Charlewood, John (DNB00)

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CHARLEWOOD, CHARLWOOD, or CHERLWOD, JOHN (d. 1592), stationer and printer, 'seems to have printed so early as Queen Mary's reign, in a temporary partnership with John Tysdale at the Saracen's Head, near Holbourn Conduit' (Ames, Typogr. Antiq. ed. Herbert, ii. 1093). In 1559 he and two apprentices were summoned before the city chamberlain, apparently for some unlicensed work (Arber, Transcript, i. 106). The first entry to him is in 1562 for a ballad styled 'A Diolige of the Rufull burr[n]ynge of Powles.' During the next thirty years his name frequently appears in the Registers, chiefly for ballads, religious tracts, and similar popular pieces. He was a member of the Grocers' Company down to about 1574 (ib. ii. 85). Between 1578 and 1580 he was fined on several occasions for unlicensed printing. On 31 Aug. 1579 he and Richard Jones had transferred to them the rights of Henry Denham in fifteen works (ib. ii. 359), and in 1581-2 he himself is recorded as the purchaser of a considerable number of books and ballads, formerly the property of Sampson Awdelay, with a few from William Williamson (Collier, Extracts from the Registers, ii. 155-8). In May 1583 he is reported to possess two presses (Arber, i. 248). He always seems to have been somewhat a disorderly person, as in the same year the wardens of the Stationers' Company unite him with the notorious John Woolfe and others as being a persistent printer of 'priviledged copies' (ib. ii. 19). On 30 Oct. 1587 we find 'Lycenced to him by the whole consent of Th[e]assistentes, the onelye ympryntinge of all manner of Billes for players' (ib. ii. 477, and Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. 4). This is the earliest entry of any playbills in the Registers. After Charlewood's death William Jaggard endeavoured to obtain the right, which, however, fell to James Roberts (the printer of several Shakespearean quartos), who may have married Charlewood's widow (see below), and who in 1594 purchased many of Charlewood's copyrights, including 'The Billes for Plaiers.' Charlewood apparently came from Surrey, as on 12 Jan. 1591 we find him taking as an apprentice 'Geffrey Charlwood, son of Richard Charlwood of Lye [Leigh], in the county of Surrey.' Charlewood is a Surrey parish, and is not an uncommon county surname. There are several entries to him on 22 Sept. 1592, but nothing afterwards, and he probably died before the end of the year. In some imprints he describes himself as 'dwelling in Barbycan at the signe of the halfe Eagle and the Key.' These are the arms of the city and canton of Geneva, and were occasionally used by him as a woodcut device, with the motto, 'Post tenebras lux.' Martin Marprelate [John Penry] refers to him as a 'printer that had presse and letter in a place called Charterhouse in London in anno 1587,' and as 'I. C. the earl of Arundels man' (Oh read over D. John Bridges . . . the Epistle, repr. 1843, p. 31).

There were three books printed by 'The widdowe Charlewood' in 1593, and she had licenses for two others in the same year. She then married a person of the name of Roberts, as on 18 Aug. 1595 we find the entry 'to Alice Robertes, late wyfe of John Charlewood, for his gaynes' from his share in the 'Carrick goodes', 4s. 6d. (Arber, i. 575).

[Arber's Transcript of the Stationers' Registers, i. and ii.; the literary history of the numerous ballads issued by Charlewood is illustrated in Collier's Extracts from the Registers of the Stationers' Company (Shakespeare Society), 1848-9, and Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. xii. and 3rd ser. i-iii. See also Ames's Typogr. Antiq., ed. Herbert, ii. 1093, 1105; Watt's Bibliotheca Britannica. i.; Timperley's Encyclopædia, 1842, pp. 369, 387, 397; Catalogue of Books in the British Museum printed to 1640; Collier's History of English Dramatic Poetry, 1831. iii. 382-3; Malone's Hist. Account of English Stage (variorum Shakespeare, vol. iii.), 1821, 154.]

H. R. T.