His Readers and His Publisher
There were 16 printings of the Grounde of Artes in Tudor times so there is no doubt that it was widely read. Recognition of sources was not a feature of published works at that time, but debts to Record’s arithmetic were acknowledged by many authors of practical mathematical texts during that period. Probate inventories show that it had readers in the Universities, although never a recommended book: Tunstall’s Latin text was preferred. Recorde’s version of Euclid was reprinted only once. It was given to Edward VI by his tutor. Publication of the Whetstone of Witte was similarly limited, but the sign for equality that it introduced was used fairly promptly by Dee in his preface to Billingsley’s Euclid: its origin was not acknowledged. The Castle of Knowledge was republished only once, but had rendered obsolete the de Sphera of Sacrobosco and was supplanted eventually only by a series of practical texts on navigation. Recorde’s staunchest supporter and effectively his patron was Reyner Wolfe, his publisher. They both supported the Reformation and had antiquarian interests in common. Wolfe was close to Cranmer and probably was the means by which Recorde accessed many of the books by Continental authors that he used.