Brooks, Gabriel (DNB00)

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BROOKS, GABRIEL (1704–1741), calligrapher, born in 1704, was apprenticed to Dennis Smith, a writing-master 'in Castle Street in the Park, Southwark,' and kept a day school in Burr Street, Wapping, until his death in 1741. Dennis Smith's widow married a supposed relation of his, William Brooks, who in 1717, when only twenty-one years old, published a work entitled 'A Delightful Recreation.' Very little remains of Brooks's skill in penmanship—only a few plates scattered through that rare folio work on calligraphy entitled 'The Universal Penman, or the Art of Writing made useful written with the assistance of several of the most eminent Masters, and Engraved by George Bickham,' London, 1741. These elegantly executed plates (nine in all) consist of No. 29, 'Idleness;' 33, 'Discretion;' 38, 'Modesty:' 66, 'Musick;' No. 2 after 66, 'To the Author of the Tragedy of Cato;' 68, 'Painting;' No. 1 after 68, 'On Sculpture ' (signed A.D. 1737); one unnumbered, ' Liberty; ' and one on 'Credit' in the second part of the work relating to merchandise and trade.

[Massey's Origin of Letters; Moore's Invention of Writing; Bickham's Universal Penman.]

J. W.-G.