Thomas Cotterill

–1785

Born in Birmingham, Thomas Cotterill was an apprentice to fellow Midlander William Caslon I with whom he leant dressing but not cutting. According to Moxon, Cotterill learned the art of punch cutting ‘of his own genuine inclination’ a skill which subsequently made him into one of the most eminent type founders of the late 18th century with a workshop in Nevil’s Court, Fetter Lane, London. Cotterill began typefounding in 1757 when he issued a fount of English Roman; he went on to cut all the common roman and italic types, non-roman letters such as Cyrilic and some less common characters such as Proscription or Posting letters of ‘great bulk and dimension as high as 12 l. of a pica’. This letter was to form the basis of the fat face characters thought to be ‘invented’ in 1819 by Cotterill’s apprentice and successor Robert Thorne.