Thomas Vautrollier

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Thomas Vautrollier (died 1587) was a French Huguenot refugee who became a printer in England. He was fined for printing unlicensed books in 1578-9. However, he soon became established as a legitimate printer, quickly becoming one of the most highly thought-of printers in London. He was especially associated with the printing of works of Protestant theology including Calvin's Institutes and a Latin version of the Book of Common Prayer. He also printed Ovid, Cicero, and other standard classical authors whose works were in demand as schoolbooks.[1] At one point Vautrollier obtained the right to "the sole printinge of other latten [Latin] bookes as the Newe Testament".[2]

Vautrollier also printed music, working with the Roman Catholic composers William Byrd and Thomas Tallis who were granted a monopoly of music printing in 1575.

Among his publications were textbooks such as Richard Mulcaster's Positions, a manual on child-rearing, and his Elementarie, a grammar book on "right writing of our English tung".[3]

In 1579 Richard Field from Stratford-upon-Avon, a schoolfellow of William Shakespeare, was apprenticed to Vautrollier. After Vautrollier died, Field worked with his widow Jacqueline to run the business, which continued to concentrate on Protestant polemics. Field and Jacqueline were married in 1589, two years after her first husband's death.


  1. ^ Honan, Park, Shakespeare:A Life, Oxford University Press, New York, 1999, p.61.
  2. ^ Fellows, Edmund, William Byrd, Oxford University Press, London, 1948, p.9.
  3. ^ Zurcher, Andrew, Edmund Spenser's the Faerie Queene: A Reading Guide, Edinburgh University Press, Edinburgh, 2011, p.14