Thomas Shelton (1600/01–1650(?)) was an English stenographer and the inventor of a much-used British 17th- and 18th-century stenography.
The 1647 edition of Thomas Shelton's Tachygraphie contains a portrait giving his age as 46, implying that he was born in 1600/01. Nothing sure is known about his origin and education, but it was supposed that he came from the well-known Shelton family which owned much land in Norfolk. In the English Civil War (1642–49), Shelton stood on the side of the Parliament; his religious sympathies were for Puritanism.
Norfolk is a county in East Anglia in England. It borders Lincolnshire to the northwest, Cambridgeshire to the west and southwest, and Suffolk to the south. Its northern and eastern boundaries are the North Sea and, to the north-west, The Wash. The county town is Norwich. With an area of 2,074 square miles (5,370 km2) and a population of 859,400, Norfolk is a largely rural county with a population density of 401 per square mile. Of the county's population, 40% live in four major built up areas: Norwich (213,000), Great Yarmouth (63,000), King's Lynn (46,000) and Thetford (25,000).
The English Civil War (1642–1651) was a series of armed conflicts and political machinations between Parliamentarians ("Roundheads") and Royalists ("Cavaliers") over, principally, the manner of England's governance. The first (1642–1646) and second (1648–1649) wars pitted the supporters of King Charles I against the supporters of the Long Parliament, while the third (1649–1651) saw fighting between supporters of King Charles II and supporters of the Rump Parliament. The war ended with the Parliamentarian victory at the Battle of Worcester on 3 September 1651.
The Parliament of England was the legislature of the Kingdom of England, existing from the early 13th century until 1707, when it merged with the Parliament of Scotland to become the Parliament of Great Britain after the political union of England and Scotland created the Kingdom of Great Britain.
Thomas Shelton made his living from shorthand, teaching the subject in London over a period of thirty years while he developed his stenographical systems. Shelton knew the stenography of John Willis and took over its geometrical basic principle for his own shorthand. He published several books about shorthand which he sold from his house.
London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.
Shelton invented a new stenographical system and published it in 1626 in the book Short-Writing (in later editions since 1635 called "Tachygraphy", Ancient Greek for "speedy writing"). In Shelton's shorthand system every consonant was expressed by an easy symbol which sometimes still resembled the alphabetical letter.
In articulatory phonetics, a consonant is a speech sound that is articulated with complete or partial closure of the vocal tract. Examples are, pronounced with the lips;, pronounced with the front of the tongue;, pronounced with the back of the tongue;, pronounced in the throat; and, pronounced by forcing air through a narrow channel (fricatives); and and, which have air flowing through the nose (nasals). Contrasting with consonants are vowels.
The vowels were designated by the height of the following consonant. Thus the B symbol with the L symbol written directly above meant "ball", while the B symbol with the L symbol below meant "bull". The B symbol with the L symbol on top right meant "bell", in the middle right "bill", below on the right "boll". A vowel at the word end was designated by a point in the suitable position. For initial vowels there were additional symbols. There were other symbols for frequent prefixes and suffixes as well as for consonant connections.
A vowel is one of the two principal classes of speech sound, the other being a consonant. Vowels vary in quality, in loudness and also in quantity (length). They are usually voiced, and are closely involved in prosodic variation such as tone, intonation and stress. Vowel sounds are produced with an open vocal tract. The word vowel comes from the Latin word vocalis, meaning "vocal". In English, the word vowel is commonly used to refer both to vowel sounds and to the written symbols that represent them.
A disadvantage of Shelton's shorthand was that vowels and diphthongs were not always distinguished (see "Tachygraphy"for details). For example, the symbols for "bat" could mean "bait" or "bate" as well, and the symbols for "bot" could mean "boot" or "boat" as well. This can only be decided from the context. An advantage of his system was that it could be easily learnt. Therefore, between 1626 and 1710 more than 20 editions of his "Tachygraphy" were printed. German issues appeared between 1679 and 1743 and a French issue in Paris in 1681.
A diphthong, also known as a gliding vowel, is a combination of two adjacent vowel sounds within the same syllable. Technically, a diphthong is a vowel with two different targets: that is, the tongue moves during the pronunciation of the vowel. In most dialects of English, the phrase no highway cowboys has five distinct diphthongs, one in every syllable.
Paris is the capital and most populous city of France, with an area of 105 square kilometres and an official estimated population of 2,140,526 residents as of 1 January 2019. Since the 17th century, Paris has been one of Europe's major centres of finance, commerce, fashion, science, and the arts.
Shelton's shorthand was used, amongst others, by Samuel Pepys, Sir Isaac Newton and US-President Thomas Jefferson. In the year of his death, 1650, Shelton published yet another shorthand system called "Zeiglographia", but it did not become as widespread as his "Tachygraphy".
Shelton's Tachygraphy was taken up and adapted by later proponents of shorthand systems: Thomas Arkisden,Theophilus Metcalfe, and Charles Aloysius Ramsay. Elisha Coles adapted Zeiglographia.
Peter Stent was a seventeenth-century London printseller, who from the early 1640s until his death ran one of the biggest printmaking businesses of the day.
The Keeper or Master of the Rolls and Records of the Chancery of England, known as the Master of the Rolls, is the second-most senior judge in England and Wales after the Lord Chief Justice, and serves as President of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal and Head of Civil Justice. The position dates from at least 1286, although it is believed that the office probably existed earlier than that.
The Advocates Library, founded in 1682, is the law library of the Faculty of Advocates, in Edinburgh. It served as the national deposit library of Scotland until 1925, at which time through an Act of Parliament the National Library of Scotland was created. All the non-legal collections were given to the National Library. Today, it alone of the Scottish libraries still holds the privilege of receiving a copy of every law book entered at Stationers' Hall.
Sir Thomas Clere was a successful poet at the court of Henry VIII. He is commemorated in several poems by Henry Howard, Earl of Surrey, with whom he had a very close friendship. He was engaged to Mary Shelton, a former mistress of the King's, in 1545, but died before their love match could be made into a marriage.
Justice of the Common Pleas was a puisne judicial position within the Court of Common Pleas of England and Wales, under the Chief Justice. The Common Pleas was the primary court of common law within England and Wales, dealing with "common" pleas. It was created out of the common law jurisdiction of the Exchequer of Pleas, with splits forming during the 1190s and the division becoming formal by the beginning of the 13th century. The court became a key part of the Westminster courts, along with the Exchequer of Pleas and the Court of King's Bench, but with the Writ of Quominus and the Statute of Westminster, both tried to extend their jurisdiction into the realm of common pleas. As a result, the courts jockeyed for power. In 1828 Henry Brougham, a Member of Parliament, complained in Parliament that as long as there were three courts unevenness was inevitable, saying that "It is not in the power of the courts, even if all were monopolies and other restrictions done away, to distribute business equally, as long as suitors are left free to choose their own tribunal", and that there would always be a favourite court, which would therefore attract the best lawyers and judges and entrench its position. The outcome was the Supreme Court of Judicature Act 1873, under which all the central courts were made part of a single Supreme Court of Judicature. Eventually the government created a High Court of Justice under Lord Coleridge by an Order in Council of 16 December 1880. At this point, the Common Pleas formally ceased to exist.
The English College, Lisbon was a Roman Catholic seminary that existed from the 17th century to the 20th century.
Eastman's Royal Naval Academy, originally in Southsea and later at Winchester, both in England, was a preparatory school. Between 1855 and 1923 it was known primarily as a school that prepared boys for entry to the Royal Navy. Thereafter, it was renamed Eastman's Preparatory School and continued until the 1940s. According to Jonathan Betts, it was "considered one of the top schools for boys intended for the Navy".
Edward William Grinfield (1785–1864) was an English biblical scholar.
John Puleston (c.1583–1659) was a Welsh barrister and judge.
Henry Swinden (1716–1772) was an English antiquary, known for his history of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. He worked as a schoolmaster and then land-surveyor.
The Monthly Mirror was an English literary periodical, published from 1795 to 1811, founded by Thomas Bellamy, and later jointly owned by Thomas Hill and John Litchfield. It was published by Vernor & Hood from the second half of 1798.
The Evangelical Magazine was a monthly magazine published in London from 1793 to 1904, and aimed at Calvinist Christians. It was supported by evangelical members of the Church of England, and by nonconformists with similar beliefs. Its editorial line included a strong interest in missionary work.
The Phytologist was a British botanical journal, appearing first as Phytologist: a popular botanical miscellany. It was founded in 1841 as a monthly, edited by George Luxford. Luxford died in 1854, and the title was taken over by Alexander Irvine and William Pamplin, who ran it to 1863 with subtitle "a botanical journal".
Theophilus Metcalfe was an English stenographer. He invented a shorthand system that became popular, in particular, in New England, where it was used to record the Salem witch trials.
Charles Aloysius Ramsay (fl.1677–1680) was a Scottish-Prussian writer on stenography and translator. He spent his time on the continent of Europe, and his shorthand system, which owed much to Thomas Shelton's, became popular in France during the 1680s.