History of British Sign Language


Rev. F.W.G. Gilby

F.W.G. Gilby (1865-1949), the child of Deaf parents, learnt to sign as a boy. He went into the church and naturally gravitated towards the Deaf community in London. He became vicar at St.Saviour's, the Deaf community's church in Oxford St. Our Monthly Church Messenger to the Deaf was his first attempt to run a successful magazine with a religious slant, followed later by Ephphatha. His magazine could not compete with that of Ernest Abraham, The British Deaf Mute, of whom Gilby said "he was a born advertiser, eaten up with the modern spirit. And so his magazine beat mine to a frazzle."