Christopher Barker



Geneva_Bible_Title_Page_1589Christopher Barkar (turned Barker) was born in 1529 in England to Edward Barkar and Joyce Burton. He had inherited wealth and position through his great uncle Sir Christopher Baker, a Garter Knight at Arms and a Knight of the Bath. In 1569 he began to have others print books for him, mostly Bibles and prayer books and in 1576 he obtained his own press. That year he printed copies of the Bible in two different versions. On September 27, 1577 for about $3,000 pounds he purchased a patent, or business license, which granted him the ability to use the title Queen’s Printer. “The full patent granted to Barker the office of royal printer of all statutes, books, bills, Acts of Parliament, proclamations, injunctions, Bibles, and New Testaments, in the English tongue of any translation, all service books to be used in churches, and all other volumes ordered to be printed by the Queen or Parliament.”1 He obtained the patent for his son and later his grandsons. He retired after 1588 and at that time he and his deputies had printed 70 editions of the Bible. He died November 29, 1599.

One thing that Christopher would not print were books of music and he would not provide shelves for them either.

Sources 1

Luckombe, Philip, A Concise History of the Origin and Progress of Printing: With Practical Instructions to the Trade in General January 1770, accessed via Google Play on April 9, 2018

Stephen, Sir Leslie, ed.; London, England: Oxford University Press; Dictionary of National Biography, Volumes 1-20, 22; Volume: Vol 01; Page: 1115

Smith, Jeremy L., Thomas East and Music Publishing in Renaissance England Oxford University Press 2003,, accessed via Google Play on April 9, 2018