Day, John

, a very eminent English printer in the sixteenth century, was born in St. Peter’s parish, Dunwich, in Suffolk, and is supposed to have descended from a good family in that county. From whom he learned the art of printing, is not clear, unless perhaps Gibson, one of whose devices Day frequently used. He first began printing about 1544, a little above Holborn Conduit, and at that time was in conjunction with William Seres. In 1549 he removed into Aldersgate-street, near St. Anne’s church, where he built a printing-office, but kept shops in various parts of the town, where his books were sold. It would appear that he forbore printing during the reign of queen Mary, yet continued improving himself in the art, as was evident by his subsequent publications. He was the first in England who printed the Saxon letter, and brought that of Greek to great perfection, as well as the Italic and other characters, of which he | had great variety. Archbishop Parker, who frequently employed him, considered him as excelling his brethren in skill and industry. He was the first person admitted into the livery of the Stationers’ company, after they obtained their charter from Philip and Mary, was chosen warden in 1564, 1566, 1571, and 1575, and master in 1580. In 1583 he yielded up to the disposal of the company, for the relief of their poor, his right to certain books and copies. He died July 23, 1584, after having followed the business of a printer with great reputation and success for forty years, and was buried in the parish church of Bradley Parva, in the county of Suffolk, with a monument on which are inlaid the effigies of him, his wife, and family, and some lines, cut in the old English letter, intimating his services in the cause of the reformation by his various publications, especially of Fox’s Acts and Monuments; and that he had two wives, and numerous children by both. Besides Fox, he printed several valuable editions of the Bible, of the works of the martyrs, of Ascham, and other then accounted standard authors. 1


Ames’s Typographical Antiquities by Herbert, vol. I,