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Addy, William (bap. 1618?, d. 1695?), stenographer and writing-master, has been plausibly, although on entirely circumstantial evidence, identified as the William Addy who was baptized in Wath upon Dearne, West Riding of Yorkshire, on 13 September 1618, the third son of John Addy (...

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Alexander, Alexander [Alick] (1849–1928), promoter of physical education, was born in Liverpool on 14 May 1849, the second son of W. C. Alexander, a chief carpenter in the Royal Navy who had settled in Liverpool at the end of his period of service. Following an education at ...

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Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955) by Anthony Ludovici, 1926 © Anthony Ludovici

Article

Alexander, Frederick Matthias (1869–1955), originator of the Alexander technique and teacher, was born on 20 January 1869 at Wynyard, north-west Tasmania, the eldest of seven children of John Alexander (1843–1936), farmer and blacksmith, and his wife, Betsy Brown (d. 1923), a nurse....

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Alexander, Louis George (1932–2002), language teacher and author, was born Elias George Ftyaras on 15 January 1932 at 116 Sutherland Avenue, Maida Vale, London, the son of George Elias Ftyaras (b. c.1909), a Greek doctor who settled permanently in England, and his wife, ...

Article

Anstey, Rhoda (1865–1936), promoter of women's physical education, was born at Jurishayes Farm near Tiverton, Devon, on 15 April 1865, the seventh of nine children and second daughter of John Walters Anstey, a yeoman farmer, and his wife, Susanna Elizabeth, née Manley. She was a natural countrywoman with a great love of the county of her birth; in 1891 she was managing the dairy on the family farm. Little else is known of her early life before she attended ...

Article

Ayres, John (d. 1704x9), writing-master, according to early accounts began life in a humble way as a footman in the house of Sir William Ashurst, to whom he owed his education. His original teacher of writing was Thomas Topham, to whom he dedicated ...

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Bales, Peter (bap. 1547, d. 1610?), writing-master and calligrapher, was baptized at St Michael Cornhill, London, on 15 June 1547. Parish records show that he was the eldest child of Thomas Bales of Birchin Lane, a draper and a citizen of London, and his wife, ...

Article

Beauclerc, Marie Bethell (1845–1897), shorthand reporter and teacher of shorthand, was born Maria Bethell at 24 Crescent Street, Somers Town, London, on 10 October 1845, the daughter of Richard Bethell, merchant, and his wife, Elizabeth, née Sayer (1809–1885). As an infant, and in the absence of her parents who had been compelled to go abroad, she was left in the care of a nurse. Later in life, in an account of her childhood, she recollected being taken at the age of four from ...

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Marie Bethell Beauclerc (1845–1897) by A. Marlow reproduced with the permission of Birmingham Libraries & Archives

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Bickham, George (1683/4–1758), engraver and writing-master, was born in London; he was said to have been seventy-four when he died in 1758. The son of John Bickham, whose wife was probably named Bridget, he occasionally used the initials G. J. and G. J. B....

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George Bickham (1683/44–1758) by George Bickham, pubd 1741 Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Article

Billingsley, Martin (1591–1622), writing master, was born in London, the eldest son of Martin Billingsley, a freeman of the Company of Haberdashers, and his wife, Elizabeth. He was baptized on 18 July 1591 at St Antholin's, Budge Row, in the parish where his parents lived. Nothing is known of his youth or education, although one biographer declares he was entirely self-taught. We can also assume that he came from an educated and perhaps comfortable family, as his great-uncle ...

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Bland, John (1702–1749), writing master and accountant, was born in Crutched Friars, London, on 17 August 1702, the son of a clerk in the custom house. He spent four years at Westminster School, where, according to William Massey, 'he principally formed his hand' (...

Article

Gordon Goodwin

revised by J. A. Marchand

Bowack, John (fl. 1705–1737), writing master and topographer, was for many years a writing master at Westminster School. In 1705, when living in Church Lane, Chelsea, he began to publish, in folio numbers, The Antiquities of Middlesex, which contained a description of the church monuments in the county with a historical account of each church and parish, and the seats, villages, and names of the most eminent inhabitants. Two parts of this work appeared in 1705–6, comprising the parishes of ...

Article

John Westby-Gibson

revised by Lucy Peltz

Brooks, Gabriel (c. 1704–1741), writing-master, was the son of Gabriel Brooks and his wife, Elizabeth. His father was probably a writing-master working in London between 1670 and 1699. There is little information regarding Gabriel Brooks's life or training except that he was apprenticed to the writing-master ...

Article

John Westby-Gibson

revised by Lucy Peltz

Browne, David (fl. 1622–1638), writing-master and author, published some of the earliest English copybooks. Though little is known of his life it is likely that he was born in Scotland and his pride in this fact is evident in one surviving manuscript where he signed himself ...

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Buckton [née Williams], Catherine Mary (1826/7–1904), promoter of household science teaching, was born in London, the daughter of John Morgan Williams, a surgeon, later of Llandaff, Glamorgan. On 22 March 1849 she married Joseph Buckton, a Leeds cloth merchant, with whom she had a son and a daughter. She was a founder member of the ...

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Calder, Fanny Louisa (1838–1923), promoter of education in domestic subjects, was born on 26 March 1838, at 26 Rodney Street, Liverpool, the youngest of the eleven children of James Calder and his wife, Jane Elizabeth Mitchell. Her father was a cotton merchant and the family had lived in ...

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Calvert, Frederick Baltimore (1793–1877), actor and lecturer on elocution, was one of the eight children of Charles Calvert (1754–1797) [see under Calvert, Charles (1785-1852)], an amateur painter and steward to the duke of Norfolk at Glossop Hall, Derbyshire, and his wife, ...