Page 12 - January 2016
P. 12

| William Caxton |                          | |Roderic Findlay (10458)

Roderic has been a member of the Society for many years and is a faithful member
         of Dorset Branch.
            Some time ago he printed a series of items on famous printers and their type-
faces, which he circulated as Bundle items. He has kindly given his permission for some
of these to be reprinted within ‘Small Printer’.

William Caxton was born in Kent,            tiring: “My pen is worn / my hand weary
             sometime between  and      and not steadfast / mine eye dimmed
             2. He was apprenticed to    with overmuch looking at white paper”.
a mercer (a dealer in cloth)
and by  he had settled in                               He remembered what he had
Bruges, where he became a                                   seen in Cologne and, with the
successful businessman. His                                 help of a Flemish associate,
trade necessitated a certain                                Colard Manson, Caxton set up
amount of travelling, which                                 his printing press in Bruges
brought him into contact with                               and in  the ¿rst book was
Margaret of Burgundy, sister                                printed in English: Recuyell
to the King of England, and                                 of the Histories of Troye in
the new printing presses in                                 Caxton’s own translation.
Cologne.                                                    In  Caxton set up a
                                                            press in Westminster and
   Caxton read a French book                                the ¿rst book known to
about the history of Troy,                                  have been printed there
and thought it might be good                                was either an edition of
business to translate it into                               Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales
our English, although he                                    or Dictes and Sayings of the
gave up after a while because                               Philosophers.
he felt that his translation wasn’t good       Caxton used his second typeface in
enough. Margaret of Burgundy told him to    Westminster; it was about 2 points in
get on with it. She was delighted with the  size. He used several diɣerent sorts for
result, and several other people asked for  each letter – printers were still trying to
copies.                                     imitate hand-written books.

   Caxton found the constant writing very

 Caxton No2 typeface digitised by Roderic   Wiliam Caxton showing printed proofs to Edward ɲV

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