Learning Shorthand in 1894

On Monday, 22 January 1894, Martin Osborne Cock, master printer and editor of the St Ives Times for many years, started to learn Pitman shorthand.  How do I know this?  Over the winter I’ve been transcribing the shorthand diary of his friend, Gordon Heywood.

They attended Hayle Grammar School, where Gordon was a weekly boarder.  Their shorthand teacher was Mr George Thomas Cock.    In his copy of Pitman’s Shorthand and Typewriting Year Book and Diary for 1894, Gordon has underlined Mr G T Cock, Penzance School of Shorthand and, in the list of certificated teachers G T Cock, 57 Belgravia Street, Penzance.

Gordon wrote on Monday, 22nd January 1894:  ‘I went by the eight o’clock train. Got in the train as it was whistling.  Martin Cock came over to school for the first time to learn shorthand.  We had writing in the afternoon.’

The Cornishman, 27 December 1894:  ‘Hayle Grammar School – Success in Shorthand – Gordon Heywood, of St Ives, and Stephen H Michell, of Hayle, both pupils of this school, have just obtained speed certificates for 80 words per minute from Sir Isaac Pitman.  The test consisted of 800 words and the accurate transcription of the shorthand notes into longhand in a given time.  The chairman of the local committee was the Rev A G Stallard, MA.  The teacher is Mr G T Cock, Honours’ man, FNPS.’

Read more of Gordon’s diary here

Hayle Grammar School advert

Advertisement from The Cornishman, 25 January 1894

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