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. Above are examples of his engraved penmanship as applied to the various counties, characteristically widening his clientele by including topographical features and armorial bearings.