Timperley, Charles H. (DNB00)

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TIMPERLEY, CHARLES H. (1794–1846?), writer on typography, was born at Manchester in 1794, and was educated at the free grammar school. In March 1810 he enlisted in the 33rd regiment of foot, was wounded at Waterloo, and received his discharge on 28 Nov. 1815. He resumed his apprenticeship to an engraver and copperplate printer, and in 1821 became a letterpress printer by indenture to Messrs. Dicey & Smithson, proprietors of the ‘Northampton Mercury.’ About 1829 he worked with that firm at the same time as Spencer Timothy Hall [q. v.] In April 1828 he gave two lectures on the art of printing before the Warwick and Leamington Literary Institution. He became foreman to T. Kirk of Nottingham, and editor of the ‘Nottingham Wreath.’ He married a widow of that town. In 1833 he produced ‘Songs of the Press and other Poems relating to the art of Printing, original and selected; also Epitaphs, Epigrams, Anecdotes, Notices of early Printing and Printers,’ London, small 8vo, of which an enlarged edition of the poetical portion appeared in 1845. It is still the best collection of printers' songs in English; some of the verse is by Timperley himself. In 1838 he published ‘The Printers' Manual, containing Instructions to Learners, with Scales of Impositions and numerous Calculations, Recipes, and Scales of Prices in the principal Towns of Great Britain, together with practical Directions for conducting every Department of a Printing Office,’ London, large 8vo. This was followed by ‘A Dictionary of Printers and Printing, with the Progress of Literature, ancient and modern, Bibliographical Illustrations,’ London, 1839, large 8vo. The remainder of the stock of these works was purchased by H. G. Bohn, who issued the two together, with twelve pages of additions, under the title of ‘Encyclopædia of Literary and Typographical Anecdote, being a Chronological Digest of the most interesting Facts illustrative of the History of Literature and Printing from the earliest period to the present time,’ 2nd edit. London, 1842, large 8vo. This useful compilation, which is chiefly devoted to English printers and booksellers, has been frequently referred to in this Dictionary. Timperley also wrote ‘Annals of Manchester, biographical, historical, ecclesiastical, and commercial, from the earliest period,’ Manchester, 1839, small 8vo. Towards the end of his life he had charge of a bookseller's shop owned by Bancks & Co. of Manchester, whose name is on the title-page of his ‘Printers' Manual.’ The business was not successful, and Timperley accepted a literary engagement with Fisher & Jackson, publishers, of London, and died in their service about 1846. He helped to edit the Rev. George Newenham Wright's ‘Gallery of Engravings’ [1845, &c.], 2 vols. 4to.

[Some autobiographical facts in pref. to Dictionary of Printers, 1839. See also Bigmore and Wyman's Bibliogr. of Printing, iii. 12–16; The Lithographer, April 1874, iv. 221; the Printers' Register, 6 Dec. 1873, p. 269; Curwen's Hist. of Booksellers, p. 463.]

H. R. T.