Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Andrewe, Laurence

ANDREWE, LAURENCE (fl. 1510–1537), translator and printer, a native of Calais, translated in 1510 ‘The noble lyfe and natures of man, of bestes, serpentys, fowles & fisshes, yt be made known [col.] Translated be me Laurens Andrewe of the towne of Calis, in the famous cite of Andwarpe. Emprented be me John of Doesborowe [n.d.]’ folio (Hazlitt's Coll. and Notes, 1876, p. 474). He probably learned the art of printing from John Doesborowe or Peter Treveris (Ames's Typ. Ant. ed. Herbert, i. 412), and practised for some time in London in Fleet Street, at the Golden Cross by Fleet Bridge. Here, in 1527, he printed his own translation of ‘The vertuose boke of Distyllacion of the waters of all maner of Herbes … by Jherom Bruynswyke, and now newly translate out of Duyche,’ sm. folio. He appears to have translated other minor works which have not come down to us, as in the Prologue he observes: ‘After dyvers and sondry small volumes and tryfeles of myrth and pastaunce som newly composed, some translated and of late finished, [I am] now mynded to exercise my pene in mater to the reder som what more pfytable.’ The book contains a great number of woodcut illustrations of distilling apparatus with interesting figures and descriptions of plants. It is this work which has given Andrewe the credit of producing an edition of ‘The grete Herball’ in 1527. He also printed, without a date, ‘The myrrour & dyscrypcion of the World,’ folio, a reproduction of the 1481 text of Caxton, with some of the original wood blocks. Herbert (Typ. Ant. iii. 1786) says: ‘I have a fragment of Æsop's Fables, bound with his Myrrour, which seems to have been also printed by him.’ Another undated production of his press was ‘The Directory of Conscience,’ 4to. A work entitled ‘The Valuacion of Golde and Siluer. Made in the famous citie of Antwarpe and newely translated into Englishe by me Laurens Andrewe … Emprentyd in the famous citie of Andwarpe,’ without date or printer, is placed by Ames (Herbert's edition, i. 412), who does not, however, appear to have seen it, at 1537, with the remark: ‘Mr. Oldis supposed as he was a printer it might be printed by him, but then he must have been at Antwerp at that time.’ Another edition of a similar work is given by Herbert (p. 1529) as of 1499, and described precisely. Although not an original author, Andrewe deserves consideration as one of the earliest of those who translated into English works on scientific subjects.

[Besides the editions of Ames's Typogr. Antiquities by Herbert and Dibdin, see Tanner's Bibl. Britannico-Hibernica.]

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