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William Bradford

Born: 20-May-1663
Birthplace: Lecestershire, England
Died: 23-May-1752
Location of death: New York City
Cause of death: unspecified
Remains: Buried, Trinity Churchyard Cemetery, Manhattan, NY

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Publisher

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Colonial American printer

American colonial printer was born in Leicestershire, England, on the 20th of May 1663. He learned the printer's trade in London with Andrew Sowle, and in 1682 emigrated with William Penn to Pennsylvania, where in 1685 he introduced the "art and mystery" of printing into the Middle Colonies. His first imprint was an almanac, Kalendarium Pennsilvaniense or America's Messenger (1685). At the outset he was ordered "not to print anything but what shall have lycence from ye council", and in 1692, the colony then being torn by schism, he issued a tract for the minority sect of Friends, whereupon his press was seized and he was arrested. He was released, however, and his press was restored on his appeal to Governor Benjamin Fletcher.

In 1690, with William Rittenhouse (1644-1708) and others, he established in Roxboro, Pennsylvania, now a part of Philadelphia, the first paper mill in America. In the spring of 1693 he removed to New York, where he was appointed royal printer for the colony, a position which he held for more than fifty years; and on the 8th of November 1725 he issued the first number of the New York Gazette, the first paper established in New York and from 1725 to 1733 the only paper in the colony. Bradford died in New York on the 23rd of May 1752.

Son: Andrew Sowle Bradford (publisher, b. 1686, d. 1742)



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