Guide to Old Hertfordshire


Hertfordshire Standard

St Albans - 1877 to 1907




St Albans

also known as The Herts Standard & St Albans Citizen

In 1877 the Hertfordshire Standard was punlished to represent the Conservative views, as opposed to the Herts Advertiser's Liberal stance. On the 30 December 1876 the following notice appeared in the Luton Reporter:



DIRECTORS: The Directors will be three in number, and will be appointed at the first General Meeting of the Shareholders to be held within four months after the registration of the Company.




This Company has been incorporated under the Companies' Acts. 1862 and 1867. with the object of establishing a new Weekly Newspaper, to be called "THE HERTFORDSHIRE STANDARD" to support the political principles of the Conservative party.

The first number will be published on Saturday, the 6th January. 1877. The price of the newspaper will be One Penny, as it is the desire of the promoters to ensure a large circulation, which they believe can only he done by fixing a price which will bring it within the means of all classes of readers.

In starting the paper the promoters are actuated by a desire to neutralise the injury which is done to the Conservative by the persistent misrepresentations of the political opponents of the party, and they have been induced to take this step by recent events. and from a conviction that every opportunity should be taken by all true lovers of their country to set before the public in the true light, on the one hand the efforts of the present Government to forward the material progress of the country at home and to protect its honour abroad, and on the other hand the mischief which has been already done and will necessarily follow the tactics of the Opposition if allowed to affect the policy of the country.

The promoters have had constantly represented to them that in this, one of the most Conservative counties of the kingdom, the party is not satisfactorily represented in the press, and they have thought the present the most opportune time for establishing a Newspaper which shall have for its main object the advocacy of the principles of the Conservative party.

They feel, however, that no mere party paper would have any chance of success which neglected to give full reports of all the local and County news, and they have accordingly organised staff of reporters who will be engaged exclusively upon this paper. and whole duty it will be to supply all the news in the different districts in which they will he stationed. The aim is to make the paper a thoroughly trustworthy source of information on subjects of interest to all classes of readers, while endeavouring by a careful review of Imperial polities to advance the cause of the Conservative party.

The strictest attention will be paid to the class of advertisements which will be allowed insertion, in order that no objection can be made to the admission of the paper into family circles.

The promoters have acquired on very advantageous terms, "The St. Albans Reporter", - a non-political paper, which was recently started with a view to a local circulation only, and they have made arrangements with the proprietor of that paper. which will cease to appear after the 30th Dec. 1876, to print "THE HERTFORDSHIRE STANDARD" for the Company, on conditions which are set out in the agreement mentioned at the foot of the prospectus.

As under this arrangement the Company will not hare to make a large outlay for machinery, type, etc., a small capital only will he required, and this has been fixed at 2000, divided into 2000 Shares of 1 each, of which 5s per share will be payable on application and 5s. per share on allotment; no further calls to be made without the consent of a General Meeting of the Shareholders.

 A form of application for shares is annexed, which it is requested may he fillet up and forwarded with cheque for the amount payable on application to the Company's Banker.; the London County Bank. St. Albans.

The only contracts affecting the Company are an agreement dated the 13th day of December, 1876, and made between Edwin Ransom of the one part and Isaac Newton Edwards, of the other part : and an agreement dated the ___ day of December, 1876, and made between Isaac Newton Edwards of the one part and John Nicholls of the other part.

Edwin Ransom: "Bedfordshire Times & Independent," (price 2d every saturday by Edwin Ransom, printer, publisher & propritor) 28 High Street, Bedford.  "Luton Reporter & Beds & Herts News," (Edwin Ransom, proprietor), Luton, published friday. Post Office Directory 1877

Isaac Newton Edwards: St Albans solicitor. "Hertfordshire Standard Newspapers Co. Limited, (Isaac Newton Edwards, sec.,), Chequer St, St Albans Post Office Directory 1878

John Nicolls: St Albans, Solicitor

The St Albans Reporter: It is not certain when this short-lived newspaper was first published. The Luton Reporter ran several columns headed "The St Albans Reporter" on the back page between 6 March 1875 and 9 September, 1876. [Warning - the font used for the heading is not correctly read by the British Newspaper Archives scans - so St Albans news is often not found in searches for "St Albans"] It seems likely that The Luton Reporter may have been published under several titles, possibly also including The Watford Reporter, The Bedford Reporter, The Dunstable Reporter, and The Leighton Buzzard Reporter - as judged by the distribution list (The Luton Reporter, 1 January 1876). This suggests that The St Albans Reporter only became a separate title in September 1876. A copy, along with copies of The Times and the Herts Advertiser, were included in a bottle when the foundations of the Public Baths were laid. (Herts Advertiser, 30 September, 1876).

The 1882 Kelly's Directory reports that it was owned  and published on Wednesday and Saturday by the Hertfordshire Standard Newspaper Company Ltd (company secretary Albert Clerk; manager Arthur Williams), Chequer Street, St Albans.

The 1886 Kelly's Directory reports that it was owned, published and printed by William Cartmel from the Hertfordshire Standard Steam Printing Works in Victoria Street.

In 1887 the book Hertfordshire Men of Mark was published, written by Truman Press, editor of the Hertfordshire Standard and printed by William Cartmel, Victoria Street.

The 1890 Kelly's Directory reports that the Herts Standard & St Albans Citizen was owned and published by Truman Press.

In 1892 Hertfordshire County Homes was published at Victoria Street St Albans,  described as the Offices of the "Hertfordshire Standard," the "Watford Times,", The "Barnet and Southgate Times," and the "Finchley Telegraph".

The 1894 Kelly's Directory reports that lists "Press  Truman, publisher & sole proprietor of 'The Herts Standard & St Albans Citizen' and publisher & part proprietor of 'The Herts Illustrated Review,' Victoria Street. See Advertisement".

In October 1897 the Herts Standard & St Albans Citizen held a meeting in the Public Hall, Hatfield, relating to it "Existence to be Continued". The press cutting, which unfortunately I have not yet seen, apparently lists members of its Executive Committee, and was reported in paper - possibly 16th October. This would suggest there had been some problem which had threatened the continued publication of the paper. The complicated 1899 trial suggests that Truman press had considerable financial difficulties The incorporation of the company. [Press, Simmons, and Co] took place on January 25th. 1899. for the purpose of taking over the business formerly carried by Mr. Press, under the style of Truman Press and Co. He believed Mr. Press was the sole proprietor that company, although he was heavily financed. He had got into very deep water with respect to his finances, and he had been long pressed to get more capital by the people who had been asked in. Eventually this company was formed, and in an agreement, dated February 6th, 1899, Press, in the name of Truman Press and Co., sold the benefit his business from the 1st November preceding. Of the new company. Mr. Press was made managing director. He had not power, however, to bind the company to any very serious matter without their consent.  Mr. G. W, Simmons was the Managing director of the Herts Standard Printing Co  (possibly formed on Ladyday, 1898) and Mr. W. Satchell was the secretary. It is suggested that Sir Blundell Maple may have been involved at some stage in buying Truman Press out.

In 1899 Kelly's Directory lists both the The Herts Standard & St Albans Citizen and Barnet Times as being published by Truman Press & Co while William Cartmel has dropped the "Herts Standard" from the description of his printing works in Victoria Street.

In 1899 another rival, the St Albans Gazette & County Advertiser started publishing. This only survived until 1907.

In 1902 the The Herts Standard & St Albans Citizen and the Barnet Times were both being published by The Herts Standard Printing Co. Limited. Neither are listed in the county directory for 1908 and the Standard is known to have ceased publishing in 1907. The 1907 Kelly's street Directory for St Albans lists five papers, the Barnet Times, the Finchley Telegraph, the Harpenden Mail, the Herts Standard and the Southgate Times being published by The Herts Standard Printing Co. Limited in Victoria Street. none are mentioned in its 1909 edition.


Truman PRESS, St Albans, Late 19th Century

for a detailed account of the involvement of the Press family in running the Hertfordshire Standard and other papers.

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

Page created February 2008