Thomas Vautrollier or Vautroullier (died 1587) was a French Huguenot refugee who became a printer in England and, briefly, in Scotland.
Vautrollier emigrated to London from Paris or Rouen about the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth I (1558), and was granted letters of denization on 9 March 1562. He was admitted a brother of the Stationers' Company on 2 October 1564, and probably worked as a servant to some printer until 1570, when he established a press in Blackfriars. In 1570 he issued his first publication in London, A Booke containing divers sortes of hands. This was the first writing-book to be printed in English. In full, the title page read
Elizabeth I was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last of the five monarchs of the House of Tudor.
Denization is an obsolete or defunct process in England and Ireland and the later Kingdom of Great Britain, the United Kingdom, and the British Empire, dating back to the 13th century, by which an alien (foreigner), through letters patent, became a denizen, thereby obtaining certain rights otherwise only normally enjoyed by the King's subjects, including the right to hold land. The denizen was neither a subject nor an alien, but had a status akin to permanent residency today. While one could become a subject via naturalisation, this required a private act of Parliament ; in contrast, denization was cheaper, quicker, and simpler. Denization fell into obsolescence when the British Nationality and Status of Aliens Act 1914 simplified the naturalisation process.
Blackfriars is an area of central London, which lies in the south-west corner of the City of London.
A Booke containing divers sortes of hands, as well the English as French secretarie with the Italian, Roman, Chancelrie and court hands. Also the true and just proportion of the capitall Rom(an)ae set forth by John de Beau Chesne. P(arisien) and M. John Baildon. Imprinted at London by Thomas Vautrouillier, dwelling in the blackefrieres
As Vautrollier had registered two books of "copies" or sample alphabets with the Stationers' Company in 1569, it is possible that this volume combined originally separate works by the writing-master John de Beauchesne and by Master John Baildon, a curate of St Mildred in the Poultry.
John de Beauchesne, also known as John de Beau Chesne, Jean de Beauchesne and Jehan de Beauchesne was a French Hugenot writing master and calligrapher. He relocated to London around 1565, in the reign of Elizabeth I. In 1570 he co-authored A Booke containing divers sortes of hands, the first writing manual published in English. He travelled to Italy and France, where he published additional writing manuals, returning to England by 1583. In his later years he was appointed writing master to two of the children of James I, Elizabeth and Charles. Beauchesne died in London in May 1620.
St Mildred, Poultry was a parish church in the Cheap ward, of the City of London. It was rebuilt after the Great Fire of London and demolished in 1872. St Mildred in the Poultry was the burial place of the writer Thomas Tusser. Some description of the church and its monuments is given in John Stow's Survey of London.
In 1578 he printed Special and Chosen Sermons of D. Martin Luther, without a license, and was fined 10s., and in the following year was fined for a similar offence. Shortly thereafter – the exact date is unknown – Vautrollier arrived in Edinburgh with a letter of introduction to George Buchanan. He brought a large supply of books with him, and traded as a bookseller for several years before he started a press.
George Buchanan was a Scottish historian and humanist scholar. According to historian Keith Brown, Buchanan was "the most profound intellectual sixteenth century Scotland produced." His ideology of resistance to royal usurpation gained widespread acceptance during the Scottish Reformation. Brown says the ease with which King James VII was deposed in 1689 shows the power of Buchananite ideas.
During his absence from London, the press there was in full operation under the management of his wife. It appears that Vautrollier returned to London, and shortly afterwards had to leave for Edinburgh again, as it is supposed he had incurred the displeasure of the Star Chamber by the publication of Giordano Bruno's Last Tromp, dedicated to Sir Philip Sidney. Having succeeded in establishing his press in Edinburgh in 1584, Vautrollier was patronised by James VI, and printed the first of the king's published works, The Essayes of a Prentise in the Divine Art of Poesie (1584), and, at the desire of the king, an English translation of Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas's History of Judith (1584) — both issued cum privilegio regali.
The Star Chamber was an English court of law which sat at the royal Palace of Westminster, from the late 15th century to the mid-17th century, and was composed of Privy Councillors and common-law judges, to supplement the judicial activities of the common-law and equity courts in civil and criminal matters. The Star Chamber was originally established to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against socially and politically prominent people so powerful that ordinary courts would probably hesitate to convict them of their crimes. However, it became synonymous with social and political oppression through the arbitrary use and abuse of the power it wielded.
Giordano Bruno was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, cosmological theorist, and Hermetic occultist. He is known for his cosmological theories, which conceptually extended the then-novel Copernican model. He proposed that the stars were distant suns surrounded by their own planets, and he raised the possibility that these planets might foster life of their own, a philosophical position known as cosmic pluralism. He also insisted that the universe is infinite and could have no "center".
Sir Philip Sidney was an English poet, courtier, scholar, and soldier, who is remembered as one of the most prominent figures of the Elizabethan age. His works include Astrophel and Stella, The Defence of Poesy, and The Countess of Pembroke's Arcadia.
In 1584 Vautrollier printed six distinct works, and in the following year only two. In 1586 he returned to London, having obtained his pardon, taking with him a manuscript copy of John Knox's History of the Reformation, which he "put to press, but all the copies were seized [by the order of Archbishop Whitgift] before the work was completed".
John Knox was a Scottish minister, theologian, and writer who was a leader of the country's Reformation. He was the founder of the Presbyterian Church of Scotland.
John Whitgift was the Archbishop of Canterbury from 1583 to his death. Noted for his hospitality, he was somewhat ostentatious in his habits, sometimes visiting Canterbury and other towns attended by a retinue of 800 horses. Whitgift's theological views were often controversial.
Despite these conflicts with the authorities, Vautrollier quickly became one of the most highly thought-of printers in London. He was especially associated with the printing of works of Protestant theology including John Calvin's Institutes and a Latin version of the Book of Common Prayer. He also printed Ovid, Cicero, and other standard classical authors whose works were in demand as schoolbooks.At one point Vautrollier obtained the right to "the sole printinge of other latten [Latin] bookes as the Newe Testament".
Among his publications were textbooks such as Richard Mulcaster's Positions, a manual on child-rearing, and his Elementarie, a grammar book on "right writing of our English tung".
In 1579 Richard Field from Stratford-upon-Avon, a schoolfellow of William Shakespeare, was apprenticed to Vautrollier. After Vautrollier died, Field worked with his widow Jacqueline to run the business, which continued to concentrate on Protestant polemics. Field and Jacqueline were married in 1589, two years after her first husband's death.
Vautrollier also printed music, working with the Roman Catholic composers William Byrd and Thomas Tallis who were granted a monopoly of music printing in 1575. After his death Thomas East acquired the fount of music type and specialised in music printing as the assignee of Byrd (Tallis having predeceased Vautrollier).
Thomas Tallis was an English composer who occupies a primary place in anthologies of English choral music and is considered one of England's greatest composers. He is honoured for his original voice in English musicianship. No contemporaneous portrait of Tallis survives; the one painted by Gerard Vandergucht (illustration) dates from 150 years after Tallis died, and there is no reason to suppose that it is a likeness. In a rare existing copy of his blackletter signature, the composer spelled his last name "Tallys".
John Playford (1623–1686/7) was a London bookseller, publisher, minor composer, and member of the Stationers' Company, who published books on music theory, instruction books for several instruments, and psalters with tunes for singing in churches. He is perhaps best known today for his publication of The English Dancing Master in 1651.
John Day was an English Protestant printer. He specialised in printing and distributing Protestant literature and pamphlets, and produced many small-format religious books, such as ABCs, sermons, and translations of psalms. He found fame, however, as the publisher of John Foxe's Actes and Monuments, also known as the Book of Martyrs, the largest and most technologically accomplished book printed in sixteenth-century England.
The Stationers’ Register was a record book maintained by the Stationers' Company of London. The company is a trade guild given a royal charter in 1557 to regulate the various professions associated with the publishing industry, including printers, bookbinders, booksellers, and publishers in England. The Register itself allowed publishers to document their right to produce a particular printed work, and constituted an early form of copyright law. The Company's charter gave it the right to seize illicit editions and bar the publication of unlicensed books.
Richard Field (1561–1624) was a printer and publisher in Elizabethan London, best known for his close association with the poems of William Shakespeare, with whom he grew up in Stratford-upon-Avon.
Edward Allde or Alde was an English printer in London during the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras. He was responsible for a number of significant texts in English Renaissance drama, including some of the early editions of plays by William Shakespeare.
William Stansby (1572–1638) was a London printer and publisher of the Jacobean and Caroline eras, working under his own name from 1610. One of the most prolific printers of his time, Stansby is best remembered for publishing the landmark first folio collection of the works of Ben Jonson in 1616.
Richard Day was an English printer, Church of England clergyman, and the son of printer John Day.
Thomas Adams was an English publisher. Son of Thomas Adams, a yeoman of Neen Savage, Shropshire, he became an apprentice to Oliver Wilkes, a member of the Stationers' Company in London, on 29 September 1582; he was transferred to a new master, George Bishop, on 14 October 1583. Adams himself was admitted to the Company on 15 October 1583. By 1591, he had established himself as a printer based at the sign of the White Lion at St. Paul's Churchyard in the city. His business may have started when printer Robert Walley transferred ownership of a vast collection of books and ballads to Adams, but existing copies indicate that Adams had these works printed for him by others.
William Barley (1565?–1614) was an English bookseller and publisher. He completed an apprenticeship as a draper in 1587, but was soon working in the London book trade. As a freeman of the Drapers' Company, he was embroiled in a dispute between it and the Stationers' Company over the rights of drapers to function as publishers and booksellers. He found himself in legal tangles throughout his life.
John Windet was an English printer, notable for his music publications. He was a close business associate of fellow printer John Wolfe. After 1591, Wolfe ceased printing the lucrative metrical psalter of Thomas Sternhold and John Hopkins, and Windet succeeded him in becoming the sole printer of the work for patent-holder Richard Day. At some point, Windet succeeded Wolfe as London's City Printer. Wolfe passed on some of his printing ornaments to Windet after he decided to stop printing and focus solely on publishing in 1594. On Wolfe's death in 1601, Windet was appointed administrator of his estate.
John Wolfe was an English bookseller and printer. His considerable ambition and his disdain for the printing patent system of Elizabethan England drew the ire of his competitors and authorities in his early career. After being jailed twice and having his printing materials seized, Wolfe transformed himself into an ardent defender of printing privileges. By 1593, he was appointed Printer to the City of London.
William Baldwin was an English author.
Thomas Heyes was the publisher-bookseller who published the first quarto edition of William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, in London, in 1600. He traded from 'St Paul’s Churchyard at the sign of the Green Dragon’.
Edward Gordon Duff, known as Gordon Duff, was a British bibliographer and librarian known for his works on early English printing.
John Baskett, was the king's printer. His sons, Thomas and Robert, and grandson by the latter, Mark, were also engaged in the press.
Thomas East,, was an English printer who specialised in music. He has been described as a publisher, but that claim is debatable. He nevertheless made an important contribution to musical life in England. He printed the significant collection of madrigals Musica Transalpina which appeared in 1588.
Robert Waldegrave or Walgrave, the son of Richard Waldegrave of Blockley, Worcestershire, was a 16th-century printer and publisher in England and Scotland. From 1578 to 1588 he printed numerous, mainly religious works in London, and from 1590 to 1603, more than 100 books in Scotland. In 1603, following King James I of England's accession to the English throne, he returned to England, but died later the same year.
Thomas Snodham was an English printer. He was a specialist music printer, but music accounted for as little as 10 per cent of the books he printed. His other output included plays.