s, 55, 86,
87, 88; Berthelet’s, 94, 95; variations of, 55; disappearance, 55, 94,

Secretary matrices: Andrews, 196; Grover, 199; James, 228

Sedan, small Roman type at, 40, 46; small Greek, 61, 254

Sedan, a French type body, 35

_Seldeni Opera Omnia_, Lond. 1726; 236

Semi-Nonpareil, a French type body, 40

Set-Court, _see_ Court Hand

Setting-up, an operation in founding, 111, 114, 116, 117

_Shakespeare_, Lond. 1792–1802; 330, 331

Shakespeare Press, established, 331; works issued by, 331–3

Sheldonian Theatre, Oxford, 153

Shewell (Mr.) son-in-law of Caslon I, 246

Siberch (Jno.) first Cambridge printer, 141; Greek types of, 60, 141

Signs cut by Moxon, 191

Silver, alleged use of for type metal, 40, 106, 140

SIMMONS, a letter founder, 364

SINCLAIR (DUNCAN) manager for Wilson, 266; starts a foundry in
Edinburgh, 266

SINCLAIR (JNO.) son of above; manager for Wilson, 265; joins his
father, 266

Skeen (W.) on wooden types, 6; on sculpto-fusi types, 8; on ‘getté en
molle,’ 14

SKINNER, a letter founder, 345

Small Pica, an English type-body, 33, 38

Smart (W.) purchased Baskerville remainders, 281

Smith (Jno.) his tribute to Caslon, 243; body-standards given by, 34

Smith, (Dr. T.) his tribute to Laud, 145; note by, on the Alexandrian
_Codex_, 201, 203

Smith (T. W.) manager to H. W. Caslon, 255

Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, notice of, 234; their press
at Tranquebar, 234; their Arabic _Psalms and Testament_, 235

Somme, Lettre de, 54

Soncino, Hebrew type at, 62

_Sophologium_ (Wiedenbach? 1465?) 42

Sower (Chr.) early American founder, 350

Spaces, early contrivances for, 21

Specimens, _see_ Type-specimens

Specklin on wooden types, 4

_Speculum_, not printed with wood type, 4, 5, 6; nor with sculpto-fusi
types, 6; possible sand-cast types of, 10; curious ‘turn’ in 10;
possible clay-cast types of, 11; quantity of types and contractions in,

Star Chamber; case of Day _v._ Ward, 124; decrees affecting printers
and founders, 126, 130, 167; abolished, 131

Starr (E.) Type-casting machine of, 122

_Statham’s Abridgments_, Rouen, _n.d._, 92

Stationers, early brotherhood of, 124

Stationers’ Company, incorporation of, 124; powers against printers,
127, 128, 129; minutes relating to founders, 128, 129, 133, 134, 164,
165, 193; schism in, 348

Statutes affecting printers and founders, 124, 130, 131, 132, 133, 134

STEELE (ISAAC) partner of Edmund Fry, 306, 307

STEPHENSON (S. and C.) London founders, 353; first foundry, 353;
specimens, 353, 354; punch-cutter for, 353, 359; foundry sold, 354

——— Matrices:—Roman and Italic, 353; Ornaments, 353

STEPHENSON (HENRY) Sheffield founder, 329

Stereotype, early suggestion of, 13; first attempts at, 218; history of
Ged’s invention, 218; re-invention by Tilloch, 220, 261; perfected by
Wilson and Lord Stanhope, 220; Didot’s method of, 220

Strong (Mr.) married Mrs. H. Caslon, 252

Strype’s note on Day, 98; on early types, 97

Subiaco, Roman type at, 40; Greek, 57

Swedish Matrices:—Oxford, 73, 151

SWINNEY (MYLES) Birmingham founder, 269, 352; specimen of, 352, 353;
poetical tribute to, 353

Swynheim and Pannartz, Roman types of, 40, 41; Greek, 57

SYMPSON (BENJ.) the first recorded English letter-founder, 128, 164

Syriac, chief founts abroad, 67; printed in Hebrew, 67; Usher’s attempt
to procure types of, 67, 68

——— Matrices: Oxford, 68, 147, 148, 155, 160, 161; Polyglot, 68, 173,
174, 177, 198, 241; Andrews, 195, 241; Grover, 198, 241; James, 228,
241; Caslon, 160, 240, 241, 246, 247, 254; Fry, 68, 303, 308, 309, 311,
342; Caslon III, 326; Figgins 68, 342, 343; Watts, 68

——— Punches:—James, 229

Télegú matrices: Figgins, 339, 343

Tertia, a German type body, 37

Teste, a size of type, 32

Testo, a Spanish type body, 32, 37

Thiboust (C. L.) his account of French founding, 114, 115; his
_Typographiæ Excellentia_, 115

Thomas (Isaiah) his _Printing in America_, 17; note on the first
American founders, 350

Thomson (Jas.) his patent for type-casting, 12, 122

_Thomson’s Seasons_, Parma, 1794: 251: Lond. 1799: 336

THORNE (ROBT.) apprentice and successor to Cottrell, 292; removes to
Barbican, 292; and to Fann Street, 294; regulations of his foundry,
117, 294; specimens, 292, 293, 294; new fashions of Roman, 293; sale of
his foundry, 295

——— Matrices: Blacks, 295; Engrossing, 295; Flowers, 293, 295; German,
295; Ornamented, 295; ‘Proscription,’ 292, 294; Roman and Italic, 292,
293, 295; Script, 293, 294, 295; Shaded, 293, 295

THOROWGOOD (WM.) purchases Thorne’s foundry, 295; specimens, 295, 296;
purchases Dr. Fry’s foundry, 296, 313; successors, 296; standards of
type bodies in 1841, 34

——— Matrices: German, 296; Greek, 296; Hebrew, 296; Roman and Italic,
295; Russian, 72, 296

Tilloch’s patent for stereotype, 220, 261

Timmins (S.) Baskerville relics of, 268, 269, 271, 279

Tonson (J.) buys type in Holland, 216, 217, 233

Tory (Geof.) on shapes of types, 32, 53, 183; his _Champfleury_, 32,
183; Greek type of, 58; Initials, 80; Roman, 44

_Tractatus contra Judæos_, Esslingen, 1475 62

Trafalgar, an English type body, 34

Tranquebar, Scriptures printed at, 1714–19; 234

_Treatise of Love_, Westminster, 1491 ?; 89

_Treatyse of Fysshynge with an Angle_, Lond. 1827; 286

Trithemius on the Invention of Printing, 7

_Turner’s Herbal_, Lond. 1551; 60

Turner, a dishonest Oxford printer, 145

Two-line letters, early mention of, 32; use of, 80, 129

_Twyn’s Tryal and Condemnation_, Lond. 1664; 132

Types, early; first suggestion of mobile, 3; wooden, 3; perforated,
4; Wetter’s specimen of, 5; Laborde’s specimen, 5; ‘sculpto-fusi,’ 7;
sand-cast, 10; clay-cast, 11; irregularities in, 18; 15th century types
at Lyons, 20–23; and at Cologne, 24–26; ligatures and contractions, 22,
27; quantities of, in founts, 26, 27; one size only in a book, 126;
markets for, 20, 28, 90, 103; trade in, 103, 123; early control over,

Type-bodies, origin of, 31, 32; names of early, 32–40; irregular, 33;
standards of 33, 34; attempts to regulate, 35, 357; names of foreign, 35

Type-casting, Moxon’s account of, 111; machine for, origin of, 122;
patents for, 119–22; early machines, 265, 356

Type-ornaments, first at Subiaco, 82; Aldus’, 82; Caxton’s, 82; H.
Estienne’s, 82; used in combination, 82

Type patented, Rusher’s, 119; Caslon III, 120, 327

Type-mould, invention of, 9; of sand, 10; clay, 11, plaster, 15;
earliest adjustable, 14; in four pieces, 17, 120; peculiarities of
early, 23, 105; Garamond’s, 23; Dutch, of brass, 113, 216; ‘drags’ in
26; Moxon’s description of, 108, 186; abandonment of hand, 119; lever
introduced, 120, 186

Type-specimens, English, 49, 50; Dibdin on, 49; Bodoni’s, 50, 251

Type Street Foundry established, 305

‘Typi tornatissimi,’ initials, 79

_Typographical Antiquities_, Lond. 1749; 52, 242

_Typographiæ Excellentia, Carmen_, Paris, 1718; 115

Typography, essence of, 2; and xylography, 2; two early schools of, 9;
a mathematical science, 184

Union-Pearl matrices: Grover, 199, 204; James, 228, 303; Fry, 303

_Universal Magazine_, 1750: account of letter-founding in, 108, 116,
243, 288, 316

_Unterweissung der Messung_, Nuremburg, 1525; 32, 183

Usher’s attempt to procure Oriental types, 67, 69, 141

Van Dijk (Chr.) Dutch letter cutter, 114, 215; Moxon’s praise of, 182,
184; Roman letter of, 40, 44, 47, 182, 184; Italic, 52; Black, 47

Vatican Press, Oriental types of, 65, 67, 69

Vautrollier (Th.) Roman type of, 46, 98; Italic, 51; Music, 77

_Virgil_, Paris, 1648; 56: Lond. (Ogilby’s) 47: Florence, 1741; 204:
Birmingham, 1757; 272, 273

Vitré, French printer, Arabic types of, 66; Samaritan, 70; Syriac, 67

Vizitelly, Branston and Co.’s cast ornaments, 360

_Vocabularia_, St. Petersburg, 1786–9; 72

_Vocabulary_ (_Arabic_), Granada, 1505; 65

_Vocabulary, Persian, Arabic and English_, Lond. 1785; 319

_Voltaire, Œuvres de_, Kehl, 1784–9; 286

Voskens (Dirk) Dutch founder, 114, 215, 216, 290

——— Matrices of: Coptic, 70; Runic, 72; Russian, 71; Samaritan, 70;
Saxon, 74; Sclavonic, 71

Wages in Caslon’s foundry, dispute concerning in, 1757; 243: in
Thorne’s foundry, 1806; 118

Waldegrave (R.) a disorderly printer, 127

WALPERGEN (P.) Oxford founder, 149, 207; book printed by, at Batavia,
207; his Music type, 77, 148, 153, 162, 208, 209; inventory of his
chattels, 209; small value of his punches, 209

Walpole (Horace) Baskerville’s letter to, 278

_Walsingham, Historia Brevis_, Lond. 1574; 95, 96

Walton (Brian) editor of the London _Polyglot_, 170; his Proposals and
Specimen, 170; his _Introductio ad lectionem_, 172; timeservice of,
175; rewards to, 176; note by, on the Alexandrian _Codex_ facsimile,

Wanley (Humphrey) designs Saxon letter for Miss Elstob, 157

Ward (Roger) a disorderly printer, 125, 127

Watson (Jas.) Scotch printer, 257; his _History of Printing_, 257;
Specimen, 46, 49, 258; his Dutch Initials, 80, 258

WATTS (RICHARD) Cambridge University printer, 362; printer and founder
in London, 362; Oriental types of, 363; specimen by his successors, 363

——— Matrices: Syriac, 68

Watts (Jno.) printer, assists Caslon, 233, 234; Franklin his
apprentice, 233, 235

Wechels, Frankfort printers, Greek types of, 58, 60, 140; Hebrew, 63

Wertheimer (Jno.) Hebrew type cut for, 264

Weston, _see_ Wetstein

Westfalia (Jno. de) Roman type of, 43

Wetstein, Dutch founders, 346, 349; Greek types of, 61

Wetter’s unhistorical wooden types, 5

White (Elihu) type-casting machine of, 120

White (Thos.) printer, uses Baskerville’s types, 286

‘White letter,’ a name for Roman, 91

Whittaker (Jno.) Caxtonian restorations by, 344

Whittingham (C.) printer, revives the Old Style Roman, 255

_Whitintoni Grammatices_, Lond. 1519; 60, 91: _De heteroclytis
nominibus_, Lond. 1523; 91: _Lucubrationes_, Lond. 1527; 91

Wiedenbach, typographical school at, 41, 42; Roman type at, 42

Wilkins (Dr. C.) Librarian to East India Company, 318; typographical
achievements of, 318, 319; Bengal type cut by, 319; Deva Nagari cut by,
319, 320; fire at his office, 319; Sanscrit cut for, 254

Wilkins (Dr. D.) notice of, 236; Coptic works of, 236

Wilkins (Dr. Jno.) Philosophical or Real character of, 191, 196, 310

WILSON (ALEX.) the First; begins as a doctor’s assistant in London,
258; patronised by Lord Isla, 258; starts a foundry, 259; his partner
Baine, 259, 260; attempts new method of founding, 259; earliest founts
of, 260; settles at St. Andrew’s, 260; Irish and foreign business, 260,
264; removes to Camlachie, 260; casts types for the Foulis, 261; the
Glasgow _Homer_ Greek type, 262; retires, 262; tributes to, 262, 263;
specimens, 263; foundry removed to Glasgow, 263

——— Matrices: Black, 264; Greek, 61, 261, 262, 264, 265; Hebrew, 261,
265; Roman and Italic, 48, 260, 263, 264, 265; Saxon, 74, 264

WILSON (ANDREW) son of above; assists and succeeds his father, 264;
state of the foundry in 1825; 264

——— Matrices: Greek, 264; Roman, 264, 355

WILSON (ALEX.) the Second, son of above, joins his father, 264;
succeeds to the foundry, 264; establishes branches at Edinburgh, 264,
London, 265, and Two Waters, 265; type casting machine of, 122, 265;
fails in business, 265; sells foundry, 265; joins Mr. Caslon, 255, 265

WILSON (PATRICK) brother and partner of above, 264

Wilson Foundry, type standards in 1841; 34: division and dispersion of,
255, 265

Woide (Dr.) his facsimile of the Alexandrian _Codex_, 311, 321

Wolfe (Jno.) disorderly City printer, 125

Wolfe (Rey.) types of, 95; Greek of, 60

Wolsey (Cardinal) his influence on printing, 139

Women, employment of, in foundries, 117

WOOD AND SHARWOODS, founders, successors to Austin, 360; Cast Ornaments
of, 360

Wooden types, the legend of, 3–6; Specimens of at Oxford, 6; used in
England, 129

Worde (Wynkyn de) account of, 89–91; used Caxton’s types, 87, 89; and
Faques’, 94; bought type abroad, 103; employed a Paris printer, 91; his
own letter founder, 89, 90, 103; types of: Arabic, 66, 91; Black, 53,
89, 90, 91, 197, 199, 225, 239; Greek, 60, 91; Hebrew, 64, 91; Italic,
51, 91; Music, 76, 91; Roman, 91

WRIGHT (THOS.) Star Chamber Founder, 165, 166; nominated, 130, 165

Wyer (R.) types of, 94

_Xenophon’s Anabasis_, Glasgow, 1783; 220

Xylography, a distinct art from Typography, 6; extinction of, 2

Ycair on the shapes of letters, 32, 53; his _Orthographia Practica_,
32, 53, 183

York, early printing at, 89, 139

Young (Patrick) Royal Librarian, 143, 167; his _Catena on Job_, 98,
144, 176, 198, 201, 228; his facsimile from the Alexandrian _Codex_,
201, 321

Zainer (Gunther) Roman type of, 42

Zell (Ulric) his narrative of the invention of printing, 1




[1] _The Haarlem Legend of the Invention of Printing by Lourens
Janszoon Coster, critically examined._ From the Dutch by J. H. Hessels,
with an introduction and classified list of the Costerian Incunabula.
London, 1871. 8vo.

[2] Xylography did not become extinct for more than half a century
after the invention of Typography. The last block book known was
printed in Venice in 1510.

[3] “Hic ego non mirer esse quemquam qui sibi persuadeat . . . .
mundum effici . . . . ex concursione fortuitâ! Hoc qui existimet
fieri potuisse, non intelligo cur non idem putet si innumerabiles
unius et viginti formæ litterarum, vel aureæ, vel qualeslibet, aliquò
conjiciantur, posse ex his in terram excussis, annales Ennii, ut
deinceps legi possint, effici” (_De Nat. Deor._, lib. ii). Cicero was
not the only ancient writer who entertained the idea of mobile letters.
Quintilian suggests the use of ivory letters for teaching children
to read while playing: “Eburneas litterarum formas in ludum offere”
(_Inst. Orat._, i, cap. 1); and Jerome, writing to Læta, propounds the
same idea: “Fiant ei (Paulæ) litteræ vel buxeæ vel eburneæ, et suis
nominibus appellentur. Ludat in eis ut et lusus ipse eruditio fiat.”

[4] _In Commentatione de ratione communi omnium linguarum et
literarum._ Tiguri, 1548, p. 80.

[5] In _Chronico Argentoratensi_, _m.s._ ed. Jo. Schilterus, p. 442.
“Ich habe die erste press, auch die buchstaben gesehen, waren von holtz
geschnitten, auch gäntze wörter und syllaben, hatten löchle, und fasst
man an ein schnur nacheinander mit einer nadel, zoge sie darnach den
zeilen in die länge,” etc.

[6] _De Bibliothecâ Vaticanâ._ Romæ, 1591, p. 412. “Characteres enim a
primis illis inventoribus non ita eleganter et expedite, ut a nostris
fieri solet, sed filo in litterarum foramen immisso connectebantur,
sicut Venetiis id genus typos me vidisse memini.”

[7] _De Germaniæ Miraculo_, etc. Lipsiæ, 1710, p. 10. “ . . . .
ligneos typos, ex buxi frutice, perforatos in medio, ut zonâ colligari
unâ jungique commode possint, ex Fausti officina reliquos, Moguntiæ
aliquando me conspexisse memini.”

[8] _Essai sur les Monumens Typographiques de Jean Gutenburg._ Mayence,
an 10, 1802, p. 39.

[9] _Débuts de l’ Imprimerie à Strasbourg._ Paris, 1840, p. 72.

[10] _Erfindung der Buchdruckerkunst._ Mainz, 1836. Album, tab. ii.

[11] The history of these “fatal, unhistorical wooden types” is
worth recording for the warning of the over-credulous typographical
antiquary. Wetter, writing his book in 1836, and desirous to illustrate
the feasibility of the theory, “spent,” so Dr. Van der Linde writes,
“really the amount of ten shillings on having a number of letters made
of the wood of a pear-tree, only to please Trithemius, Bergellanus,
and Faust of Aschaffenburg. . . . His letters, although tied with
string, did not remain in the line, but made naughty caprioles.
The supposition—that by these few dancing lines the possibility is
demonstrated of printing with 40,000 wooden letters, necessary to the
printing of a quarternion, a whole folio book—is dreadfully silly. The
demonstrating facsimile demonstrates already the contrary. Wetter’s
letters not only declined to have themselves regularly printed, but
they also retained their pear-tree-wood-like impatience afterwards.”
The specimen of these types may be seen in the _Album_ of plates
accompanying Wetter’s work, where they occupy the first place, the
matter chosen being the first few verses of the Bible, occupying
nineteen lines, and the type being about two-line English in body.
M. Wetter stated in his work that he had deposited the original
types in the Town Library of Mentz, where they might be inspected by
anyone wishing to do so. From this repository they appear ultimately
to have returned to the hands of M. Wetter’s printer. M. Bernard,
passing through Mentz in 1850, asked M. Wetter for a sight of them,
and was conducted to the printing office for that purpose, when it was
discovered that they had been stolen; whereupon M. Bernard remarks,
prophetically, “Peutêtre un jour quelque naïf Allemand, les trouvant
parmi les reliques du voleur, nous les donnera pour les caractères de
Gutenberg. Voilà comment s’établissent trop souvent les traditions.”
This prediction, with the one exception of the nationality of the
victim, was literally fulfilled when an English clergyman, some
years afterwards, discovered these identical types in the shop of
a curiosity-dealer at Mayence, and purchased them as apparently
veritable relics of the infancy of printing. After being offered to the
authorities at the British Museum and declined, they were presented in
1869 to the Bodleian Library at Oxford, where they remain to this day,
treasured in a box, and accompanied by a learned memorandum setting
forth the circumstances of their discovery, and citing the testimony
of Roccha and other writers as to the existence and use of perforated
types by the early printers. The lines (which we have inspected)
remain threaded and locked in forme exactly as they appear in Wetter’s
specimen. It is due to the present authorities of the Bodleian to say
that they preserve these precious “relics,” without prejudice, as
curiosities merely, with no insistence on their historic pretensions.

[12] Van der Linde, _Haarlem Legend_. Lond., p. 72.

[13] Skeen, in his _Early Typography_, Colombo, 1872, takes up
the challenge thrown down by Dr. Van der Linde on the strength of
Enschedé’s opinion, and shows a specimen of three letters cut in
boxwood, pica size, one of which he exhibits again at the close of
the book after 1,500 impressions. But the value of Skeen’s arguments
and experiments is destroyed when he sums up with this absurd dictum:
“Three letters are as good as 3,000 or 30,000 or 300,000 to demonstrate
the fact that words are and can be, and that therefore pages and whole
books may be (and therefore also that they may have been) printed from
such separable wooden types.”—P. 424.

[14] _Annales Hirsaugienses_, ii, p. 421: “Post hæc inventis
successerunt subtiliora, inveneruntque modum fundendi formas omnium
Latini Alphabeti literarum quas ipsi matrices nominabant; ex quibus
rursum æneos sive stanneos characteres fundebant, ad omnem pressuram
sufficientes, quos prius manibus sculpebant.” Trithemius’ statement, as
every student of typographical history is aware, has been made to fit
every theory that has been propounded, but it is doubtful whether any
other writer has stretched it quite as severely as Meerman in the above
rendering of these few Latin lines.

[15] _Origines Typographicæ_, Gerardo Meerman auctore. Hagæ Com., 1765.
Append., p. 47.

[16] The constant recurrence in more modern typographical history of
the expression “to cut matrices,” meaning of course to cut the punches
necessary to form the matrices, bears out the same conclusion.

[17] _Origine et Débuts de l’Imprimerie en Europe._ Paris, 1853, 8vo,
i, 38.

[18] _Life and Typography of William Caxton._ London, 1861–3, 2 vols,
4to, ii, xxiv.

[19] _The Invention of Printing._ New York, 1876. 8vo.

[20] _Origine de l’Imprimerie_, i, 40.

[21] Mr. Blades points out that there are no overhanging letters in
the specimen. The necessity for such letters would be, we imagine,
entirely obviated by the numerous combinations with which the type of
the printers of the school abounded. The body is almost always large
enough to carry ascending and descending sorts, and in width, a sort
which would naturally overhang, is invariably covered by its following
letter cast on the same piece.

[22] It is well known that until comparatively recently the large
“proscription letters” of our foundries, from three-line pica and
upwards, were cast in sand. The practice died out at the close of last

[23] _An Enquiry Concerning the Invention of Printing._ London, 1863,
4to, p. 265.

[24] In a recent paper, read by the late Mr. Bradshaw of Cambridge,
before the Library Association, he points out a curious shrinkage
both as to face and body in the re-casting of the types of the Mentz
_Psalter_, necessary to complete the printing of that work. The
shrinking properties of clay and plaster are well known, and, assuming
the new type to have been cast in moulds of one of these substances
formed upon a set of the original types, the uniform contraction of
body and face might be accounted for. If, on the other hand, we hold
that the types of this grand work were the product of the finished
school of typographers, the probability is that the new matrices (of
the face of the letter only) were formed in clay, as suggested at p.
15, and that the adjustable mould was either purposely or inadvertently
shifted in body to accommodate the new casting.

[25] In connection with the suggested primitive modes of casting, the
patent of James Thomson in 1831 (see Chap. iv, _post_), for casting by
a very similar method, is interesting.

[26] _Origine de l’Imprimerie._ Paris, 1810, 2 vols., 8vo, i, 97.

[27] _Origine de l’Imprimerie_, i, 99, etc. The following are
the citations:—“_Escriture en molle_,” used in the letters of
naturalisation to the first Paris printers, 1474. “_Escrits en moule_,”
applied to two Horæ in vellum, bought by the Duke of Orleans, 1496.
“_Mettre en molle_,” applied to the printing of Savonarola’s sermons,
1498. “_Tant en parchemin que en papier, à la main et en molle_,”
applied to the books in a library, 1498. “_Mettre en molle_,” applied
to the printing of a book by Marchand, 1499. “_En molle et à la main_,”
applied to printed books and manuscripts in the Duke of Bourbon’s
library, 1523. “_Pièces officielles moulées par ordre de l’Assemblée._”
Procès verbaux des Etats Généraux, 1593.

[28] _Coster Legend_, p. 6.

[29] _Ibid._, p. viii.

[30] A calculation given in the _Magazin Encyclopédique_ of 1806, i,
299, shows that from such matrices 120 to 150 letters can be cast
before they are rendered useless, and from 50 to 60 letters before any
marked deterioration is apparent in the fine strokes of the types.

[31] Several writers account for the alleged perforated wooden and
metal types reputed to have been used by the first printers, and
described by Specklin, Pater, Roccha and others, by supposing that they
were model types used for forming matrices, and threaded together for
safety and convenience of storage.

[32] _Works of the late Dr. Benjamin Franklin, consisting of his Life,
written by himself_, in 2 vols. London, 1793, 8vo, i, 143. It is a
very singular fact that in a later corrected edition of the same work,
edited by John Bigelow, and published in Philadelphia in 1875, the
passage above quoted reads as follows: “I contrived a mould, made use
of the letters we had as puncheons, struck the _matrices in lead_, and
thus supplied in a pretty tolerable way all deficiencies.” Whichever
reading be correct, the illustration is apt, as proving the possibility
of producing type from matrices either of clay or lead in a makeshift

[33] _Origine de l’Imprimerie_, i, 144.

[34] From this method of forming the matrices (says a note to
the Enschedé specimen) has arisen the name Chalcographia, which
Bergellanus, among others, applies to printing.

[35] _Printer’s Grammar._ Lond., 1755, p. 10.

[36] It has been suggested by some that wood could be _struck_ into
lead or pewter; but the possibility of producing a successful matrix
in this manner is, we consider, out of the question. In 1816 Robert
Clayton proposed to cast types in metal out of _wooden_ matrices
punched in wood with a cross grain, which has been previously slightly
charred or baked.

[37] In the specimen of “_Ancienne Typographie_” of the Imprimerie
Royale of Paris, 1819, several of the old oriental founts are thus
noted: “les poinçons sont en cuivre.”

[38] In the 2nd edition of Isaiah Thomas’ _History of Printing in
America_, Albany, 1874, i, 288, an anecdote is given of Peter Miller,
the German who printed at Ephrata in the United States in 1749, which
we think is suggestive of the possible expedients of the first printers
with regard to the mould. During the time that a certain work of Miller
was in the press, says Francis Bailey, a former apprentice of Miller’s,
“particular sorts of the fonts of type on which it was printed ran
short. To overcome this difficulty, one of the workmen constructed a
mold that could be moved so as to suit the body of any type not smaller
than brevier nor larger than double-pica. The mold consisted of four
quadrangular pieces of brass, two of them with mortices to shift to a
suitable body, and secured by screws. The best type they could select
from the sort wanted was then placed in the mold, and after a slight
corrosion of the surface of the letter with aquafortis to prevent
soldering or adhesion, a leaden matrix was cast on the face of the
type, from which, after a slight stroke of a hammer on the type in the
matrix, we cast the letters which were wanted. Types thus cast answer
tolerably well. I have often adopted a method somewhat like this to
obtain sorts which were short; but instead of four pieces of brass,
made use of an even and accurate composing-stick, and one piece of
iron or copper having an even surface on the sides; and instead of a
leaden matrix, have substituted one of clay, especially for letters
with a bold face.” De Vinne describes an old mould preserved among the
relics in Bruce’s foundry at New York, composed (with the matrix) of
four pieces, and adjustable both as to body and thickness. Bernard also
mentions a similar mould in use in 1853.

[39] A curious instance of this occurs in the battered text of the _De
Laudibus Mariæ_, shown at p. 24, where the rubricator has added his
red dashes to capital letters at the beginning, middle and end of a
palpably illegible passage.

[40] _Notizie storiche sopra la Stamperia di Ripoli._ Firenze, 1781, p.
49. _Prezzi de’ generi riguardanti la Getteria (letter foundry)._

                                                          _s._  _d._
 Acciaio          (steel)         liv. 2  8 0  la lib. ( = 9   0 per lb.)
 Metallo          (type-metal?)    〃   0 11 0    〃    ( = 2   0 3/4 〃  )
 Ottone           (brass)          〃   0 12 0    〃    ( = 2   3     〃  )
 Rame             (copper)         〃   0  6 8    〃    ( = 1   3     〃  )
 Stagno           (tin)            〃   0  8 0    〃    ( = 1   6     〃  )
 Piombo           (lead)           〃   0  2 4    〃    ( = 0   5 1/4 〃  )
 Filo di ferro    (iron wire)      〃   0  8 0    〃    ( = 1   6     〃  )

[41] It would be more correct to say the discovery of the properties of
antimony, which were first described by Basil Valentin about the end of
the 15th century, in a treatise entitled _Currus triumphalis Antimonii_.

[42] Printing was practised at Lyons in 1473, three years only later
than at Paris. From the year 1476 the art extended rapidly in the
city. Panzer mentions some 250 works printed here during the 15th
century by nearly forty printers, among whom was Badius Ascensius. The
earlier Lyons printers are supposed to have had their type from Basle,
and their city shortly became a depôt for the supply of type to the
printers of Southern France and Spain.

[43] _Histoire de l’Invention de l’Imprimerie par les Monuments._
Paris, 1840, fol., p. 12.

[44] _Lettres d’un Bibliographe._ Paris, 1875, 8vo, Ser. iv, letter 16.

[45] Begins “_Incipit Liber de Laudibus ac Festis Gloriose Virginis
Matris Marie alias Marionale Dictus per Doctores eximeos editus et
compilatus_”; at end, “_Explicit Petrus Damasceni de laudibus gloriose
Virginis Marie_.” The book is mentioned in Hain, 5918. The drawn-up
type occurs on the top of folio b 4 verso.

[46] It will be understood that in each case the outline of the types
being merely a depressed edge in the original, the black outline of the
facsimiles represents shadow only, and not, as might appear at first
glance, inked surface. M. Madden’s facsimile is apparently drawn. In
the photograph facsimile of the “_De laudibus_” type, the distribution
of black represents the distribution of shadow caused by the somewhat
uneven or tilted indentation of the side of the type in the paper.

[47] Such projections or “drags” in the mould are not unknown in modern
typefounding, where they are purposely inserted so as to leave the
newly cast type, on the opening of the mould, always adhering to one
particular side.

[48] _Life of Caxton_, i, 39. Later on (p 52), Mr. Blades points out,
as an argument against the supposed typographical connection between
Caxton and Zel of Cologne, that the latter, from an early period,
printed two pages at a time.

[49] _Haarlem Legend_, p. xxiii.

[50] Mr. Skeen (_Early Typography_, p. 299) speaks of 300 matrices as
constituting a complete fount; he appears accidentally, in calculating
for two pages instead of one, to have assumed that a double number of
matrices would be requisite for the double quantity of type.

[51] _Origin and Progress of Writing._ London, 1803. 4to. Chapter ix.

[52] The cost-book of the Ripoli press contains several entries
pointing to an early trade in type and matrices. In 1477 the directors
paid ten florins of gold to one John of Mentz, for a set of Roman
matrices. At another time they paid 110 livres for two founts of Roman
and one of Gothic: and further, purchased of the goldsmith, Banco of
Florence, 100 little initials, three large initials, three copper
vignettes, and the copper for an entire set of Greek matrices.


 “Natio quæque suum poterit reperire caragma
  Secum nempe stilo præminet omnigeno.”

[54] _Unterweisung der Messung._ Nuremberg, 1525. Fo.

[55] _Champfleury._ Paris, 1529. 8vo.

[56] _Orthographia Practica._ Caragoça, 1548. 4to.

[57] Both _Testo_ and _Glosilla_ subsequently became the names of
Spanish type-bodies, the former being approximately equivalent to our
Great Primer, and the latter to our Minion.

[58] _Dissertation upon English Typographical Founders and Founderies._
London, 1778. 8vo.

[59] See _post_, chap. v.

[60] See _post_, chap. v.

[61] Hansard’s _Typographia_. London, 1825, 8vo, p. 388.

[62] See _post_, chap. xxi.

[63] In several of the German specimens thus examined, not only do
the bodies of one founder differ widely from those of others, but the
variations of each body in the same foundry are often extraordinary.
Faulman, in his _Geschichte der Buchdruckerkunst_, Vienna, 1882, 8vo,
p. 488, has a table, professing to give the actual equivalents of each
body to a fraction; but we conceive that, in the absence of a fixed
national standard, such an attempt is futile.

[64] Two-line English, Mores points out, was originally a primitive,
and not a derivative body, corresponding to the old German Prima.

[65] Henry VIII, in 1545, allowed his subjects to use an English Form
of Public Prayer, and ordered one to be printed for their use, entitled
_The Primer_. It contained, besides prayers, several psalms, lessons
and anthems. _Primers_ of the English Church before the Reformation
were printed as early as 1490 in Paris, and in England in 1537.

[66] We have nowhere met with the suggestion that Primer may be
connected with the Latin “premere,” a word familiar in typography, and
naturalized with us in the old word “imprimery.” Great Primer might
thus merely mean the large print letter.

[67] The religious origin of the names of types is in harmony with the
occurrence in typographical phraseology of such words as _chapel_,
_devil_, _justify_, _hell_ (the waste type-pot), _friars_ and _monks_
(white and black blotches caused by uneven inking), etc.

[68] Ulric Hahn’s _St. Augustini De Civitate Dei_, Rome, 1474, is
printed in a letter almost exactly this body. Others derive the name
from the great edition of _St. Augustine_ printed by Amerbach at Basle
in 1506.

[69] “Liber presens, directorium sacerdotum, quem _pica_ Sarum vulgo
vocitat clerus,” etc., is the commencement of a work printed by Pynson
in 1497.

[70] Both the _Cicero_ of Fust and Schoeffer at Mentz, 1466, and of
Hahn at Rome, 1469, were in type of about this size.

[71] _This Prymer of Salysbury use, is set out a long, wout ony
serchyng_, etc. Paris, 1532. 16mo. Many editions were printed in
England and abroad.

[72] Fournier (ii, 144) shows a specimen of the lettre de Somme with
exactly a Bourgeois face.

[73] The first of the family of Paris printers of this name, mentioned
by De la Caille, flourished in 1615.

[74] The German Brevier, corresponding to our Small Pica, is of more
frequent occurrence in these works.

[75] _De Germaniæ Miraculo._ Lipsiæ, 1710, 4to, p. 37.

[76] The _Lactantius_, published the same year, and usually claimed
as the first book printed in Italy, appears, according to a note of
M. Madden’s (_Lettres d’un Bibliographe_, iv, 281), not to have been
completed for a month after the _Cicero de Oratore_.

[77] “Il (Jenson) forma un caractère composé des capitales latines, qui
servirent de majuscules; les minuscules furent prises d’autres lettres
latines, ainsi que des espagnoles, lombardes, saxones, françoises ou
carolines.” (_Man. Typ._, ii, 261.)

[78] M. Philippe, in his _Origine de l’Imprimerie à Paris_, Paris,
1885, 4to, p. 219, mentions two books printed in this fount, which
contain MS. notes of having been purchased in the years 1464 and 1467

[79] _Lettres d’un Bibliographe_, iv, 60.

[80] For a full account and analysis of Jenson’s Roman and other type,
the reader is referred to Sardini’s _Storia Critica di Nic. Jenson_.
Lucca, 1796–8, 3 parts, fol.

[81] _Annales de l’Imprimerie des Alde._ Paris, 1803–12, 3 vols., 8vo.

[82] Sardini (iii, 82) cites an interesting document wherein Zarot, in
forming a typographical partnership with certain citizens of Milan,
covenants to provide “tutte le Lettere Latine, e Greche, antique, e
moderne.” Bernard points out that “antique” undoubtedly means Roman
type, the traditional character of the Italians, while “moderne”
applies to the Gothic, which was at that time coming into vogue as a
novelty among Italian printers.

[83] Renouard and others claim that these famous characters were cut by
the French artists Garamond and Sanlecques. This legend is, however,
disposed of by Mr. Willems, in his work, _Les Elzevier_. Brussels,
1880, 8vo.

[84] Pynson was the first to introduce diphthongs into the
typographical alphabet.

[85] Garamond’s Roman was cut for Francis I. The Roman character was
an object of considerable royal interest in France during its career.
In 1694, on the re-organisation of the press at the Louvre under Louis
XIV, arbitrary alterations were made in the recognised form of several
of the “lower-case” letters, to distinguish the “_Romain du Roi_”
from all others, and protect it from imitations. The deformity of the
letters thus tampered with was their best protection.

[86] Amongst which should be named Vautrollier’s edition of Beza’s _New
Testament_ in 1574, which, both in point of type and workmanship, is an
admirable piece of typography. The small italic is specially beautiful.
Renouard says this type was cut by Garamond of Paris.

[87] _History of the Art of Printing._ Edinburgh, 1713. 8vo.

[88] The _Horace_, printed in 1627, may be mentioned as one of the most
interesting of these little typographical curiosities. The type is
exactly the modern pearl body. The text is 2 5/6 inches in depth, and
1 1/2 inch wide.

[89] _The Holy Bible, containing the Old and New Testaments._ London,
printed by John Field, 1653, 32mo. The inexperience of English
compositors and correctors in dealing with this minute type is
illustrated by the fact that Field’s Pearl Bibles are crowded with
errors, one edition, so it is said, containing 6,000 faults.

[90] In one of the Bagford MSS. (Harl. 5915) appear, with the title
“Mr. Ogilby’s Letters,” the drawings and proofs of this alphabet in
capital and lower-case.

[91] See Specimen No. 21, _post_.

[92] Tradition has asserted that Hogarth designed Baskerville’s types.

[93] In recent years a French typographer, M. Motteroz, has attempted
to combine the excellences of the Elzevir and modern Roman, with a
view to arrive at an ideally legible type. The experiment is curious
but disappointing. For though the new “typographie” of M. Motteroz
justifies its claim to legibility, the combination of two wholly
unsympathetic forms of letter destroys almost completely the beauty of

[94] _Specimen Bibliorum Editionis Hebr. Gr. Lat._ (folio sheet); no

[95] _Bibliographical Decameron_, ii, 381–2.

[96] _Origine de l’Imprimerie de Paris_, Paris, 1694, 4to, p. 110.
Chevillier gives a curious instance of this tendency of the old
printers to contract their words. The example is taken from _La
Logique d’Okam_, 1488, fol., a work in which there scarcely occurs a
single word not abbreviated. “Sic̃ hic ẽ faɫ s̃m q̃d ad simpɫr a ẽ
[*pro]ducibile a Deo g̃ a ẽ & sir hic a ñ ẽ g̃ a ñ ẽ [*pro]ducibile a
Do,”-which means: “Sicut hic est fallacia secundum quid ad simpliciter;
A est producibile a Deo; ergo A est. Et similiter hic. A non est; ergo
A non est producibile a Deo.”

[97] Sir A. Panizzi, in his tract, _Chi era Francesco da Bologna ?_
London, 1858, 16mo, shows that this artist was the same as the great
Italian painter, Francesco Francia.

[98] The German practice of inserting proper names and quotations,
occurring in a German book, in Roman type, probably suggested a similar
use of the Italic in books printed in the Roman letter.

[99] This reform, which was an incident in the general typographical
revolution at the close of last century, is usually credited to John
Bell, who discarded the long ſ in his _British Theatre_, about 1791.
Long before Bell’s time, however, in 1749, Ames had done the same thing
in his _Typographical Antiquities_, and was noted as an eccentric in
consequence. Hansard notes the retention of the long ſ in books printed
at the Oxford University press as late as 1824.

[100] The suggestion that _Lettres de Forme_ may have meant merely
letters commonly used in print (adopting the early printers’ use of the
word _forma_ as type), appears to be somewhat far-fetched. The term,
though apparently distinctly typographical, was used both by Tory and
Ycair to denote a class of letter which the former denominated _Canon_,
or cut according to rule, as opposed to the more fanciful _lettres

[101] Petrarch expressed a strong aversion to the character; but some
Italian and French printers adopted it, to the exclusion of the Roman,
and, like Nicholas Prevost in 1525, boasted of it as the type “most
beautiful and most becoming for polite literature.” Gothic printing
began in Italy about 1475 and in France in 1473.

[102] See specimen No. 15, _post_.

[103] See specimen No. 49, _post_.

[104] _Bibliographical Decameron_, ii, 407.

[105] The first part of this work is without date or printer’s name;
but the types are those of the 1462 Bible. The _Secunda Secundæ_ was
printed by Schoeffer at Mentz in 1467, in the types of the _Rationale_.

[106] See specimens Nos. 5 and 6, _ante_, and 18A, _post_.

[107] See specimen No. 27, _post_.

[108] See specimen No. 52, _post_.

[109] See specimen No. 73, _post_.

[110] See specimen No. 51, _post_.

[111] Thus, Ὁτι ἶσα τὰ ἁμαρτήματα appears Oτίcaτaaκaρτηaκaτa.

[112] Lascaris caused to be printed at Florence, in 1494, an
_Anthologia Græca_, and several other works wholly in Greek capitals,
“litteris majusculis.” In the preface to the _Anthologia_ he vindicates
his use of these characters, which he says he has designed after the
genuine models of antiquity to be found in the inscriptions on medals,
marbles, etc.

[113] Robert Estienne was not the first to hold this title, Conrad
Néobar, his predecessor, having enjoyed it from 1538–40. In some of his
early impressions before 1543, Estienne used occasionally Greek types,
apparently the same as those of Badius.

[114] The Imprimerie Royale at the Louvre, of which the present
Imprimerie Nationale is the direct successor, was not founded till
1640, by Louis XIII. Francis I granted the letters patent in 1538,
whereby Néobar and his successors received the title of Royal Printers,
but did not create a royal printing establishment.

[115] Renouard states that the last of the Greek founts of the Aldine
press was without doubt designed from Garamond’s models.

[116] Gresswell mentions an _Alphabetum Græcum_, published in 1543, as
a preliminary specimen.

[117] The history of these famous types, the matrices of which for some
years lay in pawn at Geneva, whence they were released at a cost of
3,000 livres in 1619, may be read in M. Bernard’s _Les Estienne et les
types grecs de François I^{er}_. Paris, 1856. 8vo.

[118] Greek printing did not become common in Spain till a later
period. A book printed at Oriola in 1603 contains an apology for the
want of Greek types.

[119] See specimen No. 28, _post_.

[120] See specimen No. 29, _post_.

[121] See specimen No. 69, _post_.

[122] See specimen No. 71, _post_.

[123] _De Hebraicæ typographiæ origine._ Parma, 1776. 4to.

[124] _Les Incunables Orientaux._ Paris, 1883. 8vo.

[125] _Recherches . . sur la Vie et les Editions de Thierry Martens._
Alost, 1845. 8vo.

[126] See specimens Nos. 34 and 35, _post_.

[127] See specimen No. 47, _post_.

[128] The English were in negotiation for the founts when Vitré
received his orders to purchase.

[129] See _Calendar State Papers_, 1637–8, p. 245. Raphlengius died in
1597. Among Laud’s MSS. at the Bodleian is a printed work by Bedwell,
entitled _The Arabian Trudgman_, London, 1615, 4to, but no Arabic type
is used in it. An attempt to buy the Oriental matrices of Erpenius for
Cambridge, in 1626, was forestalled by the Elzevirs, who secured them
for their own press.

[130] See specimen No 37, _post_.

[131] See specimen No. 61, _post_.

[132] Parr’s _Life and Letters of Usher_. London, 1686, fol., p. 488.

[133] See specimen No. 38, _post_.

[134] See specimen No. 41, _post_.

[135] See specimen No. 63, _post_.

[136] See specimen No. 39, _post_.

[137] See specimen No. 66, _post_.

[138] See specimen No. 40, _post_.

[139] See specimen No. 36, _post_.

[140] See specimen No. 62, _post_.

[141] See specimen No. 42, _post_.

[142] See specimen No. 78, _post_.

[143] James’s foundry also had a set of punches in Long Primer, but
these appear never to have been struck.

[144] See specimen No. 64, _post_.

[145] See specimen No. 65, _post_.

[146] See facsimile No. 20, _post_.

[147] See specimen No. 48, _post_.

[148] See specimen No. 45, _post_.

[149] Music engraved on wood was used as late as 1845, in Oakley’s
_Laudes Diurnæ_.

[150] See specimen No. 54, _post_.

[151] _Essai sur l’Education des Aveugles._ Dedié au Roi. À Paris.
Imprimé par les Enfants Aveugles. 1786. 4to. The work is printed in
the large script letter of the press, but not in relief. Appended are
specimens of circulars, addresses, etc., printed in ordinary type, for
the use of the public.

[152] A curious collection of these may be seen in the _Quincuplex
Psalterium_, printed by Henri Estienne I, at Paris, in 1513.

[153] _The Life and Typography of William Caxton, England’s first
Printer._ 2 vols. London, 1861–3. 4to.

[154] Mr. Figgins, apparently misled by the irregularities in form
consequent on the touching-up of Type No. 2, concluded that the whole
of the types in which this book was printed were cut separately by hand.

[155] _The General History of Printing._ London, 1732, 4to, p. 343.

[156] Among the rubbish of James’s foundry, Mores, who evidently
credited the legend, states that he discovered some of the punches from
which the two-line Great Primer matrices had been struck. “They are,”
he observed, “truly _vetustate formâque et squalore venerabiles_, and
we would not give a lower-case letter in exchange for all the leaden
cups of Haerlem” (_Dissertation_, p. 76). Hansard, in 1825, appears
also to have believed in the survival of De Worde’s punches, the form
of which he professed to recognise among the Black-letter shown in
Caslon’s specimen-book of 1785.

[157] The first Roman, or (as it was sometimes called) White-letter,
noticed by Herbert in any of De Worde’s books was in the _Whitintoni de
heteroclytis nominbus_, 1523.

[158] _Roberti Wakefeldi . . . oratio de laudibus et utilitate trium
linguarum Arabice, Chaldaicæ et Hebraice atque idiomatibus Hebraicis
quæ in utroque testamento inveniuntur. Londini apud Winandum de Vorde_
(1524). 4to.

[159] This is probably the first appearance of Italic type in England.

[160] Pynson was not the first English printer who “put out” his work
to foreign typographers. Caxton, in 1487, employed W. Maynyal of Paris
to print a Sarum _Missal_ for him; and one book, at least, is known to
have been printed for De Worde by a Parisian printer.

[161] _Oratio in Pace nuperrimâ, etc. Impressa Londini, Anno Verbi
incarnati_ MDXVIII _per Richardum Pynson, Regium Impressorem_. 4to.

[162] _Thomæ Linacri de emendatâ structurâ Latini sermonis. Londini,
apud Richardum Pinsonum._ 1524. 4to.

[163] _i.e._, “Greeting to the Reader: Of thy candour, reader, excuse
it if any of the letters in the Greek quotations are lacking either in
accents, breathings or proper marks. The printer was not sufficiently
furnished with them, since Greek types have been but lately cast by
him; nor had he the supply prepared necessary for the completion of
this work.”

[164] Redman, who began to print about 1525, in Pynson’s old house, is
supposed to have succeeded to the types of his predecessor. His edition
of _Littleton’s Tenures_ (no date) shows the Roman letter in Long
Primer body.

[165] _D. Joannis Chrysostomi homiliæ duæ, nunc primum in lucem æditæ_
(Greek and Latin) _a Joanne Cheko. Londini_ 1543. 4to.

[166] _Ælfredi Regis Res Gestæ_ (without imprint or date), fol. The
work was bound up and published with Walsingham’s _Historia Brevis_,
printed by Binneman, and his _Ypodigma Neustriæ_, printed by Day, both
in 1574. The text of the _Ælfredi_, though in Saxon characters, is in
the Latin language.

[167] _i.e._, “And inasmuch as Day, the printer, is the first (and,
indeed, as far as I know, the only one) who has cut these letters in
metal; what things have been written in Saxon characters will be easily
published in the same type.”

[168] Astle, in his _History of Writing_, p. 224, remarks: “Day’s Saxon
types far excel in neatness and beauty any which have since been made,
not excepting the neat types cast for F. Junius at Dort, which were
given to the University of Oxford.”

[169] Parker, who, according to Strype (_Life of Parker_, London,
1711, fol., p. 278), extended his patronage to Binneman as well as to
Day, and at whose expense the _Historia_ was published, may possibly
have claimed the disposal of founts specially cut for his own use, and
in this manner secured for Binneman founts cast from Day’s matrices.
Binneman is described as a diligent printer, who applied through Parker
for the privilege of printing certain Latin authors, accompanying his
petition by a small specimen of his typography, “which the Archbishop
sent to the Secretary to see the order of his print. The Archbishop
said he thought he might do this amply enough, and better cheap than
they might be brought from beyond the seas, standing the paper and
goodness of his print. Adding, that it were not amiss to set our
own countrymen on work, so they would be diligent, and take good

[170] Timperley, _Encyclopædia_, p. 381.

[171] _Life of Parker_, pp. 382, 541.

[172] _Typographical Antiquities_, i, 656.

[173] _Fidelis servi, subdito infideli Responsio. Lond._ 1573. 4to.

[174] _De Visibili Romanarchia. Londini, apud J. Dayum._ 1572. 4to.

[175] _De Antiquitate Britannicæ Ecclesiæ. Londini in ædibus Johannis
Daij._ 1572. Fol.

[176] An illustration of this maybe seen in Vautrollier’s Latin
Testaments, where both Roman and Italic are exquisitely cut founts, but
not being of uniform gauge, mix badly in the same line.

[177] _Introduction of the Art of Printing into Scotland._ By R.
Dickson. Aberdeen, 1885. 8vo. Appendix.

[178] _Eygentliche Beschreibung aller Stände und . . . Handwerker.
Frankfurt_, 1568. 4to. _Der Schrifftgiesser._

[179] _Harleian MS._ 5915, No. 201. The cut is undated. The following
sentence from Mr. T. C. Hansard’s _Treatises on Printing and
Typefounding_, Edinburgh, 1841, 8vo, p. 223, may possibly refer to the
same device. “This evidence” (of the process employed by the early
letter-founders) “is afforded us by the device of Badius Ascensius, an
eminent printer of Paris and Lyon, in the beginning of the sixteenth
century, and also by that of an English printer, Anthony Scoloker
of Ippeswych, who modified and adopted the device of Ascensius, as
indeed did many other printers of various countries. This curious
design exhibits in one apartment the various processes of printing,
the foreground presenting a press in full work, the background on the
left the cases and the compositor, and on the right the foundery; the
matrix and other appliances bearing a precise resemblance to those at
present in use.” If the above be a description of the block here shown
(in which case Mr. Hansard has confused the matrix with the mould), we
are able to fix the date approximately at 1548, in which year Scoloker
printed at Ipswich.

[180] A description of this interesting establishment will be found in
M. De George’s _La Maison Plantin à Anvers_. 2nd ed. Brussels, 1878,

[181] The legend of the silver types has been a favourite one in the
romance of typography. Giucciardini states that Aldus Manutius used
them; and Hulsemann describes the Bible printed by Robert Estienne in
1557 as “typis argenteis sanè elegantissimis.” The same extravagance
was attributed to Plantin. Possibly the famous productions of these
great artists impressed their readers with the notion that their
beautiful and luxurious typography was the result of rare and costly
material; and, ignoring the fact that silver type would not endure the
press, they credited them with the absurdity of casting their letters
in that costly material. It is difficult to believe that any practical
printer, however magnificent, would make even his matrices of silver,
when copper would be equally good and more durable. Didot was said, as
late as 1820, to have cast his new Script from steel matrices inlaid
with silver. The use of the term “silver” as a figurative mode of
describing beautiful typography is not uncommon. Sir Henry Savile’s
Greek types, says Bagford, “on account of their beauty were called
the Silver types.” Field’s Pearl Bible in 1653 has been spoken of as
printed in silver types. Smith, in 1755, referred to the fiction,
still credited, that “the Dutch print with silver types.” On the
other hand, we have the distinct mention in the inventory of John
Baskett’s printing-office at Oxford, in 1720, of “a sett of Silver
Initiall Letters,” which we can hardly believe to be a purely poetic
description, and probably referred to the coating of the face of the
letter with a silver wash. It should be stated here that Ratdolt, the
Venetian printer, in 1482 was reported to have printed one work in
types of gold!

[182] Among the itinerant punch-cutters of Plantin’s day was the famous
French artist Le Bé who came to Antwerp to strike the punches for the
Antwerp _Polyglot_.

[183] _Mechanick Exercises, or the Doctrine of Handy-Works applied to
the Art of Printing._ The Second Volume. London, 1683. 4to.

[184] The index-letters following each part refer to Moxon’s
illustration of a mould in the _Mechanick Exercises_, a reduced copy of
which is placed by the artist of the _Universal Magazine_, 1750, at the
foot of his View of the Interior of Caslon’s Foundry, of which we give
a facsimile in the frontispiece.

[185] Iron does not appear to have continued much longer as a staple
ingredient of English type-metal. There was, however, no rule as to the
composition of the alloy. The French type-metal at the beginning of
the eighteenth century was notoriously bad, and drove many printers to
Frankfort for their types, where they used a very hard composition of
steel, iron, copper, brass, tin and lead.

[186] See _post_, chapter ix.

[187] See _post_, chapter x.

[188] Psalmanazar, in referring to Samuel Palmer’s projected second
part to his _History of Printing_, which should describe all the
branches of the trade, says that this project, “though but then as
it were in embryo, met with such early and strenuous opposition from
the respective bodies of letter-founders, printers and bookbinders,
under an ill-grounded apprehension that the discovery of the mystery
of those arts, especially the two first, would render them cheap and
contemptible . . . that he was forced to set it aside” (_Timperley_, p.

[189] _Typographiæ Excellentia. Carmen notis Gallicis illustratum à C.
L. Thiboust, Fusore-Typographo-Bibliopôlâ._ Paris, 1718. 8vo.

[190] “LIQUATOR.

 “Ecce Liquator adest; en crebris ignibus ardet
  Ejus materies; præbet Cochleare, Catillum
  Et Formas queis mixto ex ære fideliter omnes
  Conflat Litterulas; Hic paret sponte Peritis,
  Sive Latina velint conscribere, Græcáve dicta;
  Sive suam exoptent Hebræâ dicere mentem
  Linguâ, seu cupiant Germanica verba referre,
  Cunctas ille suâ fabricabitur arte figuras.
  Cernis quâ fiat cum dexteritate character
  Singulus Archetypo, quod format splendida signa,
  Cum mollis fuerit solers industria scalpri.
  Illum opus est fusi digito resecare metalli
  Quod superest, Ferulisque Typos componere lêves,
  Ut queat exæquans illos Runcina parare.
  Sed solet esse gravis nimiis ardoribus æstus.”

[191] _Fonderie en caractères de l’Imprimerie._ 4 pp., and 4 pp. of
plates. Fol. No date.

[192] Smith (_Printers’ Grammar_, p. 8) blames the French founders of
his day for the shallow cut of their punches, which being naturally
reproduced in the types, was the cause of much bad printing. Some
sorts, he said, as late as 1755, only stood in relief to the thickness
of an ordinary sheet of paper. He contrasts English punch-cutting
favourably with French in this particular.

[193] _Manuel Typographique, utile aux gens de lettres._ 2 tom. Paris,
1764–6. 8vo.

[194] _Patents for Inventions.—Abridgments of Specifications relating
to Printing_ (1617 to 1857). London, 1859. 8vo.

[195] This misguided reformer lived at Banbury, where, in 1804, he
printed an edition of _Rasselas_, 8vo, in his “improved” types. The
result is more curious than beautiful, and the public remained loyal
still to the alphabets of Aldus, Elzevir, Caslon, Baskerville, and
Bodoni. Nevertheless, Rusher’s edition of _Rasselas_, “printed with
patent types in a manner never before attempted,” will always claim a
place among typographical curiosities.

[196] This is apparently the first suggestion in England of the
“hand-pump,” which was subsequently adopted by all the founders, and
formed, in combination with the lever-mould, the intermediate stage
between hand and machine casting.

[197] The origin of type-nicks is doubtful. Some have considered them
to have resulted from a modification of the old alleged system of
perforation, and to have been intended as a receptacle for the wire or
string used to bind the lines together. The types of the first printers
were certainly without them, and as late as 1540 French moulds had
none. A nick forms part of Moxon’s moulds in 1683. In French founding
the nick is at the back of the type, while in England it is always on
the front. In Fournier’s day the Lyonnaise types were an exception to
the general French rule, and had the nick on the front, as also did the
types of Germany, Holland and Flanders. Some of the old founts procured
abroad by English founders were struck in the copper inverted, so that
when cast in English moulds they have always had the nick at the back.

[198] The lever mould was first used in America about 1800.

[199] Clayton issued a pamphlet printed from plates produced by this

[200] It was calculated that 75,000 types could be produced by two men
in an hour.

[201] See _post_, chap. xxi. Prior to Pouchée’s introduction of this
system of casting into England, Hansard informs us, Henry Caslon made
trial of it, but it was not found eligible to pursue it.

[202] The type-casting machine, of which this is the first patented
attempt in England, was not generally adopted till after the
International Exhibition of 1851, at which the hand-mould alone was
shown. The model generally adopted was the machine patented in America
in 1838, by David Bruce, which Alexander Wilson introduced in this
country about 1853. Previous to David Bruce’s machine, a machine
invented by Edwin Starr had been introduced at Boston in 1826, and
tried for five years.

[203] The reader is referred to the concise summary given under the
title “Parliamentary Papers,” in Bigmore and Wyman’s _Bibliography
of Printing_, also to the _Abridgments of Specifications relating to
Printing_, 1617 to 1857, published by the Commissioners of Patents in
1859, and for more minute particulars to Mr. Arber’s _Transcript of the
Registers of the Stationers’ Company_, and the _Calendars of Domestic
State Papers_.

[204] Notwithstanding this flattering announcement, we find that
five years later Grafton and Whitchurch, who held the King’s Bible
patent, received the royal permission to print the revised edition of
Matthews’s Bible in Paris, “because at that time there were in France
better printers and paper than could be had here in England.” The
project, as history records, was cut short by the Inquisition; but the
presses, types, and workmen were with great difficulty brought over
from Paris to London, where the Bible was finished in 1539.

[205] A brotherhood of Stationers, consisting of “writers of text
letter,” “lymners of bokes,” and subsequently admitting printers to its
fellowship, had existed since 1403. The term Stationer, at the time
of the incorporation, included booksellers, printers, bookbinders,
publishers, type-founders, makers of writing-tables, and other trades,
amongst which were “joiners and chandlers.”

[206] Arber’s _Transcripts_, ii, 753–69.

[207] This unruly printer troubled the Company’s peace for eleven
years, and demonstrated, by his persistent defiance of their authority,
the insufficiency of their powers to execute the control they nominally
possessed. John Wolfe, the City printer, distinguished himself in a
similar way.

[208] Arber’s _Transcripts_, ii, 22.

[209] A commission appointed to inquire into the disputes at that
time agitating the Company, gave as one of its chief reasons why the
monopolies should be sustained, that if anyone were to print any book
he chose, this inconvenience would follow, viz., “want of provisions of
good letters,” in other words, the quality both of type and printing
would degenerate.

[210] Arber’s _Transcripts_, i, 114, 144.

[211] A return of presses and printers made in the same year to the
Master and Wardens of the Company after the publication of the decree,
shows that this provision had reduced the number to twenty-five
printers, with fifty-three presses. A list of these is given in Mr. C.
R. Rivington’s _Records of the Company of Stationers_ (London, 1883,
8vo), p. 28.

[212] The provisions of this decree were commended in The _London
Printer his Lamentation_, published in 1660, and reprinted in the third
volume of the _Harleian Miscellany_. The writer contrasts it favourably
with subsequent decrees.

[213] Arber’s _Transcripts_, ii, 816.

[214] A licensed stationer might, with the leave of the Company, employ
an unlicensed stationer to reprint a work of his own, on payment of a
fine. (_Ibid._, ii, 19.)

[215] In France, as early as 1539, typefounding had been legally
recognised as a distinct trade. The edict of 1539 contains the
following clause, applying the provisions and penalties of the decree
to typefounders: “Et pour ce que le métier des fondeurs de lettres
est connexe à l’art de l’imprimeur, et que les fondeurs ne se disent
imprimeurs, ne les imprimeurs ne se disent fondeurs, lesdicts articles
et ordonnances auront lieu . . . aux compagnons et apprentifs fondeurs,
ainsi qu’en compagnons et apprentifs imprimeurs, lesquels oultre les
choses dessus dictes seront tenus d’achever la fonte des lettres par
eux commencée et les rendre bonnes et valables.” The whole decree is
in curious contrast with the Acts regulating English printing and
founding. The French “compagnons” are forbidden to band together for
military, festive, or religious purposes, to carry arms, to beat and
neglect their apprentices, to leave any work incomplete, to use any
printer’s marks but their own; and so great is the fatherly solicitude
of the Crown for the honour of the press, that printers are made
amenable to law for typographical errors in their books. (Lacroix,
_Histoire de l’Imprimerie_. Paris, 8vo, pp. 124–8.)

[216] In 1635 the journeymen printers presented a petition to the
Stationers’ Company respecting certain abuses which they desired to
have reformed. The report of the referees appointed to inquire into
the matter, with their recommendations, is still preserved. Amongst
other things is a provision against standing formes; also that no
books printed in Nonpareil should exceed 5,000 copies, in Brevier
3,000 (except the privileged books); and further, that compositors
should keep their cases clean, and dispose of “all wooden letters, and
two-line letters, and keep their letter whole while work is doing, and
after bind it up in good order.” The Company approved of the report,
and ordered it to be entered on the books. (_Calendar of State Papers,
Domestic_, 1635. London, 8vo, 1865, p. 484.)

[217] _A Decree of Starre-Chamber, concerning Printing. Made the
eleventh day of July last past, 1637._ London, 1637, 4to. The “London
Printer,” previously quoted, writing in 1660, styles this decree “the
best and most exquisite form and constitution for the good government
and regulation of the press that ever was pronounced, or can reasonably
be contrived to keep it in due order and regular exercise.” It was the
lapse of its authority in 1640 which led to the abuses over which he

[218] This famous speech has been reprinted by Mr. Arber among his
_English Reprints_, together with a verbatim copy of the decrees which
evoked it. London, 1868, 12mo.

[219] That is, the Master and Wardens are obliged to find employment
for all honest journeymen out of work, the master-printers and founders
being bound to give work to anyone thus brought to them. Masters
requiring additional hands can compel the services of any journeyman
out of work, who can only refuse the summons at his peril.

[220] In a rare tract entitled _An Exact Narrative of the Tryal and
Condemnation of John Twyn, for Printing and Dispersing of a Treasonable
Book, etc._ (London, 1664, 4to), several curious particulars are
given as to the operation and enforcement of this Act as regards
printers. But although a bookseller and bookbinder were arraigned at
the same time, no reference was made to the founder of the types, who
was apparently not held responsible for a share in the offence. In
the evidence given by L’Estrange, however, as to Dover, one of the
prisoners, we have a curious glimpse of the technical duties devolving
on the Surveyor of the Imprimery and Printing Presses under this Act.
He states, “I was at his (Dover’s) house to compare a _Flower_ which
I found in the _Panther_ (a dangerous Pamphlet), that flower, that
is, the very same _border_, I found in his house, the same mixture of
Letter, great and small in the same Case; and I took a Copy off the
Press.” The sentence passed upon the unfortunate John Twyn gives a
vivid idea of the amenities of a printer at that period: “That you be
led back to the place from whence you came, and from thence to be drawn
upon an Hurdle to the place of Execution, and there you shall be hanged
by the Neck, and being alive shall be cut down, and your privy Members
shall be cut off, your Entrails shall be taken out of your body, and
you living, the same to be burnt before your eyes: your head to be cut
off, your body to be divided into four quarters, and your head and
quarters to be disposed of at the pleasure of the King’s Majesty. And
the Lord have mercy upon your soul.”

[221] Printers were ordered to enter into a bond of £300 to the Crown
not to misconduct themselves, but no bond appears to have been exacted
by this Act from letter-founders.

[222] The Act of 1662 was a probationary Act for two years. In 1664 it
was continued till the end of the next session, and again until the end
of the session following; and in 1666 again until the end of the first
session of the next Parliament. In 1685 it was revived for seven years,
at the end of which, in 1692, it was continued for one year more, after
which it dropped. According to this account, it must have been dormant
at any rate between 1679 and 1685.

[223] In 1724, according to the list presented by Samuel Negus to
Lord Townsend, the number of printers in London had increased to
seventy-five, and in the provinces to twenty-eight. There were also at
that time eighteen newspapers.

[224] _A Proposal for Restraining the great Licentiousness of the Press
throughout Great Britain, etc._ No date.

[225] _An Act for the more effectual Suppression of Societies
established for Seditious and Treasonable Purposes; and for better
preventing Treasonable and Seditious Practices._ [12 July, 1799.]

[226] “VI. FORM _of Notice to the Clerk of the Peace that any person
carries on the Business of a Letter Founder, or Maker or Seller of
Types for Printing, or of Printing Presses_.—To the Clerk of the Peace
for (_as the case may be_) or his Deputy.—I, A. B., of ———— do hereby
declare, That I intend to carry on the Business of a Letter Founder,
or Maker or Seller of Types for Printing, _or_ of Printing Presses
(_as the case may be_), at ———— and I hereby require this Notice to be
entered in pursuance of an Act passed in the 39th Year of the Reign of
His Majesty, King _George_ the Third.”

[227] “VII. FORM _of Certificate that the above Notice has been
given_.—I, G. H., Clerk (or Deputy Clerk) of the Peace for ———— do
hereby certify that A. B. of ———— hath delivered to me a Notice in
Writing, appearing to be signed by him, and attested by E. F. as a
Witness to his signing the same, that he intends to carry on the
Business of a Letter Founder, or Maker or Seller of Types for Printing
or of Printing Presses, at ———— and which Notice he has required to be
entered in pursuance of an Act of the 39th Year of His Majesty, King
_George_ the Third.”

[228] The clauses relating to printers and typefounders were repealed
by the 32 and 33 Vict., cap. 24: _An Act to Repeal certain enactments
relating to Newspapers, Pamphlets, and other Publications, and to
Printers, Type-founders, and Reading Rooms_. [12 July, 1869.]


 “Now register’d—now ticketed we move,
  Our slightest works the double label prove.”

 (McCreery, _The Press_, p. 25.)


           . . . . . “O Veneti,
 Que fuerat vobis ars primum nota Latini,
   Est eadem nobis ipsa reperta premens.”

[231] In the following observations on the first Oxford types we
are mainly indebted, in common with all students of the subject, to
the careful researches and notes of the late Mr. Henry Bradshaw of

[232] Bagford attributes this general cessation of printing in Oxford,
Cambridge, York, Tavistock, St. Albans, Canterbury and Worcester to
Cardinal Wolsey’s interference while legate.

[233] _S. Joannis Chrysostomi opera Græce, octo voluminibus. Etonæ,
in Collegio Regali, Excudebat Joannes Norton, in Græcis &c. Regius
Typographus._ 1610–13. Fol.

[234] Sir Henry Savile (who is not to be confounded with his kinsman
and namesake, Long Harry Savile, Camden’s friend) was formerly Greek
tutor to Queen Elizabeth. In 1585 he was made Warden of Merton, and in
1596 became Provost of Eton College, where he died in 1621, ætat. 72.

[235] _Anecdotes of Literature and Scarce Books._ London, 1807–12. 6
vols., 8vo, v, 111, 122.

[236] The passage referred to is the following vague reply to an
inquiry addressed by Sir Henry Savile to Casaubon: “De characteribus
Stephanicis longa historia, longæ ambages. Itaque melius ista coram.”

[237] Dupont, _Histoire de l’Imprimerie_. Paris, 1854. 2 vols., 8vo, i,

[238] _Diary and Correspondence._ London, 1850–2. 4 vols. 8vo, iii, 300.

[239] Printing was introduced into Cambridge in 1521, when John Siberch
printed Bullock’s _Oratio_ and seven other works. He styled himself
the first printer in Greek in England, although none of his works were
wholly printed in that language. The fount used for the quotations
in the _Galeni de Temperamentis_ was probably procured from abroad.
The residence of Erasmus at Cambridge lent undoubted impetus to the
art, which progressed actively while the Oxford press was idle. The
first University printers, three in number, were appointed in 1534, by
virtue of a charter granted by Henry VIII, in terms considerably more
liberal than those first granted to Oxford. At no period of its career
has the Cambridge press boasted of a type-foundry. In 1626 Archbishop
Usher made an effort to procure from Leyden, for the use of the press,
matrices of Syriac, Arabic, Ethiopic and Samaritan letters, which,
had he been successful, might have formed the nucleus of a foundry.
Unfortunately, the Archbishop was forestalled by the Elzevirs, who
secured the matrices for their own press (Parr’s _Life of Usher_.
London, 1686, fol., p. 342–3). The University made an effort in 1700
to enrich their press by the purchase of a fount of the famous Paris
Greek types of Francis I, known as the King’s Greek. But as the French
Academy insisted, as a condition of the purchase, that all works
printed in these characters should bear the imprint “characteribus
Græcis e Typographeo regio Parisiensi,” the Cambridge Syndics, unable
to accede to the terms, withdrew from the negotiations (Gresswell’s
_Early Parisian Greek Press_. Oxford, 1833, i, 411; and De Guignes’
_Typographie Orientale et Grecque de l’Imprimerie Royale_. Paris, 1787,
p. 85).

[240] _Novum Testamentum. Cantabrigiæ. Apud Tho. Buck._ 1632. 8vo.

[241] _Anecdotes_, i, 119. Elsewhere (v, 111) Beloe asserts that the
type thus used was the Greek of Sir Henry Savile. Although the same
size, and in many points closely resembling this letter, it differs
from it materially in other respects. This may possibly be accounted
for on the supposition that some of the Savile characters having been
lost, they had been replaced either by new matrices, or by the addition
of letters from some other fount. Buck discarded many of the cumbrous
abbreviations used in the _Chrysostom_, greatly to the advantage of his
text (see _4th Report Historical MSS. Commission_, p. 464).

[242] _Rushworth’s Collections_, ii, 74.

[243] _Works of Laud._ Oxford, 1847–60. 7 vols., 8vo, v, 80.

[244] _The Holy Bible, containing the Old Testament and the New, etc.
Printed at London by Robert Barker . . . and by the Assignes of John
Bill._ _Anno_ 1631. 8vo.

[245] Bagford and others erroneously mention the fine as £3,000.

[246] _Clementis ad Corinthios Epistola prior._ 4to. Oxonii, 1633.

[247] Augustin Linsdell.

[248] _Wilkins (D.) Concilia_, iv, 485.

[249] According to documents in the Record Office, the fine was entered
Feb. 18, 163 3/4, “Fined for errors in printing the Bible, Barker
£200, Lucas £100.” It was allowed to stand over from time to time, “to
see whether they would set up their press for the printing of Greek.”
On June 23, 1635, it was ordered that all Bibles now in Stationers’
Hall which had been erroneously printed should be redelivered to them
“with charge to see all the gross faults amended before they vent the

[250] _Catena Græcorum Patrum in Beatum Job . . . operâ et studio
Patricii Junii, Bibliothecarii Regii, etc. Londini, ex Typographio
Regio._ 1637. Fol. In his dedication to the Archbishop, Young thus
refers to the care taken by Laud in the purchase of the type: “Quod
quidem si eâ fronte acceperis . . . quâ Britanniam denique characterum
elegantiâ in omni linguarum genere locupletas, ac vicinis gentibus, non
minus pulchrâ, quam politâ et accuratâ veterum scriptorum editione,
invidendam reddis, etc.”

[251] The matrices of this fount, as will be seen hereafter, passed
into Grover’s foundry, and were sold at the dispersion of James’s
foundry in 1782.

[252] _State Papers, Domestic_, 1637–8. No. 75.

[253] Probably from the Elzevirs, who in 1626 (as noticed p. 66,
_note_) had succeeded in outbidding the representatives of Cambridge
University for the Oriental press and matrices of Erpenius.

[254] Thomas Smith at a later date referred to the same gift:—“Circa
id temporis . . . D. Guilielmus Laudus . . . postquam ingentem Codicum
omne genus manu exaratorum molem pecuniis largissime effusis, ubi ubi
merx ista literaria erat reperienda, conquisivisset, elegantissimos
typos, omnium ferè linguarum, quæ hodie obtinent, efformari procuravit”
(_Vitæ, quorundam Virorum . . . Patricii Junii_, London, 1707, 4to., p.

[255] _Works of Laud_, v. 168.

[256] _Ibid._, v, 236.

[257] Latham’s _Oxford Bibles and Printing in Oxford_. 1870, p. 46.

[258] The University supplied a press and type to King Charles I during
the Civil War (Gutch, _Collectanea Curiosa_. Oxford, 1781. 2 vols.,
8vo., i, 281).

[259] Lemoine, _Typographical Antiquities_. London, 1797. 8vo, p. 87.
The office of Archi-typographus had been instituted by Laud, about 1637.

[260] He it was on whom Tom Brown wrote his famous epigram:―

 “I do not love thee, Doctor Fell,
  The reason why, I cannot tell;
  But this alone I know full well,
  I do not love thee, Doctor Fell.”

[261] Bagford (_Harl. MS._ 5901, fo. 89) mentions that Dr. Fell
encouraged the fitting-up of a paper mill at Wolvercote, by Mr. George
Edwards, “who was a cutter in wood of the great letters, and engraved
many other things made use of in the printing of books, and had a
talent in maps, although done with his left hand.” Of this mill, Hearne
wrote in 1728, “Some of the best paper made in England is made at
Wolvercote Mill” (_Reliq._, ii, 85, ed. 1869).

[262] This list, which was appended to the specimen of 1695, doubtless
includes a few items acquired by the Press since Dr. Fell’s death.
(_Harl. MSS._ 5901, 5929.)

[263] The Coptic fount included in his gift is said to have been cut,
not only at his expense, but under his personal supervision, from a
character (Mores states) delineated by Mr. Wheeler, rector of St.
Ebbe’s, in Oxford.

[264] _Harl. MS._ 5901, fol. 85.

[265] Gutch, _Collect._, i, 271.

[266] _Athenæ Oxonienses._ London, 1691–2. 2 vols., fol., ii, 604.
Wood, in speaking of Mill’s _Greek Testament_, begun in 1681, says that
the first sheets were begun at his Lordship’s cost, “at his Lordship’s
printing house, _near the Theater_” (_Fasti Oxon._, 3rd ed., ii, 381).
This was probably the hired house occupied by the University press
prior to its removal to the Theatre, concerning the site of which
Hearne remarks (_Reliq._, i, 254), “One part of the wall, being a sort
of bastion, is now to be seen, just as we enter into the Theater-yard,
at the west corner of the north side of the Schools, viz., where the
late printing-house of Bp. Fell stood.” Moxon, in 1683, recognised the
Bishop’s “ardent affections to promote Typographie” in England, by
dedicating to him the second volume of his _Mechanick Exercises_, the
first practical work on printing written by an Englishman.

[267] A copy of this letter may be seen in the preface to Hickes’
_Thesaurus_, 1705, p. xliii.

[268] The Gothic and Runic punches, and the punches and matrices of the
Saxon, formed part of the interesting exhibit of the Oxford University
Press at the Caxton Exhibition in 1877.

[269] Nichols, _Literary Anecdotes_, iv, 147.

[270] The Oxford Ethiopic types appear to have gone astray, if not
at this period, shortly afterwards; for Dr. Mawer, writing to the
Archbishop of Canterbury in 1759 respecting his proposed Supplement
to Walton’s _Polyglot_, says that the use of the University types had
been offered him (in 1743) for printing a specimen of his work, “but,”
he adds, “an obstruction was here thrown in my way by reason of the
Ethiopic types being most of them lost, and incapable of printing half
a page.” (Todd’s _Life of Walton_, London, 1821, i, 332.)

[271] Nichols, _Lit. Anec._, iv., 146. One of the first works printed
in the recovered types was King Alfred’s Saxon version of Boethius’
_Consolationis Philosophiæ Libri_. Oxford, 1698, 8vo. It was edited by
Mr. Christopher Rawlinson, from a transcript by Francis Junius among
the MSS. at Oxford. Opposite the title is a head of Junius by Burghers,
from a sketch by Van Dyck, in the Picture Gallery.

[272] A. J. Butler, _Ancient Coptic Churches of Egypt._ Oxford, 1884. 2
vols., 8vo, ii, 257.

[273] These additions duly appeared in the second Oxford specimen of
1695, from which the inventory at p. 148 is quoted.

[274] There is an amusing account of a visit to the University Press in
1682 in Mrs. D’Anvers’ _Academia: or the Humours of the University of
Oxford, in Burlesque verse_ (1691), pp. 25–27.

[275] _Harl. MS. 5901_, fo. 4. The _Specimen_ is given in 5929.

[276] _Oratio Dominica_, πολύγλωττος πολύμορφος, _nimirum, plus
centum Linguis, Versionibus, aut Characteribus reddita et expressa_.
_Londini_, 1700, 4to. 76 pp. The editor was B. M(otte). Typogr. Lond.

[277] This circumstance is thus frankly noted in the preface: “Porrò,
ne Characterum alienorum copiâ me jactitare videar, scias velim,
schedas duas, Linguas Hebraicam, et cæteras usque ad Slavonicam
complexas, in Typographéo instructissimo inclytæ Academiæ Oxoniensis
excusas esse, cui faustissima quæque comprecator quisquis est qui
patriam amat, et bonam mentem colit.”

[278] These include the Malabaric, Brahman, Chinese, Georgian,
Sclavonic (Hieronymian), Syriac (Estrangelo), and Armenian. The
Anglo-Saxon versions are from type, as is also the Irish, which is
Moxon’s fount cut for Boyle.

[279] A second edition appeared in 1713. In 1715 a similar work was
published by Chamberlayne in Amsterdam, entitled _Oratio Dominica in
diversas omnium fere gentium linguas versa et propriis cujusque linguæ
characteribus expressa_. _Amstelodami_ 1715. 4to, with dissertations
by Dr. Wilkins and others. This production is superior in general
appearance to the English book, but the Oriental and other foreign
characters being almost entirely copperplate, its typographical value
is decidedly inferior.

[280] The Bible-side height is slightly above the ordinary English
height. The Learned-side height is about the same as the French height.
Ancient jealousies between the two rival “Sides” have much to answer
for in the growth of this anomaly. Happily, the difference of “height”
is now the only difference between the Bible and the Learned Presses.

[281] Writing in 1714, Bagford boasted that the Sheldonian Theatre,
Plantin’s Office at Antwerp, the King’s Office in Paris, the King of
Spain’s Printing House, (Plantin’s Office at Leyden—since Elzevir’s—is
a sorry shed), Janson’s in Amsterdam, and that of the Jews in the same
city, were not to compare with the Oxford House (_Harl. MS. 5901_). The
imprint, _E Theatro Sheldoniano_, was continued on Oxford books till

[282] _Linguarum Vett. Septentrionalium Thesaurus Grammatico-Criticus
et Archæologicus._ _Oxon._ 1703–5. Fol., 3 vols.

[283] This learned lady, mistress of eight languages besides her own,
was the daughter of Ralph Elstob, a Newcastle merchant, and was born
in 1683. Besides making the English translation which accompanies her
brother’s Latin version of the _Homily on St. Gregory’s Day_, she
transcribed and translated many Saxon works at an early age. “Miss
Elstob,” says Rowe Mores, “was a northern lady of ancient family and
a genteel fortune. But she pursued too much the drug called learning,
and in that pursuit failed of being careful of an one thing necessary.
In her latter years she was tutoress in the family of the Duke of
Portland, where we have visited her in her sleeping-room at Bulstrode,
surrounded with books and dirtiness, the usual appendages of folk
of learning. But if any one desires to see her as she was when she
was the favourite of Dr. Hudson and the Oxonians, they may view her
pourtraiture in the initial G of the _English-Saxon Homily on the
Birthday of St. Gregory_” (_Dissertation_, p. 29). Miss Elstob died in
1756, and was buried at St. Margaret’s, Westminster.

[284] It is interesting to note that among the money contributors on
this occasion (a list of whom is preserved in Nichols’ _Anecdotes
of Bowyer_, pp. 496–7), Robert Andrews and Thomas James, the
letter-founders, appear as donors of five guineas each, and Thomas
Grover of two guineas.

[285] Humphrey Wanley, son of Nathaniel Wanley, was secretary to the
Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, and afterwards librarian
to the Earl of Oxford. He was an adept in the Saxon antiquities and
calligraphy, and was an important contributor to Hickes’ _Thesaurus_,
for which work he compiled the historical and critical catalogue of
Saxon and other MSS. He died in 1726, aged fifty-four. Much of his
correspondence is preserved among the Harleian MSS.

[286] Nichols’ _Anecdotes of William Bowyer_. London, 1782, 4to., p.

[287] _The Rudiments of Grammar for the English Saxon Tongue._ London,
1715. 4to. A specimen of the letter is given in chapter ix, post.

[288] “This type Miss Elstob used in her _Grammar_, and in her
_Grammar_ only. In her capital undertaking, the publication of the
_Saxon Homilies_, begun and left unfinished, whether because the
type was thought unsightly to politer eyes, or whether because the
University of Oxford had cast a new letter that she might print the
work with them, or whether (as she expresses herself in a letter to
her uncle, Dr. Elstob), because ‘women are allowed the privilege of
appearing in a richer garb and finer ornaments than men,’ she used a
Saxon of the modern garb. But not one of these reasons is of any weight
with an antiquary, who will always prefer the natural face to ‘richer
garb and finer ornaments.’ And on his side is reason uncontrovertible.”
(Rowe Mores, _Dissert._, p. 29.)

[289] _i.e._, William Caslon.

[290] Nichols’ _Anecdotes of Bowyer_, p. 319. _Literary Anecdotes_, ii,
361, etc.

[291] _Dissertation_, p. 28.

[292] A few of the punches and matrices were shown in the Caxton
Exhibition of 1877.

[293] _The Great Charter and Charter of the Forest._ Oxford, at the
Clarendon Press, 1759, 4to. This fine work is printed in Caslon’s Great
Primer Roman. The copperplate initials and vignettes are very fine, the
former containing views of several of the different colleges and public
buildings at Oxford.

[294] _Novum Testamentum, juxta exemplar Millianum. Typis Joannis
Baskerville. Oxonii e Typographeo Clarendoniano 1763. Sumptibus
Academiæ_, 4to & 8vo. (See also _post_, chap. xiii). The Baskerville
Greek punches, matrices and types still preserved at Oxford, are
supposed to be the only relics in this country of the famous Birmingham

[295] Though dated 1768 on the title, this specimen appears not to have
been completed for two years, as it bears the date Sept. 29, 1770, on
the last page, and includes specimens of purchases made in that year.

[296] _Dissertation_, p. 45. These strictures we cannot but regard
as somewhat hypercritical. It was no uncommon thing to cast a small
face of letter on a body larger than its own; and in the case of
Hebrew and other Orientals, where detached points were cast to work
over the letter, it was by no means unusual at that time, and till a
later period, to designate the latter by the name of the body which
it and the point in combination collectively formed. With regard
to the gradual lapse of obsolete and superannuated founts from the
specimen, Mr. Mores’ antiquarian zeal appears to have blinded him to
the fact that the Oxford press may have issued their specimens as an
advertisement of their present resources, rather than as an historical
collection of their typographical curiosities.

[297] _Harl. Miscell._, Lond., 1745, 4to, iii, 277. The full title and
description of this curious tract is as follows:—“_The London Printer,
his Lamentation; or the Press oppressed, or over-pressed. September
1660. Quarto, containing 8 pages. In this sheet of Paper is contained,
first, a short account of Printing in general, as its Usefulness,
where and by whom invented; and then a Declaration of its Esteem and
Promotion in England by the several Kings and Queens since its first
Arrival in this Nation; together with the Methods taken by the Crown
for its better Regulation and Government till the year 1640; when, says
the Author, this Trade, Art and Mystery was prostituted to every vile
Purpose both in Church and State; where he bitterly inveighs against
Christopher Barker, John Bill, Thomas Newcomb, John Field and Henry
Hills as Interlopers, and, under the King’s Patent, were the only
instruments of inflaming the People against the King and his Friends,

[298] Mores makes a serious mistake in calling this founder Arthur

[299] In the British Museum _Catalogue of Early English Books to 1640_,
the name of John Grismand appears as publisher of twenty-four books
between 1597 and 1636. It is probable that the earlier of these, at any
rate, were issued by the father of our founder. The name of one Thomas
Wright also occurs as a publisher in 1610.

[300] _Harl. MS. 5910_, pt. i, p. 148.

[301] Moxon, in his account of the Customs of the Chapel (_Mechanick
Exercises_, ii, 363), gives a full description of this yearly Feast,
which, he says, “is made by Four Stewards, _viz._, two Masters and
two Journey-men; which Stewards, with the Collection of half a Crown
apiece of every Guest, defray the Charges of the whole Feast.” The
List of Stewards, above referred to, contains, among others, the
names of nearly all the seventeenth century letter-founders. Seventy
feasts were held between 1621 and 1681, the first few probably being
half-yearly. Three or four Stewards officiated at each. The names of
the founders occurring in the list are as follows, the figures appended
to each indicating the number of the feast at which each served his
stewardship, with the approximate date:

 (24) Thomas Wright (1635).
 (26) Arthur Nichols (1637).
 (31) Alexander Fifield (1642).
 (42) Nicholas Nichols (1653).
 (61) James Grover (1672).
 (63) Thomas Grover (1674).
 (64) Joseph Leigh (Lee?) (1675).
 (66) Godfrey Head (1677).
 (67) Thos. Goring (1678).
 (69) Robert Andrews (1680).

[302] Arber’s _Transcripts_, iii, 363–8.

[303] _Calendar of State Papers, Domestic_, 1649, pp. 362, 523. Among
the entries of admission to Merchant Taylors’ School occurs: “Johannes
Grismond, filius unicus Johannes Grismond, Typographi, natus Londini,
in parœciâ de Giles, Cripplegate, Aprilis 1, 1647: an. agens 8.
Admissus est Aprilis 3, 1654.”

[304] _Domestic_, 1637–8. Vol. 376, Nos. 13 and 14.

[305] The list of matrices is given on p. 173, _post_.

[306] _Dissertation_, p. 40.

[307] The first project of a Polyglot Bible is due to Aldus Manutius,
who, probably between 1498 and 1501, issued a specimen-page containing
the first fifteen verses of Genesis, in collateral columns of Hebrew,
Greek and Latin. The typographical execution is admirable. A facsimile
is shown in Renouard’s _Annales de l’Imprimerie des Aldes_, 2nd and 3rd

[308] It was begun in 1502; completed in 1517, but not published till

[309] In addition to the four great _Bibles_, the following polyglot
versions had also appeared before 1657:―

 1516. _Psalter_ in Hebrew, Arabic, Chaldee, Greek and Latin, published
 by Porrus at Genoa.

 1518. _Psalter_ in Hebrew, Greek, Latin and Ethiopic, published by
 Potken at Cologne.

 1546. _Pentateuch_ in Hebrew, Chaldee, Persian and Arabic, published
 at Constantinople (but all in Hebrew type).

 1547. _Pentateuch_ in Hebrew, Spanish and modern Greek, published at

 1586. _Bible_ in Hebrew, Greek and Latin (two versions), published at

 1596. _Bible_ in Greek, Latin and German, published by Wolder at

 1599. _Bible_ (portions) in Hebrew, Chaldee, Greek, Latin, German,
 Sclavonic, etc., published by Hutterus at Nuremberg.

[310] These _Proposals_ were printed by R. Norton for Timothy
Garthwaite at the lesser North Gate of St. Paul’s Church, London, 1652.

[311] It is described by the Rev. H. J. Todd in his _Memoirs of the
Life and Writings of the Right Rev. Brian Walton, D.D._ London, 2
vols., 8vo, 1821. Mr. Todd’s work contains much valuable information
respecting the _Polyglot_.

[312] Among the MSS. in Sydney College is a letter written by Abraham
Wheelock to the Vice-Chancellor of Cambridge, dated Jan. 5, 1652, in
which, referring to the specimen, he says: “When the sheete, here sent,
was printed off, I corrected at least 80 errata in it. It as yet serves
to show what letters Mr. Flesher, an eminent printer, my friend and
printer of my booke, hath” (Todd’s _Memoirs_, i, 56). James Flesher,
son (?) of Miles Flesher (one of the twelve Star Chamber printers named
in the Act of 1637), entered into a bond of £300 to the Stationers’
Company in 1649, and held the office of City printer in 1657. His name
occurs in the list of the _Brotherly Meeting of Printers_ as Steward at
the 42nd Feast. In 1664 he served, together with Roycroft, on the jury
at the trial of John Twyn; see _ante_, p. 132.

[313] Walton’s _Polyglot_ is supposed to be the second book printed
by subscription in England. In 1617, Minsheu’s _Dictionary in Eleven
Languages_ was published by subscription, the names of those who took a
copy of the work being printed. Minsheu’s venture, however, turned out
a failure. In Dr. Walton’s case this mode of publication was, owing to
the energy of the promoter and the number of his friends, successful.
The subscription was £10 per copy, or £50 for six copies. The estimated
cost of the first volume was £1,500, and of succeeding volumes £1,200
each. Towards this, £9,000 was subscribed four months before the first
volume was put to press.

[314] Parr’s _Life and Letters of Usher_. Lond., 1686, fol., p. 590.
Dr. Walton received the Protector’s permission to import the paper for
his work, duty free.

[315] _Origine de l’Imprimerie de Paris._ Paris, 1694, 4to, p. 59.

[316] _Discours Historique sur les principales editions des Bibles
Polyglottes._ Paris, 1713, 12mo, p. 209.

[317] This useful little tract was reprinted with improvements in
the following year, entitled: “_Introductio ad lectionem linguarum
Orientalium, Hebraicæ, Chaldaicæ, Samaritanæ, Syriacæ, Arabicæ,
Persicæ, Æthiopicæ, Armenæ, Coptæ . . . in usum tyronum . . . præcipuè
eorum qui sumptus ad Biblia Polyglotta (jam sub prelo) imprimenda
contulerunt. Londini. Imprimebat Tho. Roycroft_, 1655. 18mo.”
Republished at Deventer in 1658. The Armenian and Coptic alphabets were
cut in wood, and reappeared in the Prolegomena of the _Polyglot_.

[318] “The latter part,” says Bowyer, “is much more incorrectly printed
than the former, probably owing to the editor’s absence from the press,
or to his being over-fatigued by the work. The Hebrew text suffered
much in several places by the rapidity of the publication.”

[319] Rev. Mr. Twells, author of _Life of Dr. Pocock_.

[320] _Biblia Sacra Polyglotta, complectentia Textus Originales,
Hebraicum cum Pentateucho Samaritano, Chaldaicum, Græcum; Versionumque
antiquarum, Samaritanæ Græcæ LXX Interpr. Chaldaicæ, Syriacæ, Arabicæ,
Æthiopicæ, Persicæ, Vulg. Lat. Quicquid comparari poterat. Cum Textuum
et Versionum Orientalium Translationibus Latinis . . . Omnia eo ordine
disposita, ut Textus cum Versionibus uno intuitu conferri possint. Cum
Apparatu, etc. etc. . . . Edidit Brianus Waltonus, S.T.D. Londini.
Imprimebat Thomas Roycroft_, 1657. 6 vols., fol.

[321] One of the compositors employed on the work was Ichabod Dawks
(grandfather to Wm. Bowyer), of whose son and his curious script type,
see _The Tatler_, No. 178, etc.

[322] See _ante_, p. 98.

[323] In some cases a few of the matrices have undergone renovation in
the hands of their successive owners.

[324] “The Æthiopic of the Congregation,” _i.e._, of the Propaganda
at Rome, “is not to be compared with ours. And Ludolphus, whose abode
was at Gotha, sent his Lexicon to be published at London, where it
was printed by Mr. Roycroft upon the type of the English _Polyglot_”
(Mores, p. 12).

[325] “The elegant face of the Samaritan is justly attributed by
Cellarius to the English, for it was first used in our _Polyglot_. It
differs widely from the type used by Scaliger in his _Emend. Temp._,
and by Leusden at the end of his _Scholæ Syriacæ_, and from another
used in an encomiastic of Abr. Ecchelensis upon F. Kircher, which type
belonged to the Congregation at Rome; and which was afterwards more
neatly cut by Voskens” (_ibid._, p. 13).

[326] In his “loyal” dedication, Walton asserts that from the outset he
had intended to dedicate the work to Charles II, and that Cromwell’s
patronage of the work had been offered only as the price of a public
compliment for himself (Todd, i, 82 _et seq._).

[327] “The first view of this dedication,” he says, “will prove it to
have been printed with different and inferior types, the hasty produce
of a courteous after thought” (_Introd. Classics_, i, 27).

[328] “Thomas Roycroft died August 10, 1677. In 1675 he was master of
the Stationers’ Company, and in 1677 he gave to them two silver mugs,
weight 27 ozs. 3 dwts. In the rear of the altar at St. Bartholemew’s
the Great is this epitaph:—‘M.S. Hic juxta situs est Thomas Roycroft,
armiger, linguis Orientalibus Typographus Regius, placidissimis moribus
et antiquâ probitate ac fide memorandus, quorum gratiâ optimi civis
famam jure merito adeptus est. Militiæ civicæ Vicetribunus. Nec minus
apud exteros notus ob libros elegantissimis suis typis editos, inter
quos sanctissimum illud _Bibliorum Polyglottorum_, opus quam maxime
eminet. Obiit die 10 Augusti, ann. Reparatæ Sal. MDCLXXVII, postquam
LVI ætatis suæ annum implevisset. Parenti optimè merito, Samuel
Roycroft, filius unicus, hoc monumentum pie posuit.’ ”

[329] _Lexicon Heptaglotton_, _Hebraicum_, _Chaldaicum_, _Syriacum_,
_Samaritanum_, _Æthiopicum_, _Arabicum_, conjunctim; _et Persicum_
separatim, _etc._, _etc._ _Authore Edmundo Castello, S.T.D._, _etc._
_Londini, Imprimebat Thomas Roycroft, L.L._ _Orientalium Typographus
Regius, 1669_. Two vols., fol.

[330] _State Papers, Domestic_, 1665. Vol. 142, No. 174.

[331] _State Papers, Domestic_, 1667. _Ent. Book 23_, p. 337.

[332] In the List of Stewards of the _Brotherly Meeting_ of printers
referred to p. 166, Nicholas Nicholls’ name occurs with James Flesher’s
as a Steward at the 42nd Feast.

[333] _Dissertation_, p. 46.

[334] See _ante_, p. 148.

[335] Nicholas Nicholls’ tiny specimen, printed four years earlier,
exhibited only a few lines specially cut, and dedicated privately to
the King.

[336] In 1677 he published _Geometrical Operations_, London, 4to,
translated by himself from Dutch into English.

[337] _Regulæ Trium Ordinum Literarum Typographicarum; or the Rules
of the Three Orders of Print Letters, viz.: the Roman, Italick,
English,—Capitals and Small; showing how they are compounded of
Geometrick Figures and mostly made by Rule and Compass. Useful for
Writing Masters, Painters, Carvers, Masons and others that are Lovers
of Curiosity; by Joseph Moxon, Hydrographer to the King’s Most
Excellent Majesty. London. Printed for Joseph Moxon on Ludgate Hill at
the Sign of Atlas._ 1676. 4to. (Dedicated to Sir Christopher Wren.)

[338] The theory of the proportion of letters had been dealt with by
several foreign authors in the sixteenth century. In 1509 Fra Luca
Pacioli’s book, entitled _De Divinâ Proportione_, was printed at
Venice, containing woodcut illustrations of the various letters of the
alphabet. In 1525 Albert Dürer published in Nuremberg his _Unterweisung
der Messung mit dem Zirkel und Richtscheit_, reducing all letters to
a combination of circles and straight lines. In 1529 Geofroy Tory’s
_Champfleury_ appeared at Paris, an extraordinary treatise, deriving
every letter of the Latin alphabet from the goddess IO, of the letters
of whose name every other letter is formed; and proportioning each to
the human body and countenance in their various poses and aspects.
Fantastic as his work was, it is credited with having revolutionised
the form of the Roman letter in France. Like Moxon, Tory sub-divided
the square of each letter into a number of minute squares, in which he
constructed his model letters. A somewhat similar work was published
at Saragossa, in Spain, in 1548, by Ycair, entitled _Orthographia
Practica_, containing specimens of alphabets, and intended, like all of
the above-named works, more for the use of the caligrapher and sculptor
than for the printer.

[339] _Mechanick Exercises, or the Doctrine of Handy-Works. Began
Jan. 1, 1677. And intended to be Monthly continued. By Joseph Moxon,
Hydrographer to the King’s Most Excellent Majesty. London. Printed for
Joseph Moxon on Ludgate Hill at the Sign of the Atlas._ Two vols., 4to.

Vol. I (14 numbers). _The Smiths, the Joyners, the Carpenters, and the
Turner’s Trades._ 1677–80.

Vol. II (24 numbers). _Applied to the Art of Printing_, 1683–6.
(Dedicated to Dr. Fell, Bishop of Oxford.)

[340] Mores says that before Moxon’s time letter-cutters worked by eye
and hand only, and practised their art by guess-work (_Dissert._, p.

[341] See chap. iv.

[342] Or rather a hair space, of which seven go to the body; so that
one such space divided by six would give a 42nd part!

[343] See _ante_, p. 109.

[344] Of the eighteen letters of the alphabet, the b, c, h, l, m, n, o,
s, u, are in Roman, the _a_ and _e_ in Italic.

[345] A copy of this rare broadside is in the Library of Corpus Christi
College, Cambridge.

[346] The full title of this rare little tract, consisting of
eight leaves only, is translated as follows:—_Aibidil Gaoidheilge
Caiticiosma, etc._ (_The Irish Alphabet and Catechism, precept or
instruction of a Christian, together with certain articles of a
Christian faith which are proper for everyone to adopt who would be
submissive to the ordinance of God and the Queen of this Kingdom.
Translated from Latin and English into Irish by John O’Kearney . .
Printed in the town of the Ford of Hurdles, (Dublin), at the cost of
Master John Ussher, Alderman, at the head of the Bridge, the 20th of
June 1571, with the privilege of the great Queen._ 1571.) 8vo.

[347] _Tiomna Nuadh, etc._ (_The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour
Jesus Christ, faithfully translated from the Greek into the Irish by
William O’Donnell._) _Séon Francke: a mBaile athá Cliath_ (_Dublin_),
1602. Fol. This work was printed in the house of Sir William Ussher,
Clerk of the Council.

[348] _Leabhar na nurnaightheadh gcomhchoidchiond agus
mheinisdraldachda na Sacrameinteadh, etc._ (Translated from the English
by W. Daniel, Archbishop of Tuam), _a dtigh Shéon Francke, alias
Franckton, a Mbaile athá Cliath_ (_Dublin_), 1608. Fol. Not published
till 1609. In his dedication, Daniel says that, “having translated the
book, I followed it to the presse with jealousy and daiely attendance,
to see it perfected; payned as a woman in travell desirous to be

[349] _A B C_, _or the_ _Institution of a Christian_. _Printed by the
Company of Stationers_. Dublin, 1631. 8vo.

[350] _The Catechism, with the Six points of W. Perkins_, _translated
into Irish by Godfrey Daniel_. Dublin, 1652. 8vo.

[351] “The publication of everything valuable in this language by the
fathers of Donegal was unfortunately prevented by the troubles of the
time of Charles I, by Cromwell’s usurpation. These fathers had procured
a fount for this purpose, which, when forced to fly, they carried
with them to Louvain, where some fragments of this fount are yet to
be found” (_Theoph. O’Flanagan on the Ancient Language of Ireland.
Transac. of the Gaelic Soc._ 8vo, Dublin, 1808, p. 212). Others stated
that the fount had been removed to Douay, and there used to print
several Catholic tracts. No Irish work whatever is known to have been
printed at Douay. Respecting the various foreign Irish founts, the
reader is referred to the account given in chapter ii, p. 75.

[352] _Life of William Bedell, D.D._, by H. J. Monck Mason. Lond., 8vo,
1843, p. 287.

[353] In addition to the _A B C_ _and_ _Catechism_, already referred
to as published by Bedell in 1631, some of his biographers record that
he had printed a later edition about 1641, and at the same time the
following tracts in Irish, viz.: Some forms of prayer, a selection of
passages from Scripture, the first three of Chrysostom’s Homilies on
the rich man and Lazarus, and some sermons by Leo. Copies of these have
not been seen.

[354] Most of the copies were stated to have been bought up, like the
type, by Roman ecclesiastics.

[355] Of this work a copy has not yet been seen.

[356] _Tiomna Nuadh._ (_The New Testament of our Lord and Saviour Jesus
Christ, faithfully translated from the Greek into the Irish by William
O’Donnell_). London. Robert Everingham. 1681. 4to.

[357] “Mr. Everingham and Mr. Whiteledge,” says Dunton (_Life_, p.
331), “were two partners in the trade; I employ’d ’em very much, and
look’d upon ’em to be honest and thriving men. Had they confin’d
’emselves a little sooner to Household Love, they might possibly have
kept upon their own Bottom; however, so it happen’d, that they lov’d
themselves into Two Journey-men Printers again.” Everingham was the
printer, in 1680, of a _Weekly Advertisement of Books_ for some London

[358] Writing to Dr. Marsh of Dublin, Jan. 17th, 1681–2, Boyle refers
to a projected Irish Grammar, and offers the use of his type. “I am
glad that so useful a designe as that of frameing a compendious Irish
Grammar has been conceived by one that is so able to execute it well;
but I presume you will want letters for many of the Irish words; in
which case you may please to consider what use may be made of those
I have already, that may be consistent with the printing of the Old
Testament in the language they relate to; for all the designe I had in
having them cut off was, that they might be in a readiness to print
useful bookes in Irish, whether there or here” (Mason’s _Life of
Bedell_, p. 301).

[359] Leabhuir na Seintiomna, etc. (_The Books of the Old Testament
translated into Irish by Dr. William Bedell, late Bishop of Kilmore._
_London._) 1685. 4to.

[360] _An Biobla Naomhtha._ (_W. Bedell’s and W. O’Donnell’s Irish
Bible, revised, and printed at London by R. Everingham._) 1690. 8vo.

[361] Mason’s _Life of Bedell_, p. 305.

[362] _The Book of Common Prayer, Irish and English, with the Elements
of the Irish Language_, by John Richardson. London, 1712. 8vo.

[363] _Practical Sermons._ London, 1711.

[364] _Dissertation_, p. 33. It is worthy of note that at the date when
Mores wrote an almost universal cessation in Irish printing was taking
place at home and abroad. At Louvain no work had appeared since 1663,
at Rome since 1707, or at Paris (with the exception of the specimen in
Fournier’s _Manuale Typographique_, 1764), since 1742. In the few Irish
works issued at home during this period (with the notable exception of
Miss Brooke’s _Reliques of Irish Poetry_, printed by Bonham of Dublin
in 1789, in a new fount, apparently privately cut) the Irish character
is generally rendered in copperplate, or in Roman type. It was not
till Marcel published his _Alphabet Irlandais_, at Paris in 1804, and
Neilson his _Irish Grammar_, at Dublin in 1808, that a revival of Irish
typography took place, both abroad and at home.

[365] _An Essay towards a Real Character and a Philosophical Language,
by John Wilkins, D.D., Dean of Ripon. London, printed . . . for the
Royal Society._ 1668. Fol.

[366] _Dissertation_, p. 43. Mores mentions a James Moxon who in 1677
lived near Charing Cross, and sold Joseph Moxon’s books at his house
(p. 44).

[367] Joseph Leigh (_sic_) served at the sixty-fourth Feast (_i.e._,
about 1675), and Thos. Goring at the sixty-seventh (1678). In the same
List occurs the name of John Goring, probably a relative of Thomas
Goring, at the forty-sixth Feast (1657).

[368] His name occurs in the list of Masters and Workmen Printers, as
having served as Steward at the sixty-ninth Feast (1680).

[369] Mores’ _Dissert._, p. 13.

[370] See _ante_, p. 157.

[371] The names of both occur among the stewards who had served office
at the annual Brotherly Meetings of Masters and Workmen Printers;
James Grover at the sixty-first Feast (1672), and Thomas Grover at the
sixty-third (1674).

[372] See _ante_, p. 96.

[373] See _ante_, p. 90.

[374] See _ante_, p. 144.

[375] “The Arabic (of the _Polyglot_) is Great Primer, in our (_i.e._,
James’s) foundery; and it came from Mr. Grover” (Mores’ _Dissert._, p.
13; and again, p. 63). Mores, however, only mentions an imperfect set
of Double Pica matrices in the summary of this foundry, whereas Andrews
possessed a complete fount of Great Primer. A few odd punches of the
_Polyglot_ Arabic are still in existence.

[376] Mores’ _Dissert._, p. 46.

[377] _Ibid._, p. 67.

[378] This distinguished ambassador belonged to an honourable family,
of whom by no means the least worthy member was Miss Elizabeth Rowe,
who in 1785 married Henry Caslon, and subsequently—first with her
mother-in-law, and afterwards by her own exertions—ably conducted the
affairs of the Chiswell Street foundry. See _post_, chap. xi.

[379] See _ante_, p. 144.

[380] _Gent. Magaz._, vol. 56, p. 497. Nichols’ _Lit. Anec._, ix, 9.

[381] Proposuit quidem D. Junius multis antehac annis MS. hoc typis
evulgare, cujus etiam specimen impressum vidi; sed consilium illius,
multis viris doctis merito improbatum, ejus progressum retardavit;
dum multa pro arbitrio ex MS. detruncaret et mutaret, idque cùm nulla
premebat necessitas, prout ex Catalogo satis magno vocabulorum per
pauca _Geneseos_ capita, quæ ipse mutaverat et expunxerat (quem mihi
ostendit Typographus) constat (_Proleg._, sec. ix, § 34).

[382] _Vitæ quorundam eruditissimorum et illustrium Virorum.—Patricii
Junii. Lond._, 1707. 4to. “Utcunque futuri operis specimen, quod
jam præ oculis meis habeo, primum nimirum caput libri _Geneseos_,
una cum doctissimis Scholiis, edere placuit. Omnes illud certamen
arripiunt, avidisque oculis legunt perleguntque, ac optimâ spe de
promissâ editione, quam cum maximo et vix continendo affectu exspectant
efflagitantque, conceptâ, quasi moram pertæsi, Orbem Christianum hoc
eximio thesauro, quod dudum fuisset locupletandus, nimium diu hactenus
caruisse amicè queruntur” (p. 32).

[383] Parr’s _Life of Usher_, 1686, p. 621. Usher to Boate, June 1651:
“ . . . the Alexandrian copy (in the Library of St. James) which he
intendeth shortly to make publick, Mr. Selden and myself every day
pressing him to the work.”

[384] Wood, _Athen. Ox._, 1691, i, 796; also Edwards, _Libraries and
Founders of Libraries_, Lond., 1865, 8vo, p. 168.

[385] _Lansd. MSS._, No. 231, fo. 169.

[386] See _post_, chap. xvi.

[387] The matrices of all these curious founts have survived to the
present day, and, indeed, lie before us as we write. They bear strong
evidence of having been justified and finished by the same hand.

[388] From this assertion we except, of course, the letter of the
first printers, which, if not imitating the actual handwriting of one
particular scribe, was a copy of the conventional book-writing hand
of the period. Some of the earliest scripts, italics and cursives are
also reputed to have been modelled on the handwriting of some famous
caligrapher or artist. One of the first instances of printing with
facsimile types was the copy of the famous Medicean _Virgil_, produced
at Florence in 1741. The types are for the most part ordinary Roman
capital letters with a certain number of “discrepants” or peculiar
characters. The title of this fine work is:—_P. VergiliI Maronis Codex
Antiquissimus . . qui nunc Florentiæ in Bibliotheca Mediceo-Laurentiana
adservatur. Bono publico Typis descriptus Anno MDCCXLI. Florentiæ.
Typis Mannianis._ 8vo.

[389] This is possibly the printer respecting whom Nichols (_Illust.
Lit._, viii, 464) notes that on Nov. 20, 1732, John Mears, bookseller,
was taken into custody for publishing a _Philosophical Dissertation
on Death_ . . . Meares succeeded to the business of Richard Nutt,
and printed the _Historical Register_. Among the Bagford Collections
(_Harl. MS._ No. 5915) is a _Specimen by H. Meere, printer, at the
Black Fryar, in Blackfriars, London_. No date.

[390] Richard Nutt, printer in the Savoy, died March 11, 1780, aged 80

[391] Grover contributed £2 2_s._ in 1712 towards defraying the loss
incurred by the elder Bowyer on the occasion of the fire at his

[392] His name occurs in the List of Masters and Workmen Printers in
1681; see _ante_, p. 166.

[393] See _ante_, p. 149.

[394] Cotton’s _Typographical Gazetteer_. Second Series, 1866, p. 17.

[395] Vol. ii, p. 120.

[396] Some of the matrices are without sides, which were probably
supplied by a peculiar adaptation of the mould.

[397] Bagford (writing in 1714) states that Walpergen “was succeeded by
his son, who has long since been succeeded by Mr. Andrews.” If this be
the case, the Peter Walpergen whose death occurred in 1714 was probably
the son, of whom nothing is known as disti