Britain’s First Commercial Paper Mill
Mercers and their trade
Though the once thriving market town of Hertford declined after the Conquest, this does not mean that nothing of note happened here. Hertford’s claim to fame is that it had the first recorded commercial paper mill in Britain.
The Schoolmaster Printer –
the Medieval Printing Press in St Albans
Here endyth this present cronycle of Englonde wyth the frute of tymes, compiled in a booke and also empryted by one somtyme scole mayster of saynt Albons, on whoos soule God have mercy (Wynkin de Worde, 1497)
After the first book printed with movable type had had its debut at the Frankfurt Fair in 1454, Johannes Gutenberg’s invention quickly spread all over Europe.
William Caxton was the first to bring printing to England, when he set up his workshop in Westminster in the mid-1470s (either 1475 or – more probably – 1476). Two years after Caxton opened his shop in Westminster, another printing press, in Oxford, published its first book (in 1478). However, given my personal interest, I would like to find out more about the third English printing press – in St Albans. Continue reading