Paper Makers, Hatfield

October, 2003


Subject Index

Paper Making

In connection with the earlier postings VALLANCE, St Albans area, late 18th/19th centuries and Paper Mills and Paper Makers in England 1495-1800 Sally Kirkwood (sakbrent @t provided the following addition information of a paper mill in Hatfield:

 I thought you might be interested in the full transcript from the Sun Insurance Policy Registers for Hatfield paper mill in 1783. [I am descended from Allen Lambert who is one of the insurers.]

Vol 306 page 390
Policy number 469042
Xmas 1783 Dated 25th
Robert Lyon and Allen Lambert at Carshalton in Surrey Papermakers - On their House only in the Parish of Hatfield in Herts in their own tenure Brick and tiled not exceeding Fifty pounds
On their Paper Mill only near with the Going Gear therein Brick and Timber and tiled not exceeding seven hundred pounds
Utensils and Stock there in only not exceeding One hundred pounds
Stable only near Timber and tiled not exceeding Twenty Pounds
Draghouse only near Timber and tiled not exceeding Thirty Pounds.
[Total 900 pounds]

I haven't investigated the house mentioned yet, but it does sound as if they are proprietors of the mill in 1783. They were millwrights rather than papermakers by trade and went on to do several short term leasehold property deals involving mills, at Temple Mills in the Lea Valley and at Hackbridge near Carshalton in Surrey.

Allen Lambert was running The Grove snuff mill at Carshalton by 1791 and ended up with workshops and premises downstream at Hackbridge in the 1820s. One of his sons, Charles Lambert was also a snuff miller in nearby Beddington and his son was the Charles Lambert who founded Lambert and Butler. Robert Lyon died childless in 1805 and left Carshalton properties to a nephew. So the Herts connection may have been brief. I have other Herts connections which I will save for another time

March, 2007

Mary and Gerald Moore (kimber @t of Wellington, Somerset, write: My husband's family had the Paper Mill in Hatfield in the 1700's before the Vallances. [see VALLANCE, St Albans area, late 18th/19th centuries] We are looking for information on the Paper Mill back to when it was first built and its history.

The following extract comes from Hatfield & Its People (Part 6)

A project for setting the poor to work at making cloth was inaugurated in Hatfield in 1608 by Walter and Hugh Morrell under the auspices of the first Earl of Salisbury who provided half a barn, some farm land, and a site for a fulling-mill. Though well intended, the scheme dwindled and died partly because of the antagonism of the miller who complained that his head of water was reduced by the fulling-mill higher up stream, and partly because it could not be made to pay its way. The miller, Rawson, complained against the Morrells in the manor court in 1619, but did not succeed in getting rid of them. In 1628 Rawson invoked another law against the Morrells and had them fined 21 for "taking inmates", i.e. harbouring persons from another parish who might become a charge on Hatfield's poor rate. In 1633 Rawson complained to the Justices.

"That Walter Morrill, of Kings Hatfield, gentleman, diverted a watercourse running between a place called Stanborrowe and a mill in me occupation of Luke Rawson, gentleman, so that the highway is much annoyed."

This story sounds very much like a personal quarrel between Rawson and the Morrells, but it is interesting because it shows a privately sponsored attempt to relieve the poor unemployed on the lines laid down in the 1601 act for the Overseers of the Poor.

The following extracts comes from Hatfield & Its People (Part 11B)

In 1638 the Earl of Salisbury leased all the mills at Mill Green (with other property) to Edward Arris, a London surgeon, who sub-leased the fulling mill to one Thomas Frewen, who appears in the Hearth Tax return of 1663 as living in the Ludwickhyde Ward of the parish (which included Mill Green). He was elsewhere described as a "brown-paper maker."

It appears to have been Frewen who turned the fulling-mill into a paper-mill. This was quite easy because the machinery for fulling consisted of great wooden hammers raised by the water-wheel which beat the dirt out of the cloth. They could equally well be used to pulp rags for paper, and at this time the pulping process was the only part of paper-making to be mechanised. ...

Frewen was followed at Hatfield before 1691 by Isaac Moore, who in that year received from the Earl of Salisbury timber for the repair of the paper-mill. Other evidence points to the fact that Isaac had married Frewen's daughter Sarah, and following Moore's death the trade was carried on by his son-in-law John Archer. In 1730 Archer was paying 25 a year rent, but before his death in 1764 the rental had risen to 32 10s. 0d. Mrs. Archer continued the lease until her own death, when she left the implements and stock in trade of her business to her great-nephew, Isaac Moore. Perhaps Moore did not make a success of the concern, for soon after 1780 he was followed here by one Patrick Welch, a condition of whose tenure was that he should take the mill down and rebuild it. ...

By 1788 the lease of the paper-mill had been obtained by Thomas Vallance, "an eminent wholesale stationer" of Cheapside, London. ... In Vallance's time the rent of the mill rose to 50 per annum, probably occasioned by the recent rebuilding. He had not had the mill long, however, before it was burned down, and again rebuilt, and in 1790 came the strike threat of eleven of Vallance's employees. ...

Following these misfortunes, in about 1796 Vallance took over the Pickford Mill, a few miles up the Lea, at Harpenden, letting the Hatfield mill to Thomas Creswick. Creswick bought the lease from Vallance in 1800, and proceeded to improve the mill considerably by installing a steam engine and other machinery worth about 15,000, which enabled him to produce paste boards, drawing boards and cards as well as paper.

All went well until a few years before Creswick's lease was due to expire in 1838. Because of some disagreement, the Marquess of Salisbury refused to renew the lease. Being compelled to find new premises, Creswick finally decided to transfer his business to Wandsworth, and began to remove his machinery. The Marquess instituted legal proceedings, on the grounds that all the machinery added to the mill became the property of the landlord, but the case was dismissed. Thus Hatfield's paper-making industry came to an end.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.