Hewitt, Graily, 1864-

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English calligrapher.

From the description of Autograph letters signed (2) : Petersfield, to Mr. Downing, 1918 Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270476025

From the description of Autograph letter signed : London, to Miss Evans, 1915 Oct. 16. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 270469563

English calligrapher and illuminator William Graily Hewitt was born on July 20, 1864, in London.

In January 1880, Hewitt was sent to Westminster School, having completed a year and a half at Wellington College. In 1883 he continued his education at Trinity College, Cambridge. He graduated in 1886 and on January 28, 1889 he was called to the bar, a profession chosen for Hewitt by his father. Hewitt soon turned his attentions from law to literature and in 1892, his novel, The Making of Lawrence Westerton, was published under the pseudonym Freke Viggars. Following the novel, Hewitt wrote a number of short stories, collected in Knights of Cockayne (1894).

After a brief writing career, Graily Hewitt began studying manuscripts and experimenting with calligraphy. He became acquainted with the noted bookbinder Sydney Cockerell, who encouraged him to study with the noted calligrapher Edward Johnston. In 1900 Graily Hewitt became one of the first pupils in Johnston’s newly established lettering class at the Central School of the Arts and Crafts in London. Sydney Cockerell continued to assist Hewitt in his new profession by helping him obtain commissions for his calligraphy through Cockerell’s collector friends.

In 1901 Graily Hewitt succeeded Johnston at the Central School of Arts and Crafts where he eventually taught courses in lettering for over thirty years. Hewitt also wrote a number of books on handwriting, including Oxford Copy Books (1916), The Pen and Type Design (1928), Lettering (1930), The Treyford Writing Cards (1932), and Handwriting: Everyman’s Craft (1938).

In addition to teaching and writing, Hewitt experimented with calligraphy and illumination. He is credited with reviving the methods, used during the Middle Ages, for gilding with gesso and gold leaf on vellum. Samples of Hewitt’s gilding are included in numerous manuscript books, rolls of honor, and patents of nobility. He was also one of the founders of the Society of Scribes and Illuminators in 1921.

Graily Hewitt made connections between calligraphy and type design, believing that type should represent creations of the pen. The Treyford Type, used to print The Pen and Type Design, was designed by Hewitt. He also designed a number of initials for St. John Hornby’s Ashendene Press, from 1902 until the press ceased publication in 1935.

Despite his failing eyesight and health, Graily Hewitt continued his calligraphy until his death on December 22, 1952, at the age of 88.

The Baltimore Museum of Art, The Peabody Institute Library, and The Walters Art Gallery. 2,000 Years of Calligraphy: A Three-Part Exhibition, June 6–July 18, 1965. Baltimore: 1965. pp. 30, 140. British Museum Quarterly. Volume XXXIII, Numbers 1-2. London: The Trustees of the British Museum, 1968. pp. 71-79.

From the guide to the Letters of Wiliam Graily Hewitt to Sidney Feinberg, 1944–1953, (University of Delaware Library - Special Collections)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. To Kata Mapkon Agion Eyaggelion : calligraphic manuscript by Graily Hewitt, undated. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. The Epistle of John : calligraphic manuscript by Graily Hewitt, undated. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Palladius, Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus. De agricultura : manuscript, 1460. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Virgil. Georgicon : manuscript, [1940-1946] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Process blocks for Thucydides. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. The song of the three holy children : which followeth in the third Chapter of Daniel, after this place ... : manuscript, 1929. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hickmott, Allerton Cushman. Examples of modern calligraphy, 1923-[ca. 1950] New Hampshire Newsp Project
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Autograph letters signed (2) : Petersfield, to Mr. Downing, 1918 Oct. 28 and Nov. 3. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Church of England. Here followeth, the Litany, or general supplication : to be sung or said after morning prayers upon Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, and at other times when it shall be commanded by the Ordinary. Bridwell Library
creatorOf Letters of Wiliam Graily Hewitt to Sidney Feinberg, 1944–1953 University of Delaware Library - Special Collections
creatorOf Meredith, George, 1828-1909. Modern love : manuscript, 1921. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. The book of Psalms [manuscript] / [planned and gilded by] Graily Hewitt. Detroit Public Library, Detroit Main Library
creatorOf Pater, Walter, 1839-1894. The child in the house : calligraphic manuscript by Graily Hewitt, undated. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Image, Selwyn, 1849-1930. Autograph letter signed : [London], to Graily Hewitt, 1914 Jan. 4. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Church of England. [Begin.] Lighten our darkness. Newberry Library
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Autograph letter signed : Ewell, to Edward Johnston, 1910 Apr. 7. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Keats, John, 1795-1821. Hymn to Pan / [John Keats]. Northwestern University
referencedIn Gill, Eric, 1882-1940. Letters and clippings relating to Gill's projected review of Graily Hewitt's Lettering for students and craftsmen, 1930-1931. Newberry Library
creatorOf Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron, 1809-1892. To Virgil : manuscript, [ca. 1947] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. An address to Selwyn Image, M.A. : manuscript, 1910. Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Autograph letter signed : London, to Miss Evans, 1915 Oct. 16. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf W.H. Smith & Son.,. The general epistle of James : manuscript, [1933] Harvard University, Houghton Library
creatorOf Ruskin, John, 1819-1900. Of repose / John Ruskin. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Letter, 1946 April 30 : to Miss Thompson. University of California, Los Angeles
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Calligraphic manuscript in black and gold on pasteboard, [n.d.]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn William Morris: The Lovers of Gudrun, 1909 Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives
creatorOf Johnston, Edward, 1872-1944. Calligraphy and illumination : autograph manuscript of a paper read before the Society of Arts, 1905 Jan. 31. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Prayer for King George VI : manuscript, ca. 1937. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Hewitt, Graily, 1864-. Autograph letter signed : Treyford, near Midhurst, to Mrs. T.J. Cobden Sanderson, 1924 Jun. 2. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Bodleian Library. Typed letters signed (9) and one autograph postal card signed, from secretaries of the Bodleian Library : Oxford, to Graily Hewitt, 1939 Jul. 12-1939 Oct. 24. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Wardrop, James, 1905-1957. Correspondence and manuscript, 1933-1952. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Ashendene Press. corporateBody
associatedWith Bodleian Library. corporateBody
associatedWith Church of England. corporateBody
associatedWith Cobden-Sanderson, T. J. (Thomas James), Mrs, person
associatedWith Downing, William, fl. 1918, person
associatedWith Evans, Miss, person
associatedWith Gill, Eric, 1882-1940. person
associatedWith Hickmott, Allerton Cushman. person
associatedWith Hornby, John, Sir, person
associatedWith Image, Selwyn, 1849-1930. person
associatedWith Johnston, Edward, 1872-1944, person
associatedWith Keats, John, 1795-1821. person
associatedWith Meredith, George, 1828-1909. person
associatedWith Morris, William person
associatedWith Palladius, Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus. person
associatedWith Pater, Walter, 1839-1894. person
associatedWith Powell, Louise, person
associatedWith Ruskin, John, 1819-1900. person
associatedWith Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron, 1809-1892. person
associatedWith Thompson, Miss, person
associatedWith Virgil. person
associatedWith Wardrop, James, 1905-1957. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
England
Subject
Calligraphers--20th century--Correspondence
Calligraphers' marks--20th century
Occupation
Scribe
Illuminator
Function

Person

Birth 1864

Death 1952

Britons

English

Information

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