John Angell (shorthand writer)

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John Angell (fl. 1758), was an Irish professional shorthand writer. Angell was from Dublin, and professor of the art there.[1]


Angell published in 1758 Stenography, or Shorthand Improved; being the most compendious, lineal, and easy method hitherto extant. ... By John Angell, who has practised his art above 30 years, London, 1758. It contained a historical preface; it was commonly ascribed to Samuel Johnson, though it had no trace of his style,[1] and borrowed from the work of Philip Gibbs.[2] Angell on one occasion visited Johnson, who was not favourably impressed with his abilities as a reporter. ‘Mr. Samuel Johnson, A.M., London,’ was a subscriber to Angell's work.[1]

It was favourably commended to the public in 1770, by the Dublin Society, presided over by the lord-lieutenant. There was a second edition in 1782, sold by M. Angell in Lincoln's Inn Passage, London; and the method reached a fourth edition (without date), sold by the same publisher. Angell's shorthand, based on the lines more successfully followed up by Thomas Gurney, was never very popular. It is a variation of the system of William Mason.[1]

Angell was also the author of an Essay on Prayer (London, 1761), with specimens of prayers of several eminent dissenting ministers in London, taken by the editor in shorthand.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e  "Angell, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900. 
  2. ^ Life, Page. "Angell, John". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/543.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)

 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Angell, John". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.