William Caxton’s profile picture

William Caxton

First person to introduce a printing press into England
William Caxton’s profile picture
Net worth 2018: Under Review
Industry: Business People
Residence: Kent
Country: British
Died On: 1492
BIOGRAPHY

William Caxton was born in Kent, British, is First person to introduce a printing press into England. William Caxton was an English merchant, writer, printer and translator. Caxton started his career as a merchant, apprenticing under Robert Large’s Mercers’ Company. Trained at the profession, he went on to establish his own company and in the course became a successful and wealthy merchant. Meanwhile, he even took up the role of the governor of the Company of Nation of Merchant Adventurers of London. The 1460s witnessed a turn in Caxton’s career, as he slowly drifted towards literature. He tried his hand at translation, translating in English works by French originals. However, the major turn in his career came when he visited Cologne. Impressed by the German printing technology and realizing the commercial potential of the same, he introduced England to the world of printing press. He became the first English person to work as a printer and also the first English retailer of printed books. Over the course of his latter career, he printed over 108 books in different genres, four-fifth of them being in English language. He is greatly responsible for standardizing English language through printing. Such was the demand for his printed books that even after his death in 1492, the press continued to thrive for another 40 years under Wynkyn de Worde, one of his immigrant workers.

TIMELINE
2013

He collaborated with Johann Schilling to publish an edition of a 13th century encyclopaedia, Bartholomeus Anglicus’s ‘De proprietatibus rerum’ or ‘On the Nature of Things’

1954

Posthumously, in 1954, a memorial dedicated to Caxton was unveiled in Westminster Abbey by J

1491

Though there is no accurate information regarding his death, it is assumed that he died somewhere around 1491 and 1492

1483

Works of English literature printed by Caxton include John Gower’s ‘Confessio amantis’ (1483) and Sir Thomas Malory’s ‘Morte Darthur’ (1485)

1481

In 1481, he produced first illustrated English book, ‘The Myrrour of the Worlde’

1477

The first dated book printed in English was ‘Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres’ printed on November 18, 1477

1473

The first book printed by his printing press was coincidentally his own work, a translation ‘Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye’ produced in 1473

1471

He voraciously read and tried his hand at translating; his first being Raoul Le Fèvre’s ‘Recueil des histoires de Troye’ which completed in 1471

1463

In 1463, he took up the coveted post of Governor of the English Nation of Merchant Adventurers

1460

Towards the end of 1460s, Caxton’s interest soon drifted solely from trade and industry to literature

1450

By 1450, he travelled frequently to Bruges, the epicentre of European wool trade and within three years, settled at the place

1441

In 1441, Large left for the heavenly abode leaving Caxton a small sum of money, (£20)

1415

It is assumed that he was born during the period 1415–1424 in Kent

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