Early shorthand

Description

Thomas Shelton created a new shorthand system for English in 1626. It used separate signs for each of the letters of the alphabet and for many of their combinations. 

This page shows the key to his ‘short-writing’ system. Shelton’s shorthand was used by some of the most illustrious notetakers of the 17th century, including Samuel Pepys and Isaac Newton.

Full title:
Tachygraphy. The most exact and compendious method of short and swift writing that hath ever yet been published by any.
Created:
1645, London
Format:
Manual
Language:
English
Usage terms

Public Domain in most countries other than the UK.

Held by
British Library
Shelfmark:
C.31.a.47.

Full catalogue details

Related articles

Note-takers: our obsession with facts, figures and lists

Article by:
Ewan Clayton
Theme:
People and writing

Are you a methodical note-taker or do you cut corners? Find out how key figures in history have recorded their findings and experiences, and the shortcuts to note-taking that have emerged.