Salty Sam’s Fun Blog for Children

Number 300

William Caxton


Hello Everyone



So here l am tapping away at my keyboard writing another one of my blog posts -and this week it is the 300th one!


When you do an assignment for school, do you write it or type it?


lt is much easier to make corrections when you type something, isn’t it?


Just imagine that before typewriters were invented – they were used to type things before computers were invented – people had to write letters and notes to each other by hand.  And before printing was invented even books had to be written by hand!


Nowadays, printing uses machines, computers and lasers but early printing was done by hand, using ink blocks.  Johannes Gutenberg invented printing in Europe with type – that means using movable letters that have to be lined up into words and sentences.


l wonder what he would think of the 3-D printers we have today?


An early printing press like that invented by Gutenberg worked by inking letters, or type, and placing sheets of paper over each page.  A screw press, worked by hand, squeezed the paper against the inked page.


lt might seem a slow way to print a newspaper or a book to us now, but it was revolutionary at the time because books could be produced so much more quickly than had ever been possible before.


This meant that more books could be printed and more people could read them.


Most of the first books published related to religion.


This was because the church had an enormous power over society at the time.  All things in life were governed and controlled by the church in mediaeval times.


ln England, the first person to set up a printing press was William Caxton.  He also imported books from abroad.


He was born in around 1422 in the Kent Weald but later moved to London when he was in his teens.  He became an apprentice to a silk merchant.  An apprentice is a young person who is learning a trade and a merchant is someone who buys and sells goods.


Later his master, Robert Large, died and left William a sum of money which he decided to invest in his own business.


He then moved to Europe, first living in Bruges in 1450, which was the centre of the wool trade at that time, and then Cologne.  He became a successful merchant in his own right.  He also worked as a diplomat for the King Edward Vl’s sister, Margaret of York, whom he had made friends with (she had married the Duke of Burgundy and was now also living in Bruges). 


While he was in Cologne, Caxton learnt the art of printing.


lf you don’t know where these places are, look them up on a map.


Anyway, back to my story…


ln 1472, he moved back to Bruges where he set up a printing press with a Flemish man called Colard Mansion.


Caxton translated a book called The Recuyell of the Histories of Troye.  This was the first book ever to be printed in the English Language.


Eventually in 1476, Caxton returned to England where he set up a press in Westminster in London.  This was the first printing press in England.


He started printing and selling books and printed more than 100 in his lifetime. 


Some of the books he printed he had actually translated himself from French, Dutch and Latin.


The most famous one that we still know of today was the Canterbury Tales.


He is also thought to have translated and printed the first English version of Aesop’s Fables.


About 80% of his works were printed in English.  But there were so many dialects in England at the time it caused Caxton many dilemmas when he had to decide which words to choose to print.


He had a great passion for his work. 


His work changed the English language – because once it was printed in books it started to become more standardized – and he also changed society. 


This is because once more books were available, more people would learn to read and consequently become educated.


He was actually criticized for this.  The authorities had a wish to keep the poor and ignorant masses ignorant so that they could have more power over them!


You know what they say – knowledge is power – and the authorities wanted the masses to be suppressed and not powerful.


The lnternet with the incorporation of social media is a much more modern revolution that has produced a similar effect.


When Caxton was criticized for supplying large numbers of books he replied thus…


“lf ‘tis wrong l do, then ‘tis a fine and noble wrong”.


He died in 1492 – the same year that Christopher Columbus set off on his voyage to discover new countries.



Bye bye everyone – don’t forget to subscribe to my blog!


lf you like my blog, please support it by telling all your friends and followers about it.


Thank you!


And see you again next Fun Friday!


Love and kisses



Salty Sam







Bill and Bob’s Joke of the Weekjokejoke


Bob:  Our neighbour told me that his dog has gone missing.


Bill:  Why doesn’t he put an advertisement in the Rocky Bay Gazette?


Bob:  Don’t be silly!  His dog can’t read.



Salty Sam © Christina Sinclair 2015

Unauthorized use and/or duplication of material from this blog without express and written permission from this blog’s author and owner is strictly prohibited.

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Picture Gallery


William Caxton


The Kent Weald is an area in the south of England


Gutenberg’s press


An old press


The Chronicles of England was compiled by William Caxton in 1488

It was printed in 1497 by Wynkyn de Worde who inherited Caxton’s shop in Westminster in London



A modern press







This week, Miss Pringle gave her class at the Rocky Bay Primary School a very interesting exercise to do.

She gave each child a newspaper article from the Rocky Bay Gazette.

Each article had a picture attached to it too.

The children were supposed to underline all the words they did not know, and look them up in a dictionary.

Then they pasted the article to a larger sheet of coloured paper.

They wrote down the meanings of the new words on the coloured paper underneath the article and then coloured in the picture.

The sheets of paper were all put up on the wall.

The posters listed a lot of new words that the children wanted to learn and everyone could look at everyone else’s work.

You can do something like this at home to improve your word power too.

It is very boring to learn words from a dictionary.  It isn’t easy to remember them learning them by doing this either.

If you remember new words that you learn in the context of a picture or story, they are much easier to remember.

Instead of putting the stories up on the wall, you can paste them into a scrap book. 

Make sure you cut articles out of an old newspaper or magazine that nobody wants anymore.


  1. Underline all the words you are not sure of with a coloured pen.
  2. Guess what they mean and then check your guesses with a dictionary.
  3. Write the meanings of the words on the page of the scrap book underneath the article and make up a sentence of your own containing the word.
  4. Check with an adult to make sure you have done everything correctly.
  5. Read through your new word scrap book from time to time to make sure you have remembered everything you have learnt.


You could collect articles about your favourite pop star or hobby or something else that interests you like cars of aeroplanes.

The articles could be funny stories or stories about life in different countries.

The more variety of stories you have, the more likely you will come across lots of different types of words.

Don’t worry about really specialized words like medical terms or difficult plant names. 

They are not the kind of words you need to learn to increase your word power when you are still at school.









Quick Quiz


Can you find one word that links with all three of these words:-


  1. lobe ring phone
  2. cube spoon bowl
  3. cone tree forest
  4. hook pocket button
  5. train timetable station
  6. boat bank craft
  7. house switch bulb
  8. vent port current
  9. plane water shore
  10. leaf pot cup






lt’s the Weekend!




This book mark is really easy to make.

You could embroider someone’s name on it or you could embroider their initial several times but in a different style of writing.

You could embroider the word ‘mark’ or here’ or just embroider a large arrow pointing downwards.

It would make a lovely present for someone to keep.



  1. Make a bobble by wrapping yarn around two rings of card 5cm in diameter with a 3cm hole in the centre – (or if you don’t want a heavy bobble, you could buy a small bobble or make a tiny one by winding the yarn around the prongs of a fork)
  2. If you want to have a striped and spotty pattern in your bobble, use more than one colour of yarn to wrap around the card ring
  3. Cut around the yarn and then tightly tie a length of yarn 30cm/12 inches between the circles of card
  4. Pull off the card and trim the bobble
  5. You can glue eyes onto the bobble if you want to and the little bobble will peer out at you when the book mark is in place between the pages of a book
  6. Cut two pieces of felt 15cm/6 inches long and the width of your ruler
  7. Embroider on one side
  8. Sew the side and bottom seams of the book mark together using sewing thread or make the stitching into a feature by using embroidery thread – you could use blanket stitch – don’t cut your thread off yet
  9. Sew the tie ends of the bobble into the top of the book mark – but not too close to the edge of the felt
  10. Continue to sew along the top of the book mark with the thread and sew over the tie ends a few times to help keep the bobble in place
  11. Then sew along the rest of the top and secure your thread before cutting it off



Please note that the material on this blog is for personal use and for use in classrooms only.

It is a copyright infringement and, therefore, illegal under international law to sell items made with these patterns.

Use of the toys and projects is at your own risk.

©Christina Sinclair Designs 2015sand



Quick Quiz Answers


  1. lobe ring phone – ear
  2. cube spoon bowl – sugar
  3. cone tree forest – pine
  4. hook pocket button – coat
  5. train timetable station – railway
  6. boat bank craft – river
  7. house switch bulb – light
  8. vent port current – air
  9. plane water shore – sea
  10. leaf pot cup – tea



For an Embroidery Stitches Chart

Check out Blog Post 3

  • Katharina says:

    Really informative blog post. Really looking forward to read more. Great.

  • z says:

    This design is wicked! You certainly know how to keep a reader entertained. Too cool!

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