. This word has a highly romantic origin. It is associated with the story of St. Martin’s sharing his cloak with a beggar. “Cloak,” in late Latin, is cappella, a little cloak, or cape, from cappa, cloak, cape, cope. The Frankish kings preserved St. Martin’s cloak as a sacred relic. They had it carried before them into battle, and used it to give sanctity to oaths. It was preserved in a sanctuary, under the care of special ministers called cappellani, or chaplains, and from the ministers the name came to be attached to the building, in old Norse French capele, Provençal capella, Italian cappella, and thence to any sanctuary containing relics, and so to any private sanctuary or holy place. The title of “Chapel” to the internal regulations of a printing-office, originated in Caxton’s exercis­ing the profession in one of the chapels in Westminster Abbey, and may be considered as an additional proof, from the antiquity of the custom, of his being the first English printer.

Taken from Gesta Typographica by Chas. Jacobi, 1897, page 8.

Etienne Dolet



The Printers’ Devil

The decree of the Star Chamber

The first book produced in England

Early Printing



The first newspaper in England


Etienne Dolet



The first cylinder printing-machine

The first steam printing

Capitals and leads

About the Letters J and W

The Scriptures were first written on skins

The first iron printing-press


Gothic Letters

Type Founding in Europe