Letter: Bright's idea

NEVILLE COHEN, the "question-setting supremo" quoted by Emma Cook, says that Samuel Pepys was a pioneer in the use of shorthand, taking precedence over Isaac Pitman ("They have all the answers", 14 March). In Mr Cohen's words: Wrong! Wrong! Can I put forward the name of the Reverend Timothy Bright (c1551-1615). He was granted a patent by Elizabeth I in 1588 for a form of secret writing. Another candidate at that period was a mathematician, John Willis (1616-1703).

Both these writers were slightly earlier than Pepys in this form of writing. Yes, and I know that Cicero was using shorthand in 80BC, but we could go on for ever.