The history books will tell you that Times New Roman was designed by Stanley Morison and drawn by Victor Lardent for the Times of London in 1931. They’ll also say its forms originate from the Dutch face Plantin. And that’s what I documented in The Typographic Desk Reference.
In 1994 at an ATypI conference in San Francisco, Mike Parker (pictured above) proposed an alternate history for the design of Times New Roman. He’s now moving things past the questioning stage with the release of Starling [through Font Bureau], a face that looks very similar to Times New Roman. Starling for the middle name of who Mr Parker claims to be the original designer of Times New Roman, William Starling Burgess.
Starling’s design is straight from a face referred to as Number 54. The unfinished designs of Number 54 appeared on documents (labeled Number 54) that were created by William Starling Burgess in 1904 for Lanston Monotype. In 1921 Lanston Monotype tried unsuccessfully to sell the Number 54 font to a fledgling news magazine called Time.
Did Stanley Morison mump (steal) Number 54?
Link → The History of the Times New Roman Typeface at FT.com