In 1592 John Willis, both a Stenographer and Mnemonic graduated with a BA from Christ’s College, Cambridge.
In 1602 John Willis developed a system of shorthand published in ‘The Art of Stenographie’. This was the first usable scheme of modern shorthand founded on a strictly alphabetical basis. There were earlier systems invented, but they were completely impractical whereas Willis’ method was published many times and improved upon by others.
In 1606 The Revd John Willis was appointed Rector of Little Bentley in Essex, a village not far from where I live.
I was preparing for an art exhibition to be held at Little Bentley Hall Waterways and Garden and decided to create a piece of work appertaining to the area by using the shorthand as stimulus. The birds flying in the sky in this painting spell ‘Little Bentley’ loosely incorporating the symbols from the shorthand The Revd John Willis brought to writing.
Now there’s something to ponder upon.