The University of Manchester - The University of Manchester Library
First Impressions


London had been a major trading city for hundreds of years, its port on the River Thames providing a link to the sea and the cities of northern Europe with their large mercantile communities. The City of London had a well-established trade in manuscript books centred on St Paul's Churchyard, so there was an established market for books. Trade in the city was heavily regulated by its guilds and companies of merchants, which probably made it difficult for new trades such as printing to establish themselves easily. However, migrant printers from the continent, such as Wynkyn de Worde and Richard Pynson, did set up presses in London in the 1480s, eventually establishing themselves primarily as printers of legal textbooks, school-books and documents.

Discover more about early printing in the City of London.