ICAEW.com works better with JavaScript enabled.
A briefe instruction and maner hovv to keepe bookes of accompts after the order of debitor and creditor, & as well for proper accompts partible, &c. By the three bookes named the memoriall iournall & leager, and of other necessaries appertaining to a good and diligent marchant. The which of all other reckoninges is most lawdable: for this treatise well and sufficiently knowen, all other wayes and maners may be the easier & sooner discerned, learned and knowen

Written by Hugh Oldcastle (revised by John Mellis)

Printed by John Windet (London; 1588)

Schoolmaster and teacher of arithmetic in the parish of St Olave's, Southwark, John Mellis claims to have 'enlarged and beautified' Oldcastle's original work of 1543. The examples he added at the end show instances of following Ympyn and Peele rather than Oldcastle and illustrations with the text are also obviously Mellis's work. The overall impression is however that Oldcastle's lost work is fairly faithfully reproduced.

As with Ympyn it is impossible to be sure that Oldcastle' s work was taken directly from Pacioli. If it was not it must, like Ympyn 's book, have been taken from a source very close to the authority for Pacioli's 'Methods of Venice' .

Photograph of A Briefe Instruction

This article was originally prepared by the library team in the mid-twentieth century to introduce the rare books and facsimiles in our collection to a wider audience. It is not intended as a piece of scholarly analysis and should not be read as such.

Historical Accounting Literature

The ICAEW collection of historical accounting literature currently comprises over 4,000 volumes and includes works published from the 15th century to the early 20th century. The collection includes books and journals in a variety of languages.

Contact the library

Expert help for your enquiries and research.