Paper Mills and Paper Makers in England 1495-1800

By Alfred H. Shorter


Subject Index

Paper Making

Paper Publications Society: Hilversum, 1957

February 2003

Following up on VALLANCE, St Albans area, late 18th/19th centuries [q.v.], Colin Vallance of Birmingham writes: I have obtained on loan from Birmingham University a copy of ' Paper Mills and Paper Makers in England 1495-1800' by Alfred H. Shorter, a large and informative volume which mentions Thomas Vallance as the proprietor at Hatfield Paper Mill in 1781 and later on at Pickford Mill.

 I am enclosing a transcript of the relevant pages [below] as an attachment which I think you will find interesting. The book also has details of other Paper Makers and Mills in Hertfordshire dating from 1495  - Sele Mill beside the river Bean, in the area later known as Paper Mill Mead.

Other Mills mentioned include: Standon Mill, Hartham Mill, Sopwell Mill, Redbourn, Bourne End, Two Waters, Frogmore, Apsley, and Nash Mill. Also : Sarratt Mill, Solesbridge, Loudwater, Scots Bridge, Batchworth, Mill End, Hamper Mill, and Bushey. Finally, Barrington Mill where there is only one known mention of paper making and whose exact location is unknown.

Transcript of pp174-175

Mill No.4. Hatfield Mill

  1. The paper mill is marked on the map of Hertfordshire by John Seller, John Oliver and Richard Palmer (1680). The earliest proprietors or masterpaper makers are not known …..
  1. The son of Isaac Moores, paper maker, was apprenticed to a tailor. A.G.B., 7/194 (1720) …..
  1. JOHN ARCHER, paper maker, insured property, S.F.I.P. 104400 (17th Feb., 1745)

1749. John Archer, paper maker, took out a similar policy, S.F.I.P. 120492 (22nd March, 1749) …..

  1. THOMAS VALLANCE, paper maker and stationer,of 120 Cheapside (London), advertised writing, wrapping and printing paperof his own manufacture. A.W.C.. (2nd Jan., 1781).

He was probably the proprietor of this mill then. He was certainly at Hatfield Mill in 1790, when several of his paper makers and servants there (Thomas Arnold, John Corrall, Thomas Peacock, William Maybank, Thomas Nash, John Davis, James Harditch, William Farr, John Wade, Thomas Adkins and Pardoe Green) were sent for trial ‘for a Conspiracy to raise their wages 1s. a week’. Hertfordshire County Records, Calendar to the Sessions Books, VIII, 1752-99, 399 (refers to Easter Session 1790).

In 1782 the paper mill was insured by ROBERT LYON and ALLEN LAMBERT, paper makers, of Carshalton (Surrey).S.F.I.P.469042

(26th December., 1782). The mill must have continued to be in the tenure of Thomas Vallance. In 1794, as a paper maker and stationer of Hatfield and 120 Cheapside (London), he advertised that all paper with watermarks made at his mills would be carefully finished and immediately forwarded from his own hand. N.Co (19th Apr., 1794).

  1. A watermark T VALLANCE 1796 is in a paper in the Whatman and Balston Archives. (See Watermark No. 177 in this book.)

Thomas Vallance was a master paper maker in that year. Meeting of Master Paper Makers of the whole district of Hertfordshire (5th Feb., 1796), P.S.M.

The mill appears to have been in his hands up to 1796. A watermark VALLANCE 1804 is in a paper in the Whatman and Balston Archives. This may, however, be connected with the paper mill at Pickford (below) rather than with Hatfield Mill. In 1803, THOMAS CRESWICK was the master paper maker at Hatfield. Letter (17th June, 1803), P.S.M.

Mill No.5. Pickford Mill

1775 FRANCIS OWEN, miller and paper maker, insured his corn and paper mills. S.F.I.P. 349611 (1st Feb., 1775).

1781. Francis Owen, miller and paper maker, took out a similar policy. S.F.I.P. 443600 (30th May, 1781). The duration of his tenure is not known, and it is not certain whether he held the mill after 1800. The watermark VALLANCE 1804 ( in a paper in the Whatman and Balston Archives) may be connected with this mill. In 1813 WILLIAM VALLANCE paper maker, insured his paper mill. S.F.I.P. 880275 (17th Feb., 1813).

In 1816 Edmund Vallance was the proprietor or master paper maker at this Mill. E.G.L. (8th October., 1816).

Key to abbreviations :

A.G.B. Apprentices of Great Britain

A.W.C Adams’s Weekly Courant

S.F.I.P. Sun Fire Insurance Policy

N.Co. Newcastle Courant

P.S.M. Papers from Springfield Mill

E.G.L. Excise General Letter