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Byrom, John

John Byrom (bī´rəm), 1692–1763, English shorthand expert and poet, educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. He devised an early shorthand system, which he taught in Manchester. Although he copyrighted his system in 1742, his book, The Universal English Shorthand, was not published until after his death. He was a great admirer of William Law, and much information about Law is found in Byrom's Private Journal and Literary Remains (1854–57). He wrote Seasonably Alarming and Humiliating Truths in a Metrical Version of Certain Select Passages Taken from the Works of William Law (1774) and other facilely rhyming, rather eccentric religious verse.

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee

Tweedledum and Tweedledee originally names applied to the composers Bononcini (1670–1747) and Handel, in a 1725 satire by John Byrom (1692–1763), ‘Strange all this difference should be, 'Twixt Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee.’

The nursery rhyme featuring Tweedledum and Tweedledee, and their agreement to ‘have a battle’, is recorded from the early 19th century, and they were later developed as two identical characters in Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass (1872).

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