AIM25 : Click here to go back to the AIM25 homepage
Archives in London and the M25 area

Bible (English shorthand)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0103 MS OGDEN 23
Held at: University College London - click here to see details of the physical location of collection
Full title: Bible (English shorthand)
Date(s): 1622
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 volume containing 646 leaves
Name of creator(s): French | Thomas | fl 1622


Administrative/Biographical history:

No further information on Thomas French is known.

John Willis: stenographer and mnemonician; graduated BA from Christ's College Cambridge, 1593; MA, 1596; rector of St Mary Bothaw, Dowgate Hill, London, 1601-1606; graduated BD, 1603; appointed rector of Bentley Parva, Essex, 1606; invented the first practical and rational scheme of modern shorthand founded on a strictly alphabetical basis, unlike impracticable systems devised by others in the late 16th century; his method was published repeatedly and was imitated and improved upon by succeeding authors; Willis probably died in 1627 or 1628. Publications: anonymously, The Art of Stenographie (London, 1602, and many later editions), and a Latin version, Stenographia (London, 1618); The Schoolemaster to the Art of Stenography (London, 1623); Mnemonica, in Latin (London, 1618), translated into English by the bookseller Leonard Sowersby (London, 1661).


Scope and content/abstract:

Manuscript volume: the Bible in shorthand according to the system of John Willis. Decorative title-page also in shorthand. Signed at the end with the initials 'T.F.H.B.' A.D. 1622. Binding stamped 'Thomas French, T.F. 1622'.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:
English shorthand

System of arrangement:

Conditions governing access:


Conditions governing reproduction:

Normal copyright restrictions apply.

Finding aids:

Handlist at University College London Special Collections.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Part of the library of Charles Kay Ogden (1889-1957), linguistic psychologist, founder of the Orthological Institute and originator of the language system Basic English, whose interests in language systems are reflected in the subject matter of his collection, which comprised individual manuscripts and manuscript collections dating from the 14th to the 20th century.

Immediate source of acquisition:

Part of the C K Ogden Library purchased by University College London in 1953 with a grant from the Nuffield Foundation. Formerly Ogden A71.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography. Compiled by Rachel Kemsley as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Jul 2001

Related Subject Search

* To search for other records with similar subjects, tick any subjects above then click "Run New Search"

Related Personal Name Search

* To search for other records with similar names, tick any names above then click "Run New Search"