Bill, John (1576 -1630)
John Bill, the son of Walter Bill, of Wenlock in Shropshire, was apprenticed to the printer John Norton in London on 25 July 1592, and took up his freedom of the Stationers Company in 1601. John Norton was Sir Thomas Bodley's stationer, and Bill was employed purchasing books for the Bodleian Library on the Continent between 1596 and 1603. With John and Bonham Norton he helped to finance the King James Bible, and from 1617 was one of the King's Printers. He married Jane, daughter of Henry Franklin, and they had three sons, John, Charles, and Henry, the first of whom inherited his father's share in the King's Printing House. A list of twelve printed books which he gave to the library of Christ Church, Oxford in 1614 is in the Christ Church Benefactor's Register p.31, and a list of about 160 books which he gave in 1624 to Westminster Abbey Library is in Westminster Abbey Benefactors Book folios 60 62. His widow married Sir Thomas Bludder a royalist Member of Parliament whose goods were sequestered in 1643. The surviving inventory made on this occasion includes much of Bill's library. The Tasso is on line 115 of the edition of this inventory.