George Bickham and the Writing Book
The Bickham family was most energetic in all forms of engraving for
sale. The most ambitious item in their catalogue was the Writing Book.
In 1733, George Bickham advertised that he accepting subscriptions for
The Universal Penman. Twenty five different scribes
from all over London were employed to design material for Bickham who
guaranteed to the public that he would be responsible for engraving
all the designs.
The work was not unusually for the period to appear in parts - issued
in weekly parts, "each to consist of four engraved folios, printed
on one side, and costing six pence each."
Bickham engraved The British Monarchy or a New Chorographical
Description of all the Dominions Subject to the King of Great Britain....
the Counties of England and Wales , London in 1743. There follow
examples of his engraved penmanship as applied to the various counties,
and widening his clientele by including topographical features and armorial