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"a Tutor To Penmanship" Scans - Old English, Secretary Hand, Roundhand Etc


Columba Livia
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http://i.imgur.com/tCa9GRr.jpg

This book was published in 1695. The calligraphy was written by John Ayres and engraved by John Sturt (who taught George Bickham to engrave).

The scans are on flickr here:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/ow8zp7z

A short biography of John Ayres may be found here:

http://preview.tinyurl.com/qxuguuw

You can download a .zip file with all the scans in here:

https://mega.co.nz/#!mY9TzKwS!TT39DFPUq5Yy-bvFMW89wAhdbNB7klsKaAvB9i5BAEc

I would particularly like to direct your attention to the stroke by stroke examples of Secretary hand here:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869079806/in/set-72157637694788643

And Court hand:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869396693/in/set-72157637694788643

The large beautiful flourished capitals suitable for Old English, Secretary hand etc:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869379023/in/set-72157637694788643

And some beautiful examples of Court, Chancery, Secretary, Old English etc:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869008595/in/set-72157637694788643

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869195924/in/set-72157637694788643

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869097166/in/set-72157637694788643

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869066445/in/set-72157637694788643

http://www.flickr.com/photos/21860485@N06/10869401413/in/set-72157637694788643

I apologize for not being able to fully scan the plate w/the portrait of Ayres on: the binding of the book was in such poor condition that I had to do some jiggery pokery to get it flat and I couldn't quite scan that one plate fully.

The court hand is very beautiful, but also rather hard to read, there is a book here which will help you read it:

https://archive.org/stream/courthandrestore00wrigrich#page/n5/mode/2up

Here are a few plates from "A Tutor To Penmanship":

http://i.imgur.com/iyAu63z.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/ladHWUw.jpg

http://i.imgur.com/XA8p78e.jpg

Edited by Columba Livia
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Thank you for sharing this. I wish I knew more about some of the scripts Ayers used. Were all in relatively common use somewhere/sometime? Or were some Ayers' own inventions?

 

David

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Thank you for sharing this. I wish I knew more about some of the scripts Ayers used. Were all in relatively common use somewhere/sometime? Or were some Ayers' own inventions?

 

David

 

None of the scripts he used were his own invention, though he is credited with improvements in the round hand and promoting its use. I imagine that some of the capitals on plates 21, 22 and 40 were his own invention.

 

The styles in the first part of the book were, as far as I know, more common ones and used more often as every day handwriting. The styles in the second part were more specialized and more likely to be used by people who wrote for a living. The secretary hand was used for (amongst other things) writing out indentures, mortgages (as late as the 19th century), court records etc. It was also still in use as every day handwriting when this book was published, but by 1740s was rare.

 

The court hand was so called because it was associated with certain courts in London. It was banned in 1731 in order to make the proceedings and records of those courts more accessible, but it was useful to be able to read it till well into the 19th century.

 

The general trend in England throughout the 17th century was for more and more people to write mixed hands (which mixed to varying degrees the roundhand, Italian hand and secretary hand) and by the end of it, and in the 18th century, the round hand.

Edited by Columba Livia
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