Early Italian printing in London - British Library Research Repository
Skip to main content
Shared Research Repository
Book chapter

Early Italian printing in London



Despite the statement by the author Petruccio Ubaldini in the preface to the second edition of his Life of Charlemagne, Vita di Carlo Magno, printed in London by G. Wolfio, that is to say John Wolf, in 1581 (British Library pressmark G.9987) that this was the first book in Italian to be published in England, it is generally accepted that this distinction belongs to a catechism for children: Catechismo, cioe Forma breve per ammaestrare i fanciulli, a translation of John Ponet's Catechismus brevis Christianae disciplinae (BL C.37.a.3). The translation of this work, incidentally, was undertaken by Michelangelo Florio. This book was printed by Steven Mierdman in London in 1553 in octavo format. Not a great deal is known about Mierdman except that he was a Protestant refugee from the Continent. He was born in Hoog-Mierde in Dutch Brabant, some forty miles from Antwerp, was employed as a printer in Antwerp from 1542 to 1546 and fled to England, where he lived from 1549 to 1553. He was responsible for printing several Protestant books in various languages before leaving England and resettling in Emden where he continued to practise his craft from 1554 until 1558.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
21 Oct 2019
914 kB