. Everybody knows what “fools­cap” paper is, but everybody does not know how it came to bear that name. In order to increase his revenues, Charles I. granted cer­tain privileges, amounting to monopolies, and among these was the manufacture of paper the exclusive right of which was sold to certain parties, who grew rich, and enriched the government at the expense of those who were obliged to use paper. At that time all English paper bore the royal arms in water-marks. The Parliament under Cromwell made sport of this law in every possible manner, and, among other indignities to the memory of Charles, it was ordered that the royal arms be removed from the paper, and that the fool’s cap and bells should be used as a substitute. When the Rump Parliament was prorogued, these were also removed; but paper of the size of the parliamentary journals, which are usually about seventeen by fourteen inches, still bears the name of “foolscap.”

Taken from Gesta Typographica by Chas. Jacobi, 1897, page 27.

John Baskerille


Joha Baptist Bodoni

Robert Stephens

Francis Stephens


The Stationers’ Company

Benjamin Franklin

The paper duty

The first book printed in Europe

The Stanhope Press

Laurence Coster or Laurent Janszoon Koster

John Baskerille


Joha Baptist Bodoni

The Mazarine Bible.

John Bagford

Printing was introduced into Scotland

William Caxton

The First Edition of the New Testament in Greek

Aldus Manutius

Italic Type


Wynkyn de Worde