Hertfordshire Men of Mark

A Portrait Gallery

by Truman Press
editor of the Hertfordshire Standard

Published by William Cartmel, St Albans, 1887


This is the first of a number of similar books, all published on a limited subscriber basis, written by Truman Press or his brother Charles A Manning Press. Truman PRESS, St Albans, Late 19th Century


The book contains portraits and biographical accounts of the following people

Mr Abel Smith, M.P.
  1. The Earl of Verulam
  2. Lord Grimthorpe
  3. Viscount Cranbourne, M.P.
  4. Sir J. B. Lawes, Bart.
  5. Mr Abel Smith, M.P.
  6. Mr. T. F. Halsey, M.P.
  7. Hon. Baron Dimsdale, M.P.
  8. Viscount Grimston, M.P.
  9. Mr. J. Blindell Marple
  10. Major-General Bigge
  11. The Rev. Philip Deedes
  12. Mr. A. H. Debenham
  13. Mr. I. N. Edwards
  14. Mr. S M. White
  15. Mr. H. P. Smith
  16. Mr W. Hurlock
  17. Mr G. Slade
  18. Mr E. A. Fawcett
  19. The Rev, G. H. P. Glossop
  20. Mr. A. Smith
  21. The Rev. W. R. Widdowson

Mr. Isaac Newton Edwards

Many of the people selected are ones which the young Truman Press, as editor of the Conservative Hertfordshire Standard, would want to cultivate - and the approach seems to be "Flattery will get you everywhere." For instance the first page of the biography of Mr I. N. Newton reads:

MAN of mark! What does it mean? Everyone has his ideal of life, and few are those who do not yearn with impatience to make their mark in the world. And surely there is scope for all.

Distinction is to be attained to in every sphere, and the methods are as various and changing as the elements of the weather. Patronage often fills the cup of success, and then it is just possible to quibble as to one's right of being classed among men of mark. But when the very pinnacle of prosperity is reached by shrewd industry and by dint of original merit, life becomes stamped with a reputation whose worth none can take exception to.

Whatever our walk of life the weakest must go to the wall, and the strongest will survive, which very well explains succinctly how it is Mr. Isaac Newton Edwards enjoys the best rewards of existence, and who, for the nonce, seems. to carry with him the magic wand of success - everything he handles is free from failure.

The wig tells you Isaac is a lawyer and it is only on the subsequent pages, after a froth of flowery waffle, that you discover that Isaac was the Town Clerk of St Albans, with other duties at the County level, and also a keen breeder of Shorthorn cattle.

The Town Clerk of St Albans

Struck off the Roll of Solicitors

"A Bad Case"

Intense excitement was shown in St. Albans on Wednesday evening and Thursday morning on it becoming known that Mr. Isaac Newton Edwards, of Westminster Lodge, St Albans, had been struck off the Roll of Solicitors, by order of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice, because he had, to use the words of Mr. Justice Manisty, "misappropriated" a large sum of "money to his own use". ...

Truman Press may have been somewhat embarrassed about including I. N. Edwards in this book when a few months later the  Herts Advertiser of 31st March, 1888, carried a news story which painted Mr. Edwards in a very different light. Needless to say Isaac lost his job as town clerk, and a few months later his herd of short-horned cattle were auctioned off.

The information given on Isaac, and others described in the book can be very useful as long as your realise that the descriptions were definitely not intended to be an objective assessment of the individuals' strengths and weaknesses.






Review of the book from

Gloucester Citizen

20th April 1887





For the way Truman's books were seen by some of his contemporaries see
Observations on Truman Press's Publications


"Hertfordshire Men of Mark A Portrait Gallery."

This is the title of a little work from the pen of Mr. Thomas Press, a local journalist. The 22 short biographies which it contains give a good deal of interesting and useful information with regards to their subjects, and the author has evidently spared no pains to make the book both readable and reliable. The work embraces the biographies of gentlemen belonging to very diverse schools of thought - indeed, in his preface the writer says, "The standpoint taken has been outside party prejudice, with absolutely no partisan purposes to fulfil." The sketches are written in a chatty and taking style, and each is accompanied by a portrait of its subject produced by the Meisenbach process, the most striking likeness being that of our respected neighbour, the Earl of Verulam (Lord Lieut. of the Counry). The work, which is well got-up, is published at half a guinea.

Herts Advertiser, 16 April 1887

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At the time this page was last updated this book should be considered as rare
June 2008   Page updated
November 2014   Gloucester Citizen Review added