Richard Langford was a schoolmaster, born in Droitwich, Worcestershire, in 1759, but for many years Master of the Haydon Square Academy in the Minories, London. He published a first edition of 'The beauties of penmanship' in June 1785 when he a writing
master etc at no 83 Holborn Bridge London. His January 1797 edition included 6 plates from the 1785 edition plus 6 new plates and two unnumbered plates. One of the unnumbered plates was first published in Langford's copybook 'A Complete set of rules and examples for writing with accuracy & freedom', published on 1 June 1787, by which time Langford was Master of the Haydon Square Academy. In 1793 he published a four-page copybook of flourished capitals under the title 'Struck'. Langford's engraved business card, printed in 1787, announced that" “Youth are expeditiously taught the English, Latin and French Languages, Writing, Arithmetic, Merchants Accompts, Geography, Algebra, Geometry, Surveying as well as Drawing and Dancing” [ref: Ambrose Heal 'The English Writing-masters and their Copy-books 1570-1800', Cambridge University Press, 1931]. In 1809 Langford published 'An introduction to trade and business' and a manual of 'Merchant's accounts or book-keeping according to the Italian method of double entry.'
Langford retired from the Haydon Square Academy around 1818 and his death on 16 January 1822 at Droitwich, 'in his 63rd year'. was reported in the Gentleman's Magazine, February 1822 p.188. [MM, August 2018]