"a compositor, in the Queen’s printing house, then conducted by a Mr James Watson"

James Watson worked as a printer from 1695 until his death in 1722. Queen Anne appointed him royal printer on 11th August 1711 and he worked in this capacity until 1716. His main responsibilities were printing bibles, acts of parliament and news-sheets. In 1713, he authored a book entitled History of the Art of Printing. Even without being embroiled in the publication of Robert’s work, his career was not without its controversy: he was imprisoned in 1700 for printing an indictment of the disastrous Darién Scheme, Scotland’s Grievance Respecting Darien.

Watch Stephen Fry’s documentary about the invention of the printing press here.