Richardson, Samuel (d.1805) (DNB00)

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RICHARDSON, SAMUEL (d. 1805), stenographer, was educated at the King's School, Chester, from 1736 to 1739. He afterwards kept an ‘academy’ in Foregate Street, Chester, and was also the pastor of a small church of particular baptists in that city. He had considerable shrewdness, and read widely in later life. He died at his house in Pepper Street, Chester, on 21 March 1805. He was the author of an ingenious treatise entitled ‘A New System of Short-hand, by which more may be written in one hour than in an hour and a half by any other system hitherto published, which is here fully demonstrated by a fair comparison with one of the best systems extant [Dr. Mavor's], with a short and easy method by which any person may determine, even before he learns this system, whether it will enable him to follow a speaker,’ Liverpool, 1800, 8vo; 2nd edit. Liverpool, 1802; 4th edit. London, 1810, 8vo; 5th edit. about 1820. This system was based on ‘new-invented lines’—viz. three horizontal and two perpendicular—intended, among other things, to express the first letter of every word. The use of the lines necessitated the preparation of a specially ruled paper, and the writing occupied a wide field. On this account the system gradually passed out of notice. A work entitled ‘Richardson's Shorthand Improved,’ by William Henshaw, appeared at London in 1831, and Thomas Roberts published at Denbigh in 1839 ‘Stenographia, neu Law Fer, yn ol trefn Mr. Samuel Richardson,’ &c., wherein the system is skilfully fitted to the orthography of the Welsh language. A modification of the system, adapted to Lewis's alphabet, was published by E. Hinton of Trinity Hall, Cambridge, in 1826, and the scheme of lines and positions for denoting the initial letter of each word was also followed by Laming Warren Tears in his ‘One Step Further to Stenography,’ 1834, and his ‘Short Short Hand,’ 1852.

[Faulmann's Historische Grammatik der Stenographie, pp. 176–80; Gent. Mag. 1805, i. 487; Gibson's Bibliography of Shorthand; Levy's Hist. of Shorthand, p. 131; Lewis's Hist. Account of Shorthand, p. 174; Shorthand, a Scientific Mag. ii. 12–17; Zeibig's Geschichte der Geschwindschreibkunst, p. 210.]

T. C.