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William Caxton

Medieval life and Times

Short Biography about the life of William Caxton
The following biography, short history and interesting facts provide helpful information for history courses and history coursework about the life and history of William Caxton a famous Medieval character of historical importance who lived during the Middle Ages:

  • Country of Origin / Nationality: English

  • Lifetime: 1422-1491
  • Born: William Caxton was born 1422 in Kent
  • Family connections : He was the the son of the son of Philip and Dionisia Caxton
  • Occupation and Career: English Printer and Translator
  • Died: William Caxton died in March 1491
  • Accomplishments and Achievements or why William Caxton was famous: a printer and the first person to introduce a printing press into England

William Caxton
The story and biography of William Caxton which contains interesting information, facts & the history about the life of this Medieval person of historical importance. William Caxton lived from 1422-1491.

Short Biography of William Caxton
William Caxton was born in the Weald of Kent and was apprenticed to a London mercer. On his master's death in 1441 he went to Bruges, and lived there and in various other places in the Low Countries for over 30 years, engaged apparently as head of an association of English merchants trading in foreign parts, and in negotiating commercial treaties between England and the Dukes of Burgundy. The first literary labour of Caxton was a translation of a French romance, which he entitled The Recuyell of the Historyes of Troye which he finished in 1471. About this time he learned the art of printing, and, after being in the service of Margaret Duchess of Burgundy, an English princess, returned to England and set up his printing press at Westminster in 1476. It was the first printing press in England. His Recuyell and The Game and Playe of Chesse had already been printed in Europe and these were the first books in English. He produced the first book printed in England called "The Dictes and Sayings of the Philosophers" in 1477. William Caxton obtained Royal favour, printed from 80 to 100 separate works, many of them translations of his own. William Caxton died, almost with pen in hand, in March 1491.

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