Martin Billingsley

(1591—1622) writing master

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Of calligraphy to Charles I, when Prince of Wales. He wrote The Pen's Excellencie (1618), which included a number of engraved plates (by William Hole) and has often been regarded as the first significant English copy book. It was frequently reprinted. Billingsley's introduction contains classifications of forms of handwriting and instructions for preparing pens and inks. He appears to have published only one other copy book, The Pen's Paradise (of which no copy survives), although a number of others have been attributed to him on doubtful authority.

From The Oxford Companion to the Book in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Bibliography.

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