Seddon, John (1644-1700) (DNB00)

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SEDDON, JOHN (1644–1700), caligrapher, born in 1644, became master of Sir John Johnson's free writing school in Priest's Court, Foster Lane, Cheapside. Massey describes him as a ‘celebrated artist,’ and says he exceeded ‘all our English penmen in a fruitful fancy, and surprising invention, in the ornamental parts of his writing.’ He died on 12 April 1700.

The following performances of his passed through the rolling press: 1. ‘The Ingenious Youth's Companion. Furnished with variety of Copies of the Hand in Fashion. Adorned with curious Figures and Flourishes invented and perform'd à la Volée,’ London [1690], oblong 8vo. It contains fifteen plates engraved by John Sturt. 2. ‘The Pen-man's Paradise, both Pleasant and Profitable, or Examples of all ye usuall Hands of this Kingdome. Adorn'd with variety of Figures and Flourishes done by command of Hand. Each Figure being one continued & entire Tract of the Pen’ [London, 1695], oblong 4to. It was engraved by John Sturt, and contains thirty-four plates, besides the portrait of the author from a drawing by William Faithorne. 3. ‘The Penman's Magazine: or, a new Copy Book of the English, French, and Italian Hands, after the best Made; Adorn'd with about an Hundred New and Open Figures and Fancies,’ London, 1705, fol. The writing copies were ‘performed’ by George Shelley [q. v.] of the Hand and Pen in Warwick Lane, the figures and fancies being by Seddon. The whole work was supervised by Thomas Read, clerk of St. Giles's-in-the-Fields, formerly one of Seddon's scholars. Prefixed to it is a laudatory poem by Nahum Tate, poet laureate.

[Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, n. 9373; Massey's Origin and Progress of Letters, ii. 128; Noble's Contin. of Granger, i. 311; Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. xi. 291; Watt's Bibl. Brit.]

T. C.