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CHAMPION, JOSEPH (fl. 1762), calligrapher, was born at Chatham in 1709. He was educated partly in St. Paul’s school, but chiefly under the eminent penman, Charles Snell, who kept Sir John Johnson's free school in Foster Lane, and with whom he served a regular apprenticeship. Afterwards he opened a boarding-school in St. Paul's Churchyard, and in 1761 he was master of a ‘new academy' in Bedford Street, near Bedford Row.

His principal works are: 1. ‘Practical Arithmetic, 733. 2. ‘Penmanship: or, the Art of Fair Writing,’ London, 1740; oblong 8vo, with the author's portrait, engraved by Hulett, prefixed. 3. Forty-seven folio specimens of writing engraved in George Bickham's 'Universal Penman,' 1743. 4. 'The Tutor's Assistant in teaching Arithmetic,' 1747. 5. 'The Parallel; or Comparative Penmanship exemplified,' London [1750], oblong folio, containing 24 plates engraved by E. Thorowgood, with the author's portrait prefixed. 6. 'New and Complete Alphabets, in all the various hands of Great Britain, with the Greek, Hebrew, and German characters,' London [1754], oblong folio, engraved by (G. Bickham. The plates were reissued under the title of 'Bowles's New and Complete Alphabets,' London [1780?] 7. 'The Living Hands,' 1758. 8. 'A Penman's Employment,' London, 1762, oblong 4to.

[Massey's Origin and Progress of Letters, 37-43; Bromley's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, 399; Evans's Cat. of Engraved Portraits, i. 61; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

T. C.