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Reginald Wolfe

Reginald Wolfe

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Reginald Wolfe (died 1573) was a Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

-born English
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 Protestant printer
Printer (publisher)
In publishing, printers are both companies providing printing services and individuals who directly operate printing presses. With the invention of the moveable type printing press by Johannes Gutenberg around 1450, printing—and printers—proliferated throughout Europe.Today, printers are found...

 and one of the original members of the Royal Stationers' Company
Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers
The Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Stationers' Company was founded in 1403; it received a Royal Charter in 1557...


Wolfe was born in Druten
Druten is a municipality and a town in the eastern Netherlands. The municipality covers the eastern part of the Land van Maas en Waal region of the province of Gelderland...

 in the Netherlands. A learnt and devout Protestant, he settled in England some time before 1530 and established himself as a bookseller at St. Paul's Churchyard, London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. Wolfe began to print in 1542. He was the first printer in England to maintain a large stock of Greek type. Edward VI
Edward VI of England
Edward VI was the King of England and Ireland from 28 January 1547 until his death. He was crowned on 20 February at the age of nine. The son of Henry VIII and Jane Seymour, Edward was the third monarch of the Tudor dynasty and England's first monarch who was raised as a Protestant...

 made him Royal Printer in Latin, Greek and Hebrew and awarded him an annuity of 26s. 8d. for life. Despite his Protestantism, Mary
Mary I of England
Mary I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from July 1553 until her death.She was the only surviving child born of the ill-fated marriage of Henry VIII and his first wife Catherine of Aragon. Her younger half-brother, Edward VI, succeeded Henry in 1547...

  made him one of the original members of the Stationers' Company. Under Elizabeth
Elizabeth I of England
Elizabeth I was queen regnant of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty...

, he served as Master of the Company in 1559, 1564, 1567 and 1572.

Wolfe published works by Archbishop Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer
Thomas Cranmer was a leader of the English Reformation and Archbishop of Canterbury during the reigns of Henry VIII, Edward VI and, for a short time, Mary I. He helped build a favourable case for Henry's divorce from Catherine of Aragon which resulted in the separation of the English Church from...

, the antiquarian John Leland, Robert Recorde
Robert Recorde
Robert Recorde was a Welsh physician and mathematician. He introduced the "equals" sign in 1557.-Biography:A member of a respectable family of Tenby, Wales, he entered the University of Oxford about 1525, and was elected a fellow of All Souls College in 1531...

 and Archbishop Parker
Matthew Parker
Matthew Parker was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1559 until his death in 1575. He was also an influential theologian and arguably the co-founder of Anglican theological thought....

. In 1548, he conceived a project for a "Universal Cosmography of the whole world, and therewith also certain particular histories of every known nation." He hired Raphael Holinshed
Raphael Holinshed
Raphael Holinshed was an English chronicler, whose work, commonly known as Holinshed's Chronicles, was one of the major sources used by William Shakespeare for a number of his plays....

 and William Harrison
William Harrison (clergyman)
William Harrison was an English clergyman, whose Description of England was produced as part of the publishing venture of a group of London stationers who produced Raphael Holinshed's Chronicles...

 to assist in the task, but it remained unfinished at Wolfe's death in 1573. Much of the material was published by Holinshed in 1577 as The Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland (usually known as Holinshed's Chronicles
Holinshed's Chronicles
Holinshed's Chronicles, also known as Holinsheds Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland, is a collaborative work published in several volumes and two editions, the first in 1577, and the second in 1587....


External links

  • An illustration of Reginald Wolfe's printing device
  • Andrew Pettegree
    Andrew Pettegree
    Andrew Pettegree is a British historian and one of the leading experts on Europe during the Reformation. He currently holds a professorship at St Andrews University where he is the director of the...

    , ‘Wolfe, Reyner (d. in or before 1574)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008, accessed 12 January 2008