Until the 14th century, all books were handwritten.
A printing press is believed to have originated in Germany by the great Johannes
Gutenberg at around the 1450 and later spread to London. Born in Kent, William
Caxton was the first person to invent printing in England in the late 14th
century. At around the age of sixteen, William came to London city to be an
apprentice to a mercer and later moved to Bruges at the centre of wool trade. As
a merchant, he became a very prominent member of the merchant community, where
he served as a governor of the 'English Nation of Merchant Adventurers'. Also,
Caxton became a diplomat to the King Edward IV, and by the request of Edward IV
sister Caxton first translated "The Recuyell of the Historyes of
Troye". Later in the 1470, he learnt the art of printing at Cologne, and
when he returned to Bruges, he established a press which he then used to
publish his first translation in 1475, and this was the first book to be
printed and published in English.
Later William Caxton returned to London and
established a press alongside Westminster, and in the upcoming year, he
published an English language book called “Sayengis of the philosophers"
which was the first book to be printed in England. William Caxton became famous
not only by writing the first book but he established a strong business of
printing in London. By the year 1488, he had sold over 1000 copies of books,
though based in Westminster; most of his customers came from all over London
city. Alongside Caxton, there were very few booksellers in the town of London.
Caxton had a good knowledge of French, Dutch, and
Latin, using this experience; he published over hundred books which he later
translated into English. Williams’s books became very common among many
merchants who liked Caxton’s craftsmanship and excellent editing. Most of his
customers were from the middle class, and some the popular publication was
"The Game and Playe of Chase", and one of his famous prints of work
was "Canterbury Tales."
Apart from being a book writer, Caxton was also an
active parishioner at Abbey, and he sometimes audited some church accounts. William
Caxton later died in the year 1491 and buried at St Margaret's church at
Westminster. Caxton had an assistant called Jan de Wynkyn who then continued Williams
work rebranding it to" Wynkyn de Wore", and set up his business on
the west of London.
William Caxton will be remembered for many, and he
will forever remain in the history books for being the first person to
publish the first book and Print in London. Time has changed it’s not like before now new technology is Digital Printing which can produce Same day Booklet Printing London and the process is much easier then before. Digital printing quality and the letter press printing quality is very different which allows low cost and quality printing in quickest time.