Revival of Shorthand
Early English-Language Shorthand Systems
The Vital 250 Years
Four hundred years after Thomas Becket sparked an interest in Tironian Notes, eagerness to preserve sermons created a renewed desire for fast systems of writing.
Timothe Bright’s 1588 invention of the first useable English-language method triggered a flurry of writing systems. Inventors and teachers increased rapidly, each building on the work of predecessors.
Two hundred years after Timothe Bright, Samuel Taylor invented a system which became the most extensively used for the ensuing 60 years.
These masters created systems not based on phonetics, so learning shorthand consumed many years of memorizing abbreviations for individual words. Notwithstanding that impediment, in 1720 John Byrom demonstrated a writing speed of 250 words per minute.