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the King issued the following decree, a portion only of which we give, as a detailed account would be quite uninteresting.
“Louis, by the Grace of God, King of France, to our trusty and beloved councillors, ordained by us comptrollers of finance, greeting in all affection, on behalf of our dear and well beloved Conrart Hanequis and Pierre Schæffer, merchants and citizens of Mayence in Germany, who have been represented to us as devoting the greater portion of their time to the invention of the art of printing, by which means they have with much care and diligence succeeded in making several beautiful books of rare and exquisite workmanship, in wbich bistory and the different sciences have been portrayed ; some of those have been sent to various parts of our kingdom and even to our City of Paris, and its eminent university; that in order to dispose of those books, a commission was given to a certain man employed by them for that purpose ; that with this man Herinan de Stathoen, native of the diocese of Munster in Germany, they had contracted for the sale of a certain quantity of books, which they had sent to him and for which he was held responsible by Conrart Hanequis and Pierre Schæffer ; Stathoen dying, ace cording to the universal law of our kingdon his goods and effects were escheated, as no alien dying in our City of Paris was empowered to make a testament or dispose of any property in ļris possession. In this manner the books belonging to those men were seized by the commissary and the other officers of our kingdom, and in requittal for this loss, they demand from us either the books or restitution to the amount of the value of those books which they estimate as being worth the sum of two thousand four hundred and twenty-five golden crowns and three solstournois : Now, in consideration of the most high and very powerful prince our very dear and best beloved brother, cousin and ally the King of Romans, having written to us on this matter, and also, as we understand that Hanequis and Schæffer are subjects to, and from the same country as our very dear and truly beloved cousin the Archbishop of Mayence who is our father, friend, confederate and ally, and who has also written to us on their behalf, for the love and affection we bear to them, as well as in requittal for the services rendered by Conrart Hanequis and Pierre Schæffer to science, and the public advantage which their invention has bestowed in the increase of literature, we are willing to make restitution to the amount of the sum claimed of two thousand four hundred and twenty-five golden crowns and three sols tournois and therefore agree to grant out of our finances the sum of eight hundred livres yearly, to commence the first day of next October, and to continue an. nually until the entire sum be paid. We therefore expressly coinmand and enjoin onr friend and leal Counsellor, Jean Briçonnet, comptroller general of our finances, to pay and deliver to the said Conrart Hanequis, and Pierre Schoeffer or to their agent the sum specified, commencing the first day of October, and continuing annually till the entire sum of two thousand four hundred and twenty-five golden crowns and three sols tournois be liquidated; signed this day by our hand and with our royal seal in discharge of our recognizances to Conrart Hanequis and Pierre Schäffer.
Given at Paris the XXI day of April, year of Grace MCCCCLXXV and the XIV of our reign. Signed Louis, King. The Bishop of Evreux and several others present.-Le Gouzy."* Origin of Printing, Type Founding, Block, or Stereotype,
Printing, These subjects perhaps ought to have been noticed in an earlier portion of our pages, but as it was not intended to go into any regular or systematic details or elaborate discussion, we shall ivtroduce a few remarks from Ames's Typographical Antiquities, or an Historical account of the origin and progress of Printing in Great Britain and Ireland, being by far, the most extensive work on the subject, and which has from time to time, been considerably enlarged by Mr. Herbert and Mr. Dibdin ; added to these, there are other adınirable histories of the art, by Meerman, Bowyer, Nichols, Watson, Palmer, Luckombe, Le Moine, Hansard, Stower, &c.—But as it would be impossible to do ample justice to them all, we shall advert to the leading features of a few of the Printers, and their Biographers.
Joseph Ames, the historian of British Topography, was born at Yarmoutli, 1683-9, and apprenticed by his father, the master of a Yarmouth trading vessel, to å plane-waker in London. After serving out his time, he became a ship-chandler in Wapping, which business, notwithstanding his antiquarian pursuits, he carried on until his death. He early discovered a taste for English history and antiquities; and in 1730, the composition of a history of printing in England
* See Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, vol. XIV. p, 243. being suggested to hiin, after a labour of twenty-five years, he brought out in one vol. 4to, 1749, Typographical Antiquities, being an historical account of Printing in England, with some memoirs of our ancient Printers, and a register of the books printed by them from 1471 to 1600 ; with an appendix concerning Printing in Scotland and Ireland to the same time. He inscribed his work to lord chancellor Hardwicke, and was at the same time fellow of the Royal and Antiqnarian Societies, being chosen secretary to the last of them. Sir Hans Sloane in particular showed him very great countenance, and left him trustee to his will. Mr. Ames died in 1739, much esteemed. Besides his great work, he wrote / Catalogue of English Printers from 1471 to 1700, 4to; 2. An Index to Lord Pembroke's Coins ; 3. A Catalogue of English Heads; or an account of 2000 English prints, describing what is peculiar to each ; 4. Parentalia, or Memoirs of the family of Wren, 1750, 'folio. An enlarged edition of the Typographical Antiquities was published by the late Mr. W. Herbert, vol. 1, 1785, vol.2, 1786, and vol. 3, 1790. A new and splendid edition of Ames and Herbert has since been presented to the world by the Rev. T. F. Dibdin.
It is somewhat extraordinary that Mr. Cole, a celebrated Antiquary and collector, who was on friendly terms and corresponded with Ames, should have drawn the following severe character of him, and which appears under the head “ Biographiana" in the 24th Number of Sir Egerton Brydges's Restituta, in article 3.--After copying the full title page of Ames's Typographical Antiquities he says,
“ I have written as follows on the back, of the title-page-The author, Mr. Ames, I was well acquainted with, having been several times to see him, in order to look over his curious prints, of which he had no small collection, especially of English heads; many of which at different times I purchased of him to add to my collection of the same sort. He lived in a strange alley or lane in Wapping : was a patten-maker, an Anabaptist, with a spice of Deism mixed with it. I have often thought it no small reproach and disgrace to the Antiquarian Society, to have so very illiterate a person to be their Secretary : he could not spell, much more write, English: I have several letters of his by me at this time which prove it. It was by no means proper to have such a person in that station, which required reading aloud at the meetings of the Society, several papers in various languages often, of which he was used to make miserable work; more especially when strangers and foreigners happen to be there, which was often the case.
“He was a little, friendly, good-tempered man ; a person of vast
application and industry in collecting curious old printed books, prints, and other curiosities both natural and artificial. It is to this must be attributed his ofñce of Secretary to the Society: but surely, a Secretary who could neither read nor write, was an odd appoint. ment for a learned Society! He must have procured some one to have perused his book for him, which yet is full of blunders, and prove my assertion in an hundred places: the printers would correct the false English and spelling.
“What is singular, Mr. Stephen Wren employed Mr. Ames, an Independent, and Deist professed, to usher into the world the Parentalia, or Memoirs of the Family of the Wrens in 1750, which through out is a most orthodox book, full of reflections upon the fanatics of King Charles's time.”
* The origin of Printing, by multiplying letters, is intitled to the first place after the invention of letters themselves (though it gives light to all other arts) remains itself in obscurity. It has been the subject of repeated discussions.--Mr. Meerman is the last who has written upon it, and he has endeavored to reconcile some difficulties on this head in his “ Origines Typographicæ," printed in 1765; and translated and abridged by Mr. Bowyer, in his two Essays on the Origin of Printing, 1784.
“ The more we reflect on the accidental discovery by Laurentius, of the effect produced by concave wooden types, the more we wonder that the mechanics of antiquity should never have applied the concavity of their metal inscriptions to the same use as those of their intaglios, and their liquid colours to an use similar to that which they made in wax.-But we are not here to extend our views beyond our own country. Whether Laurentius of Haerlem, Geinstlech, of Mentz, or Guttenburg, at Strasburgh, invented single wooden types, much certainly may be concluded, that the invention took place rather before the middle of the fifteenth century in Holland or Germany. We have a fact established beyond controversy, that WILLIAM Caxton first introduced the Art of Printing with fusile types into England; and some suppose that Frederic Corsellis, or some foreigner, used wooden types a few years before him. Be this as it mnay, Caxton (an eminent mercer and negotiator) within a few years of the discovery of printing, is thought to have printed a French romance at Cologne in 1464."
“ William Caxton an Englishman, memorable for having first introduced the art of printing into his native country, was born in Kent about 1410, and served an apprenticeship to Robert Large, a London mercer, who in 1439 was Lord Mayor. On the death of his master, Caxton went to the Netherlands, as agent for the Mercers' company, in which situation he continued about twenty-three years. His reputation for probity and abilities occasioned his being employed, in conjunction with Richard Whitchill, to conclude a treaty of comtoerce between Edward IV. and Phillip duke of Burgundy. He appears subsequently to have held some office in the household of duke Charles, the son of Phillip, whose wite, the lady Margaret of York, distinguished herself as the patroness of Caxton. Whilst abroad he became acquainted with the then newly discovered invention of printing, by Joan Fust. At the request of the duchess, his
mistress, he translated from the French, a work, which he entitled “ The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye, by Raoul le Feure,” which he printed at Cologne, 1471, in folio. This book, considered as the earliest specimen af Typography in the English Language, is reckoned very valuable. At the famous sale of the Duke of Roxburgh's library in 1812, a copy was purchased by the Duke of Devonshire for 10601. 108., which originally belonged to Elizabeth Gray, Queen of Edward the Fourth. A copy sold in West's Sale 1773, for 32. 118., an imperfect copy sold at Lloyd's Sale in 1816, for 1201. After this he printed other works abroad, chiefly translations from the French; at length having provided hiinself with the means of practising the art in England, he returned thither, and in 1474 bad a press at Westminster abbey, where he printed the “Game and Plave of the Chesse,” generally admitted to be the first typographical work executed in England. Caxton continued to exercise his art for nearly twenty years, during which space he produced between fifty and sixty volumes, most of which were composed or translated b; limself. Among his most distinguished patrons were John Islip, albot of Westminster, and those two learned noblemen Job. Tibetot, earl of Worcester, and Anthony Wydeville, earl Rivers. Caxton died about 1492, and was buried according to some accounts at Campden in Gloucestershire ; though others state his interment as having taken place at St. Margaret's, Westminster. The following lines from his epitaph are characteristic of the age .
" Moder of merci, shylde him from th' orribul fynd,
And bring him lyff eternal, that never hath ynd.” Ames devotes 116 quarto pages to an account of Caxton, and of the Works that passed through his press; to Wynken de Worde, the second Printer of note, he has bestowed 120 pages, and to Richard Pinson, 84 pages. He has also given portraits of the above person. ages, with one or two others, which I insert as fac-similes of the rude wood block devices, characteristic of the time.
John Lettou and William Machlinia, or Macklyn, were cotempo. raries of Caxton, as well as Wynken de Worde. “Lyttletons Tenures," is supposed by Sir William Dugdale, to have been Printed by them in the reign of Henry VIII., and Dr. Middleton, in his discourse on Printing, supposes the above book to have been put to press by the Author, Littleton, who died 1481. It contains 108 leaves folio.
Mr. Ames has placed John Lettou with William Muchlinia between Caxton and Wynken de Worde which authorizes the supposition of Sir Win Dugdale, and of Middleton.
Vynken de Worde. This famous printer was a foreigner, born in the dukedom of Lorrain, as appears by the patent-roll in the chapel of the Rolls. Our first printer, Caxton, when resident abroad, might probably meet with him there, and engage him to come over to England for a servant or assistant, like as John Faust at Meutz had his lad, or servant, Peter Sheoffer, whom they chose for their ingenuity and promising parts; and their after works shew they were not mistaken in their choice. However this he, he con. tinued in some capacity with Caxton till his death, 1491 ; and printed at his house in Westminster afterwards.
If he was married or not, or had relations that came over with