Hewitt, Graily, 1864-Alternative names
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)
|associatedWith||Church of England.||corporateBody|
|associatedWith||Cobden-Sanderson, T. J. (Thomas James), Mrs,||person|
|associatedWith||Downing, William, fl. 1918,||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||Palladius, Rutilius Taurus Aemilianus.||person|
|associatedWith||Pater, Walter, 1839-1894.||person|
|associatedWith||Ruskin, John, 1819-1900.||person|
|associatedWith||Tennyson, Alfred Tennyson, Baron, 1809-1892.||person|
|associatedWith||Wardrop, James, 1905-1957.||person|
|Place Name||Admin Code||Country|
|Calligraphers' marks--20th century|