Clarendon is an English slab-serif typeface that was created in England by Robert Besley for the Fann Street Foundry in 1845. Due to its popularity, Besley registered the typeface under Britain’s Ornamental Designs Act of 1842. The patent expired three years later, and other foundries were quick to copy it. Clarendon is considered the first registered typeface, with the original matrices and punches remaining at Stephenson Blake and later residing at the Type Museum, London. They were marketed by Stephenson Blake as Consort, though some additional weights (a bold and italics) were cut in the 1950s.
It was named after the Clarendon Press in Oxford. Designs for wood type were made from the mid 1840s on. The typeface was reworked by the Monotype foundry in 1935. It was also revised by Hermann Eidenbenz and Edouard Hoffmann in 1953, Freeman Craw as Craw Clarendon, an American version released by American Type Founders, in 1955, and by Aldo Novarese as Egizio, complete with italics, in 1958, among others.
The font was used extensively by the government of the German Empire for proclamations during World War I, and was also common in wanted posters of the American Old West.