Gough, John (fl.1528-1556) (DNB00)

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Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 22
Gough, John (fl.1528-1556)

by Henry Richard Tedder

GOUGH, GOWGHE, GOWGH, or GOUGE, JOHN (fl. 1528–1556), printer, stationer, and translator, first lived in Cheapside, next to Paul's Gate, possibly in the house of John Rastell; he afterwards moved into Lombard Street, using the sign of the mermaid in both places. There is no foundation for the story that he was servant or apprentice to Wynkyn de Worde. In 1528 he got into trouble in connection with Garrett and the circulation of Lutheran books (letter of Bishop of London to Wolsey, 15 March 1528, in Foxe, Acts and Monuments, 1846, vol. v. App.) The first books known to have issued from his press were a ‘Prymer of Salisbery use,’ two editions; Tindal's ‘Newe Testament,’ 4to (but this is doubtful); and the ‘Dore of Holy Scripture,’ 12mo, all in 1536. Another edition of the last work appeared in 1540, containing on the back of the title the king's license to Gough to print any book by him ‘new begon, translated, or compiled.’ Gough supplied a short preface to the work, which is the prologue to Wycliffe's translation of the Bible. On 8 Jan. 1541 he ‘was sent to the Flytt for pryntyng and selling of sedycyous books’ (Proc. of Privy Council, 1837, vii. 110). In the same year Foxe states that ‘Gough the stationer,’ under the statute of six articles, was ‘troubled for resorting unto’ a priest (Acts and Monuments, 1846, v. 448).

He issued about fifteen books in all, among them the earliest treatise on bookkeeping in English, ‘A profitable treatyce called the instrument or boke to learne the kepyng of the famouse reconyng called in Latyn Dare et Habere, and in Englyshe, Debitor and Creditor,’ London, 1543, 4to. John Mayler, James Nicolson, and others printed for him. The latest date of his imprint occurs in 1543. The name of a John Gough appears in the first charter of the Company of Stationers in 1556 (Arber, Transcript, i. xxviii, xxxiii).

[Ames's Typogr. Antiq. (Herbert), i. 491–9, ib. (Dibdin), iii. 402–16; Cotton's Editions of the Bible, 1852; Cat. of Books in Brit. Mus. printed before 1640, 1814, 3 vols. 8vo.]

H. R. T.