Metal Type: Home | Library | Forum | Free Ads | Store

Saint Bride

Started by printsmurf, January 14, 2024, 03:35:18 PM

Previous topic - Next topic

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Printle: A Printing Word Game from Metal Type


I can't be the only printer who has offered up a silent prayer to Saint Bride when things went wrong whilst at work.

Saint Bride, also known as Saint Bridgit, Saint Brigid of Kildare, or Brigid of Ireland probably lived from about 451 to about 525. She was an Irish nun and abbess who became one of the patron saints of Ireland. She has also become the patron saint of a long list of groups including printers

Saint Bride's Church

In 1476, William Caxton, a merchant, businessman, and diplomat, brought to this country for the first time a printing press that used moveable type. After Caxton's death around the year 1492, his press was acquired by his apprentice, the printer Wynkyn de Worde, who was dependent upon printing for his livelihood and needed to ensure its commercial viability.

At the time, the area around St Bride's had become a haven for clergy, who were unable to afford the high cost of living in the very heart of the medieval city. Since the clergy possessed almost a monopoly of literacy in those days, alongside the lawyers who were also based in the area, they were the printers' best customers. So Wynkyn de Worde followed the best commercial principles and moved his business to the customer base, setting up his printing press in the churchyard of St Bride's in 1500.

Wynkyn de Worde was buried at St Bride's in 1535, and a plaque commemorating his life can be seen in the church. St Bride's also possesses an original example of Wynkyn de Worde's printing, dating from 1495.

As an aside, the spire of St. Bride's Church is said to be the inspiration for the tiered wedding cake design.

Dave Hughes

I can't be the only person to think that Caxton's apprentice's name may have been made up.

Wynkyn de Worde for a typesetter/printer?
Printle: Word Puzzle for Printers Play Now

Keep in touch with Metal Type Get our newsletters


Saint Bride also gives her name to the Saint Bride Foundation.

Established in 1891 with a clear social and cultural purpose, St Bride Foundation is one of London's hidden gems.

Housed in a beautiful Grade II listed Victorian building, St Bride Foundation was originally set up to serve the burgeoning print and publishing trade of nearby Fleet Street, and is now finding a new contemporary audience of designers, printmakers and typographers who come to enjoy a regular programme of design events and workshops.

Many thousands of books, printing-related periodicals and physical objects are at the heart of St Bride Library. Volumes on the history of printing, typography, newspaper design and paper-making jostle for space alongside one of the world's largest and most significant collections of type specimens. The printed, written, carved and cast word may be found at St Bride in its myriad forms. Architectural lettering and examples of applied typography in many media, together with substantial collections of steel punches and casting matrices for metal types are also held in this eclectic collection.

Link to website:


One nice thing about the more recent history of St. Bride's, whilst Christopher Wren designed the building, someone else's design for the interior was used rather than his. Burnt out during the blitz in WW2, when restored post-war they used Wren's original design for the interior. So in a sense it's a new Wren church. There are Roman remains to be seen in the crypt by the way.


Quote from: Stafford on February 05, 2024, 10:25:22 AMThere are Roman remains to be seen in the crypt by the way.

As well as the Roman remains there is also an interesting iron coffin there as well.

At a time when people feared being dug up by the body snatchers for sale people might consider burial in an iron coffin for protection. The churches objected as it took long for the body to decompose so they couldn't reuse the grave so charged extra for funerals. That was even less popular than the body snatchers so the coffins were a short-lived fad.


From Museums Victoria    Copyright Museums Victoria / CC BY (Licensed as Attribution 4.0 International)
St Bride Foundation Institute medal in case, which was awarded to A.G. Maclaurin for the Highest Position in Machine , 3rd Year.

Archie was born in 1904 in Westham London. He trained as a printer and sought work in Australia as there were few opportunities in England; he migrated on the 'Jervis Bay' in 1928. Before migrating he commenced negotiations with the general manager of the Commonwealth Bank Note Printing Branch Fitzroy, who assisted Maclaurin in securing employment at McLaren & Co Pty Ltd Colour Printers in Fitzroy. He then moved to Spicers & Depmont Printers and Stationers before an opening came up for a machinist at the Note Printing Branch, where he worked for 32 years.

He married Constance Duffell in 1934, who had migrated from England on the 'Narkunda' with her parents and brother in 1927. Her father and brother worked for the Note Printing Branch which facilitated their meeting. They had two children, Roger and Jocelyn and lived all their lives in Essendon.

Physical Description
Round medal attached to pale blue ribbon with pin. One side engraved with laurel border and the words: 'Awarded to A.G.Maclaurin for Highest Position in Machine 3th Year 1925'. Other side inscribed with a tree in a lit lantern, laurel decoration and words: 'St Bride Foundation Institute'. Medal contained in a black box with blue velvet lining (lid detached from hinge and side piece separated).

Obverse Description
Tree in a lit lantern, around, ST BRIDE FOUNDATION INSTITUTE

Reverse Description
AWARDED / TO / A.G. MACLAURIN / for Highest Position in / MACHINE / 3th YEAR / 1925


St. Bride, Fleet Street, 1731. Copper medal 29mm in diameter.

Quick Reply

Please leave this box empty:
Type the letters shown in the picture
Listen to the letters / Request another image

Type the letters shown in the picture:

Shortcuts: ALT+S post or ALT+P preview

Printers' Tales - Over 30 stories from the pre-digital age. Buy now on Amazon/Apple Books

☛ Don't miss our illustrated newsletters. Click here to see examples and subscribe. ☚