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Angell, John (d. 1764), stenographer, of Chichester, Sussex, was possibly the son of John Angell (d. 1754). He became a feltmaker or hatter in St Clement Danes parish, Westminster, London. Like Thomas Gurney, official reporter to the Old Bailey, Angell learned the shorthand system of ...

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Arkisden, Thomas (1608/9–1682), Church of England clergyman and writer of shorthand, was probably born in Essex or Suffolk, one, probably the elder, of the two children of Thomas Arkisden, a minor landowner, and his wife, Francis, née Durrant. After his father's death, his guardian was his '...

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Bright, Timothy (1549/50–1615), physician and writer on shorthand, was the son of William Bright (d. 1592), possibly the William Bright who was mayor of Cambridge in 1571. Sheffield, Yorkshire, has been given as his birthplace, but Bright himself stated that he was born and educated in ...

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John Byrom (1692–1763) by Dorning Rasbotham © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Byrom, John (1692–1763), poet and creator of a system of shorthand, was born on 29 February 1692 at Kersall Cell, Broughton, near Manchester, the second son of Edward Byrom (d. 1711), merchant, and his wife, Sarah Allen. The Byrom family were well known in the district: the ...

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See Cherry, Francis

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Coles, Elisha (c. 1640–1680), lexicographer and stenographer, the son of John Coles (1623/4–1678), schoolmaster of Wolverhampton grammar school, and his wife, Joyce, was probably born about 1640 in Northamptonshire. He was the nephew of Elisha Coles the Calvinist, and has been often confused with his uncle's son, also ...

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Gibbs, Philip (1696–1752), Presbyterian minister and historian of shorthand, was born at Trowbridge, Wiltshire, on 15 February 1696, the son of James Gibbs, a clothier, and his wife, Anne Bailey. His family were prominent presbyterians and lived in Duke Street. Nothing is known of his education except that he began the study of divinity under '...

Article

Thompson Cooper

revised by Joanna Hawke

Gurney, Joseph (1804–1879), shorthand writer and biblical scholar, was born in Bartlett’s Buildings, Holborn, London on 15 October 1804, the eldest son of William Brodie Gurney (1777–1855), the philanthropist, and his wife, Ann née Benham (1781-1827). He acted as secretary to his first important committee of the ...

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Gurney, Thomas (1705–1770), stenographer, was born at Woburn, Bedfordshire, on 7 March 1705, the son of John Gurney, a miller, and his wife, Hannah Young. The young Gurney, more interested in scholarly and mechanical arts than in agriculture, twice ran away from home. About 1720 he bid successfully at auction for a book on astrology. The lot also included a popular treatise on the art of shorthand, ...

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G. C. Boase

revised by M. Clare Loughlin-Chow

Gurney, William Brodie (1777–1855), shorthand writer and philanthropist, grandson of Thomas Gurney (1705–1770) and brother of Sir John Gurney (1768–1845), was the younger son of Joseph Gurney (1744–1815) [see under Gurney, Thomas] and his wife, a daughter of William Brodie of ...

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Hopkins, William (fl. 1674), stenographer and writing master, wrote The flying pen-man, or, The art of short-writing by a more easie, exact, compendious, and speedy way (1674), using a system related to those of Thomas Shelton, Jeremiah Rich, and especially Theophilus Metcalfe. Beautifully engraved with ornamental borders and a frontispiece portrait of ...

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Leslie Stephen

revised by Michael Bevan

Langton, Bennet (bap. 1736, d. 1801), friend of Samuel Johnson, son of the Revd Bennet Langton (1696–1769) and his wife, Diana, daughter of Edmund Turner of Stoke Rochford, Lincolnshire, and descendant of the old family of the Langtons of Langton, near Spilsby in ...

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Mason, William (d. 1719?), stenographer and writing-master, is of unknown origins. He wrote that from his youth he 'delighted in the Art of Short-Hand' (W. Mason, La plume volante, 1707, To the reader). In 1736 it was noted, '...

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Master, Thomas (1602/3–1643), poet and amanuensis, was born in Coates, Gloucestershire, where his father, William Master (d. in or after 1637), was rector. He studied under Henry Topp at Cirencester grammar school and in 1617 advanced to Winchester College on a scholarship. He was nineteen on 15 November 1622 when he matriculated from ...

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Milward, Richard (bap. 1609, d. 1680), amanuensis to John Selden, was baptized on 25 April 1609 at Flitton in Bedfordshire, son of Richard Milward, a yeoman. He matriculated from Trinity College, Cambridge, as a sizar on 7 July 1625 and was elected a scholar of his college on 13 April 1627. He received his BA in 1625 and his MA in 1632....

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Sir Isaac Pitman (1813–1897) by Sir Arthur Stockdale Cope [posthumous] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Pitman, Sir Isaac (1813–1897), deviser of a system of shorthand writing, was born on 4 January 1813 at 3–4 Timbrell Street, Trowbridge, Wiltshire, the third of the eleven children of Samuel Pitman (1787–1863), manager of a weaving mill, and his wife, Maria Pitman, ...

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Purton, William (1784–1825), schoolmaster and teacher of stenography, is of unknown parentage and education. At the time of his death, about Christmas 1825, he was married to Mary Gimler Purton and resided at Pleasant Row, Winchester Street, Pentonville, London. He was buried at ...

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Ramsay, Charles Aloysius (fl. 1677–1680), stenographer and translator, was descended from a younger branch of the noble Scottish family of Ramsay. He was thought to be related to Andrew Michael Ramsay and has been stated to be the son of Carl Ramsay (1617–1669)...