William Caslon was born in 1692 in the village of Cradeley, in England. At thirteen he was apprenticed to an engraver in London, and by his twenty-fourth birthday he had become a successful independent engraver. Caslon began designing typefaces in 1720 when he was commissioned to create a typeface for the New Testament. The Roman Oldstyle typeface he created was wildly successful and became the model for many typefaces bearing his name even into the twentieth century. Building on this success William started the first large British type foundry in 1737, a business which remained in the family for several generations.