Mr. George Bloomfield then lived in an obscure court, near Coleman-Street, and worked with four others in a light garret, whither Robert was introduced; and whilst acquiring a knowledge of his trade, became, as he has himself expressed it, though on another occasion, "A Gibeonite, and serv'd them all by turns," The most common of his occupations was to read the Newspaper, his " time being of less value" than that of his brother, or of the other workmen; and because, when thus employed, he frequently met with words that he could not understand, an old and tattered Dictionary was bought for his use, by a constant reference to which he soon attained a greater command of language, and could readily comprehend the meaning of any difficult passage that might occur. His knowledge of phraseology and enunciation was also increased by a regular attendance at the meeting-house in the Old Jewry, on Sunday evenings, when the late Rev. Mr. Fawcett was delivering his eloquent and celebrated lectures.
The principal, and indeed only, books that at this time were at his command, were a History of England, a British Traveller, a Geography and the London Magazine. These were purchased in numbers by his brother and fellow-workmen;