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Walter Chepman


c.1473 - c.1528

Printer. A wealthy Edinburgh merchant, Chepman entered into a partnership with Androw Myllar to form the Southgait Press in Edinburgh's Cowgate, although the exact location of their premises is not now known. This was the first Scottish printing firm and, with the support of William Elphinstone, Archbishop of Aberdeen (1431 - 1514), the firm was granted a patent by King James IV (1473 - 1513) for the printing of liturgical works, law books and Acts of Parliament. However, their first publication comprised copies of John Lydgate's popular poem The Complaint of the Black Knight. Their most notable production was the Aberdeen Breviary, but they also printed The Wallace by Blind Harry (c.1440-92) and a collection of poems, including works by Robert Henryson (1425 - 1508) and William Dunbar (c.1460 - c.1520).

Chepman continued to serve in the courts of King James IV and James V (1512-42) and ran a profitable book-selling business, although he seems have given up the printing trade c.1510. He endowed an aisle in St. Giles Kirk, where he lies buried.


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