The Stationers' Company
The City of London Livery Company for the Communications and Content Industries

ARCHIVE NEWS

February 2021

The Spanish Tragedy

The Spanish Tragedy

4 FEBRUARY 2021

The subject of Thomas Kyd's The Spanish Tragedy came up in conversation recently, and I remembered the impression that play made on me when I first came across it: not only did it establish the genre of the revenge tragedy in Elizabethan theatre (Revenge is, quite literally, one of its characters), but it boasts one of the best subtitles ever, being known in full as The Spanish Tragedy, or Hieronimo is Mad Again. I decided to reacquaint myself with the history of this strange and seminal drama, and to investigate its registration at Stationers' Hall.

READ MORE

Grant of Livery

Grant of Livery

1 FEBRUARY 2021

This Day in the Archive: 1 February

On the 1st of February 1560, the Lord Mayor of London issued a precept that ‘it was this day ordered and agreed at the earnest suit and prayer of John Cawood and diverse other said persons, being free men of this City in the fellowship of the Stationers, that the same fellowship from henceforth shall be permitted and suffered to have, use and wear a livery and livery hoods in such decent and comely wise and colour as the other Companies and followships of this City after their degrees do comely use and wear.’

Leading image: Stationers' Company Procession to St Paul's, Ash Wednesday 1968, Stationers' Company Archive

READ MORE

January 2021

Newspaper Makers Incorporated

Newspaper Makers Incorporated

25 JANUARY 2021

This Day in the Archive: 25 January

On the 25th January 1937, the reigning monarch George the Sixth officially decreed 'that the Mistery or Art of a Stationer of the City of London shall hereafter be called the Mistery or Art of a Stationer and Newspaper Maker of the City of London'. The name-change, and the amalgamation it celebrated, marked a significant milestone in the life of a Livery Company always committed to embracing the modernisation of its trades.

READ MORE

Forerunners to Copyright: The Stationers' Registers

Forerunners to Copyright: The Stationers' Registers

22 JANUARY 2021

This Day in the Archive: 22 January

With so many changes happening around us, from fluctuating infection rates to alterations in our centuries-old  Hall, it can help to find a wider sense of continuity with the past. The Stationers' Company is extremely lucky to have an extensive Archive dating back to the granting of its Charter, with relatively few breaks in its records. Over the next few months, I'll be making occasional forays into the Archive to highlight records of events in the Company's history that happened 'on this day'.

We start with a significant entry in the Stationers' Register for the 22nd of January, 1607:

'Master Linge - Entered for his copies by direccon of A Court and with consent of Master Burby under his handwrytinge these iii copies, viz Romeo and Juliett, Loves Labour Loste, The taming of A Shrew'

READ MORE

November 2020

The Stationers’ Company and its Almanacks

The Stationers’ Company and its Almanacks

25 NOVEMBER 2020

Richard Gilpin has written a detailed piece on the Stationers’ Company and its Almanacks which was abridged for Stationers' News but the whole article including images is reproduced here.

READ MORE

July 2020

Stationers' First Virtual Archive Event

Stationers' First Virtual Archive Event

29 JULY 2020

On 13 July the Stationers' Company held its first virtal Archive Event over Zoom to replace the event which had been planned for the Hall in April.  There will be a write up in Stationers' News but those who would have liked to Zoom in on the night but were unable to do so can watch the webinar by clicking on the image below.

READ MORE

June 2020

The Domestic Herbal

The Domestic Herbal

12 JUNE 2020

Liveryman Margaret Willes's new book The Domestic Herbal comes out this month. Being something of an expert on the subject, Margaret explained to me how herbs were used at Stationers' Hall in the seventeenth-century - and why the hiring of a herbwoman was considered a crucial expense for any banquet.

READ MORE

May 2020

The Stationers' Company and Letter Writing

The Stationers' Company and Letter Writing

28 MAY 2020

Written communication has always been at the heart of what Stationers do and noting that letter writing has increased in populrity during the Covid-19 crisis,  Ruth Frendo, the Company Archivist, has been researching how letter writing is important to the Company both as it is represented in the Archive and as a consistently popular form of communication with members.

READ MORE

April 2020

Surviving the Plague

Surviving the Plague

17 APRIL 2020

Unsurprisingly, there have been a lot of references to ‘the plague’ in the media over the last few weeks. The 400-year pandemic of bubonic plague which swept from China into Europe in the fourteenth century is, in the popular imagination, the closest parallel we have to our current situation. Lately, when answering research queries, writing ‘Archive News’ posts, or looking up references for the Master’s letter, I’ve found myself consulting our digital Archive to understand how Stationers responded to outbreaks of plague in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. With limited medical understanding, restricted communication technologies, and inadequate social welfare, their predicament must have seemed far more terrifying and isolating than our own.

READ MORE

Publishing Thomas Dekker's 'The Wonderfull Yeare'

Publishing Thomas Dekker's 'The Wonderfull Yeare'

14 APRIL 2020

Literature in Lockdown - 3

As London settles into a period of restricted movement, we look at some documents from the Stationers' Company Archive, which show us how writers, printers and publishers have responded to similar crises over history.

In my final post on this subject, my starting point is the publication of Thomas Dekker's pamphlet The Wonderfull Yeare.

READ MORE

Publishing Venus and Adonis

Publishing Venus and Adonis

6 APRIL 2020

Literature in Lockdown - 2

As London settles into a period of restricted movement, we look at some documents from the Stationers' Company Archive, which show us how writers, printers and publishers have responded to similar crises over history.

Here we discuss the publication of Shakespeare's long poem  Venus and Adonis.

READ MORE

March 2020

Publishing King Lear

Publishing King Lear

31 MARCH 2020

Literature in Lockdown - 1

As London settles into a period of restricted movement, we look at some documents from the Stationers' Company Archive, which show us how writers, printers and publishers have responded to similar crises over history.

We start with the publication history of Shakespeare's King Lear.

READ MORE