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borndied
17051770
an English shorthand-writer. In 1737 Gurney came to London, and was soon afterwards appointed shorthand-writer at the Old Bailey. The date of the appointment, according to his grandson William Brodie Gurney, and most shorthand historians, was 1737, and this date corresponds with the length of time during which he is said to have practised at the Old Bailey. Gurney himself, however, in the postscript to the fourth edition of Brachygraphy, gives the date 1748. He may have originally practised without an appointment, or may have held a subordinate post for the first ten years. In any case it was the first official appointment of a shorthand-writer, anywhere, although there had been instances of the use of shorthand for official purposes.
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