“This curious Art will teach you to take down,
The great Affairs of Government and Crown.”

James Weston (1688-1751), Stenography Compleated, or The Art of Short-Hand Brought to Perfection; Being the Most Easy, Exact, Lineal, Speedy, and Legible Method Extant … (London: Printed for the author, 1727).


James Weston (1688-1751) was a London teacher and practitioner of stenography. He published four books, here together in one volume, presenting his own geometrical system of short-hand.

Weston assures the reader that with his system words “can be joined in every sentence, at least two, three, four, five, six, seven, or more words together in one without taking off ye pen, in ye twinkling of an eye, and that by the signs of the English moods, tenses, persons, particles, &c., never before invented.”

He goes on to say, “By this new method any, who can but tolerably write their names in roundhand, may with ease (by this book alone without any teacher) take down from ye speaker’s mouth, any sermon, speech, trial, play, &c, word by word, though they know nothing of Latin. And may likewise read one another’s writing distinctly be it ever so long after it is written. To perform these by any other short-hand method extant is utterly impossible as is evident from ye books themselves.”